Is Healing For Today

Is Healing For Today?

The Early Christian Church was a healing church but by the time of St. Augustine of Hippo in the fourth and fifth centuries, there were fewer accounts of miraculous healings from the various Christian communities. Augustine expressed doubt that much healing still occurred in the church. Later he changed his mind when a young man and his twin sister were both healed of epilepsy through the power of prayer and the laying-on of hands. Eventually Augustine was led to retract his earlier writings but most people never heard about his retractions.

Augustine’s early writings have formed much of the basis of church doctrine to this very day. He taught that God sent affliction not so much as punishment-as the Jewish people at that time believed-but rather to purify the souls of men and women. Physical suffering was accepted as necessary to the attainment of spiritual perfection. Augustine’s beliefs were greatly shaped by Greek philosophy, particularly by the works of Plotinus. Greek thought offered a plausible understanding of body and spirit. Plotinus believed that humans are on a path toward “perfection,” which will be reached when our souls achieve independence from our bodies.

God could be known through the intellect, and the most important part of human beings was their soul. The soul gave life to the body but was never united with it. Another Greek influence on early church thought was the philosophy of Gnosticism. The Gnostics held that the body was irrelevant to the all-important soul. The soul was trapped in the grosser body. The soul lives on while the body goes into the earth. For the Gnostics, the role of healing was unnecessary. This Gnostic point of view devalued the body and had a disastrous effect on healing ministry in the church. Gnostic ascetic practices inflicted extreme punishment on the body, denying our very salvation accomplished by Jesus.

The Gospels Honor Both Soul and Body and Call for Healing

From this it is easy to see how we went astray in our interpretation of the Scriptures. The Gospels honor both the soul and the body otherwise Jesus would never have reached out to heal physical and mental illnesses. What is needed in our world is a restoring of the value of healing in our various Christian churches. Healing is not only for our sick souls, but for our bodies as well. A Healing Touch Spiritual Ministry in a church does just that-it restores prayer, hands-on healing and anointing to its rightful place among church ministries. Churches of all denominations are re-discovering their call to healing work through this educational process.


By going to my web site at and signing up for our free monthly newsletter you can receive a free gift: 5 Monographs on Biblical Oils. These oils were referred to in the scriptures and were probably the oils that Jesus and the disciples used in their healing work. Where can you go to learn more about a ministry of prayer, hands-on healing and anointing as part of a healing ministry? Try checking out this web site for help.

You can also learn more about creating healing ministries in my books: Called Into Healing, Reclaiming our Judeo-Christian Legacy of Healing Touch, and Healing Oils Healing Hands, Discovering the Power of Prayer, Hands On Healing and Anointing at From Linda L. Smith, Director of the Institute of Spiritual Healing & Aromatherapy, Inc.

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