Faith Heals—Grace Pays
Most of Jesus' miracles were to heal people. In each instance the power of the Lord enabled the healing. The healings attested to His power by signifying that they were done through the name of Jesus Christ.
Healing Requires Faith
Throughout the Gospels, people asking for healing
had faith in Jesus' powers to heal. Jesus was always concerned about the
faith of those He encountered and assisted. One young man was brought by
his father because Jesus' disciples failed to heal him and Jesus stated
that if the disciples had greater faith they would have seen the boy healed
(Mt 17:16-18). Jesus heard a centurion asking for healing of his servant
and responded: "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel
with such great faith..." (Mt 8:10). Faith was sometimes lacking and the
unbelief prevented Jesus from doing "any mighty miracles among them except
to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them" (Mk 6:5). Strong
faith is God's light shining on us and the power of healing that He created
within us glows brightly. Jesus' miracles were for healing of a person's
body, mind, and spirit—the whole person.
Jesus gave his disciples authority and orders to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness (Mt 10:1, 8). Paul tells Christians to "take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one" (Eph 6:16). Evil in one form or another causes loss of health and faith is the absolute requirement for healing. The pagan healing cults promised physical healing but success was never evident. Their magical potions (drugs) without faith were of no benefit. What is faith that healing requires?
...faith is that attitude in which, acknowledging our complete insufficiency for any of the high ends of life, we rely utterly on the sufficiency of God. It is to cease from all assertion of the self, even by way of effort after righteousness, and to make room for the divine initiative.1We do not cease from all assertion of the self, however. Our great sufficiency is to look to the world for healing. Aristotle said: "You are what you repeatedly do." What faith do we rely on when our first and repeated resort is to seek healing from modern medicine?(Figure 1)
Love Drives Healing
Jesus healed people because He had compassion on them (Mt 14:14). He did not heal them on condition that they recognize and acknowledge Him as the Son of God. In fact, the people Jesus healed are not recorded as becoming believers and following Him. Jesus' healings showed His Godly powers but they did little more than attract sick and diseased people who wanted to be healed. There is little evidence that anyone came to believe in Jesus as the Messiah because of His healing miracles.
Jesus' healing ministry suffered many hardships. When Jesus cured the demon-possessed man, people asked Him to leave "because they were overcome with fear" (Lk 8:37), fear of economic losses. Some healing powers are sacrificed today to protect financial interests of traditional Western Medicine. "Traditional medicine" wants any "alternative medicine" (Jesus' healing was by alternative medicine) to disappear; it rejects cures claimed for alternative medicine.2 Traditional medicine protects its financial interests.
Creation's Inherent Healing Ability
The Bible tells us that the Lord is the only one
who heals (Ex 15:26; Ps 103:2-3; Jer 33:6; Mal 4:2, Ac 4:9), and we are
to tell this to others. Jesus told the healed man "Return home and tell
how much God has done for you" (Lk 8:39); faith in the healing power God
has built in everyone is more powerful than drugs or potions.3
By using Jesus' name, Peter showed who gave him the authority and power to heal. The apostles did not emphasize what they could do, but what God could do through them. Even Luke, the physician, attested all healing power to God and made no mention of any human having powers to heal. The medical profession of Luke's day was little different from today, however, in having innumerable people claiming powers to heal the sick and diseased.
Jesus tells us that His Father, Lord of heaven and earth, has hidden things from the intellectuals and worldly wise (Lk 10:21). The hidden that are poorly understood include the God-given abilities of our bodies to heal. The wise and learned try to discover these things but they remain hidden until God chooses to reveal them.4(Figure 2) Many want to see what God sees but do not see it, and to hear what God hears but do not hear it. God's love moves Him to progressively reveal greater understanding of creation's inherent healing processes. Human "accomplishments" reveal no greatness other than new manifestations of God's love.
To the unfaithful and powerful who live by their own knowledge, God tells: "Though you have used many medicines, there is no healing for you" (Jer 46:11 Living Bible). Medicine today is no different. Modern medicines often are of no benefit and can cause harm and even death. Most people have faith in drugs, however, and follow the "wisdom" that on finding the right one, healing will follow. No person, however, should "...be wise in your own eyes; (but) fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones" (Pr 3:7-8). God's wisdom gives life and health to a man's whole body (Pr 4:22). God's words can sustain our health—our faith in that keeps us healthy.
