Alzheimer's and God's Wrath

March 3, 2008 – At the top of the list of debilitating, incurable diseases humankind seeks to eradicate is the disease we call Alzheimer's Disease. In the quest to cure the ailment, an interesting find has been made by Dr. E.J. Jacobson, PH.D, M.D. and Dr. Jesus Christianson, PH.D, M.D. Both men reside and work in the city of Columbus, Ohio, home to the renowned Columbus Center for Alzheimer's Research. In addition to being medical doctors, these men are Baptist ministers and personal friends of fellow pastor and Republican presidential hopeful, Mike Huckabee.

When asked about their progress in search for a cure to Alzheimer’s, Dr. Christianson said, “Alzheimer’s disease is caused by blockages of a certain protein called beta-amyloid that accumulates between nerve cells of the brain. While there is still much to learn, we are confident that one day the disease will be better understood, and possibly even cured.” Dr. Jacobson then added: “But physicians for so long have been looking to modern medicine for a cure. We should have been looking to God’s Word to consider why the disease surfaced to begin with. The answer was right there all along.”

As our investigating team inquired further, the doctors continued to impress us with their immense medical and biblical knowledge. The most memorable moment during the interview came when Dr. Jacobson handed us a letter, in which was explained the position of both Dr. Christianson and himself. The letter was a response to an email inquiry. Reprinted here with permission from the fundamentalist Christian quarterly known as Christian Medicine Today, we have the position of the doctors…

”Dear Dr. Jacobson,

As a woman of faith, I find it especially trying to face Alzheimers disease and what it has done to my family. It stole my mothers’ identity over a six year period. She passed away last year at age sixty six. Too early for her to go.

It has been hard on us. It was hard to watch my mother deteriorate like that. Facing the usual trials that come with life, like for example why God allows this to happen, is bad enough.

Can you give me a laymen version of what Alzheimers is and why it attacks some people and not others? And can you tell me how much closer you are to finding a cure? Thank you ahead of time.

In Christian love,

Tina Richards, Lovelady, Texas”


Dr. Jacobson responds…

Dear sister Richards,

I am delighted you took the time to write me about this gravely important topic, and I am more than happy to give you an answer.

Alzheimer’s Disease is caused by a build-up of proteins in the brain over time. But there is more to this story than just medical knowledge and terminology. Being that we are not secular, but Christian doctors, we are obliged by God to reject any evidences for anything that even remotely contradicts the Scriptures and any notion not already found in the Scriptures. We have done countless hours of scientific research on this disease, but since we are bound to the Bible as our sole authority, none of the scientific findings are important. Fasting, prayerful meditations, Scripture readings, and supplications to God are all that is important. As we have done on the issue of creation science and determining the age of the earth, so we have done here: we put our research away and just consulted the Bible and let that be our guide. What we found amazed us!

As you well know, Alzheimer’s disease takes away a person’s knowledge, will, and resolve of moral character, as well as their relationships with their family and everyone they know (or knew). This seems to put God in the position of not being able to judge victims of Alzheimer’s for their actions, thoughts, or words. But the Bible says we are always judged by our actions, thoughts, and words (2 Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 4:12; Matthew 12:37)—and God’s Word cannot be wrong at any time (John 10:35). In the Bible, no one is ever unaccountable to God at any point or under any covenant, and that hasn’t changed today.

Unaccountability is a myth, just like a so-called “age of accountability,” an alleged “grace period” for children wherein God waits to start judging them until they are older. No such grace period exists. It’s not found anywhere in the Bible. Everyone is accountable to God at all times. But Alzheimer’s wipes out the rational faculties of the brain, so how can those afflicted with the condition still be held accountable? Has God forgotten about these poor souls? No, God forgets nothing. Everything He does is done for a purpose, and what this means is that when someone gets Alzheimer’s disease, God intentionally gives it to them for the express purpose of making them unable to repent.

