The supposed role of religion and spirituality in the healing process is a primary determinant of individual behaviors in the healthcare field. Mostly the hospital staffs relate patients’ actions to their faith. Oman and Thorensen (2002) suggest that beliefs that are significant to the health of the patient are likely to affect the decision-making process, support networks, coping, application of corresponding health practices, commitment to treatment as well as the general well being. This research paper gives a critical analysis of Christianity and Buddhism religious beliefs in relation to health care provision with the aim of establishing similarities and differences between the two. By so doing, it will be easy to understand the healing process, since complete healing only occurs when the body, spirit and emotions are balanced (Shelly & Miller, 2006). As such, the acknowledgement and support of patient’s wishes, beliefs and practices in hospitals, goes a long way in relieving the patient.
Various religious groups are characterized with unique belief systems in relation to healthcare. Therefore, it is very important for healthcare providers such as nurses and doctors to be aware of these belief systems in order for them to enhance their delivery of medical care services (Koenig, 2007). In offering comprehensive medical care to patients, there has to be the application of religious beliefs together with the scientific medical care. It is to no doubt that patients are aware of the best intentions of doctors, but they do not believe that the doctors are aware of what is best; only God knows.
Religion has the power of connecting individuals to the community as well as a superior force, which gives psychological and emotional stability in return. The empowering is an activity of the conscious of religious beliefs such human sanctity, community roles and social networks and it can be used by health care givers to assist in promoting a healthier lifestyle (Miller & Thorensen, 2003). So when a patient is admitted in a hospital, health personnel should enquire about their spiritual beliefs, although this should be done in a manner that is sensitive and respectful. If a patient indicates that they hold no importance to religious or spiritual beliefs, the spiritual history conversation should end there. Other factors that provide purpose and meaning of existence to the patient should be explored, since spirituality is not the only source of fulfillment in life.
The Christian Perspective
What is prime reality?
All Christians believe that God exists and He is the giver and taker of life. Christian doctrines may differ from one faith to another (Protestants or Catholics) or from one country to another, but there are some Christian practices that are almost universal: worship, ministry, initiation (baptism) and “good works. All Christians mark Christmas and Easter celebrations and even prefer to receive the Holy Communion on these days.
What is the nature of the world around us?
The whole world was created by God in His Holiness, but sin allowed Satan to come into the world with the aim of destroying human beings. God’s Angels are always in constant struggle to fight for those who sincerely pray and believe in God for protection. The religious and spiritual practices of a Christian individual are purely influenced by the church traditions as well as their personal relationship with the Supreme Being. The church however does not have complete control over an individual’s decision on what to accept or not, this decision lies with the individual (Dynamic Dance of Christian Worldview, 2008).
What is a human being?
In the bible, the creation story is told extensively in the book of Genesis with human beings being created on the sixth day. The bible tells us that man was created last, and given the power to reason in order to rule over and take care of the other creation. Adam was created first, then God thought it is not good for a man to be alone, thus he created for him a companion from one of his ribs and called her eve (Dynamic Dance of Christian Worldview, 2008). Adam and Eve lived happily in the Garden of Eden until one day when Eve was lured to sin by the serpent. Thereafter, sin entered the world and man was cursed with sufferings and illness.
What happens to a person at death?
At death, bodies of Christians have to be subjected to the routine rites in order to accord them their last respect. For instance, Baptism has no age limit; there are those who get baptized while children and others go through the practice in adulthood. Koenig (2007) asserts that Christianity states that if a person who is yet to be baptized becomes very sick, they should be offered baptism. The bible teaches on the importance of being born again (baptized) for an individual to enter the kingdom of God, the reason why they emphasize on it at the end-of-life. Many Christians believe on the life after death because of the second coming of Christ. They hold on the view that when you die, your soul rests until when Christ comes back and judgment will be passed on every individual according to their deeds.
Why is it possible to know anything at all?
It is possible for Christians to know all about everything because of the bible. ”. The Bible is the sacred book used by Christians to guide their practices, which they believe was written by people inspired by the Holy Spirit of God (Dynamic Dance of Christian Worldview, 2008). It outlines the origin of the world and all that is in it, as well as their destiny. By reading the bible, every Christian is able to understand his/her purpose in this world.
How do we know what is right or wrong?
The bible tells Christians what is wrong or right and everything done to the Glory of the most high is perceived to be right. In fact, the holy book gives guidelines on many aspects of life. For instance, in regard to diet, there are no general requirements since some Christians wish to fast from food before participating in the holy-communion, while others fast from alcohol. Whereas others observe Friday as the only day to refrain from taking meat, others teach against the consumption of red meat as it poses dangers to individual health (Basu-Zharku, 2001). In cases of still birth and miscarriage, the chaplain is called upon to offer blessings, naming and a commemorate certificate is issued to the parents. Family planning varies within the many faiths of Christianity, and there are no major objections to organ transplant and blood transfusion.
What is the meaning of human history?
According to the bible, everything was created pure and to the glory of God, but the sinful nature of man has made life very challenging. For this reason, God sent his only son to die for the sins of man, so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. Christians usually tend to mend their relationship with God when sick so as to be forgiven their sins. They do so in the hope that God can have mercy on them and heal them, or even they die, they be counted among the righteous on the second coming of Chris.
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