Analytical Mind

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Healing: The Dilemma of the Christian Patient (Part 2)

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This article is a continuation of an earlier article in which I set the background for the typical christian patient. If you haven’t done so, please read the first part of the article here.

The second issue borders on knowledge. Christians will agree that all knowledge comes from God and it is God who put in Man the ability to ‘conquer’ his environment. The bible attests to this with verses such as “…have dominion over all things…” {Paraphrased}. Therefore, it follows that medicine just like technology is a product of the knowledge and ability that God deposited in man. (At this point, it is safe to say that knowledge can be applied for things that go against God’s principles). We cannot deny that advances in medical knowledge have contributed greatly to the comfort we experience everyday as opposed to our ancestors many generations back (if you are in doubt, a quick read of the smallpox era in history books will help). Christians therefore do not need another set of ‘stone tablets’ to convince them that medical knowledge has been made available for their own benefit. Resisting medical knowledge would be analogous to asking God to send angels to transport passengers to Los Angeles simply because they do not like technology. The reality is that not everyone will be able to exercise faith, therefore some means of accessing good health must be in place or the whole world will be decimated by diseases.

Faith aside, one scripture readily comes to mind “you shall not tempt the Lord your God…” It would seem that despite this warning, some Christians have taken it upon themselves to test God. How? You might ask. Well, let us start by reminding ourselves that the ‘Law of cause and effect’  governs the earth and indeed the universe. It therefore follows that consequences are bound to follow whatever actions we take including actions relating to our health. For example, eating spoilt food is bound to cause some degree of gastrointestinal upset, likewise drinking water contaminated with faecal matter. Unfortunately, the actions of many Christians (and many non-Christians) in matters of health resemble the above example. They take careless risks and saddle God with the responsibility of cleaning up the mess after them. This is nothing short of irresponsibility. They might as well ask God to cook their meals. While it is true that God enables the manifestation of acts that are beyond the scope of natural and technological forces, it is also true that God is a God of process, enabling supernatural acts only for specific purposes. Therefore, Christians should not expect God to do for them what they can do for themselves.

Worthy of mention is the fact that humans often miss the answer to their prayers because it was not packaged in the way they were expecting it. The answer to the chronic debilitating illness could be in the form of a pharmacological breakthrough just recently discovered or the surgeon who just completed his residency training in a rare specialty. Of course, it could take the form of supernatural healing. However the prayer is answered, what really matters is that God can choose to answer in any way he pleases for his own purpose. Therefore, Christians should be open-minded about the answers to their health concerns.

Summing it up:
  • Approaching healing based on faith is not wrong as long as it is done right and is not used in such a way that it puts God to test.
  • Not everyone will be able (or willing) to exercise faith.
  • Making use of medical knowledge to treat illnesses is also not wrong. God definitely permitted such knowledge for a purpose.
  • Here on earth, every action has consequences. Medical knowledge should be employed in the prevention of diseases as much as possible.
  • In praying to God concerning healing, it is important to know that God can choose to answer in whatever way he finds suitable. This is why knowing God’s will on such issues and keeping an open mind is important.

Ifeoluwapo Odedere

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