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ABNInfantry
Oct 2nd 2008, 04:54 AM
Hail all,

New here, but I thought I'd post some topics that I have been a little confused about, and I'm curious to see some of your views.

First off, I am a Christian, but I am VERY jaded with modern American Protestant faith. I am a simple grace believer. I left the congregation years ago, and until another Charles Finny comes along, I doubt that I'll return. Sermons that appeal to intellect and not emotion are what I'm seeking.

Here we go.

1) The Charismatic movement: Last church I was a member of (while I was in the Army) was touted as a "Bible believing, spirit led church," and I left after the pastor of the church failed in healing a young man, a young man that died the next morning in agony at a local hospital.
Now the pastor invoked the passage of James 5:14-15, which is a pretty simple pair of verses. Unfortunately, the young man died, and I was left with a sharp case of cognitive dissonance. I reasoned with the church pastor thusly: Either the Bible is wrong, or you are not a church elder.
Which was followed by me re-canting my membership.

Now, where do you guys stand on miraculous healing? Personally, I am instantly skeptical when I hear, "God only answers prayers on His time," and "A person won't be healed, if he doesn't want to be healed," as well as "The devil can steal your healing." I certainly do believe that God can heal, but where does James 5:14-15 fit in today?

Thanks in advance, and I'm sorry if I'm a little late coming back here....Lots of my time being taken by school.

-Rocco

Literalist-Luke
Oct 2nd 2008, 07:39 AM
I think the days of guaranteed miraculous healing ended in 70 AD with the Diaspora. I don't deny that God is still just as capable of healing today as He ever has been, but I've seen too many cases where somebody was "believing for a healing" and it didn't happen, the result being that their "faith was shaken". Sounds like a pretty pathetic faith to me.

My faith is based on a God who can heal, even if He chooses not to.

Paladin54
Oct 2nd 2008, 12:25 PM
Hmm, an interesting situation. I am not so sure that James refers to being sick as a physical ailment such as a cold or cancer. I think he may view sick as in weak faith, or a faltering faith. Sickness may mean continuing a unholy and harmful action that cause's poor health. And the prayer of faith deals with the heart of a person to lay down their evil ways which then would heal a person from the affliction of those evil ways.

I see the prayer of faith having your faith strengthened by the elders so that you can stop the activity that is causing your sickness thus healing you. And if the action was a sin, that sin is also forgiven.

In the light of this view the last half of verse 15 would make more sense since it refers to sins being forgiven.

Here is a portion of a study of James found here: http://qandablog.typepad.com/questions_and_answers/2005/01/study_on_the_bo.html


James 5: 14-16 Prayer for the Sick

What is James’ next imperative?

What is James interpretation of the word “sick”? Can we interpret this literally?
James is speaking of illness, weak and feeble. This could imply a kind of spiritual illness or weakness as well. For the early church in 65 AD illness was a major problem and concern. For today, we need to consider that any thing that one does to harm the body is a sin. Such things can lead to sickness and disease. Smoking leads to cancer and lung disease. Promiscuity can lead to venereal disease.

Does James give us an all-inclusive formula for healing?
In this church body alone, we have seen evidence of God miraculous healing. We have seen evidence of God not choosing to heal.

What are the special characteristics of this case that James is describing?
James 15:15b-16 – The person is sick because of sin. Greek text says “if he has been constantly sinning.”
I Corinthians 11:27-30
I Cor. 5 – Paul instructed the church assembly to expel an immoral person.

The sick person is a church member who is sick because God is disciplining him. The church elders are called and make a visit rather than the sick person going to church to confess his sins. The person confesses his sins (vs.16).

The person is healed by the “Prayer of faith” (vs.15)

What is the “prayer of faith” (vs. 15) that heals the sick?
I John 5:14-15 - a confidence we have in Christ – a prayer offered knowing that God’s will is to be done.

How should we pray for the sick?
Rom 8:26 – Paul did not always know.
“If it is Your will, heal Your Child”. (Warren Wiersbe)

What are some practical lessons from this portion of scripture?
Disobedience to God can lead to sickness. (David’s experience)
Sin affects the whole church
There is healing (physical and spiritual) when sin is dealt with.
Prov. 28:13
“Private sin requires private confession; Public sin requires public confession. It is wrong for Christians to hand dirty wash in public for such confessing might do more harm than the original sin”. (Warren Wiersbe)

dworthington
Oct 2nd 2008, 12:35 PM
The ultimate healing would be going to be with our Lord Jesus. We may seek physical healing but being with Jesus would be best.