Faith Healing—The Placebo Effect
Placebos are substances that have no medicinal value, but when taken they can cure a person of a disease or relieve a symptom—the placebo effect. A placebo is disguised as an effective drug, but with no proven benefits, and is compared with any benefits for a drug having hoped-for curative powers. Thousands of scientific studies have shown that the placebo effect is one of the most powerful healing factors known.5 Many people who are not given a real test drug but instead receive a "sugar pill placebo" nevertheless get better. They get better because they believe that they are taking an effective drug. This is explained by faith in success changing the mind's physiology to cause healing. That explains faith healing, faith in the ability of the body to heal even if a person does not attribute that power to God. Jesus said this centuries ago when He told people healing was dependent on faith.
Modern Science on Healing
According to scientists the inherent system providing
potential for healing (for correction of the second law of thermodynamics’
impetus promoting maximum disorder, to increasing entropy) is sustained
and energized by information. For believers that information is faith.
Unbelievers may also believe in such an immanent downward causation where
alteration of beliefs, emotions, ideas, feelings, or intentions can reprogram
the system’s symbols (memes—message-processing programs) to alter a person’s
biology and that changes in these subjective states can be either health
enhancing (therapeutic) or disease inducing (pathogenic).6
Modern science and medicine maintains this is largely “folklore.” All of
life’s activities will be eventually explained by the chemical and physical
laws that govern all matter in the universe, laws that describe a universe
without free will, purpose and meaning, and its people with minds that
are matter and only matter.7
Post-modern scientists maintain that downward causation for all life is immanent in a self-organizing, self-complexifying universe, governed by ingenious laws that encourage matter to evolve towards life, consciousness and intelligence.8 This begins with matter’s smallest units showing intelligent behavior that is never completely random but to some degree self-determining.9 This primitive immanent behavior evolves into complex intelligence through upward causation. This may satisfy evolutionists but does not explain how primitive intelligence can evolve into high degrees of consciousness that can control the most primitive behaviors.
Post-modern scientific beliefs on downward causation embody metaphysical commitments but no more than modern science’s upward-causation characterization of creation.10 Research supporting downward causation verifies that humans are self-determining through the subjective power with which they can influence the inherent healing systems. Some make a giant metaphysical leap and attribute this to an evolutionary-developed capability for self-organization and self-transcendence, but God’s revelations show we are enabled by faith to optimize our healing systems.
Disease Tests Faith
Most people today respond to illness and disease as if they are unbelievers. Christians commonly do not trust in faith for healing until all other hopes are exhausted. Trust in God's powers and prayer for healing commonly becomes the last resort for a seriously ill person. Then we remember what James tells us: "...the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up" (Jas 5:15). Are prayers of the last resort truly "offered in faith"? Jesus tells us that healing is possible for those with faith in God's healing processes. Yet people largely distrust faith healing. Only a minority, between one third and one half, of patients with physical or mental health problems rely on religion as most important to manage their illness. This is surprising in the American population where 96% believe in God or a higher power, 90% believe in heaven, 79% believe in miracles, 73% believe in hell, 65% believe in Satan, and 55% believe that the Bible is the literal or inspired word of God.11
Life is Fair; All Suffer and Die
Suffering, sickness, pain, and death are not planned by God to punish
people for their sins. Afflictions of the flesh and spirit are inherent
to life and are not punishments for sins. But our sins psychosomatically
interfere with the possibility for healing. Modern medicine recognizes
that psychosomatic disturbances can cause illness.12
But medicine fails to accept that psychosomatic well-being can both prevent
disease and cause healing for many problems.13
Faith and calling on the power of Jesus' name will not banish every disease and affliction. Modern medicine relying mostly on miracle drugs and treatments to manage problems is also far from effective. God gave us both to deal with human derangements. Relying entirely on one or the other is not what He seems to intend. And we also know that God's plan includes "...man is destined to die once" (Heb 10:27). Human "wisdom" sometimes thinks that it can discover how man need not be destined to die.
Management of Diseases
Many human medical problems have psychosomatic foundations represented by self-destructive behavior and attitudes. Patients with these problems usually prefer management with pharmaceuticals rather than making changes in their behavior and attitudes. For example, some forms of diabetes mellitus require insulin therapy while other forms can be managed by different eating habits. Few people with the latter form choose to change eating habits, but instead elect drug treatment to control their diabetes. Greater faith is placed on drugs than on the God-created ability of their bodies to maintain health. Physicians fail when they do not spend time to convince patients of the importance for making changes in how they live.14 Writing a prescription for drugs requires less work and time.
