Overcoming Medical-Spiritual Dualism

Posted: July 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

Most of us who have tried to integrate the world of spirit with the world of science, recognizing their distinctive ways and yet common reality, have insisted that we overcome religious dualism when it comes to health, wholeness and medicine. Some religious traditions present a kind of “either-or” approach; spiritual healing OR modern medical science. In fact, reliance on medical science is seen by some of the faithful as a kind of weakness, that you didn’t quite have enough faith to rely on God alone. Whole movements like Christian Science take this view. They are to be lauded for their insistence that spiritual healing is real and faith matters. But they are at fault when they toss out this baby with the bath water.

God is present in all aspects of healing because God is in everything. God is present through the community of prayer. God is present in hope and faith of the patient. God is in the healing touch of doctors and nurses and staff. God is present in brilliant research that discovers why the body acts the way it does and what can be done about it. God is in all these things.

As Kathy has moved through the maze of diagnostics and then treatment, I have become even more aware of this unity. What is not acceptable is a spiritual dualism, an either-or of faith or of medicine. It is a holy both-and. With an increasing awareness of this unity we began to change our language. “Pray for God’s healing or the healing of medicine” has become “Pray for spiritual healing and the healing by God’s doctors, God’s researchers, God’s treatment.” All of it. Together. One.

  1. David McGee says:

    Well said, Tim!

  2. N Miller says:

    Absolutely true–it is impossible to believe that the God of all things does not use all of our gifts for healing and hope.

  3. Nita Gilger says:

    Amem! A blending of all of the above is not only common sense, but a very balanced and wholesome view of the larger picture which is ever so specific to you and Kathy. Godspeed. Sending love and prayers to you and all who have the opportuity to help you.

  4. Jan Coffman says:

    Good article.

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