Answering the Critics: Covid-19 and Faith Healers

 

[The following is an adaption to a rebuttal (what we call, “I Object”) that we issued on Facebook in response to the image shown above.]

 

Whoever made this message would have to be omniscient, or, have some kind of special revelation from God, not only to know who all the “faith healers” are, but also to know what is going on in the daily life of every “single” one of them. So that’s an easy spot insofar as speculation being made by the claim.

Now, maybe someone will say that the message refers only to the people in the image.

Alright, so let’s work from that angle for a moment:

While it is easier to know what is going on in the lives of eight individuals, than an unknown quantity like with the initial claim, it would still require intimate knowledge to know what these people are doing 24/7. You would either need persons who are with them on a constant basis reporting their activities (back to meme makers?), or possibly cameras everywhere, like some kind of live streaming.

Either way, how the person who made the image came into possession of such information isn’t revealed. So they are either guessing, or the claim is unsubstantiated as it sets.

Still, someone might say that since we haven’t heard about any of these people going to hospitals and laying hands on the sick and dying, this means it never happened. But this would be an argument from silence. To demonstrate the error in such an idea, for the first time in my life I’m going to make a public confession: I listen to dubstep on almost a daily basis. This has been going on even though I never told you guys. If you had assumed that I didn’t, simply because I never said that I did, you would have been wrong.

See? In other words . . .

Something can be true, and you simply be unaware of it. These two concepts are not mutually exclusive. I feel silly pointing this out, but it obviously needed to be said, based on how common these types of messages are.

So, the claim in the image easily falls apart under the slightest amount of scrutiny.

But let’s push a little further because I want to demonstrate a few other ideas that I think deserve to be mentioned.

Let’s assume the message is true. None of these folks went to hospitals to lay hands on the sick and dying. What should be the conclusion to that? The first thing that comes to my mind is . . . Are people even being allowed to be around those who have tested positive for the virus in hospitals?

Seems bizarre and unlikely.

Finally, as mentioned in multiple other rebuttals I’ve issued—-hypocrisy and failure to live up to one’s preaching is by no means exclusive to the people in the image. So even if we assumed (again) they had the opportunity to lay hands on the sick or dying in hospitals and didn’t do it—-this would simply demonstrate that the same type of shortcomings which exist in every other area of Christianity, exist in this one as well.

Two Big Lies You Never Knew You Believed About Prayer

shocked

 

You often hear people ask,  “Why aren’t the extraordinary things we read about in the Bible— the miracles, healings, etc, not happening today?

Firstly, I believe the question is fallacious because these things are indeed happening (you probably just need to get out more).

But really, what we should be asking is, “Where are the type of people we read about in the Bible, who believed God in unrelenting faith for the miraculous and impossible?

See, we’ve been trying to put the blame off on God for why these things don’t happen as much but the truth is, God doesn’t change. People, on the other hand, are a whole other story.

 

The Lies We’ve Embraced

 

I’ve found that for the most part, the Church has allowed herself to be robbed of the miraculous and answered prayers as a result of buying into two big lies.

Lie #1:

We have substituted devotion for faith. Over time, we have equated these things as the same. You get people all the time saying things like, “Uncle so and so was a minister for 50 years and he loved the Lord more than anyone. Yet he died of cancer, and never saw his prayers answered. If anyone had faith, it was him!

Think about that statement. Notice how the assumption was made that if you have devotion, you have faith.

Devotion and faith are not the same—hence the reason one is called faith, and the other devotion. As a result of accepting this falsehood, we have made God out to be a liar and impugned His character. How? Because He promised (it’s amazing how lightly we take that word now a days) that all things would be possible for the person who believes. Yet, we have people all over who are not seeing the impossible in their lives, though they are ministers. Though they are committed. Though they love the Lord.

No, faith for answered prayers is not the same as love or devotion for the Lord.

Lie #2:

We took all the verses where Jesus spoke about the necessity of having faith in order to get answers to prayer, and we said He was referring to faith in God. So folks go around saying, “I have faith! I believe in God, I believe in Jesus.”

But . . .

When Jesus spoke about the object of faith which gets prayers answered, He did not say it was faith in God.

Shocked? I was too. Let’s take a look at a few instances in the Bible.

Mark 11:23, for instance, He does not say, “If you pray and tell God how much you believe in Him, the mountain will get up and fall into the sea.” What did He say? “Whosoever shall say unto this mountain be removed and be cast into the sea and shall not doubt in his heart but shall believe (believe what? In God? No. Then believe what? What should he believe?) that those things which he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says.

Again, Mark 11:24, “Therefore, whatever things you desire when you pray, believe (in God? Nope) that you receive them and you shall have them.”

What did the woman with the issue of blood believe? Just in God? No. The Bible tells us what she believed. “If I may but touch the hem of his garment, I shall be made whole.” She did not say, “If I just believe in God, and trust that He is sovereign, I shall be made whole.

Right before Jesus healed the blind men, what did He ask them?

Do you believe in God?

Nope. He never asked that.

Do you believe I am the Christ?

Wasn’t ever brought up.

Do you believe that I’m sovereign and that one day, after you die, I will take you to heaven and open your eyes?

Negative.

He didn’t ask them any of those.

What did He ask?  “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” (Matt 9:28).

Again and again we see that the object of the faith was connected to the desired outcome of the prayer. Not to some generic belief in God’s sovereignty, His existence, or Jesus as the Christ.

 

Lies Don’t Comfort

 

Don’t get me wrong, I understand there are things that we all wish were not the way they were. I wish that all God required of us in the area of prayer was to just believe in Him. To just believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died for us and rose again. But the fact is, He requires more than that. And I get that we feel compelled to comfort the afflicted in times of tragedy and crisis by any means possible. But lying to them isn’t the way  to do it. Telling them the truth is. Giving them hope by sharing with them God’s Word is.

Of all people, Christians should be the ones to understand this the most. Lies do not comfort. It’s the truth that sets us free.

Instead of hiding the truth about prayer, we should be heralding it. This is Good News! It means we serve a real God who can and is still doing what we read about in the Bible.