Summary: A church that creates a healing environment and literally sees healing taking place is a church that focuses on the Good News and the positive dimensions of life.
A Church that Heals - pt 2
Thesis: A church that creates a healing environment and literally sees healing taking place is a church that focuses on the Good News and the positive dimensions of life.
Philippians 2:1-5: 14, 15: 1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:… 14Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe
Philippians 4: 8, 9: 8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
I picked up a recent book which I received from the AACC Convention called “Caring for People God’s Way.” The book is written by three people Tim Clinton, Archibald Hart and George Ohlschlager. The book is considered a new guide for Christian Counseling and is designed to help Christian Counselors assist people in the healing process as God helps them through the healing process. The book paints a picture of how sick our current society is and the need – the importance of becoming Christians who care for the sick God’s way. They open the book with this thought:
When good King Josiah dies around 609 B.C. Israel was prosperous, strong, and safe in the world. Yet the people of Israel quickly declined both morally and spiritually, and their leaders grew corrupt. The whole nation refused to hear the prophets God sent, including Jeremiah, to call them to repentance and restoration. Amid the ongoing search for the good life, a great terror was about to befall them-the complete destruction of Jerusalem and the forced slavery of the Jews by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. – but they would not turn their hearts. Jeremiah 6:14 captures the essence of that day, “They have healed the brokenness of my people superficially, saying, ‘peace, peace,’ but there is no peace” (NASB). Interestlingly, as today’s prosperous generations search for purpose, meaning and value, many are experiencing a pervasive sense of emptiness and isolation. And why shouldn’t they? In a world flooded with distresses like father absence, abuse, violence, marital discord, and emotional problems there is a natural epidemic of escapism through consumerism, drugs, alcohol, sex, and suicide. Earnest Becker accents this thought concluding, “Modern man is drinking or drugging himself to death…or he is shopping which is the same thing.” Living in denial, today’s powerful and pampered generations have become ‘tranquilized by the trivial,’ though they find neither solace nor healing –crying “Peace, peace,’ but there is no peace.” Dallas Willard concludes, “Obviously, the problem is a spiritual one. And so must be the cure.” We agree. Our pressing concern at the inception of the 21st century is that people are hurting-and searching frantically for hope and new life. If there is ever a time for godly leadership, servanthood and biblical counsel, it is now” (Pages 3, 4).
The authors give hard evidence to back up there opening statement by sharing the following statistics from pages 4-7:
Marital Discord: Studies show 35% of persons who marry get a divorce, and 18% of those divorced are divorced multiple times. It is estimated that the divorce rate among young people is between 40-50% of marriages and those who get married this year will experience this unless there is a wave of healing for marriages.
Fatherlessness: Each night , nearly 40% of children fall asleep in homes where their fathers are not present.
Sexual Abuse and Assault: The present evidence of widespread sexual abuse is daunting. By age 18, 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused by someone they love or should be able to trust.
Domestic Violence: Violence at the hand of an intimate partner occurs across all populations, irrespective of economic, religious, social, or cultural affiliation-and accounts for 20% of all nonfatal violent crime against women.
Suicide: A suicide occurs approximately every 20 minutes in the United States. According to a 2004 study, over 30,000 U.S residents commit suicide each year, and over 130,000 are hospitalized following a suicide attempt.