Was Florida a Health Hazard (rather than a health provider)?

Dave Gilpin believes that the former healing revival in Lakeland, Florida could have been making people a little less well rather than making them better! In this controversial article he looks at the supersizing of the Christian faith and the health risks it poses.

We all live in a miracle obsessed Christian age! Every other generation believed in miracles, but ours really does! Almost every Christian channel on the television devotes almost every hour of transmission to promoting them. What I want to know is – do we see loads more miracles now because we believe ‘more’, or is our believing simply a ‘want to believe’? Has the real miracle count increased a lot or just increased? Is our believing a real belief or is it in essence a ‘belief in belief’? I realise that I’m in dangerous territory that is often occupied by cynics and mockers but I’m willing to risk it for a biscuit of healthy thinking!

With so much fascination in miracle hot spots over the earth, is our huge craving to see the super-natural driven by a healthy quest for more of God or is it being driven by an unhealthy deficiency in our understanding of how God really works? If you struggle with believing something, you can find yourself always looking for proof that that something is true. If you’re unsure about the love someone has for you, you can find yourself looking for and ever demanding proof of that love either through forced affection or through simply misdiagnosing the signals. And that applies to people’s walk with God as well. When you’re not sure about the favour and presence of God, you will always be looking for affirmative ‘signs’ wherever you go.

Creative miracles where God instantly joins bone to bone or instantly recreates a vital organ in someone’s body are still quite rare in our country. Even when prayer is pumping and expectation is high, the number of ‘creative’ miracles that occur over either the short term or long term remains on the lower side. Many would say that it is because people just don’t believe in God’s ability to heal and deliver. This is attributed to the fact that Jesus Himself could not perform to His usual ability in His home town because they refused to see Him as anything else but the carpenter’s son. For many, this is a real truth but the thing about believing, however, is that you can’t actually just turn it on like a tap whenever you want God to do something special. It’s not purely a decision and it’s not an emotion – it’s a gift that only heaven can give. Sure, a lot of people do harbour doubts and unbelief, but there are a lot of people gagging for God to speak specifically into their situation who have currently not heard from heaven.

Miracles, signs and wonders
Because of a need to visibly see the workings of God, little room is left for the huge side of God that actually sets up many of the outstanding and significant miracles of God in the Bible – His ability to put people in all the right places and at all the right times as well as His ability to transform the hearts and lives of stubborn people.

In Acts 2:22, Peter claims that Jesus was ‘accredited by God’ through ‘miracles, wonders and signs’. In describing the miraculous ministry of Jesus in three distinct categories we can note that not every ‘miracle’ is a creative miracle. A wonder or a sign could very much be a non creative miracle such as the finding of money in the mouth of a fish or the provision of a donkey for Jesus to ride upon.

In a quick review of the proliferation of the miraculous in our time, it appears that non creative miracles outnumber creative ones a thousand to one, even in a ‘faith filled’ environment.

Again, why doesn’t God do more in the way of pizzazzy miracles when He has the power to do what He likes and when He likes, especially when people are all believing and all expecting? I have personally prayed for finance hundreds of times and even though God has provided, He has never once, to my knowledge, created a money tree outside my back door. I cannot even verify that God has actually created new banknotes or reprinted banknotes that have gone out of circulation so as to produce ‘legal tender’. What He has done, though, is provided miraculously through people. Why doesn’t God simply use the power invested in Him and let loose upon the earth?

One explanation for the lack of financial ‘super’ miracles is that they involve less of God’s power that we would at first realise! The trickier miracles are the non creative ones that include both the transforming of a human heart by making it willing to part with its cash, and the repositioning of people so as to place all the right people in the all the right places at all the right times to provide the pipeline for financial transfer!

If I’m praying for a thousand pounds, God will need to work on someone’s heart in order that that money (or part thereof) can be released from their pocket to my need. He has to at some stage let them know of my need or my existence and give them a reason to pass it on. All of that takes as much miraculous power as it would do to create a crisp, new banknote out of thin air.

