Should A Christian Go To The Doctor? Does This Show A Lack of Faith?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

If we go to the doctor or take medicine, does this show a lack of faith?  Do we display that our faith is weak when we seek medical attention?

What is Faith?

A biblical definition of faith is a great starting point in regards to asking the question if we show a lack of faith if we go to the doctor, take medicine, or seek the advice of medical professionals.  Hebrews 11:1 is the biblical definition of faith and it says in verse one that, “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”(KJV)  The Greek word for substance is “hupostasis” and generally refers to “what stands under anything.”  This term is reflective of a house’s foundation.  It is something that you can put great weight on.  It could mean something solid to stand on, even an agreement, a contract or a promise.  The obvious meaning in this sentence is that faith (hupostasis) is something that you can rely on and build on.  This is like the solid faith that we place in Jesus Christ.  That’s likely what the writer of Hebrews intended for it to mean because he goes on to say that it is “evidence of things not seen.”  Just like we can not see all or any of the foundation of a building, we have confidence that it will hold us up when we enter it.

The Hall of Faith

In Hebrews chapter 11, in what is commonly called “The Hall of Faith”, you can see that Abraham stood firm in his belief by faith, Noah felt certain that a great flood was coming so he built the great Ark.  The Roman soldier knew that Jesus need only say the word and his servant would be healed.  That is what faith is all about. We have faith the sun will rise tomorrow, that taxes and death are certain, and that God can not lie.  So what does a lack of faith have to do with going to the doctor or taking medicine?

Are Mental Health Problems a Moral or Character Weakness?

It grieves me to even ask this question in this subheading, but sadly, it does come up.  As a former Mental Health Case Manager, I understood that mental problems in people are due to simple brain chemical disturbances where chemicals are out of balance in the brain due to genetics or inherited brain tendencies. Some brains simply do not receive the proper amounts of hormonal chemicals or there may be problems with the spinal cords or there may have been injuries to the brain stem at birth or from a childhood accident. Synaptic vesicles surround the brain and they typically cluster below membranes of the brain.  They release neurotransmitters called endogenous chemicals that are designed to transmit signals between neutron and other brain cells. Since this is an exceedingly complex system, sometimes there is an imbalance, and this results in a variety of mental disorders – none of which are the fault of the person affected.

Christians go to DoctorOne of my friends takes anti-depressants for a condition that prevents her from suffering from severe and debilitating depression.  She has been diagnosed, due to a chemical brain imbalance, as clinically depressed and one of our former church members said that she doesn’t have enough faith in God because she is depending on medicine and her doctor instead of God to make her better.  I was flabbergasted when she told me this and my friend was very hurt by it.  What this lady should have realized is that it has nothing to do with my friend’s lack of faith. In fact, my friend shows common sense to have her depression treated.  I am not ruling out praying to God of course.  One of the greatest evangelists and preachers of the 19th Century, Charles Spurgeon, suffered from depression and there was not adequate treatment for his condition at that time.  Would anyone accuse one of the greatest soul winners in history of lacking faith or having a weak moral attitude or of having a character weakness?  Anyone that says that going to a mental health specialist or having to take medicine for a mental health problem is a lack of faith simply does not know what they are taking about.  It actually reveals a self-righteous attitude in the accuser and shows a lack of common sense that if someone is sick, you go to a doctor and get medicine for it and have it treated.  This lady’s husband has to take medicine for high blood pressure.  Why doesn’t she believe that her husband is showing a lack of faith for his taking medicine that can save his life?  If she had a broken bone, would she not go to the hospital to have it set?  There is no difference in reality. Both of these are medical conditions.

Luke the Beloved Physician and the Great Physician

I don’t believe it is an accident that one of the disciples was a medical doctor. That would be Luke.  When you read the Gospel of Luke, you can tell that it was written by a man that had medical experience.  Jesus acknowledged the need for a physician when he said in Luke 5:31, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” This is repeated in Matthew 9:12 and in Mark 2:17.  Here we see that Jesus believed in doctors and that he said that it is the sick who need a doctor.  How much plainer can that statement be?  He did not specify which sicknesses were involved, but we can not presume that He excluded mental illness when He said that the sick need a doctor and not the healthy.

Several parents who refused to seek medical attention for their children and whose children later died faced prosecution for criminal negligence.  I am not saying that God will not heal the sick and by the prayers or anointing of oil, God can and sometimes chooses to heal the sick but he also expects us to use the provisions that He has in His sovereignty provided for us to use.  There are no Scriptures and there are no New Testament church verses where we are told to not seek medical attention when necessary.  When Paul told Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach illness, would we accuse Timothy of having a lack of faith (1 Tim 5:23)?  Paul prayed three times to the Lord to remove his “thorn in the flesh” and would you say that Paul lacked faith (2 Cor 12:7-1)?  I would hope not.  God is the one that heals and it is He alone Who heals and sometimes in His divine providence, He chooses not to because He can be shown strong in our weaknesses and afflictions (2 Cor 12:9).  But this does not mean that God would expect us to do nothing.

