Check out the new Convergence Church Network! 

Visit www.convergencechurchnetwork.com and join the mailing list.

Enjoying God Blog

1

By Leah MarieAnn Klett, Assistant Editor Friday, March 22, 2024Twitter

[As most of you know, on April 1, 2023, I joined with Michael Brown in a roundtable dialogue on the subject of false teachers, false prophets, and the work of the Holy Spirit today. On the other side of the debate were Justin Peters and Jim Osman, staunch cessationists. The Christian Post has been releasing summaries of the four-hour dialogue, and here is the third one. This may be followed by at least one more.]

Leading Christian thought leaders delved into the theological divide between cessationism and continuationism and the role of spiritual gifts, particularly healing, in the Church today and whether a lack of healing results from an individual's insufficient faith or sin.

In a four-hour roundtable discussion, Justin Peters of Justin Peters Ministries and Jim Osman, author and pastor of Kootenai Community Church, debated Michael Brown, host of "The Line of Fire" podcast, and Sam Storms, pastor emeritus of Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City.

The four men debated whether gifts like healing and prophecy, as described in the New Testament, particularly in 1 Corinthians 12, continue to operate in the modern church.

Cessationists, like Peters and Osman, argue that certain spiritual gifts ceased with the apostolic age or upon the completion of the New Testament canon. In contrast, continuationists, including Brown and Storms, maintain that these gifts are still active and accessible to believers today.

"There's nothing in Scripture that would indicate that God ever intended to operate for only 50 or 60 years in the life of the church," Brown stated, emphasizing the belief in the perpetuity of spiritual gifts.

“I've seen so many people's lives transformed by the extension of God's grace through one of these gifts or through healing,” he said. “And as the Gospel is preached, especially around the world, especially where it's going for the first time, it's very, very common for the Gospel to be followed [by] the signs and wonders that are the very testimony of the Lordship of Jesus that draw people to recognize that He is the one and only God, the one and only Lord. So I don't just see this abstract theology; I see it as really important in terms of God doing real things in our lives in an ongoing way.”

“It's a great way for God to be glorified. It's a great way for Him to manifest His love in tangible ways. And it's something that we should pursue as part of the gracious operation of the Spirit, and we lose out by not doing it. So I believe it's important scripturally, but also practically.”

Storms added that many cessationists also “misunderstand” what charismatics believe about healing, adding: “Paul could not heal at will … healing is always subject to the will of God and His timing and His purpose is not to any particular individual who claims that they have this gift.”

Osman, while acknowledging the possibility of God's intervention in healing, expressed skepticism toward the notion that certain individuals hold a special anointing for healing today.

"I've seen and we've prayed for people that were not healed and ended up dying," he shared, underscoring the complexity and mystery of God's will in such matters.

“We believe that God still heals,” Osman said. “We have prayed in our congregation for God to heal people and God has healed them. And sometimes that has been inexplicable. We've had other times when it has happened through medicine or through times when God has granted healing rather than taking somebody's life … what you're calling a gift I would just call the sovereign act of God and bringing healing to somebody.”

The dialogue also ventured into the contentious issue of the "prosperity gospel" and its emphasis on faith as a prerequisite for healing. Osman and Peters criticized the harmful teachings associated with certain strands of charismatic theology that blame individuals for their lack of healing.

Peters, who is physically disabled, countered Brown’s sentiment that healing is “always the will of God,” adding: “I see too many examples in the Old and New Testament of faithful servants of God who were sick and as best we know were never healed.”

“Sometimes, when it pleases God to do it, He does heal people, and I've seen a few examples that are very compelling to me that I have no problem with,” he continued. “But I will not and cannot, because I'm not convinced from the Scriptures, I'm convinced otherwise from Scriptures, that it is always God's will to be healed because that places the burden upon the one who is sick.

If you begin with the premise that it is always God's will to be healed and a person prays for that healing for days, weeks, months, years, some people for decades, and the healing does not come, then the question must be asked, ‘Whose fault is it?’ And by definition, it cannot be God's fault. So the only other one to whom to look is the one who is sick. It's his fault, her fault. … I could give you thousands of examples of that very thing being taught by prominent prosperity Word of Faith preachers,” he said.

Storms agreed there are “multiple reasons” an individual is not healed.

“Unconfessed, unrepentant sin can be an obstacle to somebody's physical healing. The lack of faith, could be a demonic presence,” he said. “The woman in Luke 13 who was held in bondage by Satan for 18 years had a spirit of infirmity. So there are multiple reasons … is it's a mystery. We cannot fathom God's will and His purpose.”

Peters criticized teachings that place the burden of unanswered prayers for healing on the individuals themselves, suggesting it’s a failure in their faith or spiritual discipline. He noted that in 2022, Beni Johnson, the wife of Bethel Church Senior Pastor Bill Johnson, died following a battle with cancer despite the pastor’s belief in supernatural healing.

“What they teach doesn't even work for them,” Peters said.

