Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Gospel is Good for You

In S.I. McMillen's book None of These Diseases he makes the claim that the laws of God were more than just regulation but that they had tremendous health benefits looking back on them with what we know about medicine and health today. He attempts to make a link between the diseases of Egypt as listed in the Ebers Papyrus, Moses' familiarity with Egyptian wisdom and culture (Acts 7:22) and the Lord's promise in Exodus 15:26 that if they obey God He will put on them, "none of these diseases...which I have brought upon the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you."

I think McMillen makes some interesting points in the book however, I think God's involvement was more than just the physical effects of what they ate or how God taught them to treat lepers. I think God's promise probably included divine protection that no physical remedy could guarantee. Many studies have shown that doing things God's way has a physical benefit.

UC Davis on Forgiveness being good for your health

Duke University and positive outcomes for prayer in healing

Duke University on Prayer and Lower Blood Pressure

There have also been studies on the elderly and church attendance as a positive factor improving their health.

Before I go any further, I need to toss out a warning. Sometimes we have looked at people like Job's friends did. We think if they are depressed or suffer from anxiety that they must be spiritually deficient. That is not always the case and we need to be careful in how we view Christians with mental disorders and not think less of them as if it was due to a weakness in their faith.

When I was studying psychology at the University of Florida (go gators!) we had guest lecturers come in every Friday. One week a fairly well known researcher spoke on her recent study on a large geriatic population and what factors lead to improved health. The number one factor found in the study was church attendance. Not being a spiritual or relgious person, as far as I could tell, she said this was probably due to the effects of social support. Then what she said shocked me. She said that even though this was the number one contributor to their patient's social support, leading to better health and well being that no health professional should ever encourage anyone to go to church. I was floored. If you are an atheist and think God does not exist but practicing religion improves your patients' health (which is their job to do as a health professional) why not encourage them to attend church? What is it going to hurt? She couldn't get past her own presuppositions and give her patients the very best care they could possibly receive.

Study after study has shown that the gospel is good for your health. Obeying God is a healthy thing to do. But never did God tell the Israelites, "worship me because I make you healthy." Even though Jesus healed many he labeled the sick, those who were spiritually sick. We don't seek God for physical health. We don't chase God to strengthen our bones or make our blood pressure go down. We want God because He loves us and He is ready to resurrect our sin sick souls. The gospel is good for you but not because it will help you live to 120. The gospel is good for you because it is the story of how God is transforming our lives into who He wants us to be - whole people.

2 comments:

Stoned-Campbell Disciple said...

Perhaps that is why it is "good" news. :-)

Shalom,
Bobby Valentine

elman said...

http://southmoon.blogspot.com/2007/02/godsong.html

Saturday, March 03, 2007
I want to reason with God
Please allow me to give the full verse of the chapter you mentioned

Isaiah 1:18-20
18Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

Yeah, the things that our eyes can see prove that there is a God who created them all and the hidden things of this world and the world to come as we are incapable of creating those things.

God wants us to to reason with him, He even invited us. But how can we speak with Him? Do you want to reason with God? Or is it enough with you to know that... though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow…” but never really intended to know what God meant by this. There is a wisdom in this statement. He alone has the explanation the reason why he wants to reason with us. And of course, there are a lot of things to talk about! I myself have a lot of questions in mind, and so are you!

Have you thought of how God communicates with us? Of course, not through angels because the bible has been made already.

Revelation 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

But, 2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Let us avoid making up stories or fables. It is not profitable for the soul. Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

I have a question and it goes like this, does God really sings? I do not know yet but I will wait for the answer same as I did and learned the answer to this question, "is there anything that God cannot do?" Of course if you are a critical thinker, more so, have a biblical way of thinking, you will find this question valid, as a diligent student of the Word of God.

Why do you think the heavens are above us. It seems so near yet so far for we cannot touch it by our mere hands, but can just look at it and marvel of its beauty. That is one way to prove how Great God is:

Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

But He wants us to reason with Him! He wants our sins washed to the extent of leaving it spotless. Have you ask yourselves how He can do this? Is there a process of purifying oneself even we have been blemished? Can we purify ourselves alone? When can we start? How can we start?

All of my questions have answers, I was just stating that doctrines found in the bible are explained therein too. Every word or statement we give must have a biblical basis, more so when we profess that we know God.

Isaiah 34:16. Look in the book of the LORD and read: No one of these shall be lacking, For the mouth of the LORD has ordered it, and his spirit shall gather them there

I hope we can reason with God together. You know what to do, I am just one signature away. To God be the Glory!

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