I’ve heard it said that when hearing a sermon or having a discussion, it’s good that one leaves with more questions than answers. This is one of those things–I’m by no means writing about something I think that I have figured out, but rather something that continually baffles and confounds me.
I’ve been reading through the book of Acts over the past two weeks–a chapter or two every night before bed–and tweeting out the CliffNotes of what happened in that particular chapter. I keep reading about the apostles performing miracles, signs and wonders, and what follows. Sometimes they preached repentance, sometimes they were esteemed as gods (and they had to correct that thinking, reminding the people of who God really was.)
The thing that always gives me the heebie-jeebies (that’s in the Greek) about healing, both in the Bible as well as in modern days is the spectacle of it. I get chills up my spine when I see videos these days of people who are trying to extend a shortened leg (I’ve read something about that too, by the way, people naturally sit in a way that causes one leg to look shorter when they’re sitting down and extend their legs, and then usually are leaning to look) or healing a back or something and they try to sound either extra-spiritual or extra-casual (the beach bum healer thing really gets at me.)
When I read that Peter saw it (the people being amazed at the healing that had just taken place, in Acts 3:1-12) I have two responses. One is that Peter was looking for that amazement, or two is that it was just such a strong reaction that he couldn’t help but notice. I like to think it’s the latter, but at the same time, when I see videos of people doing healing and they are like “isn’t that cool? That’s God, bro. That’s God.” the approach reeks to me of insincerity.
There’s a lot of debate today about whether healing is for today or not. Here’s my stance:
God can do anything He wants. We read about healing in Acts. It happened after Jesus went back up to heaven. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12 that God has given some gifts of healing and the working of miracles. So, I have no reason to believe it’s NOT for today. I honestly believe that if we ask God to heal someone, He’ll do it. I don’t believe all the “you-don’t-believe-enough” stuff. God is a Father, and if His kids need help, He’ll help them.
However, (and here’s the balance I need to figure out, and the internal battle I face) I don’t love this whole “healing ministry” thing. I’ve too often been made to feel like I’m not doing enough if I’m not regrowing someone’s limbs or sewing together their ACL with my faith. I don’t think everyone is called out to go out on the street and do this kind of ministry. I’m much more of the mind that we should get people together to talk systematic theology.
That’s the rub.
What I’m called to, not everyone else is called to. I’m called to be a teacher, and I believe God’s given me a gift of faith. Others are called to be healers, because God’s given them a gift of healing!
Fortunately, this blog has given me a chance to flesh some things out, and given me a different perspective on some things. I had to write in a shortened amount of time, so I probably left some stuff out.
I probably left some things unclear, so I openly invite your thoughts and opinions on this sort of thing, I’d love to discuss it more!