In the C&MA, we have a long standing belief in divine healing as a distinctive of our theology. Our view of it, however, is somewhat different than the later day faith healing movement (which borrowed a lot from us on this point.)
Basically, the breakdown, at least for our founder and other “old school” Alliance members, is like this:
1 - God absolutely promised us that we will experience complete and total healing in Christ.
2 - Christ’s redemptive work on the cross purchased for us not just spiritual salvation, but physical salvation as well.
3 - When we experience Regeneration, Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, becomes our very life, and, again, not just spiritually but physically as well. Christ is our living, ever present source of life and health in this life and the next.
4 - Christ further promised us that if we have no more faith than a mustard seed, that absolutely nothing can stand in the way of us doing all that He would have us do.
5 - When any of us is troubled or is suffering from any difficulty or ailment, whether spiritual or physical (and by extension, this would include financial and other situational problems), we simply have to ask Him to meet that need and then wait patiently and expectantly for Him.
6 - Our expectation of healing is not restricted to only those things that we ask for, but also those physical and spiritual needs that we are not even aware of. We don’t need to “name” or “claim” anything and we certainly don’t need to “plant a seed” in the form of a financial donation to any minister or church to have that patient expectation.
6 - How and when, exactly, God chooses to meet our need or to do that healing is entirely up to Him and not us. He may choose to heal us miraculously, or He may choose to heal us providentially, through doctors and other ordinary means. He may heal us all at once, or He may give us the strength to persevere through difficulty. We may be healed in this life, or we may have to wait for the Resurrection. The important point is that, when we ask our heavenly Father for anything that is good and right for us to have, the answer will never be “no” even though the answer might be “not yet.”
I have personally experienced two diving healings in my life. Those testimonies may be illustrative:
First, right before I had my first back surgery I went to my local church’s regular Sunday Night Healing Service. The Elders, as is our custom according to our reading of the scriptures, prayed for me, laid hands on me, and anointed me with oil (in a right not too dissimilar to your Anointing of the Sick.) I later had surgery and ended up doing pretty well, all things considered. The Pastor (a Benny Hinn devotee) asked me one day about it and when I told him, he said, “Well… I’m just disappointed that God didn’t choose to heal you.” I just kind of blinked and gave him the RCA dog look for a second and said, “But He did.”
Second, I had suffered with Depression and Anxiety for my entire life. I had been on meds for years and was managing it pretty well. I never sought nor asked for a healing on this issue because, well… frankly… I took it as my personal cross to bear and sought only to offer whatever suffering I may have on this point up to Christ (as I was taught to by my wonderful, very Catholic Great Grandmother.) Then, one day, I woke up from a nap and had a sudden realization that I was healed. I didn’t stop my meds. I kind of brushed it off, frankly, as one of those things that often happens in between sleeping and waking. That was until I started showing the clear signs of being over medicated. I went to my doctor and he just kind of shrugged and adjusted my dosage… and then again… and then again… until I was off the meds entirely. That was over 10 years ago and I’ve never had the shadow of Depression or Anxiety touch me again.
Take that for what you will. Agree or disagree, that was my experience, and I will rest continue to rest all my hopes on Christ, Our Healer until He comes again and makes my healing complete.