SammeyDW
Oct 2nd 2008, 01:50 PM
I think the days of guaranteed miraculous healing ended in 70 AD with the Diaspora. I don't deny that God is still just as capable of healing today as He ever has been, but I've seen too many cases where somebody was "believing for a healing" and it didn't happen, the result being that their "faith was shaken". Sounds like a pretty pathetic faith to me.

My faith is based on a God who can heal, even if He chooses not to.

Not just that but many times we pray for / expect physical healing.
But God chooses emotional / spiritual healing instead.
So sometimes it isn't that God has chosen not to heal.
But rather He has chosen not to heal in the way that we expect.

ABNInfantry
Oct 2nd 2008, 06:34 PM
Thanks for the replies. I forgot to state my stance on healing in my original post, so here it is:

I do believe that God has the ability and power to heal, and that there are still miracles of physical healing that occur. I do not believe that there are any 'healers,' living today, and that the time of healers has passed.

I'm not necessarily a dispensationalist, but at times I think like one. I do believe that the emotional healing is a Biblical teaching (PROV 14:30, 17:22), but I guess I have never really connected that with the healing mentioned in James.
Perhaps it is just my perception of that particular verse that is in err. I seem to have always read it as an instruction.

Anyway, let me specify a little more. The manifestation of the spiritual gift of healing confuses me. Primarily because I have never seen anyone healed (I'm with you Literalist Luke, doesn't shake my faith), so I doubt very much that anyone today can heal. Of course we all recognize that it is God's power that heals, so no reason for us to get tied up with semantics. Do any of you have some guidance on the subject of the 'gift of healing?'

Thanks again.

Paladin54
Oct 2nd 2008, 06:56 PM
My guidance would be to not get too worked up over the subject. While it is nice to debate these topics, when it comes down to it, belief or unbelief in the gift of healing is not necessary for salvation.

We are commanded to repent of our sins, believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and show love to one another.

Do not let anothers failure or triumph in healing, or anything else, get in the way of your faith.

graceforme
Oct 2nd 2008, 07:27 PM
Thanks for the replies. I forgot to state my stance on healing in my original post, so here it is:

I do believe that God has the ability and power to heal, and that there are still miracles of physical healing that occur. I do not believe that there are any 'healers,' living today, and that the time of healers has passed.

I'm not necessarily a dispensationalist, but at times I think like one. I do believe that the emotional healing is a Biblical teaching (PROV 14:30, 17:22), but I guess I have never really connected that with the healing mentioned in James.
Perhaps it is just my perception of that particular verse that is in err. I seem to have always read it as an instruction.

Anyway, let me specify a little more. The manifestation of the spiritual gift of healing confuses me. Primarily because I have never seen anyone healed (I'm with you Literalist Luke, doesn't shake my faith), so I doubt very much that anyone today can heal. Of course we all recognize that it is God's power that heals, so no reason for us to get tied up with semantics. Do any of you have some guidance on the subject of the 'gift of healing?'

Thanks again.

I might be able to shed a little light on the subject of miracle healing. This is not a subject that I'll debate - I just want to present the dispensational view on it.

Matthew 4:23 "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people."

Matthew 9:35 "And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people."

'Jesus and His apostles meant what they were saying: the kingdom was literally at hand, and the culmination of the prophetic program was soon to be. This explains why physical healing is always associated with the gospel of the kingdom, as Israel would soon be the "chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people." (1 Peter 2:9). To be a priest in the holy nation Israel requires that a person be physically whole (Lev. 21:17-23), and that is why physical healing is always associated with Israel's gospel of the kingdom.

John the Baptist first began preaching that the kingdom of heaven was "at hand" in Matthew 3:1-2 "In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Jesus Himself also preached, "Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt. 4:27), and just six verses later, this message that Jesus preached is properly referred to as "the gospel of the kingdom." "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of hte kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people." (Matt. 4:23).

