The Independent reports on OFCOM sanctions against a Christian TV channel for showing programmes where pastors have claimed to heal diseases such as cancer with the likes of olive oil and Ribena (i.e., blackcurrant squash), which was supposed to represent the blood of Christ.
For someone like me who does believe in the healing ministry, this is particularly sickening, because this irresponsible behaviour masks the quiet, humble and gentle ministry of many.
I did a quick investigation online into one of the pastors named, a certain Paul Lewis. Was it just bad English that said he had not a BA or an MA but an MBA in Theology? (If you doubt me, read it here.) I guess ministry is big business.
Oh, funnily enough it is: you can buy his Anointed Prosperity Kit, which includes the ‘miracle olive oil soap’, by the way, along with the ‘divine prosperity cross necklace’ (because that is what the Cross is all about). It would be hilarious were it not so horrific.
But not to worry, he’s a real Mother Teresa type at heart. Back to that ‘About’ page:
Only once in a life- time does some-one come along with such a gifting yet humble and caring spirit to share on missions, orphanages, crisis care intervention and more to the brothers and sisters in the World.
So nothing to worry about there, then, after all. I must have it all wrong.
The trouble is, how does the Christian Church guard against these situations? We can’t do anything to stop individuals setting themselves up like this. Does anyone have any bright ideas?
The Altar Egos are here
With a swig of Ribena that’s swell
Golly gosh no more sweltering in …..you know where!
Maybe we’re a bit too ” quiet, humble and gentle” in our ministry of many? That, or more who have been healed should speak up about it? Trouble is, in this day of modern technology, medical advances and cure all medicines etc non-Christians and even many Christians don’t seem to believe in the concept of miracles anymore, even when they hear or see it for themselves. Sadly, the same often goes for prayer! I heard a debate about miracles on Jeremy Vine the other week where a teenage girl had been in a coma for quite a while. When the parents decide she should be baptised, as the priest sprinkled the water on her she came out of the coma! To me that was God and even the parents agreed it was a miracle, but the doctor on the programme said often coma patients do ‘just come round’ suddenly and that it was a coincidence! Unfortunately people seem to trust Doctors (fallible humans) more than God! Our job is to keep spreading the Good News and if people reject it that, as Pam points, out will be their undoing!
Getting the right balaqnce between discernment and not quenching the Spirit can be very difficult.
Reflecting on Mary’s example, my mind is drawn to two Gospel miracles I used in a sermon on miracles generally. Peter’s mother in law had a fever. It left her. Well fevers do go away on their own, amd Aspirin may help. However in the Gospel example it happened in the instant of the command of the Creator. Similarly, and this was the gospel passage I was preaxching through, sotrms on Galilee come and go very suddenly. Again this one stopped at the creator’s command. Not so much a co-incidence as a Godincidence. Co-incidences do tend to happen when we pray. Sadly some doctors, and even more sadly some Christians, have trouble recognising that.