John W. Hanson
Believe me, I know there are charlatans in every field, but it seems obvious to me that ministers who focus on faith and healing get an especially bad rap. Why is that? I’ve heard hundreds of stories about doctors who have made mistakes, misdiagnosed patients or even broke the law, but that doesn’t keep most of us from seeking out one of the many good doctors who are in practice, at the first sign of sickness. Lawyers are often accused of being crooked and they are the butt of many jokes, yet thousands of people hire lawyers each day. But then there’s those faith healers – how is it that a few bad apples can categorically disqualify the whole bunch in the court of public opinion?
The answer to that question probably lies more in the realm of spirit world than in the realm of logic. According to the Bible, disease and sickness are the result of man’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden. Satan talked Adam and Eve into following their own judgment rather than the directions given to them by God. Satan wanted them to live a shallow life rather than enjoy an abundant life centered around their relationship with God. That is still Satan’s modus operandi today. But Jesus came to save and to heal – to undo the damage caused by disobedience. Today He still uses people to spread the good news and offer healing to the general public, just like the twelve disciples did in the first century. It is still Satan’s job to convince mankind not to accept the life God intended for all of us to live.
The reason I know that faith healers are unfairly and inaccurately portrayed is because the greatest healer ever to walk the earth was routinely discredited by the skeptics of his day. John records that “There was a lot of grumbling about him among the crowds. Some argued, ‘He’s a good man,’ but others said, ‘He’s nothing but a fraud who deceives the people.’” (John 7:12 NLT)
Keep in mind that this man who was being called a fraud had been traveling throughout the country doing miraculous things before massive crowds. He had turned water into wine, multiplied loaves and fishes, healed the blind, caused the lame to walk, opened deaf ears, restored a withered hand, delivered people from mental illness, and even raised several from the dead. Yet, somehow, his detractors were able to stare at all the evidence and living witnesses and brazenly declare Him to be a fraud – proving that some people just make up their minds that they are not going to believe in the miraculous, no matter who many times it is demonstrated and documented.
Kudos to the men and women of faith who continue in the tradition of Christ and go about praying for the sick and sharing the Gospel with those who will listen. Jesus predicted that such people would be treated unfairly, just as He was. But He also told them that their reward would be great in heaven. Sure, there are times when people pray and God does not seem to answer. Our thinking is so limited that we can’t begin to understand why some prayers seem to get answered and others don’t. But I can assure you that faith still works and thousands of believers are still healed every year. I’ve personally seen people healed on many occasions. Truth be known, there are not as many fraudulent faith healers as you might think, they just get a bad rap — just like Jesus did.
John W. Hanson
This article “Faith Healers” by John W. Hanson was submitted personally to the Apostolic Information Services by Bro. Hanson. Used by permission. December 2010. It may be used for study & research purposes only.