Conclusion

So does going to the doctor mean you or someone else you know doesn’t have enough faith in God?   And does taking medicine mean that you or someone else you know doesn’t have enough faith in God?   In the first place, only God can look into the human heart and discern the intent and the amount of faith that a person has.  No human is qualified to make such a judgment.  If they have a cold and take cold medicine, does this mean that they lack faith in God just because they want relief from their symptoms?  I would say not.  And to make such a presumptuous statement or endanger someone by telling them that they just need to have faith and avoid medical treatment is nothing short of negligence.

Mental illness has a physical cause just like having the flu does.  Neither of these patients is less spiritual for seeking assistance.  If your baby or someone else’s baby was sick, would you say that the parents or the baby’s faith is weak?  I would hope not.  Take Jesus at His word, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”  The sick need a doctor.  Jesus didn’t accuse the sick of lacking faith.  He said they need a doctor, not those who are healthy.  It is just plain common sense to go see a doctor when you are sick … whatever that sickness is.  It is not a lack of morals, not a character flaw, nor is it a lack of faith.  The sick need a doctor … not more faith.  Jesus said that and that’s good enough for me.

Resources:

The Holy Bible, King James Version

New International Version Bible (NIV)
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide

Interested in similar type articles? Here are some articles that you might also enjoy reading:

Hebrews 11: Bible Study on Faith David Peach offers some great information in this Bible study all about faith.

Can a Christian Be Angry and Not Sin? Now that’s a good question and Jack Wellman does well to answer it from a biblical perspective.

Are Faith Healers Real? Pastor Jack tackles yet another controversial issue among believers and non-believers; don’t miss this one!


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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

ailsa cummins June 22, 2012 at 4:37 am

Just to say that this artice, encourages and comforts me – Blessings Ailsa C

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Jack Wellman June 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Thank you so much Ailsa. I don’t know how many Christians who have been judged to have a lack of faith or trust who go to the doctor when they are sick. I would say that if it were the person who was judging them being very sick, they would not probably like someone judging them in this way when they themselves are sick. Thank you so much my friend.

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Mabel Jacome June 22, 2012 at 6:22 am

Great article! I love common sense, sadly most of us tend to have this “ideology” on others, but when our own toothache strikes, we run for those tylenols. This is similar to not “doing” something for someone and actually helping them and just leaving it to prayer. This really bothers me, when we tend to “just say a little prayer” for those in need and move on; it is so much easier than to actually sticking around and helping out. I am not underestimating prayer at all, in fact, I know is my only method of communication with our Lord, but it cannot, it should not, replace our obligation to help our brothers and sisters in all that we can. Jesus prayed and did.

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Jack Wellman June 22, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Thank you so much Mabel. What a great point that I wish I had put in this article about just praying for someone without actually helping our brothers and sisters in Christ. Wow. That is so awesome. I had not thought about that. Such insight and I thank God for women of faith like you that speak (and write) with such wisdom.

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Monti Tate June 22, 2012 at 10:44 am

I myself believe that medicine is a ‘religious’ matter. I believe that a persons level of faith is relevant to the amount of faith he puts in God for all of his problems. This does not mean to say that I condemn or judge those who go to the doctor more than I do. Paul said that some people eat herbs and some people eat meat. But that all that matters is that they do it to the glory of God. I go to the doctor a lot less than most, I take my sons to the doctor as I feel it is nessecary and to meet certain laws. I believe that technoligy is a gift from God and used wisely will bless us. Medicine is technoligy.

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Jack Wellman June 22, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Amen Monti. I believe that no one else is able to judge another in this area. We ought to allow room for grace without being judgmental. Your insight is brilliant about God giving us the gift of technology. That’s a great point. Thank you so much for a very wonderful comment, full of grace and common sense.

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Chris Martel June 22, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Hello again Jack,

I am glad that you made reference to mental issues being basically nothing more than chemical and synaptic misfirings, it has nothing whatsoever to do with a person’s faith. A good friend of mine had attempted to kill himself because of a previously unknown case of depression. The doctors put him on certains meds and now he is just the same as he ever was. I cannot for a minute believe that God would demand that we only turn to him for cures and repairs, he gave us free will and an intellect that has enabled us to learn how to heal, and that is a precious gift indeed.

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Jack Wellman June 22, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Thank you again Chris, as always, you contribute and add to the depth of the conversation in a rational, logical manner and full of grace. I like what you said that He gives us free will and an intellect that enables us to learn how to heal…and that is a point that I wish I had included in this article and so you see why I thank God for you sir…for such men of faith as you who show the love of God in their hearts and the wisdom of God in their minds.

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Joe Sewell June 23, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Another awesome reality check article, Jack. When will we learn that God is God, and we are not?

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Jack Wellman June 24, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Well said Joe. I truly believe that we have to use your God-given common sense when we consider our decisions and to know that God is God…and we are not, as you so wisely said. Surely, we can not be judging others who choose to go to the doctor and call it a lack of faith. Who makes us God…who knows the heart? Not me. Thanks bro.

