Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Yahweh Rapha v Christian Snake Oil

I never cease to be amazed at the wide variety or remedies and cures that are promoted by Christians. It often seems like every Christian has a favourite cure.

  • A Christian radio station carries adverts for bee venom.
  • When a prayer group is asked to pray for a person with arthritis, an intercessor suggest a remedy that helped her cousin.
  • A Christian organisation is promoting "glyconutritionals" as a key to healing of many diseases.
  • Other Christians are advocating herbal remedies for heart disease.

Maybe these things have an effect, but why are Christian not proclaiming the healing power Yahweh Rapha, the God who heals. Surely, it is the most effective remededy for sin and sickness. I cannot help wondering if there is not something missing from our understanding of the healing power of the cross.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Local not Global

The Holy Spirit works locally, not globally. He is not interested in large audiences or getting onto television. He prefers to work in a particular locality with local people. When Peter’s mother-in-law was healed, the entire neighbourhood came with their sick. They realised something special was going on, because they knew Peter and his mother-in-law. Some had seen her with the fever and seen her again healed. They did not need proof that she was healed.

When healing goes onto the public stage, questions get asked. Was the person really healed? Were they pretending to be sick to get close to the great preacher? Were they as sick as they claimed? Did the sickness come back next week? Has the healing been authenticated by their doctor? The Holy Spirit is not interested in all this junk.

He prefers to work locally. The people living close will know the person that is healed. They will quickly work out for themselves if the healing is real. When Jesus healed the man who was blind from birth, “his neighbours and those who had formerly seen him begging” quickly realised that he had been healed (Jn 9:8).

One reasons that we do not see as many healings as we would like is that we look in the wrong places. We expect people to be healed on the stage at the front of a church or on television. The Holy Spirit loves to work locally. If we went and prayed for our sick neighbours, we would see greater healings.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Trumpet or Cymbal

This blog has been a bit of an experiement. Over the past year, I have updated it on most days. While this has not been a burden, I am not sure if this is the best way to add value. I am becoming concerned that the Christian voice in blogosphere is becoming a bit of a babble and I feel like I have been adding to that noise.

From now on, I will be updating this blog less regularly, but I my posts will have more substance. My aim is to be more of a trumpet sound, and less of clanging cymbal.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Working for Families or Michael?

Our government has just expanded their Working for Families package. Now large families with income over $100,000 can get a social welfare benefit.

Most of the debate about this new package focuses on economic efficiency. However the really important issue is the moral one. Does Michael (the finance minister) have the right too take income from some people and give it those with children. He certainly has the power, but is this morally right.

If I take money from another person without their permission, I am guilty of theft, even if I give the money to peope with children. If I force people to give me money, I am guilty of robbery, even if I give the money to people with children.

So why are these actions not theft, when Michael does is the one doing them. It is one thing to say that rich people should be generous to the poor. Jesus believed that.

It is very different to take money from people by force and give it to the poor. This is something Jesus never did.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Win-win or Lose-lose

In a family-centered culture parents would invest in their children’s education and the children would support their parents in old age. Those who give the most are middle aged people at the peak of their earning powers. These intergenerational transfers would strengthen family bonds.

When the state takes over, excessive taxation limits the ability of parents to invest in their children. The state also encourages young people to borrow, so they develop bad attitudes to debt. Students are independent of their parents before their time, so they often make unwise decision.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Pro-Family is Anti-Family

The family is becoming a political football. Parties on the left and right are claiming to be pro-family. This is nonsense.

A pro-family government is anti-family. The only pro-family government is anti-government, and they do not exist.

The reason is that pro-family policies make families dependent on the government. This may help families in the short term, but in the long run, it undermines families.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Watchmen (6)

Satan generally uses stealth and deception. The success of his plans depends on Christians not waking up to what is happening until it is too late to respond. God countgers by revealing Satan's plan's to the watchmen. They can then expose his plans and blow his cover. God reveals the attacks of the enemy in advance, so that he can be exposed and defeated.

God’s response to one of Daniel's visions was to send watchers (Dan 4:13-17). The scriptures do not tell us much about them, but they are clearly very powerful angels. They were able to bring down Nebuchadnezzar, one of the most powerful rulers that the world has ever known. Compared to Nebuchadnezzar, Saddam Hussein was a midget, yet the watchers brought him down from his throne. Watchers are capable of foiling the worst plans of the enemy. I think that they might be released by the prayers of the watchmen on the watchtowers.

Anyway, the role of the watchmen is clear. God responds to the attacks of the enemy by exposing his plans, and countering with something even more powerful.