Monday, December 28, 2009

Do You Believe in Faith Healing?

Warning: Faith Healers Ahead

I'm torn on faith healing. It's very complicated.

On one hand, it's very Biblical. And I've known people who have been healed of various problems/life-threatening illnesses they've had by what could only be referred to as miraculous/divine intervention.

On the other hand, I've known plenty that haven't. And I bet you do too. Plus there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical about it, not to mention the giant 'show' that comes with it.

So as I said, complicated.

I think that some of us who do believe in faith healing put a "but" in our belief:

  • We believe God can heal someone...but they have to truly believe God will heal them, or it won't work.
  • We believe God can heal someone...but he just doesn't do it outside of Biblical examples anymore.
  • We believe God can heal someone...but he only uses those in Apostolic succession (jeez what a can of worms that is) to do it.
  • We believe God can heal someone...but he won't always do it and we can't know the reasons behind it.
  • We believe God can heal someone...but only while acting within certain limitations.

And that last one is really the big one. Because when you think about it, it encompasses all of the others. We put God into a formula that only works if certain conditions are met, and with less than 100% success rate...and sometimes, only if the healing is of a certain "type."

I came across this today, from Bible Belt Blogger:
"Pentecostal televangelist Marilyn Hickey preached the sermon at Oral Roberts’ memorial service today. And she shared an insightful story about her faith and ministry, laughing while she told it. And the audience laughed along.

I’ll share it with you.

She said the first time that she preached at an Assembly of God Church, she commanded a man in a wheelchair near the back of the sanctuary to stand up and walk. But the man didn’t budge. So she hollered at him again: Stand up and walk. But still he did not move. So a third time, she thundered: Stand up and walk. But still no movement.

About that time, the pastor of the church stepped to her side and whispered: “Mrs. Hickey, he’s not going to stand up and walk. He has no legs.”

Oh, the story brought laughter to Oral Roberts’ memorial service. And Hickey laughed along.

I didn’t laugh, however. I’ve seen too many self-proclaimed faith healers use desperately-ill people as props over the decades.

And if Hickey’s Almighty God is incapable of healing legless men, he isn’t much of an Almighty God."

Seems like a good example of putting conditions onto God.

Sure it's fine that God can heal someone whose legs simply "don't work," but someone who doesn't have legs at all? Now that would just be miraculous...

Where do you stand on this? Pro-faith healing? Against? Jury still out? Way too complicated?

Or do you have a good set of conditions that I'm unaware of, perhaps I'm just doing it wrong.