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Pert September 18, 2012 at 7:25 am

This is a refreshing article. All I’ve ever been told, since I was a child, that there is no such thing as depression, it’s not real, a Christian would never be affected by mental illness, any kind of mental illness is due to lack of faith or idol worship, and all kinds of other “nonsense”. For some reason, this never seemed true to me. I think more Christians need to know the truth about mental illness, and accept that it’s okay to get treatment when needed. Too many people recieve the same kind of education I did regarding Christians and mental disorders and wind up thinking something is wrong with them or that it’s all their fault, and that breaks my heart. Thank you for this article and for shedding a little light on the subject.

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Jack Wellman September 18, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Pert, thank you so much for your edifying comment. I loved it. I think we need to give each other grace and not make judgments based upon what we think and mental illness is just that…an illness and not a moral flaw or character weakness. I appreciate you saying what you did. I wish we had more Christians like you that have an understanding heart.

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Shirley West November 9, 2012 at 6:15 am

Pastor Jack,
I have suffered anxiety and depression since I was six years old. I am in a real bad shape as I write this. I have reached out and bougt several books from Edward T. Welch and a couple of others, plus my husband has a minister that works for him. All of these use scripture to say that anxiety and depression is basically a persons own fault for not turning it all over to God. What makes you see it differently? I get so much worse when I read that I’m not praying enough or having enough faith.

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Jack Wellman November 9, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Hello Mrs. West. I say you may not lack faith but might just need medication. It is not so much a mind thing as it might have physical causes. We have an article about how you can deal with your depression and anxiety. It is NOT always a person’s fault or a lack of faith or a weakness or not turning it all over to God. PLEASE read this article below and see if this helps.

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/christian-depression-help-biblical-encouragement-and-advice/

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Joe Sewell November 10, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Jack replies wisely. One source of depression and anxiety is purely chemical in nature. Panic disorder, for example, involves a person’s body responding with its “fight or flight” mechanism with *no* external trigger whatsoever. I have a friend who has always fought with anxiety attacks; in this case something would trigger the response, but it went out of control from there. A Doctor of Osteopathy diagnosed a glandular malfunction; basically, the glands that were supposed to be the “off switch” for the “fight or flight” response never did their job, causing his body and mind to react with anxiety without his control.

The authors you read probably didn’t look at Elijah’s depression described in 1 Kings 19:1-18. He ran from Jezebel’s threat after one of the most amazing displays of power from God, and was so depressed that he wanted to die. God never told Elijah that he had sinned.

I, too, suffer from “depression with anxiety.” I am on medical treatment for the physiological aspects of it. I trust God to judge justly when I am presented to Him.

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Jack Wellman November 11, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Thank you Joe. Great point about Elijah’s depression. After all is said and in this life, I am like you, trusting in God to judge justly when I also am presented to Him. I lean on 2 Cor 5:21 and on Christ the Solid Rock I stand.

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Derek March 2, 2013 at 5:22 pm

When Jesus referred to the “sick needing a physician”, he wasn’t supporting medical doctors. This analogy was used as a parable almost. The sick in this scripture are those who were spiritually void and not blinded by legalism. They were also receptive to a healer of that condition. According to Matthew 8:16 and Acts 5:16, all who came to Christ in faith were healed. No doctor needed! Do we honestly believe that someone suffering depression is the result of non spiritual activity? What about the demoniac or the boy who suffered seizures? Both of these conditions are of the mind and biblically connected to demonic activity. I don’t judge people for going to the doctor, since I’ve gone on occasion myself, but to say that God almighty needs supplemental assistance to execute a plan that was already executed on the cross (Is 53:5)……think about it. The word ” sozo” in the greek meant more than salvation, it included healing and prosperity (Spiritually and Naturally). We have to take the great physician at his word! As the world comes to an end, doctors will fade and all we’ll have is Christ! With love

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Jack Wellman March 2, 2013 at 10:12 pm

Thank you for your comment Derek. I hope you don’t believe that we shouldn’t go to the doctor for a broken leg, or an emergency appendix operation that could kill if not done or so on, do you?

By the way, about whom was Isaiah 53 speaking about? You…me…or other Christians? No, but only about Jesus Christ. Read ALL of Isaiah 53 and the end of Isaiah 52 and you see the context is our sins!

The Bible records Jesus doing MORE miracles without anyone exercising faith then with their faith. He fed the 5,000 when they could not believe. (Lk.9:13-14 Mt.14:17) even after they had seen his provision they disbelieved again for the feeding of the 4,000 (Mt.15:33). So when so- called faith teachers tell people their healing did not come because of their faith, its false. If God depended on man for a certain faith to be healed or rescued we all would be looking to ourselves for the power instead of relying on God. This is man centered and has nothing to do with the real faith delivered to the saints once and for all(Jude 3). What is the context of Isaiah 53? About our sins! Why wasn’t Paul or Timothy healed? Did they lack faith? Are you saying that only those who have faith are healed? What about Lazarus? Can a dead man have faith? What of the 12 year old girl and boy who were raised from the dead? Was it their faith that healed them? Is it our faith that heals us or Jesus or God?

Jesus performed miracles even with disbelief among the disciples. The disciples could heal a boy of epilepsy unable to cast the demon out of a boy (Mt.17:14-21) he proceeds to do this and rebukes them for their unbelief, saying they need to pray and fast to see God move. In other words you can’t just depend on the authority given to you, we need to depend on God.

