Kathryn Kuhlman says she does not consider herself the best-known woman preacher in the world. But she is that. From a home base in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Miss Kuhlman has for more than twenty-five years led a ministry that has had increasing impact and respect. She is especially noted for the many thousands who have come to her great services broken in body and spirit and have gone away whole. Not since Aimee Semple McPherson has a woman religious figure been recognized and appreciated so far and wide.
To many, however, Miss Kuhlman remains something of a mystery. Some who try to understand her cannot. Many others who could will not—unless they are stricken with illness and given up by medical science.
This wide-ranging, exclusive interview with Miss Kuhlman is presented by Christianity Today to dispel some of the misunderstanding that has grown up around her, or at least to present a digest, in her own words, of how she answers questions put to her by both believers and unbelievers. Miss Kuhlman very graciously consented to respond at length to an extensive assortment of questions. What follows is an edited distillation of the exchange.
Question. Miss Kuhlman, you have increasingly represented the last great hope of the desperately ill. What is it like to have such an awesome role?
ANSWER. Helping people is the most rewarding thing in the world. You do not have to be a Kathryn Kuhlman to help people. Every Christian should have as his goal helping people. We were all born to serve.
Q. Your ministry is obviously very gratifying …
A. Last Christmas I got a card from a twelve-year-old girl. I put it at the top of the tree. Doctors had said she might not be living by Christmas. They had suggested a leg amputation because of cancer. She wrote on the card, “I am living to see this Christmas. I still have two good legs because God answered prayer, and you helped.” It was the greatest gift that I received.
Q. But does such a thrilling responsibility ever give you second thoughts about a healing ministry?
A. When I walk out on the platform and I realize that sitting there in the audience are people who have made a great sacrifice to come, and when I realize that for many it is their last hope … and remember something: Your question is probably asked in terms of physical healing. But spiritual healing is far greater. It may be somebody’s last call for spiritual healing. The physical healing is so very secondary. You can well afford to live and die with a sick body. It’s great to see an empty wheelchair, but the new birth is vastly more important. When I realize that there are people, and the destiny of their souls is at stake, that is the most awesome feeling. That’s when the great responsibility is really felt. And when the lights in the auditorium are turned out, I wonder whether I could have done a better job for the Lord. It is not a thrilling responsibility, but awesome, and sometimes so awesome I wish I had never been called to this part of the ministry.
Q. You have repeatedly said you do not regard yourself as a faith healer. Why?
A. I resent very much being called a faith healer, because I am not the healer. I have no healing virtue. I have no healing power. I have never healed anyone. I am absolutely dependent upon the power of the Holy Spirit. When I see a sick child, in a moment like that I sense in a special way how dependent I really am. And it’s just like that.
Q. Miss Kuhlman, you don’t bother to answer skeptics and critics. But would you grant that there are some Christians who have some honest, conscientious doubts about you and your ministry, and if so, do they deserve to know more about what you believe and how you operate than you normally state publicly?
A. I tell you the truth: I answer every question that is asked of me. I do not believe there is anyone in the religious field today who is more honest in answering questions than I am. That is the reason I am talking to you now. I bare my soul to you. I answer the believer and the unbeliever the best I know how. When it comes to answering skeptics, remember that Jesus told his critics in substance, If you do not believe my claims, then believe me for the very works’ sake. If the Lord himself returned in person and did the same works today that he did when he walked this earth, he would have more skeptics than he had when he was here the first time in the flesh. Spiritual things are only spiritually revealed. You cannot force human beings to believe something they do not want to believe. And so, when it comes to the scoffers I just leave them to God.
Q. Do you feel it fair to come under journalistic scrutiny from questioners who may not be entirely sympathetic with your ministry?
A. Sometimes it’s a little difficult for me. Take a reporter who comes into one of the great miracle services. He knows nothing about the power of God. He may be otherwise very intelligent, but it is quite unfair, really, to himself and to the servant of God. And so I leave them also in the hands of God. Recently, however, a reporter who attended a service we had in Tampa came backstage afterward and announced, “I came a skeptic, but I left a believer.”
