Church Bulletin Provides Little Comfort For Those Enduring Prolonged Suffering
A testimony on the back of a church bulletin detailed the spiritual journey of retailer J.C. Penney.
At a low point in his life at the age of 58, he found himself in a Michigan sanitarium.
Here he cried out, “Lord, I can do nothing. Will you take care of me?”
Of that petition, the testimony reads, “God answered Penney's prayer for salvation and restored his health and wealth.”
Praise be to God.
However, the part about health and wealth raises a number of questions.
How is emphasizing that much different than the Osteenism that Independent Fundamental Baptists rightly preach against?
But what of those that God does not return to health and material prosperity?
Are not “no”, “later”, or “in a manner different from the way you asked” also answers to prayer?
If such souls do not receive restitution on this plane of existence, are we to conclude that the prayer requesting such was not sincere?
And what about when Penney croaked at 95?
Should that be taken that his prayer was not focused or directed, to use the faddish terminology we are hearing enunciated even in churches that go out of their way to assure how much they avoid prevailing theological innovations?
It can be uplifting to hear stories of those that find themselves in destitute or despondent circumstances that God elevates in this life to a level higher that from which the individual initially fell.
However, there also needs to be encouragement for those that sincerely seek God but who for whatever reason are for now denied the healing for which they ask.
Frederick Meekins is an independent theologian and social critic. Frederick holds a BS in Political Science/History, a MA in Apologetics/Christian Philosophy from Trinity Theological Seminary, and a PhD. in Christian Apologetics from Newburgh Theological Seminary.