Friday, April 17, 2009

You Have Heard It Said ...

I was reading Phil Moore's "A Healthy Theology of Healing" in the Newfrontiers Theological Papers section with great interest and I've always struggled with the well-known evangelical phrase; "Already But Not Yet". It's never sat quite comfortably with me because it seems to me that there is a built-in excuse for leaving things we can't manage or like to heaven. Sort of like the word "Continuationist" - which admits yes the gifts of the Spirit may continue but there is no suggestion of an "eagerly desiring" such gifts from a willing Holy Spirit to manifest in the church!

Phil Moore presented a much-better alternative!

"The Kingdom now but not yet ... We can say that there is evidence in the Bible that God may not choose to heal everyone immediately, but this is a long way from saying that sickness is either God’s normal means of sanctification or a
primary means for His glory. Jesus and the apostles talked very frankly and in some detail about the
suffering we must endure as Christians, but not one of them ever talked about the suffering of sickness in this context despite being surrounded daily by crowds of sick people. Importantly, not one of them ever told anyone who came to them for healing that they should go home and continue to glorify God by the faithful way in which they bore their sickness".

But rather;

“A Healthy Theology of Healing: The Kingdom has Already Come and is Ever-Increasing

"Despite the fact that Jesus had given the Twelve “authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and every sickness” (Mt 10:1), the combined efforts of nine of them failed to heal a child with epilepsy because the disciples lacked faith in the Father’s willingness (v16-20) and had not pursued the kind of intimacy with the Father which results in effective partnership (v21). We have not placed enough confidence in God’s willingness to heal those around us because we would rather not attribute their continued sickness to our lack of the persistent prayer which characterises true faith".

This is such a challenge and I found it so encouraging. Enough with the excuses! God IS willing to heal! The nuclear power station of the empty Cross and empty Tomb are producing enough power to raise the dead! The question is what my fuse box of faith is upto ...

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