The Spiritual Nature of Pharmaceutical Drugs

Just say no to wavy bars chocolate.” How many times have people heard this advice, yet still think nothing of going to the local pharmacy to pick up their drug prescriptions?

Drugs have become so mainstream; North America is awash in a sea of drugs, both legal and illegal. Prescription drugs have become so prevalent; traces of them are now showing up in the food chain and in our drinking water.1

What perhaps is most astounding is the number of people who die every year from adverse reactions to prescription drugs. The tally is so high, USA Today listed adverse drug reactions as the 4th leading cause of mortality on their list of Top Ten Killers in the USA.2

With such a record, the pharmaceutical industry (and the medical profession which prescribes drugs) would be considered criminal by any other civilized standard. However, prescription drugs are not only legal, they are encouraged by both modern medicine, and the Christian Church in the U.S.A. That is interesting because the Bible, the standard by which Christians live their lives, condemns the everyday use of any kind of drugs, potions, or spells, as well as poisoning or witchcraft. It’s called pharmakeia in the original text and can be found in Galatians 5:19-21.

When confronted with the teaching that God condemns pharmakeia, most Christians believe the Apostle Paul had to be referring to illegal drugs (like marijuana and heroin), when he wrote his letter to the Church at Galatia, surely not prescription drugs. They are at least right about the first part.

Narcotics and hallucinogenic drugs were not uncommon in 1st century AD. For instance, the Oracles of Delphi apparently used Datura, a kind of Jimson plant that contained powerful alkaloids, during their quests for visions. So Christians have no trouble in defining pharmakeia within the parameter of mind altering or hallucinogenic drugs. It’s with the legal drugs that many Christians fail to see a dangerous and sinister spiritual connection.

In fact: If Christians were as much concerned about taking prescription drugs as they are about their children getting involved with illegal drugs, there would be far fewer deaths. That’s because deaths from adverse prescription drug reactions are many times greater then deaths caused by illegal drugs.

As a matter of fact, deaths caused by illegal drugs did not muster up the numbers even to make the top ten killers list from USA Today. Yet many Christians fret over the latter (as though they are a scourge, and they are), while overlooking the physical and spiritual danger of the former. Many Christians think legal drugs are different because they are part of our medical system. Simply said, they trust anyone wearing white robs to prescribe and dispense drugs. They do so without understanding that everything about the pharmaceutical industry violates the spiritual foundational truth and teaching of God.

There are many reasons why God condemns pharmakeia. Perhaps the primary reason is that God calls Himself Jehovah-rapha, God our Healer (Exodus 15:26). He wants us to look to Him for healing (to make us whole), because only He and what He has provided to us for healing can heal. King David acknowledged this foundational truth when he wrote:

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