Faith Healing vs. Modern Medicine, Pt. 2
Are They All Frauds
What does need to be discussed is how and when faith healing should be used. We all know that there are frauds out there, it is no secret and many people suffer at the hands of these con artists. That suffering could be financial, spiritual, or medical doesn’t matter, that they suffer does.
Finally, a few “faith healers” have been caught using fraud as a way to get others to believe in their methods. These people often solicited large donations or charged money for their healing sessions. (http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/mindbodyandspirit/faith-healing)
The believer or religious person really needs discernment when looking at faith healing as an option to their troubles. They also need to seek God’s direction in this matter so that they do not run afoul of the frauds. Desperation is a characteristic these frauds look for in order to perform their cons.
As is over-emotional parents or others. We cannot let emotion influence too much as it does make one susceptible to the wrong suggestions as a solution to one’s medical problems.
The Steps to Take
The first thing, after asking God for help is to not dismiss the option of medical treatment. God may want you to use modern medicine, doctors and nurses to cure you. In today’s world there are many medical professionals who do to believe in God or acknowledge that He exists thus they need contact with believers to learn the truth.
Also, the medical professionals need to see God in action. There are many documented cases where doctors have pronounced judgment upon a patient, only to see a complete healing at a subsequent visit. They need to see that God does things that science cannot.
A third reason is to teach the believer that faith healing is not the only option available. They need to learn that even using modern medical facilities and treatment is an exercise in faith. This comes through answered prayers as the believer sees the timing involved, the doctors involved, etc., and the impossibility of all taking place without faith in God and His working in the lives of people.
Having God direct the believer to just the right doctor, who has just the right treatment or medicine on hand, or in the correct restaurant or department store with medicine on hand, is a miracle of faith as well. Believers do not need to reject modern medicine simply because its supporters and practitioners do not believe in God.
Believers just need to consult God first, even a hurried prayer in an emergency can bring miracles and save a loved one’s life. Let Him direct them so that HE gets the credit and glory and so the unbelieving world can see that God does care about individual lives.
We cannot deprive the unsaved world of such lessons and examples. Does this mean that we ignore faith healing? No, for faith healing may be the only option available or the only way God will get the glory. It also might be the only way to get the medical professional’s attention.
We do not know thus we need to let God decide what kind of treatment should be used and then we need to confirm that the direction is really of God. How we get the answer varies and depends upon one’s spiritual state. In other words be careful in making this determination.
Sometimes, a decision along the lines of ‘better safe than sorry’ is wise. By that I mean, if you are not sure, then opt for the hospital but still rely on God. Not everyone has the faith to do faith healing and those that think they do probably don’t.
With faith healing, one has to be absolutely sure and it has to be done where it is all God. So seek God in this issue as lives depend upon it.
Now who can seek faith healing? This is a complicated issue as believers have their own personal not biblical ideas they thrust upon this situation but from the evidence we have in the biblical record it doesn’t matter if they are unbelievers or believers. What did matter to Jesus was the faith of the person making the request.
From the gentile woman saying ‘even the dog’s eat the crumbs of their master’ (paraphrased), to the Roman centurion to the 10 lepers we have examples of those who believed that Jesus could solve their medical dilemma. In the case of the 10 lepers we see that, as far as we know, the 9 who did not come back remained healed even though they did not follow Jesus or return to thank Him.
Healing was for all both believer and non-believer and few were rejected. Given John’s words at the end of His gospel, I doubt we will fully know the scope or breadth of Jesus’ healing ministry. Withholding healing simply because one is not a believer or does not attend your church is not a smart route to take.
Does God Hear Their Prayers
Now a few words about cultic practitioners of faith healing:
The Watchtower periodical Awake once showed pictures of Jehovah’s Witnesses children who followed the churches ban on blood transfusions and died (http://www.religioustolerance.org/medical3.htm)
That quote will merely represent all cults and false religions. Their members can partake in healing from Jesus but it depends upon whom they are asking. In the biblical accounts, the non-Jewish petitioners came to Jesus alone and not to their version of Jesus to seek healing.
Is God hearing the prayers of those cult members who want their loved ones healed? it depends. Are they approaching their version of God and Jesus or are they putting their false beliefs aside and coming to the real Jesus who does heal and answers prayers?
If it is the latter then the answer to their requests are up to God. The Bible does say ‘ He will have mercy upon those He chooses to have mercy’ (paraphrased), which means that if true believers are approached by cultic members and asked to use their gift of healing, then their denial should only be the result of being told by God to deny them.
Cultic members are like the medical professionals. They need to see the real God in action and they need to see that God cares about them and their loved ones. One would hope that after experiencing God in this way those cultic members repent and turn to Christ for the rest of their lives.
Appointed Unto Man Once to Die
One final word and it is a warning. God has given each individual so long on this earth and then they will die. There will be no help from modern medicine or faith healing if one’s allotted time is over. Of course, some people get a reprieve BUT they eventually die. God is not going to change that restriction.
What this means is, that when that time comes it doesn’t matter what medical option one chooses, the person is going to die–doesn’t matter their age. This means that the attacks against faith healing are frivolous and without merit. Why? Because those attacking faith healing do not factor in this fact nor accept it.
This fact of life also makes one question the need for machines to prolong a patient’s life. The Hippocratic oath contains the words, ‘do no harm’ but the quest to mechanically or medically extend a life does do harm in many cases.
It harms the patient’s or their families financially, medically, emotionally, and spiritually thus those doctors trying too hard to keep their oath end up violating it. This medical extension really needs to be questioned and not blindly accepted simply because a doctor recommends it.
Some Final Words
Yes many patients are afraid to die, even believers, and they want to remain on earth longer but that is more of a spiritual problem than a medical one. it is also a situation between God and the patient and their family.
After all of this what does a believer do when these attacks come?
1. They need to be able to turn aside the arguments against faith healing with facts and solid information;
2. They need to be prepared to face persecution as Jesus said we would;
3. We need to be wise and seek God in all medical matters instead of rushing off to the doctor without consulting Him; This point alone helps people avoid mistakes in medical care;
4. We need to be inclusive not exclusive when people need healing;
5. We need to approach faith healing correctly and biblically; and most important,
6. we need to make sure God gets the glory correctly.
We do not seek the glory but direct people to Him and what God did.
© 2019 David Thiessen