Of the 35 miracles recorded in the Gospel accounts the faith of the recipient is exercise in only10 of the accounts. Healing of the lame man (Jn.5:1-9) the cleansing of a leper (Mt.8:2-4) healing a mans withered hand (Mt.9:2-8) the healing of the man born blind (Jn.9:1-7) healing the blindness of Bartemaeus (Mt.20:29-34) The women who had a blood flow (Mt.9:20-22; Mk.5:24-34) Peter who walked on water to Jesus (Mt.14:24-33) the miraculous catching of the fish (Lk.5:1-11) and the second miraculous catch (Jn.21:1-11) The cleansing of the 10 lepers of which only one had faith (Lk.17:11-19)

So does our own faith heal us or does God do the healing? Those who were gathered at the pool of Bethsaida, but Jesus picked only one to be healed a blind and lame man and disregarded the rest. V.3.The blind man acted on Christ’s invitation, having no faith. He didn’t know it was Jesus who healed him until later v.12-13.How many times did Jesus go past the gate of the temple and not heal anyone? Why doesn’t he heal everyone all the time? Why did he those who had faith and picked others who had no faith? Those involved in faith healing will have no answer for this, at least one that would be biblical.

Benny Hinn claims you must keep your faith for your healing or the devil will come and steal it. no where are God’s healings spoken of this way. Real miracles are under God’s control without the use of man, false miracles always come by mans hands, and are done by their own dictates.

2 Kings 13:14-20 Elisha died from a sickness even though he had a double portion. 1 Tim.5:23 Paul had Timothy to take wine for medicinal purposes. He didn’t tell him to just believe and have more faith. There is no teaching like this found in the Scripture.

2 Tim.4:20 ‘Trophemus I left in Miletus sick”. Trophemus was a companion of Paul and Paul left him as he went on. He did not lay hands on him, for whatever reason he was left behind to recuperate, nor did he encourage him to have faith to be healed. Neither did he send an anointed handkerchief.

Phil.2:26,30 Epaphroditus was a devoted servant of the Lord yet he became sick. He got sick in Rome and stayed that way for some time and almost died. We see that prayers were not answered immediately until it was Gods will in his timing, it was not Gods will to heal him at first. No one came to lay hands on him or send him an anointed handkerchief nor was he rebuked for any lack of faith. God had mercy on him. We are no different in needing that mercy.

Acts 5:15 “They brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall (overshadow them) on some of them.” But he never made it a ministry nor do we hear of this becoming a practice by the Apostles.

Yes, take the Great Physician at His Word but not out of context please. By the way, seizures are not always of the mind or demonic spirits. Where did you read this. Some yes but you can’t conclude that all of them were and all of them are today, which you are assuming (falsely). Sorry I am being so corrective but at 2 Tim 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” ALL not just one verse to build a doctrinal belief as in Isaiah 53:5 being a promise that all who have faith will be healed.

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Joe Sewell March 13, 2013 at 8:03 pm

Funny, I do not see the word “faith” in Matthew 8:16, nor in its context. The same goes for the Acts reference. I suggest you read the Bible as it’s written, not as the false teachers from “Copeland-Hagin” interpret it.

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Jack Wellman March 13, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Great point Joe. I looked again and you are right. I overlooked that fact in my reply to Derek. I believe doctors will be unemployed some day and their day will end as a doctor….some day. Not today. In the Kingdom, yes, but not today. Great insight Joe. Also, sadly, many take Isaiah 53 so out of context because the true healing is that which brings eternal life and it is by His wounds, strips, and death that this is possible. Context is everything isn’t it Joe. Your a blessing to me friend. I thank God for you.

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Eric March 19, 2013 at 10:31 am

Well thought out and informative article. Thank you for the encouragement.

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Jack Wellman March 19, 2013 at 11:25 am

Eric, thank you sir for your encouraging comment. I appreciate that. I have had some who actually thought that people show a lack of faith by going to a doctor and so this is what this was about sir. I appreciate your words.

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Adefunke Nasir May 30, 2013 at 6:47 am

Thanks a mill for this article. Ive been laden with guilt each time i consider going to the hospital, i felt like it was a betrayal of trust in God. this is such a relief..

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Joyce July 12, 2013 at 4:17 am

Hi Jack – I read your article with great interest and it really helped answer the question I have struggled with for years. The reason I struggled though is because Christians I know showed a distinct disapproval towards ‘alternative’ medicines saying that it is ‘not of God’ but encourage me to go to the doctors and this causes me confusion. I have heard of and experienced all kinds of healings since I have been a Christian, miraculous, through doctors and alternative therapies i.e. reflexology, acupuncture, reiki, aromatherapy. I would be very interested in your opinion about this. I always pray for healing first and sometimes don’t need to do anything else and am healed eventually because I am a great believer that God places in us all that is needed to be healed and my faith is in that, that is why I lean more towards ‘alternative therapies’ because they tap into what is in the body and in the world that God created more than medical doctors do with chemicals and operations which I feel are more ‘man made’. I do not knock anyone for using whatever they use as long as they are God led in their decisions and give him the glory. I do however just want to do the right thing and am aware we can be deceived by the enemy. I have not used any of these therapies myself because I have been influenced by other Christians opinions but not felt comfortable going to docs either, but your article helped with that but still raises the question – does this apply to any kind of healing ?

