When a pastor/man of God should seek medical treatment!
Men of God are generally perceived to be closer to God than an average person. As such, they are expected to have and demonstrate stronger faith in matters such as healthcare and healing. Sometimes, the thinking is that they shouldn’t fall ill and in case they do, they should get well without any external aid, such as going to the hospital for medical treatment. Should a man of God seek medical assistance, if so, how often? CHRIS IREKAMBA reports.
Good Health And Well Being Is By God’s Grace’
(Archbishop Joseph I. Ojo, Presiding Archbishop, Calvary Kingdom Church Int’l, Badagry Expressway)
THE issue of a minister taking ill and probably having stroke may not be as a result of not seeking medical help. Medical doctors are also known to be victims of such ailments. If one is healthy and has his entire body functioning very well, it is all by the grace of God.
The Bible is never against medical science. “Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered? – Jeremiah 8:22 Our Lord taught us that the sick need the physician – Luke 5:31.
Therefore, the servant of God should be able to rest well. The body needs rest, which in my opinion is the best form of medication. Jesus said: “Come ye apart and rest” (mark 6:31). The main cause of several physical ailments is lack of rest.
A well-rested body is prepared to serve the people of God longer and better. If we can maintain our cars, building, churches and other things, why won’t we do the same for our bodies?
A pastor who rests well in this temporary place of abode will eventually not be in a hurry to go to his final resting place. There is need, therefore, to maintain the body. The builder of a house has more honour than the house. (Hebrews 3:3)
‘Pastors Labour So Much, They Should Not Neglect Their Health’
(Bishop (Prof.) Iroelekanya Cyriacus Uwanaka, General Overseer, The Pentecostal Restoration Church, Mafoluku, Oshodi, Lagos)
A PASTOR was not born but made. No one is born a pastor but became one by training, so they are human beings. They are human beings called by God to minister to His people.
They can fall sick, be deceased, infected by killer viruses and can die because as humans they eat human food. Especially for the fact that they labour more, pastors are supposed to take precautionary measures. They engage in fasting, praying, counselling, hosting of different programmes such as conferences and crusades.
When members of his congregation are in pain or in difficult situation, it is the pastor’s responsibility to ensure they are okay. They go through a lot of stress, which does not really show except when sickness manifests. All these things put a good pastor under pressure.
A pastor needs periodic check ups and treatment, because while he thinks he is strong and healthy, stress and agents of sickness are building up in his body. The Bible does not condemn medical treatment.
Every pastor needs medical check up and treatment, as they are not spirits but humans. They have dependents and issues that task their body. Every sickness is not demonic. When one is sick, the first thing is to pray and then take the person to hospital. The problem is that many pastors do not have money to go for medical treatment.
‘It Is Not Sinful For A Man Of God To Go For Medical Check up’
(The Rt. Rev. (Dr.) Isaac Ayo Olawuyi, Bishop, Diocese of Lagos Mainland Methodist Church Nigeria)
GOD is the Creator of all things. He created the body and soul. He made the day and night. At creation, He did not create man first, but last. He first created all things such as light, waters, land, grass, trees, fishes, animals, and at the end He created man.
In this case, God provided all that man would need for survival. It is known as God’s providential care.
So, whether someone is a man of God or not, as far he or she lives under this planet, he/she needs all those things created by God to survive.
God equally said I have given you all these things as food. All food we eat is a form of medicine. Food provides the body all it requires. Water is a solution to thirst and food is a solution to hunger. Anytime we eat or drink water, we are already taking care of the body medically.
In fact, it is generally accepted now that if we eat healthy by taking enough fruits, vegetables and natural food and undertake moderate exercise, we may not experience illness.
On this premise, I want to note that whoever eats food and drinks water cannot claim exoneration from the use of medicine. It is pertinent and advisable for all including men of God to take care of their bodies. This can be done in many ways.
There is need to sleep during the required hours, eat what is good for the body, drink enough water, do moderate exercise and go for check up as well.
