A belief that our Creator is also our Sustainer has implications for bodily life sometimes overlooked by an incarnationally weak theology. In spite of abundant Scriptures about God’s practical concern for humanity's physical needs, evangelicals often succumb to Gnosticism’s heretical emphasis on spiritual life alone. One result of this theological error is a disregard for God's gracious care for our bodily health through nature.
When illness confronts believers, this lack of faith in natural remedies often leads Christians to entrust their ailments to the latest TV drug advertisement. They doubt that creation itself might offer them any help. In fact, this trend of unbelief tends to consecrate the medical industry as God's chosen gatekeeper of healing grace. But here’s a logical question: Did all prior generations miss out on the Creator’s grace? Did God have to wait for the development of modern medicine so that He could really meet human health needs?
As an RN, I work with modern therapies and appreciate today’s advances in technology. I also witness how pride of knowledge blinds some medical people from seeing and thinking outside their box. God does work inside the walls of their box, even more than they know. But, in keeping with His character, He infused into creation itself, from the very beginning, much that supports the health and healing of humanity.
Many of today’s alternative healthcare modalities were first discovered by the trial and error of our ancient ancestors. Therapies that didn't really help were often associated with practitioners seeking fame or wealth, which are the same motivations in much of the business of medicine today. The ones that did work well still do. They were always natural and free, and still are.
I’m not calling for an exodus of believers from medical care, but I’d like to see God’s people theologically emancipated from the slave market of drug companies. I’m urging Christians to put a proper view of their Provider into practice when it comes to health, and that means being open to what He has already provided for health maintenance in His creation.
God built human bodies to heal themselves. So, the effectiveness of any natural healthcare method is in how it supports or enhances that process. The book that helped me to start thinking “outside the box” was Return to Nature by Aldoph Just. He wrote of sun, air, mud, and cold water bathing, as well as massage therapy, natural diet, and loose clothing. My further study found most of his ideas validated by the research of modern times. I will mention three areas.
One is sunbathing. In his amazing book Sunlight, Dr. Zane R. Kime reports a myriad of natural health benefits gained from judiciously exposing skin to the sun. Because of Just’s book, I’d already started full-body sunbathing in the seclusion of our backyard. Dr. Kime’s research motivated me to stick with it. As my skin tanned, I stopped getting so many colds and sore throats. Vitamin D was strengthening my immune system. I felt as if the sun’s rays were charging my body’s battery. It’s an awesome sensation, and it’s free.
Another is skin contact with the earth. The testimonies reported by Just seemed honest, but my scientific mind had trouble accepting them until recently, when my wife started reading me the book Earthing (get the book, or at least Google “earthing” or “grounding”). We electrically ground our houses, but synthetic-soled shoes usually keep us from grounding ourselves. Rarely do we go barefoot on grass or moist soil. Yet electron-hungry free-radicals in our bodies can steal electrons from healthy tissues causing an array of chronic inflammations. The earth is an endless source of electrons that quench the activity of free-radicals faster than eating anti-oxidant-rich foods or supplements. Lately each morning, I try to ground my whole body on a wet sheet as I sunbathe. It’s starting to alleviate the arthritic pain I’ve been having in my elbow. Try this free therapy yourself. It can’t hurt, and it may help!
Then there’s wearing loose or minimal clothing. The bare-skinned air-and-light baths suggested by Just were coupled with a call for wearing non-restrictive clothing to improve circulation and get more air to the skin. Dress can be toxic to health, as women who wore the once fashionable corset so painfully learned. But the brazier—the remaining vestige of the corset—continues the toxicity. The authors of Dressed to Kill – The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras show how this restrictive belt around female chests congests circulation and slows the lymphatic system’s natural work of carrying away toxins and wasted material from breast tissue. It's a setup for cancer. Removing the bra allows lymph to flow naturally and perform its tissue-cleansing work, just as God designed it to do. This book's research is in the “no-brainer” category, but why does our culture brainlessly ignore it? Is it that we’re brain-washed by a medical mindset to think of treating disease with drugs rather than with prevention?
These are just examples of an abundance of natural practices built into creation that can help us stay healthy. If they don’t motivate you to do your own research, as I've done, listing more of them won't help. My purpose is to get you to be honest with your theology. If you believe in a good and gracious God Who cares about your body, as well as your soul and spirit, then start putting your faith into practice. Cease to be a skeptic about finding His grace for health and healing in the natural world that He created. Educate yourself in the alternatives.