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wenglund

Sin and Sickness: are they related?

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This last week's Come Follow Me lesson covered several miraculous healings by Christ, a few of which also dealt with the forgiving of sins.

My question for this thread is what you may or may not see as the relationship between physical sickness and sin in these New Testament cases or otherwise.?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Personally I don't think its a literal connection (says she who has been voiceless for 5 weeks for no obvious cause)

The healings all rely on the faithfulness of those being healed.

Our faith can be affected in our ability to walk away from sin, or accept the saviours grace for our sins.

 

Just my opinion, but I know plenty of sinful healthy people and lots if sick and faithful people.

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13 minutes ago, KScience said:

Personally I don't think its a literal connection (says she who has been voiceless for 5 weeks for no obvious cause)

The healings all rely on the faithfulness of those being healed.

Our faith can be affected in our ability to walk away from sin, or accept the saviours grace for our sins.

 

Just my opinion, but I know plenty of sinful healthy people and lots if sick and faithful people.

Are you suggesting there is no connection between smoking and lung disease, mouth cancer, etc.? What about alcohol and liver disease? What about gay bowel disease, if not AIDS?

I knew of a classmate during my first year of college who was crippled and body twisted  from venereal disease.

And, this doesn't even touch on possible mental illnesses that may be sin related, if not caused.

So, while not all sicknesses may result from sin,  can we at least agree that some may?

Whatever the case, you point about faith is well taken.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund

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The actions of sin may, at times, put you in an environment where disease is more likely,  but there are also many righteous actions that can put you in the way of disease. An acquaintance of mine caught TB serving homeless people. 

I can also give you examples of young children with cancer, and other disabilities. I may be rather sensitive to this as I recently had a very upset YW after where it was suggested by the SS teacher that her disability was due to sin.

I think that we need to be very careful making claims and assumptions about other people's righteousness or sinfulness. I for one would hate to think that someone would not be able to speak out about mental health issues incase others thought the cause was sin.

How about the line of reasoning that disease and suffering can be a trial/affliction to help us to learn?

Edited by KScience

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Guest MormonGator

During one of the hurricanes down here, my dad said to me "You must have prayed really hard, you had no damage." I said, "But dad, I'm sure there were people who prayed just as hard as I did and lost everything." 

Sometimes an atheist will live a very healthy life and die at 90 of natural causes. Sometimes a devoutly religious family will watch their 8 year old die of cancer. 

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3 hours ago, wenglund said:

What about gay bowel disease?

While I think there is a connection between some sin and some disease, and have at times thought that perhaps as the Adversary has some power (as we know, he has it over water), that perhaps disease is a weapon he devises and uses to try to antagonize, injure, or even kill, those he hates.  AS he hates all of us, he is an equal opportunity disease maker.

At times, sin can make one more susceptible to some types of disease, but it is not specifically going to be only them who are affected, and sometimes they will be able to avoid it even if participating in actions that make them more susceptible.

At the same time, there are those who do none of these activities that may be caught up in this. 

I bring this up because of this one phrase.  I am not sure of what you mean, but you may be refering to diseases of the colon or rectum.

I have been the unfortunate sufferer from such as this (when you get older, it seems something is going to hit you sooner or later).  Mine was caused more from not eating enough fiber and pushing too hard during restroom excursions which caused problems to form and when left in that state for a long while, can cause even greater difficulties to happen (and I would guess, perhaps even the one that you are discussing).

I was lucky and everything was done early on. Surgery and treatment and I recovered almost as good as new (Modern Medicine is terrific...and of course, we cannot also not thank the Lord for the blessings I received and got answered in regards to my healing and recovery.  His miracles and blessings in that regard were great in it's impact for my life and I am extremely grateful he allowed me to get it treated, to be able to afford that treatment, and have skilled hands and eyes to give me the right prescriptions, do the right procedures, and help and already skilled surgeon do his best with his guidance to do what needed to be done).

IN that regards, I would say, if it is what I think you are discussing, it could be something that could strike anyone, regardless of what they are involved in.  I never did anything in regards to homosexuality or acts that would be in anyway connected to the same types of actions they do with each other in intimacy, but, nonetheless I was struck with difficulties or ailments that many may say afflict them enough to be a "gay" disease.

I think there are many that develop problems or issues in regards to rectal or colon items, much like I did.  I think it may be more a matter of eating the wrong types of foods or not using the restroom quite in a manner that would promote a healthier form of utilizing it.  Luckily, I had a very smart doctor that figured things out and then sent me for a colonoscopy.  It is something I am very grateful for and though all those who treated it were skilled and highly trained, I also thank the Lord for his great blessing in helping me in that the problem was diagnosed and treated and I have not suffered from it since (some side effects, but minimal compared to what could have happened) for at least 10 years (and praying that it never occurs again).

