THE SANCTIFIED PHYSICIAN
Remember the good old days when “doctor” meant . . .
• a trustworthy experienced physician and life-long family friend,
• a doctor you could get in to see for just about any kind of problem when you were sick or falling ill instead of waiting two weeks later for an appointment,
• a good old fashioned primary care doc that you can afford,
• feeling unhurried by the doctor and truly listened to,
• When common sense prevailed, medications were avoided.
At the turn of the 20th century, there was an explosion in medical knowledge. The emerging medical schools could barely keep up with the new research and findings. Antibiotics were discovered along with better methods in bacteriology, electrotherapy underwent aggressive research and development, surgical methods were being refined in the wake of the world wars and their battlegrounds, knowledge of physiology rapidly advanced, medical botany was still part of pharmacognosy, etc. Suffice it to say, the advances made emerging modern medicine, the most advanced in its art in the history of the world, was more than adequately developed to train primary care docs in rural care and family practice. What happened?
The remnants of these historical advances, stemming from monastic medicine to renaissance medical doctors and scientists have all faded into the darkness. Medical students are generally not taught medical history nor have appreciation for the sacrifices and knowledge so imparted which they generously receive. Thus, their knowledge base remains synthetic, based more on words (symbols) than genuine understanding. The core and needed knowledge has all but been removed from the modern day medical textbooks. Pharmacology is about the only course they learn on the subject of therapeutics.
The sanctity of medicine is about proper and full respect for what can and should be done for human life. All people of all backgrounds whether "disadvantaged", "disabled", "sick", or "healthy" are all of value and the lives which they embody must be respected, valued and cherished.
Sanctification also obligates us to be filled with the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the resident Counselor in every believer. He is our spiritual Care-Giver serving as the Source, Guide, and Enabler of our new life in Christ. He operates in our affections, mind, will, and emotions. Holy Spirit operates in our medical chores and tasks.
Every Christian doctor, in essence, should sanctify their work and themselves, with their prayers and their way of life. Every profession and vocation can be sanctified but most especially medicine. A doctor must not forget that in medical practice, one factor that helps more than any other is the Grace of God. Divine grace is the ultimate healer. Therefore, he or she must try to be a vessel of Divine Grace. The doctor who is a good Christian, along with his or her medical knowledge, helps patients first by his kindness and faith, because we give them the courage to face their illness with faith. When a patient is seriously ill, he or she can call to God and tell them, “Medical science goes only up to a point. From here on, God performs the miracles.”
The Christian physician should regard his work as exalted as that of the ministry. He bears a double responsibility: for in him or her are combined the qualifications of both physician and gospel minister. This is a grand, a sacred, and a very necessary work.
Sanctified Physician Services are based on indigenous Christian principles of monastic medicine using counsel, the healing power of nature, hygiene, nutrition, health screenings, therapeutics, and spiritual ministry. SPS has as its goal homeostasis within the body, which may be achieved by sanctifying the proper and necessary balance between the integrated components body-mind-spirit; as well as being the vessel of Divine Grace.
THE SANCTIFIED PHYSICIAN’S DUTIES
Salvation is more a matter of medicine than of preaching. God doesn’t want to be our judge. He wants us to go to the Doctor instead. Jesus is our Great Physician.
Many Christian traditions portray Christ as a physician. Traditionally, the sanctified physician should, like Christ, be able to help heal physical illness as well as the spiritual maladies of one’s patients. In the very least, a Christian physician should be expected to pray with and for their patients when called for.
Our (SMOCH) Orthodox Christian view of life embraces a vision of the sacramentality of life and therefore of our suffering and death as paramount. Sacrament is passage, transformation; not only from the natural to the supernatural but from the old to the new. In the Chain of Being, it is passage from the Kingdom of Man and upon death into the Kingdom of God and life, the world to come, into the very reality of this world and its life as redeemed and restored by Christ. Our healing is a "sacrament" because its purpose is not health as such, the restoration of physical health, but the entrance of man into the life of the Kingdom, into the "joy and peace" of the Holy Spirit. In Christ, everything in this world, and this means health and disease, joy and suffering, has become an opportunity, an ascension to and entrance into this new life, its expectation and anticipation into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Before sickness came to be perceived primarily as an organic or behavioral abnormality in the 20th century, he who got sick could still find in the eyes of the old school doctor a reflection of his own anguish and some recognition of the uniqueness of his suffering. In this now secular western world, suffering and disease are indeed considered usual or "normal," but their viewpoint of normalcy is actually the abnormal. The patient is reduced to a biological object – his body – being repaired; he is no longer a subject being helped to heal. If he is allowed to participate in the repair process, he acts as the lowest apprentice in a hierarchy of repairmen. Today’s medicine portends the ultimate and permanent defeat of man and of life, a defeat which no partial cures and victories of medicine, however wonderful and truly miraculous or mundane, can ultimately overcome. But in Christ suffering is not "removed," it is transformed into victory. The defeat itself becomes a victory, a way, an entrance into the Kingdom, and this is the only true sanctified healing. Here there is a man suffering on his bed of pain and the Church comes to him to perform the sacrament of healing. For this man as for every man in the whole world, suffering can be defeat, doom, the way of complete surrender to darkness, despair, alienation, probate, and solitude. It can be dying in the very real sense of the word. And yet it can also be the ultimate victory of man and of life in Him. The Church does not come to necessarily restore "health" in this man, simply to replace medicine when medicine has exhausted its possibilities. The Church comes to take this man into the Love, Light and Life of Christ. It comes not merely to "comfort" him in his sufferings but to reveal the Kingdom. God finally becomes his very life in these last moments, and thus he finally understands everything in his life comes from God, and he then ascends to the fullness of God’s Love.
SMOCH’s SANCTIFIED PHYSICIAN’S PROGRAM
Objectives: Medical Preparedness, fostering monastic (ecclesiastic) medical skills, preparation for missionary work, Electrodermal Screening. The Sanctified Physician’s program leads to the Doctor of Ecclesiastical Medicine (D.E.M.) degree for those qualified.
Candidates: Deacons of SMOCH, MD’s, DO’s, DDS’s, DPM’s, DC’s, etc.
In order to be a Sanctified Physician, one needs to participate in our religious tradition by joining the Church of Hope, respect our monastic (ecclesiastic) tradition by taking vows of the Hippocratic oath, completed our coursework from our school and an approved seminary, and participate in on-the-job apprenticeship training. Upon successful completion, candidate attends an investiture and receives one’s Holy Orders.
The Sanctified Physician is expected to be a religious witness to her or his individual religious or practice tradition, while also having an intellectual understanding of diverse religious beliefs and practices of others.
Secondly, all Sanctified Physicians are expected to be able to provide pastoral or spiritual support for their communicants. Pastoral support here involves accurately being able to assess one’s needs, spiritual or otherwise; offering counsel; and providing appropriate care which can mean offering a service directly, or even making a referral. Sanctified Physicians are also often intercessors, the act of interceding or offering petitionary prayer to God on behalf of others.
Thirdly, the most important aspect of Sanctified Physicianry, comes in the role of Sanctified Physicians as healer. This role is offered by training in our online school and on the job experience at our Nevis campus seminary. As a healer, the Sanctified Physician is concerned with a person’s holistic condition - physical, psychological, and spiritual. The healing function of Sanctified Physicianry encompasses key skills that address the whole person: being present, listening, encouraging, teaching, and by providing ecclesiastical medical care. By offering undivided attention and reflective listening, Sanctified Physicians can open a door for great healing through the gift of presence and Divine Grace.
The Sanctified Physician can operate in both the urban and rural sphere during apparent normalcy, needing least laboratory and radiology. The Sanctified Physician is versed in old school medicine, can operate with a stethoscope, simple microscope, eyes, ears and hands, and quickly assess the needed primary care, spot on.
The Sanctified Physician can operate in the sphere of disaster, having been trained in medical preparedness, needing least scheduled drugs, rather, simple medications that can be quickly constituted onsite with water. The Sanctified Physician is versed in old school medicine, can operate with a trunk full of mineral and organic compounds with indefinite shelf life. Such inexpensive medicaments as iodine/postassium iodide crystals, sulfur powder, ascorbic acid, B-complex powder, methylene blue, zinc sulfate, borax powder, diatomaceous earth, a box of salt and sugar (oral rehydration), baking soda, etc. The Sanctified Physician can quickly constitute sacred remedies, spot on, using homeopathics prepared from scratch.
As a sacramental agency, a Sanctified Physician engages their skills and wider world Church actively in the old school methods, honoring monastic medicine, a tradition core to Christian medicine. Other activities involved in this role manifest through teaching, leading seminaries and workshops, talking at conferences, and writing books. The sky is the limit with this newfound knowledge.
2. Medical Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health 25
3. Pathology 50
4. Pathoanatomy 50
5. Differential Diagnosis [Signs & symptoms] 50
6. Pathophysiology 50
7. Clinical Medicine 150
8. Electrodermal Screening 50
9. Medical Preparedness (audio course and manual) 10