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Featured Theologies of Healing

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by asking_about_healing, May 29, 2019.

  1. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In one scripture James says to confess mutually and pray mutually so we may be "healed". And there is his scripture which says if someone is sick to call the elders. Neither of these, to me, mean he is against physical healing.

    I say it is good to understand that getting healed by Jesus does not depend on us being perfect . . . or we would be like Jesus enough to either heal ourselves or not to get sick in the first place :)
     
  2. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Let me put it this way, it is not God's desire that anyone should be sick and die before their time. It does not happen in heaven, and Jesus encouraged us to pray, "Thy will be done as it is in heaven." Some, especially those in the Bethel church have misquoted this to say that everything that happens in heaven should take place on earth. I don't agree with that, because the prayer is a request to God not a binding contract with Him.

    We live in a fallen world, and while we are here, we have to put up with sickness and death. It is a blessing and a bonus that we can live a healthy life. It is also through the grace and mercy of God that people get miraculously healed, and it was through the grace of God that medical discoveries were made to bring more healing to sick people especially during the last 200 years. God has done this mainly for unsaved people, because He has wanted to give them more time to turn to Christ, when if they died too soon, they would be in hell. For Christian people, life in Christ and death in Christ is exactly the same.

    So, we need to understand that prayer for healing is not a binding contract with God. It is a request that God extend His grace and mercy toward a sick person. Philippians 4:6-7 says, "Be anxious for nothing, but by prayer and supplication make your requests to God, and the peace that passes all understanding will keep you hearts and minds in Christ Jesus". So the promise is not the immediate granting of the request, but for the peace of God to fill the believer in the meantime while waiting in faith and patience for the answer whatever it is in the will of God for that person.

    Some Charismatic "superdupers" teach that it is always God's will to heal the sick under all circumstances, and they blame the sick person for not having enough faith if he or she is not healed. Teaching guaranteed healing is false teaching. Also, using faith or positive confession mind-control for healing is nothing less than Christian Science taught by Mary Baker Eddy.

    The signs and wonders are the Lord working with the preacher of the gospel. As I said before, it is the Holy Spirit speaking through the preaching of the gospel that convicts sinners of sin, righteousness, and judgment to come. The signs and wonders are just that, to arrest attention to the fact that Jesus is alive, risen from the dead, and that the gospel is absolutely true. Once attention is gained, hearts are then cut to the quick with the powerful preaching of Christ crucified.

    The preaching of the cross is entirely divorced from man's wisdom, because it is an offence to the Jews because they did not expect their powerful Messiah who was to come and kick the Romans into touch and restore their sovereignty, and that someone crucified is the greatest curse that can happen to anyone. So preaching crucified Christ would be so foreign, it would be blasphemy to them. The Greeks, being intellectual and philosophical, preaching about a God who allowed himself to be killed without doing anything about it would have been total foolishness to them. Greek gods were never like that, and would have sent lightning bolts to blow the religious leaders away if they tried to kill one of them.

    The Bereans saw the miracles, yet they did not take Paul at face value. It says that they examined the Scriptures daily to see that "these things were so". I am not sure that Paul viewed miracles as absolutely necessary to the gospel presentation, because he said that it was the gospel itself apart from the miracles that was the power of God leading to salvation to those who believe.

    Also, we have to take into account of the multitudes through the centuries who have been converted to Christ without seeing one miracle. It supports what Jesus said, "Blessed are they who have seen and believed, but blessed are they who have not seen and believed".

    I have no problem with this. Jesus said to His disciples in John, that if they could not believe His words, believe him on the foundation of the miracles He did. It were the miracles that Philip did with the Samaritans that they gave heed to his teaching.

    But to say that unless there are signs and wonders, as the Bethel church states, it is not the gospel of Christ at all. This flies in the face of those who have ever received Christ without seeing one miracle at all. And in light of the Anti-Christ performing false signs and wonders so close to the genuine, that even the very elect could be deceived by them, we need to be very careful as to where signs and wonders are pointing to. Are they pointing to a "superduper" man, or are they leading people to accept the gospel of Christ that will lead them to salvation in Christ?

