“The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” (Psalm 12:6) Seven in the Bible is a number that often denotes perfection and completion. The goal is to encourage our minds to a higher plane than our human reasoning and and see how the risen Lord Jesus thinks about things as revealed in His Word, the Holy Scriptures.

The Great Malpractice – An Allegory of Church History

Scene 1 – The Miracle Cure

In the beautiful city of Heavenapolis lived a wealthy and famous doctor by the name of Dr. I.M. Good. He noticed that a large number of residents who lived in a place called Worldadelphia had inherited a fatal disease. The disease not only curtailed the actions of its victims, but resulted in much pain eventually bringing death. Dr. Good diagnosed the malady as ‘Severe Internal Nerve Syndrome.’ Eventually it was called S.I.N.S.

Dr. I.M. Good’s heart of compassion drove him to find a life-giving cure. With his extreme intelligence he perfected a medicine; but not without a heavy price. Dr. Good’s son voluntarily allowed his father to test out his formula on him. This caused his son’s death.

However, from the information obtained in the son’s death, the miracle drug was perfected. Since the medicine was reddish in color, Dr. Good chose to name it ‘Red Cross.’ He packaged it in attractive white bottles with a bright red cross on the outside.

Dr. Good developed a unique marketing plan. Since he was a man of great wealth and the people who needed the medicine had been impoverished by their disease, Dr. Good offered the miracle drug without cost. As long the people had enough faith in him to come to him and be legitimately diagnosed as having the disease of S.I.N.S. and agreed to take the Red Cross medicine, it was theirs free of charge.

The amazing thing about Red Cross was that only one dose would completely cure S.I.N.S. forever. The fatal disease would vanish, and the patient would be immune from ever again contracting it. Dr. I.M.Good publicized it with the slogan “Once is enough – forever.” He also published a users’ manual that explained the formula and source of Red Cross’ curative power. The manual became known as “The Good Book.”

In this manual he was careful to explain that one dose was enough forever. He then listed some exercises that the cured should do in order to get maximum performance out their healed body. Since their body had been inactive for such a long time, these exercises were meant to make it function in an orderly way again. It was not that the person who took the drug was not cured unless he did the exercises, it was just that his new life could not reach its greatest potential for activity without them.

The only problem Dr. Good encountered with his plan was that since S.I.N.S. was a most embarrassing and humiliating disease, many people convinced themselves that their problem was just a passing virus and would not admit to it or be diagnosed as having the fatal disease. And anyway, they were not used to taking handouts. Besides, they had their own family doctors who didn’t recommend Dr. Good. Thus, many needy people never sought out the Red Cross medicine.

Scene 2 – The Imitation

A serious problem began to develop from Dr. I.M. Good’s former intern, Mr. S.A. Tan. You see, Dr. Good was quite respected and famous in Heaveapolis. Mr. S.A. Tan had felt slighted. After all, he had labored long, hard hours faithfully every day, and though he had been paid exceptionally well, he did not get the respect from the citizens of Heavenapolis that Dr. Good did.

As his jealousy grew, Mr. S.A. Tan spread lying rumors about Dr. Good’s motives and business ethics. Groundless rumors often cover a lot of ground, you know. Eventually Dr. I.M. Good had to fire Mr. Tan.

Mr. S.A. Tan left Heavenapolis in a rage. He set out to prove that he, Mr. S.A. Tan, was worthy of all the glory that had gone to Dr. Good. The only problem was that Mr. Tan did not have nearly the natural talent and wisdom Dr. Good was blessed with. However, Mr. Tan’s root of jealousy, mixed his vengeful rage and zeal to make himself number one (all commonly known as pride), were to bring to the surface some tremendous marketing and business abilities that apparently had been lying dormant for years.

As Mr. Tan quietly walked through Worldadelphia he came into possession of some very useful information. He discovered that although all the citizens of the place were suffering from S.I.N.S., the knowledge they had of Dr. I.M. Good and his once-and-forever Red Cross miracle cure was very limited and inaccurate. Some had heard about Red Cross, but nobody had ever really explained to them very much about it.

The kind and interested visitor, Mr. Tan, asked them if they had ever read the “Good Book.” They said there were only a few copies in existence in Worldadelphia. When Mr. Tan realized the ignorance of the citizens of Worldadelphia, a devilish plan started to whirl and take shape in his fertile mind. The end product of that whirl was quite amazing to say the least.

