Trouble At The Healing Room

My wife was  diagnosed with cancer 2 years ago and at the invitation of a friend, we went to a healing room at a nearby church.  This church is a charismatic church that believes that sign gifts such as prophecy (telling the future) and healing are active in the church today.  There is nothing wrong with praying and asking God to heal diseases.  The Bible tells us to seek out the elders, have them anoint us with oil, and pray for us when we are sick.   Our healing room experience went beyond this in troubling ways.

Our session began by meeting with 3 “healers” and, in turn, they all had a prophecy for my wife.  Supposedly these prophetic words came from God. The “healers” appeared sincere to me.  Before the session began my wife completed a form that specified what her illness was and a few other pieces of information.  The healers did not read the material but prayed over it and received a vision from God.  This method of getting a vision sounds more like a clairvoyant fortune teller practice than a Biblical one.  The first vision for my hopeful wife was that of a pipe on a sled going down a hill.  The interpretation was that my spouse would be a conduit or pipeline that would show people Gods glory.  I suppose the people were waiting at the bottom of the hill.  Gestalt Psychologists say that much of our perceptions of reality are nothing more than projections of our own internal stuff.  It seemed to me that this vision was nothing more than a projection of how the healer saw himself.  The other visions and interpretations were sufficiently vague that future events could be made to fit the prophecy.  Furthermore, I do not think that these Christians have the authority to command illnesses to go away as these folks do.  Ultimately healing is based upon God’s purpose and mercy–not the strange practices of the healing room.

After this experience, I was wary and remain skeptical, particularly since the Bible indicates that these sign gifts will pass away and God’s revelation is complete at the end of the book of Revelation.  I do not think that prophecy of this kind is  meant to be part of the normal church experience in this age.

The current situation is that my  wife has been free of cancer for 2 years.  I attribute that to great doctors at U C Health, successful surgery, chemo, and the prayers of our church and elders.  My wife did produce a journal about her “journey” and it became and encouragement to hundreds of people.  You may draw your own conclusions about the healing room experience.

Here is a point of view from Lee Strobel:

Pictures are the view from the hospital  window after surgery.

 

Won’t Get Fooled Again

Came across the lyrics to this song by The Who.  I don’t don’t know why it is that people side with their oppressors.  When they do, they always get fooled and they are prone to do it again and again.


 

“Won’t Get Fooled Again”

We’ll be fighting in the streets
With our children at our feet
And the morals that they worship will be gone
And the men who spurred us on
Sit in judgment of all wrong
They decide and the shotgun sings the song

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again

The change, it had to come
We knew it all along
We were liberated from the fold, that’s all
And the world looks just the same
And history ain’t changed
‘Cause the banners, they are flown in the last war

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
No, no!

I’ll move myself and my family aside
If we happen to be left half alive
I’ll get all my papers and smile at the sky
Oh I know that the hypnotized never lie
Do ya?

There’s nothing in the streets
Looks any different to me
And the slogans are replaced, by the bye
And a parting on the left
Is now a parting on the right
And the beards have all grown longer overnight

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
Don’t get fooled again
No, no!

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

Vatican Challenges Conservative Catholics on Alliance of Hate

VATICAN CITY — Two close associates of Pope Francis have accused American Catholic ultraconservatives of making an alliance of “hate” with evangelical Christians to back President Trump, further alienating a group already out of the Vatican’s good graces.

The authors, writing in a Vatican-vetted journal, singled out Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, as a “supporter of an apocalyptic geopolitics” that has stymied action against climate change and exploited fears of migrants and Muslims with calls for “walls and purifying deportations.” –New York Times

Full Article:

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/a-vatican-shot-across-the-bow-for-hard-line-us-catholics/ar-AApkaR9?li=AA4Zpp&ocid=spartandhp

As a theologically conservative Christian I take exception to being labeled as part of an alliance of hate.  I tend to have strong left leanings politically but I attend a church that is both politically and theologically conservative.  After living in that environment, I can say that I think the Vatican is on to something.

There should be a connection between theology and practical action but conservative politics and conservative theology do not have to be connected.   I don’t think that Jesus taught anything like what the Trump and the Republicans have tried to do up to this point.  Proposals like single payer health care and tax proposals that place more burden on the super rich come closer to loving our neighbor than anything the conservatives have proposed.

My theologically and political conservative friends do not see the conflict between the two and I can’t say that there is a conscious conspiracy either.  Political ideology from the likes of Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh have clouded sound theological thinking.  We may have reached the point of no return on that.

Why Aren’t People Taking to the Streets These Days?

My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Clark, had a sign in her classroom that said “Are you ready for the ’60’s?”

The decade had just begun and I don’t think anybody was ready for the ’60’s or could have prepared for them. There were huge protests against the Vietnam War, hippies, LSD, sit ins, Che Guevera, Black Power, riots in Watts and Detroit, civil rights marches, National Guard Troops to maintain order and suppress unrest, assassinations of JFK, RFK, and MLK, and by the end of the decade my friends and I were eligible for the draft and had an anxious future.

I left out a lot of stuff that happened back then but the result of it all was an amazing amount of social change that affects us to this day. I think civil rights took huge leaps forward and the war protests probably  hastened the end of the Vietnam war.

Today we are involved in wars that don’t make sense and we still have not figured out  civil rights and may have even taken some steps backward. There are protests from time to time and even some organized movements that have tried to get off the ground, like Occupy Wall Street, but they do not seem to excite the passions of most people and they are strangely ineffective at brining about change. One difference between then an now is that the ’60’s had great music that supported social change. An internet search of social protest music will bring up a long list of titles from the ’60’s but almost nothing related our current times.

I don’t know if the music inflamed our passion or merely reflected it. Either way we could use some good music to go along with our waning drive for social justice. I offer this video as a start.

 

Trumponomics–Robert Riech

The global economy is a complex beast and it is hard to understand how one thing affects another. People don’t want to spend the effort to understand complicated things and I think that is why people gravitate to Trump. Trump’s simple ideas are easy to understand and even seem to offer some comfort–even if those ideas are not true. In contrast, Barak Obama lost a lot of people when ever he said that things were complicated. Robert Riech does the best job of making complicated things easy to understand. We need more of that and more truth along with it.

Trumponomics