Calling All Christians In the Spirit of Truth of General William Booth
“. . .[W]hat is the use of preaching the Gospel to men whose whole attention is concentrated upon a mad, desperate struggle to keep themselves alive? You might as well give a tract to a shipwrecked sailor who is battling with the surf which has drowned his comrades and threatens to drown him. He will not listen to a sermon. The first thing to do is to get him at least a footing on firm ground, and to give him room to live. Then you may have a chance. At present you have none. And you will have all the better opportunity to find a way to his heart, if he comes to know that it was you who pulled him out of the horrible pit and the miry clay in which he was sinking to perdition.” – Quotes fromGeneral William Booth (founder of The Salvation Army), and author of In Darkest England and the Way Out, 1890.
One of the most important messages in The New Testament is Jesus Christ's message of healing. One mistake many Christians make, however, is believing that the Lord's healing was only and solely a demonstration of God's divine nature. What is of paramount importance to discern and recognize, however, is that Christ's healing was not only about "miracles" or the "miraculous" and Jesus Christ's "selflessness," it was also at that time one of the most radical acts by God to call attention to the religious laws of that day and to bring to light the "heart" of man. It shows all Christians how deeply God looks upon the "heart" of believers, and no matter what we do as Christians to appear "good" to our fellow man, ultimately it is God who knows the true nature of our person. Thus, when Christians speak about - as I have heard them - others who "deserve" the consequences of their sin, not only do they miss what The New Testament is saying with respect to Jesus' parables, but they are missing the forest in the trees with respect to God's calling. In other words, what you think and feel matters more than any good you may do for the eyes of other men.
William Booth understood this only too well. As a Christian, he recognized with compassion the problems that consumed others. No where in any Christian writing have I witnessed the humility of a man than in the character of General William Booth, who - and this is important - attacked poverty like a military tactician and did so with the keenest discernment I would ever see in another Christian. Whether one agrees or disagrees with his politics is not relevant here (although in his defense I must say he espoused capitalistic solutions without even knowing that his reasoning was more "capitalistic" in theory than he would care to admit) .
To those who do not know him, he is the founder and creator of what we know today to be The Salvation Army. I felt it important to write this hub for two reasons: 1) to write about the similarities of exploitation of a people today as compared to the exploitation of people when Jesus walked this earth as a man; and 2) to expose why I believe not one Christian writes any comments on the aspects of healthcare (which I find astounding!). Could it be because Christians equate the devil solely with disease? I think it might be the reason. If so, I have concluded below - in light of the heart of General William Booth - a summary on the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. Hopefully in doing so, I will have conveyed what I believe is absent in the Christian community.
That I write primarily about “health” being the cause of all our problems in this country is already well known by those who read my hubs. But as to whether I believe in this all alone or by myself has not yet been stated. So I wish to enlighten those who read my hubs to the fact that I am not alone in my belief. In fact, it was President Obama who recognized this great problem when he said (and it is paraphrased here), “Health care is at the root of all our problems . . . all of it.” He is right.
However, his attempt at correcting this grave problem by government control is not the answer. Although I agree with him wholeheartedly regarding this great need for health and healthcare, where I disagree is in the fact that the types of sicknesses that consume us are ones that medical science alone cannot correct. That is because science ultimately follows in the direction we take ourselves. Currently, it is on a march for profits, and unless we stop it we are certain to feel God’s wrath in this country, even greater than we feel it now. This is the madness and it is a madness that has got to stop.
Like in the "Dark Days of England," written by General William Booth, the illnesses, although infectious to some degree, are largely caused by the lack of a “home life” (via lack of nutrition, high stress, and major contributor to the lack of “sound mind”) that is the root cause behind all our social ills in this country. Whatever the reason, whether it be because of divorce, foreclosure, illness, etc., more and more people have lost the love of a “home life,” living vicariously day to day with little contact with people outside of work. But nothing breaks the spirit of life – collectively - more than this. That is because the diseases thus produced en masse by a lack of a home life are of the kind not seen in this country before our present day, and are only now making their appearance because of our changed eating habits and dissolution of family, and, alas, the only social networking we find now is not person-to-person, but on the Internet. And this is not only tragic for our children, but also for all of us adults.
