Thoughts : Progressive Christianity (Politics) : Seeing the Far Near

I was up studying early in the morning again and during my break managed to catch another Benny Hinn program. It was one of his healing/miracle crusades in the United States. As usual, I was amazed at the miracles and healings that took place. One particular healing was of a cute little girl about 5 years old being healed of deafness. She had been deaf since she was born.

Everytime I see such healing crusades, I’m once again reminded of what a great God I worship. I do not agree with everything Benny Hinn does but I believe that God does work through Him to bring miracles to people. And I believe they change the lives of those healed. If they already are Christians, they become more grateful Christians. If they aren’t already Christians, the healings surely let them know what kind of God we have and it would normally move one closer to accepting Christ – the greatest miracle of all. And of course those who weren’t healed but are merely spectators of the healings will be moved too. Non-Christians will see before their eyes God’s power and love. For Christians like me, well, once again I am moved at such a great and wonderful God I serve – a God for which nothing is impossible.

(There are lots of other criticisms and issues involved in these kind of miracle crusades and though I’m aware of them, I don’t intend to write that much about them here because the main point of the article isn’t to touch on healing. But I’ll mention one criticism and that is the fact that those that don’t get healed will be disappointed with God for not healing them. That is true but that doesn’t mean such miracle crusades should not take place. We ought to rejoice for those who are truly healed. For those who aren’t healed, my heart goes out to them and yes, I do wonder why God didn’t heal these people too. Why He heals some and not others, I do not know. I have many questions and my questions aren’t just limited to why God heals some and not others. I have questions as to why God allows natural disasters, so much poverty to exist, physically and mentally challenged (disabled) people to be born…etc. All Christians have such questions. We have no answers. But we still trust in God. So the question about why some are healed and not others may bother me a lot, but so do many other questions. But this doesn’t stop me from thanking God for all true healings from Him that take place in such a crusade. For some of my other comments on healing, see Thoughts on New Creation Church).

Getting back to the main point, as I watched the crusade, I asked myself:

Wouldn’t it be better if I were to give up my dreams to help the poor and oppressed in political and other ways. After all, I’m probably not going to be able to do much for them. Just look at the immediate and tangible results of the healing crusade! That’s not going to happen with my political interests. I’m not going to see the happiness and joy of the little 5 year old’s face as I struggle to help the poor and oppressed politically. My activism and a life devoted to such people may not yield such concrete results like being in Christian ministry can. It may do a bit in the long term, but not that much in the short run. Perhaps I should think twice about devoting my life towards the field of development and helping the poor and rather go into Christian ministry?

But then I told myself:

Hey, helping the poor and oppressed in this world was never going to be easy and it involves great structural change if you want to get to the root of the problem. And seeing structural change come about is not going to be easy. Nobody says there will be immediate results. But are you going to give up just because of that? If everyone gives up just because of that, then of course nothing is going to happen and the process of helping these poor and oppressed people will forever be slow. Hey, you have to start SEEING THE FAR NEAR. You can’t be discouraged by the fact that results may be far away. See it near, because it’s only when you do something and give yourself hope and give the world hope, and give the poor and oppressed hope – only then will things start to happen. Never let the far discourage you! Rather, let your life and work contribute to seeing the far become nearer. Be one that dares to dream and look far and bring that far near, not one with myopic or short-sighted eyesight.

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