Healing and Discernment

Anonymous asked:

What’s your thoughts on XXXXXXX, who has healed many people and currently works in Mozambique, one of the poorest countries in the world? Or about XXXXXXX who testify about raising people from the dead and healing people with missing limbs (like a foot came back for a person)? [Names redacted]

I answered:

I don’t have the expertise or the time to investigate each individual claim someone makes about being able to heal miraculously. What I try to do is give people a framework to do their own internal sniff test when they run into such claims. 

I believe that miraculous healing can happen. I’ve never seen it, but I’ve never seen Arizona either, and I’m pretty sure it exists. The question is not about the existence of miraculous healing in the world, the real question is about whether someone is trying to hustle you by claiming to be have special powers.

1 Corinthians 12 lists healing among other gifts from the Spirit (alongside things like teaching and serving), that sounds right. What it definitely does not say is that healing (or speaking in tongues, which this passage also concerns) is an indication that someone is a super-christian who has an extra dose of the Spirit. There is no such thing as an extra dose of the spirit. In fact, 1 Cor 12:4 says “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.”

My suspicion goes off not when someone claims to have seen miraculous healing (everybody who has spent enough time around hospitals has seen something that defied all medical logic), but when someone starts insinuating that healing happens because of how awesome they are. It kicks into overdrive when someone uses stories about healing as an example of their awesomeness, which is why you should give them money.

The reality is that the idea of proof of miracles existing is very appealing, because it gives our faith something concrete to point to and say “it’s real!” That is perfectly normal. The sad truth is that there are people out there who are willing to leverage that desire to hear about/see miracles for their own ego and financial gain.

I am certainly not saying that everyone who says they saw or were part of a miraculous healing is lying, what I am saying is that it doesn’t do you any good to just assume that they must be telling the truth because they are talking about something Jesus-y. 

A big part of developing discernment is being comfortable with your own skepticism. The good news is that people who are legit won’t mind that at all. They are probably tired of getting lumped in with hucksters themselves. And the ones who get huffy about you not immediately fawning at there amazingness reveal something about their motives.

 

-Matt from The Bridge

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