Can Christians Take Prescription Medicine?
Guilt Tripped for Wanting Prescription Medications
I suppose you can say that I have suffered from anxiety or depression. Maybe I have a touch of something else. Yes, I get distracted easily. Do I have ADHD? I have a Master's degree in Psychology. I hoped that learning about the subject would bring me closer to answers about myself and my mental matters, but it only brought about more questions. There is a Mexican preacher called Armando Alducin. While I love his YouTube videos regarding faith blended with science and theory, he once mentioned that anyone taking medication should just throw them away, permanently, and put their ailment in the hands of God. I immediately felt supremely guilty of even thinking about anxiety/depression medication. I felt maybe I was failing God for being so weak. I actually felt pretty bad, and maybe you have too.
Depression = EVIL SPIRITS...According to the Bible
When I was reading 1 Samuel recently, I noticed how Saul was invaded with evil spirits that God allowed. Depression and anxiety are dark, heavy clouds from Satan. These are times when demons are trying to take us away from the kingdom of God. These demons steal our hope, our love, and our faith. These demons even want us to take our own lives, sometimes. We can find comfort in the fact that many Biblical characters have suffered through very, very tough times of self-doubt, fear, anxiety and depression. Remember when Jesus casted the demons out of a very sick man, and sent them straight into some pigs nearby? This mean was scratching himself, without proper clothing, yelling strange things. He was demon-possessed and yet, demonstrating characteristics of someone with severe mental illness. In Matthew 12:22, demons caused blindness and muteness. In Luke 9:42, demons caused convulsions. In Matt 17:15-18, demons caused lunacy.
What Medicines Were Used in the Bible?
Proverbs 17: 22 mentions that good medicine is a joyful heart, but bones are dried up when one's spirit is crushed. (This is pretty accurate. When I feel 'crushed', I definitely wish I could dry up and disappear sometimes.)
Isaiah 38:21 says that Isaiah recommended applying fig cakes to a boil, in order for the afflicted to recover.
Luke 10:34 involve the pouring of wine and oil within the process of binding up wounds.
Jeremiah 30:13 and Jeremiah 46:11 both mention that no medicine can cure the wound that was being experienced.
Scientific Properties of Biblical Medicines
1 Timothy 5:23 - No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.
In a 2018 study, wine was mentioned as a staple in the Mediterranean diet, and that the consumption of wine is excellent for the health. (Remember, several times the Bible talks against drunkards and drinking excessively to the point of stupidity --think Abigail’s husband in 1 Samuel -- so don't use this an excuse to get drunk in an irresponsible way). Red wine is high in phytochemical compounds, which means that it protects the body against oxidative stress and helps prevent heart disease, cognitive decline, cancer and even depression.
Proverbs 16:24 - Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
Honey has heavy antifungal properties. Beautifully, honey has antibacterial properties as well. Honey has been used to accelerate the healing of wounds, burns, and ulcers. Honey works wonderfully on many wounds that have not responded to antiseptics, antibiotics, or even methicillin resistant S. Aureus infections. Honey can even be used on skin grafts, again, to promote healing. Even for gastric purposes, honey can help promote the repairing of intestinal mucous that is damaged and even have an anti-inflammatory effect against such damage. Raw honey works as an antioxidant as well, so it is definitely health to the body, and consequently, soul.
Isaiah 1:6 - From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but bruises and sores and raw wounds; they are not pressed out or bound up or softened with oil.
In 2019, it has been discovered that olive oil promotes the healing of wounds in mice, especially in injuries caused by pressure by helping to reduce inflammation. A study in 2015 showed that olive oil helped heal the feet of patients that had diabetic-induced foot ulcers.
2 Kings 20:7 Then Isaiah said, “Make an ointment from figs.” So Hezekiah’s servants spread the ointment over the boil, and Hezekiah recovered!
The fig Fruit is scientifically called the Ficus Carica L. Frigs, especially dried figs, are highly antioxidant and have antifungal properties. Interestingly, figs have a 'hepatoprotective' effect, in that they protect the liver against alcohol-induced stress.
Leviticus 14:4 - the priest shall order that two live clean birds and some cedar wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop be brought for the person to be cleansed.
Hyssop has interesting properties. In a 1990 article, it showed promise in inhibiting HIV activity within the body. It has been used to treat infections of the respiratory system, common cold symptoms, and gastrointestinal distress without causing liver injury.
When Were Physicians Mentioned in the Bible?
2nd Chronicles 16:12 mentions that in regards to diseased feet, help was sought from physicians. Genesis 50:2 mentions Joseph commanding his servants to have physicians embalm the father. Mark 2:17 says that those who are not sick don't need a physicians. (He correlated this with the fact that Jesus came not for the righteous, but for those who are sick, namely, the sinners). In the Bible, in Colossians 4:14, it mentions that Luke as a 'beloved physicians'. Mark 5:24-29 mentions that a woman with a blood ailment (presumably, a continuous menstrual discharge experienced for 12 years was unable to be cured by physicians.
