Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The World Needs More UNmercenaries

Today the Orthodox Church commemorates the memory of the Great Martyr Panteleimon, the physician. Trained in medicine, he treated people FREE OF CHARGE in the NAME OF CHRIST. In today’s political environment it has become almost second nature to hear someone speak about the need for universal health care. For sure the cost of health care in our nation has gotten out of control with premiums so high that many families hold down a second job JUST for health insurance, and if the insurance is used for anything but the slightest routine procedure, our premiums increase.

Within the breadth of the debate I hear about access for the poor to health care, and how granting universal access would bring health care to the poor. I’ve never really been a huge fan of bigger governmental plans for anything, let alone health care. The truth is the government rarely delivers on what they promise. What the world REALLY needs is more UNmercenary physicians.

Imagine how we could grant access to the poor if more trained professionals provided their services for free? Imagine how many of our brothers and sisters could receive routine check-ups if UNmercenary doctors and nurses followed the path of Saint Panteleimon? The UNmercenary Saints (there have been many in history) didn’t receive pay from OTHERS to treat the sick. They provided for themselves often from family fortunes.

I say this because inserted into the carillon calls for free services from the government, many often invoke Christian compassion as the justification of increased government services. Using the government to serve others doesn’t make anyone a better Christian. Saint Panteleimon didn’t use the King’s money, he used his own resources to treat the sick.

I DON’T write this today to suggest that doctors and nurses shouldn’t be compensated for their services. Christ reminds us a “worker is worthy of his food.” (Matthew 10.10) I only remind you of the rich Christian history of UNmercenary saints who treated the sick without compensation. The world has plenty of doctors and nurses; the world needs more UNmercenaries. 

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