Since I don’t have anything else to post today, I thought you might enjoy reading the final bit of the conversation over the Prosperity Gospel. For clarity’s sake, Apryl is my sister-in-law and her daughter suffers from a pretty serious issue with her colon.

Apryl Van Boven-Van Groningen at 2:32pm February 5
I found this all very interesting. As a high risk neonatal nurse I have seen the worst of situations where healing did not occur. I have seen life begin and end in a day and all I had to offer to the parents was praye, faith and hope in the Lord. I have seen my daughter Ava go through more pain, suffering and surgery than I will ever experience probably in my life. Arlin and I have had faith in God that he will get her through this and maybe some day she will be healed. To Mark and Jim–what do you say to me? Do you really think that her suffering and pain is from my lack of faith and belief in God? If so, I really don’t think that I could live with myself knowing that God holds me responsible

Erin Hockaday at 3:04pm February 5
Apryl, I’m sorry to see the pain you’ve endured. I understand the helplessness you feel when you see someone die as well. That is the reason why I have dug deep in God for answers. Though I don’t claim to have near enough of them I believe I can help here. first of all, we have much to be thankful about as we see the mercy of God displayed through the wisdom that has increased in these last days. Daniel prophesied that wisdom would increase in the end. Thank God that doctors are making such great strides and able to help as they do. We all have benefited from them. But as I’m sure you know, I have been there when the doctor said “that they can do know more.” At that point, is there supernatural help? Let’s set a few boundaries first. God never changes! If He is good then He is not bad. simple but important. Good things come from above.(Js.1:17). Job had a limited understanding and very limited revelation of God. He thought God gave one minute and the next He took it

Erin Hockaday at 3:13pm February 5
all away. However, we are able to see into the story of Job and see that it was Satan who did the stealing and killing. Just as Jesus said, “the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy”. So you must settle it in your thinking that God is good. If He is then redemption must be for our benefit. Ps 103 How then are we able to make the connections to see change in this world? Is it all chance, or is God just waving a wand and doing all the decision making? Number one, there are absolutes in God and number two, there is a response necessary from us to receive God’s will. His will is not left up the the circumstances, it is predetermined in the mind of God. consummated through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. For instance, God doesn’t pick who will be saved and who won’t. Christ died for the sin of the world-plural. How come the world is not all saved? Because they must receive it to experience the wonder of God. God told Moses to choose life or death. Notice, life and death

Erin Hockaday at 3:20pm February 5
don’t have the choice do they? We Do!! Jesus said that you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. the emphasis is on know the truth. truth cannot set you free if you don’t know it. This is why we preach, so people can know about, salvation, healing, even prosperity or you could say the well-being of God for your entire life. We must again settle on something. You cannot believe with faith unless something first exists and is absolutely so. For instance if I don’t know for sure that God saves I will be unable to trust God for it. Or If I am unsure that God will save me this time, then I am unable to trust Him again. If I am to believe with my heart which will automatically illicit a response then I must be sure that what I am believing God for is real and that I can obtain it now. Remember, Momma doesn’t call you to the dinner table until the food is ready. What Jesus did for us in His finished work is the finality of God’s will for your life, every time and

Mark Boer at 3:29pm February 5
Hi Apryl, How’s everything?To answer your question about lack of faith and belief in God…first of all those words originally came from Drew, not us. That is typical of that belief system to think the problem is either the will of God or it is a lack of faith in God. Actually, their are other variables in situations like these. However, it would be important to note that faith in God should be clarified. Some have faith that He is their savior and comforter, while others have faith that He is also their healer, protector, provider, etc. The Word of God speaks of having faith in His name, faith in the power of God, etc., not just a generalized faith in God. If a person is never taught these truths, it would not be possible trust God in those specific areas. In other words, If am told that God will forgive my sins, I can easily trust Him for that. If I am told that healing may or may not be His will, it is impossible for me to trust Him for that. It doesn’t make me a bad…

Mark Boer at 3:32pm February 5
…person, but my lack of knowedge in that specific area will effect what I am able to receive from the Lord.Who is to blame for your daughter’s problems? None of us think for a moment that you would not do everything in your power to change it. I wouldn’t blame you at all. But, just as that would potentially question your love for her, what does it do when we blame God for this? If we would give good gifts to our children, how much more our Father in heaven. This is where we run into Drew’s extreme sovereignty of God theology that basically says that God does whatever He wants and His will always happens. That belief throws out all faith, prayer, obedience, and anything else that is our side of the equation. Drew, I know you wanted to end the discussion, but I wanted to answer Apryl. (However, I couldn’t have answered if it wasn’t God’s will, right?) 🙂

