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RevivalDemeritPoints
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Date Posted:18/11/2009 3:26 AMCopy HTML

Hi All,

I think the topic of healing is one that needs to be addressed in particular for (but not limited to) all Revivalists, post-Revivalists and Pentecostals. This comes from many years of being told that "healing is the children's bread" in Revival (RCI and RF), then discovering a few months ago, that this misquote is not even in the Bible. 
Since leaving RF a year ago (after 20 years in), I have had many discussions with current and former revivalists (some now pentes) as well as people from various denominations including former evangelical Anglicans, Uniting Churchians(?), Baptists, Charismatic Catholics and Lutherans) on the matter of healing and miracles (along with many other topics). 

There are so many proof-texts (scriptures quoted out of context and used to mean something else) regarding this topic alone, that I thought it warranted a post on the matter.

I thought maybe we could try and think of some of the scriptures that are used to argue the side of Revivalists/many pentes etc that it is always God's will to heal us  (ie such as  Mark 16 -Believers shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover; Matt 7:7-8 Ask and it will be given to you..; Isaiah 53:4-5 -ie. the by his stripes we are healed topic)  and then look at each scripture in turn and try and debunk some of the myths, to ascertain what scripture says (in context) in these scriptures versus what is myth/made up/mere distortion of these various passages on the matter.

It seems that the Christian view on this matter is, as Ian stated recently in the chatbox "God is sovereign in his choices and in his actions".
This view is not supported by Revivalists (nor some Pente groups) in that they believe it is always God's will to heal someone and it is only our faith that prevents us from receiving the victory, in which case we need to pray for more faith to believe we will be healed etc.

Some other points (from the chatbox) are below... but it would be great for more light to be shed on some of these false/ out-of-context teachings,

God bless, 
RDP

17 Nov 09, 16:19
RDP: I am told (also by my now pentecostal/ex-revival friend) that it is not God's will for his children to be sick. It is the devil that makes people sick, and by Jesus Christ's stripes we are healed (physically) if we only believe it. So, Is it any wonder that people are turning away from Christianity altogether when people think that this is the Christian position? When I said "but we are told to pray 'God, not my will but yours be done'," I was told that "yes, but it also says "on earth as it is in heaven", and "do you think heaven has any sick people in it? Hmmm bizarre comeback, but anyway.. Comments welcome :glad:
17 Nov 09, 16:37
Talmid: RDP Why not start a new thread on the forum proper? If you google 'word of faith' you'll get some useful info. Theologically, they're missing the point that although the kingdom of God came with JC, the reign of Satan will continue until JC returns. You could always shoot back with the question of whether they think people should "have faith" to avoid death 'cos that's the ultimate physical sickness!



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Re:Signs, Wonders, Healings & Miracles:Are Christians called to live a charmed life?

Date Posted:18/11/2009 4:09 AMCopy HTML

Hi, RDP.

Revivalists (and Pentes) often proclaim that healing results from an act of faith: no healing = inadequate/insufficient faith. Such a position is simplistic at the very least, and completely naive, insofar that (a) the responsibility for the miraculous is transfered from God to human beings; (b) faith becomes naught but a "commodity" to be wielded rather than an attribute to be nurtured; and (c) it altogether fails to grapple with the biblical principles of "strength in weakness", and the clear theology of suffering that's enshrined within Scripture.

The issue, in a nutshell, is a skewed approach to, and (mis)understanding of, "Christian triumphalism". Instead of appreciating the "present/future" or "now/not yet" aspects to the irrupting Kingdom of God, Revivalists (along with a good slice of the Pente crowd), mistakenly assumes that the Kingdom is here in all of its fullness! Such a position certainly makes for a nice, abstract sort of a belief system. But it clearly fails the all-too-crucial "reality" test! And when the "healing" doesn't come as anticipated/expected, the "name-it-and-claim-it" atheology subscribed to by such people inevitably leads to a crushing sense of doubt and self-condemnation.

Blessings,

Ian

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Re:Signs, Wonders, Healings & Miracles:Are Christians called to live a charmed life?

