Eliot Rodgers_Narcissistic Personality Disorder

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I’ve been reading various accounts of the Eliot Rodgers massacre that occurred last Friday.

Most reports try to find a “why” behind the massacre. Most reports point to Rodger’s problem with women meaning he hated the fact he was still a virgin at age 22. His frustration in that department drove him to seek vengeance on his room mates (who didn’t share that frustration) and sorority girls who apparently were symbols of his frustration. Other victims were more random but equally driven by Rodger’s sense of outrage.

The words that have floated to the top more than any other words are “mentally ill”  and “mental health.”

Whatever else that might be said about Eliot Rodgers we can be sure that Eliot was “mentally ill”  according to the experts.

Rodgers even had a therapist to prove it he was mentally ill.

The therapist wanted to give Risperidone but Rodgers refused to take it. Risperidone is used to treat schizophrenia and other things. I do not know what other meds Rodgers may have been on. I’m sure something will surface. Here is link to the connection between psychotropic drugs and mass murderers.

A schizophrenic is one that cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is not real. Schizophrenia is diagnosed as Schizoaffective disorder meaning a mental condition that causes both a loss of contact with reality (psychosis) and mood problems.

Rodgers had been in therapy since the age of eight. It has been pointed out that Rodgers was also a model narcissist  consumed by what he perceived others thought of him.

Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition in which people have an excessive sense of self-importance, an extreme preoccupation with themselves, and lack of empathy for others.

Psychiatric labels are short hand for descriptions of behaviors and attitudes but they are not necessarily prescriptive although that’s how they are used to treat an individual like Rodgers. In other words, if Rodgers manifests behavior and attitude a, b, c, and d he will be diagnosed with a label and given what the psychiatrist believes to be an appropriate med and usually some degree of talk therapy.

An excessive sense of self-importance amounts to extreme self-centeredness, a total preoccupation with getting what he demanded (Rodgers-sex, admiration, popularity) and no concern for others because he was at the center of his own little universe and he  and his desires were all that mattered. The Bible calls such a person a “lover of self” (2 Tim. 3:2) and without self-control.

The only treatment for self-centeredness in any one that I know of is the Gospel rightly understood and applied.









Perspective 05/15/2014

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I’ve been avoiding this topic not because I do not care but because I do not know how to write about it and hold my temper and so would probably not say anything useful. Our media will spend tons of time on a stupid homosexual kiss and virtually nothing when it comes to the persecution of Christians. So, here is brief reminder from my friend and Sr. Pastor of just what is going on in the world.

Missional Meanderings

Here is yet another chilling account of persecution against Christians.  Keeps things in perspective.

A Christian woman in Sudan reportedly has until Thursday to either recant her faith or face a possible sentence of death.

Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, 27, was convicted by a Khartoum court this week of apostasy, or the renunciation of faith, Amnesty International said Wednesday, a day before the expected ruling. The court considers her to be Muslim.

According to the rights group, she was also convicted of adultery because her marriage to a Christian man was considered void under Sharia law.

You can read the rest here . . . .

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Remembering Mom

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Mom grew up on a hard scrabble farm in Marathon County, Wisconsin. She was born in 1930 and so her early years were influenced by the Great Depression made worse because the family was poor to begin with. I remember well her telling me (a rather picky eater) that often all they had to eat were potatoes.

Mom’s mom died in 1940 when she was only ten. Her father remarried and mom and her six siblings became part of a rather large blended family thus contributing to the poverty. And mom never had much nice to say about her “new mom” or her bio father.

Perhaps it was because mom and some of her siblings were sent to live with relatives during the war years, again because of the poverty but also because of the strained relationships within the blended family.

Mom’s child and teen years were not pleasant and were marked by instability which I believe contributed to mom’s insecurity and depression of later years.

In the early 1950s mom migrated to Milwaukee where she met my dad, a World War 2 veteran. They married in 1952 and I came along in 1953 followed by a sister in 1957.

My memories of mom when I was a child are entirely pleasant. I remember mom on more that one occasion storming the Catholic School I attended to confront the mentally sadistic nun I had in the fourth grade. (Most of the nuns and lay teachers btw were quite good and not at all like the sadist.)

I did have trouble with my parents but by and large it was me that was the problem. I was lazy and lacked motivation and frankly I don’t think my Depression Era parents quite knew how to deal with it in a biblical way.

