Natural vs. Supernatural Healing, Christian Faith and Faith Healing, Lesson 3, 5-10

What are we to infer from these various scripture messages, and there are many more in the Bible that refer to sickness and cures. We may conclude that whether healing comes with or without the attendance of a physician, and the use of medicines, the original healing comes from God. It ought to be understood that the physician has the backing of the scriptures for his work, and that person who depreciates the use of doctors does so on his own authority and not on the authority of the Bible. We need to emphasize this because there are many people who consider doctors and medicines as purely a mechanical healing effort, but the sin here is in denying their relationship to God, and not in using doctors. We need to remember also that the tendency of faith healers to raise their level of healing to a higher spiritual level than that of using physicians has no basis in scripture.

We have mentioned the proneness of the faith healers to disparage the role of the doctor in healing. What basis is there for thinking that their kind of healing is of a higher type than that of the doctors? The basis for this thinking is in the separation of cures into natural and supernatural. Of course, in this thinking, natural healing is done by the doctors and medicine, but super natural healing is done only by the faith healers. J.C. Poteet and Oral Roberts tell almost the same story of their receiving the ability to heal. They both say that they wanted the power to heal so badly that they cried out to God to give them this power, or deny them, and they were given the power to heal. On the other hand, we know how doctors get their power to heal.

Well, are there two kinds of healing, the natural and supernatural? First, we must determine what these words mean. A natural world is a world in which we have access to by means of the senses. It is a completely enclosed word which is self-explanatory and which operates under a reign of Laws which is absolute. Of course, the faith healers do not deny that God is the originator of this world, for to do so would make them an atheist, but they follow the idea that God, having completed the world, started it like an alarm clock and left it to run until he came back.

The supernatural enters into being when God elects to return and intervene in the world and in the laws which are operative in the world. One must believe that God is able to do this or else he must greatly limit God’s power. In this manner of thinking, God intervened in the world’s affairs when he sent Jesus into the world and empowered him to set aside the natural laws and effect miraculous cures. In effect, God broke the natural laws. But what are natural laws except man’s own observation of world occurrences. A clearer way of thinking of this is to consider that the so called natural laws of the world are merely God’s habits that we have observed. Those things which seem super natural to us are merely the changing of God’s habits. This means that laws are his habits and it is God’s activity which makes them laws. The habits of a man are pretty  much the same. Each morning he arises, shaves, eats breakfast, dresses, and goes to work. However, on holidays, he varies these habits, but this doesn’t mean he has broken a law, he has only changed his habits. This view of God’s activity complies better with the Scripture which sees God’s activity in all phases of life including healing by physicians.

Therefore, we can call every occurrence in the world either usual or unusual rather than natural or supernatural. This will satisfy the teaching of the Bible which sees all healing as God’s healing. We can only distinguish between divine healings according to familiar procedures and divine healings according to unfamiliar procedures. In looking at healing in this way, we can see that healing with doctors and medicines is no more supernatural than healing by faith. The healing process set in motion by prayer is not necessarily more spiritual than that set in motion by a doctor’s treatment.

Man has made three great mistakes about nature. Man has thought of nature as God and worshipped it. Man has thought of nature as existing apart from God. And man has thought of himself as a helpless prisoner of nature. The Protestant Christian is now able to see nature as the activities of God and instead of worshipping nature or fearing nature, he may enjoy nature by attuning himself to God’s way. A Christian doctor once said, “I tended him. God healed him.” Benjamin Franklin once said, “God heals and the doctor takes the fee.”

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