I believe in miracles. I believe in healing. I just don’t believe in faith healers. The newest addition to the “name it, claim it…we’re the joy boys…healing on demand” crowd is Todd Bentley, who is a self-proclaimed healer. He has healing services in his Fresh Fire ministry in Lakeland, Florida. Some are calling this a revival. I would call it a sideshow at worst and an imitation of revival at best. When WORLD Magazine asked for a list of those healed, the ministry couldn’t provide one. It took them weeks and dozens of requests to get the names of 13 people.
I’m sorry, but if you’ve got the gift of healing you could heal more than 13 people by just walking the halls of a small county hospital. One person whom they claimed was healed of cancer died two weeks later. So much for Bentley’s power to heal. Several others are dead. I’m sure Bentley thinks it’s due to their lack of faith, not because of his deception to make a buck off of innocent and desperate people.
If I called myself an evangelist and I couldn’t give you more than 13 names of people I had led to Christ, you wouldn’t call me an evangelist. If I called myself a preacher and I couldn’t get anyone to listen to me, you would tell me to reconsider. If I call myself a healer and I can’t produce more than 13 who say they were healed (some are now dead, others refuse to answer questions), you should probably question my claims. Bentley’s supporters say he’s healed hundreds, if not thousands. Really? Where’s the news story? You would think that many people being healed in Lakeland, Florida, would attract some national media attention.
Let’s call this what it is: deception. It’s a psychological play on people’s emotions. Bentley has been exposed as a “preacher” who is addicted to alcohol and has had an “inappropriate relationship” with an employee. He has not “remarried the former employee.” According to the WORLD article, Bentley has said he would refrain from ministry until he received counseling. In November of 2008, his board said he wasn’t submitting to counseling. I say, fool me once, my fault. Fool me twice, and I’m either dumb or naive. How about the best solution is Bentley gets out of the ministry and gets a job where he has to work for his money, rather than milking the crowd.
I believe in healing. I’ve seen people miraculously healed. I’ve also watched people die who had hundreds praying for them. The thing to remember is Jesus healed with a word or a touch, but it took His blood to save us. Why are we more impressed with healing than we are with the power of the blood to save? Healing, at best, is temporary. Salvation is life changing.
Author Michael Brown writes, “God is sovereign. He can and does heal. But our experiences should not shape our theology. Instead, our theology should be the lens through which we evaluate our experiences. And our theology should be based on Scripture” (Israel’s Divine Healer, Zondervan, 1995).
If you want to read an excellent biblical book on healing, pick up Ron Dunn’s Will God Heal Me? You won’t read anything more accurate and biblically sound. (Visit www.rondunn.com. It’s also available through CLC Publications.)
4 thoughts on “Healing and Healers”
Dear Brother Catt,
I am greatful to be sending you this comment. We need more pastors,deacons, laymen, evangilists, and well of course Christian men and women in this country and the world like you to stand up for what is the Truth, The Word of God; and not be afraid to call out false witnesses! Christ said that “In this world you will have troubles” (I apologize for paraphrasing that) and Pastor Richard Exley said it best last sunday here in Summerville, SC at Faith Assembly as our guest speaker that “We are either coming out of a storm, going into one, or in the middle of one; Who do you run to?”. That sermon was from his latest book “Strength for the Storm”. His sermon was about Christ in the garden of Gethsemane, Christ ran to his friends in times of need then ran to the heavenly Father, then fell on his knees and prayed to the Father. Christ prayed but kept His faith in God. He trusted God and never lost his faith in God.I myself am currently going through a storm right now. A separation from my wife. It looks terrible and feels worse and my heart is heavy but I will never lack in faith for what God’s will is in my life. Yep we both have seen fireproof and I even had begun the love dare. so what did I do, I went to my friends who are Christians and then ran to my heavenly Father God Almighty, and Prayed His will not mine but His, for His thoughts are higher than mine. So with divorce emminent, my faith is still in Christ Jesus.
What I am saying is that Christians need to look more at what God’s will is and not to our own will just because it makes us feel good by saying positive words. Encouraging words are as Paul wrote edifying to the hearer but that is the opposite of “name it claim it words.” Faith comes from believing and hearing the word of God. Just wanted to say thanks for taking a stand on the Truth, The Bible.
Just my 1/2 cents worth.
In Christ Jesus.
Hometown: Camilla, GA
Currently resides in Charleston, SC
you may reply to me by email.
Hello MCC … what you describe here is certainly NOT ministry, but manipulation!He can call it anything he wants, but the real issue is what does God call it! The last time I read my Bible [today] … what is being done is Lakeland is the old perversion and practice of the enemy. Get people looking at a man instead of the Master. Oh, I’m sure he’d argue that he was pointing people to Jesus … but it’s truly only illusion! He’s all about himself. But isn’t that one of Satan’s most potent ploys? or is it plays?
I was wondering how long it would take you to get on your soap box against these prosperity gospel faith healers. “Send me all your money and I will send you a prayer cloth.” I have heard it for years – Jimmy Swaggart, Orvil Roberts, and many others. God does heal – in HIS own time and at HIS request – not ours!!!! We don’t have to pay millions to some self proclaimed idiot who has siphoned millions of dollars from poor desperate people. There should be a law against it – they belong benind bars.
Wes Allard – Mansfield, Texas.