You might be asking, “Where in Scripture do we have an example of God not letting someone repent?” We have a number of examples, one of which we'll look at here that parallels your mother’s case closely. It is the case of Hophne and Phinehas, whom God kept in a state of impenitence so he could feel justified in killing them for their sexual perversion…

“Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the LORD would slay them.” (I Samuel 2:25)

When rebuked, God made sure of it that both Eli’s sons would not be receptive to the words of their wise father. Why? Because God wanted them dead—plain and simple. God took away their resolve to repent, and we had the same situation with your mother. She got Alzheimer’s and couldn’t repent anymore than Hophni and Phinehaz could.

Now your mother sounds like a sweet person. I’m sure she was. But you may have to accept that she had a side to her that you never saw.

Being a Christian, you know the kind of God we serve. The slightest little mistake sends him into a soul-crushing rage. He even keeps a logbook of every single sin we ever committed and won’t erase a single one without a holy bloodbath, siphoned from the veins of a Jewish zombie who hung on a tree all day. So it wouldn’t surprise me if, like sexually immoral Hophni and Phinehas, God struck your mother with a case of Alzheimer’s for an immoral phase, or a single immoral act committed earlier in her lifetime. Perhaps she served as a mild-manored sex-toy for soldiers in the Armed Forces? Perhaps she danced on tables in Reno, shaking her behind for the menfolk to the “hip” tunes of Little Louie and The Shoeshine Boys? I’m afraid we’ll never know the specifics—and maybe that’s for the best.

That your mother was a promiscuous trollop seems to be the only logical explanation we can draw as to why your mindless mother could no longer respond to the command to repent and confess her sins of go-go girl harlotry from years back (or any other sin for that matter). Too bad for her, just one unwashed sin will be enough to keep her out of heaven. Because she couldn’t continually repent and pray for forgiveness like the Bible demands (I John 1:7), and because she no longer had faith to please God anymore (Hebrews 11:6), she left this life to fulfill her destiny of being ripped apart in the ravenous jaws of hungry, Kujo-like demons in the lowermost bowels of Hell.

Nothing can be done for your mother now. It’s too late for her. But it’s not too late for you to learn from her errors by repenting of any skanky “catting around” you did in your youth before you end up losing your mind and are turned into a hell-bound automaton like she was. But don’t despair. Truth be told, we’re all in a lot of trouble—with the kind of God we serve, we all better hope we don’t die between prayers!

As to how close we are to finding a cure for the disease, we’re nowhere close. But that may well be a blasphemous question on your part – just as our trying to find a cure for Alzheimer’s may be a work of the devil on our part – since it is a known fact that God very often punishes his people with plagues.

Pray for us and we’ll pray for you. The more we beg, the happier God is!

In His Grace,

Dr. E.J. Jacobson


(JH)

21 comments:

Wanderin' Weeta said...

I hope that was supposed to be satire. If not, ...

... the mind boggles.

Joe E. Holman said...

Uh, yeah, dear. I'd say that's satire!

;-)

(JH)

zilch said...

I would hazard to guess that it's satire too- what Christian would ever say "skanky"? That said, it's hard to judge sometimes: there are fundies who seriously claim that AIDS was sent by God to punish fags. What's the real difference between a good satire, and earnestly held crackpot ideas?

Tyro said...

Very funny!

I gotta admit that I wasn't sure at first and it was only the line "siphoned from the veins of a Jewish zombie who hung on a tree all day" which got me thinking that it probably wasn't serious :)

Thranil said...

The first clue I picked up on was the name "Dr. Jesus Christianson"... ;)

Joe E. Holman said...

zilch said...

"What's the real difference between a good satire, and earnestly held crackpot ideas?"

My reply...

There really isn't. And that's the beauty of good satire. It is never far removed from the ideas of real life religious nuts!

(JH)

Leslie F Massucco said...

Dear Tina Richards, Lovelady, Texas”
What he meant to say is that God never left your mother’s side, or yours. He prayed with you as your tears flowed, and wiped your face with his hands. I too asked the same question with my father. Maybe this disease was everyone’s lesson on how much we can learn to be patient, kind, and use our ability to stretch our capacity of love and except and embrace our love ones, even if they changed into different people. Happy can be relative in any form, and when he was ready, and our souls grew, he took them home.
Blessings,

HeIsSailing said...

