I am grateful and encouraged when I see the massive activism for women’s rights and an end to violence that is going on in India right now as a response to the horrible rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in Delhi. Having relatives from India and several Indian friends, I feel solidarity with the people and share their distress and there demand for change. However, as a follower of the non-violent Christ who taught us to love our enemies and forgive our transgressors, I feel pain when I see the demands for vengeance, punishment and execution that are frequent in the protests.
When Jesus hang upon the cross, He prayed “Father, forgive them” (Luke 22:34). This does not defend the sins of the murderers, but it brings them love and healing instead of hate and destruction. Something is severely broken in them that Jesus came to restore. He didn’t go to the holy and healthy but to the sinful and sick (Matthew 9:12). And when His Holy Spirit performs miracles among us, even the worst sinner can be completely transformed.
Christopher Alam is an international revivalist born in Pakistan who preach the gospel at big campaigns in Africa and Asia, where he has seen astonishing miracles. He shares in his great book All Things Are Possible how the Holy Spirit changed the heart of a murderer in the late 1980’s, at a campaign meeting in the Indian state of Odisha. Christopher was praying for the sick and the blind saw, the deaf heard and the lame walked – just like in the video above. The people that were gathered were shouting and praising the Lord for the amazing miracles He did.
Suddenly, however, they all got quiet, staring at the platform. A man had entered it with his arms raised in the air shouting “Jesus is alive! Jesus is alive!” He took the microphone from Christopher’s interpreter and shouted “Yesu Mashi ki Jai!!” – meaning “Jesus is victorious” – over and over again. Then people started to shout and praise even wilder than before. Something really extraordinary had happened.
Christopher was very confused but later on he got to know what had happened. This man was a high leader in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu extremist group. He had been responsible for persecution against Christians and burning of churches. He was lame in his legs from birth, but was so infamous for his cruelty that when Christian women saw him coming on his robust crutches together with his RSS cronies, they fled into the jungle.
This night he had heard that a Christian festival was taking place, so he took a RSS team to the campaign meeting to end the meeting through death and destruction. However, when Christopher Alam prayed for the sick from the platform, this man started to shake violently. While his friends couldn’t believe their eyes, he dropped his crutches and could stand on his own for the first time in his life. He then realized that Jesus was the true God, and he didn’t hesitate to enter the platform to share this important fact.
In other words, the Holy Spirit managed to stop a violent man not through capital punishment but through healing and restoration. That’s a much more effective and much less bloody way to solve the problem than through hanging people. As the Indian society is screaming for change, the Indian church has a very important mission in promoting peace, security and women’s rights through the power of the Holy Spirit. God bless them in that. And God bless the Indian people.
Great post and I agree fully with you.
But how would you heal the victim that has been traumatised and humiliated through the event? As a woman, I was almost raped several times, and that alone has left bad memories.
Sometimes I wonder what is the best solution to offer.
I am so sorry to hear that. I believe it is extremely important for every church to be able to offer inner healing, since it is just as important as physical healing. Through prayer, discernment and psychological help, one should seek to support the victim. A good book that deals with this is Power Healing by John Wimber.
God bless you!
Yes, I understand about inner healing and access to it. But not everyone believes in it.
It takes a lot of time to convince people to go for healing and wait for the healing to be complete.
I know of people who eventually cannot wait out and end their lives. Especially those who have been sexually abused by those they know in ‘church’.
We live in a sick world.
The story about Christopher Alam and the RSS leader is amazing! This is what it is about, people coming to faith in Jesus and having their lives turned around because they met the living God. Here recently I some folks told me that evangelism is suppose to be logical and strictly “biblical” (don’t you just love how that term gets thrown in everywhere?). Miracles and healings, in their eyes, are not to be expected because they take the focus off of Jesus. Alas, if only they would open their eyes and see how signs and wonders bring people TO Jesus and not away from Him!
Amen! There’s unfortunately a common misinterpretation of Rom 1:16 that I suspect that those people may use. There, Paul says: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” The misinterpretation is that since the gospel is the power of God for salvation, no miracles are needed, preaching is always enough. If God chooses to do miracles, it’s a bonus, but it won’t increase the potential of salvation.
This clearly contradict the teaching of the Scriptures that state that miracles are tools for evangelism, https://holyspiritactivism.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/preaching-the-gospel-in-the-power-of-signs-and-wonders/ Of course the gospel is the power of salvation, for how can anyone be saved without the Gospel? However, Paul is not saying that it’s only preaching of the Gospel that is enough, because he isn’t mentioning preaching! He only states that the gospel is the power for salvation, not how it is supposed to be communicated. That is an issue he instead discusses in Rom 15:18-19, where he states that it has to be preached in words, deeds and the power of signs and wonders!
Preach it brother!!!
Just this week I was listening to an old John Wimber teaching on Power Evangelism where he makes this very point. One can not rely on signs and wonders, there HAS to be a clear presentation of the Gospel (i.e. Jesus is King and you should turn from doing things your way and follow Him). The signs and wonders are just tools, as you stated, that awake folks and bring them to the point were they can receive the message of the Kingdom. (Granted, there are other reasons while God heals folks and/or shows off, but for the most part, evangelism is the primary reason.)
Good stuff, good stuff! =)