“The wages of sin are [disease and] death”

I added “disease” because it is entirely consistent with Biblical teaching to do so.

Doctors unconsciously subscribe to this thinking they learned in Sunday school. Consider this from the WebMD website Re high blood pressure:

“The exact causes of high blood pressure are not known, but several factors and conditions may play a role in its development, including:
• Smoking
• Being overweight or obese
• Lack of physical activity
• Too much salt in the diet
• Too much alcohol consumption (more than 1 to 2 drinks per day)
• Stress
• Older age
• Genetics
• Family history of high blood pressure
• Chronic kidney disease
• Adrenal and thyroid disorders”

“Sinful” excesses are listed as excessive smoking and drinking, excessive eating (resulting in obesity), excessive salt (excessive salt implies excessive enjoyment of food – this aids and abets the sin of gluttony). Sinful sloth is also in the list as lack of physical activity/exercise.

Is this thinking not equivalent to “the wages of sin are [disease and] death”? Smacks of the pulpit.

Questions: Isn’t listing other diseases/disorders begging the question of the origin of this disorder – just list the principal factors behind those. Aren’t genetics and family history really the same thing? And re: old age – must we not make some provision for the body’s natural adaptation to changes that inevitably accompany old age? Are all blood pressure increases pathological? Why must all of them be treated with drugs? Even with healthy aging, Systolic BP (SBP) has been found to approximate the formula BP = 100 + Age/2. Is a SBP of 140 for an 80 year old really cause for concern? I seriously doubt it, but doctors love to fret. They recommend that 80 year olds take drugs to get their BP into the “normal” range even when they complain of lightheadedness. Is that not a symptom of low blood pressure? Could 140 SBP or even higher be “normal” for an 80 year old? In any case, symptoms make better guides than numbers on a page. Once again, the difference between “personal and specific” and the medical professions’ “one size fits all.”


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