Healing Hope or Hype? – Part 5 – Scripture, Science, and the “Whole” Person

[wpvideo KjEa4QOS]

Proverbs says a broken spirit dries the bones. For those of us from even a nominally Christian background, this is hardly earth shaking news. However it is more than a quaint archaic metaphor. The implication in this verse, and others like it, is that the inner man affects the outer. Sometimes, even our physical health can be affected by the state of our soul. Those of us who have trusted Christ for our salvation don’t realize how deeply imprinted we’ve been with a scientific materialist worldview regarding everything except our salvation. This unconscious frequency in our thinking affects the issue of faith for healing and our approach to sickness, disease, health, and medicine. It is one reason among many why we do not see legitimate physical healings as we might.

Continue reading

Please follow and like us:

Healing Hope or Hype? – Part 4 – The Semitic Worldview

[wpvideo nqmfToZJ]

chaplainOne of the most significant reasons we do not see healings in our midst as we might, is because of the worldview assumptions and the cultural values of western individualism and personal privacy. The scriptures were not written to, or by, people with a western worldview. They understood sickness, disease, and healing differently than we do. We cannot come to the scriptures with our western presuppositions, and expect kingdom results. This profoundly affects our theology and practice of praying for the sick.

Continue reading

Please follow and like us:

Deliverance? by Bryan Corbin

cryingThe following true story was so poignant, timely, necessary, and clearly illustrative of why I no longer partake of common expressions of organized charismatic religion, I asked my good friend, Bryan Corbin, to guest-blog for me.

A recent incident, involving a young woman that Corbins have known for years, served to reinforce Bryan’s and my belief that much of what we call “church” misses the heart of God completely.

Continue reading

Please follow and like us:

Healing Hope or Hype? – Part 3 – Faith is not a Spiritual Commodity

[wpvideo 5h9NRpnQ]

Biblical faith has three important objective elements: His Word, His Person, and His Cross. These three are in fact, one. The Word is the revelation of His Person. The Cross is the instrument of revelation. The Person of the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of the Lord) actively administers both the Word and the Cross to us. We get into trouble when we try to separate these three from one another.

Continue reading

Please follow and like us:

Healing Hope or Hype? – Part 2 – Faith is Relational

[wpvideo DYMJwmyB]

The Jews didn’t engage life in a compartmentalized fashion. For them, Yahweh’s nature couldn’t be parsed into this or that sub-attribute and broken out for independent analysis. For us, it’s the methodology we use for deepening our understanding of something.  It’s the foundation of our science. Acknowledged or not, it’s the way Western Christians have been taught to engage life, the Scriptures, and God Himself. Our worldview affects how we approach the topic of healing. Healing is an outflow of a maintained relationship, not the result of adherence to principles.

Continue reading

Please follow and like us:

Healing: Hope or Hype? – Part 1 – Search for a Middle Road

[wpvideo YYSkGjJi]

Healing gifts have ceased. They have passed away because we now have the Bible. If you are not healed it is because of sin or a lack of faith on your part. God only heals from His sovereignty. Healing is guaranteed in the atonement, if you are not healed, it’s your fault.

These and many other diverse perspectives have left many in the body of Christ in confusion and pain. This five-part blog series will be excerpts from my book, Healing: Hope or Hype? In it, I try to find a new covenant, grace-filled, faith-filled, God-honoring, scripture-honoring middle road on this topic. Neither ditch of passive, fatalist, unbelief in a mysterious sovereignty and the guilt, manipulation, and fraud of the televangelists is acceptable. Those suffering in their bodies deserve better than either of these extremes can offer. Those of us in health owe it to those who suffer to minister to them in identificational care, and power . . . without the hype, shame, and manipulation.

Continue reading

Please follow and like us:

A Blind Man with a Chain Saw – “Good Intentions are Not Enough”

Train_wreck_at_Montparnasse_1895So much interpersonal human damage is done by highly gifted (“anointed’) but relationally dysfunctional people. You can be a water-walking, Bible encyclopedia, “super apostle-prophet” or whatever, full of good intentions, and not truly know God, yourself, or others. You can preach, bring forth “outstanding revelation and insights,” and do wonders and be blind to the trail of human carnage behind you. It need not be so.