This can also, in some way, be applied to the provision of healing. I have heard of hundreds of testimonies where despite the mysterious absence of creative miracles, people have found themselves in the hands of a particular surgeon and placed with particular people who have made steps towards Christ. This new connection wouldn’t have occurred with a slam dunk miracle. It may not be our perfect scenario yet it is one that is played out over and over again by people of faith. They’re open and eager for the stupendous miracles of God, and they’re open to the vast army of mini miracles from God.

Each display of ‘non creative’ miracles (which include transformational, positional and providential miracles) is just as much a show of power as blind Bartemaeus’s eyes being restored. It’s just impossible for us to believe it without a faith in the invisible realms of the Holy Spirit. One of the real purposes of creative miracles has been to provide spasmodic and irregular portal holes into a world that ‘neither sleeps nor slumbers’ – a world on non-stop miracles. It’s just that so many are not so obvious.

Supersize me
For many years after starting a new church in the North of England, I was accosted by people who claimed to have received truck loads of prophecies from heaven. They received them in almost daily succession. I wondered on many occasions if I was a little backslidden because of my lack of daily or even weekly ‘thus saith the Lord’s’. How did they get so many prophecies and words so often? My conclusion was that they had become a little too imaginative – not in an evil sense or even in a conscious sense but more in desperation to having to hear from heaven. It’s another case of really ‘wanting to believe’ and in so doing, potentially manufacturing the evidence of God’s presence and power.

Super-spiritual people who grasp for the supernatural of God tend to be people who have not grasped the very real and very comforting words of faith that God offers to them, often because of underlying hurts and disappointments. Dramatic faith stories can, at times, mask a low faith level that usually teeters on the fence between holding onto God and falling away from God altogether. When confronted by their inner discrepancies and possible hurts, many either go back into the world they once rejected or head for a new church that won’t confront them on any real issues of the heart.

In our attempt to maximise the more overt activities of God in our lives, we have also stepped into the area of deflecting not only certain Bible passages from their original intent but also deflecting from the general tone and spirit of the New Testament.

The direct association of sickness with the demonic is something that the New Testament rarely does. Over enthusiasm has called everything from possessing autism to addiction to nicotine a demonic manifestation. There is one big problem with this – it’s rarely true. It is true that the demonic is often accompanied by disability, but to claim all sickness and disease is demonic is overegging the pie – its residue is to create a backlash of fear and depression amongst the world you’ve tried to help.

The Christian media
This overegging of the super-miraculous has been exacerbated by the huge expansion of Christian television. In a medium that wants to both inform and entertain, the Christian broadcasters often find themselves generally swayed by an over injection of prosperity ministries that deal primarily in the two subjects of healing and money. In doing so, they attract and create a type of Christianity that feeds off the dramatic and the unusual, creating a dissatisfaction of the viewer within the context of their own local church. I so believe in prosperity yet because their local church is dealing with a set of wider spiritual spectacles that encompass patience, winning the lost, holiness and faithfulness (without taking their eyes off abundance and the creative power of God), it finds it hard to compete with the sensational message and methods incorporated by many of the television evangelists and teachers.

Once you start a ‘miracle’ bandwagon, it’s hard to stop it. It creates its own pressure to continue to sensationalise the Christian faith. This has led to a whole array of traits including –

1.The Overegging of Manifestations!
There is no doubt that falling under the power is a legitimate manifestation of the Holy Spirit. A loss of balance and an ‘overcoming’ are experienced by many a sincere Christian. But along with both the authentic manifestations as well as the auto suggestive manifestations (when falling becomes the thing you do) comes the nudging of people to get them to fall! It’s a silly habit by some that masks the pressure of having to look like something is really happening, whether it is or whether it’s not! Faking the effects of the Holy Spirit can have a detrimental effect upon both the minister doing it as well as the more authentic local church that can’t keep up with it. (I do understand, however, that in sincerity some do push a little simply out of their passion to impart something into the person’s spirit.)

