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Western medicine… Our Savior and Idol??

It’s plastered on my Facebook almost daily, relentless articles about our western medical ways. I hear it talked about from well-known world leaders and their pursuit to bring our western medicine to foreign countries in the name of “saving” them.

When did our medicine become the Savior? Looking at the health of our country as a whole, we struggle with obesity, arthritis, cancer, ADD, depression, and maternal death at a higher rate than many developing countries, even some under-developed countries. Is our health care really something to be worshipped?

Do we put total faith in our modern medical system? Do we go to the doctor and believe we will walk away with relief, yet don’t believe in the power of our body or our Creator? Is choosing preventative medicine slapping God in the face and saying the immune system He created isn’t good enough? Did God really leave us on this earth defenseless, forced to turn to man-made chemical remedies or did He provide us with everything we need to have health abundantly.

Romans 12: 2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind...” Why is it not only accepted, but demanded that we conform to western medical thinking?

I’m not saying any of the above options are the correct or incorrect paths. I believe we all have the individual right to make decisions for ourselves and our families. No one else should have that authority. Also this is not an anti- western medicine rant. I believe that medical advances have a time and place; however that place isn’t as often as we may think. This blog is about our concerning attitude of arrogance and complacency when it comes to the reliance of western medicine vs. our reliance on God.

Recently, I heard a leader of a well-known foundation say her organization has saved 7 million lives through vaccinations. One of the questions running through my head (there were many questions) was: “What is it that makes her think that it’s her organization or her vaccinations that save anyone?” Isn’t life or death in God’s hands? Doesn’t He ordain and sustain life alone? No doubt He may use different means, but do we have the right to claim it, if such a claim is actually true? Further, do these countries want our western medicine or do they want it because we tell them they want it? Is western medicine held as a condition for receiving our other servicing such as: clean water, food, plumbing, education, the gospel? I connect with many midwives and doctors across the world regularly. Honestly, we need to be taking lessons from them in many areas.

Another detriment to the idol of western medicine is it gives us reason to parent-shame natural-thinking parents. Even as Christians (or maybe especially as Christians) we lash out on social media against those parents choosing alternative ways of raising children. We create animosity when we claim natural thinking parents gain their research from current “trends” or the “latest Facebook article”. Lashing out on both ends ruin relationships, create disunity, and stirs anger. Posting what you believe is fine, but is it really necessary to offer worship to the idol by parent shaming and name calling?

As I look into our medical society (and I spend a lot of time in the medical world), I wonder….

What has this Idol of Western medicine turned us into?

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