27th April 2013
Dominating up to and beyond the election will be the increasing deficit blowout and more and more focus on the medical industry, which eats up the biggest bite of taxpayers' dollars. Even Australia Prayer Network quoted:
‘an investigation will be launched into whether doctors and the companies that run major medical clinics across Australia are conspiring to rip off Medicare by rushing through large numbers of patients and overdoing referrals, after a former top health investigator last year warned that up to $3 billion in taxpayer funds was at risk'.
The medical industry is protected and fattening at the expense of welfare to vulnerable families. Tucked in here somewhere is the courageous Madigan bill to cut Medicare funding for gender-selection abortions. That throws the spotlight on the worst child abuse happening in this country, as well as overseas.
So what do thinking Christians do? Take note of Scripture. Is anyone sick? What is our first port of call - not the last, after all the tests and treatments have happened, often leaving folk in an undecided painful state? ‘Call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord' (James 5v14). What God-honouring health are we missing - what money are we wasting ("she had spent all her money on the physicians" (Luke 8v43)!),what ignoring of ‘body of Christ' protocols for health care, what assumption of the world's ways? Sure such prayer may put you in contact with another human instrument of help - but anxieties are held at bay, fears rightly arrested by tucking up under the wing of the Lord. This is no pretence stuff - deepening courage in Christ's grace, and as the psalmist shows, persistent gut-wrenching loud cries may be drawn as we learn our sonship at another level!
Another Scripture of gentle warning yet sure promise. Look at King Asa in 1 Kings 15. ‘Though his disease was severe he didn't seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians'. Jesus said seek first God's kingdom and righteousness and all these things (yes health anxieties, along with food and clothing daily needs) will be given-cared for as well (Matt 6v33). Let the King rule, go to him, persistently, helplessly, determinedly.
Christian patients, remember the worldly medical industry is just that. Health workers are as needy for customers as the owner of the newsagency in the same shopping complex. That's understandable, we are all the same. Don't make a medic what they are not. Patients, with their anxieties and expectations are often more of the problem.
And a word to Christian doctors. Don't over-service, don't rush patients (use patience) with the quick prescription of the latest drug the pharmaceutical vendor has talked up. Take the care needed or have the honesty to say: ‘I really can't help you.' Don't conform to the AMA, or the clinic fraternity ‘groupthink'. Your oath is to Christ not Hippocrates or the clinic group. Have courage to admonish church-going patients to follow the teaching of Scripture and refer them to the pastor/elders - see above. You are not their pastor. You may see less people but you will do better in the eyes of God. If correction is needed do it now, before the awful scrutiny of the world falls upon you as it has upon worldliness in the church. Let faithful Christians, pastors, doctors and all show in practice an alternative to what is becoming a trouble in our nation. We need New Testament consistent health care, not worldly health snare.