Isn't there a problem with disease spreading, w/i our churches

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Jay and Kelly, Nov 16, 2005.

  1. Jay and Kelly

    Jay and Kelly
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    I have been a born again Christian for 11 years. My wife and I have been married for most of 6 years now. 5 years ago she was diagnosed with a very deadly form of leukemia; what one isn't? Throughout her treatments she remained diligent and patient. God definately revealed to us, the proper places,Doctor's, and questions. He gave my wife a complete remission for over 3 years now. This is miraculous in the eyes of science. I will talk about this whole subject another time. I praise God for all that he has done for all of us. I have a question regarding Church social protocol. Why must we continuously shake hands with a great many people. I believe that we can learn a great deal from our experiences. I have a significant medical background, and I will kindly share that many people are sharing pathogens. I don't mean to sound unfriendly,at all. I just believe that there should be another means to greet,and show our love for others in the congregation. I wouldn't even know what to propose. I'm sure that many of you are aware of the extremely easy passage of germs, through hand to hand contact. A few weeks ago, we had to use our pocket sanitizer over a dozen times. This is a prudent situation for us! I also believe that our churches should look at this considering the elderly, and even our youth. When I worship God, I like to do so as he says. I am stuck on this one. I believe that we started this type of greeting a few centuries back. Maybe we ought to take a close look at it. We will probably have substancially fewer people on our "immediate need" prayer lists. :eek:
     
  2. Keith M

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    Let's just wave at one another from across the sanctuary. I have never heard of anyone dying from a handshake (or a good ol' Baptist hug) they received in church. I think your concerns are a bit overblown, to say the least. After all, look how many times those in New Testament times "broke bread" together. Many times their "washing" was the ceremonial washing required by the law, and this did nothing to remove many germs.
     
  3. DesiderioDomini

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    I see this topic has specific interest to the OP, and it deserves attention as such.

    I have 2 questions.

    Is it possible for leukemia to be spread by physical touch? I always understood it to be a type of cancer, which would be non-communicable. You must know more than I, however, so please educate me.

    What does this have to do with bible versions?
     
  4. Helen

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    Has nothing to do with Bible versions, but "Jay and Kelly" is right, actually. Our hands carry enormous potential for spreading all manner of germs simply because we use them constantly, touching so many things. Shaking hands is, in the Orient, considered something low and filthy. They may have a point! Gloves are not popular anymore, but that is a social custom which sure didn't hurt.
     
  5. Petrel

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    I don't think so. Most of the stuff that is passed by hand-shaking is cold and flu viruses. A person conceivably could pass strep or staph or coliform bacteria, but most of the time those aren't a problem. I'd say if you have a weak immune system pass on the hand-shaking, but otherwise don't worry excessively. Besides, merely avoiding shaking hands wouldn't really make a difference unless you made sure never to touch anything with bare hands (door knobs, water fountains, pens. . .) And there are still airborne germs.

    Probably a more effective means of preventing illnesses is to follow the sensible precautions of washing hands before eating and not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
     
  6. robycop3

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    Hand-shaking is a custom in American civilization, same as kissing in in others. And I have never heard of leukemia or any other form of cancer being spread by handshaking or any other bodily contact in all my work as a Pharmacist's Mate or paramedic.

    I believe handshaking is a form of introduction between strangers, and is also a form of agreement, a form so powerful it was considered a legal contract in some USA communities years ago. Nothing wrong with it! Many a pastor stands at the sanctuary door both before and after a service to greet the parishioners.

    Here's one to think about...the "dirtiest" item of your clothes, not counting the soles of your footwear, is your BELT. How many of us, upon the completion of certain daily functions, wash our hands before hiking up our belts?
     
  7. Pastor_Bob

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    The concern is not the spread of the leukemia, but rather the weakened immune system of the one who has leukemia. She is far more susceptible while she is taking treatments. I believe that is the concern of Jay and Kelly.

    We support a missionary to the lepers of Thailand. He has constant physical contact with these people. He eats meals in their homes cooked by the lepers themselves. He has never contacted this very aggressive disease.

    I firmly believe that the providential protection of God is upon those who are in the center of His will. There is no place any more safe than in His will, and no place any more dangerous that outside His will.

    God is bigger than the pathogens that can be passed among the brethren. I certainly advocate common sense, but remember, God is always in control.
     
  8. tamborine lady

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    [​IMG]

    Amen Pastor Bob!! [​IMG]

    And by the way, I prefer a handshake to this:

    1 Cor 16-20 All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.


    :D

    Selah,

    Tam
     
  9. Johnv

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    If you're in close proximity to a person, such as next to them in a pew, refraining from the handshake isn't going to significantly lower your risk of coming into contact with pathogens.