Despite the differences, there was a consensus that, regardless of one's stance on the continuation of spiritual gifts, the Church's primary focus should be on proclaiming the Gospel and caring for those in need, including praying for the sick with compassion and sensitivity.

Peters said he’s been to Joyce Meyer conferences, Lakewood Church, Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland meetings, and sees “absolutely no difference in the amount of sickness and disease that I see in those circles as to what I see in any cessationist church that I go to.”

“There's not a less prominence of sickness and disease in Word of Faith circles … than there is in cessation circles,” he said. “There's no difference. I don't believe that God is healing more people in those circles than He is in our circles. I just don't believe it. I don't see proof of it.”

1 Comment

Dear Dr Storms - i sincerely wish that this message reaches you by GOD’s grace and power. I thank the staff who will be delivering this message to you in advance. I can see what is going on in Christian communities today. Also, I did see yours and Dr Brown speaking vs Peters and Osman. I was blessed by the stand you took for GOD’s glory. However, I had one question that concerns me and I see that hardly anybody questions/checks the below mentioned to people like Peters, Mike winger, Jim osman, etc or anybody. Why is that these people never cover the good done for the kingdom of GOD? It is just unbelievable to see how badly people are deceived. And these all are causing further divisions and apostasy within Christianity. Thanks for the time you will be taking to go through what I am sharing below.

simple question - in last 50 years plus of pastor benny hinn’s ministry where GOD has used him all over the world to preach the gospel to millions with millions of dollars invested ( unlike sitting in a room and doing online videos cherry picks) , do you really think that’s all false? - Please help me understand from the below links out of several hundreds to thousands out there …so has he preached only prosperity all 50 years of his ministry? Show me please… these crusades and events all over the world overall costs millions of dollars …so who sponsored these mega events? Let Mike winger or Justin peters or anybody who questions have courage to cover in the below links and my objection is why hasn’t he spoken a single word on the following? Just check on youtube - benny hinn in India crusade Bombay and Bangalore ( 2004 and 2005 ), perhaps you will have a clue of worship, message, miracles and see for yourself that only FATHER CHRIST JESUS is glorified… benny hinn is just a man and obviously he can’t heal anyone which he has mentioned thousands of times…… and the following are just a few examples … you check for yourself on benny hinn blessed worship sessions and sermons …you will surely get to know the full picture please. I do agree his financial asking is not encouraged and he may have done that under financial pressures as a human being but the fact of the matter is , yes, millions around the world - whether it is phillipines, Indonesia, Africa, Europe, the whole of the US, South America, India, etc etc ( more than 50 countries did hear the gospel face to face in millions )… so who is ultimately glorified, but JESUS alone when we see millions of people worshipping our LORD in SPIRIT and TRUTH?

Benny hinn - is JESUS GOD
https://youtu.be/sOuzMTxF_S0?si=T42TqCUlSyOuxHKV

Benny hinn - authority of GOD’s WORD
https://www.youtube.com/live/THSFzDS3K-U?si=XEPoOajGX1RbgG8o

Benny hinn - victorious life through CROSS https://youtu.be/HrTGXXKlp08?si=KLS9TISl0LgC4eex

Benny hinn - the BLOOD sets you free from bondage https://youtu.be/TGdBDxTDcB0?si=adh-tv702N2-f_OE

Benny hinn - bring back the CROSS https://youtu.be/K0kfNehSAts?si=k-ILrW763rKJr_sB

Benny hinn - alleluia worship in India https://youtu.be/dn3xbJ-wVHY?si=2wNz_qRoo9XF2Sx6

Benny hinn - I will trust in YOU Manila phillipines https://youtu.be/u_hgMvc-tX4?si=N2wyE_BB4iANRyLH

Benny hinn - Road map to GOD’s presence https://youtu.be/Jhh3MT1j220?si=3BKeY2PHSEUllZhg

Benny hinn - seeking JESUS through prayer https://youtu.be/4SpQdeZ_WPI?si=4oJXvl4duI4MCMU6

Benny hinn - GOD’s miraculous healing “ dead legs come to life “ https://youtu.be/-8xnuBbyN28?si=1vqZOG2fry6Zl2t8

Any ways it’s a choice ..I believe GOD is the final judge…let HE take care of the matter …Gamaliel's Wise Advice
But Gamaliel stood up and gave some very wise advice. In verse 38–39 he says, "I tell you keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this undertaking is of men, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them."….. GOD has sustained pastor benny hinn for 50 plus years in the ministry … it’s no joke that the LORD used him and his team to preach the gospel to millions around the world face to face … finally I do know you read the BIBLE daily which is a must. However, if you can find time - just read the book “ good morning HOLY SPIRIT “ once … just give it a shot.. you lose nothing anyways and definitely pray.. let the LORD alone lead you..

Stay blessed Dr Storms in our LORD YESHUA forever for HIS glory only … Amen

Write a Comment

Do not change this field:
SPAM protection (do not modify):
Leave this field untouched: