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Sam Yeiter - Healer

Considering our role as under-physicians...

Posted Thursday, January 26, 2006 by Sam Yeiter

A while back I performed my first healing service.  Some of you know me (and for those that don’t, I’m a hard-line, cut-of-the-old-cloth Baptist who believes the sign gifts – tongues, prophecy, healing, etc – are a thing of the ancient past)…ok, now that everyone knows me, back to the healing...are you surprised?  Never thought you’d see the day, did you?

Well, perhaps some of you would feel better if I called it a James 5 prayer service.  Do we all feel better now?  I used to…but now I’m mad.  I’m mad because the snake oilvangelists on the family channels exploit the gullible and desperate by offering healing in exchange for cash or credit.  I’m mad because reckless theologians pastors preachers misunderstand God’s word and tell the hopeful-but-ignorant that God has promised healing to all if they have enough faith.  When they are not healed, the result is a distrust of God and a discrediting of his work.  These misuses and abuses have made the word “healing” off limits for theological conservatives.


I’m also mad at myself for caring what people think of me for using the word “healing.”  I was defensive and found myself wanting to say that I was going to be doing a James 5 prayer service over someone with a physical malady.


Let me ask this…did God create the world whole or broken?  Whole, you say?  Right!  Does it make God happy or sad that the world is now broken?  Right, sad.  What is the significance of a certain Tree of Life we see in the divine kingdom envisioned in the book of Revelation?  Yes, my friends…say it with me…healing.


It is ridiculous that we should shy away from asking for and talking about healing.  God wants us well, that’s how he made us.  When I anointed the participant with oil and prayed over them, I unabashedly came before the throne and asked God to heal them.  I didn’t go on about the fact that he has the right to decline, and that he probably wouldn’t heal them and how we’d be pleased as punch if he didn’t.  I just asked for what is within his power to do.


I had talked with the participant about God’s will, and they understand the decrees as well as I do, and the fact that his grace is more than sufficient if he chooses to withhold healing for now.  They are prepared to use wisdom to pursue alternative methods of healing if God does not directly intervene, but when we ask, let’s ask!  And let’s not be afraid of what people may think or how we may be lumped in with the telehealers.  Let’s just ask God for that which he tells us to ask.  And let’s take back the word “healer.”  It is time for pastors to recognize their place in the healing system, as under-physicians to the Great Physician himself.  Are we in danger of prioritizing physical healing over the spiritual?  Sure, but just because there is a risk we may blow it doesn’t mean we don’t try to do what is right.

Thursday, January 26, 2006 9:17 PM

Charlie wrote:  Good work, Sam.

Friday, January 27, 2006 9:01 AM

Michael Davis wrote: 

You seem to be against "faith" healing but the basis for the Elder's ability to heal in James is their faith:

Monday, January 30, 2006 7:17 PM

Sam wrote: 

I guess I'm not sure what you mean by faith healing.  What I assume you mean is what is done by Benny Hinn, namely, the sort of healing that we see in the Gospels.  Peter looks at Aeneas and says, "Jesus heals you, take up your bed!"  And Aeneas does, no questions, no hesitation.  Peter seems to have been given absolute control over this gift of healing.  I think that gift was given to him as a sign of the veracity of his message during the infancy of the church, and that no such gift is in operation today. 

I am not against faith...certainly not.  Faith is key to the operation...we are committing this person and their need to the Lord as the only one who can do anything about it.  And in the end, it is the prayer characterized by faith (not faith itself) that is said to "save the weak."  In case we are tempted to vest ourselves with the healing power, James quickly follows with, "The Lord will heal him." 

Thanks for your comment...I'd be glad to pursue this if I missed your question.

                                                                                       - Sam

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 1:09 PM

Michael Davis wrote: 

What I mean by faith healing is believing that God will heal them when you pray for healing.  Your comment of "...he probably wouldn’t heal them ..." does not seem to characterize your prayer with faith.

If you had a son or daughter and they were sick or injured and you had the power to heal them then wouldn't you want to heal them?  Wouldn't that be your will?  How much more our Father in heaven?

God is still in the business of healing.  And business is thriving.  Even a simple google search on "healing testimonies" will reveal that.

The fact that you even had a "healing service" is awsome. But our God is a great God.  Be more expectant of great things from Him!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 2:42 PM

Sam wrote: Ah...thanks for the clarification!
I think we had our wires crossed and that maybe my sarcasm didn't come across as well on paper (screen) as it did in my mind. 
When i said that bit about God not healing and that we'd be pleased as punch if he didn't, i meant exactly what you said in your last comment (#4).  We should ask God to heal expecting that he will because we know that fits with his character.  I was condemning myself for the way i often pray...not really thinking that God will or even wants to.  I think its right for me to realize that God may choose not to heal, but if i'm going to ask him to do anything i should ask for the entire enchilada (ie. healing...not just a lessening of the symptoms or remission).
So, for clarity...i want us to:
1 - ask God for healing
2 - expect that he will (aware that he might not)
3 - be unashamed about using the term "healing"
The third goal listed is for those in my same tradition, where the word sends shudders down our spines...and confirms doctrinal error without further questioning.  Thanks for following up on this...i feel like we're closer to being on the same page now!
                                                                      - Sam

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