Date Posted:19/11/2009 2:11 AMCopy HTML

Hey Ian and anyone else reading,

RE:
Revivalists (and Pentes) often proclaim that healing results from an 
act of faith: no healing = inadequate/insufficient faith. Such a position is simplistic at the very least, and completely naive, insofar that (a) the responsibility for the miraculous is transferedfrom God to human beings; (b) faith becomes naught but a "commodity" to be wielded rather than an attribute to be nurtured; and (c) it altogether fails to grapple with the biblical principles of "strength in weakness", and the clear theology of suffering that's enshrined within Scripture. (Ian)

Very interesting, this reminds me of something HG said in the chatbox a while back about being concerned that she didn't feel like she automatically had enough love for others and was wondering whether this made her unchristian. So again, faith is like love then - an attribute to be nurtured - which scriptures could you point us to Ian, that support this notion, specifically?

Your comments also reminded me of something that was discussed here about a year ago (maybe less) about perseverance.
In particular, this scripture (the bold bit in particular) springs to mind: (Romans 5:1-5)

1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

-and this is a fantastic scripture, I think, for us ex-revvers to explore -suffering? we were told we could just pray and then we would be happy though? We were the happy-clappers! Weren't we? ;)

Also Galien, good point about the pastor's sister-in-law dying resulting in confusion, guilt and shame.
This is common in Revival when disaster,death, tragedy etc strikes -where is the blessing in these things -so they think God must not be happy with them -they ponder and make up their own minds why things happen. 
How many times did I hear, if you're not happy about something you are the problem, get more involved or go "witness" to 10 people -in other words go tell people they must glossolate or otherwise they are damned to hell (sorry revivalists reading if that sounds too harsh, but if you are honest with yourselves, that's what it does boil down to from the revivalist standpoint). No encouragement from scripture, just good old guilts and condemnation to keep the flock in fear and in line.
Again, it seems to boil down to good old lack of understanding about what the scriptures say about such matters. Lloydism at its worst.

The issue, in a nutshell, is a skewed approach to, and (mis)understanding of, "Christian triumphalism". Instead of appreciating the "present/future" or "now/not yet" aspects to the irrupting Kingdom of God, Revivalists (along with a good slice of the Pente crowd), mistakenly assumes that the Kingdom is here in all of its fullness! Such a position certainly makes for a nice, abstract sort of a belief system. But it clearly fails the all-too-crucial "reality" test! And when the "healing" doesn't come as anticipated/expected, the "name-it-and-claim-it" atheology subscribed to by such people inevitably leads to a crushing sense of doubt and self-condemnation.

Interesting, hadn't heard of Christian triumphalism before but I can't help but think if so many weren't told this lie about God -that we are called to lead a charmed life of prosperity as opposed to suffering, trials and hardships (reality) then they wouldn't have stopped believing in God, because reality doesn't lie.
I was going to say "wouldn't have lost their faith in God" but then if faith is God given, can it be lost or just left unurtured?

God bless,

RDP
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Re:Signs, Wonders, Healings & Miracles:Are Christians called to live a charmed life?

Date Posted:19/11/2009 10:32 PMCopy HTML

Good morning, RDP.

Scripture has quite a bit to say on the subject of faith (and faithfulness), so I'm somewhat loathe to be providing a list of "proof-texts". I'm all too conscious of the fact that there are a range of Hebrew and Greek words that intersects with the theme, but which aren't necessarily translated into English as "faith". Consequently, I'd rather point you back to the earlier discussions that we had on the subject of "salvation in Luke", where "faith", and it's development, featured prominently. The contexts of those passages that we corporately exegeted, should help to inform the current discussion. However, given that you've asked about nurturing faith, I'll suggest that you reflect afresh on Romans 10:14-17:

"How are they to call on one they have not believed in? And how are they to believe in one they have not heard of? And how are they to hear without someone preaching to them? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How timely is the arrival of those who proclaim the good news.” But not all have obeyed the good news, for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” Consequently faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the preached word of Christ."

The key point in our passage is the gradual unfolding and developing of faith that directly results from hearing the word of Christ preached faithfully. Faith develops from being receptive to preaching that extols Christ's teaching. Contrast this with what passed as "preaching" in Revivalism. In Revivalism, enduring faith was not nurtured because the "diet" was altogether unsuitable to the task, being wholly deficient in Christ's word. In your previous RF context, people were incorrectly, and arrogantly "preached at"; they were told that if they weren't healed, for example, that it was because they
lacked faith! How ironic that Romans 10 places the emphasis for the nurturing of peoples' faith, and its outcomes (such as healing, according to Revivalist atheology at any rate), on the very ones who destroyed any possibility for such a development taking place to begin with: the "preachers"!

