For starters, I’ve always found it fascinating that the same people who claim these ideas are “cruel”, are often the ones who claim these, “faith healers” are the result of being, “heaped up” by those who have, “itching ears” in order to tell them what they want to hear.
I don’t know anybody who would seek out someone to tell them this type of message. But apparently, ----that’s what’s going on?
That being said, before going further, it should be noted that many so-called, “faith healers” would reject this portrayal. For example, Curry Blake teaches those who are sick do not need to have any faith. Nor do they need to repent of any sin in order to be healed. Instead, the responsibility rests on the one ministering to believe and manifest the healing on their behalf. Similarly, Kenneth E. Hagin used to say that he blamed himself, and never the sick in such scenarios.
Now, as for the “cruel” aspect of the claim—-I’m not sure any Bible-believing Christian really wants to go here. Why? Well, let’s put it in perspective: which is worse? To be in a wheelchair your entire life, or to burn for all eternity in hell? Obviously, the latter. Yet Christians will say that those who go to hell, go there for nearly the identical reason the, “faith healers” give for why a person may be in a wheelchair: unbelief.
So if cruelty in this context is being measured by the level of insult to injury, well—-the “insult” in this comparison is essentially the same—— but the “injury” is unfathomably far more severe.
And yet the damnation of the unbeliever is an orthodox view.
But let’s take this one step further . . .
Aren’t there large sects within the Body of Christ who believe God predestines people to burn in hell for all eternity by hardening their hearts so they cannot help but have sinful unbelief?
I think it’s fairly obvious if we continue down this accusatory path, it’s not just the “faith healers” that are going to look bad . . . Or, even the worst.
The bottom line is that we live in a world of cruel, unfortunate realities. Concepts that are by no means constrained within the sermons of ministers we don’t like. Thus, we should consider that the emotional difficulty caused by certain ideas not only doesn’t make them untrue, it arguably makes them more congruent with these realities.
“Yes”, you may say, “but are these ideas true?”---We could get into that discussion (and we do in our other material which I will link to below) but I feel that’s somewhat a secondary issue when it comes to the types of comments in this meme. While some may say it’s the fact that these ideas are false that ultimately lead to them being cruel---I suspect in many cases, it’s actually our perception of them being cruel that has led to our conclusion that they must be false. In other words, we are allowing our disdain for these concepts to either keep us from looking more into them, or poisoning the investigation if we do. Thus, we have to do some introspection and address any bias or emotional triggers within ourselves before we are in a position to assess this topic objectively.
If you’ve done this, and think you’re ready for the truth, no matter what it may be, then I would encourage you to check out the resources below and follow The Objective Believer as we continue to tackle these tough questions.
Separating the Emotion from the Analysis