Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Let’s pretend that I press on their abdomen, press on their back, and elicit a few grunts of pain. Let’s pretend that I tell you that I don’t think it is anything serious but just in case, I would like to order a CT scan. Let’s pretend that you take your family member to get the scan and then return to see me a week later.
Let’s pretend that I think, “I don’t want to tell them the bad news because they are such nice folks.” Let’s pretend that I say, “Your CT looks good, probably just a back strain, and I am going to give you a script for Lortab for pain control.” Let’s pretend that I enjoy the looks of relief on both of your faces.
Let’s pretend that two hours later, the ER physician returns with a grim look on his face and says, “I am sorry to tell you but it looks like the abdominal cavity is full of tumors that has spread to various organs.” Let’s pretend that he asks, “Have you seen a physician recently?” Let’s pretend that you say back to him, “Yes but it was six months ago and he told us that it was a back strain.” Let’s pretend that you are referred to an oncologist and he informs you that the previous scan six months ago showed the problem and could have been corrected with surgery, chemo, and radiation. Let’s pretend you spend the next six months working with hospice to keep your family member as comfortable as possible.
Let’s pretend that one year later, you are awarded a five-million dollar settlement for medical malpractice. Let’s pretend that I, the physician who did not want to give you bad news, never see you again. Let’s just try to pretend that you determine that all of it could have been prevented but medical malpractice cost the life of your loved one.
Now, let’s quit pretending. I am not a physician but I really am a preacher. I know that you are lost but I don’t tell you because I don’t want to upset you with the fact that you are a sinner and that there is a holy God you will have to face after this life. I don’t want to tell you the bad news so you can understand the good news. Instead I only preach comfort, encouragement, blessing, prosperity, and motivational stuff but I never tell you really what the Scripture says. In the quiet, alone moments your mind tells you that there is more than what you are hearing but the rat race of life rarely provides moments of quiet introspection so that thought gets blown off. Don’t be fooled, we will end up either in Heaven or Hell, no in between, and no opportunity for a second chance. This is real life and you can’t pretend.
A physician can be sued for medical malpractice. Shouldn't a preacher be able to be sued for religious malpractice? Sad to say but people rarely think of things in this way. A soul is far more valuable than a human body is yet most people never even entertain that thought.
If you are one who hears a preacher, you have a responsibility to know what the Bible says for yourself. If you are one who preaches, you have a greater weight of responsibility to get it right because your words will either bring eternal life or eternal death. Get it right!!!