Sunday, October 7, 2012

Am I Willing to Admit That I Might Be Wrong??

image from here

Today I came across the Facebook statuses of one of my closest friends from college. In it she said: 

God will provide for your every need. Except, he might not heal you, because he might want you to have that sickness, so that you can learn something from it. #LIE

I commented that I did not think that the second part was a lie, because while He doesn't necessarily want any of His children to suffer, that in His sovereignty, He does not heal everyone. While my friend believes that God wants to heal everyone, I don't think He does. Obviously, illness and disease is NOT from God but He has allowed it (in the case of Job) or even used it to bring glory to His name. 

Here's the thing... sometimes when I say that I think God uses illness for His glory people say two things. They say that a good Father wouldn't cause an illness. To that I would say that God, at least to my knowledge, doesn't cause the illness. In fact, we did! Humanity introduced sin into the world and although Christ's atonement allows us to stand righteous before God, we are not automatically absolved from the consequences of a fallen world. Illness is a part of our fallen world and God Himself choses how to deal with it when we ask Him for healing. 

Secondly, people say that a healed person brings more glory for a person to walk in health, healed by God, than when He uses a person's illness for His glory. Now, I think that is a lie. Who are we to say what brings God more glory? Why is a person healed a bigger impact than a person who, in spite of their illness, still praises God? It is here too that I am sometimes accused of allowing my experience of people who are ill but still praise God to influence my theology. I say, no, because I don't believe that Scripture affirms that God wants all healed. My experience is just an outflowing, a confirmation of sorts, of what I see in God's word. 

Now, let's be clear. I don't think God wants people to be sick, much like I don't think He wanted Adam and Eve to allow sin to enter the world. I don't think He wants to see us suffer and I don't think He wants to see creation slowly destroyed by depravity. Yet, for some unknown reason, sometimes He allows bad things to happen and God-loving people die from illnesses that He could have healed. 

Furthermore, I think that we as a Church need to be more bold about asking for healing. Just because I don't think God wants to and will heal each person, doesn't mean that I don't believe we shouldn't ask. Yet, I am also comfortable with the reality that we live in a fallen world and so many things about how God works in this fallen world are beyond my comprehension. 

I was sitting here this afternoon, just mulling this over. Often, as a seminary student, I am accused of putting God in a box and not allowing Him to be supernatural. I am accused of being a know it all. I am accused of being prideful and arrogant. 

And you know what? Sometimes, these people are right. Sometimes, in spite of my best efforts, my relationship with God becomes more about school and less about Him. Sometimes I talk like I know more about the Lord than other people. Sometimes, I think I am better than other people. 

And sometimes I am just wrong. 

There are so many things that I am not willing to be wrong on. Fundamental issue of our faith must be preserved in an orthodox manner so that the Gospel message will remain intact. On so many things, I am not willing to entertain the idea that I am wrong because those things are the foundation of my relationship with God.

Yet, others, I am finding, I need to be careful to not harden my heart and close my ears to what others are saying because maybe it is something that I need to hear. I need to be careful that in my hurry and zeal to protect orthodoxy that I don't drown out the Lord's correction in my life. 

So, all this to say. This healing thing... I disagree with my friend and many others on God's desire to heal. I do think we need to be careful when making blanket statements about His desire to heal, but I also want people to be more open to asking for healing in the first place.

And above all, I want to always be willing to let the Lord guide me. 

So, today, I am willing to admit that I might be wrong. I don't think I am, but just maybe, I have had it all wrong this whole time. 


Les said...

thanks for sharing your heart and being vulnerable!

Tiina Mitchell said...

Good post on a complicated, and often controversial, subject!