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 July - August 2004
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COVER STORY: Casey Martin was thrilled to play professional golf, but he never thought he'd be thrown into the spotlight because of his disability. . .
When Your Pain is Not Being Treated
WARNING: Beware of Bible Cures!
God is in the Details
Sun, Sun, Find the Shade
Why Can't I Make People Understand? Book Excerpt
When God Hollers, "No!"
Talk Over Tea with the Editor
Tell Us Your Thoughts
Strive to Thrive Health News
Joy Bites
Strength in the Shadows
Volunteer Corner
Book Review: What Would Jesus Eat?
Ask the Doc
HopeNotes: hopekeepers
Group & Leader




This article will offend some and confuse others, but this is an issue I am passionate about. So forgive me if my soapbox shakes a bit as I take a stand on this matter, but when I see the "Bible Cure-kinds of books," (for every illness that may be profitable) 1 Corinthians 3:18 comes to mind. "Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a 'fool' so that he may become wise."

Reginald B. Cherry, author of the original Bible Cure, has a newsletter which blatantly states, "We cannot be sick in our bodies to finish all the God has called us to do." This is wrong. Isaiah 35:5,6 specifically states that there will be righteous people with disabilities at the end of times: "Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer." We can be sick in our bodies and fulfill what God has intended for us.

Can a few men really know the cure to every illness under the sun? After thousands of years of disease in this fallen world, were a few doctors recently given the formula for healing? If so, why have they chosen to sell books rather than taking their findings to scientists to study? Standing at the Christian bookstore, reading the backs of books claiming to include healing formulas direct from God, and sold as "cures from the Lord" frustrates me!

The Bible Cure series is a best-seller, but I can't help but wonder about the 4 million people who have read the books and have tried the formulas. Certainly, there are many who now feel hopeless, helpless and even ashamed since they tried "God's formula" and they've not been healed. I'm aware that this article won't help my reputation among some health advocates, but look closely with me at some of the information behind the book covers.

In my opinion, here is why I question the advice:

(1) Many of the authors sell nutritional supplements.
"Colbert's Divine Health Nutritional Products" are available just in case eating like Jesus doesn't give you all the nutrition you need. These "Nutraceuticals" and "Divine Health Formulations" also include a divine disclaimer, so be sure to pray before you pop those pills! Patrick Quillan, author of Healing Secrets of the Bible, touts that he is CEO of three companies, one of which is American Eagle Nutrition; with a couple clicks one can order "ImmunoPower, a unique scientifically-formulated nutrition supplement designed to bolster 'host defense mechanisms.'" (He also sells his music to help you heal-yes, he's a musician too.) Most these web sites offer unorganized gibberish with a fast link to pay by credit card. It makes me skeptical.

(2) They focus on cures, rather than acknowledging that the Lord may wish to teach us character and perseverance in our suffering.
Dr. Scott K. Hannen, author of Healing by Design, is a board-certified chiropractic physician and an ordained minister. Both he and Colbert have been guests of Benny Hinn's-instilling my belief that he's focused more on striving for a cure than character. At least James P. Gills has a sense of humor. He's written God's Prescription For Healing: Five Divine Gifts of Healing; but just in case you aren't healed, he has a link to a funeral home on his web site. Hey, despite healings, the death rate is still one-hundred percent.

(3) The books make a chronically ill person believe he has control over his healing, taking the control away from God.
While not taking care of one's body can surely lead to illness, not all illness is caused by a lack of action or poor choices on the patient's part. Scripture is used out of context. For example, in Colbert's book for CFS and FM he writes, "Chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia are not God's plan for you, for God's mighty Word promises: 'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'" Since when did God start sharing the plans for my life with Dr. Colbert?

(4) These books perpetuate the myth that God works logically through practical formulas we can just submit to.
It takes away God's power in our lives. In Bible Cure for Arthritis it says, "This Bible Cure booklet is designed to help you overcome your pain with good nutrition, exercise, prayer, Scripture and faith in Jesus Christ." Hmm. . . sorry, but God heals in many ways, even those we do not expect. Read in 2 Kings 5:1-14 the story of Naaman who gets mad because he wants to be healed in a particular way. "But Naaman went away angry and said, 'I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. . .' So he turned and went off in a rage," (v. 11, 12b).

Cherry, is the author of God's Pathway to Healing, which is another series (the publishing opportunities are endless!) His newsletter has an article on how to pray specifically for your immune system. I ask, will I miss my opportunity for healing if I mispronounce the words? His response to one reader's inquiry about taking Zoloft for depression was, "We will stand in agreement with you that you will be able to discontinue the prescription medication and that the anxieties will disappear completely. God will give you wisdom as to when and how to use the natural herbal supplements. God bless you and in Jesus' name you are healed." Just like that. (Yes, he also has supplements for sale.)

(5) There's a lack of discernment. One of the main links for Colbert's "preferred products" is for "instant meditation" which states, "While we like certain altered state experiences that can happen while listening to Holosync, just let whatever happens be okay and adopt the position of being the watcher of whatever happens." Sounds fishy to me, and I'm not talking about nutritional value. . .

I do believe emotions can impact our health a great deal, just as Proverbs 15:30b says, "And good news gives health to the bones." Yet, Colbert's new book, Toxic Emotions is troublesome to me. The front cover lists various emotions and what illness they can lead to. For example, since I have rheumatoid arthritis, it's likely to be caused by my feelings of bitterness and self-hatred. What? This "lay-the- blame-game" sounds sickeningly familiar to me because I have a book called Heal Your Body: A-Z, by a Science of the Mind minister. I purchased it six years ago in order to show pastors what New Age Religion teaches about health when I speak at seminars. It's scary information and spiritually devastating to the people with illness. Now this information is coming from Christian resources. It also perpetuates the attitude among healthy Christians that if we aren't healed it's because we don't really want to be well.

Overall, the books give false hope to people and insult to God. We are led to believe that if we read the book and "have enough faith" we will be cured. But "hope deferred makes the heart sick!" (Proverbs 13:12). Although many of the books explain the benefits herbal treatments, the titles and back-cover highlights are misconceiving. I am sure these doctors are nice men and fine doctors. But don't put discernment aside just because the book comes from a Christian source.

If you're seeking a Christian perspective on alternative medicine, my advice is to seek it from a source which doesn't tout their own business or products, such as Alternative Medicine-The Christian Handbook by O'Mathuna, PhD & Larimore, MD. or Examining Alternative Medicine: An Inside Look at the Benefits and Risks by Reisser, M.D., Mabe, D.O., and Velarde. Healing would be wonderful, but don't expect to find the answers to it in one of these books.

Remember Ecclesiastes 7:29: "God made mankind upright, but men have gone in search of many schemes." Stay focused on the Lord and not on man's treasure hunt. Personally, I will be praying to God for wisdom before I will be praying for my macrophage cells.

Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries and lives with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.

This article was featured in our July/August 2004 issue.
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