PS: Just want to add again, how GRATEFUL I am to the Lord and how he has blessed me in this.  I lay it on him that he was the reason that I was able to be treated for my health difficulty and healed (at least presently, I hope forever).  I cannot express how much I feel he had a hand in this and how thankful I am that he helped me to overcome what is actually quite an embarrassing health ailment to discuss.  I am thankful for his actions that helped me and healed me.  I don't know how I can even begin to express how much he did and how grateful I am to the Lord for this.

Edited by JohnsonJones

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1 hour ago, JohnsonJones said:

I am not sure of what you mean, but you may be refering to diseases of the colon or rectum.

It was actually gay-specific (see HERE and also HERE and HERE and HERE), though the PC crowd has since attempted to blur the distinction with other colon/rectal disorders, and render the term outdated. The cause isn't through forcing things out the colon/rectal area in the natural direction, but forcing things in contrary to design, as well as diseases disseminated through the unnatural forcing.

Thanks, -Wade Englund- 

Edited by wenglund

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22 hours ago, Suzie said:

And, this doesn't even touch on possible mental illnesses that may be sin related, if not caused.

Before I reply, can you please elaborate?

Sure. According to this article

The Link between Substance Abuse and Mental Illness

Substance abuse and mental illness are closely tied together. NAMI reports that 10.2 million people have both a mental illness and a substance use disorder. One may trigger the other; for example, people struggling with bipolar disorder may develop an alcohol use disorder because they try to moderate manic symptoms. However, some substance abuse can trigger mental illness; stimulant abuse, like crystal meth addiction, can trigger a psychotic disorder.

About 18 percent of Americans experience mental illness, while 8 percent experience a substance use disorder. Of these, according to SAMHSA, 7.9 million people had both a substance abuse disorder and mental illness in 2014. This condition is calledco-occurring disorders. People between the ages of 26 and 49 were the most affected by co-occurring disorders.

 

In other articles we find that In spite of efforts to downplay and mis-direct the causes and contributing factors, the LGBTQ... communities are at higher risk for mental illness than the general population (see HERE and HERE and HERE)) as well as suicide (see HERE). The PC crowd, though has made a significant effort to place the blame for the higher rates on things like discrimination, bullying, etc. However, the fact that the rates of mental illness and suicides among LGBTQ... have increased at the same time that acceptance of the communitee as increased, logically suggests otherwise. Sadly, and ironically the mis-direction  only  hurts the LGBTQ... communitee by focusing attention in areas where little or nothing can be done and even less that would be productive, and away from things within the LGBTQ control., 

Furthermore, there is a growing body of studies linking spirituality positively with mental health (see HERE and HERE)

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund

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6 hours ago, Jane_Doe said:

The number of cases where illness are caused by sin are a tiny tiny minority.  Christ when He heals someone is doing TWO things: healing the physical AND spiritual ills.  

While I have some interest in the possible causal or contributing effects of sin on physical illness, the point you raise in the one I find of greatest importance, particularly to this last weeks Come Follow Me lesson.

It is my belief that Christ healed the physically sick for at least two reasons. First, it was prophesied that the Messiah would do so, and Jesus fulfilled those prophesies..

And, second, and far more important in my estimation, it was to provide a physical manifestation of his healing powers so that people would have cause to believe  he could also heal them spiritually (making the spiritually blind to see and the deaf to hear) and raise them from spiritual death--something that may not be self-evident to other mortals, at least not immediately. 

This is, in part, why Jesus made mention of forgiveness of sins in the course of healing the sick. In fact, he suggests as much in response to Jewish leaders challenging him in their hearts while he was healing the man with palsy (paralysis): in Mark 2:10-12

10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)

11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.

12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

In short, Christ's ability to heal spiritually through forgiveness of sickening sin, is demonstrated in the the physical healings.

This is significant in that though not all who seek physical healing at the hand of Christ and his priesthood, will receive it during mortality, yet all who seek spiritual healing with real intent and faith in Christ, will receive it. I

t is the undeniable and direct relationship between sin and spiritual health that is at the heart of the miracles of hJesus healing people physically. For, all things are spiritual unto God.(D&C 29L34)

Thanks, -Wade Englund-, 

 

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Is there a relationship between sin and sickness?

In the words of a very wise man:

Quote

The short answer is 'no.' The long answer is 'hell no.'*

Yes, I've overstated a very small amount for comic relief and dramatic effect.  But I will be adamant that the strength of the relationship between sin and sickness is, at best, weak (that's an actual statistical term that roughly translates to "has poor predictive ability"). 

