Holistic view of the healing as seen in China

March 20, 2023

Divine healing can also be understood biblically in a holistic sense. Some point to how the Greek word for save means wholeness. Others highlight the full scope of the meta-narrative to support the view. A holistic view affirms that God’s healing power is understood to extend to the transformation of individuals and communities. The belief that the gospel brings wholeness, which extends into healing in all its aspects, has been a transformative concept for the church in China. Such an inclusive concept of health existents God’s power into all aspects of the community. Where ordinary christians, in ordinary ways are used to bring extraordinary healing and flourishing to people and communities. This is the way.

A real world examples of this can be seen all over China. The below narrative of God’s grassroots transformation of a community is taken from Oblau’s field notes, recorded in Fujian Province (May 1997):  

Xiyang, an extremely poor village in the coastal mountains of Fujian Province. Church history in Xiyang village covers scarcely 30 years. It originated through three experiences, one of sudden death and two of apparently divine healing. A young girl from Xiyang had been sold by her parents into marriage to a man from another province. When she arrived at her in-laws', her fiancé had suddenly died. But instead of blaming her for bringing bad luck, which would have been expected, the grieving parents received her in generous hospitality. They turned out to be Christians, and under their influence the young woman from Xiyang became a Christian herself. After some time, she moved home to Xiyang, where she openly confessed her faith but managed to win over only a few elderly women, until one day a nine-year-old boy fell into the village pond and almost drowned. He was pulled out of the water unconscious and carried home. Since the village had no real road connection and the next clinic was very far, his parents and their neighbors resigned themselves to his fate. The Christian believers, however, came and sat at the boy's bedside, asking God for the boy's life, until many hours later he awoke and recovered quickly and fully. As a result, many young people and entire families joined the Christian group.


Later, a young woman called You Muhua married into Xiyang. She was a recent Christian convert. Prayers in her aunt's house church had reputedly cured her from chronic fatigue and turned her into a fervent Christian. Her personal healing testimony plus her record of nine years of schooling gave her sufficient credentials to be put in charge of preaching and pastoring in the emerging house church.  Meanwhile, the social situation of the area was unhealthy and disheartening. Some young men had been sentenced to death and executed for crimes, including piracy. Poverty and destitution had led them to seek their fortune by robbing and sometimes murdering people down the coast. You's husband, too, had been involved in criminal activities. The young Christian woman, however, managed to win him over, and told all who were willing to hear that the Lord Jesus wanted people to repent from their wrongdoings and in turn would provide for their sustenance. Xiyang's new converts developed an active social life. A visitation team looked regularly after all Christian families and cared for the sick, a production team organized assistance during times of sowing and harvesting for families with insufficient labor power, a know-how team of several young people was sent to the county town to attend courses in mushroom growing and the tending of orange trees. They shared their newly acquired knowledge with Christians and non-Christians alike, and the entire village population benefited from the Christian presence in numerous ways. When the Christian congregation had outgrown You's family courtyard, the local Communist cadres provided a piece of land for a special price and helped to build a church. They had become sympathetic to Christianity as they observed how it brought social and economic development and drastically lowered the crime rate. A simple brick structure was erected. As people leave the building now, they pass underneath an inscription above the door which reads “Peace to those who go out.” [1] 

[1] Gotthard Oblau,  “Divine Healing and the Growth of Practical Christianity in China,” in Global Pentecostal and Charismatic Healing, Edt. Candy Gunther Brown (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2011) 324-325

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