Hold Fast

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:1-2, ESV)

Location: Cochrane, Alberta, Canada

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Pool of Siloam Found in Jerusalem

Again, archaeologists have confirmed details of the Biblical record! A sewer line repair team in Jerusalem found the Pool of Siloam last fall and called in archaeologists to take a look. You can read more here:


The Gospel of John records an incident that took place here:

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man's eyes with the mud and said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. (John 9:1-7)

In typical fashion, secular scholarship had belittled John's story as merely a moral lesson with no basis in fact, saying there was no proof that the place even existed.

I'll also take the chance to tie this story into my running assault on the Word-Faith movement. Their doctrine of "positive confession" holds that if one says or believes negative things about one's own circumstances, this gives Satan the opportunity to move into one's life and cause evil (disease, financial difficulty, etc.) to happen. In short, the Word-Faith movement believes that Christians have a "right" to physical health, and that therefore no one should be sick. Illness is evidence of a lack of faith. Some even deny sickness exists, dismissing illness as merely a "spiritual symptom" sent by Satan to trick the believer into making a negative confession and thus open the door to a spiritual attack.

It's easy to see where this doctrine leads. Real, physical ailments are dismissed as a lack of faith, and often a trip to the doctor is seen by members of this movement as a "negative confession." The consequences of the Word-Faith movement's heretical theology has been deadly at times, as several people have died in the last twenty years by refusing treatment for sickness. If you doubt me, find and read the heartbreaking book "We Let Our Son Die," by Larry Parker (Harvest House, 1980, ISBN 0890812195). It's out of print, unfortunately, but it's a chilling account by a father who withheld insulin from his diabetic son thinking that such an act would be a lack of faith and prevent true healing.

See, the story at the Pool of Siloam utterly refutes the Word-Faith notion that human sickness and suffering is a direct result of one's own lack of faith. Jesus answers his disciples' questions by declaring that the blind man could not see because it was the Father's will that he be blind. God used the blind man as a means of demonstrating His glory and ownership over all creation, as well as Jesus' authority over even injury and disease. Now, we must recognize, of course, that all sickness and pain in the world is ultimately the result of the curse of the Fall, and thus of human sinfulness, but the Bible is abundantly clear that individual calamities are not always punishment. (Needless to say, Word-Faith teachers have a lot of trouble with the book of Job, and not many positive things to say about him).

John, in His Gospel, paints a clear and unavoidable picture of God's absolute sovereignty over all things. The Pool of Siloam was one of the stages for this glorious story. Praise be to God that this stage has been uncovered once more, and that those who oppose His Word have been humbled yet again.


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