2.The Overplaying of Special Numbers!
There is no doubt that numbers in the Bible signify things of importance. From the number 3, 7, 12 and 40, each represent an eternal truth! The problem comes when someone gets a number planted in their head and proceeds to tell the viewer that there is an anointing on that number. It’s usually associated with the act of getting people to give their money over to the ministry. Even if the specific number like 38 has some limited anointing by being applicable to a very narrow situation, it is wrong to give that number out to a wider audience. It eventually creates superstition which is what the Bible sets itself apart from. 38 becomes my lucky number and I believe that God will bless me on that basis. It’s all a product of trying to be dramatic and drum up dramatic results. It’s all at variance with a New Testament culture.

3.The Overstating of Paraphernalia!
Everyone can be made to have an unhealthy interest in angels, gold dust, gold teeth and strange behavioural patterns! It’s right to observe them, but it is wrong to be sidetracked by them and to create a franchising ministry out of them. The Epistles never once talk about the ‘Spit’ ministry begun by Jesus or the ‘Shadow’ ministry begun by Peter. It never refers to ‘Sling’ ministries launched by David. Yet, each of these was a unique method used at a unique time by the creative God. They weren’t franchised, only observed.

Immaturity often hankers after such things as a compensation mechanism for not knowing enough of God. The book of Hebrews is all to do with a refocusing from angelic ministry to the real ministry of Jesus. It may not get the hairs on your neck up, but it holds the key to the real knowledge of God.

4.The Over-emphasising of Certain Doctrine
Some Christians hold an incredibly keen interest in subjects such as the nation of Israel, the second coming, the rapture, the anti Christ, Bible prophecy and the gifts of the Spirit. In each one of those subject areas, God has raised up men and women anointed by God to herald their validity and place in scripture, but for many their doctrine has become such an exclusive and prized doctrine that they are permanently distracted from keeping the main thing the main thing – knowing Christ and making Him known. Majoring on minors often produces an arrogance that has no place in the Kingdom. The proof of maturity is that someone readily lays aside their speciality subject for the main themes of grace, salvation, growth, maturity, the Church, ministry, leadership and eternity. Hebrews also lists repentance, faith, baptisms, impartation, resurrection and judgement as its foundational platform. If this is the foundational thrust of the Bible, it must be ours as well.

Recently, out of curiosity and frivolity my teenage son rang up for some ‘Miracle spring water’ from a well known television ministry. In return he received a letter which included ‘personal’ prophecy and a ‘personal’ word of knowledge that were obviously not personal at all. It appears that God is confused about the masculine nature of my son as the prophecy began, ‘Fear not, my daughter’. Since that letter he has received miracle seeds, miracle oil, miracle beads and other paraphernalia, as well as requests for huge sums of money. All of the giving was directed by ‘magic’ numbers and it all played into the hands of fear rather than real faith. It’s obviously a time for many Christian stations to review their ‘content’ in line with real New Testament truth and emphasis rather than budgets and ratings.

In a faith-filled culture, the rare specialness of dramatic miracles as well as the general spasmodic nature of the super miracles is a conundrum that is definitely held by the wisdom of God. Why some get healed and some do not (or not yet) is a mystery. What each healing does do, though, is provide a unique glance into a God who never stops working on our behalf. Whether it be super miracles or non creative miracles, God’s hand is at work constantly exercising His faithfulness and power towards our lives. More power to those who believe it!

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  1. I like what you’re saying here Dave. The challenge when something like this hits is translating it to the local church. Much of what is on the Christian television stations in the UK is so far removed from reality that it actually hinders our efforts to reach the lost instead of aiding us. My pet hate is definitely the ‘magic numbers’… God help us!

  2. Great to hear from you Chezz!
    You guys are doing a fantastic job up in Newton Aycliffe and Durham.
    Some say this article has quite an edge to it but everyone gets my point and that is that real faith doesn’t need instant results. It’s obvious now that the majority of the promptings of God in Todd Bentley’s life were largely ignored.

  3. Yes I also have my reservations about the Florida outpouring to some extent. Interesting article and valid points although I can’t really agree with the following..

