Is There a Doctor in the House?

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In answer to that question, yes there is! In fact, there are seven that we know of. When it comes to the medical profession, BBC has about every body part and every physical malady well covered! Perhaps if the Lord gives us a dentist we can open a fully functional clinic (and perhaps purchase the offices next door?)!

But having several doctors in a church can be problematic—at lest for them. I would suspect that, when they come to church, they are coming for the same reason that the rest of us are: to corporately worship God, to be instructed in his word and to enjoy the fellowship of the saints around the Lord Jesus Christ. But because of the nature of their vocation, we may be tempted to turn our gathering for spiritual nourishment into an opportunity for physical examinations and medical advice!

At our December church dinner, we enjoyed some very humorous skits and jokes, one of which concerned church members “taking numbers” and lining up to consult our doctors after church services. We all had a good laugh. But upon reflection, I wonder if there is not some deserved rebuke in the jesting? In fact, are we not sometimes guilty of discussing our medical issues with the doctors when we have in fact gathered for the purpose of worship? For that matter, are we not guilty of doing any kind of business with our members when our real need on the Lord’s Day is to focus on worship and Christian fellowship? If so, we should be mindful of the consequences that follow when we blur the lines between informal fellowship after worship and getting professional advice “after hours” as it were. When we come to church on the Lord’s Day, we are all (doctors included) anticipating and desiring an experience of grace with a transcendent God. What a let down, instead, to be confronted with the mundane issues with which every other day is filled! One can fully appreciate it if, very soon, our doctors develop the technique of slipping away quickly after services in order to minimise these calls on their medical expertise!

We need to be careful that we do not blur the line between being our doctor’s patient and being our doctor’s fellow church member. If we see our doctors virtually running out of the door after the service, the “emergency” may simply be that of needing to get away from requests for a diagnosis! So, let us work on being patient, and wait until we see our doctor at his office before we behave as a patient.

Of course, this holds true for any and all vocations. Just as church gatherings are not for the purpose of checking our blood pressure, neither are they designed for getting quotes on insurances, for the filing of a tax return, for the obtaining of legal advice nor for negotiating a sale. The gathering of the church on the Lord’s Day is for the purpose of us doing business with God, not with each other.

And so, in light of this, let’s be careful to respect each other’s right to worship as we gather, and give each other the necessary break that we need from our work-a-day jobs. Let us use our weekly time-constrained gatherings for the highest purpose: to grow in our walk with Jesus Christ.


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