    It seems, though, that you're implying that a person can get cancer from a handshake. There is absolutely no evidence to support this. In fact, all the evidence suggests that cancer is caused by factors other than bacterial or viral exposure.

    Now that issue aside, there's certainly no mandate for shaking hands. It's been a tradition of our western culture. I'm always a fan of "when in Rome, do as the Romans" wherever possible. If you're in a church that does it, then do it. If you're in a church that doesn't, then don't.
     
  10. Songbird

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    I don't think you meant getting cancer from contact, but I know that people w/leukemia may have a compromised immune system. When my nephew was living (many years ago) he had leukemia. I remember having to stay far, far away from him b/c I had a mild cold.

    I truly believe that if a person is obviously sick (cold, flu, pink eye, strep), then they should stay away from church and other populated areas to prevent the spread of their illness to other especially those who have weaker immune systems.

    I guess just use the hand sanitizer after the hand-shaking. I don't think it's needed after every hand shake.

    We live in a germ-filled world--I heard that a shopping cart handle is filthier than a public restroom, but I have to go to the grocery store--so I try to wash my hands as soon as I get home.

    I personally like the contact w/my brothers and sisters in Christ and my hug or handshake may be the only human contact that some people get that day.

    Take care. I'll be praying that your wife remains in remission!

    Linda
     
  11. hillclimber

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    Pastor Bob's quote:
    God is bigger than the pathogens that can be passed among the brethren. I certainly advocate common sense, but remember, God is always in control.

    I agree whole heartedly, but. As a trucker, i've walked out of many a restroom following some guy who passed by the sink with out stopping and has grabbed the door handle. I always carry a paper towel after washing for the door and then try to find a receptacle for it and if not it gets dropped right there. I have sanitizer cloths in the truck if I knowingly touch something that sets off my alarm.
     
  12. Jay and Kelly

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    I am responding to some of the subjects that a lot of you have brought up,concerning disease spreading by shaking hands etc.. I would like to start by thanking you all for the insite. Next, please be informed that leukemia is not passed by hand to hand contact. The dilemna that I was elaborating about had much more to do with having a weakened immune system. I notice that many of you discerned this. I also noticed that a few people feel that God will protect them from any illness, if you are operating w/i his means. I'm sure that you have experienced much in this sort. But, I must add that in a typical situation a person will be totally unaware of what disease they are picking up from a handshake! Many times a crisis will evolve from a situation like this. God will provide the solutions if we are diligent and faithfull. But let me give you a scenario apart from mine: Let's suppose that a young lady with a mild lung infection is at a Wednesday service,everyone shakes hands etc. There is an elderly man at this service who has encountered heart disease issues for sometime. If there are no precautions taken,this man could suffer a severe heart attack, resulting in his death. Let me elaborate; if this woman had Chlamydia pneumoniae, which is a fairly significant cause of some lung conditions in young people. And, she contacted this man with a handshake, also generating some interest in sharing a tic tac. Unless this man would wash his hands immediately before ingesting the tic tac, he is at a risk of contracting this pathogen. The problem comes when this elderly man's immune system tries to fight off the invader. This particular pathogen has been implicated as the direct cause of many myocardial infarctions. Even if we don't know how this exactly occurs, it should cause us to at least examine a cultural symbolism. Hand shaking is a gesture of friendship, but it is not something that the Bible instucts us to do. Therefore,it is an entirely social event. Why not at least consider discussing with others about this. I promise you that a cold is not the only thing caught, by a handshake. The man that I spoke about in this fictional depiction,could have very simply died from this infarction. Yes, he would be with the Lord, and I would be so thankful. But, I was only siting one particular example,trying not to be overly paranoid. I could have very easily entered a different character that was beginning to contemplate having Jesus as their personal savior; but things would look icky. I don't ever want to suggest being paranoid about the significantly unlikely. I will however, stand firmly by the point that I have made; referring to some very infectious agents spread by handshake. Say what you want about airborn pathogens,they are not as prevalent. If you look into this situation a little more, you will also see that there is a lot of junk that we can catch from a (not so benign) handshake. It deserves scrutiny! May God Bless you, and keep you in his loving hands. I am only discussing this topic, because God has made it a testimony in my personal life. I Praise God for his healings and answers to our prayers. I also thank him for giving me the bravery to bring up such a controversial subject, at such a critical time. My word is always counterchecked with scripture. I apologize to anyone that has taken offense, or fear from this depiction. Please remember, I have been greatly affected by handshake pathogens in my life. God was able to prevail; he prevailed against a sepsis situation that is normally 80% fatal. This causative agent was a nosocomial infection, otherwise, it came from the hands of another person at the hospital. In the end, God is so Awesome!!
     
