Thursday, March 31, 2005

Of Terri Schiavo: "Miracle Healers", Won't You Please Step Forward?

"Literally thousands have been saved, healed and delivered at our weekly Miracle Service" according the Lighthouse Evangelism website. The RHEMA Bible Church website states: "We have received numerous testimonies of people being healed of cancer, heart problems, arthritis, diabetes, leukemia, hypertension, lumps and tumors, back and neck problems, and many other illnesses and conditions through RHEMA's Healing School."

As Terri Schiavo, the woman who has been brain-damaged for the last 15 years, begin starving to death when her feeding tube was recently disconnected on March 18, 2005 by a court order, I wonder, where are all those "miracle healers" hiding? Why aren't the "Christian miracle healers" around the world who have supposedly performed numerous "healings" step forward to heal Terri Schiavo? For instance, why isn't "Pastor" Rony Tan of Lighthouse Evangelism in Singapore, offering to fly Terri Schiavo down to his church's "Miracle Service?" Where is the involvement of the RHEMA Prayer and Healing Center, which is founded by Kenneth E. Hagin, in all this?

If we read the Bible carefully, we would know the claims made by various "healers" that the person's faith is required for healing isn't biblically true. Even though Terri Schiavo was a Roman Catholic, her lack of saving faith shouldn't matter, since the onus is on the healer to heal her. The Word of God clearly states that the sick person's faith is not always the prerequisite for healing. In Acts 3:1-10, there is no indication that the healing by the Apostle Peter was dependent on the cripple's faith. The cripple did not exhibit any sign of faith at all. And also in Mark 2:1-12, Jesus Christ's healing of the paralytic was not at all dependent on the paralytic's faith.

In the light of the controversy surrounding Terri Schiavo, there is never a more appropriate time for the "miracle healers" to actually heal and to save Terri Schiavo's life. However, why would they not go to
Terri Schiavo and heal her right now? Just imagine the entire world hearing the news that Terri Schiavo is healed; wouldn't this sort of news put to rest all the criticisms of the alleged "miraculous healings" that are coming from many Christians and non-Christians?
Update (31 March 2005 11:54 PM): Terri Schiavo died at her hospice on Thursday morning – thirteen days after her feeding tube was disconnected.
View a screenshot of Lighthouse Evangelism's Miracle Service webpage.
View a screenshot of RHEMA Bible Church's Healing Testimonies webpage.


Blogger Stevie B said...

Hey Brother in Christ,
Maybe sometime prior to the last two weeks of this woman's life it would have been a lot more feasible for someone to walk in and heal her, but in case you followed the news, people were forbidden from her room to so much as give her water in recent weeks.

Just remember with this subject matter, with healing being just as much apart of the atonement of Christ as salvation is--that just because something doesn't happen doesn't mean it's was God's will for it not to happen. I know this will smack against a lot of the Calvinism you teach in your blog (from what I noticed)--but if it's not God's will that any should perish (2 Pet 3:9) then that would demonstrate that just because people are going to hell doesn't mean it is God's will for that. Likewise, putting the miracle healers to task for lack of results would require us to look at the 1 billion muslims not saved and ask "where are the evangelists?" in the same vein. Me making this statement does not validate them out there who are charlatans and false teachers (snakes as my dad calls them).

I EMPHATICALLY DO agree with how faith in the believer is not a pre-requisite for their healing. You probably are familiar with Jesus rebuking his disciples in Matthew 17:14-20 for not having faith TO heal the boy with epilepsy. This passage also shows that just because the disciples failed to produce the healing, that it clearly was still Jesus' will to heal, as He turns around and lays hands on the boy.

Anyway, for the most part I enjoy your blog. I don't post this to start an argument, but if you'd like to have fruitful dialogue, I'm fine with that. We're soldiers in the same army and will be able to point out each other's blindspots in our views. I'm sure

Peace and blessings be upon you in Jesus. Keep up the writing, you are definitely gifted in it.

A Canadian named Steve

2/4/05 1:47 PM  
Blogger cybeRanger said...

Do you trust God for healing and test God for healing?

25/7/05 5:18 PM  
Blogger beowulf said...

Regarding the verse 2 Peter 3:9, it is written: "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." One must look at the context in which the verse was written. Was the words "anyone" and "everyone" referring to believers and non-believers, or were the words simply referring to the "dear friends" mentioned in 2 Peter 3:8?

When we read the epistle of 2 Peter, it appears to be written for the elect in mind. From 2 Peter 1:3-11, the epistle started off by encouraging the elect who are in Christ. Later, for the whole of chapter 2, it provided warnings about the "false prophets" among the elect (2 Peter 2:1). Even at the beginning of chapter 3, the Apostle Peter was still focusing on the elect i.e. "dear friends" (2 Peter 3:1) When we reached 2 Peter 3:11, which came almost after 2 Peter 3:9, the statement "You ought to live holy and godly lives" was clearly referring to the elect. And finally at 2 Peter 3:17, the second last verse of the epistle, the Apostle Peter advised his "dear friends" to be "on your guard."

Thus, by looking at the above context, I would logically conclude that 2 Peter 3:9 was not referring to both believers and non-believers, but simply referring to the elect.

6/8/05 10:00 AM  
Blogger beowulf said...

I refer to the statement "Likewise, putting the miracle healers to task for lack of results would require us to look at the 1 billion muslims not saved and ask "where are the evangelists?" in the same vein."

One must consider the Biblical doctrine that salvation is totally a work of God. For it is written: "And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified." (Romans 8:30) Those whom God predestined from the beginning will eventually be saved. Even the faith that we have is a gift from God. It is written: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8)

Therefore, if we are to assume the evangelists are indispensible in the work of salvation, we are surely limiting the sovereignty of God. It would no longer be God's will, but Man's will.

We do not know why did God elect Abraham out of all people. We do not know why did God choose Jacob instead of Esau. We do not know why were the Israelites the chosen people of God, instead of the Egyptians or the Canaanites. We do not know why are some people not saved. However, we do know that God's will is "good, pleasing and perfect." (Romans 12:2) As the book of Romans put it: "Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?" (Romans 9:21)

I believe that prayer and evangelism are ordained by God. Our will to evangelize is wholly subjected to the sovereign will of God. We are simply functioning as God's instruments. It is not us who converts the lost, but the Holy Spirit. To assume that we are somehow an essential part of someone's salvation would be a grave mistake.

6/8/05 10:34 AM  
Blogger beowulf said...

I do not believe that physical healing is part of the atonement. And yes, I do know of the popular verse used by charismatic healers, "by his wounds you have been healed" that appears in 1 Peter 2:24 and Isaiah 53:5.

When you read 1 Peter in context, you would find that 1 Peter 2:24 was not referring to physical healing at all. The full verse is "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed." It is plain that the Apostle Peter was referring to the elect being healed of sin.

Likewise, Isaiah 53:5 states: "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed." If you were to follow the verse carefully, you would see that the healing was for our transgressions and iniquities.

There are also instances in the Bible where the Christians did not seek healing. For instance, the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 and Galatians 4:12-14.

I believe that healing is subjected to the sovereign will of God. I also believe that prayer is ordained by God. Therefore, ordained prayer is used as an ordained instrument for ordained healing to take place. Healing might or might not take place. It depends on whether healing is predestined in the first place.

6/8/05 11:05 AM  

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