I remember a home Bible study I once held .. this had to have been at least 20 years ago.. where we discussed this hypothetical scenario:

What if a devout Christian suddenly through a head trauma suffered amnesia? As a result of the loss of memory, the patient suddenly lost his piety.

Is this person going to heaven?

Believe it or not, we debated this for at least a couple of hours. Most people held this position: "Cmon! God is not going to take away his salvation, be reasonable!!" I came back, "Yes, but how do you know that? Aren't you just making God into what you think you would do in God's position? Aren'y you just making God into your own image with assumptions like that?"

It was a troublesome debate amongst us Christians, and in hindsight, it was worthy of satire.

Gene said...

HeIsSailing:

What I find remarkable is that people can somehow reconcile the reality of identity changes due to naturalistic mechanisms, yet still cling to the belief that each of us is guided by an immortal homonculus which exists outside the material world.

Leslie F Massucco said...

Yes, that is why we call it Belief

Gene said...

Fair enough, but everyone has beliefs of one sort or another. What I cant understand is a) on what do you base this belief and b) how do you reconcile it with conflicting evidence?

Shygetz said...

What he meant to say is that God never left your mother’s side, or yours. He prayed with you as your tears flowed, and wiped your face with his hands.

Who does God pray to, and why are His prayers as ineffectual as ours? Why did the tears remain on your face even after God wiped them with His hands? How could one tell the difference here between the actions of God and those of your imaginary friend?

Maybe this disease was everyone’s lesson on how much we can learn to be patient, kind, and use our ability to stretch our capacity of love and except and embrace our love ones, even if they changed into different people.

The person suffering from the disease doesn't get to learn this lovely lesson. So God is making that person suffer because you needed to learn how to be nice. Is that justice from your just God?

Happy can be relative in any form, and when he was ready, and our souls grew, he took them home.

Sure, happiness is relative, but what does that have to do with anything? You're saying that God made your father ill so you could learn to be more happy than when he first got the illness, but still less happy than before he got sick? And that's a good thing? And that lesson was worth your father's suffering? Wow. Just, wow.

According to your Bible, when Jesus walked the Earth, he cured people of disease rather than let them learn their lesson from God. Sometimes He did it reluctantly (Matthew 15:21-28), apparently changing His mind during the process--if Christ had wanted to show His glory or some such, why would he be reluctant? Why shouldn't God want to show His glory by healing the AD patients? Where was your father's miracle cure?

You don't think, somewhere in your darkest heart of hearts, that this is just a terribly transparent post hoc rationalization of a tragic event? I mean, seriously, how ornate a shape are you willing to twist into to avoid coming to the obvious conclusion; there is no lesson that could be learned this way that an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent God could not teach you more kindly in some other manner. Hell, he could make Alzheimer's curable by love--therefore, once you learned your "lesson", you father would be well again. But Alzheimer's is not curable by love. It is fatal, both directly and indirectly, and currently incurable. Here endeth the lesson.

If and when the cure comes, I guarantee you it won't be from the prayers of the faithful or the wisdom of the Church. It will be from the hard work of scientists and medical doctors, most of whom will either be non-believers or believers in the "wrong" religion, well-funded by charitable people and government. Next time you drop your tithe into the tray at church, think about that. They promise you miracles; we are the only ones actually bringing in the results.

And when that cure finally comes down, you and those like you will fall to your knees and humbly thank a God who sat on high for millennia and did nothing about it while multitudes of families were destroyed, both emotionally and financially, by this disease. Yet you will not hold Him accountable for his millenia of inaction, but merely give Him credit for His invisible, inaudible, and completely indetectable role in finding the cure now. Meanwhile, you won't be able to even name a single scientist who actually did the work to bring the cure about.

All the while, some of you will continue to struggle long and hard to ensure that the next generation of scientists are unable to ever find cures like that because they were never able to learn the foundations of biological science, being as they are in conflict with the more literal interpretations of the Bible.

