When Seeking Healthcare Alternatives, Be Careful Not To Trade Bodily Health For A Sickening Soul

By: Tia Johnson 0 Comments   11/1/2011

St. Cloud boasts of clinics and specialists which offer a buffet of health care treatments.

For example, recently an article in the St. Cloud Times highlighted a mental health recovery program utilizing art. Already more than 2,300 clients have used this program.

This exemplifies that health care isn't necessarily found in a simple trip to the doctor anymore. Today an ailment might be addressed by a naturopathic doctor, chiropractor, massage therapist, nutrition store, or maybe even by Grandma's home remedies.

Such avenues are coined "non-traditional" approaches to medicine. Our family has utilized some of them. We use a special oil for ear aches and colloidal silver worked well when we had pink eye. We have special lotions for wounds and apply massage techniques for aches. We've tried to be preventative by growing more than half of our own food and ingesting proper ingredients.

Through researching the varied approaches, however, we've found that some remedies offer more than a home-grown solution. Many are legitimate practices and some might be a lifesaver, literally. Yet others are just the face of a dangerous belief system.

In that case, be careful, because you might be facing more than a new idea; it may be a new religion.

The religious tones are easy to pick up in some healthcare lectures. Kate, a Minnesota homeopath, once lectured on vaccines and used phrases like our inward "vital force." She put forth the idea that we have all that we need to be healed within us. If this were true, than our bodies must have the ability to live forever, right? Scripturally, no. And asserting such self-reliance is bound to impact our God-reliance.

One magazine found at a health-food store titled "Twin Cities... Naturally" included a disturbing article written by Bernie Siegel, MD. Here's some phrases from that article: "your body can guide you to the life you were truly meant to live... yes, you can be born again... don't let your beliefs get in the way, let your experience be what guides you... being open to the universal language of the unconscious as spoken through our bodies... abandon their painful pasts and get over the destructive images received from various authority figures..."

The premise of the article was to pay attention to what your body might be telling you by how it is feeling. Certainly, it is beneficial to observe our bodies and make choices which reflect those observations. But this author has made it a self-searching religion. He even quoted Jesus from Matthew 16: "he who seeks to save his life will lose it but he who is willing to lose his life will save it." Dr. Siegel's interpretation, however, was to "stop living your untrue self’s life…" and start listening to your body.

I’m sure that many of these authors and speakers would disagree that their message seems to be a religion. They probably don’t realize it. Similarly, many of their observers might not recognize it, either.

This makes it even more dangerous as such practices can be controlling. In some cases fear is used. Well-meaning people seeking better health are presented with an off-the-road path which sounds promising. This "path" may look like a list of do's and don'ts which create a new set of standards to live by. Those who disagree with the path's approach are seen as "enemies" or "mis-educated." If one strays from this path, fearful toxins and diseases are threatened.

Especially beware of healthcare practices who hype that your health is everything.

The truth is that health is not everything. The idea that it could be makes your health as much of an idol as buddha or money can be.

The scripture Dr. Siegel quoted does apply to this discussion, though not in the way that he used it. Just before this quote in Matthew 16 Jesus was prophesying to his disciples that he would be killed on a cross. Peter became upset and rebuked Jesus, asserting that this kind of death shall not happen to him. Jesus in turn rebuked Peter and said "...for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men."

At this point comes the passage Dr. Siegel quoted: "Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?"

One cannot take up his cross and protect himself at the same time. Valuing our bodies above our savior doesn't work. This life is too short to consider its enjoyment as a greater priority than our eternity with Him. Yet God did entrust us with bodies and we have the responsibility to care for them. How do we do so without making our bodies our idol?

First, pray. Pray for God's protection and blessing on your health, and thank him for it before you ever get sick. Acknowledge that He is the source of all healing, not we ourselves.

Then build your trust and reliance in God, no matter what. A few scriptures which may be helpful are: Isaiah 26:3, Psalm 112:7, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Philippians 4:6.

Thirdly, when medical ailments arise, continue your attitude of prayer and do your homework on your options. Doctors aren't always right, and let's face it: home remedies aren't always appropriate, either. Ultimately, you have to live with this decision, so make sure it's your own and not another's. Remember: God is all-knowing, so continue to pray and rely on Him for direction.

Keep in mind that this life is not our all. It's only a vapor, as described in James 4, so whatever course you take medically, do not compromise your love and obedience to God (by using witchcraft, for example). If you notice your priorities beginning to slip while pursuing a health-related cure, it's time to regain focus. If the list of do's and don'ts compromises your faith in God (by suggesting you abstain from Bible reading, for example), drop it. As Jesus said, "what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?"

Besides, healthcare alternatives that lead you away from Christ, cause spiritual sickness, which lead to physical sickness. Even if a healthcare alternative provides some short term improvements while leading you away from setting "Christ as Lord" in your heart (1 Peter 3:15), it is not worth it because your body will eventually follow your spiritual condition.   

God has given us information through a variety of sources to help us take care of our bodies. He is the source of our heailng, even if it comes through a doctor or medication. Therefore we give Him the glory, not the method. And, since He is able to heal us miraculously from whatever infirmities we might suffer, we don't need to rely solely on the approach used. Our life is just a vapor. He is our everything.

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