I’m taking a moment from my busy-ness to write an important message about life. Life is often taken for granted until it is almost lost, then it can become precious to people. The Spirit of Christ gives life, and followers of Christ should be committed to life, and giving life. Healing was a hallmark of Christ’s ministry & went hand in hand with his proclamation of the Kingdom.(1) This message is similar to many other things in life…it is an encouragement to all of us to make the right priorities & choices. The topic for my message is HEALTH. My heart is in line with the Word of God where it says, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper & be in health, even as thy soul prospers.”(2)
A FOUNDATION TO LIFE. A Christian doctor told me that health is the foundation to life’s activities. He also noted that it is often not thought about until it is lost. What he said reminded me of what the ancient sages of India wrote, “Health is the supreme foundation of virtue, wealth & enjoyment, and salvation.” They viewed the opposite of health, disease, as the destroyer of health, the good of life, and even of life itself. As the Spirit gives life (3) it is no surprise that people called Yahshua “physician”(4), and he himself referred to himself as a “physician”(5). The messiah made it clear that not all medical problems result from sin (see JN 9:3). Christ added to our understanding of disease, he referred to sin as a disease that needed cured. He said, “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.”(6) Disease is a lack of wholeness & integrity. Health is a wholeness & integrity to the body, mind & spirit. IF WE DON’T MAKE TIME TO BE WELL, WE’LL HAVE TO TAKE TIME TO BE SICK. So the care of the body, mind & spirit are important. The body is called in Scriptures the Temple of God (the Holy Spirit), and we are to care for it as such. Whatever we do, we are to do all to the glory of God! (7)
LEARNING FROM THE PAST. The ideal time of health Biblically was Paradise…in the occult world they label the disease-free beginning “the Golden Age”. The original healthy diet given man is recorded at GEN 1:29. During ancient times, the Bible was advanced in its advice on hygiene. The Bible & the ancient Greeks both advocated temperance in eating & drinking as the model to preserve health. Many Christians over the centuries have viewed preserving health as a sacred duty to God. Hippocrates (8) felt that decisions in the life styles of people, especially their diets, was responsible for their good or poor health; & that disease was a process that developed over time. The Romans doctors learned from the Greeks that disease was a disturbance of the balance of health.
NEWER CONCEPTS. Swiss German occultist Paracelsus (1493-1541) was the person who made chemical drugs popular medicine, while up to then was more of a Biblical view in line Biblical references calling drugs “sorcery”. A combination of English merchants & their govt. in the 17th century began the use of statistics to monitor the national health (they were mainly trying to help the national economy). Thomas Sydenhen (1624-89) was one of the originators of the science of classifying diseases (nosology) by using clinical symptoms. (This labeling has been abused & has perhaps hidden as much as helped solve health problems.) Compulsory sickness insurance was first made mandatory in Germany in 1883. One year before, the germ theory became the leading explanation by science for disease. However, there were skeptics who pointed out that microorganisms could not be the sole cause of disease because some people who had pathogenic micro-organisms did not get sick like others! This then leads me to the concept of preventive maintenance.
HOME MADE HEALTH: A Family Guide to Nutrition, Exercise, Stress Control, and Preventive Medicine by Raymond & Dorothy Moore. Their book title says so much! And their book gives info in detail on what this post is all about. NUTRITION. Here are some of my thoughts on nutrition. During WW 2, people in Norway & Denmark found it difficult to get sweets. Prior to the war, 90% of the kids had cavities. Due to the war shortage of sweets, the % of kids with cavities dropped to 25%. Where I live our tap water is river water that has been cleaned by chlorine. Our mayor says we have the best water in the nation. Reminds me that the Bible says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”(9) Chlorinated water doubles the risk of bladder cancer, and it fails to kill parasites in the water. I have to believe parasites are investing the dirty river water that becomes our tap water. When the water boils down on my wood stove it leaves a pasty thick residue…yuck. The best in the nation?? EXERCISE. The year my class graduated from West Point, USMA, the fitness director there, a Col. James L. Anderson wrote a book based on West Point’s cadet program: The West Point Fitness & Diet Book. Well, we all lost weight by being starved!! Col. Anderson writes about how exercise helps a person combat fatigue and helps reduce muscular tension caused by worry & other emotional pressures. We were exercised beyond being fatigued, and that in itself caused pressures, as a classmate who was hospitalized for dehydration. There was some thought behind what West Point & the army did, but it was not state of the art thinking.
MEDICAL SCIENCE REPEATEDLY BAFFLED. The Medical industry and Medical science are still in the dark about many things. If we are going to do all to the glory of God, we will have to take responsibility for our own decisions and not slavishly follow the ill-named “health care industry”. Health really means preventive maintenance. The Medical industry does little to create health, they work on sick people. It is a sick industry. True Health care is self-responsibility, self-control, and the application of wisdom. The Word says, “…I…bring [my body] into subjection” (10) If your bathtub was overflowing what would work best?…controlling the water flow or mopping up the water? The doctors and hospitals mop up the problem once it comes. I suggest we stop the problem by turning off its source before the problem occurs. I had a girlfriend who bought a new sports car. She had had it a couple months when I said, “Pop the hood”. It was then I discovered that there were no fluids—i.e. oil, water, etc. She had no idea a car needs maintenance. She was going to drive it until the engine seized up and then blame the manufacturer for making a lousy car. The same kind of thinking is prevalent with people neglecting their health. Some of us were issued bad body parts. But most of us have choices whether to have good or bad nutrition, good or bad lifestyles, and what kind of environment we subject ourselves to. Certain groups, like the Hunza people and the people of Vilcabamba, Ecuador live long productive lives. They have good environments, simple healthy food, do lots of walking & vigorous exercise, and have a sense of usefulness in their lives. We can choose similar choices and honor our sacred duty, or we can follow along with the immorality and corruption of our society. This message is a reminder, if we don’t make the time to be well, we will have to take time to be sick.
(1) We note that in verses like LK 7:19, 21-23 (2) 3 JN 2 (3) 2 COR 3:6 (4) LK 4:23 (5) LK 5:31. (6) MT 9:12, MK 2:17, LK 5:31 (7) 1 COR 10:30 (8) On Ancient Medicine by Hippocrates, Ch. III (9) HOS 4:6 (10) 1 COR 9:27