On my extra day off this weekend I found time to once again peruse through a few random blogs. I came a cross a post that looked at a disturbing issue within a church in London England. The post was titled Prayer Costs Lives and I don’t agree with the conclusion but I do believe it brings some important points to the table. From the BBC article that led to the blog post I agree with Lord Fowler, the former health minister, that “It’s just wrong, bad advice that should be confronted…”

Free thinking for Dummies points out faith that God will heal you by some miracle and that there is no need for human intervention is not the wisest course of action. Nor is this idea found in scripture. Healing’s in the Bible are seen not as instruction, but show men, women, and children left with no hope in the ways of man and turning to God the creator of the universe.

“People like to say that god answers every prayer, but sometimes the answer is ‘no'”. The fact is sometimes the best answer is no even if pain is still involved. I do not let my children have everything they want. My 3-year-old is fascinated with the oven, but do I let her touch it just because she is screaming as I hold her back from it? My seven-year old loves to eat candy and would only eat candy if we allowed her. Does that mean we should only feed her candy? We have laws to give structure and order because they do not happen on their own. We must remember that God’s perspective is far different from our own. We see God as being unjust as the three-year old trying to touch the hot oven because we are unable to see the entire picture.

“What kind of loving, merciful god would let someone die in agony when they had abandoned worldly treatments of their illness and put their faith in him?” – These people have been given false hope by false teachers. To have faith in the Creator means you also have faith in the order of the creation. God has designed our world in such a way that we can create medicines, read weather patterns, and develop technology that helps to correct the brokenness of our world, but that does not mean we can completely correct it. The issue is not how can God allow this, but to understand that through our pride and arrogance we think that we are not at fault. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, that includes every Christian. If we took 1% of the 460 billion dollars spent on Christmas gifts every year we could provide clean water for all of India, Nepal, Sri Lanka (Source:  Forgotten Christmas) which would save millions of lives. Is that God’s fault that mankind cares more for their own wants than the basic needs of others?

The BBC article talks about an off shoot church that has found its popularity in marketing false hope in curing HIV. Here is what the BBC reports about the church “AHPN said it believed the Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN), which has UK headquarters in Southwark, south London, may be one of those involved in such practices. The church is headed by Pastor T B Joshua, Nigeria’s third richest clergyman, according to a recent Forbes richlist. When approached by BBC London, leaders of the church described themselves as Evangelical Christian pastors. The church’s website, which was set up in Lagos, Nigeria, shows photos of people the church claims have been “cured” of HIV through prayer.” This does not sound like a man representing God but his own pocket-book. Compare this to 1 Peter 5.1-4. According to SCOAN’s website, by using anointing water “you are positioned for healing”. Healing’s in the Bible were not because people were “positioned for healing” in some superstitious ceremony, but showed that God is the one in control of creation despite man. This article is an example of profit at the cost of souls and Mr. Joshua will have to answer for his teachings just like anyone in authority. Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble (Luke 17.2-3 & see also 1 Timothy 1.3-11). Just because they claim to be Christian in their name does not mean that they represent Christ. What this article shows is that humans are sick, selfish, uncaring, unjust, unloving, and the list goes on. What this does prove is that we can’t do it without a good, caring, loving, merciful, just God who is willing to come down to us to fix our brokenness which is what he started in Jesus Christ and will complete when he returns.