Saturday, February 02, 2019

Healing In the Atonement, part 15 of 16

VII. Why I wrote this article.

The teaching of healing in the atonement does real damage to real people.

A. Judgemetalism

If healing is guaranteed in the atonement, then the only reason for any Christian to be sick is because he is either a miserable sinner or because he hasn't got enough faith. This causes people to associate the healthy with the spiritual, and the sick with the depraved. Naturally, some become arrogant and judgemental, while others become subject to reproach. Such judgementalism hurts both the person being judgemental (since any sin is harmful to us), and the victim of the judgement (since suffering from sickness is bad enough without also having to suffer the reproach of one's fellow brothers and sisters in Christ). If proponents of healing in the atonement are to be consistent when a loved one dies of a serious illness, they should condemn them as miserable sinners unwilling to repent, and possibly even unsaved since if they didn't have enough faith in the atonement to be healed, then they possibly didn't have enough faith in the atonement to be saved either. Judgmentalism is an inevitable by-product of healing in the atonement.

B. Grief

As I mentioned above in the part about the emotional argument that refuting healing in the atonement destroys people's faith, quite the opposite is true in many cases. Now most of us are relatively healthy, so we don't see the immediate dangers of this teaching in our own experience. But for those who suffer from serious diseases, this doctrine can be deadly. Some die because they had enough faith to give up medicine. Others undergo radical disconfirmation. It throws people into dispair because of not being able to identify and repent of some secret sin. They think as long as they are sick that God must be forever displeased with them. It is my prayer that Christians will learn to be content in every situation. The spiritual fruit of joy is not conditional upon our situations.

C. Faith

Healing in the atonement destroys people's faith as I also mentioned above in the same section under emotional arguments. When the belief in healing in the atonement is radically disconfirmed, people are forced to reject either the teaching or God. If they have been thoroughly convinced that the Bible does teach healing in the atonement, then they are forced to believe the Bible is untrue, and that God must not exist. Some people never come to faith at all because they believe that if Christianity were true, and healing in the atonement is what Christianity teaches, then Christians in general ought to be more healthy than the rest of the public. Since they aren't, then either healing is not in the atonement, or Christianity is not true. If all these people have been exposed to are people who believe in healing in the atonement, then these people will reject Christianity as untrue.

VIII. Conclusions

In conclusion, I just want to reiterate a few points I made in this article. God does heal people (James 5:14-16), but healing is not guaranteed (Romans 8:23). Sickness is often the result of sin (John 5:14), but it is not always the result of sin (John 9:3). Satan is often the author of sickness (Job 2:7), but he is not the only author of sickness (Acts 13:11).

There's one more entry to this series, so. . .

Continue to Part 16.

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