Dear God, You Might Be Psychotic

Dear God,

Having just finished reading your book, which wasn’t a bad attempt for a first try, I am a little concerned with your psychological well-being. Thus, I would like to administer a quick psychiatric evaluation to see whether or not you are psychotic.

Psychosis is a symptom of a mental illness, typically associated with a loss of touch with reality. (1)  Given that you exist outside of reality, it is perfectly understandable why you might not be in touch with it.

In Nelson and Good M.D’s Psychiatry Made Ridiculously Simple, they relay a common mnemonic acronym for diagnosing someone in the throes of a psychotic episode. It is JOIMAT, which stands for Judgement, Orientation, Intellectual functioning, Memory/Mood, Appearance/Affect & Thought. (2)  As I cannot ask you the necessary questions to establish whether you are psychotic, I am forced to draw from your written work. I will quote from Nelson and Good’s book and then do my best ascertain whether or not each letter of the acronym may or may not apply to you.

J - Judgement: It is important to find out whether the patient can understand acceptable patterns of behaviour and consequences of his actions. (3)

1. If you are unhappy with your children’s behaviour, do you:

a. Discipline them sternly, but gently and coach them to become better behaved?
b. Kick them in the teeth?
c. Drown them (Genesis 6-7)?

2. If a group of children are teasing a bald man, do you:

a. Gently reprimand the children and ask them to apologize?
b. Punch them in the face?
c. Set wild bears upon them (2 Kings 2:23-24)?

3. If your children are hungry for more than tiny biscuits and ask you for food, do you:

a. Feed them?
b. Laugh at them?
c. Feed them and then kill them by deliberately infecting them with a deadly disease (Numbers 11:31-35)?

I think it is fair to say that we have established this limb of Nelson and Good’s list.

O - Orientation: This refers to whether the patient knows who he is, where he is and what time it is.(4)

This one may be a little trickier to establish as a result of your reluctance to answer questions, but I will just highlight a few areas of your work that raise some cause for concern. In the book of Genesis, you don’t seem to know whether you are a single coherent god, or a multitude of incoherent ones. At times you refer to yourself in the plural and even more disturbing, you seem to be addressing your other selves, as in the following example:

Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…(Genesis 1:26)

I understand that a number of your more enthusiastic children have sought to claim without any verification from yourself, that you were speaking in the pluralis majestatis and that you were actually talking to yourself, (5) an issue that does present some reason to worry about your mental state; however, a number of your more scholarly children have established that there were in fact many of you in the early stages of your chosen children’s religion. (6)  Either way, this verse, coupled with a number of others, (7) does seem to indicate that you don’t really know how many personalities you actually have and if you have more than one, you are probably psychotic, if not suffering from a personality disorder, no offense!

Another red flag presents itself in the way you describe yourself in the New Testament portion of your book. You claim to be three in one, father, son and a ghost, if I am not mistaken (Matthew 28:19). The split personality issue raises yet another dilemma and this related issue regards your ability to tell time.

Acting in the persona of your only begotten son, a complex conflation, if I am to be perfectly honest, you told your children that following your death, resurrection and ascension to space, you would be right back. Here I quote:

I assure you that you will not finish your work in all the towns of Israel before the son of Man comes” - Matthew 10:23


Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things(End of the World and your second coming) be fulfilled. - Matthew 24:34

I understand that being an eternal creature, our finite sense of time must be almost totally foreign to you, although you did create it, so you should have at least, a cursory understanding of it, but from these verses and the fact that well, it’s been around 2000 years since you passed, you do not seem to be too aware of time and for this reason, I think we can check this box as well.

I – Intellectual Functioning:  This refers essentially to the patient’s cognitive status. How well can he carry out calculations and other thought processes that would be commensurate with his education? (8)

Considering you are all-knowing, I must imbue the highest level of education upon you, as to do otherwise would be logically absurd and open me up to charges of blasphemy. So, how well can you, an all-knowing deity, carry out calculations based on your supremely knowledgeable and intelligent capabilities?

Let me approach this with a number of easy questions to determine your cognitive status:

1. If you are the all-powerful, all-loving and all-knowing creator of everything and you desire a cosmos which is absent of evil, do you:

a. Create a cosmos without evil? Or;
b. Create a cosmos with evil?

Here you chose B.

2. If you create a male human being; which of the following species of female do you first think to create to be his reproductive partner?

a. A human female? Or;
b. Animals (Genesis 2:18)

Here you chose B.

1. If you have two new born children who do not know the difference between right and wrong, do you:

a. Leave them alone in a garden without constant supervision and also, plant a tree that they are not allowed to eat from, along with the “most cunning beast of the field,” a walking and talking snake, who you know will persuade them to eat from that tree?
b. Look after them?

Here you chose A.

I think we have sufficient information to conclude that your intellectual functioning is sub-par, particularly for your omniscient mind.