Preaching that the kingdom was at hand and granting physical healing in preparation for that kingdom, then, is what constitutes preaching the gospel of the kingdom.'

Quoted from "Basics of Mid Acts Dispensationalism" by Terence D. McLean

God bless.

BroRog
Oct 2nd 2008, 07:51 PM
Hail all,

New here, but I thought I'd post some topics that I have been a little confused about, and I'm curious to see some of your views.

First off, I am a Christian, but I am VERY jaded with modern American Protestant faith. I am a simple grace believer. I left the congregation years ago, and until another Charles Finny comes along, I doubt that I'll return. Sermons that appeal to intellect and not emotion are what I'm seeking.

Here we go.

1) The Charismatic movement: Last church I was a member of (while I was in the Army) was touted as a "Bible believing, spirit led church," and I left after the pastor of the church failed in healing a young man, a young man that died the next morning in agony at a local hospital.
Now the pastor invoked the passage of James 5:14-15, which is a pretty simple pair of verses. Unfortunately, the young man died, and I was left with a sharp case of cognitive dissonance. I reasoned with the church pastor thusly: Either the Bible is wrong, or you are not a church elder.
Which was followed by me re-canting my membership.

Now, where do you guys stand on miraculous healing? Personally, I am instantly skeptical when I hear, "God only answers prayers on His time," and "A person won't be healed, if he doesn't want to be healed," as well as "The devil can steal your healing." I certainly do believe that God can heal, but where does James 5:14-15 fit in today?

Thanks in advance, and I'm sorry if I'm a little late coming back here....Lots of my time being taken by school.

-Rocco

If you are interested in sermons that appeal to the intellect here are some sermons that are mp3 files free to download.

http://www.mckenziestudycenter.org/audio/

The sermons related to Bible passages are straightforward explications of the passage. Most often, application is left up to the listener. The audio files of the sermons usually contain a question-answer period at the end, allowing the congregation to ask for clarification or add comments and opinions of their own.

I hope you find these helpful.

ABNInfantry
Oct 3rd 2008, 12:46 AM
Paladin54, you are wrong! It is not 'nice,' to debate these subjects. It is critical to debate these subjects. Of course it has no impact on salvation, but it does have a significant impact on Christians as a whole. If a study were to be executed, that sought to discover how many people went bankrupt, or were harmed through medical negligence, or became apostate after visiting 'faith healers,' how high do you think the numbers would be? I will not suffer these wretches to move about unchecked within the Christian whole, whilst they hold high the title of Gospel-Bearer. You're negligence sickens me, and I will get worked up over this, along with several other matters that arise out of skewed doctrine. The youth numbers that swear by the doctrine of Todd Bentley number in over 40K members added this year. Look at the sales figures for the 'Dake Bible,' or at the membership of Christian Dominionists and the latter-rain movement, and then tell me if this is something that is only 'nice,' to debate. All of these movement gather their numbers through miraculous healing, and if were not for I getting worked up over it, and boldly displaying their failed logic of using scattered biblical verses, then I would still be there being fed drivel. Your last message reeks of apathy.

I was wondering if anyone would bring up Pastor McClean. I have long enjoyed (and mostly agreed) with his teachings. Thanks for the link BroRog, I'll certainly spend some time there this weekend. I'm still less than concrete in my view on healing (meaning physical healing) in the modern church, so I have trouble answering to those who swear that such&such at their church is a healer. I have become quite adept at tearing down the Exodus 15:25 proponents though (thanks to Mr. McClean)

-Rocco

Paladin54
Oct 3rd 2008, 08:11 AM
I guess we will disagree then. I am not concerned about whether these people you speak of heal or such. My concern is in the basic doctrine of salvation through Jesus Christ, and that alone. The rest is just extra.

If these people you speak of do not teach the basic doctrine of salvation through Jesus Christ, then they teach falsely. They may do mighty works, the bible warns of false prophets;

Mark 13:22 (New International Version)

22For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect—if that were possible.

I believe that if you are truly saved, the Holy Spirit will guide you in the rest if you open your heart to hear his instruction.

I am not apathetic. But God said these things would happen. I cannot stop them from happening. All I can do is be a witness to the sound doctrine of salvation through Jesus Christ. This is what is demanded of me. And it is the doctrine of salvation through Jesus Christ which I will base the test of all things presented to me.

