This week I was reminded of a serious theological error regarding the Church’s doctrine on healing.
A person in another of the Churches of God had been confronted with the fact that her husband, who was a Pentecostal, believed that all sickness was a result of sin. Thus, her sick child was in danger of not having proper treatment in spite of the child’s problem being a hereditary and genetic disease of the father.
Indeed, even if it were a fact that sickness was a result of sin, the sin would have to be laid at the feet of the parents in any case.
Now this theological error came into the Churches of God through a fundamental theological weakness on the part of Herbert Armstrong and the Worldwide Church of God. We have addressed this heresy before but it occurs from time to time in the Churches of God and is now a product of Pentecostal error, particularly in the USA.
The problem or error comes from a few comments of Christ concerning the healing of individuals and their sins being forgiven. It also comes from the concept of his stripes or sacrifice on the stake (the stauros) healing the faithful. That is, with his stripes we are healed.
The problem in this regard is to understand what it was that was healed by Christ on the stake at his death.
The error arises from a misunderstanding of the duality of physical and spiritual illness. It also comes from a misunderstanding of the causes of physical illness.
It is a matter of biblical doctrine that death came by the sin of Adam and from that sin it was appointed unto all mankind once to die. Thus, the fact is that we all die as a result of Adam’s sin. Death is inherent in the human species because of that original error.
The compound errors and sins of the human species have led over time to a series of genetic disorders and predispositions to certain diseases. Some of these diseases are mental disorders. The people with those disorders cannot help the fact that they are diseased or carry the genetic time bombs within their systems. Often the factor is dormant until the conditions are made manifest through specific marriages or environmental problems that are not, at the time, manifest to the people being affected. Also the diseases and problems are often the result of ignorance on the part of the parents or families. No real sin is involved other than the sin of ignorance.
In the issue of ignorance, it is often the religious community that fosters ignorance in its narrow-minded stupidity and self-righteousness. It is probably true to say that religious self-righteousness has killed more people over the ages than any other single factor. People have been sacrificed, put to death, or left to die on a multiplicity of grounds to appease one deity or another, and as a perceived will of one deity or another over the ages.
The doctrine that sickness is a result of sin is a doctrine of demons and is not confined to Christianity. The apostle Luke was a physician. If sickness were the punishment for sin, then he would have been acting directly contrary to the will of God in treating sickness that God had inflicted on people as a result of their sins. Sin is defined by the Bible as transgression of the Law of God.
Most people who adopt this view are often people who perceive themselves as being healthy and thus sinless, and those who are sick as sinners and thus deserving of what they suffer. This evil doctrine is endemic also in Hinduism and Buddhism, and also surfaces under heretical fate based theology in Islam. We have seen Hindus resist treatment for their own children. They have rationalised that the sins were incurred in the previous lives of the child and thus the fault of the child itself and divine karma. In this way, they are able to sidestep the issue of their sin as individuals being passed to the child. In their theological view, a reincarnated person can skip families and even nations and species. Thus, the being takes the sins and benefits with them.
This view was endemic also among the Celts and is a serious heresy and anti-God. It is curiously enough entering people who were the theological casualties of the WCG system, and some people damaged by the theological collapse of that system. Some have actually embraced the Chinese sects such as Falun Gong and the doctrine of the Immortal Soul and its role in reincarnation.
Yet all of these errors are affected by this false theology of the sickness equals sin heresy.
The planet is collapsing, in case any had not noticed. The relative prosperity of the Western world is not God’s condonation of their way of life. In fact, they are contributing to the collapse of the planet. In due time, they will suffer the consequences of their own actions. Medical science is working flat out to catch up with the terrible diseases that are developing faster than we can develop antidotes or cures.
It is also fair to say that the religious systems on this planet are the most deliberately sinful of all systems and ways of life. Satan and the fallen host have deliberately worked out a religious system that corrupts the Laws of God and perverts them in a myriad of false systems. All major religions on this planet are designed to corrupt the Laws of God in the subtlest ways.
Satan works to corrupt the true faith establishing false systems to divert the populace, and each system is allowed closer to the truth only in so far as it is necessary to stop people being called by God into the faith and the Church of God under Jesus Christ.
Error is deliberately instigated to destroy, and discourages mankind and prevents their access to the faith in the Holy Spirit.
The instigation of the health wealth gospel is a wonderful way of breeding intolerance and disrespect for others less fortunate. The view that sickness equals sin is a doctrine of demons and has no place in the Churches of God. This view is not to be tolerated among us.
All of us carry injuries from industrial accidents or errors of judgment on the part of others or ourselves, and in some cases from our parents and ancestors much further removed. It is written that the sins of the fathers are visited on the sons to the third and fourth generation. In this sense, it is not a factor of healing through the baptism of Christ in a physical way. We have seen many of the Church officers confer healing through the laying on of hands and indeed through anointed cloths sent over great distances, and yet not be able to heal themselves or be able to be healed by others. Is their sin greater? On the view of the doctrine, it must be so. On the other hand, some are healed by the intervention of a physician, and in some church organisations they are seen as sinners for even requesting such assistance. What bizarre and primitive thinking.
Remember that it is an expression of love that we pray for and assist the sick and the less fortunate among us.
Do not assume that, because someone is sick, it is that he or she has sinned. Remember it is appointed unto all men once to die. Let us hope that all those who die do so in the least discomfort possible.
The righteous elderly among us will all die, simply to protect them from the troubles that are to come (Isa. 57:1-2).
Many families have been tormented by illness and premature death. This view that sickness and death is a result of the sin of the individual is a serious error that torments the individuals who suffer.
We have even seen such views displaced to others by people holding them and who have had disease in their offspring. We have seen them attack others as not having prayed enough for them over time.
Others who have had people pray for them have been affected by disease.
On some occasions it appears that God has allowed sickness in the congregations to expose the self-righteous in their heresy.
Be careful in how we deal with others. By our love are we all encouraged. By our love do we all stand firm in the faith.
Love one another and show thereby that you love and obey God.
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