The Deification of Doctors; Rational Humanism and Medicine

“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” (Luke 18:1)

Doctors, who have graduated from an approved college and served as an intern, stand as the state-sanctioned means of curing individuals of medical problems. In the lives of many people, doctors are mistakenly made into God, instead of realizing that they are only the agent and not God, who controls all life, healing and death. What doctor can knit bones together once they are set, or heal the sutured or stitched up skin? Healing is a mystery controlled only by God.

Doctors are authorized to personally diagnose and attempt to cure a patient, through either drugs or surgery. All the credit for the healing or medical service in rational humanism goes to the doctor in charge. Doctors have to study long and hard, and serve as an intern for years before they can practice. Still, the rate of knowledge growth on medical subjects is increasing at such a rate that no physician can keep up with everything. Doctors must specialize, and even then, they cannot read enough to stay current with all the research.

One can also rest assured that God’s creation is so far above human knowledge, that anyone attempting to know everything will only have more questions, the more they learn. Scientific knowledge relies upon the experimental method to validate theories. This is a labor intensive effort that requires large numbers of participants and a control group that proves whether the drug or procedure is better than doing nothing, or is better than using another means. The way that the results are reported can distort or misrepresent the truth in such a way that high risks are exposed to users. One has heard the long list of potential side effects for some products on TV commercials. Even doctors do not always know the effect of prescriptions or the combination of prescriptions on patients, and many of these mistakes have led to the death, or massive problems, with the patient.

As Christians, we know that all healing comes from God. The biological state called life is also completely under the control of God. A doctor or surgeon merely drugs or cuts a patient to restore the original functioning created by God, or to restore the body to a state where it can function as close to God’s handiwork as possible. If God wants a patient to live or die, a doctor cannot do anything to prevent it. We have also seen miracles of healing where the doctors have stood by and marveled that God can restore perfect health against all the scientific principals, such as the baby Jessica whose body froze recently in Canada and whose heart stopped for two hours before being revived in the hospital. Most prayer groups can also testify to equally powerful miracles of cures performed by the Holy Spirit. Healing as a response to prayer is one of the strongest testaments that our Savior lives.

In response to all of the potential risks and side effects of medicine, we still must rely on doctors for at least part of our medical treatments for diseases and organ malfunctions. While it is indeed important to do all we can to find the best doctor possible when we have done all that we can, it is important to remember that God is in control and can and will lead the doctor in his care for us. Prayer can intercede for the doctor, the hospital, the results in the patient or anything related to the treatment of a patient. Our God is not limited by anything, and His will can be done, despite any “scientific” laws of nature that have to be broken in order to perform one of His miracles of healing. Our God is able to do anything. So pray for anyone who suffers, pray for healing, and pray for the wisdom of doctors.

In closing, do not look to the doctor as one who is a “God” in and of himself, who has the power to heal, but rather as one who is sent by God to help you to become well through the power that God supplies. If at all possible, find a good Christian doctor, who comes with good recommendations, who clearly gives glory to God and “invites” God into the situation (is not afraid of praying with his patients, for example), who desires to do all things for the glory of God. In this way, you will be serving God best, as God himself is given the greatest possible “freedom” to express himself through that yielded, consecrated, doctor.