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Jack Wellman July 12, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Hello Joyce. I believe that doctors are God’s sovereign agents in this world to help us and this applies to about any kind of healing you can imagine. Even psychiatrists who are faith-based can help you. We live in a fallen world and are fallen creatures and seeking medical or mental health specialists shows, in no way, a lack of trust in God for even Luke was used mightily by God who was a beloved physician and co-laborer with Paul who had many healing’s thru the power of God. Other Christian’s who judge you or others for seeking help have no Scriptural authority and are sort of legalists in my opinion. Even Jesus said, in this article I quoted, “the sick need a physician.”

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Joyce July 12, 2013 at 6:11 pm

I’m still not sure what you think about alternative therapies could you be more specific please. Most people think the origins of these therapies are ‘dangerous’ and Christians shouldn’t indulge in them, do you agree? As I said, I think they are more ‘natural’ and God given than conventional medicineand they certainly get results….I’m still confused!

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Joyce July 12, 2013 at 6:12 pm

I’m still not sure what you think about alternative therapies could you be more specific please. Most people think the origins of these therapies are ‘dangerous’ and Christians shouldn’t indulge in them, do you agree? As I said, I think they are more ‘natural’ and God given than conventional medicine and they certainly get results….I’m still confused!

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Jack Wellman July 12, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Joyce, I do not endorse aromatic therapies, hypnosis, meditative or psychoanalysis therapies. Acupunture is still somewhat debatable…but what I mean is counseling with Christian counselors, using doctor prescribed medicines and excercise and diet methodies…yes, even natural whole foods too are good but the ones I mentioned before are not seemingly mainstream therapies. I should have been more clear. I agree, many of these therapies I mentioned in the beginning are indeed dangerous and I did not mean these.

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Joe Sewell August 7, 2013 at 11:45 am

“Natural” doesn’t always mean safer. Many poisons come from nature, for example. On the other hand, many lab-produced chemicals are actually variants of natural items, the lab producing greater consistency of quality, potency, and quantity. Perhaps God gave chemists and pharmacologists the ability to improve and refine what Satan was able to damage with Adam’s fall.

I should also note, as an example, that Steve Jobs died of a form of cancer that, while not always curable, can be controlled to the point that one can live with it and die of something else. His form of the disease is “cancer in slow motion,” and lab-produced versions of natural substances can slow it down all the more. Instead, he tried natural alternatives first, discovered they weren’t helping him, and turned to standard medicine too late. I know this because my wife has the same cancer, though sited in a different organ, but her prognosis is good.

One of the big problems with some of the other alternatives you mention, such as reiki, acupuncture, and so forth, is the non-Christian spiritual aspect to it all. While studies have shown how the body’s nervous system can indeed react in unusual ways to acupuncture, aromatherapy, and others, their foundation is in Eastern mysticism that is not compatible with a Godly life. Yoga, with all the physical exercise benefits many gain from it, is also based in Eastern mystic beliefs and practices. Most practitioners, of course, will deny any connection, but I remain skeptical. I will accept that many of these can bring about beneficial results, but they can also bring damage if used improperly. Aromatherapy, for example, often uses mixtures that really are not well-controlled, which could introduce foreign substances that would cloud, confuse, or damage the mind and/or body.

I should add here an interesting note about Galatians 5:19-21. One of the works of the flesh that inhibits one from inheriting the kingdom of God is translated in the KJV and others as “witchcraft.” The Greek word is φαρμασια (pardon any transliteration errors, as I’m doing this from memory), or “pharmacia.” Yes, we get the word “pharmacy” and “pharmaceuticals” from that. “Witchcraft” in those days often involved drugging participants with *natural* hallucinogens and other substances to make one feel a certain way. I am not saying that all natural remedies are part of this “witchcraft,” but it should cause one to be cautious.

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Patricia Schneider August 21, 2013 at 11:07 pm

Hello, Pastor Jack!
Came across this terrific article with Scripture you wrote while reading on of Derek Hill’s article. WOW! God’s Perfect Timing!

Been having a problem with severe fatigue for several months now, along with calf-muscles cramps that don’t tickle one iota! Finally went to our family Doc who ordered blood tests, will be seeing him again tomorrow (Thursday, Aug., 22.) (A tad upset about this ’cause why couldn’t the Doc just tell us over the phone what I need, right? Another $20 co-pay~! Grrr.)
The main hassle I’m going through now is with two dear sisters in Christ, who have NEVER gone to doctors in their lives, and keep telling me to keep praying. Yet, they also say it’s my decision. These 2 Sis’s are just wonderful, Pastor, have helped me so much in reading & studying God’s Word. But I feel as if I’m letting them down somehow. Guess that’s something I’m gonna have to work out with Jesus’ Holy Spirit.

You already know about my bi-polar illness, Pastor. ‘Tis how I discovered this terrific site, ‘What Christians Want To Know!”
If you think it would be helpful to share that particular story with our sisters & brothers on this particular page, let me know. It’s sheer joy testifying for our Lord!!!