    The Jews seeking a sign is a reference shot at Charismatics to try and say they are false; but when we understand that the Jews' view of the Messiah as a very powerful figure who was going to come with miracles to kick out the Romans and restore their sovereignty as a nation, and that their Messiah appearing on a white horse from heaven with the flaming sword in His hand, scattering the Romans, and that was the sign they were wanting. This is why they were very disappointed in Jesus, and one of the reasons why Judas, who was a zealot, betrayed Him. They could not accept a Messiah who came as a helpless baby, who went around healing people, and then submitting Himself to the curse of being crucified. This was not their view of the Messiah at all! When we do an accurate exegesis of "The Jews require a sign", we see that it has nothing at all to do with the signs and wonders that accompany the preaching of the gospel, and certainly nothing to do with signs, wonders and miracles that occur in Charismatic churches!

    You are correct. The Scripture says that the disciples went everywhere, preaching the gospel of Christ, and the Lord working with them confirming His Word with signs, wonders, and miracles. Also we must take care that we distinguish the Apostles of Christ of which there were only 12, and apostles of the church whose role was to travel around, planting churches.

    True that they were an important tool, but not the primary tool. The primary tool was the preaching of the gospel of Christ with the Holy Spirit working with power to being conviction of sin and to cause sinners to tremble at the Word of God. Something which doesn't seem to happen today in our watered-down preaching of "Jesus can be your friend", instead of Jesus being our Saviour from the fires of hell.

    Jesus preached only repentance while John the baptiser was still alive. While John was the main man, Jesus did not overrule him and remained part of his ministry team, preaching the Messiah to come and that people need to prepare for Him through repentance. But when John was killed, Jesus stopped preaching repentance, and went into the synagogues announcing (that's what the Greek word means), that the kingdom has arrived. He told the Pharisees, who accused Him of casting out demons through the power of the devil, "If I cast out demons through the finger of God, then it shows that the kingdom of God is among you." But you will see that He didn't preach repentance at all after the death of John the Baptiser.

    I have no issue with that. Unfortunately we belong to a church that is performing mostly in the flesh and not the Spirit, and those who are making great claims of signs and wonders, when their teaching is examined in the light of Scripture they are shown clearly to be false - like the shower of gold in a Bethel church, which was actually ground up glitter put into the ventilation system by two ladies who were given the job of doing it. That was a deliberate deception on the part of those church leaders!

    All we can do is to be faithful and to share the gospel of Christ where we get the opportunity and trust God for the results.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
  3. asking_about_healing

    asking_about_healing New Member

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    His Student,

    I was thinking about your post this morning, and I want to thank you for posting your thoughts on healing. It really would be helpful if you could provide Scripture references/examples for each stipulation you are aware of. If you wouldn't mind taking the time to do that, it that would be absolutely fantastic. Thank you.
     
  4. asking_about_healing

    asking_about_healing New Member

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    Thanks Oscarr,

    The comparison to salvation as a gift was very helpful in explaining your position. Also, identifying the gift as the Spirit rather than the manifestations makes a significant difference. You also noted that the Lord worked through the disciples with signs and wonders, which is certainly true. Even though Peter says, "Such as I have, I give you" (Acts 3:6), he also points out shortly after ward that it was not by is or John's "own power or godliness that we had made this man walk" (Acts 3:12). Rather, he says, "It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see" (Acts 3:16).

    That said, we are instructed to desire the spiritual gifts, especially the greater ones. Doesn't that suggest we are at least able to request specific gifts? Certainly, the gifts are not separate from the Spirit, but neither are they the same thing as having the Spirit. If they were, we would never need to desire the gifts, only the Spirit. Acts 10:38 says God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power. I don't think those two are unconnected (although I guess the grammar would allow for that), but identifying both suggests that the one does not automatically lead to the other.

    "False hope" is definitely a valid issue. Even if one concludes that it is God's will for people to always be healed, it should still be abundantly clear that healing does not always happen. I think (and this will really tick off His Student) that the line of teaching that places requirements on the person being healed is a cop out. It seems to me, it's a theology created out of necessity to provide an "out" for the person doing the ministering/healing. Jesus did not blame the demonic boy or his father when the disciples failed to deliver/heal the boy. He did identify things the disciples needed to address. So I have big problems with teaching that results in he scripturally unwarranted blaming of the sick person for not getting healed. BIG problems!

