I like what this guy said:
“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” -Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
And this guy:
“No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.” -I Timothy 5:23 (Paul giving some instructions to Timothy about various things)
Also note that Luke, the writer of Luke and Acts in the New Testament, was a physician.
-Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you.
If being a physician or practicing medicine was a bad thing, then undoubtedly Paul would not have used it as a term of endearment…
Charles Spurgeon, one of those famous dead preachers once said this:
God does not condemn men for the use of the powers he has given them; he condemns them for the misuse of those powers; not for employing them, but for employing them as they ought not to employ them;
And undoubtedly God has given us a brain that can learn, and the ability to pursue fields in science and medicine. We can also use this ability for selfish reasons.
The military establishment, for instance, funds about 60% of all scientific research in this nation. Another good-sized portion of scientific research in America is centered around business and making money. Roughly speaking, it is safe to conclude that the vast majority of our research and development in the United States is not spent on finding cures and treating illnesses. Just as a gut reaction, do you think this is God’s intention for science? To learn new and better ways to fight other nations? Or to learn new and better ways to make a dollar?
I realize we need to research for the military, so don’t get me wrong. I’m not objecting to military research, especially when you consider not all military research is for weapons, but much is also for defenses. And many of the products we sell in the marketplace do improve our quality of life as well. I’m not objecting to researching these things.
Just asking… Which is a more noble pursuit in your opinion? War? Money? or Medicine?
Do you think it is a noble task for someone to dedicate their life researching how to defeat cancer? Even the common cold? Or any other ailment that might lessen the suffering in the world?
I sure do. And God gave us this ability to learn, to build, to connect the dots, to develop treatments, to understand the human body… It’s amazing how incredible this body is that God has built, and in the midst of the suffering and death in our bodies brought about by sin, for people to discover ways to reduce suffering and put off death, sounds like something Jesus would do.
Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.
And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”-Mark 5:34
Notice Jesus did not accuse her or berate her for going to doctors first. In fact, he had compassion on her. Also notice the woman understood the limitations of human physicians. She had been that route but when Jesus came along, she looked to the Great Physician instead. She knew from experience that our human understanding of the body only goes so far.
I am thankful to God for giving human beings the ability to treat and understand many types of disease and sicknesses. God, because of his love for us, has allowed us to use our minds, our intellect and discover many incredible things in science and in medicine. Yet in all these things, we understand as the woman who grabbed Jesus’ cloak understood, that our ability is limited and God’s is not.
We have merely begun to figure out the complexities of the universe, and the complexities of the human body. We are truly “fearfully and wonderfully made” as the Bible says. Praise the Lord for medicine, but always remember it is limited.
As Paul said about exercise:
Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is valuable in every way
-I Timothy 4:8
So too, medicine has some value. It really does. If your sickness can be treated, if someone has used their God-given abilities to learn and understand and has arrived at a treatment that will help you, then by all means, give rightful praise to God for allowing man to discover the treatment!
You don’t set aside faith, however, when you use a doctor -for medicine does not take us to the point we don’t need God anymore. All of our treatments, while having value, are still limited.
Recognizing that, we always stay on the lookout for the Savior. If he walks by, grab his cloak.