Humanity's quest for health

Christian congregations regularly pray for those who are ill. Often these prayers are offered when drugs and surgery can no longer help. At such times the sick literally have no resort but prayer. Christian ministers have prayed at the bedsides of countless people in the spirit of the Apostle James's words: "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; ... and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him." A church member or minister would think it heartless to do anything less. It is the Christian thing to do.

In other circumstances, however, the attitude of society toward prayer shows the effect of an increasingly secularized world. Secularism would distance religion from those areas of human experience where a religious influence has always been accepted and where the spiritual perspective has so much to offer. Any effort to separate health and healing, compassion and caring, from the religious life of mankind is more than thoughtless; it is self-defeating. Christ Jesus' teachings plainly bring the influence of Christianity into every aspect of day-to-day living.

Christ Jesus, whom Christians take as their supreme example, was a healer. His was not an abstract theology or philosophy. He preached that the kingdom of God is at hand; he quickened people's moral sense and linked these spiritual truths to safety and health. He healed without drugs or the medicine of his time. He said, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also."

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Health care: a discussion
January 1, 1991

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