An Inconvenient Truth?


32Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God (1 Corinthians 10:32)

Today is visited an acquaintance. We were supposed to be visiting the Healing Room Christchurch but it was closed because of the school holidays. Upon my arrival I saw his state of being was not too flash. He felt rejected by society and most of all by what are supposed to be his brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. Being the person whom he is, he did not blame or curse any off the people with whom he shares his faith; instead he wondered whether God had abandoned him and that as a result his fellow Christians were abandoning him.

I was reminded of some of the lessons I got when going through Law School. I thought back at how revealing it was to me that in law ot was not just what you did that could be legally relevant but also what you did not do: your omissions.  Paul very eloquently does not use any words that could indicate actions, he uses the verb causing. Which could also mean omission or in-actions. Could it maybe be that this was not a case of abandonment by God but by fellow Christians?

Admittedly, a wrong impression may easily occur. But looking through Christian goggles, that still does not mean that this man does not deserve a chance, no matter how different and needy he may be. And speaking from personal experience; give this man a chance and you will find a beautiful creation with a considerable depth in terms of faith and spirituality, despite some mental/psychological/psychiatric background and problems. Personally I can say, I have learned a lot from my acquaintance with him first and foremost that THERE IS SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL IN EVERYONE IF WE ARE WILING TO LOOK FOR IT. But are we all looking for it? Or are we feeling more at ease with just staying at a distance.How sad is it really if a pastor from Auckland need to shop around and see whether there is a church that will accept this man for who he is?

Well what about your own church?

He does not want to go there any longer because of how he has been approached. He wouldn’t go there even if I tried to take him and believe me I will, again and again, despite his objections. What do you say to someone that cries out to you: “I have no church to go to anymore.” What do you say to someone that is experiencing a paradox daily as a resulted of the well meant but safe advice of fellow Christians.

You should be more amongst people.

However implicitly or explicitly it is also made clear that this does not include ‘the people’ that form part of the body of the ‘wise adviser.’ It all reminded me of the healing through Jesus, most of all the healing at the Pool of Bethesda. On several occasions people are urged by Jesus to go to the Temple. This is not so in the text of John 5 but thee a second encounter with the healed invalid takes place in the Temple. A number of the healings performed had a another significance:  hey did not just mean a physical healing, but also a spiritual healing which ensured that people could be entering the temple again. People that were crippled, or had other physical or mental conditions were not allowed access to the Temple, the core of their faith as a result of the Mishnah, the laws for Israel derived from the scriptures. Jesus did not just physically heal them, he ensured that the could be reconciled with the core of their faith in God. It fits in perfectly with his mission, with the concept that God wants to reconcile with His creation and uses Jesus and so illustrative are the words

“See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” (John 5: 14)

He did not say “Stay well” but “stop sinning.”  At the same time how harsh a law that prevents people that need it the most to have entry to the core of their faith. What else is there left than to stumble? What else is there left than to think that ‘you are not worthy of God’s grace because God’s law ordains it’?

At the same time I now wonder what is harder for a man: being denied on the basis of a religious law that is supposedly put in place by people that knew what they were doing, or being denied by people that purportedly care about your health and well being also in the spiritual sense?

You’d be better of finding another church, you would not or do not fit in. You are better of where there are more people like you.

Is this not the word upside down, and certainly not in line with what Jesus was teaching?  Paul, referenced at the start,  continued:

For I am not seeking my own good, but the good of many so they many be saved.” (1 Corinthians 10: 33)

Do we need to fit in with the worldly standards of the congregation of who is acceptable and who is not or do we as a Body of  Christ show the world that there is a place within the body for anyone and everyone no matter what their state of being is.  Yes it may be inconvenient in worldly terms, bit is that a reason to deny access, whether explicitly or implicitly?

I could well imagine someone saying to me referring to 1 Corinthians 10: 13:

Well if this man is tempted to turn away from God because of out alleged actions and omissions should we not expect God to provide a way for this man to stand under this temptation?

My rhetorical answer would be:

You are absolutely right, but given what I said earlier on, could it maybe be that we as the church, as the body of Christ arre that way out if we are willing to face the inconvenient worldly truth that comes with that.

Paul said:

20For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. (1 Corinthians 4:20)

With that in mind as well as out claim to be living out the full Gospel what is holding us back to restore this man to a state where he is no longer denied the core of his faith.

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

10“See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. 11 “The son of man came to save what was lost (only according to some manuscripts)

12“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost. (Mathhew 18: 10-14)

Can we really look ourselves in the eye when we have to admit that it is our worldly standards rather than our spiritual that is keeping such a man away from a fellowship in Christ? Is it maybe time for a “gutter bucket” ministry? And if so, “why me?”

What am I to do? Your words of wisdom would be appreciated as I am lost in this all.

Did a Bible Miracle Prove Itself?


By Dean Smith

Special to ASSIST News Service

NEW YORK, NY (ANS) — Dr. Oliver Sacks is professor of neurology and psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. In his book, “An Anthropologist on Mars,” he tells the intriguing story of a man who received his sight after nearly a lifetime of blindness.

Dr. Oliver Sacks

In 1991, Sacks received a call from a retired minister about his daughter’s fiancé Virgil who at 50 received his sight. Virgil was diagnosed as a young boy with retinitis pigmentosa. It is a hereditary disease that destroys the retina causing permanent blindness. This diagnosis was compounded by cataracts that were so thick that Virgil’s retina could not be seen. His doctor labeled Virgil as irreversibly blind sealing his fate.

Virgil’s fiancé Amy who was seeing an eye specialist because of her diabetes dragged her soon-to-be husband in for an appointment. After close examination, the doctor wasn’t so sure about Virgil’s genetic disease, since Virgil could see light and shadows. The doctor suggested removal of the cataracts. The cataracts were removed and incredibly after 40 years of blindness Virgil could see.

But there was a problem.

Sacks described it this way, “His retina and optic nerve were active, transmitting impulses, but his brain could make no sense of them.”

In her journal, Amy recorded her husband’s journey to normal sight.

Read the rest of the story via Did a Bible Miracle Prove Itself?.

Christian doctors prescribe ‘spiritual healing’ for sickness


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Christian doctors prescribe ‘spiritual healing’ for sickness

More than 240 of them from 40 countries gather in Rome to discuss ‘Spirituality in Medicine’

By Dan Wooding Reporting from Rome

Special to ASSIST News Service

ROME, ITALY (ANS) — Some 240 Christian doctors from some 40 different countries around the world have prescribed “spiritual healing” as an answer to sickness in the 21st Century. They believe that medicine alone cannot deal with some of today’s worst illnesses.

Dr. Armando Pineda-Velez

The medics gathered in the eternal city of Rome from on May 22-23, 2010, for the 7th Annual World Christian Doctors Network “Spirituality and Medicine” Conference held at the Sheraton Roma Hotel and Conference Center in Rome and they examined actual case studies of miracles presented by various respected doctors.

Honduran-born Dr. Armando Pineda-Velez, US Director of WCDN, a nuclear medicine physician, told me that there are a lot of doctors today who “not only believe in God but believe that God is healing today.”

He said, “They are putting their prestige on the line for something that they know; that the truth that the Gospel of power can be manifested in the 21st Century.

“This is a different kind of organization,” he continued. “There are a lot of Christian medical organizations, all of which are very well respected and I love them, but we at the World Christian Doctors Network are different in the sense that we are going into the miracle part of the healing. We are not going to stop being doctors, but we are going to use a superior tool – the healing power of God — in order to be helping our beloved patients.”

Dr. Pineda-Velez said that he encouraged Christian doctors to lay hands on their sick patients and pray for their supernatural healing. “I think that the power of healing and faith has to be used by doctors,” he said. “Anyway, we are not the one who heals – it is Jesus!”

I then asked him what happens when people are not healed.

“You know,” said Dr. Pineda-Velez, “healing resides only in the sovereignty of a merciful and gracious God. It’s not only up to us in this equation. There are two involved here — God and you. Does He decide to heal you? I don’t know. Does He have a purpose for your disease? Maybe; maybe not! Do you have enough faith? I don’t know. Yes the measure of faith you have is important but we also have the sovereignty of God. He still rules your life.”

The doctors, who for these two days forsook the formality of being medics and became “ordinary Christians” and joined whole-heartedly in the worship sessions, raising their hands in the air in praise and some even dancing along to the music. One doctor told me, “This has been like a refreshing rain for me.

