Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Health, Medicine, and Spirituality

When we go to a hospital or clinic for medical care, we assume that the physician should attend only to our physical health. We seldom expect physicians to pray for us or share about faith. That role is relegated to religious clergy.

You might be surprised, this separation between physician and clergy, spirituality and health occupies only 5% of recorded human history.  For more than 8,000 years, medicine, health, and spirituality have been closely related. Fortunately, it's being cycled back to the mainstream of medicine and health care. For example, today, about three-fourths of U.S. medical schools offer courses on spirituality and health.

Excluding faith in the healing equation is unwise. It's destructive. Consider king Asa of the Old Testament times:  "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" (2 Chronicles 16:12). Asa died shortly thereafter. He committed a fatal error of seeking help only from medicine and physicians.

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