What are we missing?

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to “attack” anyone or denomination.

There is a saying that goes “You have many problems until you have a health problem. Then all your problems become one.”

Scenario: you are at a three-star Michelin restaurant. The chef personally sets the most expensive world-renowned house special (dish) in front of you. He does this with a lot of flair. He waits expectantly for the praise you are about to heap on him. You sample it, and while it is delicious, it doesn’t taste quite right, but you can’t put your finger on the reason. You conclude there’s an ingredient missing or not present in the right proportion. You have heard all hype. You are more confused than disappointed. So you can’t help but to ask the chef: “what is missing?”

  1. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. (John 14:12)
  2. “For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20-21)
  3. After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. (Luke 10:1) … “Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ …” (Luke 10:9)
  4. People with all kinds of sicknesses, diseases, and torments were brought to Jesus and He healed them. He didn’t just heal some; He healed them all (Matt. 4:23-24; 8:16-17; 9:35; 12:15; 14:14, 34-36; 15:30; 19:2; and 21:14)*

So why do we celebrate the random “spontaneous” healings like it is exceptional when such occurrences should be common place? Why are we not asking the hard questions? From the GOs or daddies and mummies in the lord to the deacon to the members; from the pope to the bishop to the priests to the laity. Shall we question everyone last person’s faith?

Why do we believe in the bible literally with the exception of healing? We know where the holy land is; we agree practically all the biblical figures and kings existed (except for someone such as Job that a minority believe was a story to convey a divine message).**
We live by the word of God: Give tithes because it’s in the Old Testament; Obey the 10 commandments; Believe in Jesus as the only way to salvation; Believe there’s life (in heaven or hell) after death. “He has also set eternity in the hearts of men.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11); Believe in the one true God who made everything there is – both visible and invisible.

But once it comes to healing, even the most ardent believers, the tongue talking members, the Bible thumping preachers, the most reverend bishops, the GOs, daddies and mummies in the Lord, all suddenly have an alternate explanation for not being able to heal on command. It suddenly becomes “it is God that heals”. That was never in contention. But Jesus, along with the twelve, extending to the 70 healed on command.

Why is it that “the best of us” (with the assumption that those who lead the flock should have faith at least as strong if not stronger than the flock) – all they can do is gamble when it comes to healing? Yes, I call it gambling because that is what it is. Probability shows that in any large enough sample size, certain things will be represented. For example, illnesses of various types. People of different colors, sexual orientations, heights, temperaments, and so on. So standing up and saying “there’s someone here …” is nothing but gambling. Even I can do it: “there’s someone that will read this article who is not a Nigerian”.
Compared to mediums, Christians are “learners”. Mediums have been “reading the room” for ages. So maybe we (Christians) did learn it from them. “Yes, yes, there’s a John here … or maybe it’s Jude. Your aunt wants you to know she’s OK on the other side.” How different is that from “there’s someone here”?

I am not sure who started it, or how far back in the modern history of the church it goes, but it has certainly become the fashionable get-out-of-jail-free-card across Pentecostal Christendom (at least in Nigeria) to play the “there’s someone here” card. Anyone afflicted should be able to go to the leadership of the church and expect healing. “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up;” (James 5:14-15). Even if the sick person’s faith is weak, the elders’ faith should make up for it. After all the father asked Jesus to help his unbelief (faith) when it came to his son’s illness and he got healed – “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:23-24).

“And Jesus departed from thence, and came nigh unto the sea of Galilee; and went up into a mountain, and sat down there. And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them:” (Matthew 15:29-30). Not one did he send away saying it is God that heals. Not one went away with the knowledge that he’s been healed but the physical manifestation is “gradual” until some random day in the future when the healing will be complete. Again there’s no contention about the fact that it is God that heals.
And no, an example such as Paul’s torn in the flesh are exceptions and not the norm, so we can’t generalize that (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). In fact, God specifically told him he’s to bear that ailment.

So what then shall we say about these things? They (biblical figures of the faith) had enough faith, or they were righteous enough that God had to honor his word when they prayed for healing in his name? Are we to conclude that from the pope to the laity; from the GOs and daddies and mummies in the Lord to the members, not one truly believes? Not one has a mustard seed sized faith? “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:10-11). If that conclusion is wrong (and I certainly hope so) then what is it we are missing?

I despair.

Solutions: No, I have no solutions. But we can start by treating our leaders as men instead of little gods. Jesus was relatively young and while he definitely was treated with respect and deference, it is certain he didn’t expect people to call him GO or daddy in the lord. Being called Rabbi (teacher) shows his humility despite being the son of God. He rejected being made king. By asking the hard questions (and “I don’t know but will search for answers alongside you” is an acceptable answer).

But I know there’s hope. To paraphrase Maximus Decimus Meridius (“The Gladiator”), “We shall have perfect bodies: not in this life, but in the next.”***

* https://irp-cdn.multiscreensite.com/07a0d844/files/uploaded/GWYW-Less10.pdf
** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Job_(biblical_figure)
*** Maximus Decimus Meridius: “I shall have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”

3:36am 12/28/2023

How big is your faith?

How big is your faith?

If as Jesus said (Luke 17:6 paraphrased, Matthew 17:20), you only need to have faith as small as a mustard seed to command mountains to move (should apply to healing as well), then there is real trouble!
Most pastors/churches just want you to worship in their churches or attend some event they are holding and “hope” you will get “your” healing. That’s leaving it completely to chance. (And if a couple of people out of several thousands do get healed, going by the way it is celebrated, it would have required an all-week party in Jesus’ time to celebrate the several people that got healed during similar gatherings. Unfortunately, even the few Pastors who seem to actively cause people to receive their healing have so much controversy surrounding them, it’s probably wise to keep a reasonable distance. There were no controversies surrounding the healing Jesus and the apostles performed – they were “self-evident”.)

Whereas in fact, during the time of Jesus and the Apostles, it was an “active ministry” – Jesus (and the Apostles) went out to actively heal people or people who approached them got healed.

So does it mean just as the rest of us, our pastors’ faith are not even as big as a small mustard seed?