With escalating enthusiasm Mr. S.A. Tan set out to convince the people of Worldadelphia that he was Dr. Good, the source of the Red Cross medicine that would cure their disease of S.I.N.S. He had his name legally changed to ‘Dr. M.I. Goode’ and with a forged certificate identified himself as the doctor from Heavenapolis University who discovered the Red Cross medicine.

Of course he could not produce the miracle drug, so he substituted an easily obtainable pain killer which could not cure S.I.N.S., but would give some pain relief after each dose for a couple of days. He packaged the substitute medication in the same white bottles with the red cross neatly embossed on them.

He then organized a company to sell the counterfeit medication, which he called the Red Cross Corporation. This became commonly known as the “RCC.” To keep the professional image, he always dressed in a spotless white uniform, with the company’s Red Cross logo on the front.

Thus did Mr. S.A. Tan formally introduce himself to the citizens of Worldadelphia as Dr. M.I. Goode, founder and president of the Red Cross Corporation.

And the sole distributor of the medicine.

Scene 3 – Marketing Genius

Dr. M.I. Goode informed the citizens they would have to come every week to receive a dosage of Red Cross medicine. Only if they took it repeatedly would they be cured from S.I.N.S. There also would be a nominal fee expected at each visit.

There were a few that said they thought they had read in the ‘Good Book’ that the medicine was so powerful that just one dosage would cure them forever. Dr. M.I. Goode assured that the Good Book indeed was true, but since they were not medically trained, it would need to be professionally interpreted. He went on to explain that what the book meant was that Red Cross is the one medication that will work. When it says one dosage, he told them, it means that to be cured they must stick with only this one brand, not that continuous small dosages will not be required to be administered often. His medical wisdom was impressive to all.

Some heard that the Good Book said the medicine was free of charge. Dr. Goode confirmed this was also true and that there was no charge for the medicine. The reason a fee was to be “donated” on a weekly basis, he said, was not for the medicine, but for the many interns he had to hire to administer the cure, since so many people needed it. Of course there is overhead to such a large corporation but they could rest assured the cure was free of charge just like the Good Book said.

Because the people had many questions like these, Dr. M.I. Goode felt is necessary and beneficial to write a supplement to the Good Book. This health digest contained a myriad of rules that his patients would have to follow between dosages of Red Cross for it to be effective. The rules involved diet, amount of sleep required, and vitamins that had to be religiously taken.

At first some complained that the rules were so rigorous that the cure was worse than the disease. Wasn’t it the Red Cross medicine that cured? But the digest professionally explained that while it was true that the rules didn’t really cure the people, they did prepare the body’s chemistry so the medicine could work. After all, “Goode help those who help themselves.” Not following the rules would cause a prolonged period of pain, and gross neglect would result in mortality.

The Good Book was kept on hand for sentiment, but in Worldadelphia generations of families traditionally turned to the RCC health digest to find their answers. In fact the digest advised each newborn to receive a courtesy dose of Red Cross for preventative measures.

Scene 4 – Problem Solving

In the process of time, the RCC became quite an efficient and popular enterprise, and under the leadership of Dr. M.I. Goode, literally millions of Worldadelphia’s citizens were coming weekly to receive the Red Cross medicine to hopefully cure their disease of S.I.N.S.

However, at times problems did arise for the RCC. Once some people toured the corporate headquarters and Dr. Goode’s home which was located on the corporation grounds. They had been under the impression that the RCC was a nonprofit humanitarian service. But they observed that Dr. Goode’s home had walls of gold with expensive jewels and priceless paintings lavishly decorating every room. Cadillacs and Rolls-Royces stood bumper-to-bumper in the long driveway.

When questioned, Dr. Goode stepped out onto the balcony and said he would be happy to explain. He reminded the visitors that the Red Cross medicine could not have been perfected if it were not for his son’s death. In honor of his son’s sacrifice, he felt the corporation should present a truly resplendent image. Dr. Goode said he did not personally enjoy the luxury, but tolerated it lest the corporation’s property, by its unpretentious and shabby appearance, detract from the dignity that befitted the memory of one who had laid down his life for humanity.

The good doctor also reminded the people of the countless hospitals and orphanages it supported and that the salaries of the interns who administered the medicine were quite meager. Dr. Goode reminded the people to have faith, for didn’t the Good Book itself say faith is the way? The people left that day feeling much more educated about the medical profession. They also said a silent prayer that their faith in the honorable Dr. M.I. Goode would grow even greater, since faith is the key.

