Blog Post

Is Dr. Don Colbert New Age?

dr don colbertMV writes: "Is this author safe to read or is he a new age author? His name is Don Colbert .he is the author of over 40 books in a Series entitled The Bible Cure. . . . 

" . . . He has the following books all of which start with The Bible Cure for: Asthma (The Bible Cure) Autoimmune Diseases (The Bible Cure) Back Pain (The Bible Cure) Bible Cure for Allergies. He quotes scripture but some of his believes sound wacky like for instance thinking that negative thoughts lead to osteoprosis if I understood him correctly. I thought I could read Bible verses that point to the power of God to Heal. I want to make certain that I am not reading something new age. Could you please tell me if his books are safe for a Catholic to read?"

If you follow the work of Dr. Don Colbert, you’re bound to get involved in a variety of New Age-endorsed healing techniques such as homeopathy, applied kinesiology, chelation therapy, etc. This is because while Colbert is a medical doctor, he bills himself as a physician “who specializes in complementary and alternative medicine” and offers a variety of these modalities – plus a website full of supplements – to treat whatever ails you.

As for his booklets, I haven’t read them but the excerpts I’ve seen online generally seem to point toward following the Bible’s recommendations for keeping our “temples” fit and healthy. There’s nothing wrong with that.

However, it would be wrong to suggest that people should sit idly by when ill and wait for God to heal them. This is against biblical teaching.

"The doctor eases pain and the druggist prepares his medicines; Thus God's creative work continues without cease in its efficacy on the surface of the earth. My son, when you are ill, delay not, but pray to God, who will heal you.Then give the doctor his place lest he leave; for you need him too"  (Sirach 38:7-9).

Another common error is to forego medical treatment for a serious and/or contagious disease for something that is not proven science. In the Ethical and Religious Directives for Health Care Services (Part V, No. 56) which is based on the Catechism, Catholics are taught that: “A person has a moral obligation to use ordinary or proportionate means of preserving his or her life. Proportionate means are those that in the judgment of the patient offer a reasonable hope of benefit and do not entail an excessive burden or impose excessive expense on the family or the community.”

In other words, we can use alternatives for an earache or a hangnail, but when it comes to the flu or diabetes, we’re expected to rely on proven medical science for a variety of obvious reasons, not least of which is that of charity. Love of neighbor requires us to use conventional means because by relying upon unproven means, we subject our loved ones to emotional and financial suffering and our community to the risk of contagion.

Colbert, who has been featured on the questionable Dr. Oz Show, actually practices complementary medicine – which means he uses alternatives in conjunction with conventional medicine.

However, he lists as his goal the weaning of patients off of drugs and onto more natural means to control their conditions, which may or may not be a good idea depending on what he’s using as a substitute for a conventional drug. For instance, if he’s recommending a pseudoscientific practice for anything contagious or life threatening, i.e., acupuncture for kidney disease or a homeopathic substitute for insulin, this would be unacceptable.

Because of his close association with many unproven methods, I would urge caution in regard to the books and practices of Dr. Colbert.