The Height of Deception by TPM Preachers has reached a point of no return. This article is a response to the FAQ section from an International Youth Camp a few years ago. You can listen to the
clip below. The question was regarding medicine and why it is wrong to take medicine. What I found astounding was the fact that this portion lasted nearly 20 minutes and there was absolutely no scriptural references or even an attempt to justify their position with scripture. It wasn’t until the last minute of the clip that the preacher pulled out a verse totally out of context and tried to twist it to conform to TPM’s faulty theology. For a church that claims to be the closest thing to perfection, it says a lot when your doctrines are based not on the word of God but a whole lot of mental gymnastics
TPM Assertion 1
“God gave man wisdom and the man used that wisdom to make medicine. This is not true. The first thing I would like to say is that the origin of medicine is the devil.
This is sadly an outright lie. God is the creator of all things. There are hundreds of medicinal herbs and plants that God made. Col 1:16 says “For in him Col 1:16 says “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible”. Hezekiah was healed when God told him to make a poultice of figs for his boils. We now know that figs have medicinal properties that can be used to treat boils and skin diseases. There are other examples where oils and wine were used for treatment in the bible. Speaking about eternity, Ezekiel 47:12 says “and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for MEDICINE..”
The word of God clearly shows medicine is a creation of God and to attribute that to the deceiver, the devil is abhorrent. When a church’s erroneous doctrines drives them to attribute things of God to the Devil, you know you have a huge problem on your hands
TPM Assertion 2
“Before I continue, one request. Please do not upload this answer on the internet. There are some reasons for it, so please oblige.”
I wonder why that is. If you are confident that you are preaching the truth then why have the fear of others listening to you? Did Jesus instruct his disciples to hide certain portions of his teaching from the world? Did Paul in all of his epistles instruct his listeners to not share his teaching with others? If you have the truth and do not want others to listen to it unless they listen to it under the supervision of TPM, you aren’t being Christ-like. If you are willingly masquerading falsehood as truth in your church, it is deception.
Luke 11:33 “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.”
TPM Assertion 3
“I will tell you why the origin of medicine is demonic. If you take the encyclopedia Britannica. Go to the topic ‘History of Medicine’ and go to ‘Roots of western medicine – Early Greece’. It starts like this, ‘The transition from magic to science was a gradual process that lasted for many centuries’. I’m not saying it, a secular book is saying it. Magic became science through centuries.’ Then further down you will read about a god of healing called Asclepius. There were hundreds of temples dedicated to this called in ancient Greece. About these, it is written that ‘to these resorts, the sick were brought’. These temples were prototypes for modern hospitals. So the encyclopedia is telling temples became hospitals.”
This is poorly constructed argument and very inconsistent. Inconsistency is the sign of a failed argument. So, as I said earlier, the origin of medicine is not Satan but God.
Teju is not showing you the full picture here. The fact is, modern medicine is an amalgamation of what humans have learned from every culture through the centuries, not just the Greeks. The Greek medicine became relevant only after 700BC. The Babylonians had medicinal texts dating to around 1000BC. Egyptians had them around 1800BC. Indian medicine, Ayurveda, can be traced back around 5000BC. The earliest known surgery (according to scientists) was carried out around 4900BC. And guess what? Every culture had a “higher power” that they gave the glory to.
Every person living today (TPM pastors included) and enjoying comfortable lives using their phones and air conditioners because religion and “magic” evolved into scientific method through the centuries.
The point I’m trying to make is this. God created man with the ability to think, discover and invent new things. Since God created everything, the glory must go to God alone. Pagans gave the glory for the things God created to false gods.
Almost everything we enjoy today has its roots in ancient religions. Here are few things that had its “origin” in pagan culture.
- Meteorology – The ancient pagan believed thunder, lightning, and rains were because of their gods and that thunder/lightning occurred because the gods were angry. And through the centuries, this evolved into what we know as meteorology. But TPM pastors and believers regularly read newspapers and look at the weather for the day.
- Alchemy – Alchemy was a field that encompassed the field of chemistry, metallurgy, medicine etc. Alchemy was rooted in magic, mythology, and religion. This evolved into the modern science. Everything you currently possess (like phones, computers, air conditioners etc) was manufactured by using compounds invented using chemistry and metallurgy. TPM pastors own phones, computers, air conditioners and many other gadgets which wouldn’t have been possible without alchemy which was a precursor to modern science.
- Space exploration – This too is rooted in ancient astrology. Astrology was rooted in pagan religion. As we all know, many of TPM’s “bible studies” borrow data from scientists who are in this field.
- Mortar bricks – To take an example from the bible, modern construction has its roots in the tower of Babel where they began making bricks. This was a proud people who weren’t giving glory to God. TPM constructs their churches with bricks!
The reason I gave the above examples is to show how ridiculous this line of argument is. One would have to run to the Himalayas and starve to death if we take TPM’s reasoning to its logical conclusions since everything we use today has its origin in ancient science!