Q. Was Aimee Semple McPherson any kind of model or inspiration to you?
A. No, because I never met her. But several years after Miss McPherson died, Maggie Hartner and I visited her grave. There we found a young man and a woman who was probably his mother viewing the monument erected to the memory of Miss McPherson. The woman was telling how her preaching had made Jesus so real. “I found Christ through her life,” the woman said. At this point Kathryn Kuhlman thought to herself that if after I am gone just one person can stand by my grave and say, “I found Christ because she preached the Gospel,” then I will not have lived in vain.
Q. How do you conceive your calling? How and when did you get it?
A. Oh, I could preach for hours and hours on that. It was simple. First there was my conversion at that little church in Concordia, Missouri. It was one Sunday morning. I was fourteen. It was my first introduction to the Holy Spirit. Holding the Methodist hymnal I began to shake. With great conviction I did the only thing I knew to do: I slipped out and walked down to the front pew, sat down in the corner, and wept. Not out of sorrow, but because of a great feeling that came upon me. Some spiritual experiences, there are just no words in the human vocabulary to describe them. But it was in that moment that I was born again. And I have never doubted my new-birth experience from that moment.
Q. And your call to the ministry?
A. It was as definite as my conversion. If everybody in the world told me that as a woman I have no right to preach the Gospel, it would have no effect upon me whatsoever, because my call to the ministry was as definite as my conversion.
Q. Where did you begin preaching?
A. In Idaho. Name any little town in that state, and I evangelized it. I would find any little country church that could not afford a preacher and get permission to hold services in it. The very first sermon I preached was Zaccheus up a tree, and God knows that if anyone was up a tree I certainly was. I remember the sixth sermon I preached—I honestly felt I had exhausted the Bible.
Q. In what church or denomination were you ordained?
A. I am a Baptist. I still belong to a Baptist church. I was ordained with the Evangelical Church Alliance in Joliet, Illinois, years and years ago when I went there for a meeting. They were the first to ordain me, and I have continued to hold papers with them.
Q. Are your books audited and your financial statements available?
A. They better be. Why, of course. Bless you, we have perhaps the greatest, finest auditors in the city of Pittsburgh, Snodgrass and Company.
Q. What is the purpose of the Kathryn Kuhlman Foundation?
A. Let me quote our charter: “The purposes generally shall be to foster, promote and sponsor radio-television programs and broadcasts of a religious nature which will tend to further the Christian religion, foster Christian fellowship among people, and help interpret Christianity to the world, and to engage in such other religious, charitable, or educational activities as the board of trustees shall determine.” And by the grace of God, we’re trying to do a good job. When I stand in his glorious presence, my first words will be, “I tried. I made mistakes, I’m sorry, but I tried.”
Q. How effective has your TV ministry been? What has been the response in numbers of letters?
A. I can only tell you that the most unlikely people stop me on the street and say, “I wouldn’t miss your telecast for anything in the world.” I’m thrilled when I get into a cab … and seldom do I ever get into a cab but what, on hearing my voice, the cab driver will say, “Oh-oh, I know that voice—my wife and I watch you on television all the time.” The response is great, but unlike most other religious telecasts because we do not offer any giveaways. People write in only because they are hungry for the Lord. Financially, the telecasts do not pay for themselves. The greatest combination is television and radio. Through radio we teach. Together they form a combination that is unbeatable.
Q. What is the role and place of speaking in tongues and what is its relation to justification and sanctification? Is it a sign or the sign of the Spirit’s control?
