The Faith Healer

  • June 19, 2008
  • #6819

Joni shares about a bad interview experience with a "faith healer" who told his audience that she had not been healed because of her lack of faith. Joni was shocked and not given a platform to quote the Bible, saying that as Christians we will suffer hardship.

It's not often that I feel uneasy in doing television interviews.  But there was one in particular I'll never forget - it made me very uneasy.  I don't need to give the name of the TV host, but suffice to say, our live, televised conversation had not gone well.  From the moment the floor director counted down the final seconds and the light on the camera clicked to bright red, I had felt an unmistakable uneasiness.  The questions were pointed, they were abrupt and one or two of them were rude. 

This wasn't an interview at all.  Like I felt I was a witness facing a crafty lawyer.  This host was trying to get me to say that decades of quadriplegia were actually a result of a lack of faith on my part.  No way!  I stood firm on Ephesians chapter 1 and other scriptures that confirm that God works everything in accordance with His plan... and that often (actually, most often) that plan of His allows for suffering or quadriplegia to continue... for reasons that we often cannot understand or discern on this side of heaven but, nevertheless, those reasons are good, they're perfect. 

The TV host didn't seem impressed.  He just listened until the interview drew to a close.  That's when he turned to address the small, studio audience... and the camera, a window to who knows how many people watching their televisions at that moment.  He explained to his listeners that it was obvious that I had not been healed... but they-the viewers-could be.  With confession of sin and enough faith to believe, they could know what I had not known-nodding towards me as he spoke.  The people in the television audience who obeyed this person's magic formula could be healed.  Before I could jump in, the cameras turned to another segment on the studio stage. 

I couldn't believe it.  Had he never read all the times God specifically tells His followers - even followers who have great faith - to expect hardship?  And how the sufferings of Christ are supposed to overflow into our lives?  And had he never read in Acts 14 that we must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God?  And that's just scratching the surface. 

The man may have a big ministry and millions of viewers, but that man is wrong.  God is God, and it is He and He alone who decides who will be healed and who will not.  Yes, faith is vital to everything, and "without faith it is impossible to please Him."  But faith's focus must always be Jesus -- and nobody draws close to Christ who doesn't first share in Christ's sufferings.  Besides, at the end of the day, it is not who has the most faith, but what God in His wisdom, love, and sovereignty chooses to do.  And so if you watch Christian television, that's something important and wonderful to remember.

 ©  Joni and Friends

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