The Bible and Christian healing
FOR centuries people have recognized the literary beauty of the Bible, valued it from a historical standpoint, and seen it as indispensable for moral and spiritual regeneration. But the Holy Bible has another kind of value that has only begun to be utilized. The truths contained in this precious book, if lived in daily life, bring healing. For example, once I was called very early in the morning by the husband of an acquaintance. He said that his wife had taken an overdose of drugs; she was also an alcoholic. She was unconscious, and her husband could barely feel a pulse. He was panic-stricken, and asked me to come over and pray for her. I had only met the couple a few times before, but was impressed with their deep desire to live a righteous life. The husband was a member of a Protestant church; and the wife, although not religiously affiliated, was a seeker for truth. Yet both seemed to feel that the cure of her trouble was an impossible task. The apparent power of evil and, in general, a frustration with life seemed so real to this family that they felt things were hopeless. The alcoholism and drugs were looked at as a means of esca pe, but had only made life much worse. Yet in this extremity they had called for help! And this call was a first step toward healing and regeneration. I took my Bible and drove to their home, confident of the fact that it wasn't me as a human being they were seeking but the power of the Word of God, which they knew I loved and cherished. When I arrived, the young woman was on the floor. Her husband and I propped her up with her back against the couch, and I began talking to her of God's love and ever-availability to help. I told her that the same power that delivered the children of Israel from Egyptian captivity, that saved Daniel from the lions and the Apostle Paul from the viper's sting was there to save and defend her. I began to read aloud from the Sermon on the Mount,1 which gives the requirements for effective prayer and shows us how to defend our prayers, to protect their usefulness. In it Christ Jesus said, ``Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.'' 2 Could anyone have been a more poignant example of poverty in spirit than this woman? But what did Jesus say about this mental state? That it was beyond help? No! Jesus said it was blessed of God. Those who sincerely see sin or mistakes of the past as wrong can intelligently repent of the wrong and experience healing. The kingdom of heaven, the consciousness that God, good, is governing our lives, is equal to every emergency. When the young woman regained consciousness, I asked her to repeat with me the Lord's Prayer and to really think about its meaning. When we were finished, she seemed quite normal in every way. She thanked me for coming over, and expressed her deep love for the Bible. This incident was a new beginning for that woman. There wasn't an immediate transformation of character and life style. But the change did come. She was healed of drug abuse, alcoholism, immorality. And her spiritual progress con- tinues. Christian Science healing through prayer uplifts--spiritualizes--thought and life, giving the individual a clearer sense of his relationship to God and of his true selfhood as God's pure, perfect likeness. This results in the betterment of human conditions. When I was leaving the woman's home, I told her what Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, has to say about the Sermon on the Mount: ``To my sense the Sermon on the Mount, read each Sunday without comment and obeyed throughout the week, would be enough for Christian practice. The Word of God is a powerful preacher, and it is not too spiritual to be practical, nor too transcendental to be heard and understood.'' 3 The Bible provides the very foundation of pure Christian healing. What could be more meaningful than to read the Sermon on the Mount on Sunday and live its teaching every day of the week, realizing that the Word of God is practical, that it can heal the ills of the world? What could be a more meaningful way of celebrating National Bible Week than to resolve to fulfill this practice throughout the year? 1 See Matthew, chaps. 5-7. 2Matthew 5:3. 3 Message to The Mother Church for 1901, p. 11.