Of course this is one of the reasons that I "bang-on" so much about the absolute need for people to be fellowshipping in orthodox Christian churches, places where they will be fed on Christ's word, and then by men and women who take the preaching task very seriously, and who have received the preparation needed to do it justice.

Blessings,

Ian

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Re:Signs, Wonders, Healings & Miracles:Are Christians called to live a charmed life?

Date Posted:19/11/2009 11:22 PMCopy HTML

RDP

Very interesting, this reminds me of something HG said in the chatbox a while back about being concerned that she didn't feel like she automatically had enough love for others and was wondering whether this made her unchristian. So again, faith is like love then - an  attribute to be  nurtured - which scriptures could you point us to Ian, that support this notion, specifically?

I have always had the problem that I love people too much. I actually think it is a temperament thing, and certainly not anything to feel bad about if one is not automatically drawn to people.  I have two daughtersd. One is an extrovert who adores people. The other one is quiet and takes a while to warm up to people. Some things come more naturally to some people than others. Over time though, god can and does change everyone who has a heart open to his word. 

1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we  have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we  rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  3Not only so, but we  also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  4perseverance, character; and character, hope.  5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

-and this is a fantastic scripture, I think, for us ex-revvers to explore -suffering? we were told we could just pray and then we would be happy though? We were the happy-clappers! Weren't we? ;)

Um, not quite all. Me being the one who refused to toe the party line could only operate on what I had seen happen. Everyone suffers to a greater or lesser extent, christian or non christian. In my experience that scripture is completely right, when one endures hardship and their heart is god's it does produce character.

Also Galien, good point about the pastor's sister-in-law dying resulting in confusion, guilt and shame.

Was difficult for a lot of people at the time. The lady who died was also a pastor's wife. The bible says that rain falls on the just and the unjust alike. I have never thought being a christian gave anyone some sort of magical protection, and I was never sure why revival thought that. Some pentes are even worse. Sometimes people get a healing, sometimes they don't. I think people sometimes think god isn't allowed to say no. 

 the "name-it-and-claim-it" atheology subscribed to by such people inevitably leads to a  crushing  sense of doubt and self-condemnation.

And why wouldn't it. Who tries to push god around by saying to god "you will do this because my words have power to MAKE (!) you act". Then they get upset when they don't succeed in pushing god around. This is one of the weirdest things I have heard belief wise, and at times it causes a fair amount of loud converstaion between myself and my dearest christian friend. But she is a Hinn enthusiast and won't be swayed. Me being my cheeky self said I would make more money getting a job for 10 years and saving it than I would from trying to convince god he owed me.

Interesting, hadn't heard of Christian triumphalism before but I can't help but think if so many weren't told this lie about God -that we are called to lead a charmed life of prosperity as opposed to suffering, trials and hardships (reality) then they wouldn't have stopped believing in God, because reality doesn't lie.

No, it doesn't, and the very fact jesus had nowhere to lay his head speaks volumes to me. One can love god or mammon, not both.
 
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Re:Signs, Wonders, Healings & Miracles:Are Christians called to live a charmed life?

Date Posted:20/11/2009 3:11 AMCopy HTML

Fremde,

I was amused at your apt "push God around" metaphor. It was common in the sub Revival groups I had fellowshipped with, to extend that further (especially for healing) to teaching that there was a formula laid down and God must obey it, because he cannot lie and is always true to His Word.

Yes, I wondered where they got that idea. God obey man? Yeah right.

 I guess my final eye-opener was when my last fellowship got into the Toronto so-called blessing. I couldn't be part of it. It smacked of demon possession to me. The pastor's mother (she also was the widow of a deceased Revival Centre pastor) approached me and said that she observed that I was uncomfortable (in the meeting where they first tested the fad and people were uncontrollably laughing etc.) she then warned me to be careful I was not blaspheming the Holy Spirit. In retrospect I should have rebuked her, but alas I didn't. Within a few weeks I departed, the whole "let's get entertained" theme of the fellowship had started to fracture everything.

Hmm. I thought it was a lot more about performance art,  attention seeking and fitting in with the crowd. I understand people loving god. I don't understand, or want to be part of loving god by biting the dust (had a laminectomy on my neck in 1996 and I am NOT throwing myself onto the ground), clucking like a chicken, laughing until I burst a blood vessel or doing multiple somersaults around the auditorium. I was always under the impression that we have control over the spirit.