Slug1
Oct 5th 2008, 02:24 PM
Hey ABNInfantry,

I read your first post and should probably read through the rest but I will if led to. Anyway, I have a friend who has received a ministry of healing. The one fact that I see that is consistent with the Bible is this healing power is obviously not from the person but from God. He can't just heal a person. There must also be faith from the injured or sick individual that God will/can heal them. My friend is only led to those with this faith and they are healed. He doesn't even attempt to heal unless "moved" by the Holy Spirit. In the Bible we read so many times where Jesus says that the persons faith healed them or healed a person they wanted Jesus to come and heal.

So based on the Gospels it's our faith that heals us and God sometimes leads a person with the Gift of Healing to that faithful person. I don't know how the faith was of the person in the hospital or maybe they had unconfessed sin but IMO that pastor was trying to heal him on "his" faith and not the faith of the person in the hospital. I don't know. Also, what unconfessed sin was in the pastors heart? Alot of elements unknown to you and us.

Besides, when I read that scripture "sickness" can mean spiritually also... IOWs, sin. If this person did confess as the rest of those verses speak about and the pastor prayed with them and over them about this then they were healed spiritually and not physically.

Personally for me, I'd rather be healed spiritually and be right before God and I don't care about my body.

Cool name for membership, I retired after 21 years in the Infantry just last year.

apothanein kerdos
Oct 5th 2008, 04:47 PM
Thanks for the replies. I forgot to state my stance on healing in my original post, so here it is:

I do believe that God has the ability and power to heal, and that there are still miracles of physical healing that occur. I do not believe that there are any 'healers,' living today, and that the time of healers has passed.

I'm not necessarily a dispensationalist, but at times I think like one. I do believe that the emotional healing is a Biblical teaching (PROV 14:30, 17:22), but I guess I have never really connected that with the healing mentioned in James.
Perhaps it is just my perception of that particular verse that is in err. I seem to have always read it as an instruction.

Anyway, let me specify a little more. The manifestation of the spiritual gift of healing confuses me. Primarily because I have never seen anyone healed (I'm with you Literalist Luke, doesn't shake my faith), so I doubt very much that anyone today can heal. Of course we all recognize that it is God's power that heals, so no reason for us to get tied up with semantics. Do any of you have some guidance on the subject of the 'gift of healing?'

Thanks again.


The gift of healing does exist even if you have not seen it. For one, I think Christian doctors have it (for the most part) - any doctor worth his weight will tell you that sometimes patients defy all medical knowledge and pull through.

Likewise, I have seen people prayed over and healed.

Now, with that I will say this: The faith healing movement is a scam. Not everyone receives physical healing. Sometimes God allows people to endure years of disease. Other times He heals them. For the rest He gives them the ultimate healing in death. Ultimately, if we die of "natural causes," then all of us are dying of some type of disease. The current medical theory is that the reason people die of "old age" is because their immune systems have simply become old and frail, thus disease and viruses infect the elderly. In this way, then, we all die of disease or a virus (assuming it's a natural death).

I'd look at it this way - don't become jaded. Realize that God will heal some and not others, and for all of it He has His own purpose. The gift of healing most certainly exists, we're just too materialistic and naturalistic in the West to recognize when it has occurred. We've lost the supernatural.

Sold Out
Oct 5th 2008, 10:56 PM
Hail all,

New here, but I thought I'd post some topics that I have been a little confused about, and I'm curious to see some of your views.

First off, I am a Christian, but I am VERY jaded with modern American Protestant faith. I am a simple grace believer. I left the congregation years ago, and until another Charles Finny comes along, I doubt that I'll return. Sermons that appeal to intellect and not emotion are what I'm seeking.
-Rocco

Amen my brother. If you want to feed on a little spiritual meat, then tune into a live feed of our church service next Sunday at 10:00 am CST. www.harvestbc.org (http://www.harvestbc.org)

You can listen to archived sermons as well.

BTW, the 'Health & Wealth' gospel is dangerous. It bankrupts the faith of the spiritually starved. People need TRUTH, not miracles.