Creation's Divine Promise
God promises to care for His creation, especially
for His temple represented in each one's creation. Paul writes: "Don't
you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives
in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's
temple is sacred, and you are that temple" (1Co3:16-17). Although God protects
His temples, we must pray for our needs. At times of need we must pray
for the healing He promises. We are discouraged from praying for healing
by anyone who does not believe that each one of us is God's temple. We
are not ready to pray when we respond to illness by first running to the
doctor; our trust in God's healing lacks conviction and we respond more
like practical secularists than believing Christians living with great
faith. Empty faith defiles the temple and leaves one depressed, discouraged,
frustrated, confused, anxious and bitter. Prayers from the unbelieving
heart offer little hope for faith healing.
Hearts enslaved to unforgiveness and bitterness must be cleansed before great faith is possible. Christ died to bring us forgiveness and eternal life. We cannot truly accept His gift of unconditional grace when bitterness controls our spirit. Bitterness destroys us mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually; healing cannot follow. Bitterness controls people worshiping false gods; bitter people cannot belong to and follow Jesus Christ. Bitterness is spiritual control over the physical to cause psychosomatic disease. Faith in God is strength over the physical for psychosomatic healing. When Satan's power to control one's life is not destroyed, we cannot love our brother; Satan rejoices in humans' bitterness to insure hatred of our brothers. Faith defeats control by bitterness: "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed" (Jas 5:16).
Bitterness blames human afflictions on God's punishment, injustice or unfairness. Bitter hearts renounce God for removing His love and abandoning the afflicted. The bitter complain that God cannot love us when He allows us to suffer. Humans readily stumble and become bitter but Ps 119:165 tells us "Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble." We do not stumble and become bitter when we follow the Lord. Bitterness is the ultimate debasement of the crown of God's creation. There can be no faith that heals when sin separates one from God. Bitter and despairing people do not heal well.
...people who adopt a despairing, pleading stance toward God, who see God as punishing and vengeful, or who reframe their health problems as demonic manifestations experience greater disability... also some nontraditional "spiritual beliefs" may be related to worse physical health outcomes...15God's promise is found within every creation, most importantly in human beings, and assures a means of healing for all of us.
Ancient New Human Problems
Many of Jesus' healings were for mental problems.
Western Society's most common problems continue to be mental. One third
of Americans surveyed tell of mental woes threatening a nervous breakdown
related to anxiety, depression and stress.16 The
incidence of worldwide depression is increasing dramatically leading to
an assessment that is alarming: "Spirit of the age: Malignant sadness is
the world's hidden burden..."16
Anxiety is normal and expected with anticipation of a potential threat. But it may not be considered normal now. Prolonged worry and anxiety can justify a diagnosis of the "disease" generalized anxiety disorder which allows individuals to be treated with costs paid by health insurance. The medical profession is unsure whether this is a disease.17 One view is: "It seems unreasonable to define as a disease (and accept as reasonable the advertising of drugs to treat it) a person's legitimate difficulty adapting to a stressful set of life challenges."17 If the medical profession believes in God telling us to cast all our anxiety on Him because He cares for us (1Pe 5:7), it is usually a last resort that reflects a foxhole religion.
Relief from protracted and debilitating depression is often sought by using alcohol or drugs rather than by using Jesus' promised healing powers.18 People without any religious affiliation are at greatest risk for depression.19 Individuals involved in religion for reasons of self-interest or extrinsic gain are not less likely to suffer depression, however. Biblical leaders suffered from depression when they struggled with God's use of their lives. At one point Moses wanted to die (Ex 32:32), Job cursed the day he was born (Job 3:1) and Elijah asked God to end his life (1Ki 19:4); both Jonah (Jnh 4:3) and Jeremiah (Jer 20:18) expressed similar thoughts. They all suffered depression when their faith in God weakened; their trust in Him wavered and they did not rely utterly on the sufficiency of God.
Psychotherapy is used to treat depression but is no more effective than religious involvement for improving depression.20 Moreover, religion more effectively deters suicide, the ultimate expression of depression. Psychiatrists may claim greater success only because they invariably manage depression with drugs besides counseling. Other physicians also rely on drugs to manage depression. The medical profession believes in giving people what they want. No one should suffer when drug therapy can make them feel better.