    On the other hand, doesn't the term "false hopes" betray an underlying expectation that God won't heal? I say this with myself in mind too. I have avoided praying for people with even relatively minor conditions like migraines because I don't want their faith to be weakened. In light of Paul's declaration that he performed miracles so that faith would result, my approach in those cases seems to be as scripturally unwarranted as blaming the sick person is. I could pray with a "if it be thy will" clause, but I'm not aware of any Biblical examples of that in regard to healing. Besides which, pretty much every Christian I know already has that idea in their head, so if I'm praying for a one of them and use that phrase, I'm really doing it for my own benefit ("CMA" as they say in America; and I don't mean the Christian & Missionary Alliance), not for the benefit of the person I'm ministering to. There's a guy God seems to heal a lot of people through, named Todd White, and his response to the question "what if God doesn't heal them?" is simply "what if he does?"
     
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  5. His student

    His student Well-Known Member

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    In looking back at some posts I noticed how the above question is worded.

    For the record - I have never said God only heals where the person isn't making a mess of things.

    I have simply said that there are times when the person's sins or attitudes can hinder their prayers being answered and or their receiving various things. A prayer for healing or administering of healing could be one of those times.
     
  6. Sam91

    Sam91 Child of the Living God Supporter

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    Yes, it's ok. The Bible verses you shared cleared that up so I then understood what you had posted before. Thank you.

    I am sorry if my turn of phrase was offensive. It was late at night in the UK so I was struggling for words.
     
  7. His student

    His student Well-Known Member

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    For starters - I'm getting a bit mixed up on who said what and what post I have responded to etc.

    I may have a couple of you guys mixed up here. That happens.

    I listed some references in my post number 37 to another person (Sam91). Its not an exhaustive list and most of them have to do with lack of faith. But it's a start anyway even if I don't take the time to dig up every verse in the Bible that reflects on unanswered prayer and or receiving from God - which probably won't happen here.:)

    P.S.
    I noticed this statement by you from before and I'd like to respond to it.
    I disagree that we have to have examples in the gospels in order for something to be true in the church.

    Jesus and the people were operating under the O.T. and we are not. That is to say that our status is different now that He has said "It is finished!"

    But more importantly - we simply can't take statements about truth that are given to the church and directives about our conduct etc. and say that they are false simply because there are no examples of them playing out in the gospel accounts of Jesus walking on the earth.

    If, for example, James 1:6 says "But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord," - and James 4:3 says, "You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions." and 1 Peter 3:7says, "Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered."

    If those things are said in the epistles that's the way it is in the church age whether or not we see things exactly like that in the gospels.

    But - for the record again - I believe it is always God's will to heal not only His people but those outside of the church on who's bodies we lay our hands in faith - provided there are no Holy Spirit stipulated hindrances to such healing and or answered prayers.

    Ideally and according to God's will healing should happen in the church age just as they did in the beginning with Peter with the criple at the gate Beautiful or Paul with the young man who fell from the window and was raised from the dead.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
  8. asking_about_healing

    asking_about_healing New Member

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    Wow! Thank you Oscarr. Your response is thoughtful, considered, and must have taken quite a while to put into a post. I am really grateful!

    I get your point, and I agree that medicine can be a great blessing for which we can thank God as it relies on his creation's processes. But if God gave medical advancements primarily for the unsaved, to give them more time, isn't an indictment against us? I mean, Jesus did miracles and expected repentance in response (Matthew 11:20-24). If the church had been able to do as Jesus did--more explicitly, if we were doing as Jesus did and taught his disciples to do, and (I would argue) told his disciples to teach the disciples they made to do, and so on down the line to you and me--people would have had much more on which to build their faith than just extra time.

    That point aside, I completely agree that prayer is not a binding contract.

    I fully agree that saying "you will be healed" is entirely bogus unless you, like Jesus, can back that statement up by doing it. I don't know anyone who can do that. There seem to be people who more see healing come more commonly than they see it not come (see here for my observations regarding that), but no one who has a 100% success rate.

    That, however, is not the same thing as saying "it is always God's will to heal the sick." Again, I would point to Jesus as a possible defense for that statement. In contrast to it, I'd like to suggest it is also bad teaching to say, "Sometimes God heals. Sometimes he doesn't. So if you pray and the person isn't healed, it must not be God's will." If that was the case, we might have expected Jesus' response to the disciples when they failed to heal the demonic boy to include a "sometimes it just doesn't happen" clause.

    I am wary of building a theology on the basis of my own experience, not because my experience isn't valid but because my experiences might actually indicate that I failed rather than that God didn't want the same outcome as I did.