    Isaiah 53 has been used as a weapon against sickness through its two expressions, ‘He carried our diseases’ and ‘by His wounds we are healed’. The first of these expressions, however, refer to Jesus’ healing ministry on earth rather than His atoning ministry, and the second never makes it into the basis for healing in the early church.
    To add healing directly to the atonement gives us a real problem with all those who don’t get healed

    My commments – not really sure I agree with that .. by the same argument you could could say that if salvation is part of the atonement (which obviously it is) then it presents a problem for those that appear to have faith to be saved but don’t seem to undergo any new birth/transformation.

    Gal3v13 also states that Christ redeemed us from the curse as he hung on the tree. The curse according to Deut 28 included every sickness and illness

    Note also that the it was just as easy for Jesus to heal the paralysed man in as it was to heal him Mark 2v9

    Just a thought



    “Super-spiritual people who grasp for the supernatural of God tend to be people who have not grasped the real words of faith that God offers to them because of underlying hurts, disappointments and tragedies that often accompany those who supersize their spirituality. Their dramatic faith stories mask a low faith level that usually teeters on the fence between holding onto God and falling away from God altogether. When confronted by their inner discrepancies and pretences many go back into the world they once rejected.” – Dave Gilpin.

    An interesting thought here.

    we read in the word of God that His power is actually made perfect in our human weaknesses.

    Could it be that the weak people your refer to actually manifest kingdom power more readily that the self sufficent and the prideful (see the beatitides in the book of Matthew)because they have less ‘self’ getting in the way of God’s power flow?

    Granted, sometimes – not always – these people can be flaky or inconsistent in character; they are hungry for God to move and are desperate people – hence why the kingdom is near to them..

    but so what..they only need to be trained in how to live wisely! E.g. Todd Bentley.

    My view is rather than subdue, condemn or be threatened by gifted Spirit-filled people & their passion for the supernatural (did anyone condemn jesus for healing the sick, casting out demons and incidentally telling us to do the same?)

    ..we should actually as leaders be encouraging these gifted emerging kingdom abassadors, and be helping them develop in character AROUND (not to the exclusion of) their giftings so they are effective all-rounders.

    If we truly disciple these weaker and spiritually desperate people – whom display God’s raw supernatural power – then we will have supernatural, power-filled and STRONG missionaries for Jesus who can go the whole journey and run the race well.

    I dont want to be flaky and dangerously prophetic and fall out of the race suddenly on a whim….but equally, i dont want just good character and walk around supernaturally impotent and thus never see God move through me in any tangible, significant way.

    Jesus called us to do greater things than he – and he called us to go into all the world, heal the sick, cast out demons and raise the dead. When was that last obeyed by you, by me, by our churches?

    It’s clearly available looking at the early church; why arent we living in that level of anointing and power today?

    For one thing, discipling a generation in the supernatural will be costly.

    It will be inconventient.

    It will mean one to one development sessions.

    It might mean rethinking church programmes and structures to create missionaries.

    An empowered body of many rather, than an empowered minority of superstars – will certainly mean we have to confront our own insecurities.

    We as leaders will have to ask ourselves how much of our reluctance to go with the supernatural is a lust for attention and a greed for the lime light, a need to control and keep face if things go wrong.

    The church is messy.

    The question is, bottom line; are hundreds of real .lives changed what we are really after, or are we only after numbers and so called conversions.

    Can we trust God’s supernatural work and activity through people HE chooses, or do we have to get in the way to keep things safe?

    People in our missionfields truly give their heart to the Lord when they powerfully experience who He is, and part of that is his love expressed in healing and miracles.

    The life of Jesus testifies to this approach, and Jesus himself is perfect theology; we are to follow his missional model. The gospel is simple – jesus’ mission was simple.

    And people loved him for it.

    He doesnt want to return to an impotent church.

    He wants a powerful, supernatural, morally virtuous and solid, dependable world-changing church.

    I believe those who are solid in character can learn from the radical prophetics who see God work supernaturally.

