Do Believing Christians Really Need Universal Health Care?
What is the real issue in the universal health care (or "Obamacare") debate? Is it the overweening size of government, people's freedom to choose whom they want for health care providers, or the fact that hey, why can't the millionaires and billionaires who have the money pay more in taxes to provide health care insurance for the less fortunate?
Most of us have heard arguments concerning the hidden costs of health care provided at taxpayer expense, as well as the argument that poor people should have the same access to good health care that rich people get. After all, it seems the compassionate thing to mandate, especially for the believing Christian. I mean, aren't we supposed to help those in need?
Now for the person who doesn't believe in God, government mandated health care makes perfect sense. It gives people security and a sense of being loved. And in this world, if you don't have love then what do you have? It's nice not to be turned down for medical care due to lack of insurance. It's nice to know that even if it doesn't seem as if God's looking out for you, at least the government has you covered. And it's especially nice to have someone watch out for you as you get older.
But what about the believing Christian? Do we need the same security provided by universal health care that the rest of the world craves? Are we to look to government to supply all our needs according to the taxpayers' riches in glory (or should I say, on earth)? Surely the millionaires and billionaires can well afford it. Sure they can, Robin Hood. Snatch from the rich, give to the poor, and certainly you'll have no war. Right? I mean, doesn't scripture tell us that it's the job of the super rich to throw money at the problem?
Must we force the very rich to pay doctors to heal the sick?
I mean, that's what some proponents of universal health care are really saying, isn't it? Just tax the rich to pay for it.
Yet what does the Bible have to say about universal health care? For that matter, what does the Bible have to say about health and healing?
FIrst of all, what causes sickness? The believing Christian need look no further than the fall of man, with the eating of the fruit of knowledge contrary to God's command, the resulting spiritual death ("For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" - Genesis 2:17, KJV), followed by the gradual return to the very dust from which he was taken.
And what takes man back to the dust? Sickness, of course, caused by weakened bodies unable to resist the germs that invade them; torn bodies that fail to heal properly following an accident; the poison of conflicting emotions at war with the variety of knowledge we possess; failure to take hold of Jesus, our tree of life.
Nowhere in the Bible do I read that returning to dust is a good thing. And yet where does man turn to cure his sicknesses and prolong his life? Why, to the very dust from which he was taken, of course. For that's what medicine is made of: dust. The very best dust, I grant you, but in the end it's only that: dust. As for human doctors, they too are made of dust. Perhaps that's why looking to doctors and medicine to heal us seems to require so much sweat from our brows ("In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground." Genesis 3:19, KJV)
I'm sure that anyone who has ever undergone a painful medical treatment (such as chemotherapy) can relate to the effort it takes to obtain the fruit of wellness from the dust of "Mother earth" (or "Mother Nature" as they call her).
Now am I saying here that doctors are bad or that medicine is for the birds?
No, because for one thing I'm not talking about unbelievers (who don't know God) relying on doctors and on medicine to cure their sickness. I'm talking about Christians who claim to believe in Jesus Christ and in the Word of God. As believers in Christ, what should we think of doctors and medicine and the power of healthcare supplied by man to heal the sick?
You know, it's interesting, but the few (in this case, two) references in the Bible that I've seen concerning human doctors happen to be a bit negative (with the exception of Luke, who traveled with the Apostle Paul).
First there was King Asa who in the early part of his reign was amazingly devoted to God, then later on backslid and in the thirty-ninth year of his reign was struck with leprosy in his feet. The disease, it tells us, was very great. Yet in the midst of it, he didn't look to God for healing, but "only to the physicians" (see II Chronicles 16:12). Note that this passage doesn't condemn the doctors, but does seem to question Asa's looking only to them for help as opposed to seeking God.
So that's one negative mention of relying on doctors. Then in the New Testament we see the woman with the issue of blood spending much money on doctors to try to cure her illness all to no avail, then finally in desperation touching the hem of Jesus' robe and getting instantly healed (see Luke 8:43-44). Imagine spending so much money on doctors when you can go to Jesus!
Okay, so much for doctors. What about medicine? What does God think about believers using medicine to help them get well?
Again, I couldn't find much on this. The only story (which is a positive one) concerns the lump of figs placed on King Hezekiah's boil to help him recover (mentioned in II Kings 20:7). But if you read this story in context, you will see that this medicine was actually more of an afterthought to the cure. God through His Word had already promised to heal Hezekiah; the lump of figs was a mere tool to that end.
For those who reason that his sickness must not have been so bad, read the first part of the story and you will see that he was close to death. In fact, the prophet Isaiah initially told him he would die. But Hezekiah wasn't content with that initial diagnosis - even though it was God's Word. Like Mary, who persuaded Jesus to turn water into wine (rather than taking his initial "no" as an answer - see John 2:1-11), Hezekiah cried out to God with all his heart. And he got his healing.
In the absence of a universal health care plan.
Nowhere do we see Hezekiah begging doctors for help or seeking until he finds the right medicine. Instead he looked to God alone. Oh how much we can learn from his example!
And that's the Old Testament.
In the New Testament we see Jesus healing all sorts of people, and nowhere does it record him ever turning anyone away. Even the Syro-Phoenician woman whom he initially seemed to reject was able through determination to press through for her miracle (see the story in Mark 7:25-30).
So what does that tell us? Who is the great Physician? Should we look to God for healing or should we rely on some manmade universal healthcare system? How willing are we as Christians to come to that place of grace where we truly trust Him to supply all our needs according to HIS riches in glory? (see Philippians 4:19)
As for unbelievers, are they better served by universal healthcare than by Jesus Himself? Should we spend our time and effort trying to force the rich to pay the doctors to heal the poor?
Well, what did Peter tell the cripple in Acts chapter 3, verse 6?
"Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have I give to thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk."
If our faith in God's ability to heal has been crippled, then perhaps we need to learn to strengthen our faith by learning to stand on His Word.
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I really love this article for it is the "TRUTH" and needs to be read and adhered to by all Christians. We say all things are possible but when it comes to certain things we forget the Omni-potency of God in the matter. Thanks for being obedient in writing this article for it is very much needed. Your answer to the question is absolutely not-NO. I am a living witness for He is yet Jehovah Rapha and the Great Physician yesterday, today and forevermore. Thank you again.
This gave me a lot to think about. I have a serious chronic illness and have come close to dying more than once. If not for health insurance, my young children would be motherless. As much as I thank God for modern medicine and believe their skills are a gift from God, there are times I'm frustrated with the healthcare today. I also know that having people pray for me as also helped heal me.
Thank you for putting into words!