Tom: Thanks, Gary. I’m here with Dave Hunt in the studio, and we’re continuing the discussion of his book Occult Invasion: The Subtle Seduction of the World and the Church. And if you’ve been following along, we’re about up to Chapter 14, and today’s topic is holistic medicine. Now, that’s a subject that has just proliferated, particularly in this country, but actually throughout the world.
Dave, I want to begin by quoting from USA Weekend: “With one in three Americans turning to alternative healers, a government panel has prescribed a change in doctor’s training. Now more MDs to be are studying cures from herbs to prayer. In 50 of the USA’s 135 medical schools, anatomy and biochemistry are being supplemented with acupuncture, homeopathy, nutrition, massage, and prayer. A panel at the National Institutes of Health recommended all medical and nursing students be exposed to alternative theories and techniques.”
Well, that sounds like a – quiet an optimistic or positive encouragement in this field, Dave. Do we have any problems with it?
Dave: Well, this little word “alternative” covers a multitude of sins, or it could – like “alternative lifestyle” means, then, it doesn’t really matter what kind of a lifestyle you have; whether it’s biblical or godly or not, it’s just an alternative. Alternative…what do you mean by alternative? Well, anything now, apparently. But generally what they mean by alternative medicine is New Age. Some of the things that were listed here – for example, acupuncture. Well, generally, it comes out of the Occult based upon the yin and the yang, the idea that there are certain force centers in the body, meridians, that they can realign. You can realign this force that permeates everything that’s in the body. It’s not scientific; they have done tests on acupuncture where it turns out to be more a placebo than anything else. However, as soon as you begin to trust in something for which there is no medical, physiological, scientific explanation, then you could be…but it works, then you could be trusting in a demonic power.
Tom: Well, the idea of holistic medicine, “holistic” – body, mind, and spirit. Now, on the surface, that sounds – well, yeah, you want to deal with the whole man, the whole being, as it were. But as you point out in the book, what do medical doctors, MDs – these are science degrees – what do they know about spirit?
Dave: Yeah, well, three simple, quick questions you could ask your doctor, or whoever is involved with this…doctor… So you could say, “Doctor, did you really study how to diagnose and treat spirits in medical school? Well, doctor, what kind of – you say holistic medicine – what kind of medicine do you give to spirits?” The third question: “Well, doctor, isn’t ‘spirit’ a religious term? Well then, would you please tell me what religion this is that you’re passing off on your patients in the name of the latest medical science?”
Michael Harner, one of the world’s leading anthropologists, he is a practicing shaman himself. In the book The Way of the Shaman, he says that holistic medicine, that’s just the old witchcraft. I just came back from three weeks in Zimbabwe in South Africa, and I can tell you they’ve been practicing holistic medicine there for thousands of years. The witch doctors do it. They’ve got all kinds of ideas; they’ve got potions, and so forth…
Homeopathy, as you mentioned, or was mentioned in the article, the idea behind homeopathy is that you dilute…you take arsenic, which would kill you in a normal dose, and you dilute it, and dilute it, and dilute it, thousands of times, until finally a chemist couldn’t even find a trace of arsenic in that solution. But there is some kind of a force that remains from arsenic, supposedly, which will then be like an antidote to poisons. The prayer is…
Tom: Well, Dave, before you get into prayer, because this is a major part of it, we’re going to see how all of this moves or is attempting to move into things that we as evangelicals would accept, things like prayer and faith.
But I want to back up a little bit: acupuncture, for example – as you were talking about, the whole idea of acupuncture, acupressure, all of these healing systems, it involves spiritual energy. I mean, that’s what they’re designed to do, right? To realign and to…no, go ahead.
Dave: They may not call it spiritual, but it’s nonphysical. It’s some mysterious energy that science cannot identify. So what is it? This is the soul, the spirit that we’re dealing…like in the massage it also mentioned, I don’t want someone massaging me, trying to line up my chakras, my force, and trying to readjust my spiritual energies, you know? What does that mean?
Tom: Well, there’s really no device…I mean, this is nonphysical, so what kind of physiological apparatus would you be able to apply to this to know… To a certain degree, when you’re dealing with the laws of physics and chemistry, you can create an apparatus to measure. But how do you measure spirit?
Dave: The body has certain physiological properties that we can measure, and…but now we’re into something that you’re going to take by faith. What does this mean? Let me give you an example, Tom: I received a phone call from a chiropractor – this is not to condemn all chiropractors – but she was into reflexology, which is the idea that everything, you know, is centered in your feet; and whatever your problem is, whether it’s in your brain or your eyes or your kidney or your heart, there’s some center down there that you can massage. And she was asking – she called me and asked me about this, and I said, “Why do you ask me?”
“Well,” she said, “since we got involved in this, been some really strange things happening in our home, and I’m just wondering whether there’s some spiritual power that we’ve gotten involved with through reflexology.”
