Ah, Christians. We are such a weird bunch - embarrassingly weird. I just read a book about a kid (prayforalex.com) who was in a car accident and sustained a Christopher Reeves type of injury, i.e., skin and tendons were the only things keeping his head from rolling onto the ground. Long story shorter, while the boy was thought to be dead, he was able to describe, as he tells in the book, watching the paramedics work on him. From somewhere outside of his body, Alex could describe what they were wearing, and where they sat in the helicopter. He tells about knowing things that happened to his dad who was taken to a completely different hospital as well as describing going to heaven and interacting with Jesus etc. etc. etc. That’s not the weird part. That stuff is fascinating, but not the kind of weird that I’m talking about.
The part that I consider weird and I’ll admit it, sad, is that the parents belong to a “Word Faith” “Name It and Claim It” Church where they believe that if you tenaciously think the right thoughts and say the right words, God will have to give you what you ask for. The key in Word Faith is that you must never, ever think wrong or doubting thoughts. In the book, the helicopter pilot, the mother of this child, two or three Pastors and numerous fellow members of the congregation, all believed (God gave them this message) that Alex was going to be “fully healed.” Well-meaning people, who wanted to be encouraging said (believed?) that God had told them this miracle was a done-deal.
I don’t know what it means to you when six years later the boy is not even minimally healed - let alone fully healed - but to me it means that it wasn’t God who gave them this message. I’m not alone. The dad, who co authored the book with his ten-year-old son, wasn’t quite so sure about this “fully healed” business either.
That, in Word Faith circles is akin to treason.
. In the Word Faith universe, ANY doubt can derail all the good stuff that God wants to do for you - including fully healing your quadriplegic son. An omnipotent God simply can’t do His thing if you doubt.
. In Word Faith circles the fault for a lack of healing is always pointed to someone besides God, usually at the victim h/herself.
. In Word Faith circles, just by speaking or thinking negative thoughts, you can make negative events happen.
They don’t call it Voodoo but . . .
In reality, from the perspective of being “fully healed,” something negative did happen to this boy. Six years after the accident, Alex is still a quad. With the aid of science and technology he can make his wheelchair get around by hitting a wand with his chin, but that’s about it. In reality, Alex is not going to be fully healed, as we understand physical healing. It was so pitiful - to me - when near the end of the book the dad said, “Fully healed may mean when he’s in heaven.”
Why can’t people see that God’s concern for our physical self is only important to the extent that it helps to further His kingdom? Because of that, a quadriplegic might be exactly as God wants him.
In my own case, my disability from arthritis has made me far more effective as a counsellor than I’d ever have been if I’d been healthy. “You aren’t threatening,” is a common comment. We connect with others through our points of weakness - not through our points of strength.
Why can’t people see that God’s power is shown in our weakness, not in our strength? God’s power is seen in the acceptance of our spiritual poverty, not in the stockpiling of our financial wealth. Alex has such a powerful testimony as is, but that isn’t good enough for the health and wealth crowd. An attitude that says, “Follow Jesus because of all you can get,” strikes me as so very immature. This boy has a strong relationship with Jesus. Because he has a forgiven and close walk with Jesus, he is as “healed” as any person can get, in spite of the fact that he’ll never walk again on earth.
We are not physical beings with a spirit. We are spiritual beings inhabiting a frail and dying body. It is our spirit, our soul that requires healing and Alex has had that happen to him. In the only area that counts, Alex is fully healed. However, this was true for him before the accident ever took place.
Paul, a follower of Jesus says, “Though outwardly we are fading away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”
Why isn’t that healing good enough for people?
Are you healed?