    I'm not saying preaching is irrelevant. Heaven forbid! But Jesus said "Woe to you Capernaum" not just because they didn't respond to his preaching but because he had done miracles there and they did not repent. I think miracles have more importance than you are giving them credit for. I'm lacking any absolutely definitive verses however, so I need to acknowledge that this is my opinion. I think I'm right, but it is still only my opinion.

    Thank you. That helped clarify some of my own thinking for me. I think a part of where I disagree is in the idea that miracles are not as much the gospel as the preaching is. I'm going to have to give that idea some time to ruminate, but my initial thoughts have to do with the range of meanings of the Greek word sozo, and the way that the Greek word iaomai is used by Peter (1 Peter 2:24) to figuratively mean salvation even though it literally means "healed" (I realize he's quoting Isaiah 53:3), and with the way Isaiah 53 talks about both physical healing and salvation (for the physical healing, I appeal to Matthew's quote from it in Matthew 8:17), and with the ideas possibly being mingled in bi-cola constructs (the Hebrew poetic technique that has what you might call rhyming ideas) in verses like Psalm 103:3.

    Are you familiar with Inaugurated Eschatology? The idea that the kingdom is here now, but not yet. I think I could be gravitating toward that with these thoughts, though I don't know it's necessary.

    Yes and no. That's a bit of a misquote, and I think you know that. Jesus is saying blessed are those who have not seen him, not those who have not seen miracles. The full quote from John 20:29 is, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." Nonetheless, your observation remains true. Many have become Christians without seeing a miracle in the process (notwithstanding the fact that salvation is a miracle). At least in the West, this is currently probably the norm.

    Fair point. The gospel message, that of salvation through faith in Christ because of his atoning death, is still the gospel message regardless of whether there are miracles. Clearly, the same cannot be said of miracles on their own.

    I agree with this to, but (yes, I know: big surprise!) I think we tend to combine those verses regarding false prophets with our general Western anti-supernaturalism and disregard some people because of their association with the miraculous, rather than evaluating their fruits as Jesus told us to do.

    Sorry, I mentioned the Jews only to highlight what Jesus didn't say to the father of the sick boy in John 4:43-54 (not the father of the demoniac, as I incorrectly stated before). I don't think we can assume a priori that Jesus comment, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe” (John 4:48 ESV), was a slam rather than an observation of the necessity of miracles. If it was a slam, why did Jesus go on an d heal the boy? Or perhaps whether he healed the boy or not is irrelevant to the comment. Nonetheless, I think we may be coloring Jesus' comment based on our bias when we see it as a slam. Or we might not. I'm not really decided on that.

    I'm not sure I'm getting your point. Sorry. I think you're going to have to expand on that a little before I understand where you're going with it. It's probably something obvious and I'm just missing it.

    Yes, while Jesus may be the "friend who sticks closer than a brother", I agree that we accept him as both savior and lord, not just savior and definitely not just a friend. Of course, per my ongoing thinking on healing being a part of the gospel (a very Pentecostal theology, I think), I'm inclined to say the primary tool is preaching with miracles accompanying (what Peter either prayed for or assumed in Acts 4:30). In fact, on a side note, I'd say that combination should be normative in church too: 1 Corinthians 12-14 presents the necessity of both.

    You're going to have to defend that statement for me to buy into it. In Matthew 4:23 and Matthew 9:35 both have Jesus "teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness," so he's already going into the synagogues. And Matthew 4:17 says, "From that time on Jesus began to preach, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near'" (emphasis mine). There is no corresponding verse saying he stopped doing that. Also, when he sends out the 12 in he says, in Matthew 10:7-8, "As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give." So, that was the message he taught his disciples to preach. I'm not seeing a change in his preaching regarding the Kingdom or repentance prior to and after John's death. I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just saying I need something more than just your statement. Right now, it's looking a lot like an argument from silence.

    This is sadly very often true on both counts. I'm originally from healing service. The church bulleting, however, encouraged people not to come if the had "expectations." Another C of E church I attended was more charismatic. We actually had a man named John Wimber come and teach on healing and I got a word of knowledge which led to a instantaneous healing (I think I mentioned that occasion in an earlier comment, but I could be mistaken). On the other hand, there is a church in Colorado, USA (where I now live) that teaches a very clear cut "Word of Faith" doctrine: your faith is the power that heals; unbelief prevents healing; words activate faith; saying anything negative creates that reality in your life. Along with that, they're also very heavy on Prosperity: God wants you rich. I think every item on that list is unbiblical and some of them are ungodly!