    The radical prophetics who love the supernatural can learn from the solid, plod along people who have their consistency and character.

    The church is a body – we need eachother.

    There is strength in synergy and in diversity.

    Together we can change the world.


  5. Hi Phil,
    Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. All comments are so appreciated.
    I love your remark on Isaiah 53 – You know Phil a lot of people get healed not through direct biblical reference but through spirit and heart cry.
    In other words the ‘fervent prayer of a righteous man has great power.’
    People who give their hearts to Jesus Christ and show no evidence of change are an enigma to the New Testament. But those who carry an illness, for example Timothy, were not an enigma but simply waiting for the possibility of a miracle.
    Ultimately healing does come through the cross and that is expressed in the New Testament through the huge discourse on the resurrected body.
    I am a big believer in healing but because of a slow slide into wackiness I felt impressed to give a small guide back to the central thrust of the word of God.
    Thank you again for all your comments.
    Have a great week.

  6. Hi PD,
    Some great points. Because a leader is the shepherd of the flock not just a user of the flock – his prime concern is the welfare of the sheep.
    Allowing and encouraging a sheep’s charisma to excel over its character is something to be avoided. In many places, hurt people who have become super-spiritual have been given platforms to use their ministries. These in the long run move against the real moving’s of God that want to firstly minister to the person before they spend their lives ministering to other people. Because of our insecurities sometimes it’s unhelpful to be given freedom to operate in the demonstrative power of God as that person will relatively quickly transfer their security not to the security of God but into the power of God – that has always been dangerous.
    I agree with you and a lot of what you are saying – it’s just that I want people to do well personally.
    It’s the age old dilemma. Do you give a 12 year old the keys to a car if you live on a farm. They may drive well but they may become destructive in the long run.

  7. An interesting response; i particularly enjoyed the metaphor of a charismatic sheep. What does that look like?! hehe.

    But seriously, is it biblical for one man (or woman) in a church to ever be, ‘The’ Shepherd of the flock???

    A special indvidual who gives ‘freedom’ for people to minister – that sounds like God’s role to me, not the perogative of a man with a job!

    Where is the foundation for this model of Church management bilically? Aren’t we supposed to be a living breathing collective community of varying ministers to one-another?

    The Church Jesus set in motion was to be run by a consensus of authority between apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers following the leadership of the Spirit (Eph 4)

    We are all leaders or servants of varying sorts, and wisdom sometimes is found in the mouths of babies – sometimes a donkey can speak the word of the Lord..that might be the preacher, or others!

    In God’s economy there is, naturally, recognisable maturity of character and depth of experience to be shared, but there is no heirarchy or monoploly of ministries; everyone is equal – everyone has a ministry – whether they wear a dog collar or not.

    You say, “It’s the age old dilemma. Do you give a 12 year old the keys to a car if you live on a farm. They may drive well but they may become destructive in the long run.”

    The answer according to Jesus is yes, HE does very much so give the keys to the 12 year old; “for the kingdom belongs to such as these,” he said of little children and their faith.

    And the kingdom isnt political power or pulpit time, to entertain the masses, keeping a shiny profile going – its bringing the reality of heaven to earth..sharing the good news, healing the sick, casting out demons and raising the dead, all supernatural acts i might add.

    Invariably Jesus taught his disciples to minster like this to the borken people outside the 4 walls of the religious gathering, in the real world – where those in authority are wordly powers and principlaities like the mayor, the police chief, the businessman.

    And note again that’s HIM (Jesus) giving out ministries to his followers – spiritual gifts and Ephesians 4 ministries (of which each of us is one of the equally authorative five fold) The ‘ministries’ are not at the dispensation of the ‘pastor’..ministries and giftings are given by God himself!

    It is only the role of mature pastorS, prophetS, teacherS, and apostleS in the body / congregation (note the plurality there) to sit with the younger ’12 year olds’ and encourage, challenge, and shape them along the journey as disciples; driving instructors to use your analogy.