I hope you are not confusing wealth handled wisely, with mammon. Wealth only becomes mammon when it is used corruptly and/or becomes a "god". I have met some pretty mean and selfish poor people as well as rich, as I would venture you had too. However the "prosperity" doctrine stinks and makes those that may be struggling for what ever reason, feel guilty. I never heard much "sharing" preached along side prosperity doctrine. The rich are exhorted by the Bible, not to be highminded, not to trust in uncertain riches, to be rich in good works etc. (1 Timothy 6:17 & 18).

No, I meant the kind where money is god. I cannot cope with the hill$ong mini mes where the dollar, one's status and one's outer appearance is everything. The prosperity message is pure genious for those it benefits and just sad for those not so well off who believe it and continue to send their widow's mite, not out of a generous heart but because it is presented as some kind of holy investment plan guaranteed to give a return. I'm not saying everyone does that, but some do. Yuk and double yuk. No scriptural basis whatsoever.
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Re:Signs, Wonders, Healings & Miracles:Are Christians called to live a charmed life?

Date Posted:26/02/2011 7:28 AMCopy HTML

Here is something that I like to call the "GOD EFFECT"

We all know that no one really was healed by god in the geelong revival centre corporation. And that no ones life was made better by praying to the grcc god...RIGHT?  Well no we don't and we never will. If people believe that praying to a god or a saint or even a tuna sandwich will heal them from some simple illness or 24 hour flu it just might do that. And if we  prays for a better job or car or house or wife with the help of the brothers in the grcc it just might happen,and we can thank what every we want for this. There is no proof that it did or that it didn't because of the grcc. If a prayer takes place a week a day before or a week before or month or even a years or more something good happened that was prayed for we tend to contribute it to that prayer. And this even happen when someone else prays for us as when were were a new born or comatose and had no understanding of a god or tuna sandwich.

But causation and correlation are two different thing. When the rooster crows the sun comes up. Magic!

But what if there is some power in all places of god? What if just being in a place that had many people in there with you thinking along the same lines as you do with the singing and the praying and the preaching all leading up to a wonderful feeling as if god can do anything that you ask of him?  What if this is just an effect that make us giiddy with the lords power that we make things happen by changing what we were doing wrong to a more positive out looking action. This is not gods work it's just that Oprah thing that people all around the world believe with out actually being anything?

You may change the place where you pray and congregate but it's not where you are that god cares about but how much faith you have in him...or the tuna sandwich.

http://www.wimp.com/placeboeffect/

Have a nice day :)
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Re:Signs, Wonders, Healings & Miracles:Are Christians called to live a charmed life?

Date Posted:12/03/2011 2:38 AMCopy HTML

Thank you great spirit in the sky for the washing of our farm lands in Japan. Thank  you for your cleansing fires and waters. Thank you old white man for you remembering us from time to time and with the great water.

What happened to Ian? I miss not reading his posts.
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Re:Signs, Wonders, Healings & Miracles:Are Christians called to live a charmed life?

Date Posted:12/03/2011 3:03 AMCopy HTML

Thanks for 'blessing' us with your presence again, 'Canuck'.

Thank you great spirit in the sky for the washing of our farm lands in Japan. Thank  you for your cleansing fires and waters. Thank you old white man for you remembering us from time to time and with the great water. I see. So God should make sure that only 'good stuff' happens, eh? Pull out your Bible and turn to Matthew 5:45. The reverse is equally true, as such describes life lived in a world thoroughly affected by human sin.

What happened to Ian? I miss not reading his posts. Well, yours are always good for a quick chuckle.

Goose.

Ian
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Re:Signs, Wonders, Healings & Miracles:Are Christians called to live a charmed life?

Date Posted:14/03/2011 5:44 AMCopy HTML

At one time we use to believe that the world was flat.
And we use to believe that the sun revolved around the earth.
And at one time we use to believe that earthquakes and Tsunamis and flooding and fire that destroyed cities were the punishments from gods. 

We've come a long way from those primitive time.  Or have you?

The bible is just a bunch of fairy tales to scare the people into following the ruling class. And it still works.

SUCKERS!!
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Re:Signs, Wonders, Healings & Miracles:Are Christians called to live a charmed life?

Date Posted:14/03/2011 5:49 AMCopy HTML

'Canuck',

Ha, ha, ha. How could anyone hope to refute such a convincing and logically rigorous thesis?!

Goose.

Ian
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