I trust that you will find these blog posts inspiring, edifying and at times thought-provoking along the themes of healing prayer, personal transformation, Christian spiritual growth and wholeness. As well as posting blogs from my own life experience, other blogs arise from ministering and teaching healing (or “transforming”) prayer to individuals for over 20 years and writing three books on the topic. It was “almost by accident” that I started researching mental illness and psychiatry with my background as a research scientist – and such research is on-going!
My approach to healing and wholeness is “to the whole person”, and therefore is an integrative one. This has led to lasting healing and transformation in the lives of people who have faced real pain and troubling issues in life — and this is what motivates me and others on our ministry teams to continue with a passion. Therefore, you will see articles and blog posts on related areas such as health and medicine, psychiatry, mental illness (so-called), discipleship and more. Please fee free to visit this blog periodically, or follow-up when new posts are announced. Keep challenged and encouraged! Comments are welcome! For a more detailed understanding of what we mean by “healing prayer”, see the ministry web site for Deeper Love Ministries.
The first book for this ministry was published in 2001, “The Great Omission: Resolving Critical Issues For The Ministry of Healing and Deliverance“. This was followed in 2003 by “The Great Substitution: Human Effort or Jesus to Heal and Restore the Soul?“. My third and latest book was published in 2008 as “Pills for the Soul? How Medication Falls Short of Christ’s Healing of the Emotions“. All these books are available on Amazon, with the last book also available as an e-book and direct from the publisher, Sovereign World Ltd. in the UK.
I am truly thankful for the foreword in my third book, “Pills for the Soul?”, by James M. Houston, D.Phil., Founding Principal of Regent College and Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, B.C.:
“Our Western world, as it moves from complacency with rationalistic modernism, to disenchantment as expressed by “postmodernism,” is facing deep and radical changes. This then is a time for fresh challenges, not for further conformity to past assumptions, especially those which have strong vested interests.
In this courageous book, Dieter Mulitze takes on the challenge of how the science of psychiatry has treated the personal mystery of the nature of human suffering. As the author has indicated, it is a great reduction indeed, to move “from healing souls to fixing brains.” It is a profound reductionism to view the nature of the human being as merely anthropologically, if in fact there is omitted all reference to the human mystery of being created “in the image and likeness of God.”
As a Christian, the author accepts wholeheartedly that theology has a central place in any discussion about the human condition. Whereas our secular culture would omit all discourse about the relation of God and humankind. The field of psychiatry is peculiarly vulnerable to reductionism, in order to give it the respectability of being a “science,” rather than of being caught in the tension between religious mystery and scientific materialism. It reminds us of the choice made by Sigmund Freud, that by his focus upon the sexual dimension, he could maintain at least the appearance of being “scientific,” rather than caught up in the subjectivity of the relational self.
The scorn with which hard scientists today view psychotherapy as “science” may extend tomorrow to much of what psychiatry still claims to be a science also. Dieter’s extensive reading on such issues as biochemical imbalances of the brain, psychiatric labels, the nature of drug testing by pharmaceutical companies, all indicate a growing professional crisis of credibility. His many references to the history of psychiatry likewise reflect adversely upon the pedigree of this “science.”
Trained in the discipline of genetics, Dieter speaks from outside the profession, and yet with the scientific rigor and logic of “hard” science, to question many assumptions of the psychiatric profession. So he does not write as peeved insider, frustrated with his own career. Rather he writes objectively, as he questions conflicts of interest, patient and profitability, or indeed the patient’s human dignity versus the inbuilt professional self-interests. It is the kind of disclosure that will open the way for the self-interests of other professions to be scrutinized, as societal assumptions become more questioned in a postmodernist environment. For psycho-analysis is no longer the tool monopolized by therapy, but the instrument of increasing skepticism within our society.
However, Dieter does not write as a skeptic, but as a Christian believer. He practices what he preaches in the compassionate care and cure of souls. His ministry is dedicated to “healing prayer,” to demonstrate the power of God’s Spirit in Jesus’ name, to give release of the emotional captive, and to give relational healing to profoundly wounded persons. So the individual stories of people he loves with the compassion of Christ are a moving testimony to the power of prayer on their behalf. This perhaps is the unique character of this book.
Other scholars have, and are critiquing, the crisis of credibility of the “science” of psychiatry. For there has been a growing chorus of dissent since the 1970’s, from both Christian and secular sources. But Dieter has the moral courage to affirm against the compromise of many Christians, that the presence of Jesus Christ in the lives of many sufferers is more efficacious than the impersonal drug treatment many have endured. This is a bold challenge, like that of David’s encounter against Goliath, which many will dismiss out of hand without opening this book. But I urge you to read with an open mind, as I have done, to read and decide for yourself, whether there is the ring of truth about the testimonies of these sufferers.
G.K. Chesterton observed that if the world is crazily upside down, then the only way of seeing it properly is to stand permanently upside down. Dieter does something of this, to help us be freed of professional brain-washing. The stakes played are high indeed, no less than the future of the human race. Shall human dignity remain protected by the mystery of God’s love for us, or shall we sell our religious birthright for so-called “secular scientific progress?”
I am also thankful for a foreword in “Pills for the Soul?”, from Carl E. Armerding, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor, Old Testament, Regent College, Vancouver, B.C.
