I am sure by now you have seen the COGIC video that has gone viral. This is simply sad. After processing and watching the brutal commentaries and heated debates with some of the persons actually involved, I could not help, as a Psychiatrist, weighing in on the psycho-dynamic injuries that may have resulted from this fiasco. The first thing is that the process of the “altar call” lend itself to an initial discussion. Once the young man stated, “I came for more deliverance,” was there really a need for the Bishop to expose his particular issue(s) to the media and entire assembly? Is this the true process of ministering at an alter? I don’t think so! This is a training issue, Bishops.
The issue more significant for me is, “Did any of the officers of the church realize that this young man may have some limitations?” I have not done a face-to-face assessment with this young man therefore I will refrain from attempting to provide a diagnosis. However, if any a layperson sees this video, there certainly appears to be some “mental health” vulnerabilities. I would encourage the leadership of every church denomination to start and require ongoing training for those in ministry. This has to be filtered from the top and then spread down to all that participate in ministry. This is becoming more important and significant because many of the mentally impaired now attend church and are not receiving treatment.
The next issue that lend itself for some discussion, was the preacher of the evening suffering from a mental illness. Once again, I have not done a face-to-face so I will refrain from providing a possible diagnosis. His behavior was not comical or appropriate at all to this clinician. I have not read the church’s response to this nightmare, but specific actions should be taken in regards to the vernacular and language use from this pentecostal assembly’s pulpit. Was this appropriate behavior for a Minister? Was his use of vulgar language acceptable? Did he realize that he was offensive also to the female constituents of the body. His behavior was unacceptable on so many levels. To me the message was lost in the behavior of the deliverer. The appropriate action should be taken by his superiors.
Finally, the process of deliverance. I can not determine that the young man was or was not delivered. It is not my place to speak on this young man’s spiritual matters. But here is just my friendly suggestion for an alter call:
1. Consider yourself.
2. Remember that he/she is a soul.
3. Refer them back to their primary church for follow-up.
4. Self aggrandizement is NOT of God.
5. With lovingkindness does the “Master” draw.
6. We all have sinned and what if it were you standing there in front of thousands of people?