Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Praying for Nabeel

I've been very burdened lately for Nabeel Qureshi, who is in the last stages of stomach cancer. Nabeel is (as readers no doubt know) a missionary to Muslims. He and David Wood were arrested some years ago in Dearborn while peacefully and legally chatting with a Muslim group. They subsequently won a lawsuit against the city, as the arrest was manifestly illegal. Nabeel, a former Muslim, has had a fruitful ministry bringing Muslims to know Jesus Christ as Savior.

A year ago he was unexpectedly diagnosed with (already) stage 4 stomach cancer. He has fought it with every weapon known to modern medicine, but it has steadily progressed. His videos chronicling the progression of the disease and his and his wife's faith in Christ through it can be found here. They have one child, a little girl named Aya. Nabeel's stomach has recently had to be removed to prevent him from bleeding to death from the tumors. He has a J-tube in place for nutrition and hydration.

Because Nabeel's denominational background is particularly dedicated to seeking miraculous healing, he has repeatedly said throughout his fiery ordeal that he believes God is going to heal him physically. But if we can conjecture anything about what God is going to do from the on-going lack of healing and progress of a disease over time, this does not seem to be God's plan. In my admittedly fallible opinion, Nabeel is now dying, and God's will for him is a holy death. This last Vlog is painful to watch. It is my own opinion that his closest friends and his wife need to be by his bedside as he accepts death from the hand of God, supporting him through this most important time of a Christian man's life.

In any event, we Christians should pray for him.



Its not good to give up the fight. Lets hope for Bro. Nabeel gets healed.

Lydia McGrew said...

One can always hope for a miracle, but it isn't "giving up the fight" in some negative sense to state the obvious. Just as, if a hurricane were heading for a town, it wouldn't be "giving up the fight" to say, "That hurricane is going to destroy that town." God can always intervene miraculously if he so chooses, but we don't jinx people by drawing normal inferences based upon the fact that God does not routinely heal miraculously. Moreover, mental preparation for death, for a Christian, is a healthy, solemn, and good thing, not a bad thing.


Let’s hope against ALL hope. This reminds me of a scripture in Acts 27:19 On the third day we threw the ship's tackle overboard with our own hands.
20 Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, ALL HOPE THAT WE WOULD BE SAVED WAS FINALLY GIVEN UP.
21 ¶ But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, "Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss.
22 "And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.

Lydia McGrew said...

I have no good reason to believe that anyone has had a personal message from God, as Paul had in that case, directly revealing that Nabeel will not die. I'm aware that there are those who have claimed such. I'm strongly inclined to think that they are mistaken. The Apostle Paul wasn't mistaken. God had (we infer) really spoken to him and revealed that the people would survive the shipwreck.

It is not incumbent upon Christians to believe that God will miraculously heal everybody, or indeed, anybody in particular. God does not universally will us to be immortal and immune to death from disease. Sometimes, in his wisdom, he performs a miracle of healing, but this is not the norm, and it is no sin or wrong not to expect one.

ben malik said...

Well spoken sister. Some of these Christians may need to repent if the Lord decides to take Nabeel home for creating false hopes and presuming to speak for God, claiming that God told him he would be healed.

Unknown said...

This article is so insensitive. Don't comment unless you have read his books, followed his ministry and watched all his vlogs. He loves the Lord and trusts Him with the outcome. But still feels it is right to pray for healing.

Lydia McGrew said...

I was very heartened by his Vlog 40 recently, and I mentioned this in the thread to the companion copy of the post. There he brought out into the open the possibility of not being healed. There is a culture in which one is not even supposed to mention that possibility. Indeed, a year ago I met someone who was already condemning any mention (including by Nabeel himself) of the *possibility* of his *not* being healed as showing a "lack of faith." Presumably that person is disappointed in Vlog 40 and thinks it has jinxed him. That attitude is what I'm writing against, out of genuine love and concern for Nabeel. Mentioning that a person is dying of cancer is not "insensitive." I hope that if I'm ever dying, people will just say it outright.

Thomas Henry Larsen said...

D. A. Carson has an excellent 5 pages or so on this - here's the excerpt (skip past the table of contents &c.):


// Well-intentioned, but poorly informed brothers and sisters who try to deflect people from thinking about death, or who hold out the constant hope of healing, keep them so occupied with matters in this world that they have neither the time nor the energy to think about the next world. They succeed only in robbing their loved ones of the enormous comforts of the gospel as they step into eternity.

Whatever the church does, it should prepare its members to face death and meet God. You cannot live faithfully in this life unless you are ready for the next. You can’t preserve morality or spirituality or doctrinal purity or faithfulness unless you are living in light of eternity. //

This is wise.

Edwardtbabinski said...

I agree with Lydia's comments. But would also like to share a word about conversion, and also the similarities Christians share with agnostics and even atheists when it comes to the suffering, confusion, and mixed messages we all face in life.

I doubt that someone as caring as Nabeel was a mean spirited person prior to converting. In other words he was a caring person before he converted. So was I. And like him I sought the truth and continued to pray and study the Bible, but I arrived at more questions than definitive answers.

Has everyone watched Nabeel's YouTube "Vlog 010 - Do Not Despise Prophetic Utterances" which he based on 1 Thes 5:20?

In that vlog Nabeel mentioned encounters with female prophets telling him about messages they had allegedly received from God, all of which implied that healing was a real possibility.

Nabeel ended that blog by saying that he believes God is a healer, and that "I take His word seriously" that "He took on our infirmities, bore our diseases (Isa. 53 and Matthew 8);" and, "Whatever we pray for, if we believe we have received it, it will be given to us (Mark 11)... "All this to say, I believe I will be healed, I believe the Lord is in the process of healing me."

As for the healing Nabeel believed was in the process of taking place due to standing on biblical promises, I don't deny people their beliefs (though I find such beliefs debatable), nor take pleasure in their deaths. We all suffer. Christians, Muslims, agnostics and atheists all get cancer. I liked Nabeel, a very loving person. He reminded me of myself when I was on fire for the Lord as a teen and early adulthood in college. The fires eventually cooled down and I began asking more questions and admitting I had fewer definitive answers.

Yet another female Christian who claims to have received visions from God concerning Nabeel, commented:

Kirsty Nelson "Noooooooo!!!!!!!! I felt such JOY for him earlier in the Spirit. I saw white garments coming down to clothe him from heaven... I was convinced the prophetic word he got from the Lord that he would see his children's children was true."

I have studied many conversion and deconversion stories trying to make sense of what to believe. See my piece that questions the uniqueness of the Christian experience and that cites many different conversion stories of people converting in different directions.

And see the book, Leaving the Fold:Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists.

And this post on how Christians and ministers suffer depression and sometimes even commit suicide like everyone else.

And how Christians receive mixed messages from their prayers or from nature or God just like everyone else.

And how Christians don't always conquer their addictions just like everyone else.

And how Christians suffer doubts, questions, disagreements just like everyone else.

Tertullian's Paradox; Why Protestants and Catholics, Calvinists and Armenians, will never see eye to eye

Not to mention this list with extensive links to things Christians have been against.

And the added question of whether Christianity invented charity and how charitable Christians are compared with others.