Steve Gaines, a former Southern Baptist Convention president, recently took his church full charismatic after holding a faith-healing service at the end of worship service. During the service, he called on members of the church who “needed healing” to come forward, be “anointed with oil,” and be prayed over for healing by church leaders and deacons.
To clarify, we do not intend to mock or belittle God’s ability to heal who he pleases, God can certainly heal and it is certainly biblical to ask for physical healing through prayer. But the entire act performed at Gaines’ Bellevue Baptist Church this past weekend was quite the spectacle.
Many Evangelical pastors and leaders have embraced the charismatic faith-healing method of anointing with oil and laying on of hands to, in a sense, do their part to receive something from God. Francis Chan recently embraced this same theology of healing that his much more at home in the Word of Faith and Prosperity Gospel movements than they are in biblical Christianity.
Again, it is not unbiblical to ask God to heal us through prayer, but this type of production produces the same emotional response–an emotional “high”–that is elicited from faux faith-healers like Todd White, Todd Bentley, and Kenneth Copeland. The production that is made out of it gives the recipient a false emotionally-driven faith that sometimes results in a placebo-like temporary healing that usually wears off once the emotional high is gone.