Is taking medicine a contradiction to my faith?

Is taking medicine a contradiction to my faith?

Fr Henry Charles Umelechi

In this regard, there are two main extreme positions:

 

1. Those that teach that God no longer heals, or if he does, it is very rare. For them, the age of miracles has passed away.

 

2. Those that state that not only does God still heal, but that it is a sin for a Christian to use doctors or take medicine in pursuit of healing.

 

Evaluation:

 

•The first position: The problem with the first position is obvious. It forgets that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). God’s power is not and can never be relegated to a certain time in history. God is not Deus Absconditus or Deus Otiosus, a God who has left humanity or a God hidden away from humanity. So, we serve the same Jesus who lived and healed nearly 2,000 years ago. We have the same Holy Spirit who anointed Him to do the wonderful works he did. The compassion and mercy of God have not changed, and neither has his Word. He left the Holy Spirit with us who still guides and works in the church and we Christians are the church.

•The second position: The danger of the second extreme is very evident. Terrible harm has been brought to people, and much criticism has been brought to the Body of Christ by individuals who have preached against doctors and against the use of medicine by Christians. The documented and verifiable evidences are there in the media sources with articles of how people have suffered and even died needlessly because of this type of approach.Many people have also suffered emotionally and spiritually because of the guilt, shame, and condemnation heaped upon them by those who propagate this erroneous ideology.

Solution:

Because of these, some people have chosen to pit medicine against faith as though they were somehow at war. If Christians actually follow Jesus from whom they derived their name “christians” they must realize that medicine and faith are complementary, not contradictory. After all, both your faith and the doctor are aiming at the same goal which is your healing and wholeness.

It’s God who gave human beings brain to find cures for diseases. So when they cure, it’s God who still works through them (Mathew 9:12). The same God cures and works through miracles. In the parable of the good Samaritan Luke 10:30-37, Jesus was not against the use of medicine when it was necessary but commended the man’s merciful actions because it’s worth emulating.

Paul called Luke “the beloved physician” (Colossians 4:14), and Luke travelled extensively with Paul, and wrote the gospel bearing his name and the book of Acts. It is reasonable to assume that Luke would have often dressed Paul’s wounds, applied ointments and bandages, etc, after the beatings and abuses he received for proclaiming the gospel. Perhaps this is why Paul called him a “beloved” physician. Yet, the same Paul was bitten by a poisonous snake and the people waited for him to swell up or suddenly drop dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw that he wasn’t harmed, they changed their minds and decided he was a god (Acts 28:3-6). Paul knows that it was a normal miracle.

A physician may or may not believe in Divine healing, but he or she can tell when a change has taken place in the patient’s body. Whether this change occurs by natural means, by supernatural intervention, or by a combination of the two, a doctor can recognize this and modify or discontinue whatever medications or treatments he or she has prescribed.

Therefore, If you use medicine or have surgery, continue to trust God, and look to him as your Great Physician. Use good sense in bringing every tool available to your aid. Trust God to not only work through the natural means available, but also ask him to work above and beyond whatever assistance man can offer. Augustine, one of the early church fathers, wisely said, “The Holy Spirit, too, works within, that the medicine externally applied may have some good result.”

However, for one to ask me to prove that God works or still works miracle by bringing a sick person to me is like Satan asking Jesus to turn stone into bread which Jesus refused (Matt 4:1-4) and Jesus’ reply that “man by lives by the word that comes from God’s mouth” shows that it is God who decides miracles not man. Yet the same Jesus performed other miracles.

So, it means that every miracle has a purpose but showmanship, fame, wealth and pride are not part of it. Don’t let unbelievers draw you into these. We must acknowledge that we are just instruments for God’s work and that we are not Gods. God is the miracle worker and He does it when it pleases Him.

But, you must understand that you cannot command God to cure you through miracles if He decides that you must be healed through medical means.

You can know what God has decided by doing what you ought to do: prayers and work(visiting hospitals), otherwise you are becoming God unto yourself and that’s idolatry.

Conclusion:

The problem is that both many Christians and non-christians do not understand Christianity and so, they also apply only physical and ephemeral knowledge to it. Christianity primarily has connection to divinity and also requires knowledge, thus “in the world and but not of the world.” Therefore, if you want to understand Christianity, worldly learning is not enough, you equally need divine encounter.

Nevertheless, where reason and works stop, faith takes over completely.

Feel free to share with others.

©Fr. Henry Charles Umelechi, 2023.

Related Article: CAN(should )A CATHOLIC PRIEST OR A CHURCH WARDEN DENY A CATHOLIC COMMUNICANT THE RECEPTION OF HOLY COMMUNION?

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