That is why I seek to urgently direct people to make demands on our institutions and physicians to heal our people so that we can rebuild our country. How can the medical community aide in this? It must stop prescribing prescription drugs that treat the symptoms only and instead heal our people. Scream that they must stop exploiting medical care for profit! We are paralyzed by their affront on all of us and unless we stop it, it will get so much worse.
What we are seeing in our culture is not new in this world. In fact, it was General William Booth, founder of The Salvation Army (quoted above), who wrote in his book (above mentioned), “Everyone needs a mother.” So, you see, the time we live in is not new. It is simply being repeated. The deterioration of the home brings not only deterioration of our children’s adaptation to the world, but also our own mental and physical health. We can talk about the benefits of good eating and a clean home for health, but how is that sufficiently accomplished when both partners in a household are working with no time to cook a meal, care for their children, or share in the experience of quality time? It is simply absurd to treat our working lives as the only important thing there is in life. It is as though the message being conveyed is that “power” is more important than “love.” How weary that is, right?
So, while so much is needed yet to be done about the economy and the creation of jobs, and the spiritual effect of truth, it is our health, caused by the lack of “home life,” that is in dire need of fixing first and foremost since both are contingent upon the other. One cannot have health without a healthy home and a place of replenishment and rest. And one cannot have a home without a job. But if one has no decent place of rest, how can they work efficiently? So if one is without a job, there can be no home, rest or place of rest; and where there is not rest, there cannot be happiness; and if one is without happiness or contentment, there cannot be hope; and where there is not hope, there is despair; and where there is despair, there is lost faith; and when there is loss of faith, there is desperateness and spiritual death, and where there is spiritual death, there comes opportunity for the devil of disease to enter within. These all apply even for those without faith, as the spiritual health of any man, woman or child rests on contentment within the mind, body and soul that we must heal first, unconditionally, if we are to remain strong while we rebuild our country.
But I must tell you something in case you did not know: It was upon this revelation that I was prompted to write about the importance of healing and what God wants from us after a re-read of the Four Gospels of the Bible. On further examination I reacquainted myself with Jesus Christ’s message of healing and His bringing sinners to repentance. That each gospel is consumed with Christ’s healing powers is not a mere adjunct to His message. Neither alone is it meant to stand as a mere demonstration of Jesus’ supreme “power.” Rather, healing was essential and natural to His message, not done for a show of tricks or miracles (even though miraculous), but simply because it was just. He being not only the Son of God, Jesus as the man was also a radical of major proportions to the men of that day with his healing ministry. Why? Religious laws at this time condemned people in their sins, not only for a time, but indefinitely; and for people living at that time, who lived under the scrutiny of such laws, sickness evidenced disobedience to law. Thus, they were unjustly regarded as “hopeless” forever with no hope of redemption. Also, because they were condemned persons, those with the power to heal outside of Jesus’ ministry, were forbidden to do so.
That God chose this period to come to earth in the flesh, in the man of Jesus, speaks to the great offense God holds towards religious and secular self-righteous practices and, for all practical and rational purposes (even if some do not believe Jesus was the Messiah), is evidence of the fact that God Himself was very moved by – even angry about – the fact that persons were being left with disease and exploited for the sake of religious laws in His name and, thereby, secular laws of the Gentiles that promoted the same end. That He was aroused to come and make our acquaintance as a man at this time on earth to usurp such laws used against people in His name, should also arouse us to consider why it was so that healing pleased Him most of all. Why? Because there is no greater evidence of goodness bestowed by man upon another man than that he heals another or that he lay down his life for another. These things God loves.
Moreover, there is no greater enmity against God than the heart of a man (and I mean man or woman when I write “man” in this hub) who delights or feels superior to another who is sick or dying. In fact, while we know men cannot always discern in others these matters of the heart, it is God who can and will, and it is He who hates this secret loathing inherent in man more than any other sin. After all, His greatest commandment to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” is regarded as only second to His greatest commandment that we love Him with all our “heart, soul, strength and mind.” How can we, if we are genuine, separate one from the other?
