Let me be clear at the outset. I am not a cardiologist nor the son of a cardiologist. I did have a couple of appointments with one a few years back. If you are one of the 18.2 million adults in the U.S. with coronary artery disease, I expect you are thankful for your cardiologist. Some of our graduates from BJU now practice cardiology. Blessings upon them all!
Following a set of conversations at a conference, I began to wonder if cardiologists could serve God. Some argue that to genuinely serve God you must be a pastor or missionary. Medical professionals and those working in other occupations are on a lower tier. After a sleepless night wrestling with the question, I conclude that the answer is an unambiguous “yes!” Allow me the opportunity to convince you.
We conservative evangelical Christians believe that the Bible is the final rule of faith and practice. The story of the Bible rests in creation, fall, redemption and restoration. Let’s consider how each of these doctrines informs an answer to our question.
God created this world and everything in it. At the end of the sixth day, God saw His good creation. In fact, He said that it was very good. Every plant, animal, star and galaxy reflected God’s complex and intricate design as did Adam and Eve.
When a cardiologist studies the human heart, he or she sees the handiwork of God. Four chambers, four valves, numerous arteries and veins and an electrical control system work together to pump blood through the human body every day for decades and shout God’s glory. We glorify God when we see beyond the intricacies of the human heart to the One who made it.
The Bible makes no excuses about man’s main problem — sin. Our first parents gave in to temptation, disobeyed God and plunged the human race into chaos and death. Much of God’s good design in creation remains, but nothing works as well as it once did. Our bodies will die.
Most of a cardiologist’s education and professional practice focuses on abnormalities and diseases of the human heart. We have all seen the sobering statistics:
- Over 600,000 people in the United States die each year from heart disease.
- Over 800,000 people in the United States have a heart attack each year.
Cardiologists see the impact of the Fall every day. Heart disease is one of the mechanisms that hasten disability and death.
Believers take comfort in the promises of God in the Old Testament about the One who would deal with the sin problem at its root. The New Testament identifies this person as Jesus Christ. He lived a perfect life, took on Himself the sins of mankind, and bore God’s wrath through death on the cross. He then rose from the dead in victory over sin and death.
Much of the damage caused by sin remains in this life. Christians, imitating their Savior, seek to rebuild what was lost in the Fall. Jesus healed the sick. Jesus fed the hungry. Jesus gave hope to the hopeless. Believers imitate Jesus and look forward to a great day when even the effects of sin will be eradicated.
Like Jesus, cardiologists heal the sick and provide hope. Jesus was the master healer. Jesus’ word was powerful medicine for the deaf, blind, bleeding and afflicted. No cardiologist will match Jesus’ power. But cardiologists do seek to heal a wide variety of sicknesses and diseases of the heart. They use medicines, surgeries and therapies. In the work of a cardiologist, we see echoes or reflections of the Savior’s work.
So, can a Christian serve God as a cardiologist? The answer is a resounding “YES!” Every student of the human heart and every cardiologist who helps keep our hearts ticking should rejoice that their work is significant and meaningful in God’s economy.
Interested in entering health care? Learn about BJU’s premed/predent program.