“Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.
Mark 9:39-41 (NIV, 1978)
There was a day when something referred to as “faith-based” described a treatment or place where one’s deepest convictions in God was central to their healing and the atmosphere was saturated with the presence of the Holy Spirit. Regretfully, that definition now refers more to the mere absence of certain types of traditional methods and opens the door for one to seek answers through “faith” in the most general terms. Faith based in nature, faith based in serenity, or faith based on seeking truth within oneself are promoted as faith-based disciplines leading to inner healing. Still others offer a “faith-based component” coupled with medical or other traditional means of treatment.
While I applaud most methods of helping others find freedom from life’s pain, I’ve come to the place where I’m getting away from using “faith-based” to describe our methodology at Adult & Teen Challenge. Why? Because, depending upon the underlying philosophy, true Biblical “faith” may have little or nothing to do with the process. I have determined to use the phrase, “Christ-centered,” rather than a term that has been watered down by an industry that seldom sees the necessity of introducing a broken individual to his or her Creator to find healing from a lifetime of pain and regret and thereby experience true freedom.
Mark records Jesus’ explanation that His name would be the standard by which all things righteous should be judged. Miracles performed in His name would bring glory to His name alone—not the one performing them. Those who would bless fellow believers with a cup of water in His name would be blessed by Him regardless of what label they might wear. Two thousand years ago, Jesus saw this day when “faith” would be stripped of much of its power as the key to what is necessary to please God. There is power, hope and healing from every form of depression, disease and addiction, but it is found only in Jesus name!