  13. Jay and Kelly

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    I am a little saddened to see the reply of a few respondents. It is to bad that a few of you do not have empathy or sympathy for people that have gotten disease from other people. I have added some detail to my original introduction, which was not supposed to be on a translation site. In any case, I will not feel despair about another persons opinion. I do hope that many of you can gain some perspective from what I am trying to say. Our personal testimony is far more complicated, and awesome than I can show, short of a book. I would like to take this moment to whole-heartedly say that I am not trying to induce paranoia. I have learned a lot from my training, and experiences. Fear does not come from God, as you know. I needed to make some abrupt examples, so that I could generate some interest. Hopefully you can see that I want this kept in perspective, particularly regarding my fictional examples. I do not want to stereotype,or alienate anyone. However, I must state a few facts that are objectional to a few people. Hand to hand contact can spread a deadly illness to another person. That person may even seem to have a healthy immune system. A cold, or the flu,is not true. Anyway, who wants to catch some of the new influenza? I have witnessed the death of a few people, that was directly due to a secondary causative agent. Otherwise, you can catch some horrible things from unhealthy people. Let these facts stand on there own merit. It is historical,scientific, and biblical. I am only trying to bring about a change in thinking. Someone stated that "no one ever died from a handshake or a good old baptist hug", and I question that very sincerely. God will always show us a way to demonstrate affection and concern for others. Traditionalism will not always be the answer. I pray that everyone is kept healthy, under the blanket protection of Jesus Christ. His blood has cleansed us.
     
  14. bapmom

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    Jay and Kelly.......

    just a thought...but a paragraph break or two would be a great help in reading your posts more thoroughly. [​IMG]

    Can't we take this too far, though? I mean in actuality being in a crowded room (auditorium) and sitting near people (in pews) could be a way to spread certain diseases too. Right?

    We not only sit there together, we also stand up and sing, out loud. Wouldn't that cause more pathogens to be expelled from the mouth of anyone who is ill, and wouldnt loud singing cause them to be spread to those around the person?

    Im just saying that it can be taken to an extreme. If a person is extremely ill where they need to watch the germs they are around, then by all means, don't shake hands at that time, and Ive known people in that situation who even wear surgical masks to church to give themselves some added protection.

    But if we stay away from germs completely (healthy people I mean) then we will cease to be able to fight the germs off that do come our way.......NO germs is really more detrimental than being exposed to a few and letting our bodies gain antibodies.
     
  15. PamelaK

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    Jay and Kelly,
    Thank you for bringing up this topic. It has been one that has concerned me for quite some time. Due to my concern, I have been labeled paranoid, oversensitive, silly, menopausal (I'm not yet), you name it.
    Referring to a couple of the above posts, I don't understand why pastors can not just stand at the door and greet people without having to shake hands, and why we can not just verbally greet our brothers and sisters in Christ. And Helen, believe it or not, I have started to collect pretty vintage gloves and wear them. Maybe I will start a trend, or more likely, I will become Miss Unpopular. [​IMG] Oh well, it won't be the first time.
     
  16. PamelaK

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    A point I forgot in my last post, Jay and kelly, is that overuse of antibacterial soaps and waterless pocket rinses can actually desensitize our bodies to certain antibiotics when we need them...
     
  17. bapmom

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    I do like your vintage gloves idea, Pamela.
     
  18. Johnv

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    Thanks for clearing that up.
    Those people are misapplying scripture. Believers get things like the cold, flu, food poisining, etc, all the time. It's neither evidence to their lack of faith nor a testament to God's lack of omnipotence. It's simply a fact of life that the rain falls upon, and germs spread to, the just and unjust alike. It's our attitude towards that fact that separates us from nonbelievers.
     
  19. billwald

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    I pesonally hate having to shake hands in church.
     
  20. Petrel

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    Well, antibacterial resistance is a problem, but it is not a resistance your body builds up but a resistance bacteria can build up. I don't like antibacterial hand soaps because I don't think there's a need for them (I've only had one bacterial infection in the past . . . three years at least, and that was a sinus infection following a bad cold) and I don't like enabling bacteria to get on the road to drug resistance. However, the soapless hand washes work using rubbing alcohol. Bacteria can't build up a resistance to rubbing alcohol, so the worst that could happen is chapped hands.

    Once again, people with weak immune systems (those with organ transplants, immunodeficiency, illnesses, or the elderly) should avoid hand shaking, but I don't think it should be a big worry for most people.
     

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