I started Bible School three months after I became a Christian. I was hungry for truth, soaking up the Word of God like a sponge. I was taught the truth from the word but at that same time another issue was being debated in the churches. Healing in the Atonement was logical truth to some Christians, heresy to others. I believe in divine healing and have seen some amazing miracles but it has taken me fifty years to sort out in my own mind, the issue of ‘healing in the atonement’. If you believe in healing in the atonement, I love you. If you do not believe in healing in the atonement, I love you too.
When I shop for panty-hose I pick up the one-size-fits-all package. It doesn’t take any thought on my part and always fits. I do not believe healing is a one-size-fits-all ministry. God has limitless resources and every healing is unique. I do believe that healing is only possible because of Christ’s death and resurrection and I encourage people to ask their church elders for prayer for healing as James instructs us to do. God still has the prerogative to say yes, no, or wait.
When I was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s) eight years ago there were many people who would have argued with me that it was an attack of Satan or it was discipline from God but not one person suggested it might be to glorify God. Not all sickness comes from Satan nor are all sicknesses or diseases contrary to the will of God. If they were, there would be no divine chastisement for God’s children. God had already told me He was calling me to the rigorous life of an Olympic athlete. I quickly realized that not every difficult thing in my life, not even illness, is evil. When the disciples asked Jesus who sinned, the blind man or his parents, Jesus’ answer was, ‘neither, but that the glory of God might be revealed’.
Why are we so quick to blame Satan for anything negative in our lives before we ask God what He is doing in the situation? Satan loves to be blamed for things like that. On the other hand, we could rejoice in the situation and glorify God.
When my ALS was declared benign five years later, I rejoiced, even though my speech was not restored. In some way the Lord will be glorified, maybe in an unusual way. One young lady, who is a hero in my sight, sought the Lord for healing from MS. God did not give her physical healing but instead He healed her spirit. Within six months, sixteen of her extended family came to the Lord. My goal is to glorify God in every situation and Christ is still my Saviour, Sanctifier, Healer and Coming King.
Another huge issue in the church is speaking in tongues. Since I can’t speak at all, this isn’t an issue with me. I believe tongues is one of the gifts given by the Holy Spirit to God’s people. If you speak in tongues, I love you. If you do not speak in tongues I love you too. Tongues will probably always be a topic of discussion but if the tone of the discussion is not mutually congenial then the gift is not tempered with love. I Corinthians 13 tells us that if speaking in tongues is not tempered together with love it is an annoying clanging noise.
Paul lays out a test, in I Corinthians 12: 29-30, to help us sort out our thoughts about the gifts bestowed on God’s people.
Are all apostles? Answer: no.
Are all prophets? Answer: no.
Are all teachers, workers of miracles or have the gift of healing? Answer: no.
Do all speak with tongues? Answer: no.
Do all interpret? Answer: no.
If the question about tongues is the only one answered with a yes we need to re-check our doctrine on all spiritual gifts.
I close this blog with the following disclaimer: No one is always right and no one always wrong. But we are instructed to be always ready to give an answer…of the hope that is in us. I Peter 3:16.