Focusing on the two examples you provide: "gay bowel syndrome" is not a disease.  It was a generic term that covered a large array of conditions. One doctor coined the term to describe the set of symptoms he saw across his entire practice (which treated many gay men). It was not a medically developed term, nor was it a term used to describe a narrow, reproducible set of symptoms. Most notably, the term described symptoms, not disease. 

Caveat: yes, most of the diseases at issue were sexually transmitted. This was a term coined at a time when homosexuality was underground and the social consequences of being identified as homosexual were severe and frightening. In that environment, committed, steady homosexual relationships were rare, with many preferring casual relations to avoid having their sexual orientation discovered by their "normal life" acquaintances.  As homosexuality has come out of the shadows, homosexual relationships have become more accepted/tolerated, and safe sex practices have been established, "gay bowel syndrome" has fallen out of use out of both lower incidence and a preference for discussing the actual disease and not the symptoms.

If you want to make the argument that extra-marital/non-marital sex has an increased risk of sexually transmitted disease, go right ahead.  But that is not gay-specific.

 

Second, the relationship between mental illness and substance abuse is much more complicated to address.  And even in the article you quote, the relationship is described as complicated.  Certainly there is a correlation, but establishing which one is the cause and which one is the effect is incredibly difficult.  Your article even points out that in many instances, the mental illness precedes the substance abuse. Yet in others, the substance abuse may fundamentally alter the brain resulting in mental illness. In the former case, the sickness likely predisposes to the sin; in the latter, it wasn't the sin that caused the illness, but the natural consequence of mixing chemicals.

I won't object to a claim that commandments may protect us from certain consequences.  But there is a big difference between framing illness as a consequence of action and framing illness as a punishment for action. Maybe I'm misunderstanding your motives, but your discussion thus far seems to have favored the punishment paradigm, which is one I reject without reservation.

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19 hours ago, wenglund said:

This last week's Come Follow Me lesson covered several miraculous healings by Christ, a few of which also dealt with the forgiving of sins.

The way I see it, which is more important physical healing or spiritual healing. They came for one, and He gave them what they truly needed most.  

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Here are easy examples in life that sin correlates with sickness:

1) If a person fornicates and contracts HIV. HIV would have never been contracted (in this scenario) if the person was chaste. For this individual sickness is a direct result of sin. This can be said for almost any STD when received through disobedience (sin).

2) From "Guide to the Scriptures", "In the scriptures, physical illness sometimes serves as a symbol for a lack of spiritual well-being (Isa. 1:4–7; 33:24)."

3) Zeezrom was on his death bed due to his sin and desire to destroy a living prophet. Here are the words that give evidence for this, "And also Zeezrom lay sick at Sidom, with a burning fever, which was caused by the great tribulations of his mind on account of his wickedness, for he supposed that Alma and Amulek were no more; and he supposed that they had been slain because of his iniquity. (emphasis mine)

4) Prophecy of the last days, "

And there shall be men standing in that generation, that shall not pass until they shall see an overflowing scourge; for a desolating sickness shall cover the land.

32 But my disciples shall stand in holy places, and shall not be moved; but among the wicked, men shall lift up their voices and curse God and die."

5) Then you have to take into account, "Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets." What are those calamities foretold?

Sadly also the opposite can be true in the case of Job. Job's trial, sickness, was received due to his righteousness and was a great trial of faith -- a test.

Edited by Anddenex

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41 minutes ago, Anddenex said:

Here are easy examples in life that sin correlates with sickness:

1) If a person fornicates and contracts HIV. HIV would have never been contracted (in this scenario) if the person was chaste. For this individual sickness is a direct result of sin. This can be said for almost any STD when received through disobedience (sin).

 

You know me @Anddenex, I'm really, really stupid. So explain this to me nice and easy so that I can understand it. If Steve fornicates (which I do think is sinful as well) and gets an STD, that's because of Steves disobedience. But if Mark (pulling names out of the sky here) fornicates and doesn't get an STD, he's still disobedient in the exact same way Steve was. Why doesn't Mark also get an STD because he's doing the same sin Steve is? 

Edited by MormonGator

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22 hours ago, wenglund said:

This last week's Come Follow Me lesson covered several miraculous healings by Christ, a few of which also dealt with the forgiving of sins.

My question for this thread is what you may or may not see as the relationship between physical sickness and sin in these New Testament cases or otherwise.?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

I think sometimes yes and sometimes no. Jesus taught that He could heal whatever the cause*, and forgive whatever the sin (except the one against the Holy Ghost), and that the power to do both was fully in Him. 

