Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Devon Dick | Healing and Homosexuality

Published:Thursday | March 9, 2017 | 3:00 AM

A pastor said God told him that a member of the Open Bible Church, who is quite ill, has not been healed because she will not disown her son who is in a homosexual relationship. This is, apparently, the allegation being made by Maurice Tomlinson in last Saturday's Gleaner. Furthermore, he claims that he wrote to the pastor, his supervisor and also the general secretary of the Jamaica Council of Churches. So far, no one has denied publicly the claims of Tomlinson, hence, it could be concluded that his statements are true.

And if true, then it would be most unfortunate. It would be a tragedy of gross proportions to link getting healing to disowning someone because of sexual orientation, proclivities and/or practices. This is really a stretch on interpreting the Bible. There is no discernible scriptural precedent for this position. Where in the Bible could one find a principle to justify such an utterance? Jesus never said anything remotely resembling this pastor's assertion. In fact, God's love is unconditional to the undeserving, unqualified, unfit and unprepared persons. God's love and God's healing is always about the mercy of God. No one is ever deserving of healing. Healing is a prerogative of God and He gives it to whomever and through whomever He deems fit.

In Mark's account of the story of healing, the father of the ill boy said, 'Lord I believe, help my unbelief' [Mk 9:24]. Apparently, we do not even need to have perfect faith to receive healing or for a loved one to get healed. There is also the healing of the Centurion's son (Mt 8:5-13) where the Centurion asked for healing on behalf of his son by Jesus saying the word without even visiting his house. Friends brought the paralytic to Jesus for healing and a synagogue leader asked Jesus to raise his daughter from the dead (Mt 9:18-26). These are all third-parties healing; on behalf of others. The persons receiving and benefiting from the healing did not have to exercise any faith for healing to take place. In other words, the pastor could facilitate healing in spite of the lack of faith of this lady or in spite of her attitude towards homosexuality and the sexual practices of her son. Perhaps, the pastor should adopt the posture of Jesus' disciples who pondered why they could not facilitate the healing of the boy. After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, "Why couldn't we drive it out?" He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer." (Mk 9:28-29). Perhaps the reason for the pastor not witnessing healing is due to a lack of a proper, powerful prayer ministry. He needs faith that will lead him to pray for this lady and leave the results to God.

When Jesus states that one needs faith as small as a mustard seed to move mountains, He is saying that the most difficult problem is solved in spite of us and because of God's priorities. With God, the impossible becomes possible.

As we observe Lent, it is good to remember that in the end, life triumphed over death. Jesus was raised from the dead, and the same power that raised Him from the dead is present and available to help us with the easier task of praying for healing. Therefore, stop blaming others for our inadequacy and lack of a powerful public ministry and start praying, expecting mountains to be moved through the power of God's will.

- Rev Devon Dick is pastor of the Boulevard Baptist Church in St Andrew. He is author of 'The Cross and the Machete', and 'Rebellion to Riot'. Send feedback to columns@ gleanerjm.com.