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FAITH the GREATEST BURDEN or GREATEST JOY?
Written by Oshea Davis   
Thursday, 26 April 2018

FAITH the GREATEST BURDEN or GREATEST JOY?

 

“…...Does God not heal someone because they don’t have enough faith in Him?

Known as Faith Healing, some believe that you can make God heal you and the only thing that is stopping your healing is secret sin.

If you have enough faith you can force God to do your will.

If your prayer is not answer it is because you lacked faith.

[This leads to] people who have burdens to then giving them an additional burden.

I explain how this leads people to be in more pain and isn’t the heart of God......”

- Mark Driscoll [1]

 

This made me want to gag reading it. Here are some quick points that stick out to me.

FIRST. Obviously, Jesus shamed people’s unbelief often in the gospels and explicitly stated that a lack of faith was the reason for non-healing, and also explicitly stating, that faith was the reason for healings. Jesus publicly shamed the disciple’s faith in front of other people! Imagine if Jesus in front of others said out loud your faith was pathetic? The Jesus of the Bible did this, you know this, right? Here is another question; Jesus' unbelief shaming, is this a burden or kindness?

Matthew 17:20, “So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Matthew 13:58, “Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”

Mark 6:6, And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.”

Mark 16:14, “Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.”

Mark 5:34, ‘And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well.”

Acts 14:9, “This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed.” 

Hebrews 3:19, “So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” 

AND THE PRAYER OFFERED IN FAITH "WILL" MAKE THE SICK PERSON WELL;

THE LORD "WILL" RAISE HIM UP.

IF THEY HAVE SINNED, THEY "WILL" BE FORGIVEN.” (James 5:15)


James says if you ask in faith for more wisdom, without doubting, then it will be given to you. The Bible rarely brings in God's DECREE (or ontology) into the equation in regards to faith. That is, that Bible does not mostly go to the Ultimate level of God’s causality (i.e. ontology) when dealing with Faith (an example of when it does is Eph 2:8 & Acts 3:16-17); rather, it goes to the Divine Precept and responsibility of the creature to the Creator level (i.e. Christian Ethics). 

Jesus Christ taught about His Father's and His absolute sovereignty all the time, but when it came to forgiveness and healing, He said, "Your Faith," healed you. He puts the responsibility of operating faith with the person. James says (4:7) that the Devil will flee from you "IF YOU" resist the devil. Your neighbor cannot resist the devil for you. The revealed word of God says, "you" must resist. That is, God places the responsibility on your faith in His Word, (Shield of Faith), and not on what you inductively think it is, or by looking to someone else.

 .

God promises you will not be tempted beyond what you can handle (1 Corn.10:13). If you failed a temptation and sin, does this mean God failed to uphold His promise, or does it mean that you lacked the faith to endure as you ought? It is people’s faith that falls apart and not God and His promises.

 This issue is not whether God has provided the promise for anyone to escape temptation; but rather, if the person will take it through faith. The same is with healing. The issue is not if God has provided the promise for healing, but rather, if the person will have faith to take the promise. The same is with forgiveness. The issue is not whether God has provided a promise for salvation, but rather, if a person will take it by faith. The same is for a need of wisdom. This issue is not whether God has made a promise for wisdom (James 1), but rather, if a person will believe without doubting to take it.

 Judge God not by human speculation, but by His sovereign will, which His Word. Do not honor God's Word with your lips only --all the while practicing witchcraft and inductive divinations from your experience in your heart--rather, honor Him by believing every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

Here is the real question. Luke 18:8, “when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?"


SECOND. Even among the so-called crazy charismatics I do not know of any of them that say in such a dogmatic way that “secrets sins,” (whatever that means?) stops faith for healing. I grew up the Church of God and I do not recall such a teaching. This is a strawman and misleading in that it somehow correctly represents the argument of people who believe that by faith one receives healing or forgiveness or anything.

The gentile woman, in a sense, forced Jesus to do her will relative to Jesus saying no to her. This is recorded all over the Bible: Abraham, Moses, Jacob (etc.). However, seeing that faith in God (In His merciful Nature and promises) is always pleasing to Him, then it was God’s will on the ultimate level of epistemology and ontology. 1st relative to His promises—God’s revealed Word is His Will; and 2nd , relative to Him causing her(or anyone) to have the faith to receive.

Relative to Christian Ethics, it God’s revealed promises--for us to actually obtain--which is God’s Will.  Christian Ethics is God's commandments. It is these commands (even the commands to obtain the promises) that will reward or condemn you.  Christian ethics is not ontology. Christian ethics is not inductively divining God's secret Decrees.  Our ethics are God commandments.  One of the biggest logical fallacies I see in Christian theologians is the fallacy of miss-category (i.e. saying apples and grapes are the same thing).  But this categorical mistake is a huge one. It is not merely saying apples and oranges are the same, it is like saying apples and motorized vehicles are the same thing. To mix up Christian Ethics(Command/Precept) and Christian Ontology (Decrees/Causality) as the same thing is Huge mistake! 