* except for one, the denial of a mortal body to a devil who was cast out / down after the war in heaven.

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9 hours ago, MarginOfError said:

I won't object to a claim that commandments may protect us from certain consequences.  But there is a big difference between framing illness as a consequence of action and framing illness as a punishment for action. Maybe I'm misunderstanding your motives, but your discussion thus far seems to have favored the punishment paradigm, which is one I reject without reservation.

Setting aside the debatable quibble about whether gay bowl syndrome is a disease or not, If you look carefully at my OP you will notice that I used the word "relationship" between sin and illness. In subsequent post I used the words, connection,  related, cause,  link, and contributing factor, most of which allow for multi-directional interpretation, and those that are direction specific (i,e, sin causing or contributing to illness), they are condemnation neutral, and thus best understood as consequences.  At no time did I use the word "punishment", because the word never crossed my mind--not that a rational case couldn't be made for the term in certain cases.

Also, I wasn't speaking in binary terms, but rather nuanced, which allows for varying degrees of connections and links,  etc. from nominal to significant depending upon the case.

Furthermore, in my most recent post,  I clearly indicated that my mind was far more oriented towards spiritual illnesses than physical. I used the generic term "illness"  in the OP to allow discussion of both physical and spiritual illness, and I pointed to the physical illnesses being healed in the New Testament as a means of encouraging discussion that would hopefully lead to enabling me to make the point that I did--i.e. that the physical healings were a "sign" of Jesus' ability to heal spiritually.

So, there is no maybe about it. You misunderstood me spectacularly. ;) How is that for comic relief.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

 

Edited by wenglund

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3 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

You know me @Anddenex, I'm really, really stupid. So explain this to me nice and easy so that I can understand it. If Steve fornicates (which I do think is sinful as well) and gets an STD, that's because of Steves disobedience. But if Mark (pulling names out of the sky here) fornicates and doesn't get an STD, he's still disobedient in the exact same way Steve was. Why doesn't Mark also get an STD?

You know me @MormonGator, I keep things really simple and not sure I can make it any more simple than previously stated. Mark:

1) Didn't sleep with someone who had an STD (that is the easiest explanation)

2) Slept with someone with an STD and was lucky

3) Mark was smarter Steve and used protection while sinning, which prevent HIV.

4) Steve used protection but the wrong type of protection or the condom broke.

But all this is irrelevant because it assumes that both have to get an STD in order for the example to be true. It doesn't. If a person fornicates (sins) and they sleep with a person who has a STD and they contract a STD. The sickness is a direct result of their choice to sin.

The question provided in the OP is whether or not sickness is related to sin. The answer is yes. Sickness however is not always related to sin, as it can be related to righteousness like with Job.

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Honesty compels me to acknowledge that my thoughts on this subject were substantially prompted and influenced by this fantastic Interpreter Round table podcast: 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund

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Guest MormonGator
13 minutes ago, Anddenex said:

You know me @MormonGator, I keep things really simple and not sure I can make it any more simple than previously stated. Mark:

 

It wasn't an insult, we both agree that adultery/fornication/sex outside of marriage is wrong. So we're clear about that, and we agree. I didn't justify Mark or Steves actions. 

Luck plays a huge role in life, and religious people sometimes (key word, sometimes) fail to see that. That's why Mark can sleep with a lot of girls and for whatever reason, still be healthy.  That's also why car crash and take the life of a 4 year old while the driver driver who killed them walks away from the crash. The outcome of sin is damnation, not disease. Though sin itself is a type of disease. 

 

And I don't really know you @Anddenex. You keep turning down my invitations to go out drinking together. Jerk. 

Edited by MormonGator

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Guest MormonGator
4 minutes ago, wenglund said:

?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Let's read the entire sentence. 

 

27 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

And I don't really know you @Anddenex. You keep turning down my invitations to go out drinking together. Jerk. 

Clearly a joke. 
 

Edited by MormonGator

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It seems blindingly obvious that some sickness results from sinful behavior.

It also seems blindingly obvious that some sickness results from absolutely zero sinful behavior from anyone's part, anywhere.  

Finally, it's becoming clear that folks get entrenched in one of these two statements, and end up fighting folks entrenched in the other statement.  And we don't need to, because both statements are obviously true.

Hidden assumptions: We may be clouding our thinking with notions like "fair" or "deserve" or "just" or whatever.  Example: "Oh, so you're saying that a child born with HIV deserves to pay for his parent's sin?"   (See, nobody is saying that.)

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