    What is grevious to the Spirit is preventing ‘ministries’ in their infancy – due to what you perceive to be ‘insecurity’; how does that work in process….we are all surely on a journey to being healed and made whole – even the Pope himself is growing and growing – and to wait until we are free of insecurity or any character flaw is to wait til eternity.

    Again, Jesus, who is perfect theology, taught, discipled and shaped the character of his followers (leaders?) as they went along the way, affirming them, praying for them, challenging their pride, fears and igornances in context.

    That kind of hands-on, day-to day discipleship gets results BUT actually requires more of ‘traditional’ “leaders” (?) than simple pulpit dynamics. It requires coaching and going out into context with individuals or small groups..not just crowds. Is the cost too great for old fashioned modernistic churches, which are more about event than process?

    Well, just a few thoughts there for you – hope you find them interesting! Thanks for raising this discussion though in the wake of some significant disappointments in the character of some highly profiled Christians recently. It does calls us to question how we disciple people as the Church. The old model does not work, clearly, when ‘gifted’ people are given exposure but its not ‘real.’

    In my view however, to address this siutation, going from one extreme (releasing people without close accountability and discipleship leading to moral failure) is not remedied by going to the other extreme (preventing anyone from ministering til they are unattainably perfect)

    The wisdom is in the middle ground, the win-win, the model of Jesus – intimate, get-alongside discipleship, away from the stage, where real lives are shaped and changed into powerful, supernatural, Christ-likeness.

  8. Hi PD,
    Thanks for writing! I guess I’m part of a large stream of churches that believes in team ministry which includes someone for a season of time giving broad oversight and vision. I see it as only being part of a team – not dominating it – more in the line of master-serving!!! It fits well with the New Testament emphasis on elders, key leaders and apostolic leaders such as Paul and Peter.
    The important thing is that the Holy Spirit has free reign and people are saved, restored and released.

  9. Hi Dave

    I’m a bit late to this article (have just found it while reading some info on Hope City as moving Sheffield way in Jan 09) but I must say I’m thoroughly enjoying your writings and respect your courage to tackle such potentially controversial subjects such as ‘moves’ of God. If I may, I would like to add the following comments on the Florida Health Hazard.

    Like you, I too have some reservations about these ‘moves’. In particular around the hype that goes with them and the ‘superstar’ status that some individuals seem to achieve. I am not saying it is all their own fault, but they must share the blame as they don’t seem to do much to deflect all the attention they receive (if anything, some actually seem to encourage it). If a ‘move’ is of God, and I’m not being so arrogant to state that they are absolutely not, then why is it so often its the preacher that gets the glory and not God? I do believe that God ‘moves’ today for He is always moving. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. But I feel the fruits would be to His glory, and not just for our benefit and certainly not to boost a preachers celebrity status and bank balance (sorry, a bit cynical, but true).

    Do people focus their attention on these individuals rather than God because they can physically see and identify with ‘the man’. But hello … isn’t all this bordering dangerously close to idolatry? Aren’t we all equal in His sight? Don’t we all have access to the throne of God through Christ victory? Yet people are holding these men and women up as something special rather than focusing their love and awe on The One who everything is from and to. Shouldn’t the preacher, teacher, overseer be the first ones to say “please don’t look at or thank me/us for anything, but look at and Praise God”!

    What has happened to humility? Where are the fruits? Surely we would know a ‘move’ of God by them! What we witness would not just be bodies healed, but more importantly we would see hearts and minds healed, lives changed, love for God renewed, faces alight with joy and people so touched and overflowing with the same Spirit that was with Jesus here on earth, that ‘they’ would be the ones hitting the headlines. Yet what we see and hear worries me. I hear people talking of (for example) Todd this and Todd that. “Oh did you see Todd on TV” “Did you hear Todd is coming to the UK” What the heck is that all about??? Surely we should be hearing things along the lines of “did you see how that woman / man / child was touched by God, and did you see the smile on their face because of what HE has done for them” “Did you hear that testimony of how so and so’s life has changed”. Yet we only hear of how bodies have been touched and not lives, and I personally believe God is much more interested in healing our immortal hearts and spirits than just our mortal bodies.

