John Sung: a manic depressive?

John Sung the revivalist

Dr. Alex Tang wrote a fascinating post about the late John Sung a well-known Chinese evangelist and revivalist to South East Asia and China of the 20th Century.

I have read John Sung’s biographies by various authors, and perused the notes of his fiery sermons. His dedication and the life-changing responses to his ministry everywhere he went, had stirred me to seek God, pray more and study the Word more.

What is interesting about Alex’s post is that he presents an unknown or ignored view of this man of God’s life and ministry. He proposes that John Sung might have been mentally ill. He in fact thinks he might have suffered from manic depressive psychosis. He quotes a source that stated:

Recent research, based partly on reliable archival materials from Union Theological Seminary, paint a different picture. It seems that Song really did suffer some sort of psychological breakdown, leading to hallucinations, strange dreams, visions, and bizarre behavior, including impenetrable letters and diagrams. Having been diagnosed as psychotic by three psychiatrists, he signed the self-admittance form to Bloomingdale Hospital in White Plains, New York.

There is a further citation which you can read in his blogpost HERE.

We know a preacher can be effective in his ministry even though he suffers from a physical health problem. But can a man of God have a mental illness and still be effective in his ministry, even perhaps aided by the symptoms of that illness itself? Why do we find it hard to believe that this may be possible?