Health and Disease

In what ways are followers of Jesus demonstrating God's loving character through caring for the sick, preventing disease, and even attempting to eradicate some diseases?

Photo credit: Sanofi Pasteur - Flickr

Evaluating Approaches to Discovering Origins of Diseases: A Conversation with a Medical Doctor

WCIU Journal: Health and Disease Topic

by Mike Soderling, M.D.:

I think we need to be very careful about what we become convinced is the truth of a subject of interest to us. Chalk it up to my being a western trained allopathic physician if you wish, but remember my most important education came from the long-time mentorship of Dr. Dan Fountain who was a fringe thinker. But what we buy into must be proven and valid, not anecdotal. Believing in the anecdotal is a huge problem. It’s kind of like the problem of gossip. Once that juicy bit of half-truth gets out there and believed by a few it becomes in the minds of many, a full truth.

One topic that was near and dear to Dr. Daniel Fountain’s heart was the effect our spiritual state can have on our physical health. What does it do to our immune system if we believe we are under a curse that is intended to kill us? What does our mental and spiritual health have to do with auto-immune diseases becoming more prevalent? What might it have to do with DNA mutations and the development of cancer? Can this even be tested/measured?

Rebecca Winter Lewis, Strategist:

I think we will have to do a lot of evaluation ourselves, unfortunately. Given the 100-year concerted effort by the rich “philanthropists” to call any form of medicine that did not use their own chemical drugs as “quackery,” including their taking total control of the medical schools, AMA, and JAMA. Studies have to be actually evaluated on the basis of their independent research, not judged by pharma-funded “quack finder” websites.  

Even lack of Vitamin C causing scurvy would be laughed out of court if it had been discovered a bit later and not abundantly proven before the rise of modern scientific medicine. Likewise with beri beri or even Cretinism, which I am sure today would be under consideration as a genetic problem, though iodine during pregnancy easily prevents it. Nutritional and toxin causes of disease are regularly attacked as quackery and “unscientific” no matter how many scientific studies have been done or people cured. In fact, we may find that most of the inflammatory and autoimmune diseases today have nothing to do with either genetics or with lack of pharmaceutical chemicals, since they neither have existed significantly in former generations (as would be expected with genetic problems) nor are they being cured by synthesized chemicals.

Rather than simply treating/managing chronic ailments (many fatal) with synthetic designer chemicals, the whole point of getting to the root causes of disease is to prevent them from happening at all, like scurvy or death in childbirth due to unwashed hands of doctors. Most of these insights have not come from the mainstream in any generation, unfortunately.

Mike Sodering, M.D.:

I think you will find that I am very critical of the way in which “modern” medicine functions nowadays and am a strong advocate of local churches being significant players in caring for the whole person. I am all for exploring and exposing whatever it is that leads to human suffering but to focus too much of our energies on painting all that has to do with vaccines (which have saved MILLIONS of lives) or organized modern medicine is to take that energy away from what is really important. That is the human sin (putting one’s own desires to do as we please – eat unhealthy food, live a life of relative inactivity, pursuing “happiness” through mind altering drugs, etc.), and the works of Satan that destroy God’s intended order. Even modern medicine has a very significant role to play in what we seek to see happen. Remember, one of the greatest scourges in history, Small Pox, was eliminated by a vaccine!

Mike Soderling, M.D., is the director of the  Center for Health in Mission . He is also a member of  Frontier Ventures .

Mike Soderling, M.D., is the director of the Center for Health in Mission. He is also a member of Frontier Ventures.