    And why is it that even if God does begin something within a particular area or congregation, we SO use Him as some spiritual jump start. As soon as something begins, people take over, adding a massive dose of human control, manufacturing blessings and behaving in a way not at all of Gods Spirit, but in a manner they think they are supposed to act. We simply get in Gods way. People have travelled the country / globe for ’a blessing’, laughed out loud in the middle of services (apparently uncontrollably – yet no where do I read the Spirit of God would let us become out of control), made animal like noises (yea ok – weird or what) and heard healing testimonies galore! Please do not misunderstand me, I absolutely praise God for the genuine healings! But with so many healings and so few other fruits being declared and manifest, one does wonder if all is quiet as promoted. I think so much of this behaviour is manufactured, that maybe God can’t move among us at this time as He did, for example, on the day of Pentecost, because we would more than likely try to take control, a that is far too dangerous for our own good! Are we Jesus freaks, totally sold out for Him and His Kingdom or in truth are we serious control freaks? I wonder.

    I also agree with you about Christian TV. I don’t get the channels myself but know of many that do. What a shame that a media that could be a genuine resource and a refreshing change from the usual dross we are fed on ’secular’ television, can become a tool to deceive. It make some ‘feel’ spiritually fed and closer to God, yet often focuses their attention in the wrong direction. I not sure its deliberate but it happens all the same. For example: my Mother is a wonderful lady and loves Jesus with all her heart, yet in her innocence and naivety she too gets suckered in to it all (that sounds mean but not intended). She’ll ring me and ask for me to email a Christian TV show she’s been watching. Why? Because Benny Hinn was on telly and said he will pray for all those he receives emails about when he goes up some mountain or other, the following week. So can I please send in an email and ask for him to prayer for my Dad. Now God bless her for her hope and love, but to me her hope seems to be more in the fact that ’Benny Hinn’ is going to pray than Jesus‘ love and promises.

    And finally … is God omnipresent or not? Or should I buy some shares in British Airways before the next ‘move’? Christian media becomes aglow with something that is happening in a church somewhere in the world, and suddenly every pastor, preacher, uncle tom cobbly and all are airport bound. If only God were able do His moving here too eh! But not to worry, Pastor so and so is on his way back from miracle city and has received ‘a touch’ and he says he can’t wait to impart it in to us here! Yeehaa!
    Sorry for the sarcasm, but it really winds me up. Our God is an Awesome God, who is more than able to touch churches wherever in the world they may be. Isn’t it possible God didn’t start something in another church is because He has other plans for them? Or maybe because they simply didn’t ask? Or because they did ask but didn’t really believe for it? People don’t need to go to Timbuktu to receive a ’blessing’. The touch they need (not necessarily the same as the one they seek) is much closer and the journey is much quicker. All they have to do is let their knees travel to the floor and if they believe God can touch them in Florida or wherever, then why can they believe He can touch them right where they stand / kneel? Let churches pray for God to touch them where they are and not for finances to fly their leaders off to somewhere else. Why do they believe ‘Todd or whoever’ will impart a miraculous blessing to them, but can’t believe that The King of Kings, The Lord of Lord, can do it Himself right where they are.

    These things come and they go, and in the meantime the church sleeps, await the next fad and I’m just not convinced at all that is Gods heart or His desire for His church. I hope and pray that those who gave testimony of Gods healing hand upon their lives, will not stop at getting up on some stage with cameras rolling to tell their story, but will go to the lost and lonely, without a camera in sight, and tell them of what God can and will do for those who put their trust in Him.

    I pray that God will move through His church and we will all wake up and realise who we are in Him because of who HE is and what we already have because of what HE has done and already given. May we stop chasing the extravaganza, and start being grateful in the little things, that we too may be entrusted with much, right here in our humble little communities.

    I believe Gods heart is for you and I, here and now. We may not always feel it, I know I don’t, but that doesn’t stop it from being true! Hallelujah!

