Many church just give up on people with PTSD and label them as false believers, false prophets and in some case, the spirit of Jezebel. This is wrong on many levels socially, spiritually, and biblically. There seemly is not a time claiming someone with PTSD is a false prophet is acceptable.
I understand that some pastors do not want to “deal” with people that have been through trauma and does not heal in the time frame the leader thinks they should. Some ministry models think that if someone is not healed from trauma by the week after, they just don’t want to be healed. This is wrong on many levels.
I want to be clear: putting a timeline of someone’s healing, especially from trauma is downright demonic. We do not do that for someone who has cancer or heart disease but we do it for people that have a life changing encounter that we will never understand. It is a double standard.
Part of this is because many pastors do not want to be informed about what is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and it is not. There is no shame in what you do not know but there is a frustration when they simply choose to know learn and understand.
Many people do not understand the scriptures has to say about false prophets. You can be a false prophets and never give a prophetic word. You can also see prophecies actually happen and still be a false prophet. That’s not the test.
2 Peter 2 is normally taken way out of context to harm people who are struggling. A quick look at the culturally understanding and the historical environment that the writer of 2 Peter (There is questions if Peter actually wrote it) is written changing its “meaning” from what most tell us today.
It was being addressed about people who literally change the gospel. They secretly changed what the work of the cross did for the person coming to the saving knowledge of Jesus. Paul also warned against them in Acts 20.
The next issue you have is intent. A false prophet is knowingly choosing to walk in deception and does it with a clear motive for personal gain. This is not a struggle but a desire to deceive. It was not a trauma response. As you can see this, these are two very different matters.
The third issue with the false prophets was they were leading people away from the Lord Jesus and to people claiming they were the Lord. They were denying that Jesus had assented into Heaven and by default, He was not returning for them like the apostles taught.
In other words, if a person is not changing the gospel, having deceptive motives for personal gains, and pointing people away from Jesus; they can’t be false prophets.
The same application would be true of people that get carried away with the spirit of Jezebel. It is about motives more than behavior. Why you do what you do is more important than what you do in most cases.
It is something physical that has emotional effects on people. Basically, your brain has a section known as hippocampus for your memory. There is another part known as amygdala that deals with your emotions. When someone has been traumatized, the hippocampus closes down in many ways and this causes the amygdala to overreact. The hyper active emotional system leads to trauma response and that leads to some poor decisions.
The poor decisions does not make someone a false prophet or false believer. It means they have something much deeper going on that drives those choices that must be addressed and done with compassion.
When churches do not separate trauma from behavior; it is doing a serious disservice to the people struggling and everyone involved. This is a problem much wider than any one movement. The lack of comfort that people with PTSD find under the steeple of churches in America is sickening in my opinion.
As you can see, the claim of being a false prophet because of their behavior does not hold any weight. They are trying to change the gospel, they are not doing things with the wrong motives and they are not pointing people from Jesus.
Biblically, this is the problem of the churches more that the person with PTSD. They have stepped into being the accuser of the brethren and the scriptures attached that to the devil himself. It is not even a demon but Satan manifesting. Churches that accusing broken people of being false believers and false prophets are the one in need of repenting.
One of the most important scriptures to addressing PTSD is the open of 2 Corinthians. We have three very important truths: God is the Father of Compassion, He has comforted us and we are to comfort others.
The Father of Jesus, our Heavenly Father, seems Himself as the Father of Compassion. The Greek teaches us that God is the giver of life and is committed to us as His children. It goes on to talk about compassion as God “has deep feelings about our difficulties.” When we pray to the Father, we are talking to the giver of life that is deeply committed to His feelings in our difficulties.
What does it mean to be comforted by the Father? There is many levels of it but one of them is joy in the Spirit. There is a degree of joy from the consolation we have received at salvation and realized in the baptism of the Holy Spirit. After a loss; there is peace, righteous and joy in the Holy Spirit.
However, that consolation is not just for us but through us. Those who have walked through it has a duty to those who have not been able to crawl to guide them to the same joy that we have received. If we do not do this, we have failed those who have been traumatized and can’t walk the road by themselves.
Everyone needs compassion. Love that is never failing. Let mercy fall on me. Everyone needs forgiveness. The kindness of a Savior. (Reuben Morgan)
Peter Vandever is a Pentecostal Evangelist to the nations and a prophetic voice to the American Pentecostal movement. He is currently based in Kansas City, Missouri.