The following information is taken from Samaritan Ministries website.
Click here to learn more about Samaritan Ministries, donate or join their program.
What is Health Care Sharing?
Simply put, health care sharing is a Biblical approach to paying for health care, based on passages such as Galatians 6. Verse two says, “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” That law is the royal law of loving one another.
Although it’s actually pretty straight forward, health care sharing can be difficult for us to understand because we are so used to thinking in terms of insurance.
Here’s how the need sharing process works in a nutshell:
Each member commits to sending a set “Share” amount each month. These “Shares” are sent directly through the mail from one household to another, to the members with “Needs”. Samaritan Ministries uses a database that randomly matches Shares to Needs, so that the Sharing is coordinated and Shares go to the appropriate members with Needs.
Samaritan Ministries emphasizes certain Biblical principles that we believe are basic to the life of every believer and thus are foundational to the effective function of our health care sharing ministry:
- Jesus Christ is the only adequate Provider for every need we have.
He is the One Who created everything, and He is the only One Who has enough resources to meet every need. No human organization is large enough to do this—no company and no government. He gives some of His provision through human channels, but He is ultimately the only One we can trust.
- A medical need (or any other need) involves more than money.
The physical world is not all there is. Human beings are more than a collection of cells. We are made in the image of God and have needs that go beyond our physical bodies. When we have a medical need, there is more involved than money or mere physical healing. Samaritan members pray for one another for all aspects of members’ needs, and we hear daily from members with needs telling how God has answered these prayers.
- Believers in Jesus Christ are responsible to first use the resources He has given us to meet the needs of ourselves and our families.
When a need occurs that exceeds what He has provided, other members of the Body of Christ should show His love by using the resources God has given them to help in the same way they would want to be helped.
- The local church should be the next “line of defense” to provide for the needs of its own members.
SMI is intended to support and supplement this work of the local body, not replace it. We seek to avoid undermining what should be done locally. We also depend on the leaders of the local church to provide accountability for the SMI members under their care.
- God created man as His image bearer and the crown of His creation.
Right worship of God requires respecting His image in all people for all of life, including health care. The Sixth Commandment, “You shall not murder,” requires the preservation of human life, and the subduing of all passions and avoiding all occasions, temptations, and practices which tend to the unjust taking of life. We must live according to Biblical ethics in all aspects of health care.