Ethereal Spark
Oct 11th 2008, 03:21 PM
Whether or not a person "gets healed" is up to God. If you pray for His will, and ask Him to heal you, if it's in your best interests spiritually, mentally, physically or morally, He will do it. But not all "healing" (as we see it) is His will. You see, sometimes God says no.

2 Cor 12: 7-10
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

It was better for Paul that he not be healed.

Jesus said:
Matt 18: 9 & 10
Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast [them] from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast [it] from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

And only God knows what we will become; what we will gain or lose by being healed of what we are asking for. When He tells us how to pray for someone to be healed; in James 5:14 & 15, those are simply the instructions. Just like instructions on how to plant different seeds... it is God who gives the increase; the life, or the healing.

I have known many people who had leukemia or cancer or any number of things and of course we prayed that they might be healed. In some cases they were, in others they were not. It is up to God. I don't mean this to sound trite, but when the person died; technically they were healed. Death is certainly not God's refusal to heal a person, it's just another avenue.

Isaiah 57:1 & 2
The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth [it] to heart: and merciful men [are] taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil [to come].
He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, [each one] walking [in] his uprightness.

Being spared whatever evil they might have experienced, had they lived.

David prayed that his first baby with Bathsheba would be spared, but when God said, "No" David accepted this, trusted God to be right and washed his face, etc., Accepting God's answer is up to us.

It really doesn't matter if the person praying for the individual is a faith healer, the next door neighbor, someone on the internet or a fake Christian; if it's God's will that that person be healed, they will be healed. Everything God does is for His glory.

Can you imagine a fake faith healer praying for someone and having that person actually be healed, right before their very eyes? It would scare them to death! And it just might make a believer out of them.

If you want God's will (and even if you don't), it will be done, whatever flavor it takes. If it's not God's will, it won't be. This includes healing.

From personal experience; several people in my family have been miraculously healed from very serious illnesses and disorders--without anyone even laying hands on them, except Jesus.

Yes, we do lay hands on the sick, we anoint them with oil and pray the prayer of faith...in obedience. Whether we get what we are asking for, is up to the Lord.

watchinginawe
Oct 11th 2008, 04:10 PM
Now, with that I will say this: The faith healing movement is a scam. Not everyone receives physical healing. Sometimes God allows people to endure years of disease. Other times He heals them.This is a tough subject, but I think the above is the core of the matter. The belief that God promises to heal every time as long as we cooperate is flawed IMO. If this were the case there would be no need of a gift of healing.

This belief stems from the doctrine that the atonement is always efficacious for physical healing in exactly the same way as it is for salvation. In other words, God has already done His part to heal us and if we aren't healed the problem is that we haven't received His promise in faith.

I know that everyone will not agree theologically with the following characterization, but look at what happens when I replace heal with save in my statement that I made above: God has already done His part to save us and if we aren't saved the problem is that we haven't received His promise in faith. Whether one believes in synergism or monergism in soteriology, the thought is still the same IMO: Physical healing is not a promise or grace of God equal with salvation (eternal life).

With that said, I believe we can, should, and are encouraged to approach God for grace in our time of need, and that includes for healing and on the behalf of others IMO. We are able to approach God boldly because of the atonement and because of the work of the cross on our behalf:

Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

God Bless!

justinbporter
Oct 12th 2008, 09:08 AM
I think Ethereal Spark and watchinginawe pretty much hit the nail on the head, but let me add a little bit. Stand back from the directly scriptural standpoints, and let's look at it from a practical point of view.

When Jesus was around, he generally only healed people that he touched, and that showed faith. He could have healed the whole world of every ailment if he wanted to, but he chose not to - it would have been impractical to have everyone suddenly be healed of everything and live longer lives, and of course, doctors would have been out of a job for a while. :) He healed people who had faith and people who did not have faith, but their family members had faith (the story with the centurion who asked for his daughter(?) to be healed).

But, just because you have faith, and ask God to heal, he doesn't always do so. Why? Because then people would think of themselves as God! Think about it... if you had faith, and the ability to heal anyone because of your faith, aren't you basically turning yourself into God? When you can say when and where and who gets healed, you take God out of the equation, and you put yourself into God's role.

God has a plan for each and every one of us, and sometimes that means an early death by car accident or disease, or it means living into your 100's. Nothing we can do will change His plan. After all... "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" -Luke 12:25