Ethics and religion discussion: Who needs doctors when you have God?, Part 1

“I read something you talked about using medicine. For me, God is able to heal without drugs. I live without any medication and every time I get sick I pray to God and he answers my prayers including an incurable disease that he cured me from last year.

“See what God said to Moses (Deuteronomy 32:39):“ I have hurt and I will be healed ”.
-How can we treat what God has hurt as punishment?
-If illness is conceived as the means of his death by God, how can doctors protect against God’s decision?

I cannot take medicine because I believe in the Power of the Most High God who gave His son power over everything, including diseases, as He (Jesus) did in the New Testament. Even sending his disciples, he (Jesus) gave them power over all diseases as they preached free salvation to all nations. He did so despite having knowledgeable doctors. Finally, if doctors can heal, why do we have a mortuary next to all the hospitals? “

The Ethics and Religion Talk panel enthusiastically responded to John’s challenge. We will share three responses this week and three more responses next week.

Additionally, Ethics and Religion Talk welcomes a new panelist this week, Imam Kip Curnutt, Director of Religious Education and Associate Imam of Masjid At-Tawheed in Grand Rapids. He studied Islamic Sciences and Arabic at Cambridge Islamic College, Qasid Institute, Amman, Jordan, and with traditional religious scholars in Bani Sweif, Egypt. He served as the Imam of the Islamic Center in Morgantown, West Virginia, from 2015 to 2021 before moving to Grand Rapids with his wife and two children in September 2021. He replies:

“According to my tradition, all things in the universe are under the power of God at all times and everything that happens does so according to his will and power. The only difference between any normal daily event and what we would consider a miracle is that a miracle is something that God causes to happen in a different way from the process we are normally used to, such as causing healing without any examination. medical. processing. So in this case, it’s not the difference between being healed by God or being healed by a doctor. Either way, the person is healed by God. Rather, it is about being healed by the process by which God normally causes healing through or for him to break that standard and bring about healing without this process. There is no doubt that the second is in the power of God, but it could sometimes be seen as presumptuous for someone to expect such special treatment from God. Another factor to consider is that we are morally responsible beings who are judged by God according to our actions. So even though healing is ultimately done by Him alone, we can be held responsible for not taking the actions ourselves that normally lead to healing from God, i.e. seeking the cure. medical necessary, and God knows best.

Father Kevin Niehoff, OP, a Dominican priest who serves as judicial vicar, Diocese of Grand Rapids, responds:

“The Roman Catholic Church teaches ‘the sacred anointing of the sick was instituted by Christ as a true and proper sacrament’ (cf. Mark 6:13, James 5: 14-15, Catechism of the Catholic Church, p. . 378). Besides healing on a physical level, there is also emotional, mental and spiritual healing.

“I believe that God is the source of all truth and knowledge. I believe that human beings have an intellect which reflects creation in the image and likeness of God. Therefore, I also have faith in the ability of humans to develop healing practices that include medicine to be part of the healing power of God.

“God did not create evil in the world but allows it to happen. As a result, humans are sometimes good at fighting a terminal illness. As a plaque in a friend’s house says, “I don’t believe in miracles, I rely on them,” I believe God sometimes intervenes with powerful healing. At other times, God can teach an individual to let go. Whether God is the source of all life is not a question I ask. The fact that God is the source of all healing is the reason I live fully every day of my life. “

Reverend Colleen Squires, minister of All Souls Community Church of West Michigan, a Unitarian Universalist congregation, responds:

“Unitarian Universalists firmly believe in medical science. When we are sick, we usually turn to our doctors first. Some UUs may also use prayer, but more likely as a way to calm our worries. We do not see the medical establishment competing with the healing powers of God. That being said, I think it would be very rare for a UU to rely solely on prayers for healing or health.

“Recently I have seen where some believers only trust God to protect them from Covid. As the death toll exceeds 700,000 in this country alone, do these same believers think that God has ignored the suffering of 700,000 people? I also wonder why these believers don’t see the vaccine as a gift from God.

“For my part, I am incredibly grateful for the dedication and care provided by all of our healthcare providers. I think it is wrong to see a mortuary placed next to the hospital as a sign of failure of the medical community. The human body is a fabulously complex system of many delicate parts working together to keep us alive. But as in all forms of life, it was never meant to last forever. Mortuaries are adjacent to hospitals because sometimes the patient does not survive. Most UUs would see this as a natural life event and would not blame the doctor or God for the loss. “

This column answers questions of ethics and religion by submitting them to a multi-faith panel of spiritual leaders in the Grand Rapids area. We would love to hear about the ordinary ethical questions that arise during your day as well as any religious questions that you have. Tell us how you solved an ethical dilemma and see how members of the Ethics and Religion panel discussion would have handled the same situation. Please send your questions to [email protected].

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