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A Conversation with Francis and Judith MacNutt, Interview by David Kyle Foster

 

David: Why didn’t you become a priest in the Episcopal Church?

Francis: I tried not to join another church or ministry so as not to add one more divisive element to the whole situation. I did apply twice to the Vatican for dispensation, so that our marriage would be recognized in the Catholic church, but it took 13 years to come through. In 1993 our marriage was renewed by the bishop here, so we are now Catholics in good standing.

 

David: Are you a Catholic priest once again?

Francis: I am not allowed to exercise the ministry of a priest except in an emergency. If somebody was dying out there, for example, I could hear their confession. But I’m no longer clergy.

 

David: Did either of you struggle with bitterness and anger over having been excommunicated for those years?

Judith: It was more a grieving than an anger.

Francis: A sadness.

Judith: It’s a deep sadness that a person like Francis, who loved and embraced the Catholic faith his whole life, had to lose the fellowship of a church that he loved so much. There are many people who suffer similar losses with their denominations when they can no longer embrace what they are asked to embrace. We see that now in the Episcopal church with the consecration of the openly gay bishop. We’ve seen deep grieving among our Episcopalian friends.

Francis: The good thing is that since I don’t stand up in a collar anymore, I don’t represent something that most people can’t accept. Last month we had a conference in New Mexico sponsored by the Catholic church and four Pentecostal churches. I was the one speaker that both the Catholics and the Pentecostals could agree on.

 

David: How has the healing movement changed over the past 35 years?

Francis: There has been a maturation and a development. For example, in the early years you never heard about satanic ritual abuse. God has also deepened our understanding of the time element that is involved in healing. It’s not all instant. It wasn’t in Jesus’ ministry either.

 

David: Has the modern church grown in its understanding of how God heals and are we better at it now?

Francis: Some are. The problem is getting the word out. Recently I was given 15 minutes on the #1 Christian talk show to talk about healing. What can you say in 15 minutes?

Judith: In a lot of churches, there is still no understanding of the need to bring all of the healing disciplines together. For example, in some denominations you’ll find an understanding of deliverance ministry, but they’ll have no clue about inner healing. Ninety percent of all demonic activity is based in trauma or in wounding. Many will cast a demon out of someone, but they won’t do the inner healing work that heals the wound, and so the demon comes back.

A well-known speaker recently wrote in one of his books that you don’t need inner healing if you have forgiveness, and you don’t need Christian counselors if you have Jesus, and I found myself feeling very sad that a man who has great influence in our country doesn’t understand that people do need inner healing. I’ve never met a person who didn’t.

What we’ve come to understand is that in many cases you have to literally soak the person in God’s love over a period of time. You see the cancer diminish each time you pray. The person who is prayed for only once, and is told, “Go home and have faith that you are healed!”—that person is being deprived of life-giving prayer. They need to keep soaking in God’s healing presence.

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Category: Pneuma Review, Spirit, Summer 2007

About the Author: David Kyle Foster, M.Div. (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School), D.Min. (Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry), David is the author of Sexual Healing: A Biblical Guide to Finding Freedom from Sexual Sin and Brokenness, Transformed Into His Image, and Love Hunger: A Harrowing Journey from Sexual Addiction to True Fulfillment (Chosen, 2014). He has served as adjunct professor at Asbury Theological Seminary, The Bible Institute of Hawaii, Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry and Logos Christian College & Graduate School, and is on the faculty of the Wagner Leadership Institute. His articles have appeared in New Man, Charisma, Touchstone, and Rev magazines and he has appeared on programs ranging from The 700 Club, The Dr. Phil Show, and The Coral Ridge Hour to Janet Parshall's America. David is the founder and director of Mastering Life Ministries and producer of the “Pure Passion” TV program. He makes his home in the Nashville, TN area.

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