This appears to be extremely dangerous thinking
So that I can respond to it, please would someone care to expand on that statement?
I sincerely thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. Your answers were heartfelt and thoughtful, and I appreciate that very much
You're welcome, thanks for the chat
My apologies, since you intially seem to be generally sticking to the question in your responses
Q: How do you define heal? Please be specific, since we get a lot about healing souls and praying for colds to go away (and dogs being healed, for Anubis-sake!).
Haha, that made me chuckle. I wish Christians would care about other people as much as they care about their pets!
I do believe colds/headaches etc can be healed, and I have seen them healed (meaning migraines leaving instantly instead of gradually). However, as you point out, it's not exactly mind blowingly miraculous.
I guess my actual definition of healing would be pretty general, but my answers to your next questions will help as well. I define healing as a faster than natural (and preferably instant) recovery of any medical condition.
Q: Please describe the healings you've witnessed and how your knew they were "supernatural"
OK, here I'll stick to some of the more impressive ones, there are a lot of more mundane healings I have seen.
Firstly, very close to home, my daughter's ears were healed when she was about 3. Her hearing was at about 30%, she had already had an operation which had failed, and the doctors were saying she needed another one. It was a heartbreaking time, when I spoke to her, she would climb on my lap and put her ear to my mouth and ask me to repeat it. This was fairly close to the beginning of our "journey" in to healing. One night my wife and I learn't something of our authority over our bodies, and over our daughter. We went in her room while she was sleeping and commanded her ears to open. From that night onward, she heard us perfectly. We took her back to the doctors, they re-ran the tests and told us her hearing was 100% and they never needed to see her again.
About a year ago I prayed for a guy in his 60s/70s who had osteoporosis. He was on medication to try and prevent it getting any worse. I prayed for him, he stopped taking his medication (completely his choice, I never advise anyone on medication). He was like a new man. I saw him work harder than young guys in the church and he was completely healed. Unfortunately it meant he left our church about 6 months later, as he only moved here because the climate was meant to be better for his condition.
Even in cases where we ultimately lost the battle, and someone we were praying for died, I've seen too many people defy what the doctors expected, as a result of prayer (I understand this isn't what you asked about, but it's great to hear a doctor say "I just don't understand what's going on"
The most recent major healing was a couple of months ago, when a man (unbeliever and friend of ours) had been taken into hospital with suspected cancer. He was in a lot of pain, and after about 10 days in hospital they were going to send him to a bigger hospital, to cut him open because they were convinced they would find the tumor. Obviously we prayed for him, and a day or 2 later they say they don't know what's happened, but he can go home, as the jaundice disappeared, and the pain left.
There was a lot more to that last story, but I've kept it brief.
Q: If you attribute the healings to your God, then how do you know it's He/She/It doing it?
Well, there's got to be an expanation for something that is naturally unexplainable. I'm not really sure how to answer this. For example, our friend who had suspected cancer, is still an unbeliever, so obviously he believes there's another explanation, but I've seen far to many things for them all to be coincidences, including healing in myself and my wife
Q: If all Christians should be healing machines, yet they have a remarkable failure rate over the last 2000 years, especially when it comes to healings like amputees, Down's Syndrome, anencephaly, etc. - what gives us any reason to believe your claims are true?
I feel like I should first of all point out that what I'm trying to do, is show what I believe the bible says. That's my point about this, the misunderstanding of scripture in Chapter 5. I didn't come here to convert you. If you don't want to believe, that's your choice.
I agree with the incredible failure rate. If you look at church history though, for 1200 or so years the church was in a mess, and so incredibly far from the bible that it's no surprise there were so few healings. People who experienced the holy spirit in a visible way were often accused of being witches and burnt!
My view is that the church is increasingly understanding more and more of the bible, recovering from this dead period. I am building on what people have done, taught and understood before me, and it's my hope that people will come after me and go further and achieve more than me, building on the things I teach.
I will respond to the other posters as soon as I can, I just have loads to do. I start typing and suddenly I've lost half an hour of my life!