Read the rest of the article at Christian doctors prescribe ‘spiritual healing’ for sickness.

The Barna Group – How Different Generations View and Engage with Charismatic and Pentecostal Christianity


March 29, 2010

Charismatic and Pentecostal expressions of Christianity have been part of the American spiritual landscape for more than a century. How much staying power does that set of beliefs and behaviors have among the youngest generations of Christians? A research study conducted by the Barna Group explored the degree to which four different generations of American adults identified themselves as charismatic or Pentecostal believers. The research also examined generational gaps in terms of beliefs about the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, and spiritual gifts.

Read the full and very read worthy article via The Barna Group – How Different Generations View and Engage with Charismatic and Pentecostal Christianity.

Chad Dedmon Bethel Healing School coming to Christchurch


Easter Monday 5th of April, Harmony Church will be hosting Chad Dedmon from Bethel Healing school who will be taking a Healing Seminar 2-5pm ($20 admission). Open meeting at 7pm(Offering taken).

About Chad

Chad is good friend of Joaquin Evans (Bethel Healing Rooms) who was with us at Harmony in March for Healing meetings where we saw some amazing healings.

Chad is in NZ for a series of conferences up North with Heidi Baker and other Bethel Church Staff and agreed to visit us in Christchurch for a day.

Chad and Julia Dedmon are ordained ministers through Bethel Church and the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. Chad has appeared on the 700 Club and Sid Roth “It’s Supernatural”, and in Charisma Magazine. Julia is sadly not able to be with us on this occasion, but is also a gifted speaker, worship leader, and moves in prophetic song. Together they are passionate to see the Spirit of the Lord fully poured out on all nations and have travelled to 14 countries in the past year alone! The have seen the Kingdom of God come in love, power, salvation, and healing miracles!

Chad is bringing 2 interns from the School of Supernatural Ministry to minister with him.

via Chad Dedmon Bethel Healing School.

Hosted by Harmony Church, Christchurch

For more info call 03 338 4253 – harmony@ihug.co.nz – www.harmony.org.nz

What others say

England 2009:

New Wine Conference –
Legs grew, deaf ears opened

Chiswick Christian Centre-
Woman healed of fibroids on her uterus- doctors report verified of this!

South Africa 2009:

Wednesday night: legs grow, people healed

Thursday night: Julia did a soaking night with all the worship team members from Joshua Generation.  About 250 people showed up and the Father’s love was so strong.  People were healed and delivered all just by resting in the Father’s love.  I had them bring pillows and blankets to the church for the soaking time.  Myself and another team member, Kris played music and invited the Father’s love to come and minister to people: Jennie and Lexi prayed for people while they were resting in His love.

Thursday night:  Chad and James went into a poor SA township and prayed for the sick.  They saw 4 deaf ears open up and a little boy whose legs did not work properly began to run (everyone knew this little boy in the community).

Friday night: Went into an African community and saw so many healings there

Saturday:  Taught and trained on the Treasure Hunt model by Kevin Dedmon.  Released 250 people onto the streets of Cape town.  Saw salvations and many healings, miracles.

Pemba, Mozambique 2009:

Bush Outreaches

Partial deafness restored and pain in the right ear gone

Right left healed to lift and bend at the hip and knee

Multiple head pain healed

Lady healed of back injury, able to bend down and over again.

Muslim man healed of back pain, then received Jesus into his heart

Man healed of rheumatitis in leg, could bend and leg grew at outreach

American woman, visiting from Washington DC, deaf right ear shortly after birth. Prayed for many times, ear pops, then hearing and repeating from 12-15 ft away.

Mozambican pastors Bible school- 5+ year students

Many had encounters and got blasted in the Spirit. One pastor saw a vision of a bucket in the centre of class and that is where the pastor who got drunk first was sitting.

Harvest School of Mission

One of the most powerful activation sessions, many were activated in Word of Knowledge and many were healed that afternoon.

Girl healed of arrhythmia of the heart

Multiple legs grew out

Korean woman’s leg grew out and her back was healed from chronic pain

Bush outreach team leader healed of chronic pain in the elbow, then her leg grew out which released the pain in the hip.

Johannesburg- Breakthrough Life Church

Children activated in healing

Young woman received holy laughter and Jesus delivered from panic attacks, extreme fear and anxiety of being robbed.

