Ways of Christ

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 Part 3 additional topics, practical and biblical questions 

Jesus Christ and Healing - even today.

Many people experienced Jesus with his disciples and further companions as a movement for healing body and soul because today this is not a matter of course, one must work on it.

The will to get well.

Jesus asks an unprepared person an important question: "Do You want to get well?" (John 5,6). Jesus is speaking to the soul. The sick person describes his difficulty in finding help. However, the question also helps the sick person to realize that he wants to get well really. This is the first prerequisite for recovery. As long as the subconscious blocks his way to seek cure and help, it is hardly possible to accept the help. In spite of this, it might be possible to give First Aid, or to change a symptom. But Healing is more than that and only works if the sick person can integrate it, combining it with his/her own curative power.
Those from the medical professions who co-operate with the patient and also honest "Healers" and people supporting patients by their faith and prayer are in accordance with this principle.

The power of faith.

Matthew 9,22: A woman touched the garments of Jesus and got well. Jesus: "Your faith has healed you". Whoever has had experience with it will acknowledge that the power of faith is something real in his/her relationship to God. Though physicians know the power of human conviction from the "placebo effect" (where sugar may be taken instead of the remedy), this does not produce such profound changes as those which occur by the power of faith.
Jesus is also the model of a human being - healthy and sane in the most comprehensive way, in body, mind and spirit.

Excerpts from the chapter about the "miracles " in the main text*): Jesus Christ not only refers - as some modern healers do - to "cosmic energy", that they feel pouring through themselves, but also refers to the belief in the possibility of becoming healthy through him, ultimately by God through the visible person of Jesus.
Even today cures are accomplished in the original way, as practised by the first Disciples, by prayer and with regard to that innermost of the human being, connected with Christ, who wants people to be cured and become complete - who can then do even "greater things than he" (John 14,12-13).
But the spiritual healing itself and the growth in mind and spirit connected with that, remain "mercy", and cannot be forced. We can only do so much to prepare for this.
Cures were often "signs", actions that stood for something larger and more fundamental. During the cure of the person born blind at the Sabbath, Jesus answered that it is not a question of sins, "but (it is a matter of) the works of God becoming apparent" (John 5, 6-9; John 6; John 9, 3 ...).
Today, many experiences and parapsychological research suggest that Jesus could actually influence natural forces. It is just important for us at the present time to contemplate this phenomenon; for our contemporary view of human nature, for a holistic, integrated, or Christian cure and so forth.

Laying hands on someone.

Jesus and the Disciples often laid hands on people in order to heal them. In a few cases this practice is still alive today. The person who lays their hands on the head or the shoulders of the sick person speaks a prayer, possibly accompanied by the community. It supports empathy and the awareness of being a channel for God’s help. This may be taken as a symbol. But there are also conscious Christians among the modern spiritual healing movements - and we know that it is a reality. In early Christianity this power was called the "pneuma" (Greek), the "breath of life" or the Holy Spirit*). This practice was used for healing and blessing as well, partially combined with further practices. See for example Matthew 19,13; Mark 8,23; Mark 10,16 (blessing children); Luke 4,40-41 (healing and exorcism); Luke 24,50 (blessing disciples); Acts 6,6 and 19,12 and 28,8.
But a prayer for Healing does not absolutely require laying hands on the sick person. It also works from distance - which may be thought to be more difficult.

Psychical/psychosomatic diseases.

Recuperation of the psyche, the vital energy and the body are closely connected. Even good pastoral counselling or life counselling can influence psychosomatic diseases - if reasonable advice is taken to heart, instead of continuing to make the same mistakes in (the conduct of) life.

Excerpts from the chapter "The Holy Zeal, and... emotions" from our 'main text' *): Jesus constantly lived in "positive awe of God" and compassion for the people... In normal people, nearly all emotions are initially mixed at least with subconscious stimulation and response mechanisms that vary biographically and vary in strength, but are quite similar in their basic pattern. It is a long process of learning to look at this in oneself... and discover more of these mechanisms in one’s own reactions, and by looking at it instead of suppressing it, finally mastering it and/or to offer it up to God.
It is not usually very effective to work on whole complexes of these problems immediately. It is more effective to first search for related occurrences and then try and distinguish whether it is a "beam in one's own eye" or a "splinter in the eye of someone else" (Matthew 7,1-5) and who is responsible for it. Jesus and some Christian schools stress the "beam in one's own eye", because it is more difficult to look at one's own problems and has to be learned. It is also easier to correct one's own mistakes. Psychological schools sometimes prefer to start by taking the other viewpoint as a victim, but in the end that leads to looking at both sides.

One possible way of doing this is:
1. to look at the emotion felt as negativeas it occurred (e.g. anxiety, hate and anger, indifference and arrogance, extreme doubt).
2. Instead of ruminating over it, wait a moment, in order to become aware of what it is. 
3. to give this problem that can now be felt - to God in prayer**).
4. to wait calmly until some relief is felt.
With some meditative*** practice one may feel this like some kind of current going up and out, and possibly afterwards like a current of renewing positive power coming from above and flowing downwards. It is also possible to combine this with breathing: to exhale problematic qualities, with the attitude of giving it to God and to inhale positive qualities, which God's mercy wants to give. (Modified from the continuous prayer of the Christian monks of Mount Athos, as mentioned in the chapter "The silence in the desert" in the main text.)

Mental problems.

Excerpt from the chapter "The Transfiguration" from the main text*: There is "positive thinking" and "positive affirmations" (guiding principles). If this is practised in a non-egoistic and non-megalomaniacal way, without technical manipulations, it might indeed transform the thoughts into a state closer to that which comes from God thereby opening oneself for God. However, the literature of this school of thought has not discussed this point with the necessary care and it can sometimes lead to self-deception.

"Problems of fate / destiny".

Modern spiritual healers report the experience of cases in which one gets the impression that healing is not yet possible or "not yet permitted". This is the level of something like "programs". E.g. the sick person may first "want" to learn something from the disease. With God, a solution for that is possible too. See also above the paragraph "The will to get well".

The legal situation.

In Germany, for instance, the constitutional freedom of religious practices allows pure Christian healing by prayer and laying hands on sick persons. However, those who want to offer it as a service beyond the private circle and the church should first inform themselves about the legal situation in the country. If one includes activities which others might interpret as diagnosis or direct therapy - even if it is free or completely based on donations - one must be a physician or a non-medical practitioner in Germany (Spiritual healers, e.g. can often feel diseases with their hands. Their practice is in most cases different from the original Christian practice, but they do have things in common too). Although it would be desirable for laws to become better adapted to the special nature of such practices with less bureaucracy, the German federation of spiritual healers recommends skilled persons to take their examination as a practitioner. If one only wants to practice psychological counselling or spiritual healing, it is possible to sit a simplified examination.
Other countries****: In England**** Spiritual Healers are more accepted, even in hospitals.

Independent from legal issues, the person seeking healing should continue making his own efforts too, such as good nutrition or diet, physiotherapy, and - as far as possible - enough sleep, and praying.

*) The 'Main text' of ways-of-christ.net deals with this and other topics from a viewpoint exceeding healing in the usual sense and also concerns human development in general.

**) Concerning the best attitude during prayer, compare our extra page "A prayer for peace..."

***) We have an extra page "Christian Meditation"

****) National Federation of Spiritual Healers (NFSH) - e.g. Harry Edwards Movement; offers a healer referral service as well as healing development training and courses. http://www.nfsh.org.uk
World Federation of Healing - worldwide many different groups.  http://www.wfh.org.uk
At the moment we don't know of any association based on purely Christian sources or which have Christian healers alone among the many associations in that field in Germany etc. One can, however, sometimes find a simple, intensive and effective biblical prayer for healing in some of the Free Churches like Baptists and Pentecostal Churches. At some Catholic places of pilgrimage like Lourdes there are also cases of extraordinary healing by prayer and faith. (A new “Christliches Heiler-Netzwerk” (Christian Healers' Network) is being built up.
(Ways-of-christ.net is not responsible for websites of others and does not automatically support all of their contents.)

 

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