Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Is deliverance really that easy?

Here is something that I am struggling with today. I'm gonna be pretty raw here. Last night, we attended a church in the Orlando area. I posted that I was there on FB, but let me leave the name out of it for the sake of this post. This is not really about this church per se. What I am writing about is happening all over the place.

During the service last evening, after some incredible worship time, the Lead Pastor called for everyone with an addiction to come forward...any form of addiction. Then, for the next 30 minutes or so, he walked from one side of the altar to the other "healing" people from addiction. When he would lay his hands on them, most people would visibly respond. Most would cry, many shook, many fell slain in the spirit (but would be back up within 5-10 seconds) and others just stood there. Then, toward the end of the night, the Pastor announced that "62 people had been delivered or healed from addiction" during the service.

So, since last night I have been wrestling with a few questions:
  • Is deliverance really that easy?
  • Is that all there is to it?
  • Why would God only give so few people this incredible heal people of a life of addiction just by simply making contact with their forehead for 3 seconds?
  • Or is there more?
  • Is this really deliverance? Is this really healing?
  • How come as a Pastor, I have had to spend YEARS walking with people toward wholeness and healing, but guys like this can heal people in seconds?
  • And how many of the 62 people who were "healed" last night are living that healing today? Are any of them hurt or disillusioned because they had already "messed up their healing" by morning?
Let me end with this:
  1. I believe with ALL MY HEART that the Lord can heal and deliver anyone with the touch of his finger and in an INSTANT!!! Our God is an all-powerful healing God!
  2. I simultaneously believe that it is the RARE way, not the common way. MOST of the time, I believe that the Lord invites our healing through a journey called Discipleship. A journey where with walk with the spirit of God, the people of God and the Word of God to a place of healing. And it takes time.
What are your thoughts? I am sure this post will get somebody going! What you got?


Barbara said...

Thank you so much for that post. A Freind of mine and I discuss this idea of "healing" often and sometimes I feel like I am the only one who questions this stuff. I am sorry to say this but it has to be said. It is not that I don't trust God's power in his people, It is just sometimes I don't trust his people.

Josh Schaidt said...

I tend to think God gives diverse gifts so that the whole body (locally and globally) works in perfect union. This can be why some walk side-by-side with addicts and others can "heal" them instantly.

Also did you happen to notice if the church in mention sponsors a support and recovery program? I think this would lend credibility to the church because they realize that God works in different ways with different people.

I think it would be absurd to believe in healing and restoration but not believe in instant healing and restoration. You think of all the instant healing in the Bible - most of which don't include a biography of the rest of their life. We have know idea how those who were healed spent the rest of their days.

And you question if deliverance is that easy. We dont know the struggle of the person to just make it to that stage. Much like the woman with the issue of blood. She struggled for years and then struggled through a crowd, then struggled to just reach and touch. Thats a lot of struggle for a 3 minute conversation with Jesus. Those in the line at the church may have struggled years, some maybe moments, but that is in God's desire whom who chooses to heal and deliver.

Generous Apologist said...

I admit it. I expected a pastor with an AG background to be more on the side of the deliverance model than the discipleship one. You surprised me. bo)

Personally, I've seen the same person "delivered" from his addiction to drugs 3 different times. He said he fell back into it. To me delivered from something means free from it, including the temptation of it. He didn't seem very delivered to me. Temporary deliverance is no deliverance I want.

The big problem I have with the deliverance model is that you don't see it in the Bible. You see physical healings. You see non-believers freed from demonic possession. But I don't recall seeing a believer delivered from a sinful habit in an instant. Why would Paul and John talk so much about persevering in the fight against sin and the flesh if people could just be delivered from in in an instant?

I side with Noah on this one. God can do anything He wants, but I don't see any evidence that He does this on any regular basis.


Unknown said...

I appreciate what you have written about your thoughts on "deliverance." Let me echo your concluding comments: I too believe that although God can heal in an instant, the possibility of some longer length of time may be a factor to be considered as well.

The problem as I understand it is not whether or not healing is taking place, but whether or not one is properly describing the healing that is taking place. Might it be that the gift of knowledge is needed to identify what healing might be happening when the gift of healings operates?