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The Stewards of Reality Are Crazy

Posted Monday, January 01, 2007 by Brian Beers
Categories: Popular Culture  

L.M. Montgomery is the creator of Anne of Green Gables, the bosom friend of millions of young women. Her two volume journal, somewhat more rare than her fiction, has been some of my wife’s reading material the past few months. Montgomery eventually married a minister, a decent man, after her own Gilbert was gone from her life. But the hollowness of their religion is revealed in their disregard for eternal truths. Montgomery’s 1919 theology held the belief that believing the guilty were condemned before God –and that this might apply to you—was a sign, the sign, of insanity.

An entry in her journal dated September 1, 1919 describes her perception of her husband’s depression, called melancholia.

I pleaded with Ewan until he at last confessed the truth. He said he was possessed by a horrible dread that he was eternally lost—that there was no hope for him in the next life. This dread haunted him night and day and he could not banish it.

Never shall I forget my despair when I discovered this. I had always known it as one of the symptoms—the symptom—of religious melancholia. Unutterable horror seemed literally to engulf me. Was my husband going out of his mind? He had every symptom given in the encyclopedia on that type of insanity. It was one of the things I had always had the most deeply rooted horror of. Every trouble I had had in my life seemed as nothing beside this. I do not know how I lived through the days that followed. (322)

Later L.M. Montgomery continues in her journal concerning a visit to Dr. Garrick, a nerve specialist in Boston.

“On the other hand”, he said, “we must face the possibility that it is manic depressive insanity.” He told me not to argue with Ewan on the subject of his “phobia” and not to let him out of my sight. My heart sank like lead at this hint—it seemed to voice a fear I had not dared to face though I knew it had been lurking in my mind from the very first.

We are the stewards of reality, but reality is just crazy to those who can’t perceive it. We must guard our hearts and the hearts of our children from the fear that we are just crazy. It doesn’t help that mainline denominations discard essential elements of the Gospel, but we should not accommodate doubt about the validity of the Faith. The world considers us insane for recognizing the reality of the immaterial. We are the ones who have the reliable testimony to the true nature of reality.

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