BY: Dan Phale*
I have been prompted to publish this article because of the reports which indicate that we have lost our fellow human beings due to misguidance which comes with teachings by some religious faith groups in some parts of the world. Hence, the contents herein are a strong warning against negligence or omission to take any of the necessary actions in preventing premature deaths under the impression that God will be there to do anything to save the deadly situations.
Let me begin by sharing a disheartening story which happened in our community last year… There was an expectant lady. When her time to deliver was due, she went to the temple, as a matter of requirement based on church doctrines. In fact, one doctrine in her church is that nobody should seek any health service from the physician in the hospital, no matter what. Instead the church elders should pray to God for healing and/or delivery. This happens due to their shallow understanding of the commonly preached faith or belief that God heals. The problem, however, arises when they don’t admit the difference that God is immortal compared to human beings, and that some of His healing powers are delegated to the medical doctors.
Now it happened that when the expectant woman arrived at the temple, the elders assembled for prayers. But the prayer session started and ended without the desired results the contrary of which was that she was wincing in terrifyingly great labour pains, profusely bleeding. And finally the worst of its kind occurred… She miscarried. From there she went back home where the situation turned to be intensively critical until she breathed her last… May her soul rest in peace.
Certainly, we were destined to face a similar situation when three children were about to die of diarrhea. But some of the people in the neighbourhood secretly reported to the local authorities for intervention. As such the authorities immediately ordered the parents as well as the faith group leaders to take the sick children to the hospital or face prosecution in the court of law. And for fear of the legal punishment, they took the children to the hospital where they got the relevant medical attention.
As a matter of reality, such leaders have so far procured deaths which might otherwise be prevented… I mean, what is the rationale of having church doctrines which have the potential to put church members at risk…? Ironically, the Bible does not prohibit administration of medicines to the sick people… The book of Sirach 38: 1-2, 4 is very clear on the physicians and health. It says, “Honour the physician with the honour due him according to your need of him, for the Lord created him; for healing comes from the Most High, and he will receive a gift from the King… The Lord created medicines from the earth, and a sensible man will not despise them.”
It is very true that our heavenly Father is the almighty God, but we don’t have to play with Lions… Thinking we should not go to the hospital for a mere thinking that God is a healer is not different from playing with a hungry lion. It should be understood that in His own mysterious manner God gave each of the people a talent to serve others… In this regard the medical doctors are there to help everybody who falls ill. And the most worrisome fact is that some diseases are communicable, and if not dealt with, there is a very high likelihood of disease outbreaks which eventually will inhibit human growth and development.