I still believe in healing….

For the avoidance of doubt and for the sake of clarity, let me say I do believe in divine healing and have experienced it more than once. Nothing I say below should be takn as my having given up on that belief. My concern is that not all ministry practices that result from the belief that God still heals miraculously today  are helpful to people, though these practices may not in themselves be  wrong.

As I say I have experienced divine healing myself and seen it happen for others, but I have also experienced non-healing when it was declared over me “right now” many times as has my wife from ailments much more painful and limiting than mine: tinnitus, arthritis, extreme pain in her feet and hands to name but a few of the things she struggles with on a daily basis. I get a lot of sympathy because in a sense I am a more “public” figure. She gets virtually none, yet suffers more than I do every day of the week, just more privately, as do tens of thousands of Christians in Scotland alone, whether they be cessationist or charismatic with regard to gifts of healing. She does not blog about it and neither do they! Neither do they speak about it in public. Few, even within their own fellowships would know of their struggle with illness or pain over perhaps many decades, but may criticise their non invovlement or non appearance at churchy things.

My concern is the damaging effect of a command of healing which is not backed up by a result, followed by a more forceful assured and louder command and a still silent heaven. In some charismatic quarters it is now taught that it is not right to pray for healing, it must be commanded as that is what Jesus did. I simply observe this: when Jesus commanded it happened, “right now.” In fact I cannot think of any time when healing did not happen either “right now” or very soon afterwards as in the case of the man who saw trees walking or the ten lepers.

Despite being charismatic in belief and experience, I have come to think that just as many people are healed through believers humbly bowing together in a prayer meeting, or being blessed by a minister or a priest in some routine but believing regularly available Sunday Service method, as are healed through people commanding it. It is not unbelief to ask rather than command. Asking rather than commanding, for some at least, is a geuniune expression of humility before the Sovereign God witnessed to in the pasges of the Bible and the mystery of His already here but not yet Kingdom.

Of course, commanding does not mean a person lacks humility either, I am not judging anyone’s heart or motive here. Neither am I saying that commanding does not have a place and cannot claim Scriptural warrant or genuine good result. I am speaking from the place of pastoral concern. The power is not in the method. It is possible that out of a genuine desire to see more people genuinely healedby God, we bring the very thing we seek into disrepute and set things back while thinking we are taking things forward.

 

God Bless

 

Kenny

2 comments on “I still believe in healing….

  1. Amanda Etheridge says:

    Dear Kenny
    I phoned Holy Trinity just now as you and Morag came to mind this morning.
    I remember hearing you speak (at very short notice at Leamington Spa in 2012 possibly).
    Matthew 13:45-46 reminded me of how Morag came to find you!
    God bless you both and the family. Grace be upon you and unto you.

    Like

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