Genesis 50:20

As for you, you meant evil against me, [precept, ethic]

but God meant it for good, [decree, ontology]

to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

 

1 Samuel 2:25

His sons, however, did not listen to their father’s rebuke, [precept, ethic]

for it was the LORD’s will to put them to death. [decree, ontology] 

 

Acts 3:16 (LEB) , “And on the basis of faith in his name, his name has made this man strong, whom you see and know, and the faith that is through him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.” “Faith that is through Him,” is referring to faith on the level of ontology in the way Ephesians 2:8 does, (“For by grace you have been saved, “THROUGH FAITH, IT IS A GIFT”). Faith to receive forgiveness or healing is a sovereign work and gift of God—ontologically speaking—however, relative to the human level, if one does have this faith—which God sovereignly gives them--then they Will be forgiven of their sins and they Will be healed.  It is not that you “might” be forgiven of your sins if you have faith in Jesus’ name; rather, that promise is that you “will” be forgiven. And if you have faith to be healed, it is not maybe; rather, the promise is that you “will” be healed (James 5). 

 

THIRD. As briefly said, God’s Scripture (i.e. promises and the revelation of His Nature) is His Will. God will is not divined by witchcraft; that is, by your inward superstitions about your inductive feelings and experiences. Relative to His revelation faith coming from a believer for anything is always His Will because it is an ethical command to obtains the promises in faith: God Word is His Will. Your speculations of your experiences is not God’s will; it is divination.

 

At any rate, if the word “force,” is applicable to something in this topic it could be said –relative to the ultimate (ontology) that God caused “or Forced,” the woman(or anyone) to have faith for healing —just as God causes or “forces” any believer to be born again (without their permission) and have faith for redemption in Jesus.

James says if you do not have faith, then do not expect to get what you ask for. How is that not clear to someone is beyond me.

James says if you do not doubt, but believe, you will be given wisdom from God our Father. However, if you doubt, then you will not receive it. God’s revealed Will is for you receive wisdom by faith! This is true Christian Ethics. God has revealed for you to receive more wisdom by faith. It is also God’s revealed Will for you NOT to receive wisdom if you doubt. James with the same certain language he used in chapter 1 regarding receiving wisdom in faith, continues in this same topic of faith, saying in ch. 5 that one “will receive” forgiveness and healing with faith-- not maybe but they "shall receive it. 

Ontologically speaking it is God who causes one to have the faith to believe for anything; this however, does not negate the commandments (ethics) of God. God’s command to repent and believe in Jesus’ name is given to the whole world, yet, this is not negated by the fact that in the categorial of ontology God causes faith or non-faith. God’s command to receive wisdom by faith is not optional. If you need wisdom it is a commandment to receive it by faith (ethic); the fact that ontologically, God will cause one to have this faith or not does not negate the commandment (Christian ethics). Obtaining salvation, and healing, and help and even wisdom BY faith, is not optional. 

 

FOURTH. I could say several things about his comment of burdens, but I will limit to this. What kind of world does Driscoll live in that faith to receive healing is a “burden,”? Rather than an accurate description of truth, this admission this seems autobiographical. I just finished reading the Book of Hebrews and was inspired to have faith for all sorts of heroic things (Ch.11), to obtain what I ask for. But according to him, this is a burden? This is trampling on the blood Christ and despising the Gracious nature of God. Healing is a provision of the Blood of Jesus as a High Priest, as is so clearly stated in Isaiah 53. Thus, it truly is a trampling on the precious blood of Jesus to reject healing by faith in Jesus’ finished work.

As God delivered the Israelites from Egypt, God has delivered me from sin and death—all by Himself with no help from me. However, just as with Joshua and the Israelites I was also Baptized in the Jordan river; and upon doing so God placed a sword in my hand and told me to take the land. Hebrews said Joshua entered because of faith. Only faith in God would overcome the insurmountable troubles ahead of him. That is, by faith Joshua would overcome; without it he would fail just like the millions of dead corpses of the Israelites laying in the desert proved. Joshua did not look at the high walls and strong people as a burden—the only real burden was dealing with 40 years of the unbelief that surrounded him; but rather, with a shout of triumph in the promise of his God, he overcame all things. 

 

When I realize that I did not find the escape from sin today, the issue is my unbelief in the promise of God. NLT 1 Corinthians 10:13, “When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.” 