Developing Drug Dependencies
Dependence on mind altering drugs begins with their
use to control "self-destructive" behavior in young children. Preschool
children are given drugs, i.e., Ritalin, to control problem behavior. Up
to 20 percent of school children are also given this kind of medication.
Treatment is recommended for children who are merely inattentive as well
as children with signs of "impulsive aggressive behavior traits" all of
whom are diagnosed as suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
(ADHD). In some schools drugging of ADHD school children may be mandatory
with expulsion of those not taking Ritalin. Children with behavioral disorders
are increasingly subjected to quick and inexpensive pharmacologic fixes
although there is no empirical evidence to support benefits for psychotropic
drug treatment in very young children.21
Medications used to treat depression and anxiety disorders are not labeled for use in children, but doctors prescribing them have established a booming business. Drugging children is not an answer for resolving problems from living in a family and attending school. Society must seek to understand the fractures in children's lives that produce these problems. More troublesome is that Ritalin is a "gateway" for widespread use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs during adulthood; medicating children does not solve their problems it merely delays their serious manifestations and perpetuates drug dependency.22
Many people cannot cope with life without an antidepressant drug. One such drug, Prozac, has become a metaphor for society's obsession with a quick fix to life's problems. Users justify their antidepressants because they are taught that depression is a biological problem and is not caused by a flawed character or difficult childhood. Users find that Prozac alters their personality by bringing social confidence to the timid, making the sensitive brash, and giving introverted individuals the social skills of a salesman.
Prozac can lead one to claim new gifts of the Spirit,
gifts that God did not give. Drug dependency for spirituality is not new.
Native Americans have used peyote for more than 400 years as a religious
sacrament to experience spirituality.23 This
drug is taken to provide "awareness" of God. Peyote is not harmful to the
user but its use is regarded by some as a sacrilege when taken for nonreligious
purposes. Peyote is an illegal drug except in some states where it can
be used for religious purposes. What kind of relationship can one have
with God when it is dependent on a mind-altering drug?
Prozac spirituality can lead some to become "comfortable with their sinfulness."24 The drug provides a new feeling of freedom, to live by worldly concepts of reality and truth, where one no longer needs to belong to and follow the Lord. If following Jesus is merely for making people feel good, Prozac can replace religion. But God does not draw us to Him so that we will feel good. Prozac may bring happiness in letting us feel good but it can't bring joy which comes only from belonging to and following Jesus. Prozac cannot show people the ultimate reality revealed only by religion.25
Jesus came as the man of sorrows who suffered depression to know us and lead us back to the Father. If Jesus took Prozac to remove His sorrow and depression, He could have easily forgotten about giving us any commands. God allowed Jesus and allows us to live through trials. However, He does not allow us to be tested, tempted and suffer more than any one of us can handle (1Co 10:13). Suffering is fire purifying us to Christian maturity through discipleship that is long, narrow and difficult. Spiritual growth is an illusion when sought by use of any kind of drug, legal or illegal. "Indeed, spiritual growth cannot happen independent of character development and discipline, which are regularly forged in the crucible of pain."24(Figure 3) Doctors, however, are happy to prescribe anything that will remove people from the crucible of suffering, and people feel they have the right to not feel bad.(Figure 4) More disturbing is that clergy working with people's problems do not disagree with doctors who freely prescribe antidepressant drugs. The use of mind-altering drugs has become permissible but as Paul said: not all things are profitable (1Co 10:23). Is it profitable for us to believe that we can know God and grow our spirituality with the comfort of mind-altering drugs or must we bear costs for our discipleship?
God sustains His creation with healing and He offers to redeem us with salvation. The richness of God's grace works to save us. His grace is offered voluntarily and lovingly; we can do nothing to work for and earn it. Without God's grace no one is redeemed. Although we cannot work for and earn grace, it does not come without a price.
The essence of grace, we suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance; and, because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing. Since the cost was infinite, the possibilities of using and spending it are infinite. What would grace be, if it were not cheap?...Cheap grace permits one to do little, to not follow Jesus, but the individual may be uncomfortable with the Holy Spirit's prodding that this is not enough. Mind-altering drugs make it easy to be comfortable with a life of cheap grace; the prodding can be easily ignored. The cost of discipleship no longer troubles one. Peyote, Prozac and like drugs give people the comfort of a "spirituality" that requires no costly discipleship. Prozac for "healing the spirit" does not destroy Satan's power (evil); it makes it easier for him to remain in one's life and healing is not possible. No matter how comfortable these drugs make one with their sin, they cannot free one from sin that separates a person from the Lord.
Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate...
Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: "ye were bought at a price," and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.
This cheap grace has been no less disastrous to our own spiritual lives. Instead of calling us to follow Christ, it has hardened us in our disobedience. . . Having laid hold on cheap grace, they were barred forever from knowledge of costly grace. Deceived and weakened, men felt that they were strong now that they were in possession of this cheap grace — whereas they had in fact lost the power to live the life of discipleship and obedience. The word of cheap grace has been the ruin of more Christians than any commandment of works.26
Trustworthy Faith Heals
Trustworthy faith assures us of abundant well-being,
happiness, and life satisfaction; hope and optimism; purpose and meaning
in life; higher self-esteem; adaptation to bereavement; greater social
support and less loneliness; lower rates of depression and faster recovery
from depression; lower rates of suicide and fewer positive attitudes toward
suicide; less anxiety; less psychosis and fewer psychotic tendencies; lower
rates of alcohol and drug use or abuse; less delinquency and criminal activity;
and greater marital stability and satisfaction. Trustworthy faith is not
built on cheap grace. James tells us what is important for healing. "And
the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will
raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess
your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed"
(Jas 5:15-16). And how important is faith? "The prayer of a righteous man
is powerful and effective."
The self-righteous look to themselves for righteousness. They do not seek the righteousness that comes only from Jesus Christ and is given to those confessing the need for Christ and admitting that they don't have the answers. The self-righteous find wisdom in themselves and do not seek to know and live by God's wisdom. They use their wisdom to seek healing and will pray for healing only as a last resort.
God doesn't let the self-righteous know Him. A person who doesn't know God cannot enter into His Holy Presence with prayer. Prayers are heard from the faithful who seek God first for all wisdom and healing. God hears prayers of those who belong to Him.
Cost of Discipleship
As we assume the cost of discipleship, we know that
"Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with
Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also
share in his glory" (Ro 8:17). Also before one uses mind-altering
drugs, one should remember that "I consider that our present sufferings
are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us" (Ro
8:18). We may be tempted to avoid the cost of discipleship but we know
that "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God
is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But
when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand
up under it" (1Co 10:13). Trustworthy faith truly believes that "For I
am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither
the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor
anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love
of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Ro 8:38-39).
Believers embrace the cost of discipleship with the simple tools of prayer, Scripture reading, putting one's faith and trust in God, and reaching out to help others. Jesus tells us the cost of discipleship in the greatest commandment. "'Love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments" (Mt 22:37-40).
Our faith is trustworthy when we embrace and follow these commands. Our faith determines how strongly we believe in the healing abilities God creates in us and how much we are committed to caring for all the rest of His creation.
Jesus commands us to also carry out the Great Commission. "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Mt 28:19-20). Cheap grace cannot enable believers to obey this command; suffering enables. Spurgeon said: "Father, thank you for giving me depression and sorrow that I might so understand this man—that I introduce him to you." Without that depression and sorrow few of us would tell anyone about our Lord and Savior. Antidepressant drugs deafen us to the Holy Spirit compelling us to work for the Great Commission.
Healing—Overcoming the World
Jesus does not pray for our healing; our faith in Him determines that. His important prayer is "My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one" (Jn 17:15). His prayer is for protection that we can have by no other means. We cannot have it with drugs. We have peace and joy in belonging to and following Jesus because He tells us: "Be of good cheer," says Christ, for "I have overcome the world" (Jn 16:33). We can overcome the world also with faith in His healing and with the knowledge that we have a time to develop a fatal affliction that will end life for us on earth. We remain steadfast that "Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint" (Isa 40:31).
1. Morris, Leon, The Epistle to the Romans. ( Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1984), 70
2. Paul C. Reisser, "Is alternative medicine the latest cultural bandwagon or the real deal?," Physician, (November/December 2000), 14-19.
3. Before modern times physicians used plant products for healing (such practice today is called alternative medicine). The Bible tells us fruit will be for food and the leaves for healing (Eze 47:12). In also providing medicines, God heals.
