Does God’s Promise to Heal All (Our experience as a door to theology)

This morning I mused weather or not Job found a disconnect between his thoughts on wealth and the wicked before and after his calamity. Today Pentecostal theologian Robin Parry explains how experience is the starting place in theology when he says that Job had to rewrite his theology in the aftermath of the devastating events that happened to him.

Parry’s main point discusses how our experience challenges his own tradition’s theology of healing, and is well worth a read (here is just a part):

When one considers experience, the claim that “God will heal all who ask him in faith for healing” can be (a) tested, and (b) demonstrated to be false. You see, no amount of positive testimonies of people who prayed for healing (in faith) and were healed would demonstrate the truth of the claim. Such experiences are perfectly compatible with more modest claims, such as “God will heal some of those who ask him in faith.” But it only takes one instance of a person who asked in faith for healing and was not healed to demonstrate the falsity of the claim. And we do not have just one example—we have thousands of examples. And I mean examples of those who prayed for healing for themselves (or others) and who did not waver in their confidence that there would be (or was already) healing . . . and there was no healing. Such experiences demonstrate conclusively the falsity of the claim that “God will heal all who ask him in faith for healing.” I do believe that God’s endgame is to heal all and in the new creation all will be healed. But in the interim God allows and uses things that are less than the ideal to bring about his purposes. Healing in the present is a sign of the coming kingdom to be sought. But please let’s stop promising things that are not true.

I think I would add to this that there is a difference between ‘healing’ and ‘cure’. Even when God heals, all that happens does not simply vanish. Grief and illness may still take their toll. But, God is still working something deeper. But, certainly, if there is no ‘healing’ (i.e., complete and total cure), let’s stop not only telling things that aren’t true, but also saying that faith is lacking. Listen, rather than invalidate someone’s experience.

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5 thoughts on “Does God’s Promise to Heal All (Our experience as a door to theology)

  1. Amen!

    My experience is very much of finding healing in being able to live within the limits of my illness. That’s not easy, and goes against all my natural inclinations, but within that I can be – and to me that’s my healing.

  2. I take your point about the difference between healing and cure. When our son Neil was terminally ill with cancer, both Dorothy, my wife, and I prayed daily for a cure. There was no cure. When, one night, and completely independently, without any discussion, we both prayed for peace, for Neil and for us, we immediately felt a sense of peace. We turned to each other in amazement. (We had been praying silently, and neither knew of the other’s prayers.) The only conclusion I can come to is that when we pray, we need to pray for the right thing. I cannot belive that God wanted Neil to die, but what is so very obvious is that He has changed my life totally as a result. New opportunities and challenges have come, which I would never in my wildest dreams have expected. God did not “cure” Neil, but he has used my oppenness to his power to work miracles. It is all too easy to believe that what we want is God’s will too.

  3. You know we make alot of excuses for God and we really need to stop! God does not need our excuses he needs us to study and know his will so when trouble comes knocking we are able to take authority and win the VICTORY! see it is very easy to know the will of God in our lives and walk in that perfect will. 1st God’s will is not always accomplished God does not always get his way now before you freak hear me out. Is everyone going to heaven? NO! yet the Word of God says that it is his WILL that non should perish but that all should receive everlasting life. Ok now that we have that out of the way. 2nd what does the word SALVATION mean? It means: health, prosperity, deliverance, aid, rescue, victory & help (it means the same in the Hebrew and the Greek) now think of any trouble you can get into here on earth that 1 of those 7 words will not pull you out of. Thats right there is nothing. 3rd look up the names of God ( I am going to make you do a little bit of work). 4th and the 4th commandment Ex 20:7 You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, now that word “VAIN” means (Emptiness, worthlessness, or futility). “WHAT WERE HIS NAMES AGAIN” 5th the Lord’s Prayer, in refering to His will, his will be done on earth as it is in HEAVEN, so here he tells us to pray that his will be accomplished on earth as it is in heaven, this thing you are praying about does it exist in heaven? I could go on all night I think you get the point but now you know what was meant when the Word says to PREACH THE GOSPEL, GOSPEL MEANS GOOD NEWS PREACH the GOOD NEWS of JESUS CHRIST.

    The LORD Bless you all, and give you wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of HIM.

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