Counsel of Chalcedon
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When to Call for the Elders

When should a Christian call for the Elders to pray for him? What did James mean by these words? In order to answer this question we will have to consider the larger issue - How should a Christian respond to sickness, illness, and disease? This is a very sensitive issue, but a very practical and important one.

There are two extreme positions held by Christians. On the one hand, there are those who believe that it is not God's will for Christians to be sick at all; that Christ bore all our diseases in his death on the cross; and therefore, if we have enough faith, God will heal us of all our sicknesses now. Other Christians treat illness in purely physical terms. You go to the doctor, get your prescription filled, and eventually get well. They would not think of calling for the Elders, or even praying about it unless it were something serious.