Atheist's Attacks

Answering Humanist's Accusations Against the Bible

Christian Resources

A Summary Of What The Bible Teaches

Can Religious Acts, Ceremonies, or Rituals Cure Disease?

THE HUMANIST'S CLAIM IS: As a result of believing in supernatural causes of disease, theologians taught that plagues could be averted or stopped by seeking supernatural assistance. And the way to obtain God’s help, they thought, was to perform religious acts. These included repenting from sin; providing gifts to churches, monasteries, and shrines; participating in religious processions; attending church services (which often only increased the spread of disease); and killing Jews and witches (since it was thought Satan used them as his agents in causing illness). Religious leaders largely ignored the possibility of physical causes and cures of diseases.

Free Atheist's Answers Book

It seems that humanists believe that people who distort what the Bible teaches are the authorities on what the Bible teaches. And then they use these distortions to mislead people. Isn't there something wrong with that?

In the above quote, the source referenced is once again Andrew D. White, writing in "A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, Vol. II." As I noted in the previous page, this is what Wikkipedia says about this book: "There is no evidence that White examined any primary sources, and many of the claims are complete fabrications." That should end this discussion. When you list as your source a book that includes fictions and fabrications, your assertions have no validity. (Read more about Andrew White here.)

However, I would like to take a moment to point out the Bible teaches the exact opposite of what is asserted by the humanists. This is important. In our human nature we want to be in control. The most common promise Satan offers is, "You can be like God." (Genesis 3:5). This is the promise humanists have fallen for. They don't understand this, but it is nevertheless true.

What does the Bible teach?

1. The way to have God's help (blessings), is to first love God, which means to obey God. In the Bible "love" is an action, not a feeling. In the case of God, loving God meaning to obey God (John 14:21, 23 & 24; John 15:10) Then second, is to love your neighbor (other people). The Ten Commandments describe what love looks like. Commandments 1-3 describe loving God. Commandments 5-10 describe loving your neighbor. Giving to the church, participating in religious processions, attending church, killing Jews and "witches," and other "religious" acts, rituals, and ceremonies have no benefit... and in fact they tend to lead people away from God and His blessings.

2a. The cause of all disease is the fall. Prior to that God had declared everything very good. There was no disease, afflictions, or death. Man's sin brought disease into the world.

2b. God can use what is evil for good. At times God uses disease, afflictions, and death to admonish, punish, discipline, teach, or to accomplish other of His sovereign purposes. God may directly cause a sickness or affliction, or allow it to happen through "natural" causes.

2c. Satan and demons, in their efforts to deceive and lead people away from God, use disease, and the symptoms of disease, to discourage, mislead, and deceive people. An example of this is the humanists web page we're discussing. It uses a discussion of disease to attempt to lead people away from the Bible and God.

3. The health laws in the Bible teach the principles people need to know in order to minimize the spread of, and the effects of disease. They require cleanliness and hygiene, as well as the most effective tool (at the time) against infectious disease... quarantine. During the black plague the Jews followed the Biblical health laws and their death rate was just 5% of that of the general population.

During the black plague non-Jews were doing what the humanists today say we should do. They followed what the science of their day advocated, which was in opposition to what the Bible teaches. In other words, they disregarded the Bible and followed human "wisdom"... and they died.

4. We don't know when a sickness, disease, or affliction is from the Lord or just the result of our fallen world. The examples we have from scripture give us the principles for good health: have good hygiene and sanitation, and use the best available medical and health practices and technology. In addition, we should be in prayer. God expects us to take care of ourselves, so prayer is in addition to our best efforts (as guided by scripture). And while a supernatural miracle is possible we should not expect one. Except for exceptional times and circumstances, God works through providential miracles.

Conclusion: Follow what the Bible teaches and have life.

Continuing to trust in discredited author Andrew D. White, the humanists now switch to science. The title of their next section is: Science Bests Supernaturalism

White states that despite all the prayers, rituals, and other religious activities performed throughout the centuries, the frequency and severity of plagues did not diminish until scientific hygiene made its appearance. In regard to the hygienic improvements instituted during the second half of the nineteenth century, White explains: “The sanitary authorities have in half a century done far more to reduce the rate of disease and death than has been done in fifteen hundred years by all the fetiches which theological reasoning could devise or ecclesiastical power enforce.”

The superior results of using science instead of religion can be seen in many other fields. Humanists therefore accept the scientific view that this world operates under unvarying natural laws that cannot be suspended by religious rituals or other means.

If you've read this page, you already know what is wrong with the above accusation. Click here and we'll look at other humanist scientific arguments against the Bible.