Christian — Heal Thyself
Revised: 2018 Jan 24
Published 2017 Oct 06
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Jesus commanded his followers to “make disciples” (Matt. 28:19, NRSV throughout). However, most Christians are not good at this and many live their entire lives without ever leading anyone to conversion. How, then, can Christians ever hope to fill their churches? I have the answer: start healing people.
Does that sound unreasonable? Why should it? Scripture claims God heals “all” our diseases (Exod. 15:26; Pss. 41:3; 103:3). It says Jesus went around “curing every disease” and predicted “the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these” (Matt. 4:23; John 14:12). Moreover, Jesus specifically commanded his followers to “cure the sick” and even “raise the dead” (Matt. 10:8). He said, “everyone who asks receives” and repeatedly promised “anything” we might ask for would be granted (Matt. 7:8; 18:19; John 14:13-14; 16:23-24). Does anyone actually believe any of these unequivocal guarantees? What about this: “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move” (Matt. 17:20)? Do you ever see Christians doing anything comparable to moving a mountain? Jesus was referring to Christians with faith only the size of a tiny mustard seed. What about Christians with tremendous faith? Surely, they should be able to get some tangible results.
The Bible claims believers were being added in “great numbers” because when the sick came for healing, “they were all cured” (Acts 5:14-16). The biblical solution is guaranteed. Conversions will explode when you start healing people. According to Paul, some Christians should be endowed with “gifts of healing” (1 Cor. 12:9). So, where are they? James said, “the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up” and “pray for one another, so that you may be healed” (Jas. 5:15-16). Christians constantly pray for the sick, but sadly, the results are abysmal. I have never heard of anyone receiving a healing anything like the dramatic instantaneous miracles described in the Bible, at least, not one I could verify.
Occasionally, somebody will experience an unexpected remission and immediately a chorus of “Praise the Lord!” arises. However, the same infrequent unexplainable reversals occur among those for whom nobody prayed. Notwithstanding such realities, the ability of Christians to put a positive spin on just about anything is truly breathtaking. Recently, a local prayer group was praying for an unfortunate lady in danger of losing her left calf, a battle she ultimately lost. Amazingly, the subsequent group email message actually claimed a victory, encouraging members to “praise God that all went well with her amputation.” An amputation represents the utter failure of every last promise of healing in the Bible. However, Christians blinded by mind-boggling denial are incapable of recognizing such an inconvenient truth.
In terms of healing, Christianity has proved itself completely impotent. It’s no wonder people are not attracted to churches. Why waste your time sitting in church every week if all you’re going to get is the same misery everyone else suffers? You may as well sleep in on Sunday mornings. A Christian might respond, “Ah, but we have salvation!” Really? Why would any rational person believe the Bible’s promise of salvation when its promises of healing appear to mean absolutely nothing?
Clearly, Christianity is a man-made religion. It promises miracles, but can’t deliver. Ditto Judaism. The author of Genesis predicted Abraham’s descendants would become a blessed nation whose enemies would be cursed. (See Gen. 12:2-3.) The reality is the “chosen people” have been slaughtered by their enemies as much or more than any other people. They have been horribly persecuted and forcibly ejected from numerous countries over the last three millennia. Then, there’s the “elephant in the room.” Dare I ask, Where was God during the Holocaust?
Like deceptive media ads, numerous Bible passages promise phenomenal results that never materialize. To hold out the possibility of a supernatural healing is clearly misleading, considering the lack of empirical evidence for such miracles. Frankly, I think it’s downright cruel for Christians to be teasing unfortunate disease victims with false hopes of dramatic recoveries.
I suffer from my own painful chronic condition and was recently forced to retire. I would love to meet a Christian with a gift of healing. If I were to experience an undeniable miracle, I would be delighted to submit the story for publication in this column. If eating my words is the price of relief, I’ll take it. However, I’m not getting my hopes up, nor do I expect to hear about “great numbers” of new disciples flocking to the churches. Before that happens, Christians will need to prove they can actually do what Jesus commanded them to do — cure the sick.