I heard a statistic back in the 90's that 93 percent of people in mental hospitals are religous... i can testify that that percentage is probably pretty acurate. I ended up in one due to religion...... the bible says not to take things to extremes, in proverbs i believe... many mentally ill people probaby did that to end up that way. I was in a hospital in nashville one time and during a group therapy session, a young black dude interrupted everyone to tell them about Jesus. My goodness, do i need a person in a mental hospital telling me about Jesus, looks like he did a lot for this guy? Not knocking Jesus. I'm still religious to a point. I've found though that pulling away from all the works, sacrifice, oriented parts of religion, like prayer, praise, evangelism, well to the extremity that i was doing it, helped in curing my schizophrenia. Unfortunately, works seems to be a lot of what religion is all about... trying to make persons like yourselves, making disciples, which usually ends up proscelyting (spelling). Anyway, i was a leader in our church, getting to speak on many occasions, some in the pulpit and much of it in group settings, when all this happened to me. I think, at some point, people begin to evauate their speaker and teacher. I think i lost the hearts of the people, which maybe a disconnection with people is all the neurons not connecting. I was in college and stayed way to long for most people's tastes and didn't get out and find a job like a congregation expects out of their leader. Some of this is my fault, but i bought into a full-time ministry-give your life over to christ and just do his thing full time- and forget about everything else. Luke 14 definitely can't mean that. If you don't know what Luke 14 says, basically it says, 'deny yourselves, take up your cross and follow Jesus'. Many people read this and deny all the gifts and talents God gave them.... and go into 100 percent religious-think.
This dude that came into our church several months ago, you could tell he was a hard worker, basically gave it all up and wanted to be a preacher from what i could tell....soon he ended up discouraged, lost his job, and left the church. I see this all the time, mainly out of young people.