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The debate on whether Christians should go to a doctor for medical treatment is not a new one. Some say that relying on God for all healing is the true biblical standard. Others believe that modern day physicians are vessels through which God performs his healing. It is this latter belief that actually has a basis in biblical text.

The Case for Not Seeking Medical Care

Those that are part of the Word-Faith movement are the primarily believers that God will heal without intervention. In fact, many believe that seeking medical services actually demonstrates a lack of faith in God. Some groups, such as Christian Scientists, believe that we have the power to heal ourselves, but that doctors block this potential. Those who follow this belief system use scriptures such as 2 Chronicles 16:12 to support their case. These versus explain the story of King Asa who suffered from a disease in his feet. These verses state the following, “In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the LORD, but only from the physicians.” Taken out of context, one could misconstrue these verses to mean that Asa suffered because he sought medical care instead of seeking healing from the Lord.

Flawed Thinking

Most of the scriptures used to support not seeking medical care are taken out of context. It’s easier to understand this flawed thinking by using a modern day example. If your car breaks down on the side of the road, should you just leave it there and pray that God will repair it? The answer is no. Instead, you should take the car to a mechanic in whom God has instilled the skills to fix the car. This same concept can be applied to seeking medical care from a doctor when you are sick. While God does perform spontaneous healing, he does not promise to do it every time someone gets sick or injured.

Biblical References To Doctors and Medical Treatments

While there are many documented instances of miracles and spontaneous healing in the Bible, there are many instances that refer to medical intervention as well. In fact,the word physician is mentioned at least 12 times in the Bible. In addition, Luke, who authored the books of Acts and Luke, was called “the beloved physician” by Paul. Medical treatments are also mentioned numerous times in the Bible, such as in the following verses.

- applying bandages is mentioned in Isaiah 1:6
- oil is mentioned in James 5:14
- oil and wine is mentioned in Luke 10:34
- leaves ire mentioned in Ezekiel 47:12
- wine is mentioned in 1 Timothy 5:23
- salves, particularly the balm of Gilead are mentioned in Jeremiah 8:22


Biblical Support of Doctors

While some verses can be taken out of context to support the claim that one should rely on God for all healing, others support the use of medical care. Take the biblical story related in Mark 5:25-30 of a woman who suffered from years of heavy bleeding. She had already sought the help of physicians who are all unable to heal her of her affliction. As Jesus walked by one day, the woman reached out and touched the hem of his garment. She believed that if she could touch him she would be immediately healed. In fact, she was healed. From this story, we can learn important facts regarding medical care and the Christian.

- Medical professionals can often assist in the healing process, but they sometimes fail as well.
- Seeking medical attention is not condemned in scripture.
- Ailing individuals should not put their faith entirely in the work of a physician, but should seek God in all physical ailments. Although God does not promise to always supply the healing that is desired, he does promise that his actions will be in our best interest, according to Psalm 145:8-9.

Ultimately, Christians should visit medical professionals who serve as the physical means through which God performs healing. However, they should also put their faith entirely in God, rather than solely in the hands of earthly medical care.

The debate on whether Christians should go to a doctor for medical treatment is not a new one. Some say that relying on God for all healing is the true biblical standard. Others believe that modern day physicians are vessels through which God performs his healing. It is this latter belief that actually has a basis in biblical text.

Cary Byrd is the president and founder of eDrugSearch.com, price comparison engine for prescription drugs that enables consumers to get safe access to affordable medications. eDrugSearch.com also provides a free Christian health community that allows patients to learn more about an illness, seek and offer support, pray for one another, save money and connect with other patients and caregivers alike.

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