Continuing his discussion of Christian healing 1, Father Ads Lovekin states, “Healing is the greatest evangelical tool in bringing people to Christ, much more so than intellectual discussions or defined steps one must take to be saved.”
When one witnesses healing, one knows the power of the living, resurrected Christ. In the New Testament story of the paralytic (Mark 2:1-12), word of Jesus’ healing power had gotten around, and many people sought him for healing as well as for teaching. Jesus healed the paralytic, and particularly he commended the paralytic’s four friends for their faith in bringing him for healing.
One conclusion that could be drawn from this healing story is, according to Ads, “Some people who are healed may not believe that it could happen to them; some are healed who don’t believe in it.”
While in Southern California, Ads and a friend who was a psychiatrist sought healing for their children at an Assembly of God church. Neither child was healed. Aimee Semple McPherson said she did not understand why God healed some people and not others.
However, Ads met a woman, a member of Aimee Semple McPherson’s team, who could heal people. But primarily she could discern who had received healing, and she would ask such a person to testify about his/her healing on the stage upfront. She also asked them if they wanted to receive more of the Holy Spirit. Ads said that some people who consented were “slain in the Spirit” and would fall to the floor, infused with more of the Spirit.
When asked how a person may distinguish a charlatan from someone who truly possesses the gifts of the Holy Spirit, Ads explains, “One can discern by the fruits of the Spirit that a person exhibits. Time will tell. According to Paul, one tests the validity of a person’s gifts by their fruits; this authenticates the validity of one’s gifts.” 2
Healing is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. A person who truly has this gift will exhibit the fruits of the Spirit, which may include love, patience, kindness, goodness, and self-control.
Father Ads considers the primary focus of his ministry as being a channel for healing, a healing presence, with the emphasis on “presence” and not on outward, verbal conversation.
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Father Ads is a retired Episcopal priest, but he often assists in worship at St. John’s Cathedral. A short biography about him may be found at http://www.stjohnsabq.org/staff.php?id=9 . The Cathedral’s website is http://www.stjohnsabq.org/.
If you are interested in the Episcopal Church or in attending services at an Albuquerque Episcopal Church, please go to the following website for more information: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/directory_18718_ENG_HTM.htm .
For information on Aimee Semple McPherson, you may go to http://being.publicradio.org/programs/sisteraimee/biography.shtml .
2 Paul outlines the gifts of the Holy Spirit in I Corinthians 12. The fruits of the Holy Spirit may be found in Galatians 5:22-23 and 2 Peter 1:5-7. There are many articles on the internet regarding the gifts and fruits of the Spirit. Depending on your religious beliefs, you may select from different sources. These two articles may be a place for you to start:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_gifts_of_the_Holy_Spirit , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruit_of_the_Holy_Spirit .
Comment: All quotes from Father Ads are from an interview with him on June 28, 2011.