Sometimes in my darker moments, I think that there should be an "opt-out" contract presented to people before they go in for evidence-based medical care. Either you're in the Enlightenment, or you can go down the street to the barber and have him bleed you with leeches. You can't have both.

Joe, the sad thing is, reality has lapped satire. Back in Swift's day, you could tell he was not serious. He merely took the sentiment of the day to its absurd conclusion, and left his audience stewing in their own shame. Today, your article would invoke non-ironic discussion in many congregations. As zilch pointed out, you don't have to look very long or hard to find equally absurd and reprehensible notions held by socially acceptable congregations. Therefore, satire loses its bite to its intended audience--those whom it lampoons.

You cannot reduce the absurd to absurdity.

zilch said...

shygetz- amen.

You say: You cannot reduce the absurd to absurdity.

True enough. But sometimes you can unscrew the inscrutable.

Leslie F Massucco said...

The simple idea of Happy
My father was happy even in his state of mind, not my idea of happy, and that is what is relative. It is not my definition of happy that matters. It is not my belief of who I think that God is that matters. It is up to every human to create the experience for them. And I do not ask why, the answer would not make me feel better. I lost my father, what makes me feel better is my faith, my belief, and every time I have the opportunity to lift up other person. I lift up myself, and by using the gift of words to heal, I am healed. I truly believe that we affect one another. Why would it be funny to post satire on an Alzheimer’s website? The family members that looking here are looking for hope, a cure, or a moment to share. Will your words give any light to their darkness?

Leslie F Massucco said...

Belief is like the air, you can breathe it and you can feel it, but do you need evidence it exists, even though you do not see it?
My belief, my faith is like the air it requires no proof

Shygetz said...

If your father suffered from Alzheimers and was happy, then he had other mental issues as well. Alzheimers is a disease that is frustrating to the point of suicide (look at the statistics; it's not a figure of speech), and no amount of lipstick you care to put on it will make this pig attractive.

It is not my belief of who I think that God is that matters. It is up to every human to create the experience for them.

Nope, not buying it. First of all, you are either assuming that God exists, which is not allowed in rational debate, or you are claiming that your belief creates a metaphysical God, which is the worst brand of postmodern nonsense. Either God(s) exist, or they don't. Either they interact with people, or they don't. Your belief, my belief, etc. doesn't change that.

And I do not ask why, the answer would not make me feel better. I lost my father, what makes me feel better is my faith, my belief, and every time I have the opportunity to lift up other person.

People like you don't seem to realize that telling me that a personal tragedy was engineered for my benefit does NOT "lift me up". It makes me feel worse. It makes me feel responsible for the tragedy, such that if I had been a better person such a lesson would be unnecessary. Am I the only person who feels this way about this "Everything happens for a reason" tripe?

You wanna believe because it makes you happy? Fine; I have said time and again that this is probably the ONLY rationally justifiable reason for believing in God. But that does NOT give you the right to claim that God exists; it only states that you WANT God to exist, so you choose to live as if He does. Don't tell other people that "He (God) prayed with you as your tears flowed, and wiped your face with His hands." You are lying; you HOPE God prayed with you, and you WISH God wiped your tears, and that if they believed that it might make them feel better. To state it as a claim of fact is dishonest and immoral.

I lift up myself, and by using the gift of words to heal, I am healed. I truly believe that we affect one another.

Everyone believes that we can affect one another, and that words are important. But your words hurt and heal, because you assume everyone wants what you want, and is comforted as you are comforted, so you make unfounded factual assertions as to how their world is. By all means, tell them that belief makes you happy and therefore may make them happy as well. But don't lie to them in their time of grief by saying "God does this, and God does that" because you don't KNOW, you HOPE, and hope does not make a thing true no matter how fervent. You do not do them a favor by lying to them, and you insult their very integrity each time you do so.

Why would it be funny to post satire on an Alzheimer’s website?

This is not an Alzheimer's website. SASQ.