When Jesus preached His message of salvation to the Jews, it was through His healing that we came to understand why persons were abandoned with disease. That Jesus violated the erected religious laws of that day by His healing and side-stepped laws directed with prejudice towards persons with disease demonstrates the high regard God holds towards healing others, and the disdain He holds towards man’s hatred of the sick and their reluctance to help others. (See Matt.15:22-27 regarding a Gentile woman seeking the healing of her child of the devil, to wit Jesus replied, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the House of Israel” and she replied, “Truth Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table,” acknowledging, of course, that she understood Jesus to be the Son of God. The child was healed at that moment even though the woman was not living or practicing Jewish laws).
In other words, exploitation of disease was purposeful during these days, and it was by purposeful neglect that those in power were emboldened through their own self-righteousness to exact judgment on others who were in actuality far less evil in their hearts than those that ruled over them. They were left sick, not because there was no cure, but only because it was done in the belief that those who were sick deserved to be sick and were destined to be sick because, they were made to believe, God wanted it that way, which of course was false teaching and abhorrent to God. [Please note: Since there was indeed medical treatments already in existence in that day, knowledge of how to heal others was, although known, kept from certain persons that religious laws made it unlawful to treat (see Luke 9:49-50 where John tells Jesus “Master, we saw one casting our devils in thy name; and we forbade him, because he followeth not with us” and Jesus replied, “Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us”) is testimony to the fact that others – apart from Jesus and his disciples - were able to cure if only they were allowed to do so.]
Think about it: If you were God as spirit looking down on this kind of blasphemy, would not you too be moved to visit the earth to set things straight as to what you were all about? Why would our God – a spirit – concern Himself with the outward countenance of a man when it is the inward man by which the Holy Spirit is made manifest in our bodies for the God of the Living to exist, and why would God the Father (and Holy Spirit) concern Himself regarding any outward show of goodness through religious practice when there is no outward showing of good – absolutely none - that we can take before Him sufficient for our own salvation? And if we accept the blood of Jesus as forgiveness for our sins, is our desire to see others ill in conflict with this precept? Absolutely! Does it matter that we show others how good we are more than what we show God? Absolutely not. We can show others how good we are as much as we want, but we know that when we expect or strive to be deemed “good” by man it is only because of our own self-righteousness that God regards the good we think we do as nothing but “filthy rags.” Therefore, it is in healing that we make manifest the work of God through the body of the living souls among us, and it is through healing that others become receptive vehicles (in mind, body and heart) to the glory and love of God.
That the “devil” is interpreted by the religious and the non-religious alike as “possessing” someone because of the “sin” of that person’s behavior (or lack of faith), or failing of character, is one of the most egregious misinterpretations of scripture and superstition ever promulgated by both the religious and medical professional alike that is still in existence today. Rather, as the Old and New Testament makes clear, the devil can do no more, or less, than God allows. (See and read thoroughly the Book of Job in the Old Testament) In fact, whenever the devil makes his appearance in spirit, we know then that God too is showing us something we are not seeing and the devil’s presence is but a symptom of a greater evil of man’s evil to man.
Clearly then, as the healing in The New Testament teaches us: It is MAN’s refusal to heal that is “the devil,” not the devil infecting one person, that insurrects the devil in persons (and the devil is happy to oblige, if only it will reveal the true author of the evil dispensed [which is man]) – and it is the devil too showing us how evil man is to one or the other. Like the spirit of good within a man is as God, given to His Glory, so too can the spirit be ungodly; yet when that is so, it is not for us to judge the workings of God or any man’s heart but only to heal and leave it to God to look, sift and to decipher the goodness of anyone. All we can do is expect that laws established in our land to protect us are not broken.
We cannot judge others. We are not mind-readers of God; it is He of us. He tells us, “My thoughts are not your thoughts.” And this is what Jesus taught throughout the Four Gospels when He healed unconditionally making Himself known to those suffering as our savior, that He hoped they would accept – after He healed them – or to reject. We too must strive to do the same by directing our medical doctors to heal the people so that we can lift ourselves and others up.
So, in the spirit of General William Booth, let us work together towards igniting a demand for healing and assisting others always when we can. By forming a united voice, I know we will be heard.