Apr 252013
 
Faith healing and medical intervention

Jesus may have taught us to rely on both faith healing and medical intervention. Photo by Arvind Balaraman/freedigitalphotos.net

When people talk of faith healing as opposed to professional medical interventions, it can create a hostile discussion. It appears when pragmatic people question the faith healing statistics, it directly attacks their religiosity and character. They are considered heathens.

Conversely, there is the devotion to divine healing; individuals who rely solely on faith healing to restore health after illness or disease. These people are considered delusional.

So we have the heathens or delusional individuals. There is no ‘in between.’ Either you have faith or you don’t.

Faith healing

An 8-month old child succumbed to his illness after his parents denied him medical intervention. They relied solely on divine intervention for healing. This was the second child who died in their care from medical negligence. The first child died of bacterial pneumonia in 2009.

Herbert and Catherine Schaible were charged with involuntary manslaughter when their first child died after they refused medical help. The Schaible’s agreed in court to seek medical intervention if one of their seven remaining children required it. They did not which lead to the most recent death of the 8-month old. Does this mean their faith wasn’t strong enough?

These parents are involved in a fundamentalist church which directs its members to use prayer in lieu of medical interventions, no exceptions. Could this ideology be extreme?

Jesus used medical intervention with the blind man

The parable of the blind man may give some insight on this issue. Jesus restored sight to a man who was born blind. Albeit this event supports faith healing beliefs, it also supports the notion of professional medical intervention, as well.

So there could be an ‘in between’ after all!

You see, Jesus could have just laid hands on the blind man to restore his sight, but he didn’t. He could have instantly restored the blind man’s sight without hesitation or additional supplements. The Christian scripture distinctly points out that Jesus spit on the ground and made ‘mud.’ He placed this mud on the blind man’s eyes and told him to go wash his eyes in the Pool of Siloam. The blind man did was Jesus directed him to and his sight was restored. Why didn’t Jesus just lay hands on him?

Was this action a subtle teaching from Jesus to allow for professional medical interventions?

It could be that Jesus used this type of intervention with the blind man to teach us it is acceptable to resort to professional medical intervention. The mud Jesus made was a medical concoction used in the restoration of the blind man’s sight.

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned, said Jesus, but this happened so the works of God might be displayed in him” John 9:3.

Something to think about …