What is a Christian view of prescription drugs?
Doctors prescribe drugs to relieve pain and provide healing—both biblically compatible goals. Jesus also provided relief of pain and healing (Matthew 15:29–31).
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Our physical ailments are caused as a result of sin in the world, just as our spiritual ailments. By healing people, Jesus exhibited God's compassion. He is often referred to as the Great Physician and will provide the ultimate healing of the entire creation (Romans 8:18–22).
One of the writers of a Gospel is a physician—Luke (Colossians 4:14). Luke also wrote Acts. Though he did not write prescriptions in the way modern doctors do, he did use the medicines and treatments available at the time.
Another writer of Scriptures, Paul (though not a physician), instructed his protégé, Timothy, to use a bit of wine to settle his stomach (1 Timothy 5:23). This was in keeping with the practice of the times of using alcohol to deaden pain and ease suffering. Alcohol is mentioned in Proverbs 31:6–7 in relationship to treating those who were dying to help relieve their suffering. Alcohol as an analgesic seems to be condoned by the Bible.
Most prescription drugs are primarily made from natural substances found in creation. The antibiotic Amoxil (Amoxicillin), for example, comes from a blue-green mold named Penicillum notatum—a substance God made. This created substance kills infectious bacteria, and God allowed humans to discover it and its uses. It is perfectly acceptable, and can glorify God, to use a substance He created to improve health.
So, when we think about the rightness of using prescription drugs, it is not so much the drugs that are an issue but how we use them. We should seek medical advice, only use drugs legally, and remain cognizant of possible side effects. Doctors will alert you of potential risks and dangers. As Christians, we should also ensure that we do not abuse the drugs or become addicted to them (1 Corinthians 6:12).
Ask God for wisdom (James 1:5) as you determine how to approach prescribed drugs. The Word of God makes no direct mention of them. Remember that a Christian's body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19–20) and should be treated with care and respect. We can rely upon God as the ultimate Healer, and yet seek the wisdom and intellect of physicians and researchers God has gifted. Through both God should get the glory for all healing, health, and wellness.
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