A Samaritan member who blogs at Samaritan Ministries Review (which is not affiliated with SMI) recently wrote about their experiences dealing with medical bills. The post points out that Samaritan contracts with The Karis Group and other negotiators in an effort to get fair prices on medical expenses for members. The writer concludes with these thoughts:

If we have a medical need, the bills are unavoidable; insurance or not. Comparing the two, I’d MUCH rather have the support of Samaritan Ministries and its members than our old insurance company. Instead of cold rules and high out of pocket costs, I have traded it for warmth, support, caring, and prayer from an organization who just wants to be sure the bills are paid and that none of us are overcharged. Samaritan strives to follow the laws of Christ. Anytime you have that as your foundation you know you’re on solid ground.

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October 2014 Samaritan Ministries (2)

This month’s Samaritan Ministries Christian Health Care Newsletter defends the value of all who are made in God’s image and also promotes medical innovation.

  • Eugenics and not-so-ancient history” is a reprint of an Eric Metaxas Breakpoint episode which argues that deeming certain people “defective” is an old notion that has never really gone away.
  • Rob Slane weighs in on Richard Dawkins’ detestable suggestion that bringing a Down syndrome baby into the world “would be immoral.” Is a Down syndrome baby an ethical dilemma or a high calling? It depends on your worldview.
  • James Whitman, director of the Center for Judaic-Christian Studies, explains why it’s important for Christians of today to understand the Jewish world of Jesus’ time in this month’s Member Spotlight. He also talks about why he and his wife, Tamora Joy, joined Samaritan.
  • The great prostate mistake” is Richard Albin’s 2010 mea culpa. He discovered the prostate-specific antigen, and now calls the PSA test’s popularity a “hugely expensive public health disaster.” Jed Stuber also relates Dr. Ronald Wheeler’s concerns about prostate treatment.
  • SimpleCare is an effort to simplify the doctor-patient relationship through lower, fairer fees and a more basic billing system.
  • The Doorpost reflects on Matthew 5:11-12 and offers a different idea of what God’s blessing looks like.
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down syndrome grid

By Rob Slane

Recently the high priest of all things atheist, Richard Dawkins, found himself in a bit of a hole, one entirely of his own making. He had received a message from a lady on Twitter who claimed that she would be faced with a “real ethical dilemma” if she found out that she was pregnant with a Down syndrome baby. This was no such ethical dilemma for Dawkins, who replied on his Twitter account with all the subtlety and charm of a rhinoceros in a library: “Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice.”

A predictable backlash followed, which appears to have taken him by surprise, not because he wasn’t aware that some people might have a problem with what he wrote, but rather because he apparently didn’t realize how Twitter works.

Richard_Dawkins_Cooper_Union_ShankboneAccording to an article posted on his website a few days later, he seems to have believed that his reply would only be seen by the few people who followed both him and the lady he was responding to. But, of course, Twitter doesn’t work like that, and the tweet was seen by his million or so followers.

So although he still doesn’t know how the universe came into existence or have a plausible explanation for abiogenesis, at least he now knows why people have been referring to Twitter as “social media” and not “private correspondence” these past few years!

Anyway, the backlash came and, according to Dawkins, he received “fireballs of hatred” and accusations of “Nazism, vile, monstrous fascistic callousness.” Probably he did indeed receive some pretty nasty stuff, but he goes on to tar his opponents with a pretty broad brush:

The haters came from various directions:

  1. Those who are against abortion under any circumstances.
  2. Those who thought I was bossily telling a woman what to do rather than let her choose.
  3. Those who thought I was advocating a kind of mob rule.
  4. Those who thought I was advocating a eugenic policy and who therefore compared me to Hitler.
  5. Those who took offense because they know and love a person with Down syndrome.

Unless I am reading him wrong, it seems that he defines anyone who fits into one of these categories as, axiomatically, a “hater.” Now I guess it’s possible that all the people who tweeted to oppose his views are indeed “haters,” but that seems unlikely. For example, one mother with a Down syndrome child wrote, “I would fight until my last breath for the life of my son. No dilemma.” That sounds rather more like love than hate, wouldn’t you say? Read the rest of this article…

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James and Tamora Whitman

By Michael Miller

By the middle of this month, James Whitman and his family will probably be spending some time in a lean-to crafted from spare branches in the yard of their Centerville, Ohio, home.

It’s the time of the Biblical fall holidays, and the Feast of Tabernacles (October 8-15 this year) calls for temporary “booths” to be erected in order to remind Israelites of God’s provision during their wandering in the wilderness (Leviticus 23:42).

But such activities aren’t valuable to Jews only, James says. Gentile Christians also can learn a lot about their faith through understanding the Biblical festivals. Then they can pass on lessons about Scripture and Jesus to their children.

And the Center for Judaic-Christian Studies, with James as director, stands ready to help.

“Understanding the time between the Testaments, what scholars call the Second Temple Period, is essential to developing the full Biblical worldview portrayed in Scripture,” he says. Read the rest of this article…

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James and Tamora Joy Whitman hadn’t been part of Samaritan Ministries for long before they needed to turn to the members for help with medical needs.

“Our athletic son (Grayson) blew out his knee,” says James, director of the Center for Judaic-Christian Studies. “Every cent was met by this community. Not only were we thrilled to participate, but we were completely humbled by the outpouring of love and generosity that met us in our time of need.”

The Whitmans were getting “burned” by health insurance when they decided to try something different. First, they tried a ministry “that kind of mirrors insurance,” but the same things that frustrated them about insurance frustrated them about that setup.

“A friend told us about Samaritan Ministries,” James says. “We read about the model and we rejoiced in the goodness of God. This is such a good fit for us’”

One of the things that appealed to the Whitmans was the opportunity to practice righteousness by sending their monthly shares to members.

“One important meaning associated with the word ‘righteousness’ in New Testament times was taking care of the poor and needy,” James says. “When Jesus said ‘Let your righteousness surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees,’ He was being very practical. He’s saying that they tend to exempt themselves from charitable giving, like leaders do sometimes. Jesus instructs His disciples, in every age, to be generous like their Father is generous: take care of the poor, take care of the sick, take care of the outcast. Pour out your best for others—for His sake. Samaritan Ministries is an expression of Biblical righteousness, in which we delight and for which we are thankful.”

At least five people have signed up as Samaritan members at the Whitmans’ recommendation.

“We want everyone to know about it,” James says. “We want every believer out of the old systems and in on this.”

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