Friday, 21 September 2012
MEDICINE AND SUPERNATURAL HEALING: MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE?
When it comes to sickness and healing, a balanced view and good sense should prevail.
This is a very sad story about a child who died because his parents, who were faith healers, did not think that they should send him to hospital.
Austin Sprout, 16, died of a burst appendix after suffering appendicitis for a week. The painful disease is easily remedied by routine surgery (source: Mail Online).
Please check out: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2205306/Russel-Brandi-Bellew-Faith-healer-parents-avoid-jail-Austin-Sprout-16-dies.html
The parents believed in God for everything, including physical healing. But things went awry because they lacked wisdom and good sense.
Is seeking medical care and belief in supernatural healing mutually exclusive?
As for the boy with appendicitis, the parents should have prayed for him as well as send him to hospital. Granted their church has strong convictions on supernatural healing – even if they had prayed for healing and kept the boy at home – the excruciating pain of unresolved peritoneal inflammation after the second day, should have alerted them to send him to hospital.
But, alas, some people are fixated on supernatural healing alone. They have not yet embraced the whole counsel of God found in the Bible: Seeking medical care and belief in supernatural healing are not mutually exclusive.
In another incident, a faith healer was called to minister to a patient who was seriously ill in a hospital in Malaysia. The former confidently told the patient’s relatives that, since God was going to heal her, they could remove the ‘life support’ (the ventilator, feeding tube, intravenous line – among other things – which were keeping her alive in the intensive care unit). They followed her advice but the patient died. The relatives later sued the healer.
In this second case, the faith healer should have earnestly sought God for a rhema word whether it’s God’s will to miraculously heal this very ill patient before proceeding to give advice. The healer should have fully understood the fact that the advice she gave to the family – to remove ‘life support’ – has grave legal implications. The patient in question is not her (healer’s) own mother but someone else’s. Furthermore, the condition could have easily taken a turn for the worse. It is not just headache or joint pain. So due diligence should have been the order of the day before giving advice.
Once again, we need to reiterate this fact: Seeking medical care and belief in supernatural healing are NOT mutually exclusive.
Having faith does not necessarily mean we shun medical care. Isaiah ordered a poultice to be applied to King Hezekiah’s boil. Timothy was told to drink some wine for stomach ailments.
Often, the physician works alongside the Great Physician in healing. The apostle Luke, who wrote Luke’s Gospel and Acts, was a doctor who followed Jesus in the latter’s healing ministry.
Obviously, Jesus does not discount the doctor’s role in treating diseases. Otherwise He would not have said: “Those who are well have no need of a physician but those who are sick” (Luke 5:31).
Nevertheless, the above two examples do NOT nullify the fact that God does, in fact, heal by supernatural means. There are so many well-documented cases of supernatural healing through God’s servants.
WHEN SICKNESS STRIKES
Disease and healing as the Bible sees it,