Questions From Our Readers
In this section we attempt to answer some very important questions from our readers. We want to place our response on this website because they tend to be common among those that are searching for complex Biblical answers. We'll cover more topics as they become available.
I was wondering if you could answer my questions.
Regarding Divine healing -- I experienced Divine healing before, and I am in firm belief that God heals people. But the question is, does God always heal us? Very few people in church would dare to deny that God heals people even now; stories of Divine hearing abound. Many people just don't think that God responds very often to our call when we or someone we love fall ill. This is a problem of personal experience rather than theology or reasoning -- many people just have not experienced Divine healing even after they prayed desperately. I was browsing a book by Dr. James Dobson the other day, in which Dr. Dobson refers to a paster whose teenage daughter was afflicted with bone cancer. The pastor and the family prayed to God for healing, and in fact the whole church prayed for the girl, so there were literally thousands of people praying for her. The pastor, based on the a faith that he was supposed to have, declared to the hospital doctors that they would find no cancer cells in the operation since God would respond to the prayers. However, after the girl was sent into the operation room they waited outside, and they waited and waited, until they realized that this was gonna be a real surgery as too much time went by. The girl, in the end, had a leg cut off. The pastor's faith was on the verge of collapse.
I think this kind of stories abound as much as those of Divine healing. In your opinion, what was happening there? Why did God allowed the girl afflicted with cancer in the first place? Why didn't God respond to their prayers? You emphasized in your writings that the faith must be of the "Biblical" kind. But we are just humans and we don't have the ability to scrutinize our own mental states to see if what we are holding fits the definition of the Biblical faith. Generally I call this kind of problems the "Job's Problem". I have been struggle with this problem for many years, since, as you describe in your writings, I was not certain what God would do in the next occasion. The church teaches us that God has the full authority to do whatever He thinks is good for us. We may not understand but we should accept it, because, as Dr. Dobson points out in his book, the only other option is hopelessness. This teaching is just too familiar to me, and, to be honest, I am very sick of it. However, we cannot predict God's will. We are left with no option but to accept anything that falls on us and to praise the Lord at the same time. I was really tired of this, and this is why your writings interested me so much.
I know this may not be a "wise" question to ask, but I will be very, very appreciating if you could answer me. Let me introduce myself a little bit. I am 39. I grew up in Taiwan and got a Ph.D degree in linguistics at University of California, Irvine, Now I am teaching at a local university in my hometown in Taiwan. When I was young I went to a church which originated in Japan with a loose affiliation with the Methodist doctrines. Later when I was in the US I went to Saddleback Church in Orange County. I hadn't been to church for a long time until recently.
Thank you for taking time reading such a long message. I look for your reply and your comments on my questions.
A Brother in Taiwan
Our Answers. . .
Why Most Christians Don't Get Healed (Pt. 2)
Another reader from South Africa asks...
We have a new and better covenant and we are the seed of Abraham therefore have a mind blowing inheritance. Why then do we experience such suffering? Is it lack of being conscious of Jesus grace? Paul was under the new covenant and suffered greatly, however, one thing I have noticed is that the suffering he experienced was only due to the fact that he was preaching the true good news, the gospel of grace. I've researched his suffering and it had nothing to do with what some of us believers are experiencing. Sickness, financial lack, etc not due to the gospel at all. Why do we experience these things? Is it a curse from the law/lack of receiving grace?
Could you please help me by answering or pointing me in the right direction?
May I please ask another question? I am a little confused on faith & belief, what is the difference? Is it true to say that the more grace or Christ's righteousness you receive the more power you will walk in? (seeing signs, wonders & miracles). Is faith then simply believing in Gods grace, in Jesus?
Thank you So much. God bless you.
Our Answers. . .
Belief, Faith And God's Power
Concerning Divine Healing...A reader asks...
In 2 Corinthians 12:7-11, Paul asked God three times to take the thorn away from him. I understood this verse to mean that it is not God's will to heal everyone -- but that God will give us the grace to bear the pain. Concerning Paul, some Bible commentaries say it could be malaria, eye-sight problems, migranes, etc. It could be bad health because of his beatings. In one of your previous articles, you say it is God's will to heal everyone. If that is the case, how can healing and "my grace is sufficient" be reconciled? Was it possible that God did heal Paul of his thorn? Is this teaching false when God refused to heal Paul? If so, this teaching is really becoming popular these days.
Our Answers. . .
we thought should also receive an answer.
Does God Really Do Whatever He Wants To Us?
(Note: Some questions are edited for use in this section.)
A reader in the United States writes ...
Wanted to express my appreciation for your article/comments:
"The Discipleship And Shepherding Movement"
Back in the late 70's & early 80's I was a member of the Shepherding Movement. It took me the better part of 2-3 yrs to recover. Saying never again.
Wouldn't you know it here I am (family of 6) just recently severed ties with another related group. (name is edited).
My family & I recently severed ties after having been members (approx. 3 yrs) of this congregation after finding many of the original Scripturally errant practices in place that I had first encountered with the original movement. It appears that the group, although I believe originally founded in the Spirit of Christ... has done nothing more than follow suit with the Shepherding Movement. The Template that was being used in the 70's & 80's is the same. And the overall error so aptly captured in Derek Prince's final admission to the fact. Having defined the error of the movement as that of the Galation error... "Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" ~Galatians 3:3
I wanted to convey my appreciation for your article it seemed comprehensive and yet concise, especially when considering some of the elusive complexities of the SM.
I wondered if you have had any similar comments about these groups that use the same template?
In His Mercy,
A brother in Christ
Our Response. . .
Contending For The Faith
Another Reader Asked:
The bible says that saints will reign with christ for 1000 years. Is this reign in heaven or on earth? Do you know of any theologians or churches that teach that it is in heaven?
Hope to hear from you.
Our Response. . .