Some things get me fired up. I try not to judge others for their deeds or actions, you almost always find out that they were not the bad guy; you were the bad guy for judging them in the first place. But some things are beyond reproach. What gets me fired up right now is the message reaching so many from the Christian ‘revival’ led by Todd Bentley in
Don’t get me wrong. I believe in faith healing. The denomination that I joined after my conversion to Christianity, The Christian and Missionary Alliance has as one of its main tenants that God can heal people today just as He did in Biblical times. And while rare, it does happen. I’ve seen it. Not the type that seems to be constantly in the center ring of the sideshow that has become the
Many Theologians are attacking Mr. Bentley for his message of healing, the MSNBC Field Notes article from
"I don’t think it fits neatly into any branch of Christianity," said Geivett. "Mr. Bentley’s worldview appears to be a mixture of New Age notions, an obsession with the paranormal, and an untutored grasp of Christian theology."
However the Bible is pretty decisive when it comes to healing. James 5:14-15 reads “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayers of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up.” This verse is in the context of church life and faith so there is no question that it refers to healing through faith.
In no way am I a ‘faith healer’ and when in the Christian and Missionary Alliance I felt uneasy when it came to raising this issue since I saw so many in desperation clinging to the hope of miraculous healing only to die confused and wondering what in the world they did to tick off God- since He decided to not heal them.
My mother died like that. Cancer sucks.
No matter how many people came to her bedside to anoint her with oil, no matter how persistent and heartfelt her or our prayers. She still died a death that would give any sober man nightmares.
But on the other hand there was Maddie.
She is 11 years old. My wife works with her mother as a teacher through The
Did we do any special “magic”? No. Did we do anything different than what we did for my mother? No. How do I explain it?
It is not fair. It seems so arbitrary. But it is how God works. God says yes, no or wait; no matter how pressing or weighty the issue is on our heart. It is ultimately up to Him who abides in the future as He does in the present and past.
My problem with Bentley and the
Once again I must call it as the late great Peter Boyle would say as Frank Barone in “Everyone Loves Raymond”, HOLY CRAP. In other words, Theological bull dung.
Their “show” and supernatural claims that have no basis in researched fact fuels unrealistic hope in people who have so little hope to begin with. Now the fever pitch of emotion from these supernatural claims in itself might be an impetus for faith to work. But it could and usually does shatter lives. As a minister of any faith it is his or her job to give hope to the hopeless. But such showmanship does just the opposite.
Jesus himself healed people in his ministry on Earth. But as He started to miraculously heal people He would tell those who received the healing to tell no one about it (Matthew 8:4; , Luke ) why? Jesus knew if word spread about the healings, his message of love and peace would soon fall by the wayside because of the torrent of those who seek supernatural healing. And sure enough as people spread the word that Jesus could heal the sick, the masses came flocking.
Believe what you will about Faith Healing. What will be the result of the
Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:15-16)
We shall see.
Until next time,