Name It and Blame It – Greg Albrecht

Many churches and ministries today claim that God heals everyone who requests relief of physical afflictions, as long as they ask in faith. This assertion is made on the assumption that Jesus’ death on the cross, his atonement, was for both “spiritual” and “physical” sins.

Further, some even claim physical healing is a “right” that one who is doing all of the things that God commands and demands might “claim” from God. Some call this claim a “prayer of positive confession.” Others who have reservations about this practice believe it to be naive and perhaps superstitious and thus call the practice “name it and claim it.”

Of course, since the vast majority of those who “ask in faith” are not granted the miraculous interventions they request (or “claim”) allowance is made for them—they either do not have “enough” faith or they may have some “secret sin” that they are hiding from God. Thus, when healing prayer is not answered, faith healers often blame those who are praying for having sins that “prevent God” from answering the prayer. And, of course, given the image of a harsh, stern God that many have, the idea that God would not grant physical healing unless and until all religious demands are met and fulfilled is not seen as far-fetched.

Many faith healers cite biblical proof texts such as Isaiah 53:5, Matthew 8:16-17 and 1 Peter 2:24 as evidence that we are healed by the wounds the Messiah endured …”by whose stripes we are healed” (1 Peter 2:24). However, in each of these cases the intent of the original language was to stress spiritual healing rather than physical.

Did Jesus forgive both “spiritual” and “physical” sins through his atoning work on the cross? If the atonement of Jesus is for physical healing we might assume (as many faith healers presume and insist) that “physical” healing is on the same par with “spiritual” healing. The next logical step is to declare physical healing to be absolute core teaching of the gospel, which then leads to boasting and exclusivism. If physical healing is an essential of the gospel, then those individuals and churches who do not openly practice/receive physical healing are not very Christian, if at all.

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