A. What you want to know is whether or not I believe in speaking in tongues.
Q. No, we already know that you do.
A. I have to believe there is such a thing as speaking in an unknown tongue, because I believe in the Bible. One just cannot take out what one does not find agreeable. We’re in an hour of great deception. If it were possible, the very elect would be deceived. In our services everything is done according to God’s Word. There is no fanaticism. We believe in speaking in tongues because the Bible teaches it. Everything that happened on the day of Pentecost should be happening in every church in the world in this very hour. These things are natural, not unnatural. Now we have Pentecostal Catholic priests and Pentecostal Baptist and Lutheran ministers and so on. But remember, speaking in an unknown tongue has nothing to do whatsoever with one’s experience of justification. It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul! If you have accepted Christ in the forgiveness of sins, whether you have ever spoken in an unknown tongue or not, you will stand in the wonderful presence of the great high priest, your Christ and your redeemer. The baptism of the Spirit is given for one purpose only: power for service. The greatest evidence of having been filled with the Holy Spirit is the power in an individual’s life after this experience. You may speak in tongues every hour on the hour, but if your life is not measuring up with the power of the Holy Ghost, then I would not give you much for your experience of speaking in an unknown tongue. And it’s just like that.
Q. How do you regard your relation to the institutional church? What role and importance do you personally assign to the institutional church?
A. Practically every Friday I have a miracle service in the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh, one of the most influential in the nation. The service begins around 9:30 and runs until about 1:30. They come, Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, every denomination, people from around the world. Everyone forgets his denominational ties; we worship together from the common ground of Calvary. And this should be happening in every church in the United States. I have had a very close tie to the institutional church for as long as I can remember. But if our churches are to remain influential, they must open their eyes and realize the day in which we are living. The Church must do something about the Holy Spirit. I beg of you to please understand the great opportunity. This could be the finest hour for the Church. The Church must realize we are still living in the day of Pentecost. It must not say, We will accept only a portion of God’s Word and forget the rest. I say to every minister: Don’t be afraid of the power of the Holy Spirit. The last thing Jesus did before leaving this earth was to give the Church the Holy Spirit. If the Church refuses, the Holy Spirit will carry on this work outside the Church. But it should not be. We’re on the threshold of the greatest spiritual awakening. Revival is here.
Q. What do you think of the Jesus movement?
A. Everybody should know by now what I think about it. Don’t underestimate the power of our young people today. Of course, there are weaknesses. But let’s not judge the whole bushel by one or two bad apples. I believe this is the last generation before the second coming of Jesus Christ. When Scripture spoke of the last day of outpouring, it spoke of young men and young women. You will not be able to stop this great spiritual wave because it is of God.
Q. How have you overcome the disreputable cloud in which faith healers operate? Has the self-confessed hypocrisy of Marjoe affected you or your ministry in any way?
A. I have not overcome anything because I do not put myself in a class with faith healers. It’s only the news media that have put me in that class. As I said before, I am not a faith healer. I have not been given anything special. What I have is something that any Christian could have if he would pay the price of full surrender and yieldedness. I am absolutely dependent on the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am dependent on the power of the Holy Spirit in exactly the same way that Jesus was when he was here in the flesh and walked this earth. He was dependent on the Holy Spirit, for the manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit in his ministry. That was the reason that before Jesus ever came in the form of flesh he offered himself through the Holy Spirit to be given. Jesus gave to his Church the gift of power, the power to see miracles performed. And when it comes to faith, I have seen miracles performed where there was no manifestation of faith whatsoever. The persons admitted they did not believe. They were awed when they realized they had been healed. We have lost sight of the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you and I have any faith, it is not something we have worked up. The Bible says that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. Our faith is a gift. A faith healer? No, I merely remind you how big God really is.
Q. How about Marjoe?
A. That film has not affected our ministry one bit. I declined to serve on a panel with him. God’s Word does not need to be defended. Oh sure, when I was younger I used to fight at the drop of a hat. I started out in the ministry as a teen-ager defending my wonderful Jesus. (Remember, I have red hair.) After years of experience, I found out that he needs no defense. He will defend himself. As for the Holy Spirit, all we have to do is be faithful to preaching the Word, and he will defend me.