Pastor’s son healed of a neck injury from doing butterfly jumps on a trampoline.

Woman’s right ear completely healed of deafness, heard and repeated words that were 15-20 ft away in a noisy room.

Man’s knee healed, pain from a soccer injury gone, had pain for 2 and half months.

Word of knowledge for heart transplant, woman felt heat in her heart and felt a change

Young woman experienced the Father’s love for the first time

Many legs grew out

Prayed for woman over the phone, scheduled to get neck surgery the next day, bones in her neck healed, MRI results showed complete healing, cancelled surgery! (received this testimony one week after the meeting

A word of knowledge 6 months was released. Woman responded and called her friend who had been in a car accident 6 months prior. God healed the left side of her body and pain immediately left, metal screws in her shoulder and elbow dissolved allowing full mobility. Chad prophesied over her life and family, which were accurate. She came to meeting the next night.

Hluhluhwe (between Johannesburg and Durban)

Woman’s knee pain-free for the first time in one and half year, couldn’t walk or stand for long periods of time.

Several legs grew out!
Man’s elbow now pain-free, tested it out by holding a Bible and rotating his arm.
Middle-aged man healed 95% of conditions: back, sinus, head migranes. Had severe migranes since whiplash accident since he was 17.

Durban-Shiloh Ministries

Many people activated in Word of Knowledge during service.

Woman’s right knee healed, pain-free for the first time in 30 years!

Elbow healed and pain-free for the first time in 20 years!

Tailbone and lower back pain gone, pain for 6 years

man’s son healed of two rugby injuries: ankle and knee, even though he was not at the meeting.

Multiple legs grew out!

Right rib healed-Man fell off 8 foot ladder, cracked a rib and experienced excruciating pain. He felt his rib move in the meeting. For the first time in a couple weeks, he slept through the night pain-free!

Angelic presence—woman felt a hand stroke her right cheek and heard the Lord say, “I love you lots and lots like Smarties.” Smarties is the name of her favourite candy.

Kris prophesied over a young woman, she said she saw a vision of her taking the hand of Jesus and sat in His lap, and then she was the Golden Gate in heaven.

Worship leader fully healed of neck injury and hip pain from car/whiplash accident 4 years ago.

Laughed with a woman and God totally healed her knees from pain and soreness

18 year old girl’s sinuses opened up for the first time in 18 years.

10 year old boy delivered from intense fear and anxiety when Chad hugged him. Also, healed of a polio-like illness which kept him from making a fist, he was able to hold onto objects (pen and keychain) in his hand.

Woman healed from sore throat and pain in the uterus decreased significantly.

Young woman’s right eye had a cataract that changed from gray to blue and began to see light with it.

Healing Seminar & Meeting with Joaquin Evans from Bethel Church, Redding, CA, USA


Monday 22 Feb – Healing Seminar 2 to 5pm ($20) – Open Healing Meeting 7pm (offering)

JOAQUIN EVANS is coming to Christchurch this Monday 22 Feb for a healing seminar and an open healing night.

Joaquin is director of the Healing Rooms and Healing Homes ministries at Bethel Church, Redding, CA, USA. He also hosts “The Hem of His Garment” International Healing Schools, designed to equip leaders from the nations in the healing ministry of Jesus, which is under the direction of BILL JOHNSON (author of When Heaven Invades Earth and Face to Face with God.). Joaquin served as a staff pastor with Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry for 2 years. He is a graduate of BSSM and San Francisco State University. In addition to the healing ministry, Joaquin preaches and teaches at many churches both here and abroad, releasing and imparting Bethel’s culture of Revival. He has a heart for missions and leads teams around the world that see God move in miracles, signs and wonders. Joaquin’s desire is to see God displayed in love and power and to see His Bride developed, so that Jesus gets His full reward.

Hosted by Harmony Church and Supporting Churches & Ministries

Venue: Oaklands School Auditorium, Cunningham Place, Halswell, Christchurch

For more info call 03-3384253 –  harmony@ihug.co.nzwww.harmony.org.nz

THREE EVENTS NOT TO BE MISSED


Harmony Church started February 15th 2009.
To celebrate the first year a series of events is planned over the anniversary weekend.

If you are situated in Christchurch, pencil this in in your diary. If not in Christchurch: pencil it in anyway and start making travel arrangements.

See you there >>>

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