    Regardless of whether one concludes miracles are a necessary part of preaching of the gospel (the idea I am now contemplating) or that the preached message is all that's needed, your words are equally true: "All we can do is to be faithful and to share the gospel of Christ where we get the opportunity and trust God for the results." Amen!
     
  9. asking_about_healing

    asking_about_healing New Member

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    I feel your pain: I have already done exactly the same thing a couple of times in this thread! :)

    Under the Old Testament there were definitely requirements: "If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you" (Exodus 15:26). So your argument is working against your conclusion.

    Thank you for providing some verses to support your stance: James 1:6, James 4:3, and 1 Peter 3:7. I thought the 1 Peter reference was the most compelling. I'm going to give these some serious consideration.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
  10. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    Now we need to address the question concerning the different definitions for God’s will.

    The Bible says specifically: “…not wanting anyone to perish” so you are saying “God does not will anyone to perish, then I would understand as no one perishes?

    The dictionary has a ton of possible words to substitute for will, but there is a huge difference between the “will” of a mere human and the all-powerful God.

    Jesus says: “Yet not as I will, but as you will.” So it seems to be God’s will for Christ to go to the cross, but was it really God’s desire to have Christ tortured, humiliated and murdered?

    God’s will in Wiki is defined as God’s plan. Could God’s plan have some actions God does not “desire” people or Christ to go through, but knows it is what is needed? Parents do not want their children to fall learning to ride a bike, but understand they will and yet teach them to ride a bike.

    Sin has purpose that helps the unbeliever fulfill His objective, yet God does not want or desire that anyone sins.
     
  11. asking_about_healing

    asking_about_healing New Member

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    That's an interesting way of slicing the question. So, we could say that God always wants people to be healthy but that as free will is a part of his will/plan, and freewill made sin a possibility, and sin brought sickness into the world, sickness is actually a part of his will, even though it is not what he wants. However, it seems Jesus didn't have this theological conundrum. He just healed everyone he was asked to heal. I wonder if our theology might not be quite so convoluted it we weren't quite so impotent?
     
  12. 1213

    1213 Disciple of Jesus

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    Maybe it is not always the reason, but I think that is what James 4:1-3 basically means.
     
  13. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    Jesus said when he went back to Galilee after healing many in Judea that because of their "Lack of faith" he could not heal, but than went on later to heal some people. This takes a lot to explain, but it seems to me the Galileans were expecting their home town boy to heal the sick in his home region and you can never feel deserving of charity (healing) and if you feel in any way deserving God will not heal anyone you might feel deserves to be healed. The people around can thus prevent Christ from healing those in need. After he says he will not heal and they do not than expect Christ to heal, Christ can go back to healing. That's a short explanation. l
     
  14. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Well said. It is a case of us having the gifts but not owning them at the same time.

    This is quite true that we are to desire the best gifts. I take it as desiring the best gifts that would suit our calling and ministry and the church environment we are in with the particular issues that go along with it. If we are in a church where people are prone to discouragement, the gift of prophecy would be the best gift to give people love letters from God to build them up, comfort them and exhort them to persevere with Christ. Another church would have different issues requiring appropriate gifts to be manifested.

    But the control of the gifts remain with the Holy Spirit who distributes them according to His will. I don't support anyone who says they have such and such a gift that they can use at will. My view is that having the indwelling Holy Spirit has the potential of manifesting any of the nine gifts at any time as the Spirit leads. We don't have to be a "superduper" with a special anointing that the ordinary believer doesn't have. We all have the same Holy Spirit. That's what Paul said, "One faith, one Spirit, one baptism". He said that we all drink of the same Spirit. I would reject the teaching of anyone who purports to have a special "anointing" that makes him or her superior to the common "herd". God is no respecter of persons. He can just as well use a newly converted ex-prostitute to give the most encouraging and uplifting prophecy, or to have a healing gift that heals cancers and heart conditions. In fact, if God had the choice, which He has, He would rather choose someone like that over some proud "spiritual" and "anointed" pelican who thinks the sun shines out of his spiritual acre.

