The Expository Files.

Does Your Doctor Believe in God?


"But when Jesus heard this, He said, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick." (Matthew 9:12)

Of course, Jesus was illustrating His work to mend and heal souls. When His enemies challenged Him wanting to know why He spent so much time with sinners, this was His answer. He came to seek and save the lost. Doctors of this world can help mend bones and hearts and muscles and eyes and throats. Or sometimes not when the task overwhelms their knowledge and technology. But only Jesus can heal the soul.

A recent survey of doctors in the United States found that 76% say that they believe in God. That's slightly more than three out of four professionals in a scientific field.

The survey consisted of 1,044 doctors. While 76% believed in God, only 59% believed in some sort of afterlife. That was curious to me. And 55% said that their religious beliefs had an effect on how they practice medicine. I hope the effect was a positive one.

A part of the clue as to why so many believe in God but not the after-life may be found in the fact that belief in the after-life is a major tenet in Catholic and Protestant churches, and while more than 80% of the U.S. population belongs to one of these two major groups, only 60% of the doctors are. This suggests that a sizeable number of doctors (about 16%) believe in God but probably not the true and living God that is revealed in the New Testament. Part of this is explained by the fact that 14% of the doctors are Jewish (only 2% of the general population is Jewish, so that is an impressive number), 5% are Hindu (versus less than 1% of the general population) and 3% are Islamic ( versus 1% of the general population. But these three groups also tend to believe in an after-life.

Of course, no doctor, believer or not, can keep us from dying. We are mortal. And whatever the doctor who treats you believes, the only power he or she has to help make you better is his or her own knowledge of how God's universe works. I suppose that one does not have to know the watch maker in order to use the watch the watch maker made to accurately tell the time. But there is a very fine doctor who has the remedy to death. He was afflicted with it once, but has the key to overcoming it. Our ultimate trust to be placed in the greatest physician of all!

"Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades." (Revelation 1:17-18).

 By Jon W. Quinn
The Final Page
From Expository Files 12.7; July 2005