Continue reading

Please follow and like us:

“None Dared Join Them for Fear” – Why did Pagans Join the Early Church?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHave you ever wondered why hundreds and thousands joined the early communities when it would cost them everything? Great grace, power, and fear were upon the ekklesia (church). We’re not too crazy about #3 these days-it’s not church growth seeker friendly. “None dared to join them,” doesn’t fit our “church growth strategies.” Yet even with great fear, people joined themselves. Why?

Continue reading

Please follow and like us:

Speaking the Truth in Love by Michael Rose

I think my good friend, Michael Rose, hit a homer on this one. Guest blogging it here!

spkgA famous comedian from the southern USA jokes that by simply adding the phrase “Bless her heart” to the end of a statement makes it somehow okay, no matter how harsh. For example: “That baby sure is ugly! Bless his little heart” or “Betsy sure looks fat in that dress. Bless her heart!”

We laugh, but Christian folks can say some pretty harsh things and attempt to justify it by claiming they are “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). Too often, we Christians can cross the line and speak into something that is quite frankly, none of our business.

Continue reading

Please follow and like us:

“Whose God is Their Belly” – by Ken Talbott

obesity 1My dear friend, Ken Talbott, is in a life and death battle with liver and pancreatic cancer.  I have known and walked with Ken for close to 15 years. I respect him and admire him deeply, not just because of how he is navigating this season in his life, but for who he is in Christ.

This recent effort of his has a vitality about it that usually comes from only someone who, in the midst of the struggle, has touched the Spirit. Right-wing evangelicals tend toward manic obsessiveness about certain sexual sins in others, while being criminally indifferent/silent about other sins that are much closer to home!

Perhaps if we would heed someone who is facing his mortality because of lifestyle choices, we might live more abundantly in Christ. Christ may be our healer, but we are responsible for our health. It is a partnership effort. If we are absent in the partnership, many of our illnesses are no mystery.

I pray we might hear the Lord in Ken . . . listen, and live. I pray we would focus on our own sins, sins in the house, before we go pointing the finger at sins in the culture and society. Judgment MUST begin in the house. 

Reprinted with permission. This post is not necessarily an endorsement of any of the specific treatments Ken may be pursuing, nor a recommendation for what others should do facing similar diagnosis. Ken’s path is between Ken, Robin (his wife), and the Lord. The point is to hear the Spirit of the Lord in Ken’s testimony, not argue about the medical-pharmaceutical establishment versus alternate holistic treatments.  Let him who has an ear, hear.

_____________________________________________

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. -James 5:16 (New International Version)

In my ‘umble opinion, the Lord has recently helped me identify several stages in the healing process that is helping people like me face down and treat my pancreatic and liver cancer. The first stage is articulate, thorough confessions of sin. I do assert that the evidence suggests most American Christians fiercely resist this confessional stage—often in the name of a sloppy understanding of God’s grace. Unfortunately, in the process, they miss out on it’s absolutely necessary role in the overall healing process.

When they first told me I had stage-four pancreatic cancer and that I was, in effect, dead meat, with less than six months to live, I started exploring what kinds of things people like me have done to, in the words of trauma surgeon, Dr. Lorraine Day, create the conditions favorable to the development of my own type of cancer.

In Dr. Day’s compelling testimony on her website, DrDay.com (a must-see), Dr. Day presents a compelling case for how, through resisting her own professional training and peer pressure, she not only found out what she had done to herself to get her fast-growing cancer, but how she could lick it without the need for immune-system-trashing oncology of her background training.

