I read a sad story last night about a Christian couple who lost their child to disease. This happens all the time, of course, but this couple was different. They refused to take their child to a doctor and he passed away. What’s worse, this was the second child they lost for this reason from what, apparently, was a pretty common illness.
I do not understand this behavior. As a Christian, I do believe God heals people. I have seen it. I have experienced it. However, God also gives everyone a gift, calling, and mission. Doctors are no different. A medical doctor has been given his ability by God and should not be treated as outside of Christianity. The word used in the original language meant “healer.”
In the story, linked here, the writer mentions that the couple are members of a “fundamentalist” church outside of Philadelphia. I beg to differ. The term “fundamentalist” is often used with disdain by the media, and that is the case here. Shunning medicine is not fundamental in Christianity.
So, what is a fundamentalist? The term originated with a book called The Fundamentals which was compiled many years ago to explain basic Christianity to people. Nothing more. It was a series of essays. Today, the term has been perverted to apply to a wide variety of groups, usually in a negative sense, and it could mean anything from the fringe element to having a fish on you car.
God heals people every day. However, contrary to this article on the church website, your salvation does not hinge on your relationship to a doctor. It is perfectly acceptable in God’s eyes to visit a physician when you are ill. After all, one of the gospel writers was known as a physician.
I believe in prayer and I believe in the healing power of Christ. I also believe God is the source of all knowledge — including medicine — and he provides for our needs in his way. When in doubt, ask Jesus. Here’s what he said: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”