About Jesus     Steve Sweetman

Home Page

Hyper-Faith Ė Fact Or Fantasy

Some of you know that Iíve been legally blind since birth. As I type these words with special large print software my nose is a quarter inch from my monitor. On occasion Iíve been cornered by those I call "hyper-faith folk" who tell me my faith is too weak for Jesus to heal me. In response I often point out to them the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego whose trust in God was literally tested by fire.

In my thinking, the faith these men demonstrated totally discredits hyper-faith thinking. Daniel 3:16 says, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods, or worship the image of gold you have set up".

Unlike many of us, these men felt no compulsion to defend themselves. Why was that? Their trust was not in any defense they could present to the king. Why waist time attempting a man made defense when ultimately God was their defense and rescuer.

These men told the king that their "God is able to save them". This confession alone would not satisfy hyper-faith folk because it falls short of a positive confession. According to hyper-faith thinking, you never say "God is able". We all know Heís able, but believing He is able and believing "He will" are two different things. Saying "He is able" suggests doubt. Instead, you say "God will" because that demonstrates no hint of doubt. Some of these people go a step further and say "God has done" even though God hasnít done what theyíve asked.

The next statement from the lips of these men redeems them in the eyes of hyper-faith folk because they say that "God will rescue them". This statement of real faith is a positive confession. Thereís no hint of doubt and therefore God is obligated to answer their request.

You can hear the cheers rise from the hyper-faith camp when these three guys confess that "God will", but disappointment soon sets in when they hear what these men say next. The three men add, "but even if He does notÖ". This "but clause" in the eyes of hyper-faith thinking has just wiped out the positive confession made in the previous phrase. If these men really believed God would rescue them, they would not have inserted doubt by saying "but if He does not". This phrase is a bad confession and God is not obligated to respond to bad confessions, although in this case He did.

So on occasion Iíve been accused of having a poor confession when I say, " I know Jesus can heal me, but if He doesnít, Iíll still trust Him anyway". By inserting this "but clause" into my statement they say I demonstrate doubt, and Jesus canít respond to doubt. They then tell me that I need to say that Jesus has already healed me even though Iím still scraping my nose across this monitor, fogging it up in cooler temperatures due to the warmth of my breath.

Why did these men insert this "but clause" anyway? Was this a demonstration of underlying doubt in their lives? Certainly not. Their trust was not based in their positive confession or any defense they could muster up. Their trust was based in God alone, and if for some reason God chose not to rescue them, theyíd still trust Him. Iíd say thatís strong faith. So even though Jesus hasnít healed me after 55 years, I still trust in Him. If my faith is as weak as hyper-faith folk have suggested it is, I would have given up on Jesus years ago.

Our faith is not based on whether God could, should, would, or wouldnít fulfill our requests. We should simply trust in Him for who He is. Thatís it Ė end of story. I think part of this problem stems from our modern Evangelical "gospel to get". This gospel puts too much emphases on what we can get from God instead of what we can give to Him. The "gospel to get" says that if we have faith we can get saved, get forgiven, get healed, get prosperous, get joy, get peace, get heaven, get pretty well anything we want. This isnít really the New Testament gospel message, rather itís only part of the result the gospel has in our lives The gospel message states that our Lord Jesus Christ gave His life for us, and in response we should give our lives to Him. This "gospel to get" only helps to fuel this man centered hyper-faith fantasy that expects Jesus to do everything our little lips confess.

Personally, I never became a Christian to solely benefit from my decision to do so. I became a follower of Jesus because I was convinced that He is the ultimate, supreme, and central truth of both the spiritual and physical universe, and once knowing this, I had no other logical choice to make than to give myself to Him. By definition, this is what faith is, that is, giving your life to Jesus in a trusting relationship.

Itís my thinking that the hyper-faith doctrine is a fantasy is partly based on our humanistic consumer driven western culture and our Evangelical "gospel to get". Itís certainly not New Testament thinking. When you get to Heaven ask Stephen about his faith because he was in a similar situation as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. God saved these three guys from the fire, but He allowed the stones to kill Stephen. Itís clear to me that Godís will supercedes any positive confessions we can muster up.

 

Home Page