I attend a church that believes that going to the doctor is a lack of faith, and that if we are sick or injured we should ask God to heal us. Recently a young woman from our church died of a unknown illness. I am having a hard time with this. Do you think it is really Gods will for us to just sit back and wait to be healed? Or does he provide us doctors for a reason? I am just confused about the whole thing.
We should ask God to heal us. And we should take advantage of the wonderful blessing of modern medicine that was developed by many highly intellectual and God-gifted Believers. The world of modern medicine, which is just short of miraculous in many ways, has relieved the suffered of countless millions, extended lifetimes and improved the quality of life for generations.
Groups like Scientology and those professing a Christian belief in “divine health” are not Scriptural. The former is simply a metaphysical cult, and the latter is poorly interpreted Scripture (accompanied often by poor motives) brutally twisted out of context to say what it does not say.
That does not mean that the people who both believe and/or teach “divine health” are not sincere or “good” people. In fact, I think of one family I’ve know for 25 years who are long time teachers of “word faith” doctrine, and they are the most kind, loving, sincere and good people you’ll ever know. But they are most certainly wrong in both their belief and understanding on this issue of divine health (and prosperity).
Let me state unequivocably that I believe they, and most people who have been confused by parts of the “word faith” teaching most certainly profess an accurate and genuine saving faith in Jesus Christ. None of us have all our doctrines and beliefs 100% perfectly accurately (and caution to you if you think you do). We can be growing and learning in our Bible understanding and still be saved. We can be WRONG about a non-saving doctrine, and still be saved. So my comments are NOT meant to imply that anyone who believes in “divine healing” is not saved. Far from it.
It is SO clearly and undeniably obvious that:
1) God works through medicine.
As I said, many of the founders of medicine were stalwart Believers, using the principles of Creation and Science to discover the truths of medicine. The tangible and insurmountable evidence that medicine is a gift from God’s own hand is denied only by those who reject it because it doesn’t fit a religious belief.
2) The Christian world that claims/teaches divine health does not have divine health themselves.
Even the leading teachers, promoters, healers and advocates of Biblical divine health are saturated with cases of cancer, sickness and death. If the teachers and “healers” can’t heal themselves or their families, why are millions of people to be deceived by it?
As a Bible teacher, I can tell you that the Scriptural support and Biblical argument for “the divine health of the Believer” are utterly poor exegesis (the effort to draw the truth from Scripture), that it is aggravating to see people innocently being drawn into this way of thinking. Thankfully, after several decades of this false teaching, people seem to be less interested in it, although the effects of hearing the same verses quoted out of context 10,000 times still remains. “By His stripes you are healed…” is a perfect example. I write a plain and irrefutable explanation of that verse here (https://www.seriousfaith.com/asr/question.asp?questionid=1374 ) and it has NOTHING to do with physical healing.
In summary, we have SPIRITUAL perfection (health) NOW… we get PHYSICAL perfection (divine health) when we exit this sin-cursed flesh upon death or the Lord’s return. Not until.
Ask God to heal. Ask God to guide the doctors. Take advantage of all the means God has given you for medical care (prayer AND doctors). Ignore “divine health” teaching. It is wrong, confusing, and a shameful example of twisting Scripture out of context to fit a predetermined view. It is the TEACHERS and PROMOTERS of this view who OFTEN BENEFIT, often financially that I direct this statement too.
To the average Believer who just hasn’t really taken a good hard look yet, and realize how poor and inconsistent the “divine health” and “word faith” doctrines are, I do not criticize you. I encourage you to study further, take a good long hard look at these beliefs with an open mind, and hopefully you will loose yourself from them so that you can continue to grow and mature in the Lord.
Note: for those who do want to investigate further, here are a few of my answer to some of the false “word faith” teachings: