Saturday, May 31, 2008

Spiritual Healing in a scientific age


When the heart speaks, however simple the word, its language is always acceptable to those who have hearts. For this reason, I intend to drop my nom de plume and write as if speaking from the pulpit to the effect that hearts and souls may be touched and healed.
Any time the word 'Health' is mentioned, the intellect, like the computer memory, races back and forth in search of corresponding images to match her understanding. Often times, we stumble on words like vigour, stoutness, contagion, hereditary, medication, hospitalization, epidemic, and all the et cetera. Health is associated with acquired wealth and a person's ability to retain the best medical practitioner, hence the saying that "Health is Wealth." But the truth of this saying lies in the fact that a truly healthy person enjoys a state of wealthiness that money cannot buy. To gain a better understanding of Health, let's cast our minds back to the condition of Man at the Garden of Eden. The dominion God gave to man at the beginning of creation included power over sin, sickness and death. At what point then, did these malevolent triad creep into man's life? The first recorded case of sin in the Bible is that of listening to and obeying other voices. In that scenario, Eve preferred the argument of a lieing-talking serpent to that of her Creator, and Adam was soon to subjugate his role of calling his wife to order, and danced along. The multifarious results were pain in child-bearing, weakness in toiling, killing of ones brother and indulging in prodigalism.
Another instance we have of unhealthiness prevailing among God's children was when the Israelites murmured against constituted authority, and turned to other gods. According to the Scriptures, their behavior angered God and He allowed them to be bitten by fiery serpents (Numbers 21:5 and 6). There is abounding evidence to prove that every situation of sickness or death has been occasioned by sin in one form or the other. It was this understanding that prompted the disciples to inquire of Jesus Christ concerning a lad that was born blind whether it was the boy who had sinned or his parents.
Jesus' brief ministry contained more than thirty specific cases of healing. In the majority of those instances, he not only healed the sick, but enjoined them to "go and sin no more, lest greater evil come upon them."

The Nature of Evil: Evil or unwellness is a condition where the five senses, the organs of the human system and the physical and mental faculties become dysfunctional. If these conditions could be brought about by a violation or disobedience of God's commands, it stands to reason that restoration to normalcy can only result from right conduct. Instead of examining ourselves to see the evil in us that has occasioned our state of unwellness, we look to the stars and accuse our Creator for venting His anger without cause, or we look to the earth and accuse our parents for what we term hereditary diseases or still claim that we have been visited upon by the sins of our forefathers ancestral curses. When we come face to face with climatic changes, we blame our condition to epidemic or contagion or genetic cross-pollination. In our delusion, we loose sight of our God-bestowed dominion over everything upon the surface of the earth, above the skies, under the sea, et cetera. (Genesis 1: 26-28).

The Turning Point: As Christians, we ought to rejoice in the fact that the Scriptures have already provided the way out of these trials. The Book of Romans chapter 6 verse 16, clearly says "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" When Apostle Paul cautioned against looking lustily at a woman, he only meant to show the power of the human mind. The Mind, which does not constitute part of the human organ, controls a greater proportion of human thinking, reasoning and physical expressions. When one Mind tries to exert overbearing influence over another, the weaker one can be made to do the biddings of the stronger. It is against this danger that the Scriptures counsel us to "Let this Mind be in us, which was also in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 2:5). Having the Mind of Jesus, instead of the mind like of Eve and the Israelites as earlier mentioned, will lead to the benefits of 2 Chronicles 7:14 which says, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land."
Materia Medica: Where do we turn to in times of trouble? To matter, of course. "The medical triumphs of this century are generally regarded as among the wonders of our age. Less well known is the extensive, documented literature challenging modern medicine's right to be accounted an exact science or even a socially satisfactory system of health care. This dissatisfaction is by no means confined to such crusading critics as Ivan Illich and Robert S. Mendelsohn, with their insistence that medical science still causes as many diseases as it cures. The criticisms extend through hundreds of sober medical reports, sociological studies, ethical disquisitions, economic analyses, legal decisions, popular magazine articles, and academic investigations. As President Derek Bok of Harvard ruefully suggested in a carefully balanced 1983 report on the needs of the university's medical school, "Dean Burwell was only partly facetious in stating to Harvard medical students: 'Half of what we have taught you is wrong. Unfortunately we do not know which half.'" For instance, nosocomial illness an umbrella term for a whole catalogue of infections acquired inside the hospital has proved fatal to some patients who entered the hospital for treatment of a very minor ailment. It was estimated in 1978 that of 32 million persons admitted to American hospitals each year, about 1.5 million develop some kind of nosocomial infection, and 15,000 die of it. Despite the progress in medical science and technology, President Book wrote in his Harvard report, "Many studies have revealed that doctors make a disturbing number of major diagnostic errors, and he illustrates this by a recent survey of 100 autopsies at a prominent teaching hospital which disclosed such mistakes in twenty-two percent of the cases." These revelations are not intended to belittle a profession so distinguished by dedicated zeal as the physician's. It is just to say that generally the cultured class of medical practitioners is grand men and women, therefore they are more scientific than are the false claimants to Spiritual Healing."
Robert Peel

That being the case, how could we entrust our health-care to people whose practices are based on assumptions? Some practitioners who confess to practicing healthcare delivery can only pass for mental assassins or money-minded quacks. What most of them try to do is magnify a condition of fear and ignorance and make it seem real to the sufferer. The end result is ingestion of a greater poison to overcome the effect of the weaker, and a diminishing financial status of the unsuspecting victim. Let's consider one common practice among the medicals. When a patient complains of a feeling of pain, the most probable prescription will include some doses of analgesics or pain killer. What the drug does is to numb or dull the brain and render the memory cells insensitive to pain. A repeated numbing of the cells by this process will ultimately lead to their destruction. We must remember that brain cells are the only cells that CANNOT be replaced or regenerated once they die. Who can tell how many brain cells are killed by a single dose of so-called pain killers, while the doctors get paid for turning fellow human beings into guinea-pigs? Consider also the method of the traditional herbalist, who, most of the time will recommend that the potency of his herbs or roots (concoctions) is being attained when soaked in some local spirits; What alcohol does is to cause the walls of the intestine to thicken and the organ to contract thus preventing the secretion of gastric juice, and inducing ulceration, bleeding; sometimes vomiting and ultimate death.
How many be the instances where the medical profession have pronounced death sentence on sufferers of what they brand terminal or chronic dis-ease? Many are the cases where their predictions have been rendered of no effect by the victim's reliance on spiritual remedy divorced of all material contaminations. Predicting danger does not dignify life, whereas forecasting liberty and joy does, for these are strong promoters of health and happiness. Resort to spiritual method of healing, as Jesus did, is a form of mental medicine, which gains no potency by attenuation, as does homoeopathy; and its largest dose is never dangerous, as with allopathic medicine; but the more the better in every case. This accords with the Scriptural injunction to "Pray without ceasing." (I Thessalonians 5:17).
It is clear that sin endangers sickness and culminates into death. But man is not helpless because our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus who says in essence, "I am the Way, Truth, and Life, and whosever believes in me shall not perish but have everlasting life." Believing in Him, means to love him; and loving him means to keep his commandments: "to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your Soul, and with all your might, and to love your neighbour as yourself."
Enjoy a blissful ride onto healthiness, in the Name of Jesus Christ, A-men.

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