When I fall into temptation it is not that the promise of God failed; rather, it is my faith. It is not a burden for me to realize this!!! Why is it not? Hebrews 12:1–2 (LEB), “Therefore, let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the originator and perfecter of faith.” My faith is not perfect; however, the Perfect One and the author of my faith, is with me to mature and strengthen my faith. I am able to rebuke myself and in the promises of God—take my stand—knowing Jesus will improve and mature my faith. I do not see burdens; I see hope. I see many triumphs and victories through the imputed righteous of Jesus credited to my account by grace, even in healing, miracles and defeating temptations. I see a promise land--filled with enemies, that will fall by my sword of truth and shield of faith. I see joy in overcoming all things. When the battle seems to grind to a halt—when Moses’ hands fell—I see peace, knowing the Victory is still mine through faith, for the Author of my faith will strengthen the feeble hands that hang low. I do no see high walls; rather, I see promises for the walls to come down. I see the same promises given to Joshua and King David are given to New Testament Christians in Hebrews 13.  Do I see faith as a burden? No! Faith whether it be for redemption or healing or temptations, faith in God's revealed Word is not a burden to me at all; it is a constant river of joy, hope and peace!

FIRTH. Driscoll commits these horrific blasphemes because Scripture is not his first principle and final authority. His argument rests on his feeling sympathy for people, as if this is the standard over Scripture. Experience and emotions are his first principles in practice; the Bible (Mind of God) has now become collateral damage in order to exalt this human speculations as the axiom to judge all things. Charismatics are criticized for making experience and feelings their first principle over God, but it seems those who criticize them are, the best of the best, at de-valuing God’s revealed Mind under the boot of their experiences and feelings.

There is no need for appealing to nebulous notions of what God’s will is from divining or speculating form one’s current experience. To do so, is both inductive and not resting on Scripture as one's epistemology. Elijah prayed for rain 7 times. Think! During the failed 6th prayer could not Elijah have said, "because God has not answered me 6 times in a row, then it concludes that rain is not His will?" To do so is a false form of humility. It tramples on God’s sovereignty as a cheap thing in order to avoid standing in faith on God’s Word. Also, to do so is to make one’s "own speculation" from inductive experience on equal grounds with Scripture--as a first principle for knowledge. This proceeds from a stupid mind and a heart of witchcraft. Why bother criticizing the Pope as a dual epistemology with Scripture if one makes their own speculative experience trump God’s own Words? Why even bother asking a witch to divine your life if you use own inductive speculations to find out God's secret decrees? Hypocrites!



[1] Mark Driscoll. www.markdriscoll.org. Ask Pastor Mark. “Am I not healed Because of Lack of Faith.” 2017

 
Poverty Gospel Promises too little
Written by Oshea Davis   
Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Mohler’s Poverty Gospel Promises too little.

I saw this quote the other day by Albert Mohler.

“"(a)The problem with Prosperity Theology is not that it promises too much, but that it aims for so little. What God promises us in Christ is far above anything that can be measured in earthly wealth – (b)and believers are not promised earthly wealth nor the gift of health."

 

This is so bad, and it reeks of false humility. Does he really expect Christians to fall for this type of religious sophistry and rhetoric? 


(a) It is misleading in that if one preaches health and wealth they exclude teaching forgiveness of sin and eternity spend with God as sons. He is making the same mistake of the people whom he is critiquing. What God promises us does include health and wealth. His statement appears to imply not seeking all of God’s promises, but only the ones you cannot see, such as a cleansed soul and a future heaven. Even if these eternal promises are superior, than a healing promise today--it is irrelevant to the argument, they are all promises secured by our faith in God to sovereignly keep His word. God was sovereign when He made promises, whether about heaven or healing. It is unbelief and disobedience to not seek God's promises, period. To exclude promises of God is to exclude them. If there are 10 promises and one kills 6 of them so that only 4 remain, then their gospel is defective, being based upon human speculation. Thus, Moher's poverty gospel promises too little. He guilty of the same thing he condemns in others. Hypocrite. False humility. 



As for (b) he is flat out mistaken. “Give us our daily bread.” The mercy given to Job after his testing by God, (James 5) in context is not a spiritual blessing, but a double portion of health and wealth. James instructs us to apply Job's story to us; James does the same with Elijah's prayer for rain in to O.T. to be moralized for us to pray for healing now. 


(b)Also, the “gift of health,” looks to be a misleading equivocation if originally meant as "healing" from a broken body. Who denies that we suffer and are born with a broken body? Healing is health. I am sure Jesus meant it that way. I am sure the people He healed took it that way too. "In this world you will have trouble, but cheer, up I have overcome the world."

