People sometimes argue against biblical healing by referring to cases of presumption. The claim is that some have insisted on receiving healing from God and refused medical assistance, and subsequently their conditions became worse, and some even died. But what does this have to do with the biblical doctrine of healing? How do we know that those people really had faith? In those instances that I examined, the people who were harmed never understood what was taught on healing, or they never practiced what was taught. In some cases, they were indeed taught an incorrect doctrine, but this is irrelevant, because they did not follow even the erroneous version. The people were provoked to think about the matter by what they heard, but they usually acted out their own ideas instead.
Those who argue against healing this way employ the same tactic as reporters who manipulate the audience by doing “human interest” stories, in which they focus on specific individuals to make a point about broad policies. These individuals might be drowning in problems supposedly due to ideologies and regulations that the reporters wish to oppose. Some reporters have tried to undermine biblical healing with this method. They use human interest stories in an attempt to manipulate public opinion, and if possible, Christian doctrine. The method attempts to bypass rational investigation and go straight for the emotional jugular. This trick is for the intellectual playground. It is for kids. Still, Christians fall for it, and they do the same thing. But Christians should not use underhanded methods to influence people.
A story might serve as an illustration along with an argument, but it is never a substitute for an argument. The reporters, heresy hunters, and cult watchers are eager to undermine the biblical doctrine of healing in the first place. They rarely try to understand what the Bible teaches on the subject, then try to appreciate what the targeted ministries teach about it, and then try to investigate whether the sick people truly grasped and practiced the teaching. Instead, they look for tragic results — they hunt down stories — seize on them, and then assign the blame to the preachers or doctrines that they wish to take down. This is supposed to be rational and scientific. This is supposed to be good reporting and good preaching.
If the doctrine of healing is wrong, then we do not need stories to reinforce the point. It would be wrong without tragic stories. However, if the doctrine of healing is right, and if it comes from God, then stories do not disprove it. In fact, if the doctrine is correct, then the first assumption ought to be that anytime it appears to fail, the person never believed it or practiced it. Shouldn’t this be the starting assumption in each case, at least if you are a Christian? If there are more nuanced reasons, then we can still figure it out, but if you throw the whole thing out, you will never take the first step in understanding. It is an ostrich approach to theology. This is simple gospel reasoning. If a church member has been sent to hell, would the heresy hunters and cult watchers denounce the blood of Christ, and conclude that there is no such thing as salvation, or would they say that the person never really believed in Christ, but that he only went through the motions of acting like a believer?
Suppose, with zero biblical warrant, you speculate that a person would have recovered if he had rejected the doctrine of healing, or if he had not claimed to have believed it (since he probably did not really believe it). Then, with much biblical warrant, I would declare that thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people would have survived if people like you had preached the biblical doctrine of healing, that Jesus Christ took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses, and that the prayer of faith shall heal the sick. You seize upon one result, and speculate about a whole doctrine, when the person probably did not believe or practice the doctrine, when the doctrine taught was probably different from the one in Scripture, or when the result might not even have anything to do with the doctrine.
On the other hand, I take the doctrine from God, and make a deductive application. If the Bible teaches repentance, and if you refuse to teach repentance to a sinner, then his blood is on your hands even if he would not have repented. Your dereliction of duty is itself sufficient basis to assign blame to you for the sinner’s damnation. God himself explained this (Ezekiel 33:1-9). Likewise, if the Bible teaches healing, and if you refuse to teach healing to a sick person, then his death is on your hands even if he would not have believed or recovered. Your dereliction of duty is itself sufficient basis to assign blame to you for the sick person’s death. From this perspective, cessationists are mass murderers. The heresy hunters and cult watchers who refuse to teach about healing and who undermine the doctrine of healing are mass murderers. This is a direct application of a biblical principle. It involves no speculation, because it is irrelevant whether any one of them would have been healed, since the sin is in failing to tell the people about healing and to pray for their healing.
Anyone who has the responsibility and opportunity to teach about Jesus Christ, but who does not teach on healing, or even teaches against it, is a mass murderer. And anyone who uses anecdotes to undermine the doctrine is a bloody religionist who exploits people’s suffering to advance his theological agenda. He is the worst kind of scum. For every one who died because of a distortion of the doctrine, or because of something else unrelated to the doctrine at all, how many hundreds of thousands have died because Christians refuse to teach the doctrine, and to teach it correctly? Moreover, for everyone who died, how many have been healed, even called back from the edge of the grave, because some Christians preached on healing and prayed for the sick, as Jesus commanded? Anyone who brings up abuse in order to discredit the doctrine condemns himself. If distortions and misunderstandings have resulted in harm, then the solution is not to throw out the doctrine, but to teach it correctly and constantly.
Do you want to blame one death on someone who preached healing? Ten? Fifty? I will blame you and your kind for the deaths of thousands upon thousands upon thousands upon thousands upon thousands upon thousands of sick people that you could have helped with the true biblical doctrine of healing. If you do not like this kind of attention, then don’t start a fight you can’t win. Don’t blame it on someone who preached healing. Perhaps the sick person died because YOU did not preach healing to him! Even that was YOUR fault! And as long as you refuse the doctrine, I can blame you for every person who gets sick and die.
Before you say a word about Tom Jones from Florida or Megan Smith from Alaska, about how they have been deceived by Reverend Gimme Money, first dig yourself out from that mountain of corpses. What? You still want to argue? We cannot even hear you with all those dead bodies on top of you. For every case that you blame on the teaching on healing, I will blame you for every person who dies of a sickness because you have not done your part. Look, you just killed another one. And…there goes another. Their blood is on your hands. The Bible indeed teaches a doctrine of miracle healing. If you have not been teaching it, then you cannot afford to play this game. Get out, or get buried.