The family members that looking here are looking for hope, a cure, or a moment to share. Will your words give any light to their darkness?

I'm sorry, you're telling me that family members come to a website entitled "Debunking Christianity" looking for a cure for Alzheimers? If so, then perhaps there was a misdiagnosis of Alzheimers when the real disease was severe familial retardation.

This satire was meant to lampoon people who, like yourself, think that everything happens for a God-ordained purpose. Unfortunately, many of them are not as sunshine-and-lollipops in their theology as you--AIDS as a punishment for sexual immorality, cervical cancer as a punishment for sexual immorality, flood of New Orleans as a punishment for sexual immorality (I'm starting to see a trend here...)

Belief is like the air, you can breathe it and you can feel it, but do you need evidence it exists, even though you do not see it?

First of all, no one is arguing that belief doesn't exist. I guess you meant to say that God is like air, and do I need evidence that air exists even though I can not see it?

Yes, and I have it. I can feel it , smell it, sometimes taste it, hear it blowing (sight is not the only sense, you know). Hell, I can consense it and see the liquid if I care to. I can diffract light through it, support airplanes on it, power my lightbulbs with it, use its movements to predict the weather, etc.

Can you do ANY of that with God? I thought not. God is nothing like air; God is like fairy dust. I can believe it exists, and such belief can alter my actions and make me genuinely happy. But in the end, no matter what feelings or natural events I attribute in my imagination to the fairy dust, there is nothing at the foot of my garden but flowers.

Wanderin' Weeta said...

Leslie wrote,

"And I do not ask why, the answer would not make me feel better. I lost my father, what makes me feel better is my faith, my belief,..."

I do not search for answers that make me feel better; I want answers that give me the truth of the matter.

When my Mom was dying of Alzheimer's, what would have felt better would have been that she was now cured, and no longer dying. But the fact was that she would die. And my appropriate response was to support her and my Dad in that state, not to tell them, "This was done to you on purpose." Which is what "God meant it for your own good" conveys.

"...and every time I have the opportunity to lift up other person. I lift up myself, and by using the gift of words to heal, I am healed."

Very good, very true. Helping others, we help ourselves. We don't need a belief in God to do that, though. And condescending statements about "your own good" and "learning experiences" don't help; they hurt.

Been there, done that. No more, thank you.

Joe E. Holman said...

Shygetz said...

"Joe, the sad thing is, reality has lapped satire. Back in Swift's day, you could tell he was not serious. He merely took the sentiment of the day to its absurd conclusion, and left his audience stewing in their own shame. Today, your article would invoke non-ironic discussion in many congregations. As zilch pointed out, you don't have to look very long or hard to find equally absurd and reprehensible notions held by socially acceptable congregations. Therefore, satire loses its bite to its intended audience--those whom it lampoons.

You cannot reduce the absurd to absurdity."


My reply...

So true, so true, my friend! I have been noticing and taking in the painful fact recently of how so much good satire is lost on more and more people. Despite modernism overcoming superstition and secularism overcoming religion, people seem less critical, less discerning. I don't know what it is, but it appears we are truly headed for oblivion! Pretty soon, it's gonna be like that movie, Idiocracy.

Seen it? It's hilarious. The whole world gets stupid beyond words and when two average people from our time wake up in the future, they are freakin geniuses! Amazing how this doesn't appear too far off!

(JH)

EnnythingGoes said...

Then, doctor, why don't you quit looking for the cure? You may as well stop trying to fix anybody then. I'm still shaking my head a long time after reading this. Satire or real, I find it offensive.

goodnewseverybodycom said...

Hi, I was just "googling" articles on the topic of Alzheimers and found your site. I just wanted to say my housemate just shared a true story of a relative getting "healed" of her alzheimers after family members and friends encouraged her to read the Bible. There is something about reading the Word of God (e.g. increase faith, thus by faith comes healing)...

Sal:)
more..
http://elderly.goodnewseverybody.com/

Commodianus said...

Chalk up another victoria for the bastard children of Martin Luther and Sola Scriptura.