The issue, is that that Bible is simply not humble enough, for some people; they feel the need to help out the Bible and make it more humble according to a man centered view.

 

 

Be Good Stewards of Pain? OR is Christian Ethics Being Good Stewards of God's Promises and commands?

I read this irritating quote from Jerry bridges the other day.

 

"....We usually think of Christian stewardship in terms of money. Some churches have 'stewardship campaigns' during which they seek to get their membership to pledge toward the annual church budget. Then the concept of stewardship was broadened to include our time and talents---or as one slogan puts it, 'Be a good steward of your time, talents, and treasure.' The idea behind these concepts is that whatever resources God has given us, He has entrusted them to us as stewards to use for His glory.
"Now apply that idea to pain, either physical or emotional. If we believe God is sovereignly in control of all circumstances of our lives, then our pain is something He has given to us just as much as our time or talents or treasure. He has entrusted the pain to us as stewards to be used for His glory.
"How can we be good stewards of the pain God gives us? One way ... is to trust Him even though we don't understand the purpose of the pain...... "
“Joy of Fearing God.” Jerry Bridges. pg. 225 .

 

(1) There are a few problems with this. The first main “if…then,” argument only in essence says, “ If God CAUSES all things, then God CAUSES this thing.” It is a broad but correct deduction. So far so good. It is only dealing with causality or ontology that is; and so, the conclusion he makes that pain is like stewardship, is an implied “ought.” We ought to obey God to use pain is such and such away. This is now a category or ethics—a different category. Ethics is what God commands. However, Jerry provides no command from God (in what I read) clearly showing we “ought” to treat pain the way he seems to imply.

(2). Overall this is an inductive argument in the form of arguing from analogy, which is invalid. [ That is, X, R, T, and F all have characteristic 1, 2, and 3. Also, X, R and T have characteristic 4. Thus, F has characteristic 4 as well. ]
The problem with the invalid argument from analogy is when one takes it further. If we take the analogy further to see where it leads it would imply that pain is not merely something to “steward,” but a “gift.” I surely take my “talent” to play music for God as a gift – and money, and time. Some theologies treat pain like a sick religious fetish. Christian masochists.

(3.) Lastly, we do in fact know –broadly speaking—what to with suffering GOD CAUSES. Hannah knew what to do when she dealt with the pain of not having a child -(which God caused), she asked for a miracle and received one – a gift. She did not like the pain and wanted it to go away. God gave her a son, as a gift. The pain stopped. God has commanded us to believe in His promises. God's commands is real Christian ethics. Christian ethics is not an inductive conclusion taken from some nebulous notion of what one thinks God's causality is doing at a given moment. 
Hanna lived out true Christian ethics. She was a hero of faith and ethics. Hannah after speaking of God’s sovereignty ("God kills and makes alive") proclaims that for the humble who believe in Him, (1 Sam. 2:9,8) “For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’s; on them he has set the world. He will guard the feet of his faithful servants, but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness. It is not by strength that one prevails. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor.” 
Hannah, therefore, was a faithful steward of the promises of God by believing in them – and giving glory to God as a “GOOD” Father by receiving the very thing she asked from Him (a fish for a fish, bread for bread, an egg for an egg, and a son for a son).

 
** THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE **
Written by Oshea Davis   
Thursday, 27 July 2017

The Philosophy of Science

  THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE

 [ This was a short essay question—which I expounded on—for one of my philosophy classes at school. The direct subject of chiropractic medicine was chosen by the teacher. I have no experience in this practice and so I have no partiality toward it either way. I just don’t care. But it did make for an interesting foothold to talk about the “philosophy of science” itself. And so, I decided to defend or discredit chiropractic medicine on the standard of the philosophy of science itself—an important presupposition many overlook; however, I will not play their game. I will not overlook it.]

 

QUEST. Is chiropractic medicine legitimate?

 

ANS. If medicine is “science,” then it must admit chiropractic medicine as genuine.

If medicine is defined as “the SCIENCE of restoring or preserving health,” and legitimate is defined as “conforming to recognized principles or accepted rules and standards,” then yes it would be.

 

SCIENCE A LOGICAL FALLACY

Medicine’s definition is based on it being science. By science, I mean scientific experimentation. Now, by scientific experimentation I mean how a scientist looks to confirm their hypotheses for what is a “cause,” by controlled tests.  Logically this is called “affirming the consequent.” The problem with “affirming the consequent,” which is the basis for all scientific experimentation, is that it is a logical fallacy. Experimentation logically means, affirming the consequent.  It logically works backwards from result to cause. If one gets the result, the assertion is that there must be some truth behind it. However, Correlation does not infer causation.  For now, I will just skip over science’s other fatal flaws such as empiricism and induction and just focus on this.

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