Several years ago, disagreements about the appropriateness of Christians in using prescription medications to deal with mental health issues threatened to disrupt the unity of our church. Some believers think that Christians who take medications are not trusting in the sufficiency of Christ for their healing. Followers of Jesus who take medications can feel unwelcomed and shamed in such environments. For this reason, the elders of CVC felt it was necessary to produce a position paper regarding the use of prescription medications for Christians who are experiencing mental health issues.
Prescription Medications and the Care, Mentorship, and Biblical Counseling Process at Cuyahoga Valley Church
The Elders and staff of CVC are sometimes asked questions about whether or not it is biblically appropriate for Christians to use prescription medications in dealing with emotional or psychological problems.
It is our recommendation that anyone seeking help or spiritual care for extreme emotional and psychological problems consult a physician for a complete physical at the earliest time possible while continuing to connect with our church leadership at CVC. After the complete physical, we encourage people to follow the doctor’s recommendation regarding medications while proceeding with their spiritual growth at our church.
Sometimes prescription medications of various kinds are regularly prescribed by medical professionals to treat emotional, mental, and related problems. The care provided at our church is in no way meant to replace or replicate appropriate medical, psychiatric, or outpatient mental health services. Should a referral be needed at any time to one of these services, one will be immediately provided.
When a person who is taking prescription medication enters a counseling, spiritual care, or mentorship relationship through our church, our goal is to use biblical principles to help the person handle the problems of life. It is the responsibility of the one who has prescribed the medication to determine when and if it is time for people to stop using the medication. Our pastors, mentors, and spiritual leaders do not give direction concerning the use or non-use of prescription medication.
The skill of the CVC staff, Elders, mentors, and spiritual leaders is in the application of the Bible to help people deal with emotional or psychological problems. It is NEVER our church’s responsibility to make a determination to prescribe, modify, or discontinue taking such medications. That is exclusively the domain of the medical and mental health professional community.
We also encourage every member and regular attender to participate fully in our community group ministry. Many people have found active participation in a community group can facilitate spiritual growth and maximize the effectiveness of the spiritual care they receive through the church.