Pastoral Counseling In The Twenty-First Century For Illness, Disease, And Death -- By: Christopher Bogosh

Journal: Puritan Reformed Journal
Volume: PRJ 01:1 (Jan 2009)
Article: Pastoral Counseling In The Twenty-First Century For Illness, Disease, And Death
Author: Christopher Bogosh

Pastoral Counseling In The Twenty-First Century For Illness, Disease, And Death

Christopher Bogosh

In the twenty-first century, many pastors have become unbiblical in their approach to illness, disease, and death. Medical science in the West, with its theory of naturalism and its plan to eradicate these human afflictions at all costs, has influenced even some of the most orthodox pastors. In fact, it is the only goal of many pastors today to enhance the wellness and health of Christians in this present life, rather than to help them understand the providential and afflicting hand of God in their suffering. This paper brings to light some of these issues and presents a model for pastoral counseling to those who are facing illness, disease, and death in the twenty-first century.

The Etiology Of Illness, Disease, And Death

Around the world, ill health, infections, and death are viewed from a variety of perspectives that are influenced by culture, religion, philosophy, and science. In the West, for the most part, these afflictions are seen in a naturalistic context, particularly by the medical sciences That is, illness, disease, and death are caused by impersonal and mechanistic forces in nature. Beyond this point, however, medical science has to join the ranks of false religion, philosophy, and the social sciences and admit that they really have no ultimate answer for the etiology of ailments, pathological conditions, and organic death. Why? No objective evidence exists that explains how these impersonal and mechanistic forces were set into motion. There is a plethora of theories, but there are no concrete answers.

The predominant assumption found in the medical sciences is built on an evolutionary paradigm. Simply stated, this view holds that life started on the earth in molecular form and evolved into cells that

contain genetic material called DNA. In the course of cell division, the DNA underwent random aberrations known as mutations. Some of these genetic abnormalities resulted in illness and death for the cells. Other mutations gave rise to cells that became deadly agents like viruses and bacteria. Still other mutations caused the evolution of complex organisms, resulting eventually in a plethora of different species, including Homo sapiens, or human beings. In a nutshell, illness, disease, and death are the result of blind natural forces that are interwoven into the very fabric of our existence.

According to the majority opinion in modern medical science, this is the way life is, and it was never any other way. Ailments, infections, the eventual extinction of our physical bodies, and all the pain and suffering that go along with them are...

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