Should Christians go to doctors?

 Christians doctors

Question: "Should Christians go to doctors?"

Physicians are referred to about a dozen times throughout the Bible. The only verse that could be taken out of context to teach that one should not go to physicians would be 2 Chronicles 16:12. "And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians" (2 Chronicles 16:12). But this particular case involved Asa's whole outlook on life in his latter years (that of turning his back on God at an earlier point in his life).

There are many verses that speak of using "medical treatments" such as applying bandages (Isaiah 1:6), oil (James 5:14), oil and wine (Luke 10:34), leaves (Ezekiel 47:12), drinking some wine (1 Timothy 5:23), and salves--particularly the "balm of Gilead" (Jeremiah 8:22). Also Luke, the author of Acts and the Gospel of Luke, is referred to by Paul as "the beloved physician" (Colossians 4:14).

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 on them. Coming to Jesus, she thought to herself that if she but touched the hem of his garment, she would be healed, and she was.

Jesus, in answering the questioning 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). From the above verses one might sift out the following principles:

1) Physicians are not God and should not be viewed as such. They sometimes can help; but there will be other times when all they will accomplish is the removal of money.

2) Seeking physicians and using "earthly" remedies are not condemned in Scripture but rather seem to have been used throughout Scripture.

3) God's intervention in any physical difficulty should be sought (James 4:2; 5:13). He does not promise us that He will answer the way we will always want (Isaiah 55:8-9), but we have the assurance that all that He does will be done in love and thus in our best interest (Psalm 145:8-9).

So, should Christians go to doctors? God created us as intelligent beings and gave us the ability to create medicines and learn how to repair our bodies. There is nothing wrong with applying this knowledge and ability towards physical healing. Doctors can be viewed as God’s gift to us…a means through which God brings healing and recovery. At the same time, our ultimate faith and trust is to be in God, not doctors or medicine. As with all the difficult decisions we face in life, God promises to give us wisdom when we ask for it (James 1:5).

Recommended Resource: Biblical Healing and Deliverance: A Guide to Experiencing Freedom by Chester & Betsy Kylstra .

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