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Friday, June 20, 2008

It's Faith AND Reason, Kids

Faith healers in Oregon are once again making all Christians look like morons by letting their children die of easily treatable diseases. This story brings up many issues that i think it important to analyze.
Firstly, i think we need to examine if the basis for the belief that Christians should shun doctors in favor of God's healing. We do definitely see in the Bible that Jesus and his apostles healed the sick. However, it's typically things like leprosy that a doctor in those days could not heal. In the Catholic Church today, we see that saints intercede for healings also in things where medical science cannot help, such as multiple sclerosis. I think it is reasonable, therefore, to view doctors and medical science as a gift from God with prayer as a backup. God does not want us to be too prideful in the abilities of man, of course, but he does give us the ability to become doctors and heal with ordinary means. I think by shunning doctors, you are prideful in the same way as someone who denies that a saint's prayers can be helpful. God works in people and wishes you to find Him in your brothers and sisters. It is humbling to accept help from others and that is spiritually nourishing.
I think the national media picked this story up because they like ridiculing Christians and also are hoping it will encourage support fo legislation that forces Christian parents to get immoral treatments for their children in less serious instances, like the HPV vaccine. Because evil forces like that are at work in this world, it is important that our public actions be authentically Christian, stemming from both faith and reason. Otherwise we look like the superstitious nutjobs everyone thinks we are.