Our views have often been formed as a result of tradition or hearsay and are frequently not based on properly researched facts. In spite of this many people when challenged will mount a strong defence of cherished beliefs without the necessary proof. An example of this reaction is described in the following true story...
In the early 1900s Elizabeth Kenny worked as a nurse in the remote Australian outback. When faced with cases of infant poliomyelitis she developed an innovative procedure to reduce the crippling effects of the disease, which was in conflict with traditional medical practice at the time.
The approved treatment was to immobilize the affected limbs with casts and splints. Kenny disagreed with this and worked on retraining and strengthening the limbs. Although this technique was not a cure, it offered significant relief from pain and severe crippling. But in spite of irrefutable evidence, she met with sharp disagreement from many Australian medical authorities.
With determination and time Kenny eventually received some acknowledgement of her success and in 1940 was sent to the United States to introduce her treatment there. Although many American physicians were also opposed, the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis found her approach credible and it was adopted throughout the US.
Two years after her death in 1952, a vaccine was developed leading to a rapid decline in polio cases, but Kenny’s principles of muscle rehabilitation left an important legacy. Some have called her the founder of modern physical therapy.
The article below deals with the intense opposition she encountered from the medical establishment, illustrating what can happen when people’s traditional beliefs are challenged by competing facts.
People often experience a similar reaction when faced with biblical knowledge that conflicts with their traditional Christian approach. Satan has a goal to prevent people from understanding God’s marvelous truth by insidiously promoting counterfeit knowledge (2 Corinthians 4:3-4; James 3:13-14).
The Apostle Paul urges us not to be held hostage to “the commandments and doctrines of men,” which falsely offer “an appearance of wisdom” (Colossians 2:22-23).
He encourages us “not be conformed to this world” but to “prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2). We all need to question our religious beliefs by honestly comparing them to scriptural truth (Acts 17:11).
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