I recently had a conversation with a hyper-charismatic, Ryan, that spoke ill of people that “teach that God is sovereign and if it’s His will, you’ll be healed. If it’s not, you’ll die.” Or that “It’s just totally up to God.” Instead, He wrote that the truth is: “God is not “in control” of everything that happens.”
Ryan also stated that every disease is not Gods will and all sickness should be healed. Ryan said: “In Matthew 4:23-24 He was healing EVERY disease and sickness, that must mean that He viewed sicknesses and diseases as a work of the devil. And we also know that it was for this reason that He came—to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). He never made excuses for sickness and disease to be there. He always recognized them as enemies to be conquered.”
This was my reply:
Honestly Ryan, don’t hear my words as coming from some angry Calvinist that is too brain oriented and can’t have faith. I come from the charismatic movement, I was a youth pastor in it, for four years, I went to conferences, prayed for miracles, was “slain in the spirit” with Benny Hinn, and etc. I hung out with people who constantly cast out demons from every piece of furniture. I lived in this theology and I was drowning in it apart from Christ. I was trying to do miracles, and believing my head off. I would stay up the whole night trying to pray for something, and boy did I have faith in things happening. I confessed it and said it out loud repeatedly for hours but it didn’t happen. I would cry and shout until I lost my voice, but I couldn’t find the essence of the Gospel.
Regarding your statement that Jesus healed all so therefore all sickness should be healed.
1. We should imitate the character of Christ, not every single action.
If Jesus had healed every person oh physical suffering, Scripture does not explicitly state that we can or ought do the same. Jesus did many things that we are not intended to emulate, like stating that He is God or dying to appease God’s wrath. We shouldn’t go tell people we are perfect, because Jesus did. I know He did say we will do “greater works” but it is far more exegetically sound to state those works refer to the massive amount of conversions throughout history, as opposed to individual miracles wrought by Christs later followers. Especially seeing that greater types of miracles have never been seen.
2. Jesus did not actually heal everyone.
A. You quote Mat 4:24-25 as evidence that Jesus always healed everyone. Quite frankly it could be argued that this and other all passages you show are examples of hyperbole, which Scripture often uses. Take John 4:39 as an example. In this passage, a Samaritan woman spoke of Jesus and said: “He told me all that I ever did.” Had Jesus really told that woman everything that she had ever done in her life? Obviously that’s not possible in the short time they had. She was using hyperbole to make her point. Or take Luke 2:1, “In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.” Again, that’s Biblical hyperbole. This degree did not reach places like North America, all of Africa, Australia, and etc. With situations like these we can either treat the Bible as untruthful, or understand it for what it is, a book written in the language of man, and the language of man often includes hyperbole.
B. There are indeed passages, including the one above, that could show that Jesus healed all. However, this is a snapshot of one time and place. There are other snapshots and time/places where Jesus doesn‘t heal everyone. To be consistent we must include both cases. Take this for example the Pool of Bethesda where “lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed” yet Jesus healed only one of them (John 5:2-9). The next verse shows Jesus is done and moves on. The multitude is left there and is not healed.
3. The early church did not practice this theology.
In 2 Timothy 4:20, Paul says, “Erastus remained at Corinth, but Trophimus I left sick at Miletus.” Why didn’t Paul, who was chosen to be an Apostle by Jesus, not follow Christ’s teaching and heal him? Or what about Timothy, the God-appointed elder, why did Paul not heal him? Instead Paul tells him in 1 Timothy 5:23, “No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.” Even the Apostle Himself was sick and never claims he was healed: “As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you. Even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn” (Gal. 4:13-14).
Ryan, I promise I am not trying to put you down or ridicule you. I fear that people who believe Jesus always heals all diseases will leave Him when he doesn’t heal them. I am afraid that if you present a Jesus that is primarily interested in providing earthly comfort, then those who cant get their earthly comfort will leave Him because they only came for the physical healing. The mission of Jesus is far bigger than our earthly comfort, it is the will of His father, the atonement of our sins, and the salvation of a people for the Glory of God.
Blessings to you man.
UPDATE: I went back to Ryans website, and found out that my comment had been deleted. I guess brother Ryan was not interested in hearing other views.