Written by Ron Hutchison
March 1, 2010

As I was eating breakfast this morning, I turned the television on and watched a program produced in Bristol, Virginia by a young man named Ryan LeStrange. Mr. LeStrange evidently heads up something called the Impact International Ministries. During the program Mr. LeStrange conducted a “healing service” which consisted of his laying his hands on several people, speaking in "tongues," (which sounded like gibberish) and then some of the people fell down to the floor. This is the usual kind of services that Oral Roberts, Benny Hinn and others conduct, who claim that God performs through them the same miracles that Jesus and the apostles did. This young man and his group evidently have similar beliefs. 

As I read the IIM web site I noticed that this group is involved in a “Haiti Relief Project” in which they “are believing to raise $10,000+, to provide food, water, medical supplies, etc.” No doubt a worthy and needed effort and similar to what many of us have been involved in. However, I would like to ask Mr. LeStrange, and all of those folks that believe they can work miracles today like Jesus and the apostles did in the first century, the following questions:

1. If you can perform the same miracles that Jesus and the apostles did, why do you need $10,000 to provide food?  If you believe that you can do the same
" could provide food for over 5,000 people..."
miracles that Jesus did, why not just go over to Haiti and multiply the food and water that is available? If you could find five loaves of bread and two fish, you could provide food for over 5,000 people (Matthew 14:15-21) and it wouldn't cost you $10,000.  If you could find more loaves of bread and more fish, you could potentially provide food for everyone in Haiti that needs it and have enough left over to make a big dent in the needs of those people in Chile who are now suffering as a result of an earthquake. And, while you’re at it, why not miraculously provide food for the hungry and homeless in Bristol, Virginia? - if you can do what Jesus did.

2. If you can do the same miracles that Jesus and the apostles did, why do you need to raise $10,000 to provide medical supplies? Can’t you heal all the sick without medical supplies? Jesus did (Matthew 4:23-24).  Don’t you make the claim on your web site: “Dr. Ryan LeStrange has a anointing that is marked by powerful preaching and unique demonstrations of the Holy Spirit. Dynamic healings and miracles are commonplace in his Spirit-led services.”  It seems to me, that if “dynamic healings and miracles are commonplace in" your "Spirit-led services” in Bristol, Virginia, then they could also be commonplace in Haiti where thousands of people are in need of being healed and raised from the dead. Or, are you limited in your healings and miracles to your services in Bristol? Mr. LeStrange, why haven’t you traveled to Haiti and produced your “dynamic healings and miracles?”  By the way, while we’re asking, why haven’t you gone over to the Bristol Regional Hospital and exercised your "dynamic healings and miracles" in healing all of those sick folk over there?  What would produce more faith in what you profess to believe than to heal all the folks in the hospital. Or, if that would be too much for you, why not heal all of those who are sick in the cancer ward? Or, if that is too much, how about healing just one terminally ill patient or raise just one person from the dead who has died at that hospital? That ought to really “transform the local community,” which you say is one of your purposes.  After all, doesn’t “IIM…” have “a mandate from God, to see this earth changed by the power of God and that remains the thrust for…” your “ministry and all that labor” there?  If this is your mandate from God, why are you not out on the streets and in the hospitals and nursing homes exercising your "dynamic healings and miracles"?  - if you can do what Jesus did.

The questions I raise here are not raised to be mean-spirited. They deserve an answer. If these
Mr. LeStrange can not perform miracles like Jesus and the first century Christians did.
"faith healers" have the power to heal the sick and raise the dead, why are they not doing so in Haiti? Why not in Chile?  Why didn't they go down to Louisiana when Katrina hit and exercise their "dynamic healings and miracles"? It may be that Mr. LeStrange and those associated with him are sincere in their belief that they can perform “dynamic
healings and miracles.” I ask these questions because I am concerned for the souls of Mr. LeStrange and all the other folks who are “impacted by his ministry.”  Mr. LeStrange can not perform miracles like Jesus and the first century Christians did.  If he can, then why has he not traveled to Haiti and provided relief for those in need? If he can perform "dynamic healings and miracles" then why hasn’t he healed the sick in the hospitals and nursing homes where he lives in the Tri-city area?

Mr. LeStrange is following in the footsteps of men like Oral Roberts, Benny Hinn and others who have absolutely no power from the Lord.  These men claim to be able to do all the miracles that Jesus and the apostles did. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Where is their proof?  When Jesus and the apostles healed someone, no one could deny it - not even their enemies (Matthew 9:32-34;Acts 4:16). Why do these men all make claims about raising someone from the dead, yet it's always somewhere where it can’t be varified? Why not raise someone locally who everyone knows has died. That's what Jesus did (Matthew 9:18-19, 23-25; Mark 5:22-24, 35-43; Luke 8:41-42, 49-56; Luke 7:11-17; John 11:1-44). [By the way, I wonder if Mr. LeStrange ever raised any of his own members in the Bristol, Virginia area from the dead? Does he have to preach funerals, or does he just raise all of his members from the dead when they die?] Why do these men not restore lost limbs? That's what Jesus did (Matthew 12:9-14, Mark 3:1-6). Why do they not heal serious and visible skin diseases? That's what Jesus did (Matthew 8:1-3, Mark 1:40-42). Why do they not restore the sight of blind people? That's what Jesus did (Matthew 9:27-31). Why is it always some “illness” wherein neither the “healing” nor the illness can be verified by medical doctors? Why don't the “healings” last? The reason is this: Mr. LeStrange and all the other “faith-healers” cannot do what they claim they can do and if they are truly honest with themselves they will admit it. 

We pray that Mr. LeStrange and everyone else who takes his views concerning "dynamic healing and miracles" will read the Bible and come to an understanding of why miracles took place in the first century (Hebrews 2:3-4; Mark 16:20), and understand that miracles and healing like that performed by Jesus and the apostles are no longer taking place. Today we have the written word (the New Testament) confirmed and that word is what produces faith (Jude 1:3; John 20:30-31; Romans 10:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Corinthians 13:8-13). The miraculous signs and wonders that were a part of the first century are no longer for us today.

The reason that Mr. LeStrange and Benny Hinn and others who make these claims of miraculous healing did not immediately go over to Haiti to exercise their "dynamic healings and miracles" is because they don't have the power to exercise them. It's just that simple. In order to help the people in Haiti they have to raise money to buy food and medical supplies just like the rest of us.  They can't do the miracles that Jesus and the apostles did.