The Doctrine of Faith
The second theme discussed in this article was the concept of faith healing in relation to free willl. I will address a few of the main points Wommack makes with my personal editorial, but I must confess that I believe A. W. Pink’s discussion on this topic is far superior to any trivial parallels I will attempt to make. His chapter dedicated to this subject can be found here.
The difficulty in responding to an article of this type and many of the free will claims in general is that it is couched in many parts of truth. As I listened to the first part of Wommack’s teaching tape, I was amazed at all the scriptures that he quoted and how I found myself shaking my head in agreement. But then he would pass over a scripture and before I could question the tie that he attempted to make he was off to the next topic.
I finally came to grips with the idea that the accurate scriptures were used much like a used car sales technique. In sales, the salesman will ask a lot of meaningless questions to get you answering in a positive manner. Many have experienced this. Are you having a good day today? “Yes”. Are you looking for a really affordable and comfortable car? Um… “Yes”. If I can find you an affordable car that you like, are you ready to take it home today? Uh…”Yes”, I think… Before one knows it they are already picturing the car they want and are driving down the road in it and the car salesman hasn’t got them out of his office and into the showroom yet.
This is the same technique found in these preaching tapes. He starts by defining sovereignty. This is a basic dictionary definition in which all will agree with. He properly applies it to God as being the Sovereign of the universe. He then makes the point that God has “limited himself in His Word. That is to say that He is bound to act according to how He is described in the Bible. Again, this is a basic understanding of how God has shown Himself to us and there he lays out many scriptures to back up both these points.
He labors these points that have strong Biblical references in great detail. However, once the audience is shaking their head yes, he breezes past a scripture like 1 John 5:14-15 with the finesse of a car salesman
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”
He quickly goes on to quote a few quick verse’s out of context to show that it is God’s will that we all be healed. What he failed to present to his audience is the fact that God is not bound by our misinterpretations of His Word. Nor is He bound to His Word taken out of context, but to the Word as an accurate and complete whole covenant.
By picking a few scriptures out of context to make the case that God will always heal people, he proclaims that God will always heal us and that to think otherwise is to be double minded. What this beliefs states is that God will always answer our prayers if we tie a few isolated scriptures to them. It completely misses the dozens of scriptural references where God did not heal people. Many of these were discussed in part 1 of this piece, but the most obvious example is from Paul in II Corinthians 12:7-10 where God’s answer to his prayer was ” my grace is sufficient for thee”.
We are to have “faith” in God, not in our prayers or the hope that God will answer our prayers, but in Him alone. What this doctrine does is remove our faith in God and His sovereign hand in the earth and places the emphasis on our faith, as if it was something we attained of ourselves. We should find in ourselves the ability to “not doubt” or be “double minded” and then God will answer us. This places man above God. We are dependant upon Him. He is not dependant upon our faith to do His will in the Earth. See 1 Corinthians 12:9 or the plethora of other scriptures on the doctrine of works.
This is an important point as our justification is to come by faith. If our faith was to be something that we managed to control on our own, then it would seem that we should be able to muster the faith to save ourselves. So this leads to the real question. Where does our faith come from and how do we “choose” salvation.