I never for a moment doubted that mom and dad loved me. Both were incredibly hard workers and sought to give to their children a life they never had.

It began to unravel when I was in High School. My dad lost a good paying job in the Aero-Space Industry that he had held for 18 years. It had something to do with the end of the space program. Mom suffered what was then called a nervous breakdown.

I remember clearly a near catatonic state. She stayed in her pajamas all day and gave up on all her household responsibilities. It was odd to put it mildly since she was a meticulous housekeeper and great cook, something I didn’t appreciate because I was so picky.

Eventually, my dad and one of mom’s sister’s talked her into treatment. She received shock treatments and talk therapy.

After she recovered to some extent I remember her telling me that the psychiatrist turned her around by making her angry-telling her she was a lousy mom and worse crummy housekeeper. She said she wanted to hit him but between that and the shock treatments she turned around for a time.

By 1974 I was married and out of the house so I could not observe mom to the degree I once did. I know that the depression and insecurity slowly came back and perhaps part of the reason was that my younger sister got what I’ll call a wasting disease that over the years required a great deal of personal care-personal care that fell on mom. It was made more complicated because mom and daughter often fought.

Mom was a faithful Catholic but in retrospect her faith nor her church seemed to be of much help or comfort. I became keenly aware of this after my wife and I were born again and our faith began to have a bearing on how we dealt with adversity.

I know now that the difference has everything to do with the gospel and how the gospel is relevant to how a person lives in the here and now.

The difference led me to talk to both my parents regarding salvation and it was not always pleasant especially because early on I was a jerk.

In time, especially after I entered the ministry our conversations changed for the better. I remember quite clearly mom telling me she knew she was not good enough to get to heaven and of her need for Jesus. She added that “Luther” was right about a great many things! That was quite the remarkable statement coming from a traditional Polish-German Catholic background!

Never-the-less, her bouts of depression worsened and she became a slave to prescription medications, some of them, as it turned out, quite dangerous.

Mom never quite slipped back into that near catatonic state but she definitely had her mood swings and periods when she would retreat deep inside herself. My attempts to help her spiritually were appreciated but not really taken seriously because she simply didn’t know how and half the time could not think straight because of  the meds.

Apart from a prayer group my parents belonged to her church did not provide any help. I don’t say that with anger and simply understand all they would have done is tell her to see a psychiatrist and take her meds. That’s the way it was done and still is.

In late April, 2004 mom suffered a brain stroke. The doctors said she would not recover and was unconscious.

The first few days she was in a hospital at times she could regain consciousness to the extent she could communicate by squeezing your hand. One squeeze for yes, two for no.

I knew mom was not going to make it and I bent down and spoke into her ear if she was ready to meet Jesus. One squeeze for yes.

I asked her if she was relying on him alone for that meeting. One squeeze for yes!

I told her I loved her. One squeeze for yes.

And she slipped back into unconsciousness.

Mom lingered for about 11 days in a hospice after that and never regained any ability to communicate. It didn’t stop me or others from talking to her but she was unresponsive.

I believe that in the end mom believed in Christ alone, apart from works for her salvation. That certainly is the main thing and I thank God for that last time I had with mom.

But I also believe that mom was the product of poor teaching and often wrong teaching. To be sure, she was partially responsible, but on the other hand her church saw little through the exclusive lens of Scripture. I do not dislike Catholics but have major issues with what the Catholic Church teaches. I want to be very clear on that. I have no desire to offend my Catholic friends and relatives so understand it is not about you. It is about what your church teaches.

So today I remember mom with my fondest memory-the day she squeezed my hand three times and told me she loved me one last time. Thanks mom for always loving me. I miss you.

A Viral Seared Conscience

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My wife and I had been married about a year when Roe V Wade became a right to have an abortion.

While we both had been raised Catholic we resisted many of the church’s teachings and frankly ignored others notably the Catholic Church’s stand on birth control.

At the time (1974) it was the Catholic Church, nearly single-handed which took a strong stand against R v W and abortion on demand. Like many other teachings my wife and I would have been inclined along with much of generation to dismiss that teaching as well.

That did not happen and looking back I know why.

The Lord had given us a conscience, something every person is born with. That conscience functioned and worked at that time to convince us that while we would not personally consider an abortion (it seemed to us flat our wrong) we’d never impose that belief on another for in our minds that would be wrong as well.