4. God brings health and healing to mankind by revealing causes and treatments of disease. Scientists do not discover these by their own powers of intellect and wisdom. No wisdom of man can provide the healing processes that God created for our bodies. People usually believe doctors who claim healing powers but as their promises fail patients lose faith in modern medicine. God reveals that every adult human "may carry around raw material of his or her own repair kit--one that nature is somehow failing to us in many diseases." This indicates that God empowers the healing mechanism to create and use cells of every type in the body without resorting to transplantation of cells and tissues from other human forms of life. See Catherine M. Verfaillie et. al. "Pluripotency of mesenchymal stem cells derived from adult marrow" Nature AOP, published online 20 June 2002; doi:10.1038/nature00870. Divine revelations continue to show us: "We knew of old that God was so wise that He could make (HEAL) all things; but behold, He is so much wiser than that, that He can make all things make (HEAL) themselves." (HEAL) added. Quote of Charles Kingsley in Colin A. Russell, Cross-Currents: Interactions between Science and Faith (Grand Rapids MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1985), 167-8.
5. Scientists are very troubled by the "placebo effect" benefiting so many people when their "wisdom" denies such a possibility. They try to discredit the myriad of studies that establish truth for this effect.
6. Laurence Foss, The End of Modern Medicine (Albany, N.Y: State University of New York Press, 2002), 142.
7. A. Kornberg, "Two cultures: Chemistry and biology," Biochemistry 16.22: 6888-91, 1987.
8. Paul Davies, The Fifth Miracle: The Search for the Origin and the Meaning of Life, (New York, N.Y.: Simon and Schuster, 1999).
9. Raoul Nakhmanson, "The Ghostly Solution of the Quantum Paradoxes and its Experimental Verification," in Frontiers of Physics, ed. by Michele Barone and Franco Selleri, (New York: Plenum Press, 1994), 592.
10. Laurence Foss, The End of Modern Medicine, 235.
11. Princeton Religion Research Center, 1996.
12. For example, it is well known that psychosomatic influences, such as depression, hopelessness, and pessimism can adversely affect immune mechanisms that affect the development or containment of cancer. Immune mechanisms are part of the inherent abilities God created in us for healing.
13. Faith grows psychosomatic health; religiousness is associated with lower rates of depression, greater hope, more stable families, and larger social support networks outside families. Faith also promotes greater medical compliance because belief in a medication's benefit will enhance healing.
14. Physicians do not want to involve patients in their own care. Many do not consult with their patients before ordering a mammogram or a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, the two most important screening tests for breast and prostate cancer. Some patients are not screened with these tests because of "time pressures, the complexity of the decision, and language barriers might prevent them from involving the patient."
15. Harold G. Koenig, Michael E. McCullough, David B. Larson, Religion and Health, (New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2001), 342.
16. Depression is the most common and treatable of all mental disorders and in the next few decades it will be the world's second most debilitating disease, surpassed only by cardiovascular disease. See reference 15 p.118. This future is not surprising if we acknowledge that "...the dominant text of our culture is a practice of despair." Walter Brueggemann, "A Text That Redescribes," Theology Today 58.4: 526-40, 2002.
17. Eric Golanty, Gordon Edlin, "Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Worry, Worry, Worry," www.TheHealthChannel.com, (8/5/2001).
18. A prominent secular ethicist proclaims that which increases pleasure and happiness and decreases pain and suffering is moral. Thus use of any mind controlling chemical, legal or illegal, is "moral." Why should one look to Jesus for healing when alcohol and drugs will bring "pleasure and happiness."
19. Harold G. Koenig, Michael E. McCullough, David B. Larson. Religion and Health, 135.
20. Ibid., 135ff.
21. Eric Golanty, "Drugs Prescribed for Kids," www.TheHealthChannel.com, (8/22/2001).
22. Adults also become addicted to Ritalin. College students have described Ritalin as "a poor man's cocaine" because it is readily available at $2 a hit. Some adults are in recovery from drug addiction to Ritalin.
23. See www.aclu.org/congress/peyote.html.
24. Clark E. Barshinger, Lojan E. LaRowe, Andres Tapia, "The Gospel According to Prozac," Christianity Today, (August 14, 1995), 34-37.
25. Ibid., quotation of Lewis Smedes.
26. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, (New York, N.Y.: Macmillan Publishing Co. Inc., 1963).
by Holy Spirit. Pliable wants no part of despondency's misery.
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