Now, in my opinion, gluttony and pancreatic cancer go together. Once I made this connection clearly (helped along by my health coach, Ray Gebauer, in this thought-provoking article, “How Does God Feel about Over Eating?”), the Lord helped me go deeper and deeper into healing’s confessional stage, until finally I could see with new eyes Hosea 2’s advice to the children of Israel:

14 [a]Return, Israel, to the Lord your God.
Your sins have been your downfall!
2 Take words with you
and return to the Lord.
Say to him:
“Forgive all our sins
and receive us graciously,
that we may offer the fruit of our lips.[b]

I began to perceive that the sin behind my decades of gluttonous abuse of my body was at its core not acknowledging God in ALL things. Instead, I chose to suppress my consciousness to the “still, small voice” of the Holy Spirit and blotted out the multiple warnings throughout the years (such as a potbelly in what I made into my midlife’s sedentary years) that had whispered to me about my gluttony:

“Whose god is their belly.”. . .

“Whose god is their belly.”. . .

“Whose god is their belly.”

I kept hearing those words whispered to my inner spirit, but it took me decades and my cramming multitudinous gallons of ice cream, fries, and junk food into my gullet and onto my overloaded pancreas before I got around to looking up and finding this Philippians 3: 17-21 passage from where this repeated, Holy Spirit’s warning was drawn.

What I saw was not pretty: Philippians 3: 17 – 21 (NIV):

17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

What Are You Doing with Your Precious Immune-System “Talent”?

The way I now see it is: The Lord presented me my immune system somewhat like a “talent” that is infinitely more valuable than the one, two, or five bags of gold given to the Master’s servants in Jesus’ parable of the “talents”!

At the day of judgment “for deeds done in the body,” I’m not sure about you, but I certainly don’t want to stand before my Master and declare, “Through making my pot belly my “god”, overwhelming my hard-working pancreas, and “setting my mind on earthly things” (cf., Philippians 3: 17-21) in my lifestyle choices, I actually went out and not just hid my valuable “asset/talent” like the servant in Christ’s parable, but I outright, willfully trashed my precious immune system in the process!

Within twenty years: “Hello, pancreatic cancer!”

So, my first step in the healing process was to confess how thoroughly I had worked toward the destruction of my own body.

Sure, as I told you last time, I have long-since blown off the oncologists’ advice to finish the job off by cutting, burning, and drugging my immune responses down to nothing (at the expense of more than my net worth and the building of theirs), but it was my own death-style choices that brought me to the present place I’m in right now.”

I have now confessed and, I believe, been forgiven—with my culinary wickedness being removed from me by the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ—as far as the East is from the West!

After the well-articulated, in-depth confession can come God’s forgiveness and a wonderful new release into whatever He has for me ahead—whether healing me physically here and now, or bringing me home to Himself. But, when I depart from the earth, all will be well and I will go out clear, because I’m even now being ushered into a new era of cleansed “peace and purity” I have never before known.

Life is great!

Anybody See Dumbo in the Healing Room?

In my humble opinion, the elephant in many of the American Church’s “healing rooms” types of ministries is this: “We have all been asking for release from the consequences of our sins without touching the sins!” Perhaps next time instead we might start with the application of the blood of Jesus upon those carefully articulated, thorough confessions!

Since I started my responses to my current health challenges, I have moved well beyond the necessary, initial confession stage, as I am now starting to plumb the depths of God’s forgiveness and grace that follows the well-articulated confession of our sins.

Anything in here for you and yours?

Pullin’ and prayin’ for and with you, Ken Talbott

____________________________

Copyright 2013,  Dr. Stephen R. Crosby, www.swordofthekingdom.com. Permission is granted to copy, forward, or distribute this article for non-commercial use only, as long as this copyright byline, in totality, is maintained in all duplications, copies, and link references.  For reprint permission for any commercial use, in any form of media, please contact stephrcrosby@gmail.com. Would you like to partner with us in distributing our materials and perhaps generate some income for yourself?  Please go to www.stevecrosby.com for details of our Affiliate program. This ministry is sustained by the freewill offerings of those believe in the message of a radical grace in a new covenant understanding. If this article has been a blessing to you, would you prayerfully consider making a tax-deductible contribution through our Paypal button to help? Thank you and God bless you.
Please follow and like us: