This will hopefully be our last post on maintaining your healing. Although we’re getting rather tired of the subject we have continued to labour it because we believe it is a very dangerous distortion of Christian teaching, one which has sadly cost people their lives. The problem with discussing this is that as with any counterfeit, SCOAN’s teaching on healing looks very similar to more orthodox Christian teaching on healing. It is only with close examination that the differences become clear. These subtle, yet dangerous differences are at times difficult to express, and have likely been the reason why many have misrepresented our criticisms (whether intentionally or not).
First we will consider an analogy which will help us to understand the teaching more clearly.
George is heavily in debt and close to bankruptcy. He has multiple repayments being made every month to service his debt, but after these are all made he has no money left to live on, so slips even further into debt. He visits a pastor who prays for him and declares him free of debt. The pastor tells him that all his debts have been repaid in full, and not only that – his bank account has been credited with $10,000 – more than enough to establish himself financially and avoid getting into debt again.
Now consider some questions about this scenario.
- Should George check with his lenders that his debts are cleared before cancelling the repayments? Or would that show lack of faith?
- Should George check his bank balance really is $10,000 before starting to spend it?
Now back to the story, consider this outcome, outcome A:
George takes the pastor at his word, cancels all his repayments and starts buying the things he needs for a modest and simple lifestyle. In just a couple of weeks he finds his bank account locked out, and debt collectors knocking at his door. Horrified, he discovers that nothing the pastor said was true and he is now completely bankrupt.
Is it fair to blame the pastor for this? Yes, of course! He made a claim which proved to be false and ended up bankrupting George. What if the Pastor claimed that what he said was true, but due to Georges lack of faith, he had not maintained his miracle and lost it. Wouldn’t that be quite outrageous?
Let’s now consider an alternative outcome, outcome B:
George goes and checks with the bank and his lenders and finds that exactly what the pastor said was true. He goes straight out and buys an expensive car, books a luxury holiday and starts renting an apartment costing twice as much as his old one. Before long he has spent all the money credited to his account and is fast slipping into debt again.
If this happened, would it be fair to blame the pastor? Of course not! What the pastor said was absolutely true, the pastor cannot be held responsible for what is done after this. However, nor can it be said that George did not maintain his miracle. The miracle was final and complete when the Pastor declared it – the debts were paid and the money was in the bank. The miracle wasn’t “undone” because of his irresponsible living, he got himself in debt again!
Outcome A represents what we claim happens at SCOAN. This claim is based on what we have observed happening to people we know personally (most of whom died) as well as what we have seen in various news reports. Outcome B represents the “straw man” that SCOAN supporters erect as a fallacious way of responding to our criticism. Just like the miracle George experienced in outcome B, a biblical miracle is final and complete. It does not dictate to you how you may live in the future, but that specific issue is dealt with finally and completely.
The only way SCOAN supporters justify the fact that people have died after being declared healed by TB Joshua is that they did not maintain their miracle (if you have another justification, please let us know in the comments). The people who we know personally were never healed, or to use the George analogy, the debts were never paid off and the money was never in the bank. It was not that they irresponsibly squandered their miracle afterwards.
- Accuse us of lying about the deaths of our friends and relatives
- Admit that the maintaining your miracle teaching has been grossly misused to cover up for false healings
- Stick their fingers in their ears whilst shouting “Pharisee, Pharisee, Pharisee, Pharisee!!” at the top of their voices.