Q. What is your definition of a miracle? How unusual must a phenomenon be to warrant such a designation?
A. Well, what a miracle may mean to you may not mean the same thing to me. I remember a little boy who recognized me on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles and proceeded to tell me how a miracle had once happened to him: he found a quarter when he needed money. To someone else it may be the healing of cancer. Sometimes the supernatural happens, contradicting all known scientific laws. I believe that every birth is a miracle. Do you understand what I mean?
Q. Not really, because the question asked foryourdefinition of a miracle, and you’ve just told us to pick and choose. We gather, however, that you feel miracles to be relative, that this is perhaps more of a semantic problem, inasmuch as “supernatural” is not a biblical term and scientific laws are not divinely inspired. Something is “supernatural” only because someone down the line put a boundary on the term “natural.” But let’s go on. What do you mean by “coming under the power”? What is the biblical criterion for such an experience?
A. I call it “coming under the power” because I do not know what else to call it. I only know that I have nothing to do with it. Two questions I am going to ask the Master when I get home to glory. First, why wasn’t everyone healed (I don’t know why)? And then I want him to explain, regarding the manifestation of the power of God, the “slaying power” of the Holy Spirit. I do not understand it. The biblical criterion is the conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus. All of a sudden he found himself flat on the ground. He didn’t have someone to catch him, either. At least we have ushers.
Q. Do you have many healings from drugs, youth or adult?
A. Yes. Both alike. There have been those healed from drugs just sitting in the audience, without hands being laid on them. That, my friends, is God’s power.
Q. To what extent do you take medication yourself? When should one pray for healing, and when should he seek medicine or conventional therapy?
A. I thank my God for his keeping power. I believe that the fact he keeps me in good health without medication is as great a miracle as though I had been healed from some disease. If you do not have the faith to be healed, then go and see the best physician there is. God heals in more than one way. We work very closely with the medical profession. All healing is divine, but God does not always heal in the same way.
Q. Do you find that being a woman hinders your work in any way?
A. [Laughter] I don’t know, because I don’t know what it would have been like had I been a man. When unpleasant things happen, I just act like it never happened. Let me bare my soul: I do not believe I was God’s first choice in this ministry. Or even his second or third. This is really a man’s job. I work hard, seventeen hours a day. I can outwork five men put together. I get little sleep. I stand at the pulpit four and a half hours at a time without sitting down once, and I can still leave the stage as refreshed as when I walked on. I have given myself completely to the Holy Spirit, and he gives me sustenance. God’s first choices were men. Someplace men failed. I was just stupid enough to say, Take nothing and use it. And he has been doing just that.
Q. Why aren’t there more women preachers?
A. You will just have to ask God. I don’t know. [Laughter] I really don’t know, but I wouldn’t wish this job on any woman, I’ll tell you that. If you think it’s easy, try it.
Q. What do you think of women’s lib?
A. You want to know something? Women’s lib won’t like to hear what I have to say. I’d give anything if I could just be a good housewife, a good cook. Oh, I’d like to be a good cook. I’d like to have about twelve children. It would be so nice to have a man bring in the pay check. I would just love to have a man boss me. It might not last long. But for a little while it would just be great. When it comes to women’s lib, I am still as old-fashioned as the Word of God. I still think the husband should be the head of the family. I know how it was at our house: If Papa said it, it was just as though God had said it. We never had any women’s lib, but we had a mighty happy family. Papa did the work, and Mama ran Papa without Papa knowing it, and it was a beautiful situation.
Q. What do you think of the current physical-fitness kick—health spas, natural foods, dieting, and so on?
A. Let me think about this one a minute.… I see people every day that I think should diet. People write to me about some things, and ask me to pray, when I think they could answer their own prayer. If you’re too fat, do something about it. I believe in doing everything you can to keep in good health. You cannot go out and do everything that is contrary to good health and then look up and ask God to heal your body. He has given us a brain. He has given certain laws. And if we live contrary to these laws, we can expect poor health. We need a baptism of old-fashioned common sense.