    There was a big difference between the disciples before Pentecost and after, when they got filled with the Holy Spirit. Beforehand, Jesus was with them, and so any success they had in healing or casting out demons was because He specifically commissioned and empowered them, but it was temporary. After Pentecost, with the indwelling Spirit, the commission became permanent and because they had, along with us, Jesus, not with them, but in them through the Holy Spirit.

    The point is, that healing doesn't come out of a vending machine. God can, and will heal sick people when it is part of His purpose, and the intercessory prayers of His people can make the difference between a person being or not being healed. But the notion of "guaranteed healing" is false. Jesus set the standard when He sent the 70 out saying, "heal the sick". I believe that healing is in the Atonement, so praying "If it be Your will" is a prayer of unbelief, because we are double minded (see James), and cannot expect anything from God. So we need to take the position that it is God's will to heal the sick in general, and that is the basis of our faith. But God is not required to heal any sick person on demand. We can ask, and receive the peace of God that He has heard the prayer and is on case, but we need faith and patience to wait for the promise to be fulfilled. So, faith can say to a sick person, "Jesus heals you." and then faith leaves it for God to bring the outcome in His time and according to His particular will and purpose for that person. But it is Scriptural to be persistent in prayer, as we see with the Canaanite woman when Jesus rejected her at first, but she kept on and her persistence changed Jesus' mind and her daughter was healed.

    I have heard of Todd White. There have been claims of frequent healing through his ministry. I don't know whose ministry was being referred to, but in one conference, 180 people were claimed to have been healed of different medical conditions. But when the researcher followed them up by interviewing them and consulting medical records, it appeared that none of them were actually healed as claimed. So we need to take fantastic claims of multiple healing with a grain of salt until there is medical proof that the person is genuinely healed. Being healed of headaches and back pains just doesn't cut the mustard with me. But a person healed of cancer, proven by medical xrays before and after would validate the healing. Saying we are healed when we are not doesn't wash with me either. We are either healed or not healed, and "taking it by faith" comes from a spirit of stupid that could lead to an early death.

    There is one popular healing ministry that brings a whole lot a empty wheelchairs to his meeting, and people who look a bit weary and tired are invited to sit in them so they can have a front seat at the meeting. Then when the "big guy" starts his healing line, he goes to these people and gets them out of their wheelchairs to indicate that these people couldn't walk before and now they can by the power of God. What happens is that truly crippled ones in wheelchairs wonder why it doesn't happen to them in the same way it seems to be happening to those other folk. In reality, it is a deliberate fraud, like the two women in a Bethel church whose job it was to put ground up glitter into the ventilation system to make it appear that the people were being showered with "gold dust from heaven". It is sad that these "big-name" guys will go to these lengths to support their reputation, and keep the offerings high enough to give them their handsome salary. In actual fact these frauds have all to do with money, and lots of it.

    So, we need to be discerning about these things.
     
  15. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    You have made many excellent points in your post, but I am off to the gym, so when I get back, I will take the time to respond. In the meantime, if you are developing a theology on healing, do the research and write a book!
     
  16. asking_about_healing

    asking_about_healing New Member

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    I would like to, and I am considering it, but as I have no significant history of actually doing healing, I think I lack a very important qualification.
     
  17. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    This discussion cannot occur in the mere abstract, but must happen in the real, concrete world in which we live.

    Do people of faith suffer and die from disease and ill health? If the answer is yes, then that has to be addressed.

    In other words, why did my mom suffer and die from cancer? Why, in spite of prayer, pleading, hope, faith, begging, did she still die from cancer? I'm not saying this to be purely emotional in my argument, it's an example of the very serious and very real world we live in. And any theology about healing that can't happen in the real world where there is suffering and death is a false theology.

    The Theology of Glory denies suffering and speaks only of God's power, a false theology.
    The Theology of the Cross recognizes suffering, and God's presence and revelation of Himself in suffering.

    Theologians of glory think they are wise because they speak of God's invisible wisdom and power, but they are in fact the very fools whom the Apostle speaks of when he says, "God chose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise".

    A theologian of the cross instead looks upon the visible and manifest things of God, as He has revealed Himself in the Crucified Jesus, confessing that while the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, it is for us the very salvation of God. Yes, indeed, Christ is for us the righteousness, the power, and the wisdom of God.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  18. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    It may not surprise you but none of us have, and I would say it would include many of the "biggies" that make claims of multiple healing when the evidence doesn't stack up.
     
