Categories
Suffering

Lord, why am I suffering?

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.


2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Affliction and suffering are a God-ordained part of the normal Christian life.

One of the reasons God ordains affliction, suffering and illness in the Christian’s life is that he or she can in turn help others who are going through similar affliction, hardship and illness.

Many Christian groups have dedicated “Healing Services”.  Typically, the pastor calls the diseased, disabled or despairing person to the front and claims their healing in Jesus’ name.

However, in 2 Corinthians 1:3-11, we read that God has ordained that Christians face affliction for a purpose – to help, encourage and comfort others facing affliction.

It may well be God’s will to heal the diseases, disabled or despairing Christian (through miracle or medicine), but that’s God’s work not ours.  We should certainly pray for God to heal people, but it’s always with the caveat, “Your will be done, not ours”. 

It may also not be God’s will to heal as God may have an even greater purpose in mind. 

Pastors certainly do not have the power or authority to claim healings in Jesus’ name.

Categories
Christian Worldview False teachers

Why the Prosperity Gospel is so poisonous

I’m sure you’ve heard the following:

“You are a King’s Kid as a Christian, you are royalty!  You shouldn’t settle for second best!”

 “God favour should overflow into your life as you walk in God’s anointing and enjoy health and financial prosperity!”

 “God hates poverty and illness, you should claim your victory!”

 “If you’re not walking in full victory of sin, illness and financial difficulty, you either lack faith or have unconfessed sin. Jesus came to give us abundant life!”

This is the Prosperity Gospel.  

The Prosperity Gospel (PG) is called so because it teaches that God desires all his people to be prosperous.  Physically prosperous.  Healthy and wealthy.

To put it simply, the PG is the belief that God grants health and wealth to those with the right kind of faith.

The PG movement (according to Kate Bowler1, an assistant professor of the history of Christianity in North America at Duke University) has its roots in the late 1800’s in American tradition of New Thought.  That is, that positive thoughts yield positive circumstances; and negative thoughts, negative circumstances.

The American New Thought movement took a Christian slant with a Pastor named EW Kenyon, who ministered in the US in the early 1900’s.

Categories
Healing

Does God want to heal me?

I know this is a very sensitive question as many Christians struggle with all kinds of illness, depression, mental illness and genetic disorders.

Note that the question is not, “Can God heal me?”

We know that God can.

If God can create the universe by speaking words, he can do anything.

The reason I ask is because some churches are teaching that Jesus died to take away all ours sins and sicknesses.  They teach that physical health demonstrates a robust faith and physical weakness, or illness, demonstrates a weak faith. Health is therefore an indicator of the strength of one’s faith.

Categories
Atonement

Don’t be hoodwinked this Easter

The cross was not a sad mistake, as some may think, but crucial to the mission of Jesus.

At the cross, Jesus made a once-for-all sacrifice for the sins of the world.  He made propitiation to God for all the sins of all of God’s people throughout all the ages.

Jesus’ death is central to Christianity.

The symbol for Christianity, is not an empty tomb or a dove, but a cross.

The importance of the cross may seem self-evident, but a characteristic of prosperity preachers, with their false theology and ”victorious” version of Christianity, is that they downplay the importance of the cross.  They speak about victory, anointing and breakthrough; but they seldom speak about the sin-bearing death of Jesus.

Categories
Suffering

Don’t live in cuckoo-cuckoo land

syriaWe don’t need the Bible to tell us about the reality of suffering and evil, it’s all too common to us.  The Bible says we live in a fallen, broken, scarred world where evil and suffering are prevalent.  In fact, the Bible is the only book in our world that can truly explain why the world is like it is.