One of the amusing things about the polemicists and cessationists is that they will almost always eventually commit the folly of overreach in some way, and make up new rules we never find in the Bible. Pirate Christian Media’s Chris Rosebrough is no exception.
He has decided that he’ll construct what he calls a Charismatic Code of Ethics by which to measure Biblical healings claimed by certain Spirit-filled ministries.
So far he only has one rule, but it is still significant in that, when applied to the Gospels and the Book of Acts, it actually disqualifies the miracles of Jesus and His Apostles from the New Testament, not to forget the Old Testament miracles which would also miss the mark according to Rosebrough’s standards.
Here’s his ‘Rule 1’ of the Charismatic Code of Ethics…
RULE 1 – No claims to miraculous healings will be made public by any Charismatic leaders UNTIL verified by independent 3rd party medical doctors. Every claim that a charismatic leader miraculously healed or resurrected someone that is not accompanied by independent 3rd party medical verification will be considered fabricated the leader reporting these unsubstantiated miraculous claims will be labeled a false teacher and a liar.Chris Rosebrough, Captains Log, Pirate Christian Media
So how many of Jesus’ miracles of healing were verified this way? I count none. How many of the Apostles’ miracles? Nil. What about the amazing miracles of the Old Testament? Zero.
The problem with cessationists is that they don’t actually believe that God heals the way He says He heals in the New Testament – through the Body of Christ, in Jesus’ name.
The Word says that believers have been set apart to heal the sick and deliver the demonised in His name as part of their gospel commission. For the cessationist, however, these days have ended, even though they have no Biblical evidence for this.
Whilst critics like Rosebrough do actually confess to the possibility of healing, deliverance and miracles, albeit in a sovereign, providential way, rather than in the way it is handed to the Church in the Word, they do not hold to the Biblical standards set by the New Testament, or, for that matter, the Old Testament, because we also saw significant healings, deliverances and miraculous works under the former covenant.
Incredible unverified works
Think of Elijah, or Elisha. They performed some incredible works in the name of the Almighty. Did they have medically or independently verified evidence of their works? Not at all. The evidence was the change of circumstances recorded by the scribes of the time. How then can we believe what took place? By faith that God’s Word is true, as with everything in the kingdom.
Jesus performed many works in the Father’s name. Was any of them medically verified? Not one. You could say that the physician Luke was present to record some of the Apostles’ works, but he mainly used anecdotal evidence passed to him, by…you guessed it… the very people who preformed the works in the name of Jesus.
By Rosebrough’s standards, Jesus would be considered a false teacher and a liar because none of His miracles were medically attested. The only evidence we have is in the gospels, written by two fishermen, a tax collector and second hand by a physician journalist.
The only time Jesus asked a man to have a healing attested by experts was when He sent a leper to the Levitical Priesthood of the day for Mosaic verification. This proof was based on the Levitical law, not on medical science.
Therefore, Rosebrough’s rule number one is Biblically outrageous. He sets standards that were not required even by the Father. He makes new rules, novel laws by which he holds charismatics to account, simply because he can’t take the Word of God at face value.
The evidence is in people’s lives
I know of people who were healed in meetings, for some of which there is medical evidence, although, for others, the people simply walked away better than when they arrived and the only record is that they testify that they know, beyond a shadow of doubt, that they were healed.
Incidentally, I’ve seen miracles in remote mission locations for which there was no reasonable possibility of medically verified evidence, although I guess infants being healed of malaria in an actual hospital is some kind of evidence.
By the way, we have data privacy laws in many places these days that would, in most cases, prohibit such testimony anyway without the express permission of the patient and doctor. We can’t simply go around fishing for medical records every time a person is healed.
But there’s another thing. We’re not here to prove God’s power to unbelieving skeptics who claim to know God’s Word. We’re here to bring healing, deliverance and salvation in Jesus’ name to a lost world of sinners.
Simply believe God’s Word
My advice to Rosebrough is to simply go back to the study of the Word, see how Jesus, by the Word and through the Holy Spirit, taught His disciples and us, His believers, to heal the sick and deliver the demonised in His name, then go out and put it into practice.
You never know. He might actually be pleasantly surprised by the results he sees and the gratitude he receives from people who will thank God and thank him for believing the truth of the Word. It will revolutionise his ministry.
The only real evidence for healing we need is already written for us in the New Testament for believers. The proof is in the application of the theology, not just in the theology of it for theology’s sake. In other words, theology is only useful when it is applied in faith.