In the 19th century a host of “soothing syrups” to quiet bawling babies and teething tots were sold to an unsuspecting public. They were alcohol-based babysitters containing either morphine, chloroform, codeine, heroin, powdered opium or cannabis and sometimes in combination. For centuries mercury was used to treat a wide range of diseases from simple scratches to syphilis. Mercury is extremely toxic and many patients ended up dying from mercury poisoning as a direct result. In 1927, Julius Wagner Jauregg won the Nobel Prize for Medicine for curing “late stage” syphilis with injections of malaria bacteria to induce a high fever which would “burn out” the syphilis bacteria and cure the patient.
Over the centuries mankind has been subjected to many quack cures and bogus medical procedures that where utterly useless, counterproductive and even lethal. From animal dung poultices to cure infections, bloodletting for disease cure, lobotomies for depression, arsenic creams for better complexion, drinking urine or soaking in feces for physical rejuvenation, ingesting live tape worms to treat obesity and “mouse paste” from mice mashed to a paste to treat toothaches and earaches. A popular “cure all” in Middle ages Europe was powder made from ancient “mummies” from Egypt. In the early 20th century radioactive Radium was widely touted as a cure-all only to end up causing cancer in many. I’m not even getting into the countless screwball contraptions, bogus medical gadgets and laughable devices invented to treat the sick. The problem is the cure was often worse than the disease.
Now for the spiritual parallel. How much time, money, energy, hype and empty emotionalism has the church squandered over the years on the same kind of bogus cures? At this stage in the game, our church practitioners have tried about every man-made remedy they can think of to cure the failing health of the church and despite all of our efforts her health continues to deteriorate. Countless self-help formulas, videos seminars, retreats, healing conferences and “how too” treatments have been prescribed with dismal results. Church quacks and snake-oil salesmen have prescribed countless “cure-alls” that are more deadly than the disease. The church has been run through a revolving door of treatment programs and quick fix steps for recovery with about as much genuine healing as a Benny Hinn crusade. Our contemporary Laodicean church remains as Jesus so accurately diagnosed it, “you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.”
We don’t need any more bogus claims about discovering the miracle cure, practitioners of hype, church “shock” treatments, “Bethel Soothing Syrup”, NAR lobotomies, schools of divine rejuvenation and health, Sozo inner healings, leg-stretching, laying empty hands on empty heads, self-empowerment placebos, motivational elixirs, Benny Hinn healers or the latest “signs & wonders” sanitariums offering massive doses of emotional hype or any more quackery. It’s time for the heartfelt repentance Jesus prescribed. It is time to rekindle our “first love” for Him and renew our simplicity in Christ. It's time to be thoroughly cleansed by "the washing of the water of the word." It’s time to return to the authenticity the early church experienced before His church got “churched”.