Dr. Miggiani has graciously agreed to write a medical column in each issue of this magazine, as the Lord leads and gives direction. The main focus of this column will be to look at medical issues from a Biblical perspective and endeavor to develop awareness on issues and encourage Christian ethics regarding these matters. Your Comments and Questions are Welcome!
Christian greetings to my brothers and sisters, subscribers and readers of “The Heartbeat of the Remnant”! It is a privilege to have been asked to contribute to this worthy publication.
Before becoming a born-again, baptized Christian 21 years ago, I was in the US Air Force, as a pilot, for almost a decade. During that time, the Lord put it in my heart to turn away from “breaking things and killing people” (the self-professed mantra of the military man) to become a healer of mankind through Christ, as He wills. I am endeavoring to work this out through my current profession, as a full-time, emergency room, medical doctor, which I have been practicing now for the past 18 years.
It has been a long road traveled, but I have been greatly blessed to have been accompanied by my cherished wife, Lori, and our eight children. We have two biological and five adopted children which are a great blessing. Additionally, we had another biological son who was killed in a tractor accident approximately five-and-a-half years ago. We currently reside in Holmes County, Ohio.
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;” 1Pe 1:13
In these times of great uncertainty, it is good to see the concerned brethren, of the board for “The Berean Voice”, seek God’s grace in inspiring and exhorting the community of believers. For my part, I hope to inspire you to be the best steward possible of the body and mind the Lord has given you. Additionally, I would like to show you how a person can exercise discernment within the multitude of constantly changing medical and psychological theories, practices, and fads that are out there.
In medical school, we were taught about the “bio/psycho/social” view of man. In this view, man is rightly viewed as being more complex than that of simply being a biological machine. One’s state of “whole” health is an intricate interaction of three things: his biology, state of mind, and social/physical environment. Think of someone with a chronic disease and how it affects his state of mind and his standard of living—or vice versa —how a poor standard of living or poor state of mind can lead to chronic physical health problems.
To the Christian, this view is incomplete. We are “bio/psycho/social/spiritual” beings. It is by the sovereign grace of God that we are not condemned by the iniquities of our fathers (in a general sense). Neither do our environments, genetics or mental predispositions deprive us of the hope in God that is set before us. (see Psa 103, Eze 18, Jer 31:29-end, 1Pe 3:9, & Rev 22:17.)
But this is also wherein lies the origin for many of the apparent conflicts between the “medical community” and the “community of believers”. According to the mindset of too many medical practitioners, a person’s “spiritual being” is a mere figment of his or her mental condition. By having this perspective, these medical professionals deny the wisdom and power of God.
It is for this reason, for example, that when studying the effects of spanking, they see no difference between beatings that are done in anger, or “using the rod” in a spirit of love. So it is no surprise that in denying God’s Word (Pro 22; 23; etc.), the results of these “studies” show negative outcomes and Christians are viewed with suspicion. Herein the society of humans is accepted as being sovereign, instead of realizing and accepting the fact that God is the one who is the Creator and therefore the one who sets all standards of life. Many would say that only those in charge of a given society are qualified to make important decisions for that culture, and also for the individuals living therein.
By the same token, if we as Christians put our individual opinions above that of God’s written Word, don’t we end up testing Him? For example, we need to be careful about not putting our faith in anecdotal testimonials, that run in contradiction to sound and legitimate scientific studies. In other words, when we place our trust in potentially harmful remedies, while trying to eke out a few more days on earth, it may put us at odds with God’s will for our life.
Our God is supernatural and unconstrained by the laws of physics or biology. In addition to the Bible, He also gave us the tool of science with which to help us improve our physical state. So how do we navigate the complexities of life and medical dilemmas that seem to continually confront us as we go through the process of decay, while on this earth with mortal bodies?
Since the time of Adam, the key to this struggle is in finding the Truth, where neither the pseudo-science of the society of man or the false hopes of the individual is placed above the sovereignty of God. There is no contradiction in this, and we do not need to deny that miracles still happen. We simply need to recognize that for most of us, God has chosen to enhance the miracle of our lives by using the blessings of science, medicine, and healthcare providers that honor Him.
In the next number of magazine articles, I would like to probe deeper into the issues and conflicts in medicine that can pull Christians away from having a close walk with the Lord. Here is a sampling of the type of topics that we could take a look at, in regards to Christian ethics in light of the modern healthcare mentality: tainted vaccines, end-of-life complexities, comfort care and the Christian, birth control, homosexuality, opiate addictions, and medical marijuana, just to name a few.
- Should a Christian have a “zero-tolerance” attitude towards birth control?
- What principles can we find in God’s Word relating to a “pro-life” vs “planned parenthood” mentality?
- Should it cause us spiritual concern that some vaccines are manufactured from cultures derived from aborted fetus tissue?
- If we accept “medical marijuana” as being legitimate, will we someday do the same for alcohol?
- If a drunkard is barred from entering heaven, should we also be concerned about dependency on other “mood altering” substances?
- Did you know that “comfort care” tends to be focused on drugging all pain, with little or no concern for a clear mind at the time of death?
Just like having a fat bank account can tend to draw us to a life of comfort and away from God, so also can buying into the attitude that “if it feels good or seems to make sense, then it must be okay.” Modern medicine has been the vehicle that makes such things happen. For example, it does this by separating poor healthcare choices from their natural repercussions, as mentioned earlier in this article. It can even change our opinions on what actually constitutes a blessing (as in how we view our children). So join me in the next issue as we delve into these issues and more!