A Summary Of What The Bible Teaches
Can Religious Acts, Ceremonies, or Rituals Cure Disease?
THE HUMANIST'S CLAIM IS: As a result of believing in supernatural causes of disease, theologians taught that plagues could be averted or stopped by seeking supernatural assistance. And the way to obtain Gods help, they thought, was to perform religious acts. These included repenting from sin; providing gifts to churches, monasteries, and shrines; participating in religious processions; attending church services (which often only increased the spread of disease); and killing Jews and witches (since it was thought Satan used them as his agents in causing illness). Religious leaders largely ignored the possibility of physical causes and cures of diseases.
It seems that humanists believe that people who distort what the Bible teaches are the authorities on what the Bible teaches. Then the humanists use these distortions to mislead people. This does not sound right to me.
In the above quote, the source referenced is once again Andrew D. White, writing in "A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, Vol. II." As noted in the previous chapter, and as shown in the appendix, White is a discredited, unreliable source. When someone references as their source a book that includes fictions and fabrications, their accusations have no validity. (Read more about Andrew White here.)
To start, we need to be aware that the Bible teaches the opposite of what the humanists are saying. They are describing human nature not Biblical teaching. It is our nature to want to be in control. We want to control God, meaning we want a god who responds the way we want him to respond when we do things that make us feel good. The most common promise Satan uses to deceive us is, "You can be like God." (Genesis 3:5). Satan’s lie is the promise humanists believe about Christianity and have attributed to theologians and the Bible.
What does the Bible teach?
Here is what the Bible actually teaches concerning the things the humanists have brought up in this accusation:
1. The way to have God's help (blessings) is to first love God, which means to obey God. In the Bible, "love" is an action, not a feeling. In the case of God, loving God means to obey God (John 14:21, 23 & 24; John 15:10) Then second is, we are to love our neighbors (other people). The Ten Commandments describe what love looks like. Commandments 1-3 describe loving God. Commandments 5-10 de-scribe loving your neighbor. Performing religious acts, participating in religious processions, killing Jews and "witches," and other "religious" acts, rituals, and ceremonies have no benefit, and some are in direct violations of Biblical commandments.
2. There are three sources of disease and afflictions:
2a. Essentially all disease and affliction is the result of the fall. The fall happened when Adam sinned by disobeying God–Genesis chapter three. Prior to the fall, in a world God had declared very good, there was no disease, afflictions, or death. Humanity’s disobedience is the sole cause of all death. Humanity’s disobedience also brought dis-ease and afflictions into the world.
2b. God can use what is evil for good. At times God uses disease and afflictions to admonish, punish, discipline, teach, or to accomplish other of His sovereign purposes. The way He does this is to with-draw His protection, allowing disease and affliction to happen through "natural" causes.
2c. Satan and demons, in their efforts to deceive and lead people away from God, use disease, and the symptoms of disease, to discour-age, mislead, and deceive people. A perfect example of this is the humanist’s web page. It uses distorted history and a misleading ap-proach, when discussing disease, to attempt to lead people away from the Bible and God.
3. The health laws in the Bible teach the principles people need to follow in order to minimize the spread and the effects of disease. They require cleanliness and hygiene, as well as the most effective tool against infectious disease... quarantine of the sick. During the black plague many Jews followed the Biblical health laws and their death rate was just half, and in some areas possibly as low as 5% of that of the general population. Because they were not getting sick, people assumed the Jews caused the plague. The result was the persecution and the massacre of Jews.
During the black plague non-Jews were doing what the humanists today say we should do. They followed what the science of their day advocated, which was in opposition to what the Bible teaches. In other words, they disregarded the Bible and followed human "wisdom"... and they died.
4. We know that sickness and disease are not from God because the Bible prescribes prevention measures such as quarantine, sanitation, and hygiene. These measures are not effective against God or de-mon-caused disease. God would not prescribe these unless they were effective. On the other hand, without regard for what “theologians” teach, unlike pagan religions the Bible does not prescribe rituals, of-ferings, or ceremonies to either prevent or cure disease.
Historically, God “inflicting” disease on groups of people is in-credibly rare. When God did, He made the reasons clear: He gave people advance warning and the opportunity to change. He makes it clear that their actions (resulting in His withdrawing His protection) were the cause of the disease or affliction.
The reason people get sick is the fall. Scripture gives us the principles to follow for good health: practice good hygiene and sani-tation, quarantine the sick, and use the best available medical and health practices and technology. In addition, we should be in prayer. God expects us to take care of ourselves, so our prayer is in addi-tion to our best efforts to prevent diseases and heal people. While a supernatural miracle is possible, except for unique times and cir-cumstances, God works through providential miracles. Prayer can bring about those miracles.
Conclusion: There is no truth in what the humanists stated here. If we follow what the Bible teaches, we will have life.
NEXT: Continuing to trust in discredited author Andrew D. White, the humanists now switch to science. The title of their next section is: Science Bests Supernaturalism
White states that despite all the prayers, rituals, and other religious activities performed throughout the centuries, the frequency and severity of plagues did not diminish
until scientific hygiene made its appearance. In regard to the hygienic improvements instituted during the second half of the nineteenth century, White explains: The sanitary authorities have in half a century done far more to reduce the rate of disease and death than has been done in fifteen hundred years by all the fetiches which theological reasoning could devise or ecclesiastical power enforce.
The superior results of using science instead of religion can be seen in many other fields. Humanists therefore accept the scientific view that this world operates under unvarying natural laws that cannot be suspended by religious rituals or other means.
If you've read this page, you already know what is wrong with the above accusation. Click here and we'll look at other humanist scientific arguments against the Bible.