I asked her a simple question: I said, “Can you explain to your patients how this works? Can you show a scientific connection? Never mind what somebody came up with on the charts and so forth, but can you give a real scientific connection through nerves and so forth that everything goes down to the sole of the foot? Can you scientifically explain what you are doing and what effect it is going to have on someone’s heart or colon or whatever?”
Well, she said, “No.”
Well, then I said, “How can you justify charging someone for something that you can’t even explain how it works? That doesn’t seem ethical, let alone what kind of a spiritual power this is that you have involved yourself in.” So this is the problem, but people are very gullible. They want to find something that will give them a cure. That’s why they go to faith healers, for example, and here comes along acupuncture, acupressure, reflexology, iridology (you can diagnose by looking in the eye), and so forth – there’s no scientific explanation of these things, but they do seem to work. Well, but if you can’t explain how they work, and there’s no physiological basis for it, then it must be some spiritual thing. And as you mentioned, now that brings us into faith, brings us into prayer: is this just a placebo, a placebo being just a little sugar pill, and it will probably do at least 10-15 percent (maybe even more in cases) what you think it will do, so your mind works on it? I think we talked about it before. Solomon says that a merry heart doeth good like a medicine, so there is a connection. If you have a happy disposition, you’ll probably be healthier than if you’re going around growling and complaining all the time…
Tom: But a healthy disposition’s not going to heal a broken arm.
Dave: That’s right. So there is – there are…
Tom: It may help! I mean…
Dave: It will help, but there are limitations. But now we’re talking about miraculous stuff. And then we get into prayer – prayer to whom? So Harvard Medical School is doing – all kinds of medical schools are doing this; it doesn’t matter whether you pray to [unintelligible], or Confucius, or to the Star Wars force, but prayer works! Now, that’s a little bit suspicious, isn’t it, for a Christian I would think, because the Bible claims that God, the God of the Bible, is the one true God, that all other gods are false; that He alone answers prayer, He alone is the Creator, He alone can do this. Now, if you’ve got some other source of this, then it definitely is not of God. But the strange thing, the thing that really disturbs me, is you have schools like Wheaton College, for example, and they have been involved in joint seminars and conferences with non-Christians where they’re talking about the power of faith to heal. Christianity Today carried a number of articles about this; they seem quite happy that prayers to a non-Christian God will heal. Well, Satan does have some powers, and if we’re not getting it from God, we’re getting it from somewhere else.
Tom: Well, let me quote from the article Christianity Today: in part it says, “Academics are developing studies aimed at establishing a scientifically discernable link between prayer and healing. The landmark study that began generating new interest was conducted by Randolph Byrd in 1984 involving approximately 400 patients at San Francisco General Hospital.”
Now, our concern here is, well, a scientific – they’re trying to establish a scientific link between prayer and healing. Now, that, on one hand, it’s scary, because some Christians then get excited: “Oh, see? We have proof that prayer works!” As I said, it gets them excited, but it ought not, because when you follow these studies, you find, “Well, who were they praying to, and on what basis? Are they believers? Do they really have a relationship with the Lord, or does it matter who you pray to?”
Dave: Yeah. Tom, we also mentioned in earlier programs, and it’s very difficult in a brief time to cover a topic adequately, but the worst thing you can do is mix science with Christianity. Christian science…no. Christianity is not scientific. It doesn’t work by laws; science works by laws. It works by faith, faith in God, and He is not bound by laws. So that’s one of the major problems. So we have the mind science cults, religious science cults, and if it works by laws, then I don’t need God. It’s something that He has built into His universe. You don’t have to be a Christian to fly an airplane, or to flip the switch and get electric current flowing through. Unfortunately, this is the very teaching of Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Yonggi Cho – the laws of the fourth dimension Yonggi Cho talks about…he says even non-Christians can benefit from this, but these are supposedly spiritual laws, and that Christians need to tap into this as well. So as soon as you get into the area of “religious science,” then you have abandoned the Bible. God is not bound by laws; Christianity does not work by laws. The laws of God, the moral laws, only condemn us. Redemption comes by faith in Christ. Miracles don’t work by laws. Just think for a moment, whoever’s listening out there: if it works by a law, it’s not a miracle. In fact, that’s what the atheist would say to you: “You think that was a miracle because you don’t understand the laws that were at work. But if you understand the laws, then you understand it’s not a miracle, it all works by laws! This is science, just like a chemical reaction in a test tube! And your God,” this is what the atheist would say, “your God is a God of the gaps! Your God is a hypothesis to explain what science hasn’t yet explained, and once science has explained everything, we don’t need your God.” And that’s the goal of atheistic materialism. And now that Christians would then think that if they can only make Christianity scientific – this is what Mary Baker Eddy tried to do – that then they made a great breakthrough, a great achievement. No, it is the destruction of true faith in a true Christianity.
Tom: Yeah. So this enthusiasm that science, seeming to recognize the power of prayer or the power of faith, actually destroys the faith of the Bible, it destroys what the Bible teaches about prayer.
