Divine Healing: Is It Scriptural?
by A.W. Pink
1. The Positive Side
Having exposed the cardinal errors promulgated by the "Divine healing" cults, we turn now to the positive side of the subject. And there is pressing need to do so, for the pulpit has failed grievously here as in so many other directions. Of old God complained, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hos. 4:6), and history has repeated itself. It was prophesied, "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord" (Amos 8:11), and that fearful prediction is now in course of fulfillment. In the vast majority of places rank error rather than the Truth is being given out, and even in the few remaining centers of orthodoxy the preacher confines himself to such a narrow compass that his people are scarcely any better indoctrinated at the end of the year than they were at the beginning: there is no longer a bringing forth of "things new" as well as "things old" (Matt. 13:52). How many of our readers, we wonder, ever heard a sermon on their duties and privileges in connection with sickness! Very, very few we fear. Little wonder that so many ill-informed members of "evangelical churches" fall such easy victims to modern religious fads.
It is no sufficient reply for preachers to say, We have far weightier and more essential themes to expound. True, the salvation of the soul is immeasurably greater than the healing of the body, nevertheless the Scriptures have much to say concerning the body, and it is to our very great loss if we ignore or remain ignorant about the same. Is it of no moment at all whether the Christian be healthy or sickly? Has our loving heavenly Father left His children without any instruction concerning the laws of health? And when they fall ill is their situation no better than that of the unbelieving world? Must they too lean upon the arm of flesh when sickness overtakes them, and seek the help of a doctor—often an infidel? The Lord is "a very present help in trouble" (Ps. 46:1): does that mean nothing more than that the saint must, in every instance, seek grace from Him to patiently endure his afflictions? God has promised to supply "all the need" of His people (Phil. 4:19): does that include nothing better than drugs and medicines, such as the Christ-rejector has access to, when I am ill? These are not questions to be lightly dismissed, but prayerfully pondered in the light of Holy Writ.
If the Divine healing cults have gone to one extreme, that of unbalanced fanaticism, have not most of the Lord’s people in this matter gone to the opposite extreme—that of unbelieving stoicism or fatalistic inertia? Is not the attitude of only too many something like this? O well, man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward, so as I cannot expect immunity from physical sufferings, hence I must take what remedies I can for relief, and then make the best of a bad job; or, since this be my appointed lot, I must endeavor to bear it as patiently as I can. Of course when pain is acute they cry unto the Lord and beg Him to ease their anguish, just as Pharaoh did when God’s sore plagues were upon his land. And when Christians pray for recovery, how many of them really do so with the expectation of its being granted? how many know where to turn for a pertinent promise and then plead the same prevailingly? Yet some of them feel they are living beneath their privileges as sons and daughters of the Almighty, and when they hear or read what is advanced by the "faith healing" people wonder how much of it is true and how much false.