SORCERER (Acts 13:6,8)This is from the Greek 'magos', it means 'sorcerer', 'magician' or, 'wise man' (Word 3097 in Strongs). There is no association with pharmacy or medicine.SORCERIES (Acts 8:11)This is from the Greek 'mageia' it refers to magic (Word 3095 in Strongs) – no connection with pharmacy.SORCERIES (Revelation 9:21 and 18:23)This is from the Greek 'pharmakeia' (Word 5331 in Strongs). There is some connection here to the word 'pharmacy'. SORCERERS (Revelation 21:8 and 22:15)These uses of 'sorcerers' use a different Greek word to the singular use of this word in Acts 13:6,8; so this is not just the plural of the same word. From the Greek 'pharmakeus' (Words 5332 and 5333 in Strongs). So there is a connection between all four uses of words 5331, 5332 and 5333 in Revelation. There is indeed a relationship here to the English word 'pharmacy' (which of course, is directly derived from these Greek words). Is this calling modern medical practitioners 'sorcerers'? Is this saying that you and I should never visit a doctor?The root meaning of this group of Greek words is 'druggist' 'poisoner' or, 'giver of potions'. These particular 'sorcerers' were persons able to prepare and dispense potions. But why did they dispense these potions? Was it in order to give relief from illness?Absolutely not! It was in order to stimulate hallucinations or visions! It was long part of pagan religious practice to administer potions, or drugs, which would encourage hallucinations! There is, of course, a direct parallel here to modern illicit drug taking. But these original 'pharmacists' were involved in the black arts and in demonology; the basic idea was that taking certain potions could bring one into contact with the spirit world, and that this was to be desired. But the fact that the modern English word 'pharmacy' happens to be derived from 'pharmakeia' frankly proves absolutely nothing! Do people visit doctors in order to be given drugs which will bring them into contact with the spirit world? Of course not!! People visit medical practitioners in order to have an illness diagnosed, to be treated for sickness, or to gain relief from illness! Yet there are some extremist charismatic ministries around today which teach that we sin when we visit a doctor just because the word 'pharmacy' happens to be related to these Greek words!We must understand that on several occasions the Bible backs up the principle that sick people should look around for remedies for their sickness. This is a very clear biblical principle!
I guess they forget that Luke was a doctor and was appointed to write 2 major books in the NT. Also this post reminded me that I forgot to take a pill this morning. Thanks.
Hi Savannah, This is very interesting. The extreme prosperity preachers who embrace this notion obviously must ignore so many passages and anecdotes from Scripture in order to continue in their error. The Bible makes many references to medicine (although the term "medicine" is more of a modern concept). In the Old Testament, the Bible speaks of things like "balms," "poultices" and even "lumps" (as in "a lump of figs" in Isaiah 38:21). The Old Testament was filled with examples of believers who went through difficulties in this life. Yet, the same is true of the New Testament. Look at what the apostles and early Church endured! That sounds NOTHING like the "never suffer" message that the prosperity movement proclaims. When I was a teenager, I knew a young couple in our church who learned that they were going to have a baby. They were into some of the prosperity messages about "health and wealth." They told me that they believed that God has freed us from the curse upon mankind in Genesis (work and pain during childbirth). They said that they were "claiming" that this would free the young mother from birth pains. After the baby was born, I asked the woman whether she experienced pain during labor. Her response? "Oh yeah."
Is it okay for Christians to use psychiatric medications? Yes, it is okay for Christians to use psychiatric medications, also known as psychotropic medicines. These are medicines meant to correct chemical imbalances in the brain. Since the brain is a physical organ, it can have physical deformities. We see deformities manifest in people such as bad eyesight, limbs that are not forming properly, hearing problems, diabetes, etc. We have no problem going to doctors to help us correct such things. But if we can do that with those physical ailments, why not go to doctors that can correct chemical imbalances in the brain with medications?Now, we have to be careful with the use of medications because sometimes people become dependent upon them when they really should not be. Also, people should not be taking medications when the real problem is that they are disobeying God's word and are creating problems. Not all behavior problems are physically related. There can be sinful patterns learned by people. Take pornography as an example. By watching it over and over the brain becomes hardwired to desire it. The issue here is not a biochemical problem to be corrected with medication. The issue is bad behavior that needs to be stopped so the brain can rewire itself not to desire it anymore.It is not within the scope of this short article to go through all the elements, both pros and cons, that deal with psychiatric medications. They have been and are still being misused. Also, it has become much easier to cover a symptom with a drug than to fix the real problem. But the truth is that the brain works by chemical interaction, and sometimes the production of those chemicals is not properly manifested due to a defect in the body. If a proper diagnosis can be reached for a person who has a legitimate physical problem in the brain, and if a medication can correct that problem, there is no reason not to partake of such medications. Matt Slick -