Dave: It does. Science can tell you nothing about good or bad, God or eternity, where we came from, where we’re going. Science can’t tell you why a sunset is beautiful. Science cannot deal with the soul. In fact, you remember – I think we quoted him before, but when Albert Einstein came up with the theory of relativity, people used to say, “Whoa, theory of relativity? I guess that mean’s everything is relative. What is that going to do to morals and religion?”
Einstein said, “Absolutely nothing!” He said, “This is science, and science has nothing to do with religion.” But as soon as you begin to put the two together in a partnership, then you have really destroyed the truth of God.
Tom: You know, Dave, I know there are some people out here who are so much into this that they’re upset by what we’re saying, and the tendency is to say, “Well, these guys, they don’t believe in natural healing. They don’t believe in anything about this stuff that may be good.” That’s not the case. I mean, I’m sitting across – folks, I’m sitting across from a guy who is into foods, into natural foods, not into chemicals, not into over-prescription of drugs, or anything like that. I mean, this is what we – I won’t say that we champion, but this is what we go for…
Dave: Some people have facetiously called me the “apostle of garlic,” because I think garlic is so healthful, and it helps your immune system. But that’s…
Tom [laughing]: Right, and you’re on the other side of the table, so it’s not a problem for me right now.
Dave: That’s right. But that is something else. Now we’re getting into a mysterious power that works by laws. I can’t give you any laws for good nutrition. I mean, hopefully it will help, but…
Tom: But nutrition, again, now we’re talking about something that is physiological. God created us. I mean, He created the food that we’re to eat. So…
Dave: You eat proper food, the body God gave you will work better.
Tom: But when we begin to make a shift, or when we’re drawn into this “alternative,” so-called, medicine…
Dave: It’s magic.
Tom: Exactly. Exactly. It’s a spiritual thing. And fine, if we’re going to talk about spiritual things, let’s go to what we believe, and (which can defend itself) God’s Word, which is – I mean, that’s the Manufacturer’s Handbook. This is what…He’s the one, and the only one, who can tell us what is true about spirituality.
Dave: So the problem is that we’re moving off into another religion, another faith that does not – is not based upon the Word of God. The Bible tells us we are to “earnestly contend for the faith, once for all delivered to the saints.”
And somebody says, “Yeah, but you’re getting off in the area of healing and medicine, and so forth.” Yes, but it impinges upon the area that the Bible says is its sole authority: that is the soul and the spirit, and this is the basic problem. So it seems innocent enough, but now it can lead me astray. And the next thing you know, I’m believing that there’s some force out there; I’m believing that they’re in the yin and the yang; I’m believing in the Tao, you know, this universal Star Wars force that permeates everything, and “If I can just learn how to manipulate this, and there are these techniques…”
Tom: So you’ve bought a worldview that’s contrary to the biblical worldview.
Dave: Right, and, believe me, this is the world of the occult. And I just saw it again in Africa, I’ve seen it in the South Pacific, I’ve seen it around the world, and it is here in North American indigenous: witchcraft, the medicine man, and so forth. It’s in the environmental movement – the worship of creation instead of the Creator; and it is very subtle, but it leads us away from the true gospel that we are to earnestly contend for.
Tom: So people have to check these things out. One of the – I think one of the drives and motivations in seeking these things… Dave, when we’re hurt, when we need healing, when the doctor says, “Try this, try this, and try this,” and nothing works, nobody wants to live with pain; nobody wants to live with a condition that doesn’t give them a full range of life. So they’re seeking after help. And our heart goes out to people like that. I mean, we’ve been in situations like that ourselves, but you’ve got to seek after truth. You’ve got to seek after ideas, or concepts that are consistent with the way God created the universe, not with, basically, lies.
Dave: Let me give a specific example of the problem, Tom: this is Christianity Today again, and it’s quoting Siang-Yang Tan, Associate Professor of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary, and he says, “We can’t on the basis of Byrd’s study,” that was a particular study, “say that prayer offered through Jesus is better than a Muslim’s prayer offered to Allah, only that some prayer is better than no prayer. You will never be able to prove that the Judeo-Christian God is the true God. That can only be known through faith.” On the contrary, we can prove that the Christian God is the one true God, and faith that doesn’t have a foundation in fact is not faith. So this is deadly; it’s leading people…if I can’t prove I don’t really know that the Christian God is the true God, I don’t know that the Christian gospel was the true gospel, but I take it by faith, why don’t I take Buddhism by faith? It would be the same kind of faith. Faith must be founded upon facts, and when you get into the area of holistic medicine – mind, body, spirit, the yin, the yang, and all of this – there are no facts. There are no physiological facts, there’s no medical facts, but now what we do is we go by results. “Well, if it seems to work, then we’ll take it!” That’s experience, and when it comes to the area of the spirit, the soul, man’s eternal…this impinges upon man’s eternal destiny; I do not go by experience! I can feel really great and be on my way to hell. I must go by God’s Word, and Jesus warned – He said, “Straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it.” And this holistic medicine, the whole practice of it, brings us into the broad – the broad road where anything goes, so long as it works, and Jesus said that’s the road to destruction.