Medical Healing and the Christian

I think it’s a sign of our times that, while I have seen many Christians commenting on the pros and cons of vaccination, I don’t think I’ve seen too many articulate their theology of medical healing for fellow Christians. Once again, much of our practice seems to be happening in a theological vacuum.

It shouldn’t be hard to outline a theology of medical healing though. For starters there are many Bible passages that refer favorably to the use of medicinal products derived from plants and animals. In his first letter to Timothy, Paul advises Timothy to take a little wine for the sake of his stomach and his frequent ailments. In Proverbs 16:24 it is noted that honey brings health to the body. Oil too is used in healing and caring for the sick in a number of places. Many herbs also get mentioned in scripture. And in Matthew 9 Jesus himself acknowledges that sick people need doctors.

Moreover, there are many bible passages where lack of access to effective medicine is spoken of as a curse. See Jeremiah 8:22 and Jeremiah 46:11 for example.

And while there are several places in the Bible, where faith alone is accounted for the healing of the people, there is no place in the Bible that forbids the use of medicines, especially for someone who is ill. Consider that Luke himself is named as a physician but never condemned for it. Did he lack faith? I think not.

All of this is to say, there’s a lot of material which suggests that God’s provision of medicinal plants and animals is a blessing and lack of access to medicine is a curse. So why put God to the test when God has already provided for your healing? Is it faith to demand a sign instead?

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