Are There Physiological Causes for Anxiety?
Dr. Caldwell addresses some of these issues in another podcast, and in several sermons. Listeners may want to prayerfully consider watching or listening with their Bibles in hand. This affords the hearing of what God has to say about these things but also the seeing. Below are a few links to some of these sermons:
Listen to the Audio Podcast
Are There Physiological Causes for Anxiety?
This week on the Straight Truth Podcast a discussion ensues over a previous podcast due to a listener writing to share feedback and ask a question. Dr. Richard Caldwell and host Dr. Josh Philpot take up and discuss the feedback and question that the listener presents regarding Answering Anxiety. Answering Anxiety, being both a podcast topic addressed on the Straight Truth Podcast, and a book by Dr. Caldwell, compiled from a sermon where he exposits 1 Peter 5:5-11.
Dr. Caldwell’s podcast, book, and sermon all have a heavy emphasis on pride and the need for humbling ourselves as a key way of answering anxiety. The listener writes asking about the physiological issues that are not addressed in the podcast. The listener states that anxiety runs on a spectrum from low to high, where it can lead to panic attacks, etc. Further stating that pastors ought to address these other aspects when they are talking about anxiety. So what about these physical or physiological aspects of anxiety, how should Christians approach this? What is the biblical perspective or worldview?
Dr. Caldwell says there is no doubt that we are physical creatures and as a result, how we deal and respond to issues of life can be physical in nature. He would never deny that there may be a time or a place for someone to see a medical doctor to seek help for physical issues resulting from this. But these concerns, that are sort of at the forefront of our western culture, are not at the forefront in Scripture. He explains that if we walk through the Old and New Testaments with the writers of scripture, we will see that the issues of depression, discouragement, anxiety, and the like are not dealt with in this manner.
The Spiritual Elements of Life
The writers address and deal with the spiritual elements of life. They address people at the level of their thinking, their affections, in their trusts, and in their faith. This is what Dr. Caldwell has done and is doing. He is a pastor, an under-shepherd of our Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Therefore he is not attempting to serve as a medical doctor but as a pastor. His task is to bring people face to face with the Scriptures. He takes people to the Word of God and deals with what he knows Scripture to teach as being at the root of many of our anxious moments: a lack of trust in God. He never denies there are times when people need to see a physician and take medication; this is also footnoted in his book on page 17.
Now having said all this, his own opinion is that we live in a culture that tries to address spiritual issues with medicine. He believes that it’s way overused and also that many of these issues and problems can be managed through right thinking. Biblical thinking to be exact, which requires salvation. He tells us a fair question to ask is what did believers do for 6000 years? Before the emergence of these medical diagnoses and medical aids, what did believers do? Dr. Caldwell points us to the sufficiency of God, His Word, and His Son. While not saying that it’s all spiritual and none is physical, he does believe that we run to the physical side of it too quickly.
More Christians Being Open to Obtaining Therapy
Dr. Philpot shares that he seems to see, hear and read about more and more Christians being open to obtaining therapy. They seem to see a need to address their anxieties and other complicated issues of life with those who don’t really know them. In doing this, they bypass the pastors in their local churches. As if getting away from the church could be an answer in itself. Maybe they see themselves as getting out of the “church” mindset? Possibly as getting someone totally objective in answering the questions they have? He asks, what are the problems and concerns Dr. Caldwell sees or has with this?
Dr. Caldwell explains the problem as he sees it, it’s a belief manifested that the problems and issues are not really spiritual in nature. These things we experience, they're something else. Therefore you have the experts on the physiological or psychological side of these things and that’s why we want to go there. And yes, involved in our thinking is the idea of neutrality. However, this is not how the New Testament pictures us finding spiritual help. God has given us the means, His Word, through which He teaches us how these issues of life are to be dealt with. Spiritually speaking, His church is central to our healthy living, not someone outside the flock who doesn’t know us and has no care or responsibility for our soul.
Dr. Caldwell exhorts us to think differently about this. He asks us to consider getting to the root of our thinking before defaulting to treating the physical or physiological aspects of anxiety and other issues. This is done by measuring our thinking with the Word of God. He further exhorts us to go to someone who knows the Word of God well. More specifically, he says if we've got a faithful church go there, go to the faithful men of God.
Go to the pastor who will help you think through these things on a spiritual level because all of these things are spiritual at some level. Even if what we are dealing with is physical, we need help in how to deal with the physical elements. He provides a helpful example of a friend that has rheumatoid arthritis. The spiritual element of this is how to manage the pain and the other issues that come with RA with the help of God and His Word.
About The Straight Truth Podcast
The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
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