  19. asking_about_healing

    asking_about_healing New Member

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    As do I. And I believe it's always God's will, just as salvation is. The difference is that the person administering healing is usually one of us (although I would not be at all surprised if there are times where God does it without anyone being involved and the healed person being caught completely by surprise) while the person administering salvation is Jesus, and his record for healing those who came to him is flawless, so we're in safe hands for the work of salvation.

    The demand for medical proof is the subject of a large section of Dr. Craig Keener's excellent Miracles work. He points out that it's nice to have, and there are some miracles that have it, but in some cases there is no opportunity for medical records, although this is more typically in the Majority World, not the West. He also cites a couple of healings where the person's condition was cured (one was blindness) without the physical change necessary to fix the problem. But I take you point.

    I agree, but as I believe it is always his will to heal that seems a little academic. I am of the mind that when healing doesn't come the problem is at our end. As you mentioned, if healing is in the atonement "if it be thy will" becomes rather nonsensical (well...that's my rewording of what you said). That said, Andrew Wilson did a very good article titled "The Problem With 'The Problem’s Never At God’s End'": https://thinktheology.co.uk/blog/article/the_problem_with_the_problems_not_at_gods_end.

    Having prayed ineffectually for both of those just recently, it would cut my mustard just fine.

    I am inclined to agree, but I am also challenged by the seriousness with which some people approach faith in the matter of healing. It is certainly frequently mentioned in relation to healing in the New Testament (though not in John, unless I'm mistaken). Faith that is activated by words and is essentially indecent of God is, I think, from a spirit who is even more worser than the spirit of stupid.

    We do, but ruling out miracles a priori is not discernment, it's just Western antisupernaturalism. I did a quick google of the gold dust thing, and I didn't find any firsthand admissions of guilt, but maybe you have come across that somewhere. Do I think it's real? It seems a rather dumb thing for God to do, but then I could say the same thing about shaking and falling over, and those things have been happening since at least the first great awakening. I have to say, I'm not a huge fan of Bill Johnson's teaching, but I do believe miraculous healings have happened at Bethel. I believe the same thing about Lourdes, and there is some Catholic theology I have major issues with.
     
  20. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Thanks for that. I feel blessed!


    What strikes me about the references in Matthew was that many times Jesus healed the sick because He was moved with compassion toward them. He didn't expect anything in return. This was part of His announcement that the expected kingdom of God has now come to them. It is one thing to minister healing to sick people because we want God to heal them, and we think He should, and it is quite another to be deeply moved with compassion toward them. When I attend healing meetings or view them on Youtube, I don't see much evidence of the healing ministry being moved with compassion in the same way Jesus was. That level of compassion that releases the healing power of Holy Spirit can't be put on, it has to come from right within the heart of a person. I don't have it, and I don't know how to get it. I've asked God for it, but it hasn't come yet. I think God sees through those who get up and advertise themselves as a "healing ministry' (something that is not found in the New Testament), and uses claims of being able to heal people as a way of increasing their reputation and/or wealth. Or it may be that they just want to get out there and be seen and heard, so they come up with new and exciting "revelations" and "anointings" which seem to be missing from the New Testament as well.

    It seems to me that if there was any more than just a 1% success rate, we would be seeing on the news!

    I don't think that there is any problem with the way folks go about ministering to sick people and praying for their healing. One person can command the healing and speak to the sickness and tell it to leave, and the person can be healed. Another person can just make the sign of the cross over the sick person and healing takes place (this has actually happened in church history), another person (St Benedict) can get on his knees beside someone who died in an accident, and just prayed to God and the person is raised form the dead.

    It is not the technique that is at fault. It is the heart of the person, being deeply moved with compassion that affects the heart of God, and then the prayer has "legs" to it, and God does it. "This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and delivered him out of all his troubles."

    It is not a matter of "building a theology". The theology is already there in the ministry of Jesus. We need to study the way Jesus healed people and draw our conclusion based on how the gospels describe how He felt and what He did. I'm a firm believer in accurate exegesis (discovering the meaning of Scripture from the original context), and then building the interpretation for me "in the now" from that exegesis (hermeneutics).