TPM Assertion 4
“Remember the name Asclepius. How many have seen the symbol of a snake on a rod in ambulance vehicles and hospital seals? You know what that is. It’s not the serpent that Moses erected in the wilderness. It’s called the staff of Asclepius. So it is evidence that even today the hospitals have this Asclepius symbol.”
The story of Moses dates (1400 BC) way before the images of Asclepius and the staff appear in history (700 BC). Clearly, the origin is the story of Moses which the Greeks borrowed from. The story of Noah’s flood can be found in many other cultures, clearly borrowed from the real event described in the bible. I’ll give you another example, if you look up the tripartite shrine of Mycenae, an ancient city of Greece, you can see they had borrowed the design from the Ark of the Covenant. It’s no secret that neighboring cultures borrowed stories and made it their own.
Shouldn’t we are Christians be glad that we know the true origin of the serpent on the staff? Instead, TPM chooses to play into the hands of atheists and other skeptics who hate Christianity that say the Israelites borrowed the symbol from pagans while in fact the bible tells us that God is the one who told Moses to make the brazen serpent.
TPM Assertion 5
“When a doctor graduates, he takes an oath called the “oath of Hippocrates”. In that oath, one has to say I swear by Apollo and Asclepius.”
No, they don’t. This is the modern version of the oath. There is no mention of Apollo or Asclepius.
“I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.
I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.
I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death? If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.
I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.
I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.”
Something tells me TPM already knows this. If they truly believe that doctors swear by false Gods, why do they let their believers pursue medicine and nursing to become doctors and nurses? Aren’t they being hypocritical when they happily take tithes from doctors who as they say “swear by Apollo and Asclepius”?
Cops swear by their gods but don’t you go running to them for protection during conventions? Politicians swear by their false gods, don’t you go to them for a favour to carry out your convention processions? Inconsistency is a sign of a failed argument, and TPM is very inconsistent when they try to defend such an unbiblical doctrine.
TPM Assertion 6
“I’m going to quote from a book called ‘Occult science in medicine’- ‘That which is looked upon by one generation as the apex of human knowledge is often considered in absurdity by the next generation, and that which is regarded as superstition in one century may form the basis of science in the next one’”.
As I said earlier, everything you currently own was made possible because of advancement in science. You must be really disingenuous to be able to make a statement like this in support of banning medicine, but at the same time, own things that are made possible as a result of scientific advancement. Science has a hand in every grain of rice you eat. Every drop of treated water you drink too is the result of scientific advancement. Of course, the glory for everything should go to God alone. But to abandon something just because 1000 years ago people who were in the scientific field had a different religion is so illogical. If Teju truly believes his reasoning, he and his TPM pastors should immediately throw away everything invented by science.
TPM Assertion 7
“I have statistics to show how dangerous it is to take medicine but there is no time.”
And I have statistics to show those who don’t take medicine die at a much faster rate than those who do. You shot yourself in the foot with this one.
TPM Assertion 8
“Thirdly medicine is coming under the control of the antichrist. So slowly medicine is going to be used not for healing but to make you sicker by the antichrist.”
Teju just pulled this out of thin air. No scriptural basis and no basis in logic or reason. Because medicine will come under the control of the anti-Christ you mustn’t use it now? According to TPM, food will be rationed during the time of anti-Christ as well. Will TPM pastors stop eating because food will be under the control of anti-Christ in the future? It is really disappointing to hear such inconsistent arguments from the pulpit and those who hear it take it as though God is speaking.
TPM Assertion 9
“Finally we are not taking medicine, not because of all these reasons, these are secondary reasons. We are all going to be transformed when Jesus comes. In science, we read of metamorphosis how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly and how a tadpole becomes a frog, in the same way, a metamorphosis is going to take place by which humans are going to become sons of God. And for that, the Holy Spirit says ‘I must control your body’. The bible says “we are kept by the power of God unto salvation ready to be revealed at the last time”. That means when Jesus comes our body should be maintained by God’s power, not by doctor’s medicine.”
Finally, we get to hear scripture. The scripture Teju quoted is from 1 Peter 1. Let’s look at it.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:3-9)
Teju quoted verse 5 from the above passage. The faith that saves is the faith in Jesus, the Son of God who came down to earth to die on the cross for our sins, rose again and will come back to take his church. That is saving faith.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24)
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Eph 2:8,9)
This is the faith Peter is talking about that we are guarded by. 1 Peter 1 is not about “faith unto healing” but a “faith unto salvation”. This is why we say context matters. One cannot take a passage that isn’t speaking about medicine or healing and twist it to conform to your preconceived notions which are what TPM does all the time and ends up creating unbiblical doctrines and practices.
Dear readers, you have heard TPM’s side on why taking medicine is wrong. Ask yourself. Did they have any basis in scripture? Were any other their arguments consistent? The preacher quoted from encyclopedias more than he did from the Bible. Shouldn’t the word of God be the basis for our beliefs? As we have said in numerous other articles, TPM doesn’t hold scripture as the foundation for its teachings. They only say that in their words, but their actions speak otherwise. Sadly, the foundation of TPM is the word of their pastors. I would encourage our readers to study scripture and not take your pastors words at face value.