A More Excellent Way:
Be In Health, Spiritual Roots of Disease, Pathways to Wholeness
Henry W. Wright
Pleasant Valley Publications
Pleasant Valley Church
4178 Crest Highway
Thomaston, GA 30286
Published October 2003
During the seventies, the publishing world began to be filled with books that strived to find the connection between the mind and the body. Books such as O. Carl Simonton’s Getting Well Again, were not new. The Latin phrase translated as, “A sound mind in a sound body” has been around for a long time. These books caused a minor controversy in the area of healing because to many unspiritual minds they seemed flaky. Many medical minds thought these books went too far and were simplistic or even worse, they felt the books actively blamed the poor victim for her illness. Then there were Christians, people who are supposed to be spiritual. Some complained that the books were “too New Agey” and dismissed whatever truths could be found in the books. Other Christians were simply practical atheists who although they thought the spiritual “could” affect the material would not go so far as to actually believe that it “did.” Thus some valuable ideas on the nature of illness and healing were neglected.
Henry W. Wright’s book, A More Excellent Way should go a long way to getting Christians at least to consider the spiritual roots of illnesses. Wright, a pastor with a healing minister, has brought healing to many people who were once considered incurable. And a good thing too. If it weren’t for his known successes in this area, some of his insights would definitely be considered on the wall – especially for those who don’t take their Bibles seriously. Wright uses Bible verses and his extensive knowledge of medicine to convince –convict– his reader that it isn’t that God cannot heal. It’s that Christians have to become sanctified in certain areas of their lives before He will heal. Diseases then are the result –the chastening– because they have separated themselves from God and His word in specific areas of their lives. He gained this insight when for the zillionth time five little old ladies came to him asking for prayer for their arthritis. He declared that he would not pray for them because he had been praying for little old arthritic ladies for ages and nothing had ever happened. He therefore asked the old women if there was anyone or any issue they had problems with. The women all had forgiveness issues. He told them to forgive and come back to see him. They did, he prayed and all the women were healed.
But unforgiveness is not the only issue. Wright speaks, for instance, about the “sin” of fear: “fear of tomorrow, fear of one’s neighbor, fear of death, fear of man, fear of disease, fear of mothers-in-laws, etc. Bible Readers who are suddenly reminded of the Bible verse that “the fear of man brings a snare,” will understand the health-implications of that verse after Wright’s spiritual and medical analyses. Among the many other sins Wright discusses are those that cause auto-immune dysfunctions: bitterness and resentment, self-hatred, etc. He also writes about genetically inherited diseases, generational curses (“down to the third and fourth generation” Exodus 20:5) and praying for those who are sick with a “sickness unto death” such as cancer where the root cause for the disease might possibly be rooted in unresolved grief, and bitterness stemming from victimization from parents, abusive bosses, spouses or even bullying pastors. Wright’s clients often come to understand that their unwillingness to live stems from self-loathing or being shamed by others. Then they must repent after after understanding that self-hatred is a profound sin against a loving Creator. An overweight reader might raise an eyebrow when this pastor tells her to A) confess that she is sinning by trusting food as her comforter instead of God and B) to stand in front of the mirror every day and declare that she is wonderfully made. But for others, the insights in the book –and the testimonies in the back– might strike a ring of truth.
The book is, like most books in Christian publishing, self-published and it shares many of the editing faults one often finds in those books. Sometimes the writing seems disjointed, badly-organized, in need of tightening. And many many passages seem taken word for word from workshop transcripts. The medical terminology –the etiology of stress, for instance– can be a hurdle but it does seem to back up his point about how emotions affect the human nerves, organs and glands. And the book is written in a friendly conversational style. For all its flaws, the book does its job. Wright is not telling his readers anything new when he says that doctors never get at the spiritual source of illnesses, but only teach disease-management. Nor is he saying anything new when he discusses the spiritual roots of diseases. But he is one of the few Christian pastors who has given such a well-grounded medical and spiritual program for healing. Highly recommended, for Christians and other spiritual persons. This book is especially excellent for pastors and those involved in pastoral counseling