Q. How do you feel about abortion?
A. I could never have an abortion and live with myself. There are some things that can be legislated, but an individual still has to live with himself.
Q. What was your purpose in seeing the Pope? What was said between you?
A. It was a beautiful experience. I had received word that if I were ever in Rome I was to send word where I was staying. I did, and an invitation came to the hotel. It could not have happened perhaps even five years ago. I’m Protestant. I am a woman minister. But we were just two human beings. The same purpose. Both love humanity, both wanting to help humanity. As I was announced and came walking toward him, he reached both hands out to me, and then when I came very near he took both of my hands in his hands and looked me directly in the face and said, “You are doing an admirable work.” He repeated the words. I thanked him. I told him I was trying to do the work of our Lord, too. He said he wanted me to know I had his constant prayers and his blessing. The day has come that we need to forget a lot of the differences that are dividing us. If you are a Roman Catholic and born again, cleansed by the blood of Christ, then you’re my brother or sister in the Lord.
Q. What is your interpretation of James 5:14? Do you use oil? Do you regard yourself as an elder?
A. What is prescribed in this verse should be taking place in every church in the world today. Every pastor prays for the sick in his church, but if God ever did raise them up he would get the shock of his life! A lot of our praying is just a form. Why don’t we get back to the Word of God? Anointing oil is the symbol of the Holy Spirit. I do not consider myself an elder. But I have every right to use oil if I wish to anoint with oil because it is the symbol of the Holy Spirit. In our services people are healed just sitting there in the presence of the Holy Spirit, even without the anointing with oil.
Q. How do you interpret Paul’s and Peter’s apparent injunction against women’s speech in First Timothy 2:11 and 12?
A. Oh, this is a good one. Kinda looks like they didn’t believe in women’s lib. But if it were contrary to the will of God that women should preach, Paul certainly would have reprimanded Philip, in whose home Paul visited, for Philip had four daughters who were preachers. Now that’s a house full of preachers, let me tell you.
Q. Isn’t that an argument from silence?
A. All right, but take a look at Acts 2, talking about the last days: “Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.” I believe the reason Paul said what he did about women needing to be silent was because in the synagogues of that day women would sit in the balcony and would talk so loudly that the speaker could not be heard. Maybe John’s wife or Saul’s wife would call down and say, “Did I turn off the stove?” Or if they were voting, Elizabeth would call down and say, “Abe, say no. You know I don’t like him.” So Paul said, Let the woman be quiet. That did not mean they were inferior. The Bible teaches that both men and women have their proper places, each with responsibility. The man is the head of the house. That does not mean he is a tyrant. We all know there are differences, and thank God there are differences. But women are not lesser. Some of the great leaders of Hebrew history were women. Personally, I admire Golda Meir. What Golda wants, Golda gets; yet she is sensitive. There are some things that men naturally do and some that women do, but it was Christianity that freed the women from their subservient role. I could never see how women could reject Christ, because he gave dignity to women. I’m still glad I am a woman.
Q. Do you feel that all sick people should come to you? Could they just believe on their own?
A. Of course. They do not have to come to me. I have nothing to do with these healings. Don’t reach out to try to touch Kathryn Kuhlman. Reach out and touch Jesus. You come to these services because there is a oneness and a spirit, and when you join thousands who are in prayer it is so much easier to pray and to believe God. But keep your eyes on Jesus, wherever you are. You can be healed in your own home just as easily as in a miracle service.