A more serious problem arose when some protesters observed that although millions were coming for continuous dosages, they were still dying with S.I.N.S. They documented that the medicine being dispensed by the RCC was actually different from that described in the Good Book. They proved the claim with a chemical analysis of the product by competent medical examiners. They charged the RCC with malpractice. They thought their irrefutable evidence would close down the business for good since their analysis could be carefully checked with the Good Book. Although their charge was provable, Dr. Goode was to prove more than equal to the occasion.

First, Dr. Goode expressed sadness at the ignorance of the medical profession displayed by the protesting investigators. He pointed out their complete misunderstanding of the miracle feature of Red Cross medicine. How could they possibly know that the power of the medicine did not lie in the simple combination of the ingredients themselves, so that it could never be satisfactorily evaluated by an intellectual critique? They failed to understand the real miracle secret, he said.

You see, he said with dramatic emotion building in his voice, the miracle secret is that the Red Cross does not become a miracle cure until it combines with the chemistry of the patient’s body. There is a miraculous transformation that takes place only after the medication is ingested, so its healing power cannot be proved or disproved by dry, written facts. It must be taken by faith – for again, faith is the way.

Scene 5 – Coup d’etat

Recently things have been going quite well for the RCC. Lately, the followers of Dr. I.M. Good of Heavenapolis have not been much of a problem to Mr. S.A. Tan. Rather than protesting, it seems they now have found something better to do with their time. They are now pouring their energy into the social and political affairs of Worldadelphia. Just recently they were arguing over human rights and campaigning for new sewer systems and better schools. It seems that their opponents are now political candidates. They feel that better leaders can improve the moral climate of Worldadelphia so they can have a happier, safer life there. Also, the citizens with the disease of S.I.N.S. can enjoy life a little better before they die.

These conditions prompted Dr. I.M. Good of Heavenapolis to commission a public relations man to go to Worldadelphia to make a special effort to convince the poor dying citizens that there was a real solution for their fatal disease of S.I.N.S. Dr. Good commissioned a Mr. E.V. Angelist, a man with great zeal and oratorical ability, to spread the good news.

Mr. Angelist’s medical seminars were packed and even many of Dr. M.I. Goode’s patients were there. Far from objecting to Mr Angelist’s messages, they said they actually agreed with him about the rightness of Red Cross medicine, for they had been taking it for years. Some proposed that since he represents Red Cross medicine, and Dr. Goode is the head of the RCC corporation, the two should come together.

All that night Mr. Angelist battled with himself. He knew Dr. Goode was a fraud. But if he exposed him as such, many of Dr. Goode’s patients might be offended and quit coming to his seminars and might never hear the good news. So he reasoned that at least he and Dr. Goode had one thing in common on which they could agree: popularizing the Name of Red Cross.

Thus, the hour of the famous meeting arrived. Mr. S.A.Tan (alias Dr. M.I. Goode), walked over to Mr. E.V. Angelist, with cameras rolling, he put his hand out and said, “Brother, I come to you in the name of peace and health. Even though you disagree with some things, you are not disagreeable.” Mr. Angelist then extended his hand and said: “Most honorable doctor, the fact that you have made the Red Cross ‘name’ popular should cause the citizens of Worldadelphia to be thankful for the direction in which you are pointing them. For without debate – Red Cross is the only name that cures.” The citizens of Worldadelphia gave them a standing ovation for such a beautiful spirit of love.

One small problem did occur the other day but was expertly handled by Dr. Goode. It seemed a small group of old fashioned RCC bashers brought up the charges of fraudulent malpractice again. These peace-haters said the RCC didn’t really help or care about suffering humanity dying with S.I.N.S.

Dr. Goode called a press conference. Dressed in his spotless white doctor’s coat with the red cross emblazoned on it, he was the soul of conciliation and professional compassion. Picking up a small orphan child he said, “How can people say that the RCC doesn’t care about suffering humanity?” Making a quick mental check of the corporation’s profits and estimating them to be in the billions he seated himself at a table and dramatically announced that he was going to write three checks for $50,000 each. One each for the hospital fund, the orphan fund and the “food for the homeless” drive.

Then as if on sudden impulse, he wrote a fourth check, this one quite sizeable, in the amount of $500,000 for the antiabortion league. Magnanimously, Dr. Goode then apologized for the millions of mothers who aborted their babies. He also righteously avowed in a heated but firm voice, that if there was one thing he would always fight against, it was and forever would be … UNNECESSARY DEATH. The Good Book certainly condemned that.

Worldadelphia was moved. Feeling divine inspiration, the people bowed their hearts in awe and thanked God for a corporation that really cared––and above all for the most honorable Dr. M.I. Goode.

Read 2 Corinthians 11

The Tabernacle

Going Forward By Looking Backward