Three prominent Christian MPs have challenged the Advertising Standards Authority to produce evidence to support their assertion that God cannot heal, reports Total Politics.
The ASA ruled on 1st February 2012 that Christians in Bath may not say in an advertisement:
“NEED HEALING? GOD CAN HEAL TODAY! … We’d love to pray for your healing right now! We’re Christian from churches in Bath and we pray in the name of Jesus. We believe that God loves you and can heal you from any sickness”.
In a letter (on the Total Politics link above) to the Chairman of the ASA, Lord Smith of Finsbury, the MPs, Gary Streeter MP (Con), Gavin Shuker MP (Labour) and Tim Farron (Lib-Dem), from the all-party group Christians in Parliament, mention the prayer that has gone up for Fabrice Muamba and ask if those praying for him are wrong.
The openly-‘gay’ Chris, Lord, Smith of Finsbury who is also a vice-president of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, spent his years as an MP doing just that. In 2009, the ASA cleared the atheist bus ads which claimed there was no God.
As the MPs point out, a belief that God can heal today is based on ‘two thousand years of Christian tradition and the very clear teaching in the Bible’.
The Lord Jesus said: Mark 16:17 ‘And these signs shall follow them that believe; … 18 … they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.’
The Apostle James said: James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
So James lays down some
One of the claims made by the ASA is that belief that God heals might stop people going to the doctor. In fact, none of the Bath Christians would advise against medical assistance. Christian theology views medicine as a gift from God and being a doctor or nurse as a vocation. One of the evangelists, Luke, was a doctor. No Christian is going to tell a man with gall stones not to have the operation.
But just as God did not step in to save the Israelites from the advancing Egyptian army in Exodus 14 until they had exhausted all human ideas, and the woman with a flow of blood in Luke 8 had seen all the doctors before she came to Jesus, so it is often when the efforts of medicine can do no more that the miracle comes.
At other times, as in Fabrice Muamba’s case, prayer covers the whole pattern of events, such that an operation and healing go more swiftly and smoothly than anyone could imagine. And then the doctors speak of ‘a miracle’.
Faith is also important. Both the Lord Jesus and the Apostle James tell us not to doubt. The ‘double-minded’ will receive nothing from the Lord, says James. We must not pray and then say to ourselves ‘I don’t think the Lord will do it, but it’s worth a try.’ And prayer has to be fervent, from the heart.
Just put “miraculous healing” into any search engine, be encouraged, and confound the ASA!