Union Ridge Church

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

by Reverend Dan on November 17, 2020

“They make empty promises, they utter false oaths and agreements.”

Hosea 10:4


As I read through yesterday’s devotional, I did my usual, “Hey, I have a question: ‘When and why did bad doctors get the title quacks?’”


It seems it goes all the way back to the 17th century. The Dutch word for people who sold medicine was “quacksalver”. The problem was that many of the folks who peddled “medical cures” were selling fake potions. Pretty soon, therefore, the word began to take on a negative connotation meaning a “crook”. And the challenge at that time was that medicine had yet to see any significant advances nor did it have any governing body, and so the difference between a medical “professional” and someone trying to sell you a miracle salve was hard to differentiate.


During the 1800’s “Quacks” became prevalent throughout Europe during the cholera epidemics. They preyed on people desperate for any type of healing balm to save them from the disease that was killing so many people across the continent. In 1858, there was a medical register created in the United Kingdom where medical professionals had to register and show their credentials. After that, only registered doctors could prescribe medicine or give medical advice.


While the “Quacks” quickly faded away, the name stuck, and to this day it implies a doctor who doesn’t know what he or she is doing, or a fraud.


We in the theological world have the same issue. False prophets offer something that’s not real and lead people away from the real healer.


Beware of a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”.  The cost is eternal.


“Father, Help us to always discern the truth from the lies. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.”