The point is our conscience informed us that abortion was wrong and had my wife had one anyway we would have experienced guilt because we ignored our conscience.

Guilt is what people experience when they believe they have done something wrong, either violating their religious beliefs or violating their own personal standards of right and wrong.

Sigmund Freud was one of the first to turn the concept of guilt on its ear. Al Mohler, President of Southern Seminary explains Freud (and the consequences of Freud) this way:

Our post-Christian society has been working hard for well over a century to bury guilt in the cultural backyard and deny that guilt can be morally significant. In the wake of Sigmund Freud and the therapeutic revolution, the modern secular worldview demands that guilt be understood as the lingering residue of the Christian conscience, an experience merely forced upon us by a society that imposes oppressive moral judgments. It is to be overcome and denied, never heard. Albertmohler.com  

Mohler’s explanation is key. If guilt is nothing more than the lingering residue of the Christian conscience and an experience forced on us that imposes oppressive moral judgments then we should be quite comfortable in shedding our guilt as well as all standards of right and wrong. I mean really, who is to say, what is right and wrong anyway?

The impact of Freudian psychology and its derivatives on our culture is huge. Frankly, in my opinion it’s more a belief system (even a religion of sorts) than it is the science it markets itself to be.

Consider the case of Emily Letts a 25-year-old abortion counselor who filmed her own abortion. The video has gone viral. Her stated reason for filming her own abortion was to banish guilt from her own conscience and be an encouragement to others to  do the same. Click here to get the full story from Al Mohler.

It’s not difficult to banish guilt and justify your behavior. You simply buy into a belief system that gives you what you want. You push out of your mind all that “lingering residue of a Christian conscience” and go on your merry way. As the viral video illustrates you can even be celebrated as a heroine.

The apostle Paul would have had a few choice words  for Freud and Letts just as he had in his letter to the Romans:

For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. [15] They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them [16] on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. (Romans 2:14-16 ESV)

Paul is addressing Jews in the context of this passage. He seeks to show the commonality of sin that exists with both Jew and Gentile. The Jews thought themselves “law keepers” and Paul is saying not so and at the same time saying the work of the law is written on the hearts of Gentiles.

Paul goes on to say that  the consciences of the Gentiles bears witness and  that they have conflicting thoughts that accuse them or excuse them. Emily Letts’ conscience has excused her and  she’s happy about it because she no longer feels accused by it.

Paul will indicate elsewhere (1 Cor. 8:7, 10; 10:291 Tim. 4:2Titus 1:15.) that the conscience is distorted by sin another concept that Freud would seek too eliminate.

My reaction to the Letts story is two-fold.

First, there is sadness and grief that her video has gone viral and she is some kind of heroine for publicly killing her baby. It is a reflection of a callous and heartless culture that celebrates murder and calls it good.

And I’m also sad for Emily Letts personally. In a very real way she is a slave  to her own desires and held in bondage to them.  In fact she works  hard for the idol of self she serves. On another level she is a victim. She is the victim of the progressive educational belief  system that smells of Freudian psychology and its derivatives. Her slavery to her idol lines up well with what she’s been taught and now she seeks to destroy her only link with  the God of the Bible by willfully suppressing her conscience and bragging about it. That is a tragedy that has eternal consequences.

Second, I  am thankful that my wife and I responded to our consciences and held to the belief that abortion was somehow “just wrong” although we would have been fuzzy on why.

God was gracious to us and showed us why in 1979 when my wife got pregnant. We were thrilled with the news and then dismayed when she had a miscarriage at home about 6 weeks into the pregnancy.

One question we had not considered prior to her miscarriage was the question of life. Was a fetus at any stage of  development life? Ultrasound did not exist back then so we really did not consider that our little fetus had life (and a soul) until we saw it floating in the toilet. Horrible, is it not, your baby floating in a toilet like some kind of waste.

But behind it all was God of that I am convinced.

It was a shock that neither of us will ever forget because we knew then and there we had lost  a baby and not a lump of tissue to be discarded like waste material.

The incident which is seared into our minds convinced us to be unambiguous about being pro-life. Abortion is wrong because it destroys a life.

Emily Letts thus far has been successful in suppressing her conscience. We can only pray that God does not allow her to totally harden her heart and sear her conscience beyond the point of no return.


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