News that an LCG member was aboard the ill-fated EgyptAir flight that crashed into the Mediterranean. Our thoughts go out to all those affected, and especially the Dalle family.
Kathleen over at Dying for God's Sake has issued an invitation for those with experience in a faith healing belief system to share their stories. She writes.
If you are a former member of a church that taught you to rely on faith-healing to the exclusion of competent medical care, please share your story on this blog. Remember what it was like to be cut off from close relationships with anyone outside of your church, how peer pressure can seem overwhelming. We can reach out to parents through our own experiences. I envision these stories as the backbone of this blog. They might even save a child's life.It's a way of passing on our own experiences - whether anonymously or not - in order to help others who might be going through the same process of soul-searching and grief.
There is the classical model of someone from a fundamentalist background (read WCG) desperately needing a surgery but refusing medical care based on doctrine and dying. But there is a less dramatic though just as destructive form of rejecting medical care. I have encountered many people who were indoctrinated against doctors and are very balky about going to a doctor when they need to. They will instead go months, suffering, using home remedies that are not effective. In fact, there is a great repository of misinformation about health among Armstrongites. Armsrongites believe the know much more about the human body and health than the medical profession does. I just had someone tell me yesterday that cranberry juice was effective for the treatment of gallstones. This is laughable.
Under Armstrongism, resorting to the medical profession and pharmaceuticals was condemned as a lack of faith. Yet using supplements from a health food store or undergoing strange naturopathic treatments was not regarded as a lack of faith though both medicine and natural healing in principle relied in trusting on something other than divine healing.
I am not enamored of the medical profession. The third largest cause of death among Americans after cancer and heart disease is the category of medical errors. But the medical profession has its place.
And, of course, the anti-Medicine stance leads to rule making, inconsistency and judgmentalism, in keeping with the dark Pelagian heart of Armstrongism. While local church members were applauded for not going to the doctor, HWA, I have been told, went to doctors without qualm. A minister in Big Sandy publicly stated, in my hearing and the hearing of others, that the healing power of god left the WCG when Rod Meredith had a retinal repair instead of trusting in god. I recall when I first began attending the WCG at about twenty years old, I was helping to clean up a WCG picnic ground and hurt my finger. When this happened I felt some distinct ostracism - like the cause if the accident was some secret sin I had committed. Weird but true. Strange doctrine leads to strange behavior.
I like to use the word "appropriate" because it leads to better solutions than the edicts which are generally a byproduct of binary thinking.
Obviously, one can become enslaved to many things in life, one of which is the medical profession. There are often side effects to medical solutions. We live in times when a commercial block during a TV program will have one commercial extolling the benefits of a prescription medication, and a later commercial regarding a class action lawsuit involving that very same drug. Some procedures such as transplants involve a life long regimen of drugs. And a certain percentage of surgeries go wrong, resulting in permanent damage or chronic pain. Antibiotics over time, if over prescribed, lose their effectiveness to resistant strains of disease.
It's dumb to completely proscribe the medical profession and its solutions, but in many cases a little more caution and awareness are appropriate. Herbs and vitamins can't replace many of the things that doctors can accomplish, and they don't always do the things that people think and say that they will do. But, they can often cleanse and build strength so that a person is naturally resistant to conditions and diseases.
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