Do We Unknowingly Judge Those Who Succumb to Cancer?

by | Feb 6, 2019 | Health & Healing

Facing any type of illness is difficult. For those who battle cancer, this road can be scary, challenging and long, both physically and emotionally. It can also be a trial spiritually, bringing about feelings of doubt, fear, anger and abandonment.

There are many dynamics at play for someone battling cancer. One thing that does not need to be part of the equation is judgement from those in the church. It is our responsibility as a faith community to lift them up and offer encouragement throughout this challenging time.

While it is difficult to believe that anyone would disparage someone battling a deadly disease, believing that the suffering and succumbing to the disease is their fault, it does happen. Whether through intentional attacks or unintentional advice, there are many who further complicate an already arduous journey.

Have a Little Faith

The most common spiritual advice offered is to “just have faith. God will heal those who have the faith of only a mustard seed!” It seems hopeful and simple enough. But in fact, one simply believing in God’s ability to heal does not necessarily always end as hoped for.

This seemingly helpful advice can turn damaging due to the incorrect theological position of merely needing to have enough faith in all situations. In many cases, this position is maintained by individuals who have never been challenged with a life-threatening illness such as cancer.

“‘Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you shall be forgiven'” (Luke 6:37).

Spiritual pride concerning the belief of absolute understanding and insight to what, when, and how God does things is the basis for this position. We must work to keep our overzealous hopes and encouragement in check and offer the hope that what is guaranteed is that God will never leave or forsake us.

The Story of Job

Another common misconception about healing is that we must be blameless in the eyes of God in order to receive His aid. This “blame” can include everything from needing to offer forgiveness to another, jealousy or any other sin you are holding onto. But God does not withhold His blessings of healing circumstantially based on our goodness.

Take the story of Job. The Bible states that Job was blameless in God’s eyes (Job 1:8), yet God allowed everything to be taken from him. We do not receive rewards on earth based upon our goodness. God chooses to use us in various situations and it is up to us as to how we respond in those situations.

Healing can and does come from God here on earth. Yet, healing can and also comes from God apart from this earth and it is not for us to determine how and why these ways are chosen.

Shouldn’t churches include in their dogma that there may be no explanation, spiritual or otherwise, for why, how or when someone dies? Not one of us on earth is qualified to speak for God and His reasoning.

As Jesus passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned. But it happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him (John 9:1-3).

A question that cannot be answered within these streams of belief is how nonbelievers and those whose lives are seemingly full of sin receive healing from an illness. There simply is no formula to guarantee earthly healing.

Supporting and encouraging the members of our congregation shows them more of God and His grace and mercy than trying to speak for Him. Encouraging them to be open to how God intends to use them can offer practical hope and purpose in their journey.

The Loved Ones Left Behind

Unfortunately, spiritual damage may befall loved ones who feel condemnation by their faith community who suggest that their loved ones did not possess enough faith. They may also feel the blame has been transferred to them.

The judgment felt may morph into resentment or anger toward God at the unfair realization that some who do not serve God survived their cancer diagnosis.

The enduring damage caused through inaccurate statements and theology, even if well-meaning, can have lasting effects through family generations.

We need to be prayerful and thoughtful in our dialogue and advice to cancer patients and their loved ones. In most cases, no one fights to live more than they do. When pressure is placed solely on their shoulders, the obstacles to healing can appear insurmountable. Instead of deliverers of stress, strife and scarring, let us be faithful stewards of God’s grace, mercy and hope during these challenging times.

For more guidance on how to help minister to cancer patients and caregivers, join the Ministry Leader’s Network, a part of the Our Journey of Hope® cancer care ministry. The network offers free resources and tips on how to best serve those dealing with cancer in your congregation and your community. Or contact Rev. Percy McCray, National Director of Faith-based Programs at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, at percy.mccray@ctca-hope.com. {eoa}

A fully ordained minister for more than 20 years, Rev. Percy McCray is a member of the United States Chaplains Association. He has been recognized as one of the “most influential African Americans in Lake County (IL)” by the People’s Voice newspaper for his religious and leadership roles within the community as well as one of the most beloved Pastors of the Chicagoland area by the Defender newspaper. In addition to his role as National Director of Faith-Based Programs at CTCA®, Rev. McCray leads Our Journey of Hope®, a cancer ministry training and support program.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Do you think the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath, and the God of the New Testament is a God of love? The truth is that God is the same throughout the entire Bible. His wrath and His love are revealed in both the Old and the New Testaments. So why, then, did...

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

Your heart is the most important part of you. It’s not only a physical organ that keeps your blood pumping, but when the Bible refers to the heart, it’s talking about who you really are. Each person has an inner and an outer life. There’s the person we show to...

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

It's been a few days since the FBI raided President Donald Trump's home in Mar-a-Lago, and the Biden Administration has yet to explain to the American people why they did what's never been done in American history—the government raiding the home of a former president....

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

Most of my life I tried to avoid one thing—being crazy or insane. When I was growing up my mother had emotional issues and saw a psychiatrist regularly. She was on medication which only seemed to make her mood swings worse. She had high highs, and low lows. When I...

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJFFqAgykmU A cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants took effect late Sunday in a bid to end nearly three days of violence that killed dozens of Palestinians and disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis,...

RECENT ARTICLES

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

My husband had a saying for our children growing up. “Partial obedience is disobedience.” He wanted them to understand that doing half the plan would not get them the full reward. Another reminder...
Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a surprisingly strong July Employment Report.  Total nonfarm employment was 528K (398K previously, 250K expected).  Private nonfarm employment was 471K (404K previously, 230K expected). The headline unemployment rate dropped to...

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

The wind is a funny thing. We do not know where it comes from nor where it goes. We cannot see it, but we can see and feel its effects. Wind can be gentle and refreshing, cold or hot, strong, and dangerous, and everything in between. When the wind blows, we must...

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

It is interesting that, as a Messianic rabbi the question I am asked most often by Christians is if I believe that they as Christians have to celebrate, or observe, the biblical Holy Days. They are usually asking about those days listed in Leviticus 23: Shabbat, Yom...

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

As the crackdown against Christianity in America grows, it is a cycle believers have seen before. While no one celebrates their religious freedom coming under attack, God has used this persecution to great effect throughout history. Over the centuries, there have been...

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Change can be challenging. Some people look forward to change and embrace it. Some people dread change and try to avoid it. Since change is inevitable, so here are some of the dynamics surrounding change and the specific strategies to deal with change more...

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

This past weekend I preached at The Roads Church, a charismatic congregation located in the tiny town of Norris City, Illinois. Located amid cornfields, the population is only 1,325, but almost that many people visit the church on weekends. They come from all over...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]