    What happens is that folk take the passage, miss out the exegesis, and go straight to hermeneutics. For example, they see the way He did it, and that He healed every single person who came to Him, so they go "1+1=3" and teach that if we use the same techniques everyone should be healed. Then they wonder why there is little evidence of anyone getting healed, let alone everyone. Because they didn't take the time to do an accurate exegesis, they miss the fact that Jesus was God and man, and that He had a very close and personal relationship with the Father, did only what the Father told Him, had the Holy Spirit without measure, often prayed all night to the Father with strong crying and tears, and consequently accomplished healing and deliverance a whole lot better than we could.

    The Word of Faith try to get around that by teaching that we are little 'gods' and we can do what Jesus did; but that is a false teaching, similar to Satan's deception of Eve that she would be her own 'god' if she ate the fruit of the tree.

    So, if we are going to get the same results as Jesus, which He did promise in John's gospel, we have to achieve the following"
    * have the Holy Spirit without measure;
    * be God and man;
    * be the Messiah;
    * have a very close and personal relationship with the Father;
    * do only what the Father tells you;
    * regularly pray all night to the Father with strong crying and tears;
    * be deeply moved with compassion when you encounter sick people.

    This is absolutely the only way that anyone could guarantee that every who comes to them will be healed. And even Jesus Himself couldn't do much in His home town where everyone knew Him as just the carpenter's son.

    Jesus was not emphasizing miracles. He saying that if the same miracles were done in those Gentile towns, they would have repented in no uncertain terms. He was shaming those Jewish towns for the hardness of the hearts of the people in them.

    I have no problem with miracles - when they happen. But I do have issues with those who claim to have miracles, but there is no evidence that the miracles they claim are actually happening.

    Paul's view was that miracles were not the power of God. He said that the gospel of Christ involving preaching Christ crucified was the power of God to bring sinners to believing on Christ.

    [/quote]Are you familiar with Inaugurated Eschatology? The idea that the kingdom is here now, but not yet. I think I could be gravitating toward that with these thoughts, though I don't know it's necessary.[/quote]
    I am very familiar with it, and totally agree with it. Jesus said that the kingdom of God was among the Jews when He was with them, but the total consummation of the kingdom will occur when Jesus comes again. When Jesus was in Israel, He announced the kingdom of God. After Pentecost, the Apostles and their team members preached the gospel of Christ, looking forward to the kingdom to come, as per the prayer that Jesus instructed them to pray.


    Agreed. The the Chinese say, "No ploblem!"


    Agreed.


    Agreed.


    I think that Jesus was referring to the large group of followers who were following Him just because of the signs and wonders. I don't think that He was talking to any of the 12. who did believe in Him regardless of the miracles.


    It should be, but for many reasons, it isn't normative.


    Jesus preached repentance as long as John the Baptiser was alive, because it was not time for Him to replace John and his ministry. Jesus was not going to "horn in" on John's ministry because His time had not come yet. I believe that when He was at the wedding at Cana, John was still alive. This is why He told his mother, "My time has not come yet". His time wouldn't come until John was out of the picture. It was predestined by the Father that John's ministry was short and was to herald the coming of Jesus. So as long as John was ministering, any preaching that Jesus did was the same as John's.

    Therefore, when John died, his ministry died with him. He had fulfilled it. The people no longer had to repent and be prepared for the Messiah to come, because the Messiah had arrived. So, Jesus stopped preaching repentance in the same way that John did, and went into the synagogues announcing the kingdom of God. Jesus never mentioned the kingdom until John was dead.

    This is not to say that people should not repent in general, but it was still in the dispensation of the Law and not yet the gospel. Therefore repentance involved getting right with God by respecting the Law through greater obedience. This is what Zack did, when he repented by paying back those he robbed. But he was not engaging in gospel repentance because that time had not come yet.


    I think I missed your comment about the 12 Apostles. I said there were only 12 Apostles of Christ because there were strict criteria involved:
    1. They had to be eye-witness of the resurrected Jesus.
    2. They needed to be called and chosen personally by Christ.
    3. They had to be infallibly inspired (for example Paul, Peter, John, Jude and the unnamed Apostle who wrote the book of Hebrews.
    4. They had to have the power to work miracles, signs and wonders.

    To be one of the 12 Apostles of Christ, all four of those qualifications need to be in place. Matthias was not an Apostle, although he was an apostle of the church because he was chosen by the Apostles but not Christ personally.

    Paul was one of the Apostles, because he fits all the criteria. The resurrected Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus. Barnabas and Silas were apostles of the church but not Apostles of Christ.
     
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