The Village Idiots

Has anyone ever encountered a “Village Idiot?” Now if you are not sure what I mean by that term, let me explain. Recently my husband attended a mens’ retreat sponsored by Calvary Chapel Eastside, and the guest speaker was Kelley Taylor. Kelley is a very unique pastor who has a refreshingly honest approach to life and ministry. He told the men that when his son was dying of cancer, he had all sorts of people come up to him and say very inappropriate things. People would say things like, “If you pray with enough faith, your son will be healed!” Now Kelley came up with a creative term for these types of folks—“Village Idiots!” Don’t you love that term? (Even though it many sound a bit harsh, I think it accurately describes how damaging the comments of these folks can be.) Many of us who live with chronic illnesses can sure relate to Pastor Kelley’s experience. I can’t even begin to count how many rude and insensitive comments people have said to me since becoming ill.

One such incident occurred recently, and I thought I would share my experience so that in case you have had similar encounters, you will know you are not alone. A woman who I’d never met before heard through a relative that I was chemically sensitive. She asked to speak with me, as she said she had a burden to pray for the chemically sensitive. At first, I was very blessed to think that this woman actually had a heart to pray for those who often feel like outcasts in the church and society. However, my excitement quickly turned to pain when I realized what her true intentions were.

She started talking about how we can receive healing if we can get the “blockages” out of our lives. She asked me if I had unforgiveness toward anyone in my life or if I had had a traumatic experience in my life that I needed to be healed from. She tried to assure me that if I could just get these blockages out, I could receive the healing Jesus has for me. Oh brother! Nowhere in Scripture does God promise we can get healed if we overcome bitterness or get healed from traumatic events. Now granted, in some cases, I do believe overcoming bitterness and getting emotionally healed from traumatic events can result in some type of improvement in our health. However, there are many people whose illnesses have nothing to do with either of these things. For her to insinuate that I needed to be healed from such things was very hurtful to me to say the least. After speaking with this woman, I felt like I had been “punched in the stomach” emotionally.

Unfortunately, this is just one more example of the damage that is being done by the false teachings on healing found in many churches today. Some people refer to these teachings as the “Faith Movement,” and others like John McArthur refer to these teachings as the “Prosperity Doctrine.” Basically the premise of these false teachings is that Jesus wants us all to be healthy, wealthy, and have “success” in every area of our lives. These false teachers tell us that if we just align our thoughts and speech with God’s Word, we can release God’s power in every area of our lives. If you hear this type of teaching from a pastor or teacher, I suggest you run like lightning. All these types of teachings do is create false guilt and shame for people, along with many other unhealthy emotions. God is in sovereign control of our lives, and we cannot manipulate Him by simply speaking His Word, demanding our way, or having enough faith for something to happen.

 

Categories Janine's Blog | Tags: | Posted on November 13, 2011

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