Does God prohibits people from consulting doctors?
By Dr Brighton Chireka
It pains me when I see children and women dying from preventable diseases and God being used as reason why these people refuse to consult the doctors. Does it mean that if we go to the doctors or take medicines we lack faith in God ? Is it an accident that one of the disciples of Paul was a medical doctor. Should people like myself feel bad that we are both physicians and Christians ? As a pastor, we have prayed for a lot of sick people and have seen many miracles , but also as a doctor we have treated several people who got well. I am not going to judge anyone but will present my views with a passion . You are welcome to join in the discussion.
The people that get miracle healing have have faith and belief in God but God’s ways are not our ways . At times He expects us to use one of his good gifts – doctors to treat us. We know that God’s power begins where our ability ends.
Is it not interesting that those that refuse to go and see doctors , do take their cars to the mechanic when damaged or not functioning properly. One would expect them to pray to God to fix their cars instead of taking it to the mechanic. Our God is just as capable of fixing a car as He is of healing our bodies. The fact that God can and does perform miracles of healing does not mean people should always expect a miracle instead of seeking help of doctors who posed the knowledge and skills to treat.
Refusing treatment from the doctors and trusting God to keep you healthy is in a way testing God , unless we do so in response to His guidance. We know that it is sinfully to test the lord. Matthew 4 v 7 “Jesus answered him, “it is also written: Do not put the Lord your God to the test ”
I feel strengthened by the scriptures when I read about Luke. Paul refers to ” Luke , the beloved physician” ( Colossians 4:14). What I like most about this verse is that Paul does not say, “beloved Luke, who used to be a physician before he discovered the power of Christ”
Was Asa prohibited to consult physicians by God ?
In 2 Chronicles 16:12 we read that, “In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the LORD, but only from the physicians.”
Some may take this verse to mean that Asa was not supposed to consult the doctors. The issue was not that he consulted physicians , but that ” he did not seek help from the Lord.”
The same applies to us today when visiting a doctor, our ultimate faith is to be in God , not the doctor.
What did Jesus say about physicians ?
Jesus, in answering the Pharisees as to why He spent time with sinners, said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick” (Matthew 9:12 )
Mark 5:25-30 relates the story of a woman who had trouble with continual bleeding, a problem that physicians could not heal even though she had been to many of them and had spent all of her money. Coming to Jesus, she thought that if she but touched the hem of His garment, she would be healed; she did touch His hem, and she was healed.
Mentioning of medicines in the bible
In biblical times there was not the wide range of medicines available to us today and yet the Bible is not devoid of positive reference to the use of medicine. For their medicinal qualities, the good Samaritan used both wine (an antiseptic) and oil (Luke 10:34). Paul urged Timothy to use wine to help a stomach condition (1 Timothy 5:23). Again, this is using medicine. Also applying bandages (Isaiah1:6), leaves (Ezekiel 47:12)
We need to take ownership of our health
Failing to plan is planning to fail so they say. It is wise that we plan for our future . Proverbs 6:6-8 says “Go to the ant , you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander , no overseer or ruler , yet it stores its provisions in number and gather its food at harvest.”
Proverbs 27:12 “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty”
This wisdom applies to our health . We are what we eat and do after eating. Preventative healthy habits such as eating and sleeping well, drinking enough water , doing regular exercise will gradually improve any person’s health and give them the strength to do whatever God has given them to do . But if we lack wisdom and let our bodies fall into disrepair , we rush sudden sickness or injury that can cripple us.
Let me conclude by saying the following:
God created us as intelligent beings and gave us the ability to do certain things like making medicines and repairing our bodies . There is nothing wrong in applying that knowledge and ability towards physical healing . Doctors should be viewed as a gift from God but they are not God. They can sometimes help but there will be other times when they cannot . Our ultimate faith and trust should be in God , not doctor or medicines. Placing our faith in the Lord involves giving him the right to tell us not to use a doctor if the Lord should ever so lead, as well as giving him the right to tell us to use a doctor, even if we would prefer not to use a doctor.
I would like to hear from those that do not use doctors . Their comments are welcome in this debate as I have presented a one sided view .
This article was compiled by Dr Brighton Chireka , who is a GP and a blogger based in Kent in the United Kingdom. Feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can read more of his work on his blog at DR CHIREKA’S BLOG
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Dr Chireka has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other healthcare professionals for a diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. Views expressed here are personal and do not in any way , shape or form represent the views of organisations that Dr Chireka work for or is associated with.