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If a Christian prays for someone to be healed, and the person isn’t healed, whose faith is it that’s lacking?

D. A. Carson wrote about two Jewish men talking on the night of the first Passover. This is a paraphrase: One man said, “I know that you are trusting completely in what Moses said, that God commanded us to put the blood of a lamb on our doorposts so the destroying angel would pass over our households tonight and spare our first-born sons, but you have several sons. I have only one. I’m afraid.” The other man replied, “God will do as He has said. Do not worry.” Carson asked, “Which father’s son lived that night?” Carson answered, “Both. It was not the quality of their faith that saved them. It was the quality of the sacrifice.”

In a related way, believers often wonder if it’s the poor quality of their faith when people aren’t healed when they pray. True, sometimes, people are healed. Most of the time, however, they are not. This mystifying quandary has led to some strange considerations and supposed solutions. Let’s review a few.

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The Word of Faith thing is weird.

And it’s a lie. I don’t think most Christians who agree with it or make use of its teaching think about it very deeply.

Well, we must think about it deeply because it is a very dangerous way to believe. It’s an unbiblical way to believe. It’s a superstitious way to believe. It’s a death-dealing, legalistic way to believe.

It’s a pagan way to believe.

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2009-02-25_1121_1_delhiholycowWhen my wife and I were very young Christians, a foul and perversely attractive wind of doctrine blew through our church.

And we fell for it.

Unfortunately, this evil wind is still wreaking its havoc in the Church.

It has been called by various names. Positive confession. Word of faith.

The foul storm blew through pretty quickly for us, because the best solution to Christian wackiness is reality.

In other words, the driver behind word of faith is that it “works.” That’s what, at first, makes it attractive. For people who are excited about Jesus, just throw in some Bible verses that seem like they make sense, and—this is about Jesus, after all, who can do anything and the Bible, which is the truth—surely it will “work.”

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When the Christian lady prayed for the young woman and then said, “Keep saying, ‘I am healed,’” it didn’t surprise me. I had heard this positive confession teaching for a very long time. However, in my own little snarky self, I said, “Perhaps she should rattle some snake bones, too.”

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