Way back in ESP Episode 9 I promised I would discuss alternative medicine in a future blog. We were talking about some spiritual things that are disturbing like headlines, movies & TV shows, cults & movements and famous people’s worldviews that go against the things of God. I specifically mentioned Deepak Chopra, an American author, public speaker, alternative medicine advocate, and a prominent figure in the New Age movement.
Alternative medicine. Just what do we mean by alternative medicine? It’s defined as any of a range of medical therapies that are not regarded as orthodox by the medical profession. That’s not so bad. I am all for remedies that don’t call for medicine and pills with potential side effects. I told you last week that I was pumped full of penicillin as a child and as an adult I have many reactions to many medicines. I’m one of those that typically has the side effects that are considered rare. I do everything I can to avoid taking conventional medicines.
Alternative medicine is often considered quackery, especially by the medical field and pharmaceutical industry and can range from the use of essential oils to reaching altered states of consciousness to interact with the spirit world or channel supernatural energies for healing. It depends on what you have heard and experienced as to how you view alternative medicine.
I use essential oils which have healing properties and have not only a scientific but a biblical foundation. Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine. Ezekiel 47:12 (KJV)
I do not use altered states of consciousness, a practice of divination which opens the door to evil spirits. There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer Deuteronomy 18:10 (ESV) God never allows that in any of His Word. In fact, Peter tells us Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 (ESV)
I urge you to do your research and pray. The use of any alternative or even any medical treatment should not be taken lightly. You must exercise discernment. (See ESP Episode 3)
The best explanation I can find that compares alternative medicine to conventional medicine is found at a website I often check out – mercola.com. Dr. Mercola is an osteopathic physician and alternative medicine proponent. He is an advocate for proper nutrition, herbs, oils, vitamins, minerals and natural healing and preventative measures. These are the things I consider alternative medicine or perhaps more appropriately called natural remedies. From his website:
“Conventional medicine takes a mostly reactive approach, treating health-related conditions with prescription drugs or medical procedures, which are often invasive. The symptoms of a problem are treated and our bodies are dealt with by body parts. Conventional medicine usually offers the best medicine in surgeries or trauma care.
“Alternative medicine focuses mostly on prevention. When treatment is necessary, the underlying cause is dealt with rather than the symptoms. It’s a whole-body approach”.
You can begin to see why alternative medicine is not embraced by the medical and especially the pharmaceutical fields. Prevention cuts into profits. Let me once again be perfectly clear. I am not vilifying doctors or medicine. Each has its place but we have begun to rely upon fixing symptoms, not the problem. We live unhealthy lifestyles and then turn to doctors and pills to fix us. It is now widely recognized that antibiotics have been over-prescribed and now we have super-bugs resistant to the medications. Drugs for ADHD have been prescribed simply because parents and teachers often don’t have the time, patience, energy, and/or knowledge to appropriately learn to discipline overly active children. Sometimes it’s not a behavioral disorder, it’s an allergy to certain foods. Pain pills are being given out like candy, necessitating programs for people who are addicted to these legal drugs. It’s a joke in the school teacher’s lounge about having to take anti-anxiety meds to deal with the kids.
There is a fine line between using medicine for healing purposes and continual reliance upon medicine for daily living when some of the issues could be spiritual, not physical.
I love these thoughts from gotquestions.org :
“God created us as intelligent beings and gave us the ability to create medicines and learn how to repair our bodies. There is nothing wrong with applying this knowledge and ability towards physical healing. Doctors can be viewed as God’s gift to us, a means through which God brings healing and recovery. At the same time, our ultimate faith and trust is to be in God, not in doctors or medicine. As with all difficult decisions, we should seek God who promises to give us wisdom when we ask for it” (James 1:5).
I watched both my parents go to doctor after doctor, take pill after pill, and struggle with side effects from side effects. Something is very wrong with that. I just cannot believe that is God’s plan for us.
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia says that the laws given by God to Moses contain remarkable rules pertaining to public health such as water and food contamination, sewage disposal, infectious diseases and health education. When the Israelites were freed and God gave Moses the Ten Commandments as well as ceremonial and civil laws Look at what God said If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the Lord your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your ancestors. He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land—your grain, new wine and olive oil—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you. You will be blessed more than any other people; none of your men or women will be childless, nor will any of your livestock be without young. The Lord will keep you free from every disease. He will not inflict on you the horrible diseases you knew in Egypt, but he will inflict them on all who hate you. Deuteronomy 7:12-15(NIV)
Wow. That says to me that physical problems have a spiritual problem as the root. Next week we will take a look at some spiritual issues and as well as looking into some natural things designed to take care of our bodies and guard our health.