After a healing service among a group of charismatics in our community was held in our city’s convention center, I publicly critiqued it—pointing to their unbiblical doctrine and practices. It didn’t take long to start receiving hate mail, and one of the people asked me why I had requested prayer for my daughter who was hospitalized (apparently this person had been poking around on my Facebook page) since I apparently didn’t believe that God still performs miracles. 

One of the classic misconceptions is the charge placed upon Reformed Christians suggesting that we don’t believe that God still performs miracles. I hope that charge will soon be laid to rest since it’s an inaccurate caricature and since God actually does work in mysterious ways and often does the miraculous

This past week I was on vacation in Colorado when I received a couple of messages informing me that a sweet older lady who is a member of our church was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and not expected to live beyond Christmas. I informed my family and spent time praying for her as my vacation days passed. 

When I returned home, over the weekend, I was informed that she had surgery to remove the mass, and when the surgical team debriefed following the surgery and talked with her about the surgery, they said that they had no medical explanation to provide her, but the good news is that she does not have cancer. She went from doom and gloom to complete elation. The surgical team had no explanation, but the church did. God had performed a miracle. 

This story is not as common as most outcomes resulting from a stage 4 cancer diagnosis. It’s quite unique and can really only be explained by pointing to God’s healing touch. We praise him for it and give him glory as a result of it. 

What about that charge of rejecting the miraculous because I critiqued the healing services? First, we must remember that God’s miraculous powers are not for sale. Many people within the charismatic circles have twisted the Bible and used God’s miraculous powers as a “Christian” market whereby people give money in hope of getting healed. We see this with the many different charlatans who appear on the TBN network. Those who proclaim the health, wealth, and prosperity message are heretics that must be avoided. Their gospel is not good news to the soul. 

Why do healing services in arenas and conference centers need to be organized? Why not gather around the sick in their homes and privately pray with faith that if God chooses—he can heal the sick and restore the health of the afflicted? Why organize television programs around healing services? It’s typically about money and the way people demonstrate faith is by giving money (often referred to as seed gifts) to a faith healer in the name of Jesus. 

Such practices are not only unbiblical—they’re devilish schemes that must be exposed for what they are. People need the gospel—for without the gospel they will perish. Why focus on the health of the afflicted while ignoring the depravity of their soul? 

The biblical pattern is to preach the gospel and pray for the sick. We preach the gospel to the soul and pray for God’s healing hand upon the sick. If a sinner comes to faith—that’s a miracle. If a person with stage 4 cancer is healed—that’s a miracle. Sadly, many charismatics find more joy out of a cancer patient being healed than they do out of a lost sinner coming to faith in Jesus. When Simon the sorcerer thought he could buy the power of the Holy Spirit from the apostles, this is how Peter responded:

But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money (Acts 8:20)!

In his excellent book, God, Greed, and the (Prosperity) Gospel, Costi Hinn, the nephew to Benny Hinn, says the following:

The prosperity gospel distorts the biblical gospel by making the Good News all about you and all about stuff. The abundant life of John 10:10 is smeared to mean that God’s will is for you to have Bentleys, mansions, and job promotions. I’ve got news for you—no, actually, I’ve got good news for you: the abundant life is about the security of your soul for eternity. The abundant life is not a comfortable seventy years, courtesy of the prosperity gospel and leading to infinite suffering in hell if you don’t follow the biblical Christ as your Savior. [1]

If you’ve been led astray by the unbiblical and greedy message of the prosperity gospel—I would urge you to read the Scriptures and see how the prosperity gospel fails to line up with the gospel of Jesus. Don’t be fooled by wells without water and clouds without rain. 


  1. Costi Hinn, God, Greed, and the (Prosperity) Gospel: How Truth Overwhelms a Life Built on Lies, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2019), 171-172.

 

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