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February 12, 2012

7

My Trip to the Faith Healers

by juju2112

I attended a faith healing service in Bella Vista, AR this weekend. I don’t know how relate this event in a funny or interesting way. Whenever I think about it, I’m left completely speechless. I even chickened out and didn’t confront anyone afterwards for conversation. I just wanted to get away from there.

I went with four friends from my atheist group. We tried our best to keep our heads down to avoid being kicked out. It seems this behavior was well advised, because I later found this in an article on the website of one of the hosts:

C) WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR

1. Tactfully remove spectators – Just as there is power in agreement, the converse is true, that the healing power may not flow if there is no agreement in the spirit. So, if people around you lack faith in believing God for healing to take place for the sick person, tactfully ask them to stand aside or leave the room (Mk5v37-42, Mt13v58).

Of course, you don’t want any pesky skeptics in your audience. They make it harder for the crowd to maintain their shared delusion.

There were many testimonials given. One of the hosts claimed she was cured of paralysis and deafness in one ear when she first met her husband. He prayed over her and she was instantly healed. She was up and moving around within one day.

Here are some of the things we saw:

  • A man was cured of blurry vision. After being “healed”, he claimed everything was now in focus. He left declaring, “I’ve gotta go test this out!”
  • A healer blew in a man’s ear to cure his deafness. He claimed it was better.
  • A lady was “cured” of her diabetes.
  • Another lady was “cured” of an enlarged heart.
  • A woman was supposedly cured of a broken arm. She did not have a cast. Her arm was in a sling fashioned out of what appeared to be a pillowcase. I assume this is because these kinds of people don’t visit doctors. The healer declared that the bones were “now snapping back into place”. She seemed very happy.
  • Many people with headaches and pains in various places were prayed over. The healer would blow on their foreheads and they’d fall over backwards onto the floor. Someone behind them would catch them, and they’d get a blanket put on them.

Near the end, one of the women in our group got called to the front to be healed. The guy said that she didn’t know it, but one of her legs was shorter than the other. He did a trick wherein the legs appeared to grow out to the same length. He said if she had any back pain, it would be much better now. Another woman in our group then got called up, and they did the same trick on her arms.

James Randi explains how the “leg lengthening” trick works in this video. The explanation starts at 2:26.

Of course, the women hadn’t volunteered themselves. They got called out by the hosts. Did they just want us to not leave without having an “experience”? Did they think the women in our group would be more susceptible to being fooled?

Will the lady with Type II Diabetes now stop taking her insulin? Does the lady with an enlarged heart have medication that she’ll now stop taking? Do any of these people have children that don’t get taken to the doctor? I worry about the real-world effects of these beliefs.

One of the booklets passed out at the event, 100 Divine Healing Facts, says:

If it is not God’s will for you to be well, it would be wrong for you to seek recovery even through natural means.

If it is God’s will for you to be well, then it is only logical that the best way of recovery is by divine means.

In another section of the same book:

Asa died in his sickness because he sought not the Lord, but to the physicians; while Hezekiah lived because he sought not to the physicians but to the Lord.

In other words, going to the doctor is against God’s will.

From the website of one of the hosts:

D) WHY ARE ALL NOT HEALED

1. Lack of Faith – The disciples were unable to set the demon possessed boy free due to a lack of faith (Mt17v20).

2. Lack of Discernment.

3. Doubt and unbelief.

So, if you’re not healed, it’s your fault! You filthy sinner, you.

I just don’t know what to say. It’s fun to watch Benny Hinn on YouTube and laugh at people going crazy. But seeing people in my own town falling victim to this stuff is just really sad. It kinda makes it real, y’know?

Links:

http://www.gwhr.us/

http://www.asyougoministries.com/

 

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7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Feb 12 2012

    That’s just why my goal is where you have people who’ve been dead for a couple of days, even cremated come back to life, people with limbs, and organs missing get them restored whole. That way an accurate representation of the kingdom of God is made to the world estranged from their Father. At that point I would like if they would be persuaded of God’s love but if not; I could just walk away and feel I did my job, no regrets; but until then Donald, I remain in your debt as failing to be of service to you as God intended. I would apologize, but it would just be swallowed up by the galactic consequence of the failure…no words can cover it.

    tony

    Reply
    • juju2112
      Feb 12 2012

      … what?

    • Feb 12 2012

      What exactly do you not understand?

    • Feb 13 2012

      I know what each individual word you wrote means. I just don’t know what they mean put together the way you just did.

    • Feb 13 2012

      You know what Robert, your IQ is so falling off the charts that you are practically an intellectual savant; so don’t even hand me this….I don’t know what you mean, cause I ain’t even goin’ there.

  2. geddygirl
    Feb 13 2012

    I understand Donald’s blog; but I don’t have a clue what the comments mean. I can’t tell what the goals consist of for newgenesisres and Robert.

    Reply
  3. Feb 13 2012

    Apologies to geddygirl, and Robert for lack of clarity on my part. Hopefully this may clarify things.

    In my view the post highlighted various quirky, gimmicky faith healing episodes and questionable assertions. Being a believer I personally cannot speak for things that are done at variance with such things that Jesus himself taught and demonstrated for his believers to continue doing. This tradition has been missing from the church for the better part of 2000 years to no amazement of the believing community. For instance Lazarus being dead three days, and then raised from the dead isn’t an instance where someone temporarily lost consciousness, and might have been mistaken for dead; this guy was buried in grave clothes and sealed in a tomb. The point here is that those who believe in Jesus’ assertions ought themselves to produce works after his examples because as much as he raised dead people back to life, those who believe in him are an extension of his resurrection life.

    The examples of healing that I cited in my first comment I think are consistent with things Jesus demonstrated, or might be consistent with things he did, and I would think are free of the sort of smoke and mirrors charades that inspires the author’s skepticism in this post. Faith in Jesus is to be born out by the believers doing the things he did; as a believer in Jesus I aspire to bring forth that same kind of work as he did, and managing to do that I would consider my responsibility of presenting God’s message of restoring the deteriorated conditions of the world complete. Whether the world then believed or not they would have at least had a chance to see credible examples of the power of the kingdom of heaven which though now shown in limited measure by the examples, will be the default state of things at Jesus’ return to restore all things.

    Now I might add, these things to someone not acquainted with scripture nariatives might well appear off the chart ridiculous, but they are literally built into the fabric of the universe at a subatomic scale of life. Scientists suspects that as things are scaled up to our every day scale of things, all those probable outcomes that makes all things possible are resolved to the conditions we see as real, nevertheless at particle level anything Jesus did can be accounted for now in our real world which is made of these particles. Since the last hundred years or so the Newtonian concept of world reality has changed as dramatically as the flat earth, or geocentric version of cosmology were changed, but the general population in not acquainted with the new reality that has unfolded. What is clear to us is a world that is described as stranger than fiction where more of the aspects of what is observed is more consistent with scripture than previously appreciated. Words used to characterize these observations are weird, preposterous, spooky, voodoo, illegal, ridiculous, imaginary, …and the list goes on.

    Happy to provide further clarification if needed.

    Reply

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