Do Prescription Medicines Have Their Roots in Nature?
Many medicines have their roots in nature.
Premarin is made with the urine of a pregnant mare. Premarin is used to treat menopause and it's also used as a form of hormone replacement therapy.
Aspirin is made from willow bark. Aspirin is used to relieve fever, pain and inflammation. IN fact, in the old days (think Hippocrates), people chewed this plant to obtain the pain-relieving effect. The responsible drug is called salicylate. Today, it comes in the form of a perfect little white tablet, or a syrupy liquid.
Nature-Throid is made from the dried up thyroid of a pig. Nature-Throid is used as an underactive thyroid medication.
Penicillin is made from mold. Penicillin is used for its antibiotic properties.
Captopril is made from viper venom. Captopril is used for hypertension, congestive heart failure, and myocardial infarction. It's also used to preserve the function of the kidneys in diabetic nephropathy. (It was discovered that the venom of the pit viper kills the prey by dropping the blood pressure to very low numbers, hence, finding a place in the world of hypertensive medications.)
Synvisc is made from chicken combs. (Yes, exactly that - the fleshy, red thing that projects from a chicken's head). Synvisc, which is an injectable medication for knee pain, contains an ingredient known as hyaluronan. This creates more fluidity within the joint, and flexibility as well, so that the knee has better shock absorption.
Lovaza is made from fish oil. Lovaza helps lower triglycerides to decrease the risk of heart disease in patients.
I would say that this is no coincidence - if the Bible mentioned physicians, this means that there were people (physicians - then and now) who were/are experimenting with nature and trying to obtain helpful, healing results.
Don't Feel Guilty For Needing A Bit of Pharmaceutical Help
In Job 13:4, Job did show a very upset attitude towards not getting better. He, too, went to many physicians and was not able to find a cure. He was angry when he said that the physicians lied to him, and that they were worthless. When we feel that medicine and doctors have failed us, we may have felt exactly like Job did.
We might feel guilty about taking medications sometimes. Does taking medication mean that you don't have faith in God? No, it doesn't mean this. Think of this: God is the Physician of all Physicians. He is the Pharmacist of all Pharmacists. The Bible supports the theory that medicine is one solution to resolve some kind of physical or mental pain. Medicine is a way for God to perform healing in a world where we already have Jesus and the Bible and less need for physical, dramatic manifestation of miracles from God himself. Medicine does not mean you lack faith. Think of Paul; Paul was instructed to use wine to cure his pain and particular ailment, in addition to prayer. Medications are not perfect, and neither are doctors. With both, we have to be careful and always enter such situation in a prayerful manner. Doctors, and pharmaceuticals, can be an essential part of our faith experience.
How to Fight Demons - Armor Up, Pray and Fight Back (With or Without Medications)
When all else fails, and the demons want to win, first remember this:
When the demons try to remind you of your past, remind them of their future.
And then there’s this: Philippians 4:6-8: Be anxious for nothing, but pray and make these prayer requests known to God. God will guard your minds and heart in Jesus Christ. Think of things that are honorable, right, true, lovely, and pure and of good reputation. Meditate on the words of God, and put on your Divine honor. Remember you are royalty, nothing less, and the demons want you to forget this FACT.
2nd Corinthians reminds us that we are at war. The war isn’t physical, it’s supernatural. We can’t see the war, but it exists in another realm that affects us through thoughts, dreams and panic attacks. Ephesians 6:11 reminds us that we are to put on the armor of God, to resist the Devil and his demons and his attacks. This is your armor of LIGHT against the DARKNESS, the LIGHT to fight those rulers who reign in the dark, wicked world that we can’t see. Wear the belt of Truth. Put on the Righteousness Breastplate. Wear the shoes of the Gospel, and the shield of faith to thwart the arrow that the demons will throw. Take upon you the sword of the Spirit and the helmet of Salvation and pray.
God will help you, but we need to fight back. We are responsible for the continued deliverance that God provides us for free. If you feel you haven’t been healed from what you are suffering from, know that God knows this. God knew what was happening to Job. There was a purpose, Heavenly and divine, and in the end there will be a great, beautiful, everlasting reward. 1st Timothy 1:7 reminds us that God does not give us a spirit of FEAR, but a spirit of Sound Mind, Power, and Love. Sin brings separation from God, so let’s start with a prayer asking for forgiveness. Let’s start there. The devil, through illness (whether physical or mental), wants to seek, kill and destroy. He can put seeds in your mind, but God has already won. He loves you immensely.
This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
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