M – Memory/Mood: This tests whether the patient can recall both distant and recent events. (9)

I am going to go ahead and check this box for a number of reasons. In your first book, you appear to have forgotten the mode and order in which you created everything. In the first chapter you recall creating everything from water (Genesis 1:2, 6-7), whilst in the second chapter, you change your mind and recall creating everything from some dry substance (Genesis 2:5-6). Further, in the first chapter you remember creating man and woman simultaneously (Genesis 1:27), before which you recollect creating the birds and beasts, whilst in the second chapter, you assert that you made man first, then the birds, beasts and then women (Genesis 2:1-23). Further, in that same book, you tell Noah to take two of every animal onto his boat (Genesis 6:19-22), then you seem to have forgotten that you made this request and after he had finished circumnavigating the entire globe, which was no small feat for a man of his age, you told him that you wanted seven of the clean animals and two of the others (Genesis 7:1-5), thereby inconveniencing poor old Noah.

Although there are many other instances I could draw from, I will bring just one more example to your attention. In the New Testament, you, acting in the persona of your son, are enjoying a meal with your disciples, two of whom, hound you about where you will be going after you die. Immediately following this, you get mad at them for not asking you where you will be going after you die (John 13:35, 14:6 & 16:5). This, in addition to the previous examples I drew your attention to, indicate that you have trouble remembering events that occurred in both the near and distant past and satisfies this limb of Nelson and Good’s test.

A – Appearance/Affect: The patient’s appearance (e.g., dishevelled, sad faces, motor activity) can be helpful in the evaluation. (10)

By all appearances you appear to be invisible, although I am aware that on one occasion you showed Moses your backside (Exodus 33:23), which does seem somewhat erratic,  so we will just move onto the final criterion in Nelson and Good’s list.

T – Thought: The process of the patient’s thinking is important. Do his thoughts relate to each other logically, or do they seem random, having no bearing or relation to each other? (11)

Aside from the examples furnished to show that your memory may not be what it should be, I would like to present you with a short list of questions, the answers to which, demonstrate anomalous, conflicting and illogical thought patterns you present in your work.

1. Should your children eat pork?

  • Leviticus 11:7 – No
  • Mark 7:18-19  - Yes

2. Must your children rest on the Sabbath?

  • Exodus 16:23-30, 20:8-11, 31:14 Yes.
  • Matthew 12:1-12, Mark 2:27 – No.

3. Must your children be circumcised?

  • Genesis 17:10-14 – Yes.
  • Romans 4:10 – No.

4. Must your children obey your laws laid out in your Old Testament?

  • Matthew 5:17-19 – Yes.
  • Romans 3:20/28 – No.

5. Do you endorse wisdom?

  • Proverbs 4:7 – Yes.
  • l Corinthians l:l9 – No.

6. Will you protect the righteous?

  • Proverbs 12:21 – Yes.
  • Hebrews ll:36-39 – No.

7. Are you a god of peace?

  • John 14:27 – Yes.
  • Exodus 15:3 – No.

8. Are you one god, or many?

  • Genesis 1 - Many.
  • Genesis 2 – One.

9. Will you preserve the earth?

  • Ecclesiastes l:4 – Yes.
  • 2 Peter 3:l0 – No.

10. Should your children kill each other?

  • Exodus 20:13 – No.
  • Exodus 32:27 – Yes.

You have satisfied Nelson and Good’s test for determining whether a patient is suffering psychosis and although psychosis is episodic in nature, you are an eternal creature and judging from the timespan over which your book was written, it appears that your psychotic episodes last a very long time.

Before administering this little psych evaluation, I must admit, I was flummoxed with regards to conduct, particularly given your all-loving and all-knowing status, but my eyes have seen the light and now I understand that you kill your children for irrational reasons, because you are psychotic and again, I really must stress, I mean no disrespect. It may be the result of an eternity spent in isolation, which would explain not only your psychotic break, but also the instances in which you address yourself in the third person and make commandments by and for, yourself. It also explains why, as the son of yourself, you cried out to yourself, begging not to be forsaken, by yourself (Matthew 27:46).


  1. Daryl Fujii & Iqbal Ahmed. The Spectrum of Psychotic Disorders – Neurobiology, Etiology, and Pathogenesis. Cambridge University Press. (2003). p. 1.
  2. William V. Good. M.D., Jefferson E. Nelson M.D & Don P. Bridge. D.D.S. Psychiatry Made Ridiculously Simple. MedMaster Inc. (1984) p. 9.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Norman Geisler & Thomas Howe. When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties. Baker Books. (1992). p. 3.
  6. Rev. A. H. Sayce. The “Higher Criticism” and the Verdict of the Monuments. E. & J.E Young and Co. (1894). p. 84; Bart D. Ehrman. From Jesus to Constantine: A History of Early Christianity. The Teaching Company. (2004). Lecture 2: Religious World of Early Christianity; Anthony Bananno. Archaeology and Fertility Cult in the Ancient Mediterranean. The University of Malta Press (1986). p. 238; John R. Bartlet. Archaeology and Biblical Interpretation. Routledge (1997). p. 61.
  7. NOTE: Possible multiple personality disorder (Genesis 1:1, 1:29, 1:31, 1:27, 1:26, 3:22, 20:13, 35:7, Deuteronomy 32:16-17, 7:23, 1 Samuel 28:13, 2 Samuel 7:23, Psalms 58:12, 82:1)
  8. William V. Good. M.D., Jefferson E. Nelson M.D & Don P. Bridge. D.D.S. Psychiatry Made Ridiculously Simple. MedMaster Inc. (1984) p. 9.
  9. Ibid. p. 10
  10. Ibid.
  11. Ibid.

Photo Credits: Erin Kohlenberg

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