Q. What is your comment to Christians who come to your meetings and go away without having been healed?
A. I have no comment whatsoever, because whether or not that one was healed was in the hands of God. At no time was it my responsibility. But I’m human, and you’ll never know how I hurt on the inside when I see those who came in wheelchairs being pushed into the street again. You’ll never know the ache, the suffering I feel, but the answer I must leave with God. But while I was in Kansas City, the Star, a newspaper of great strength, sent a New York-trained, marvelous, lovely reporter whom I got to know. The last night I was there she came to my dressing room, and I told her how grateful I was for the healings but that I wept for the others. Three weeks later I received a personal letter from her telling me that she had had a friend in that last service, an attorney dying of cancer, brought in a stretcher. She told me that he died within a week after that, but that the attorney’s wife related how he had felt that the service was the greatest thing that happened to him. He was not healed, but he accepted Christ for the forgiveness of sins in that service, and death was easy. The reporter reminded me not to weep but to remember this incident. No, I do not know why all are not healed physically, but all can be healed spiritually, and that’s the greatest miracle any human being can know.
Q. Do you think there is any correlation between your ministry of healing and such phenomena as ESP?
A. I’ll be frank: I know nothing about ESP. I have never studied it. I have always felt I had enough to do to study the Bible, and I just lean completely upon the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit.
Q. How do you understand the apparent desire of Jesus and the disciples not to publicize certain healings?
A. I do not know what was in the mind of Jesus. One day I’ll ask him, and I’ll let you know.
Q. Is there healing in the atonement? That is, did Christ die to relieve us of our physical as well as spiritual infirmities?
A. Jesus died for the whole man, body, soul and spirit. God would be unjust had he done otherwise. In the first Passover, the blood was sprinkled, but the flesh of the lamb was to be eaten. We tend to forget about the flesh. What about the bread in communion? It should mean a beautiful miracle service. Partaking of the bread has nothing to do with the soul. The whole man was included in the atonement. In Isaiah we read, “By his stripes we are healed.” I do not believe that anyone can receive a physical healing without also receiving a spiritual healing. The two go hand in hand.
Q. What is your concept of illness?
A. How best can I answer that? Well, maybe by telling you about the little boy who ate too many green apples and who came to his mother complaining of illness. She said, “Oh, honey, it’s all in your mind. You just think you are sick.” Whereupon the boy replied, “But Mama, I have inside information. I’m sick.” When a little boy goes vomiting all over the place, having eaten too many green apples, I’m telling you something: it isn’t just his imagination. It is not just a mental attitude. That kid is sick. I know why the question is asked. Because so very often there are those who like to say that healings are psychosomatic, that it’s all in the mind. The healing of cancer could not be psychosomatic. Nor the lengthening of a limb, or the giving of sight to an eye. Let’s just stop trying to close our eyes to the power of God. Let’s accept God for what he really is. Let’s accept God and his Word at face value. You may not need a miracle today, but there may come a time when you will need that miracle. Accept God’s promises at face value.
Q. To what extent is individual health related to social or cosmic health? Do you feel our social “mind set” has much to do with the physical health of individuals?
A. Most important … all these questions are, they’re right down to where we live. The greatest enemy that an individual can take into his life is fear. It’s just like that. If you are able to conquer that enemy of fear, you have gone a long way to bringing health to a physical body. Life is not built for negative achievements. It’s built for positive contribution, for outgoing love. You can never get rid of your own troubles unless you take upon yourself the troubles of others. When you find yourself oppressed by melancholy, the best thing to do is to go out and find something kind to do to somebody else. For when you dig a man out of trouble, the hole which is left is the grave where you bury your own troubles. Go out and do something that nobody but a Christian would do, and it isn’t long before you forget about your own problems. That is where the mind enters into it. I believe one can talk himself into being sick. It’s amazing how a little pain will increase when you talk about it, dwell on it. The best medicine in the world is hard work. We’ve got pills for everything. We’re pilled to death these days. Sometimes I wish we could put faith in capsules. Remember, the miracle starts from within. You exercise outgoing love, and all the healing resources of the universe will be behind you.