    Sorry for waffling on a bit, but your article stirred me … so its your fault ok : )


  10. Hi Gary,
    Obviously you have too much time on your hands! You wine the award for longest comment EVER! But what you say is worthy of a response.
    I say ‘yes’ to a lot of what you say. Let’s believe in the future of God’s church in this country.
    All the best,

  11. I know a lot of people who travel around the world to see every ‘move’ of God – and I’m not denying God moves or saying it’s wrong to go and experience stuff or get into an atmosphere of faith somewhere and have your boundaries extended. I mean, I travelled for almost two years with an evangelist whose ministry was, and still is, marked by some amazig miracles of God healing and restoring people. But these ‘moves’ do attract desperate and hurting people. One incident comes to mind when, after a precious three day break in a totally hectic schedule, we arrived at the next church on the agenda to be met with a frenzy of national interest. Following a broadcast on the tv about the meetings, the chuurch office had been flooded with calls from desperate people wanting us to visit them, offering money for us to come and pray for them, begging us to go to their town and hold a meeting. I had to reply to each and every single call and it was the most harrowing experience of that whole period in my life. All I could do was try to explain that it wasn’t us who did stuff, but God, offer to pray with them on the telephone (many refused because I wasn’t the actual evangelist, just one of his team), and encourage ppl to get involved in a local church near them that believed in God’s healing power, and who would be prepared to stand with them in faith.
    I fear that because of the desperation, we can sometimes transfer our trust from the God who is always (and everywhere) the same, and willing to work with us, listen to us and meet our needs. So often it seems we instead start trusting in a figurehead person, a place, an experience. that’s dodgy – no one except God is worthy of the trust we give Him when we place our lives entirely at His mercy. Experiences and ppl are great but they will, at some point let us down.
    My general (and obviously it will be a biased) opinion is, that spirituality needs to be naturalised. It is natural for God to heal, save, prosper and redeem us from our messes. It’s who He is and not just what He does. So why the need to sensationalise it or attribute it to a select few? Yes some people are gifted that way, but we all have access to the same God and the same power. Yes celebrate it – but form a bandwagon??!!(and a really out-of-touch one at that judging by a lot of the media coverage… cringe!). I mean, God is God not us. Not some big-shot evangelist or ‘healer’ (many of whom never claim to be God, but the way it is handled by PR companies and media tends to insinuate they are). Why not encourage EVERYone to be pursuing God where they’re at, and foster an environment where they can be actively involved in extending their faith through praying and believing with each other for the breakthroughs they need. After all if you have no money at all it takes just as much faith to believe for a tenner as it does ten million. The God who can move on someone to give you the tenner can also move on the ppl needed to give you the ten million. I’m sick of a culture that makes miracles seem unattainable simply because a certain man or woman has to pray for it to happen, or as Dave put it, because the focus is on creative miracles and not the incorrectly perceived ‘minor’ miracles that do actually happen every day!
    I mean I could go so far as to say the same about sharing our faith. We can bang on about God to everyone but it really takes faith to live truly who you are and what you believe, and wait for the moment when you know God is saying ‘now’ – that opportunity when a person’s heart is receptive and their circumstances have brought them to a place where they can ‘hear and do’ God not just ‘hear and forget’. That is a miracle – that weaving together of persons, times and places that build up over time and creates the perfect opportunity for us to impart what we have (our experience of God) into those around us. It’s a miracle – but you won’t hear ppl banging on about the beautiful everyday-ness of what God does all the time from the pulpit of a massive stadium where everyone has gathered to pray for mrs sonso’s brother’s parrot to be revived….!
    (sarcasm took over! sorry! I resisted for so long!)
    suffice it to say I have been intrumental in healing campaigns – and I can’t diss them completely. But ever-so-more important is for ppl to be encouraged to grow in their everyday experience of God and thus learn to trust in and relate to and KNOW Him instead of being caught up in the hype of something that so often loses God Himself as its centre and alienates us from the true nature of experincing God.
    bleeeh! I think I now get the prize for the longes comment. I sure rode that hobbyhorse into the ground… 😉

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