I was astounded when I read the letter entitled ‘Church has a lot to answer for’ (The Weekend Sun, February 15). The claim that faith in God, worship and a wholesome lifestyle is bad for mental health was made without any scientific, statistical or rational evidence to back it up.
From what I have read, practises such as meditation (prayer and worship), developing a positive respect for others and helping them in times of need (giving and sharing) are recognised strategies that improve mental health.
The God of the Christian Church is a God who loves unconditionally. He forgives those who make mistakes. He does not condemn but gives a ‘second chance’. He gives purpose to life, and the courage to overcome disabilities, addictions and evil behaviour. He has compassion on the sick and the poor. I hardly think this God is the source of mental health issues.
Yes, throughout the centuries the church has made mistakes; it does have a lot to answer for. That is not surprising since it is a communion of imperfect people.
Nevertheless, the overwhelming evidence suggests that those who sincerely accept and live by its true teaching enjoy a very high level of mental health and so endeavour, often very successfully, to introduce others to this same freedom.
R Linton, Poike.