Q. How do you regard faith?
A. Faith is that quality or power by which the things desired become the things possessed. This is the nearest to a definition of faith attempted by the inspired Word of God. It’s almost like trying to define energy in one comprehensive statement. Or try to define an atom: you can’t. So it is with faith. But we know what faith is not. A common error is to confuse faith with presumption. That’s a danger. Faith is more than belief, than confidence, than trust. Above all, it is never boastful, nor contrary to the Word of God. Faith can be received only as it is imparted by God himself. The most common ailment among those who come to our services and write in for prayer is cancer. If I have any faith in praying for the healing of that cancer, that faith is definitely a gift from God. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. You cannot work it up. You can believe a promise, yet not have the faith to appropriate that promise. Belief is a mental quality, and when we try to believe ourselves into an experience we are getting into a metaphysical realm, and there is a difference. Faith as imparted by God to the heart is spiritual. It is with the heart that man believes unto righteousness. But heart belief is faith or at any rate opens the door of communication between us and the Lord whereby a divine imparted faith becomes possible. Jesus told his believing disciples that if they had just a little faith they could move mountains.
Q. Why do so few people have the gift of healing?
A. Let’s not just take one gift. Let’s get the overall picture of what Paul is saying in First Corinthians twelve. The gifts are essential to the functioning of the Church. The early Church was founded on the supernatural gifts, and we need to get back to the supernatural. Where we find the Holy Spirit we find the supernatural. Should one argue that the gifts were merely to usher in the present dispensation, and not for today, consider Peter: “The promise is to … many afar off.…” We are to desire the gifts that we may serve God better. Love is most important. Why limit your question to the gift of healing? Why are there so few who have been given the gift of wisdom, the gift of knowledge, and so on? And there are far more gifts than those named in First Corinthians twelve. God knows who he can trust with gifts. Some would misuse them.
Q. Do you feel you have the gift of healing? What gift do you have?
A. I would never say that I have ever received any gift. I am leery of folks who boast of this or that gift. The greatest of the Christian graces is humility. All that I know is that I have yielded my body to Him to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and anything that the Holy Spirit has given me, any results there might be in this life of mine, is not Kathryn Kuhlman. It’s the Holy Spirit; it’s what the Holy Spirit does through a yielded vessel. That is one thing I am so afraid of: I am afraid lest I grieve the Holy Spirit, for when the Holy Spirit is lifted from me I am the most ordinary person that ever lived.
Q. Is anxiety the cause of most illness?
A. I have already told you that the most common ailment people come to me with is cancer. Now everyone knows that cancer is not psychosomatic. It could not be. If so, we would not be spending billions for cancer research. We have had healings of cancer; therefore those healed by God were not merely psychosomatic. I admit very freely there are those who are neurotic, who need to be healed mentally and spiritually, who come for physical healing. But these three aspects are all parts of one person. Man was made to be mastered by a higher power, and if you don’t yield you will be mastered by things and circumstances. If you are mastered by the will of God, you will not be defeated in the hour of trial. When we are defeated, we soon find ourselves sick in mind and body.
Q. How much knowledge do you have of medicine and therapeutic science?
A. Practically none. That’s why I have doctors on the platform. One doctor who came to our service wondered how I could take the healings of arthritis so lightly. He regarded them as the greatest miracles, because as a physician he knew there was no cure. I often ask physicians to talk with those who have been healed.
Q. What do you regard as the ultimate goal of your ministry?
A. My purpose is the salvation of souls. Divine healing is secondary to the transformation of a life.
Q. Do you have anything special you would like to say to “Christianity Today” readers?
A. Just one thing. Believe God to the point of action, remembering always that the only limit to the power of God lies within you as an individual. And to the Church may I say: No nation is greater or stronger than its spiritual forces, and the Church today has a great responsibility.
George M. Marsden is associate professor of history at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has the Ph.D. (Yale University) and has written “The Evangelical Mind and the New School Presbyterian Experience.”
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