Have always believed that God’s graces gave humankind the knowledge in medicine, technologies, science, etc. It’s HOW we use this knowledge…either for God’s glory or the enemy’s. Right, Pastor?
Always, your sister in Christ Jesus….Patty

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Jack Wellman August 22, 2013 at 8:26 am

Thanks Patty. So wonderful to hear from you. If a person had a broken arm and it was not set right, should a person just pray? No, they need to seek medical help as Luke was a physician too. Maybe that’s why he was one of the 12 disciples?

I am a little dense. You want me to share your story or you can share your story here on this article with your comments?

About your sisters, do they have a Facebook page? Maybe you could post this or share this with them and see what they think. Regardless, they may not change anyway. What I worry about most is when the day comes, IF it ever comes, and I pray it doesn’t, that I refuse to learn or grow, then I become of little use to God. Sometimes people refuse to learn or grown and it is a pride issue. Know what I mean my good friend?

I’m off to work for now.

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Patricia Schneider August 23, 2013 at 12:51 am

Hello, Pastor Jack!
No way are you “dense!” Me? Forever is my brain stuck in “Dense City!” Hee-Hee!

Did managed to send an email to one of the 2 sisters in Christ this terrific article w/Scripture you wrote. Have both their personal emails. For some reason when I tried to send to the other sister, a pop-up message appeared saying, “Your remark is invalid. Friend’s name is empty/invalid.” So, I’m just gonna ask the one Sis to share it w/the other.
Grrr. Sometimes, Pastor, this contraption called a computer drives me nutsy~! Hee-Hee!

I WILL share my testimony soon about having a bi-polar illness and the great blessings our Father God has given me through this. It’s almost 2AM Friday (August 23rd.) and a tad too sleepy to do so now.

Pastor Jack, can not thank Jesus’ Holy Spirit enough for your WOW writing abilities!!! I feel so truly blessed having you as a dear brother in Christ!
Love, your Sis in Christ Jesus….Patty

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Jack Wellman August 23, 2013 at 9:24 am

Patty…please do share your testimony for it is powerful indeed and will most likely increase the faith of those who are not going to the doctor but to see that God will help those who are helping themselves and perhaps they will understand that God expects us to take care of ourselves and make an effort. Even when Jesus healed, He often told them to do this or that, like when He put mud on the mans eyes, He told him to go and wash them out when He could have just went “Bam!” your healed. You may or may not have noticed that very frequently, when Jesus healed someone, He expected them to do something in the process. Make sense? Yes, now tell us so that you may help others and I know you as a biblically solid, woman of faith who can help many by your wisdom and experience. Thank you Patty and I thank God for you.

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Patricia Schneider August 23, 2013 at 12:42 pm

This reply here is for all my dear sisters & brothers in Christ Jesus….
Hello, Everyone! Wish to share with you a personal experience.
In High School, I suffered from depressions often. Anyone that goes through this knows what a ‘thief of life’ depression is. It robs one of ALL interests, caring, energy, etc. Yet, BY GOD’S GRACES ALONE, I did graduate! With decent grades, too!
When I was 18, got a job with Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Langley, Virginia. (Lived in Washington, D.C.) The 1st. month was absolutely wonderful! Meeting many fascinating people my own age and “important folks” also, if you know what I mean.
THEN DEPRESSION HIT, and it hit hard. After 3 weeks of this despair & utter feeling of abandonment, I said to Jesus, “I’m sorry, Lord, but if I have to live the rest of my life fighting this, I don’t want to live.”
Yes, attempted suicide, by cutting my wrists.
Unknown to me at the time, my Dad in a dream distinctly heard his deceased Mom say to him, “Go to Patty.”
About a 1/2 hour or so after cutting my wrists, there was a knock on my door. It was my step-Mom, Elsie, and my big Sis, Millie. Dad had stayed down in the lobby ’cause he didn’t want to climb the 3 flights of steps.
I refused to open the door…feelings of shame overwhelmed me. I really didn’t want to die, only to stop feeling so empty and lost, you know? And then seeing the faces of Elsie & Millie made me feel even worse, they looked so hurt and confused.
Millie applied compresses to my wrists while Elsie went down to lobby to tell Dad & call the Paramedics. Then to Georgetown University Hospital we all went. Got sewn up, bandaged, given some pain meds & released. Not one word was said about needing psychiatric care. Why not? Truly don’t know except this was back in 1967/68(?)
My Mom arrived later that night. The look on her pale, beautiful face just broke my heart.
After a few weeks of working, decided to go back home to Pittsburgh, PA. Depression still ‘haunted’ me so Mom suggested I go see a doctor. There I was diagnosed with a bio-chemical imbalance in the brain, a bi-polar disorder or manic-depression.
Fast-forwarding here ’cause this is getting TOO LONG~! It wasn’t until 2002 that shrink put me on what I call my “miracle meds.” Effexor and Depakote. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE I WAS MENTALLY HEALTHY!!! (PRAISE OUR WONDERFUL FATHER GOD!!!)
Teased Jesus, “What took You so long?” Well, I was 54 at the time! Hee-Hee!
For 7 years I enjoyed this blessed mental health. Then my Mom passed away in 2009. Grief turned into a 3-years depression. Yes, 3 YEARS. Shrink couldn’t figure out why the meds no longer worked, and I didn’t care to try anything else. Had already spent years experimenting w/different meds.
Near the end of 3rd. year, for whatever reason (God’s Perfect Timing?) I became interested in my Facebook pals again. Discovered this fabulous site, “What Christians Want To Know” on my FB Timeline. Within 2/3 weeks, depression had taken a hike! I was mentally healthy again!
The writers on WCWTK, especially Pastor Jack Wellman, had renewed my interest in re-reading & studying God’s Word, my Bible. Also met many many wonderful sisters & brothers in Christ, too!
Sometime in January, 2012, I think it was, while reading a certain article on this site, (sorry, don’t recall which article,) I broke down in hot sobs. You see, Sis’s & Bro’s, I never took responsibility for sins committed during depressions. Would ‘blame’ the depression, you know? All the memories of my past sins overwhelmed me with shame at my arrogance. Kept sobbing to Sweet Jesus to forgive me. When I finally did calm down, I felt Jesus’ arms about my shoulders, KNEW He forgave me, that He was ALWAYS with me, and would NEVER let me go!!!
I believe that was when I was truly “born-again.” How blessedly, wonderfully changed my life has been since then!!
Wish I had the words to describe the PEACE and JOY Jesus’ Holy Spirit gives me while reading God’s Word! And I’m sure many of you, my dear sisters & brothers know exactly what I’m saying here, right?
No, I’m not saying my life is without its ‘hassles.’ That’s living, right? Except now, I KNOW I’m reconciled with our Father God, through Jesus’ precious shed blood. WOW! What a super-fantastic relationship I have with Him now!!!

