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Born Again Christian

October 16, 2018
Born Again Christian October 16, 2018

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46, NIV 1984).

My fellow saw the patient first and showed me the medical records that came with her, written by the doctor to whom she was first referred. “Patient desires to see a doctor who is a born-again Christian. I believe it is not best for me to manage her case. I will refer her to Dr. ____.” When I sat down in the room with the patient, as my fellow looked on, the husband spoke first, “Before we get started, I need to ask you a question, because it is important to us, ‘Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?’” It was easy to answer, “I certainly have.”

There are advantages and disadvantages of being known as “the Christian doctor.”

You certainly do gain some interesting patients. You may lose some as well. I suspect some of our colleagues dislike referring to “religious” healthcare professionals, whose worldview makes them less than scientific practitioners. I admit my guilt in being different, but I would prefer to think of myself as a “more than scientific practitioner,” conforming to the truth that life is not fully confined within science, that life is science plus more than science. Some of us might lose some patient referrals this way. So be it.

At least being known as “the Christian doctor” makes me authentic—if I truly live my label. One can say many good things about Jesus and not be authentic. Jesus cautioned us regarding this disconnect between words and action: “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46, NIV 1984) and “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15, NIV 1984). Being authentic with our faith stretches far beyond our words and carries with it a responsibility far greater than our reputation.

Dependent on that authenticity, when we become known as “Christian,” people are watching and deciding what Jesus looks like. Do we look like Jesus? Do we really pour ourselves out for the broken? Are we really here to redeem a lost world? Is our life one of self-sacrifice or one of self-fulfillment? Do we point to the Father in our work and words? That’s what Jesus looks like. If I am known as “Christian,” do I look like that as well?

Dear Jesus,
Let me wear your name well.

Al Weir, MD

About Al Weir, MD

After leaving academic medicine, Dr. Weir served in private practice at the West Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee from 1991-2005 before joining the CMDA staff as Vice President of Campus & Community Ministries where he served for three years from 2005-2008. He is presently Professor of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Program Director for the Hematology/Oncology fellowship program. He is also President of Albanian Health Fund, an educational ministry to Albania where he has been serving for 20 years. He is the author of two books: When Your Doctor Has Bad News and Practice by the Book. Dr. Weir’s work has also been published in many medical journals and other publications. Al and his wife Becky live in Memphis, Tennessee, and they have three children and three grandchildren. Dr. Weir is currently serving on CMDA's Board of Trustees.

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