Dieter Mulitze’s third book is clearly his most challenging. Building on the case for a biblical healing ministry in his first two books, Dieter now moves to a critique of prevalent models of psychiatry and the Church’s all too facile acceptance of “worldly wisdom” in this field.
In a volume that confronts the widespread prescription of a variety of drugs, in response to psychiatry’s burgeoning list of “mental disorders” (represented by the fourth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), Mulitze invokes the literature of both psychiatry and theology, together with the experience of generations of patients, to utter an urgent wake-up call.
Claiming that our modern Western society has gone after a false messiah and become addicted (literally as well as physically) to wares being peddled by a cartel combining the pharmaceutical and psychiatric industries, Dieter Mulitze says, in the most plain language of his writing to date, “Stop. Look. Listen.”
Why are Christians, with others in society, willing to trade time-honoured and biblical concepts like the “soul” and “healing” for purely materialistic notions that reduce emotional sickness to brain chemistry? Pointing out that, from biblical times onward, the “healing of the soul” and the “renewing of the spirit” have provided relief from despair, sorrow of heart, alienation, effects of abuse, unreconciled conflict, addictive behaviour, etc., Dieter calls for the Church to get back to its roots and make use of the abundant resources of the gospel.
In his first book, Mulitze showed that a gospel stripped of healing is a truncated gospel. In his second volume, he examined the nature of biblical healing and the centrality of Jesus as the Healer and Deliverer of the whole person. In this third volume, while affirming Jesus as the Healer of Souls, Dieter first builds a devastating critique of much of contemporary psychiatric “business,” claiming that in place of real healing, we have become a society controlled by substances that cannot and will not mend anything.
In such a hard-hitting and critical approach, the reader is entitled to ask, “What does a scientist trained in quantitative genetics and computer science really know about psychiatry? Or, for that matter, theology?” The answers are to be found in the book itself, which evidences wide reading of secondary sources in both fields, together with reports of the work of those fully qualified to speak to the issues. But make no mistake, Dieter Mulitze is not some armchair novice quoting a few experts to make a superficial case; he has lived out the results of his studies in years as a practitioner of the care of souls. As in his earlier works, it is this combination of rigorous scholarship with years of observation and extensive practical application that makes the case so compelling.
Finally, I must confess that, in taking up the challenge of writing a foreword for this book, I realize afresh the limitations of my own experience, both in the field of psychiatry and in the kind of caring for souls that forms the focus of the volume. As such, I am in no position to pontificate on Dieter’s formal critique of modern psychiatric trends. But I have spent a lifetime watching people and observing what makes for health and deliverance. And even from this vantage point, it is patently obvious that much in our modern approach has gone seriously wrong.
Dieter tells us what has gone wrong and builds a compelling case for where we have strayed, together with offering the Church a simple but profound means of recovery. If all were well with our collective soul, we might feel free to set aside this challenge. But, given widespread bondage to the pharmaceutical drug culture, in which Christians are fully complicit, together with the cries of the afflicted for help not being given by the “industry,” we ignore this discussion at our peril. Dieter’s call for a return to biblical categories (“Why are you downcast, O my soul?” Psalm 42:5) together with biblical solutions (“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” Matthew 11:28-29) is surely one that we who claim to follow Jesus must heed. With the early disciples, should we not confess afresh, “Lord, to whom [else] shall we go? You [alone] have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). If Dieter Mulitze is right, we have gone after other gods, with devastating results. Only by returning to the Living God and making use of the resources He has given will the Church again become a resource for God’s salvation and healing.
- Experiencing Ultimate CompassionEveryone needs compassion, especially when faced with pain, suffering, grief and so much more. We can experience compassion from those around us – family, friends, our faith community. The deepest, most profound compassion is experienced from Jesus (typically through other people) who fully identifies with our unique situation. Can you imagine Jesus feeling all your pain, weeping with you? This is closer to the heart of the kingdom of God than you might realize.
- Understanding Depression: Learning from JobPeople of faith are not immune from depression. Many Christians struggling with depression find it difficult to reconcile this with their faith in Jesus. Some responses from faith communities add to the pain of depression instead of offering empathy and support. Although written long ago, the book of Job provides a deeper understanding for the issues of heart and soul for people of faith coping with depression.
- Guilt: God’s Internal Alarm SystemGuilt – we all experience it. Yet the tendency is to avoid feelings of guilt, to sort of “bury them”. Those feelings are unpleasant and it does take courage to face our past, our pain, our mistakes, our need for reconciliation, and more. But what if guilt is designed to lead you to grace, to experience a deeper relationship with Jesus? What if guilt is God’s spiritual alarm system at work in your soul? What if those feelings of guilt are one of those indicators of the soul urging you to experience God’s healing?
- Shame: Corrosion of the SoulMany people have experienced shame in their life, or maybe even now live with shame. Shame is very “internal” and over time has a corrosive effect on our soul. I invite you to listen to an audio message to better understand the “dynamics” of shame to help realize healing and freedom from shame.
- Experiencing Deeper WholenessPersonal wholeness – how can we go deeper? In addition to Christian community, Scripture, worship and the spiritual disciplines, there is another way to “go deeper”. An experience of Christ’s Presence and love can lead to deeper wholeness and inner transformation. Listen to the personal testimonies of two women who describe their unexpected encounter with Jesus that brought about deeper wholeness.