Summary: Does God guarantee health? Are the sick, crippled and disabled faithless and outside of God’s will?
False Teachings About Health
One of the tragedies about the health and wealth ’gospel’ is that it excludes any who
aren’t perfect. If you are sick, you are a sinner or you lacks faith. Those in poverty,
illness, disabilities, trials and suffering are told that they are faithless, under God’s
judgment or have sin in their lives. Does the Bible support this view? We will examine
the doctrine and compare it to scripture to see if they agree.
Jesus is the Savior of the Body
Benny Hinn wrote the following in his book ’Rise and be Healed’:
The Bible says in Ephesians 5:23 that Jesus is the Savior of the body. If Jesus
Christ is the savior of the body, then your body ought to be made whole.
Let’s look at the passage Hinn is quoting to see if scripture is teaching that everyone’s
body should be healed. Ephesians 5:
23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and
He is the Savior of the body.
24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their
own husbands in everything.
What is the body? It is the body of Christ - or the church. To understand this fully, let’s
also bring in two other passages:
4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have
the same function,
5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one
24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking
in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church,
Colossians leaves no doubt - the body is the church. Jesus is the Savior of the church.
Our physical bodies will one day be redeemed, but while this world is under the curse of
sin and death, our bodies will decay. 2 Corinthians 4:16 says, "Therefore we do not lose
heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed
day by day." The Bible teaches us that our flesh is subject to corruption, but our inner
man is a part of the Body of Christ - or the church. There is a reason why we are
promised a new body when Christ returns. How do teachers of guaranteed health explain
the aging process that even they are subject to? Our old body suffers from the curse of
sin. The new body will be because of His redemption.
Refuse to acknowledge illness
Word Faith teachers teach that we should refuse to acknowledge sickness or symptoms of
sickness. In a discussion on TBN, Paul Crouch explained that the devil could create a
physical manifestation in our flesh that is a trick of the devil and an illusion of sickness.
These could look very real and even convince doctors. It is up to us, Crouch claims, to
have enough faith to overcome these manifestations. Faith teachers go on to claim that
medical treatment is for the weak in faith. Kenneth Copeland describes how to use faith
to deny sickness.
Now remember, pain has come, disaster has come; now for a while you’re going
to have to stop and control and discipline yourself. Every time you are going to
have to make the decision - I refuse to consider my body. I refuse to be moved by
what I see and what I feel.
I’ve had people die with me standing there saying, ’bless God you ain’t gonna die’.
And they did anyway. And I glad I stood. I ain’t never stood for anything in my
own life that didn’t come to pass. I can only use my faith just so far with you. -
It is alarming the Kenneth is acknowledging that some people have died under the belief
that they did not need treatment. I was stationed with an aspiring Word-Faith preacher
when I was in the military. We were very good friends but we also seldom agreed on
scripture. We spent hours discussing scriptures, but I could never get him to show me
scriptures that supported his beliefs. It was always something he was taught outside of
scripture that persuaded him. We were stationed together for 2 years. Once he fell during
training and broke his wrist. For three days he refused treatment. When the pain became
unbearable, he agreed to have it put in a cast. He believed that denying symptoms showed
faith but getting treatment was for the weak in faith. Over the two years we were
together, he caught his share of colds, the flu and other common ailments. I noticed that
his sniffles lasted as long as the rest of us.