As I told Pastor Jack above, I truly believe God gave humankind the knowledge of medicine, technologies, science, etc. It’s HOW we use these graces. For God’s glory or the enemy’s. Right?
Remember now, read DAILY, God’s Word, your Bibles, even if it’s a few verses from a certain Book. Jesus’ Holy Spirit will guide you and help you to “grow up” as a Christian, as a follower of Jesus. What used to be a ‘chore’ (reading my Bible) is now a task I can’t wait to get to every day! LOL!!
Forgive me for this being so long. As Pastor Jack knows, I do get “wordy.”
God’s bountiful, wonderful blessings upon each of you, my dear sisters and brothers in Christ!!! AMEN!!!
Love, your Sis in Christ Jesus….Patty

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charles January 31, 2014 at 6:39 am

Am highly blessed by this article. May God continue to enrich you.

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Joni August 26, 2015 at 12:48 pm

I know this is an older article but that is one of the great things about this website. At any given time God will guide us to where we need to be and in this case read. My son struggles and I don’t want him to feel like it is because of lack of belief and faith, I am going to mail him this article. Thank you for having such a wide variety of topics to help us, Joni

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Jack Wellman August 26, 2015 at 1:02 pm

Thank you my sister in Christ. You are always so encouraging. I do hope it helps. I will also be praying for your son. He is not alone in his struggles with this. May God richly bless you and praying this article touches him.

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Terry Yazzie February 10, 2016 at 11:00 pm

I came across this while trying to look for answers and a level of hope and understanding. I have a heart condition which has caused me to be depressed in these past few weeks, everything seems to be piling up. I have family that pray for me and I feel that they are getting frustrated and I told them not to let when is happening to be weaken their fail in God. Im scared and trying to find a line between faith, being prayed on and prayed for but then having to seek medical attention, I’ve even been raced into the hospital with my condition.

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Joe Sewell February 11, 2016 at 10:57 am

God will do what God will do. Trust Him to work in your situation, even if it means medical attention. We should never have faith in a particular outcome, only that God knows what He’s doing.

My mother-in-law recently passed away due to a stroke caused by several surgeries, including amputations, to control an infection that threatened to take her life. People prayed, yet she died anyhow. Now she’s no longer dealing with diabetes, congestive heart failure, kidney failure, and the sin of this world. Honestly, I’m a bit jealous. 🙂 Yes, it has left a hole in my wife’s life and her dad’s life. He’s having to deal with stuff that he never had to deal with for 67 years (they had just celebrated that many years of marriage on Christmas Eve).

I don’t know why your family is frustrated, other than they want this to go away. Tell them to keep praying, and you do the same. Don’t let them condemn you for lack of faith, because this situation is no indication of a lack of faith on anyone’s part.

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Susan February 9, 2017 at 2:11 pm

I am a 24 year Old who has never been to a hospital for treatment or taken any medicine. For me these words are enough and they keep me a live. “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” It didn’t say, with His wounds and some medicine you are healed. Every time I get sick I just pray to God and He heals me.
I don’t understand why Christians trust the doctors so much such that if there is an emergency – the first thing that comes into their mind is “call an ambulance!!’ They don’t even remember God exist – to me this is Idolatry. You worship the doctors and medicine and yet when they tell you that you are barren or you have HIV/AIDS that’s when you remember God does miracles. Who created you? Who created the world and everything His words? Did He ask for help from any one? Is He not able to heal you even without the doctors? Can’t he just replace your defective heart with another? Can’t He?? You honestly believe that if you don’t visit the hospital that you are going to die? Why are there mortuaries in every hospitals? If doctors were the answer to our ailment are the mortuaries in hospitals? Be a full time believer not a seasonal Christian.

