EVERY once in a while we receive an inquiry or a request for help on this subject, usually from one who has come into contact with some belonging to a cult which gives prominence to “Divine healing,” to the removal of physical ills without the aid of a doctor and medicine, in response to faith and prayer. Such inquiring friends are generally more or less perplexed. They have heard nothing on the subject in their own churches and feel they are more or less in the dark on the matter. Those who press this “Divine healing” teaching upon them appear to be ill-balanced people and not at all orthodox in doctrine. If they are induced to attend their meetings they are not favorably impressed, and sense that something is wrong. The absence of reverence, the allowing of women to take part in the services before a mixed congregation, the prominence of the spectacular element, and the general spirit of excitement which prevails, makes the normal child of God feel quite out of place in such a gathering. The zeal displayed does not appear to be according to knowledge and the fervid emotionalism strikes him as being “strange fire” (Lev. 10:1)—not kindled at the Divine altar.
But what of their teaching on “Divine healing?” Is it scriptural or unscriptural? This is a question which it is not easy to answer in a single sentence. Many passages on healing may be cited from God’s Word, but that raises the question of their interpretation—in accord with the context and also in harmony with the general Analogy of Faith: as it also calls for a careful examination of all inferences drawn from and conclusions based upon those passages. Moreover, these modern cults who stress “Divine healing” are by no means uniform in their teaching thereon, some being more radical and extreme than others, so that the refutation of one erroneous presentation of this subject would not hold good of a similar error in an entirely different dress. Though familiar with all the principal varieties of them, we do not propose to waste the reader’s time by taking them up seriatim but rather deal with the broad principles which apply to them all.