I’ve been thinking lately about this whole idea that is taught in Christianity about the Holy Spirit and how it will guide, teach, and change a person. If I were forced to number detrimental ideas in Christianity, this would land in the top five.
Take the situation of a person who is raised in an abusive home. The person comes to the church and is “saved.” What happens next is what will make the person twice the child of Satan he/she/they was before (Matt 23:15).
Instead of directing the person to the appropriate help in order to get real help in dealing with the horrors of their childhood, the person is told that the Holy Spirit will heal him/her/they. This is actually what is promised in the sermons on Salvation that most preachers deliver. There will be some sort of miraculous healing. All you need is faith.
There are a few churches that will permit therapy, but the therapist must be a Christian of their own branch of belief or else, the parishioner is told, they could be misled away from the true faith. Considering it is believed that ones eternal life depends on belief in an exact form of Christianity, this is a terrifying prospect.
Eventually, the person might have a slight semblance of improvement, but they are never fully healed from the pain of their past. The panel I viewed a few months ago had a woman who, due to her education to become a therapist herself, needed to attend therapy. She had believed that the pain of her childhood had been healed by Jesus. Actually, and unsurprisingly, she was not healed at all. She actually was suffering from PTSD.
In the church, to admit that one has not truly been healed from the suffering they’ve seen is just not permitted. There are two types of people as a result. There are those who understand how to conform to the social pressures and create a mask of accomplishment, and there are those who drive themselves crazy trying to achieve what the pastor keeps promising. Both groups suffer greatly.
If the church could just be honest about the fact that there is no miraculous healing and direct its members to real, non-religious affirming, help, then its people really would have the possibility of healing. But it can’t do that because without the promise of the miraculous, it would be far more difficult to draw the hurt and helpless into the fold.