Erin Hockaday at 3:36pm February 5
all the time. What Jesus did for us is done. We can’t change that. PTL – we are honored to experience all that was accomplished in the death, burial and resurrection. Do you understand how important it is for you to settle on whether or not it is the will of God that we are healed? Do we wait to see if our prayer worked to believe if God wanted us well? I can tell you from years of experience that those prayers never work. If our spouses told us to meet them at a particular place because it was important, wouldn’t we make the effort with an expectation? Of Course. Because we trust them and know them to be honorable to their word. How much more so should we be with God. I could write for ever and show you through the word healing in the old and new testament. But the best way to determine whether or not healing is in our covenant is to look at the ministry of Jesus. He was after all the expressed image of His Father. He said Himself that if you have seen Him, then you have

Erin Hockaday at 3:45pm February 5
seen the Father. In His ministry Jesus always healed except in His own home town. Mark 6 is the story where Jesus commented after He had tried to do mighty miracles and could not. It didn’t say, He would not, but could not. Why? because of unbelief. It takes just as much energy to unbelieve as it does to believe. It’s not too late to see great change in your family. Let’s except the fact that Jesus wants you and your children healed and well. Taking our infirmities and sickness was at the same time where Jesus took our sin. This is sealed through the blood of Jesus in our covenant agreement. It is available all the time. Healing is something that should be working in us at all times. Let me know how you’re doing with this and then we can go further if you want to. Drew, I am blessed to talk with you and Apryl about these things. It is good to sharpen one another with the word of God. I look forward to seeing you at the next family meeting. JIM

Apryl Van Boven-Van Groningen at 5:23pm February 5
I really appreciate both of you getting back to me. I needed to clarify what you both were saying. I did not mean for it to be an us against you ! Looking forward to seeing you all again sometime!!

Drew Buell at 5:38pm February 5
Seeing as we’re kind of rounding things out…again…I’ll throw in my 2 cents (I don’t have enough faith for more than that :-)One glaring observation from all of the recent hullabaloo is that neither Jim nor Mark actually answered the question that Apryl asked. You both spilled a lot of proverbial ink but without giving any kind of a real answer to the issue. Either Apryl needs more faith or not, if not your gospel is hypocritical, if so it is just plain cruel.On the positive side you have both made it very clear that you do not believe in the sovereignty of God. You are essentially Open Theists who believe that God is very well intentioned but ultimatley powerless to deal with the suffering of this world, unless he is somehow able to tap into his children’s faith. As Bruce Ware has so aptly stated about Open Theism, “Your God is too small”. You put God into a box where he must meet our every demand, lest we accuse him of not being good.

Drew Buell at 5:44pm February 5
You leave those suffeirng with no alternative but to blame themselves, or the devil, or some unseen force that has caused their suffering, but this does not offer them hope. I’ll close in a fitting way with what John Piper said in the video, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him, even in the midst of loss…not prosperity.” If you guys would like to continue the conversation I’m going to reccomend that we move over to my blog ( or some other kind of forum. Let me know if that would be helpful or interesting to you.

Erin Hockaday at 5:56pm February 5
I was really hoping that from the conversation that I wrote we could proceed with some respect. Obviously not. Your whole tone is contentious and I don’t care to fight you. Question: Have you ever prayed for someone and experienced them receiving a supernatural healing? Not with doctors, but by the power of God. Have you ever prayed for yourself when sick and experienced the power of the Lord to heal? If not, then who in the world do you think you are to question Mark and I who are trying to gently lay some foundation so you are able to understand how to get beyond the frustration that Apryl shared? If you couldn’t understand what we have shared today, then we have too much to cover with you to help you to see God as He really is. Our trust in the grace of God is the reason why you will live in the abundance that has been provided. Your point of view is purely religious. Paul said having a form of religion, but denying the power there of. You say that you have hope, but it

Erin Hockaday at 6:05pm February 5
did you no good. did it? I have witnessed thousands of people receiving bona fide miracles with doctors proof and you tell me my God is cruel. What about your gospel which provides no real cure but leaves people in the same mess while they in turn blame God with the sovereignty issue. The truth is, God is sovereign but not as you think. He set forth His Word as His sovereign will in the earth. As man believes and walks in the light, he will experience God’s best. It would be very difficult for your faith to receive anything because your believing is so misplaced. (I’m done—this is a no end street as long as you think you have a leg to stand on. Too bad.) We would really like to see things change with your children. And Erin and I will pray the Ephesians prayers over you and your family. Respectively, JIM

Erin Hockaday at 6:15pm February 5
Apryl’s faith? She received all the faith she could ever use at her salvation. The faith of Jesus Christ. Yet her faith works based on the knowledge of the word of God. So you don’t need more faith, you need to know the will of God concerning healing.

Drew Buell at 9:28pm February 5
it seems that I recall similar words from most major cult leaders…

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February 06 2009 03:00 pm | Blog

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