There is no sin in going to the hospital for a check up or treatment. God does not say anything against taking care of our body medically.
Jesus said those that are well have no need of the physicians but only the sick. (Mark 2:17). It is unfortunate that many pastors are so ignorant of the goodness and wisdom of God, as provided for us in the things He created and the people He empowered medically to take care of our body.
It is quite wrong or you can call it ingratitude to ignore such benefits from God. Psalm 103 vs. 1&2 says “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”
There have been cases of pastors who slumped during ministrations, just as there have been cases of pastors who suffered stroke and many others who died suddenly or went through protracted illnesses. It doesn’t mean they have committed a sin or that God has rejected them. And it doesn’t mean the enemies prevailed over them or that God was unable to deliver them.
Some of these happenings are sometime due to neglect of the health principles and failure to apply medication as at when due. But we have to know that the doctor cares but God cures. God remains the ultimate Healer of His people.
‘In Anglican Church Bishops Go For Medical Checkup Every January’
(Archbishop Michael Olusina Fape, Anglican Bishop, Diocese of Remo, Sagamu, Ogun State)
SINCE the word of God is eternally true, I believe what the Scripture says in Third John is equally applicable to men of God, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” (III John 1:2).
There is no denying the fact of divine healing. It is part of God’s provisions made available to human beings through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Matthew 8:17; Mark 16:16-18).
While divine healing was a common phenomenon in the ministries of Jesus Christ and the Apostles in the early Church, it is also evident in contemporary Church. However, there is nothing wrong in men of God seeking medical advice and treatment.
Doctors and other professionals in the medical field have been endowed with requisite knowledge by God through their professional training. It is God who gives wisdom. So, there is nothing wrong going for medical treatment. In fact, it is clear from the Scriptures that the use of medication is sanctioned by God.
First, in the Old Testament we read how King Hezekiah was healed from his sickness, when God added 15 years to his age, “Now Isaiah had said, ‘Let them take a lump of figs, and apply it as a poultice on the boil, and he (Hezekiah) shall recover” (Isaiah 38:21).
Second, in the New Testament, we also read from the book of Revelation divine approval of the use of medicine, “In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month.
The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations” (Revelation 22:2).
God wants His ministers to fulfil their divine mandate, and in doing this they need healthy bodies. We thank God for the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).
Every Bishop goes through a comprehensive medical checkup every January during the yearly Bishops’ Retreat. On many occasions, this has helped to identify medical issues of great concern, with accompanied recommendations for quick medical solutions.
Therefore, there is nothing wrong for ministers of God to go for medical checkup regularly, and when there are health issues, appropriate treatment should be sought.
Routine Checkups Are Necessary, Especially If Pastor/Clergy Is Above 50’
(Bishop Moses Adedipe, General Superintendent of The Universal Christian Missions Int’l, Lagos)
Due to the sensitivity and arduous task of a pastor or a clergy, there is often the need for him/her to go for personal check ups every now and then, especially if such pastor/clergy is 50 years and above.
From scripture, you will realise that God is quite favourably disposed towards the good health of His people, as can be seen from the following scriptures: Gen 1 29-30: And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
After the creation of man, God gave us every herb bearing seed, wherein there is life for meat (for healing of the body) and 3 John 2, the Bible says, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health even as thy soul prospereth; 1Timothy 523, Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.
To avoid cases of stroke, slumping and falling dead, care must be taken in the areas of food, relaxation and resting. Technology has improved seriously that personal home checkups should be adopted such as blood pressure, sugar test, and physical exercises, among others.
According to those in medical profession, ‘We care, but God heals.’ We know that prayer is efficacious and uncontestable, but while we are praying and waiting on God, medical checkups/treatment are also very important.
They should be encouraged. We should stop blaming the devil for a pastor/man of God’s ignorance or carelessness. Health lectures should be encouraged regularly in the church. Health is wealth.