When Ebola Came to Church (Liberia)
Reading this NYT article about a church in Liberia that was hit hard by Ebola, I reflected back to the time I was a Pentecostal like these folks. . .
You believe that “With God, All Things are Possible.”
You believe that “Jesus is the Great Healer.”
You believe that “Prayer–especially speaking in a Heavenly Language–can do Anything.”
You believe that raising your hands and waving them is the best way to
get God’s attention “Praise the Lord.”
You believe that “I am FILLED with the Holy Spirit (so the God of the Universe is especially interested in ME, speaks directly to ME and will heal ME whenever I ask–unless He wants to teach me a Lesson. . .
or has something better to do“).
You believe that “We have Victory over Evil and the Devil (the cause of disease).”
Then. . .you begin to have an uncomfortable feeling. It starts as a quiet, disturbing doubt. You try hard to “pray through it,” to “pray it away.” But it persists. You see that some people are not healed. You see that the “indwelling Spirit” will not (or cannot) do what you ask, or what a congregation asks, or what a preacher asks. All the sincerity in the world, all the good intentions, all the Bible verses you can quote, all the faith you can stir up, isn’t enough.
I feel for these people in Liberia. They have been taught by Missionary Preachers from the West to believe a false and failed message of miraculous healing. But what happens when it’s EBOLA? Someone is brought into the church with this terrible disease and they die. . .infecting other believers, who die. . .then infecting others in the community, who die. What then?
What happens when faith doesn’t work?
I remember what the Missionary Preacher Faith-Healers say: “God has other plans,” “You need to Pray more,” “Just Believe,” “It’s the Devil.”
This sickness needs to be stopped before it infects many more.
Not-so-by-the-way. . .here’s what really stopped Ebola in Liberia:
Nearly 200 health workers died fighting Ebola in Liberia.
While praising the international partners for helping to get Liberia to zero cases, [Liberian President Ellen] Sirleaf said the fight “got off to slow start.”
“Therefore, let today’s announcement be a call to arms that we will build a better world for those Ebola could not reach