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Jack Wellman February 9, 2017 at 4:26 pm

Thank you Susan but if your child had a life-threatening virus, we would pray…absolutely, but it is child endangerment if you don’t take that child to the doctor. They could die. Job was a righteous man and he lost all 10 of his children. We go to the doctor for broken bones and having babies don’t we? God will heal, but Paul prayed three times to have the thorn in the flesh removed but God didn’t and it was to keep him humble. Be a Christian that seeks a help when they need it but not just for minor things, no…but in everything prayer, for sure.

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Joe Sewell February 9, 2017 at 10:55 pm

Susan, I will pray that your eyes be opened to the reality that God will choose to work through His servants, not always “miraculously,” making it easy for us. Even when Jesus healed people, often they had to do something. Often He would say that their sins are forgiven, knowing THAT was their greatest need.

Did you not read the entire passage you quoted? Have you not read the surrounding verses, taking in the entire story? The passage says that the wounds of our own transgressions were what He took upon Himself. We are healed from that. We are healed from the chastisement of our sins. We are healed from eternal death! Look, though, at the tail end of Matthew or Luke, where He appears to the disciples. He told “doubting Thomas” to put his fingers and hands into the wounds that were not “healed!” Why do we insist that this passage refers to the removal of physical illness or bodily harm?

Recall the time that He healed a man, then told him to go to the priests as the Law proscribed. Think about the time He healed a blind man not with a word or a snap of His fingers, but with mud.

God will do what God will do, in the way He chooses to do it! I have witnessed people’s faith be tested by Him choosing to work through the miracles of modern medicine that He created and He inspired people to discover. What you propose is demanding that God do things YOUR way, rather than trust in HIS way.

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Jack Wellman February 10, 2017 at 8:06 am

Thank you Joe. It is this type of extremism that gives Christianity a bad name so thank you for pointing out the true intent of Isaiah 53. If it were just to heal our sicknesses or diseases, we’d still all be headed to hell. You make biblical sense and show common sense in the examples you gave of the blind man and others. I thank God for you brother.

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Susan March 5, 2017 at 12:37 am

Hi all.
I used to think like you all. One day I got sick – real sick and then I thought to myself, now this needs a hospital. But God asked me a question that OPENED my Eyes. He say, “You have always trusted in me all the days of your life for healing, why do you say this is a different case? He said, to me there is no difference between cancer, broken bone, headache, flu, stomach ache etc. I then came to realize that; scientific knowledge is a actually a hinderance to our belief in God. We often are discouraged by our knowledge and understanding. In your mind, a fructured bone cannot be healed unless it is attended by the doctors – how else is it going to heal by itself? But to God, everything is all the same.

I am still alive and kicking – yes i trust in God. I allowed myself to be dumb enough to believe the words that say, “Is any one of you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises. 14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick. The Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.…

But most people will twist this in order to fit their unbelief. God has never at any time told me that I am too needy. That Why am i praying all the time while i could just walk into the hospital and get treated. So that guy who said that not all healing needs miracle – my friend God’s power doesn’t decrease when He heals, still remains the same. and He is even more happier when you put Him before every one else.

I would like for you to read Adventures with God and see what I mean.

The question is – when you get sick, do you think about God first or the hospitals and medicine? Do you say that, if it were not for this doctor, I wouldn’t have survived? That this medicine has worked and I feel better?

Let’s just say, out faith on God differs and that there are many stages in Christianity – there are those babes (who drink milk) and those others who eat solid food. How you walk with God determines your trust and Faith in God.

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Jack Wellman March 5, 2017 at 8:07 am

Your friend is wrong of course and God can heal anytime and anyone He wants but if someone gets a life-threatening illness, yes, by all means pray, but if someone has a child in this situation and doesn’t take them to the doctor and they die, even if they have faith and are praying, then they could end up in prison for criminal, child neglect. Pray for God’s healing, pray for God’s will, and then do what we can on our end to help ourselves or others and if it means going to a doctor, then by all means go.

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Kevy February 11, 2018 at 2:45 pm

No, there is nothing unfaith-based on going to the doctor if you are Christian and ill. Praying away your sicknesses will not work and that has been demonstrated on a wide scale.

I’m Christian and I go to the doctor because I am not stupid like Christians who choose not to go to the doctor and risk getting a heart attack or stroke!

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Chris July 4, 2018 at 7:18 am

This is the most wonderful article I have ever read, I believe.. Balanced so well.. I am 50 have suffered bipolar 1 with psychotic episodes all of these years, since teens. I was diagnosed 2 or 3 times as this, but have found no effective treatments yet. I have severe food allergies from some disease that has been uundiagnosed all of this time as well, so the meds all have these food additives that prevent my being treated. When saved I had everyone laying hands on me telling me I was healed. Well I quit the meds out of pressure from those around me. 20 years later now, I am no closer to an answer than when I was 20. I honestly have come to accept that some of us just have to endure without knowing the answer.. Not looking for feedback just want to say that this was nice to read.. Thank you for sharing it.. 🙂

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