Thursday, September 5, 2013

When faith goes bad

It is common knowledge that when anything is taken to the extreme that it has a tendency to go very wrong. The same can be said for the fundamentalists belief in faith healing or as I like to call it faith killing. There are many verses in the New Testament that when taken literally can have detrimental effects on your mental health, can cause physical harm, or death! The doctrine of faith healing is one of these extreme forms of Christianity that has cost countless lives due to the literal belief in the exaggerated claims of faith.

Benny Hinn

14Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:14-16

Not surprisingly the doctrine of faith healing does have a biblical foundation in various texts such as the one cited above. In fact, the church I belonged to when I was a believer was big on laying on of hands and faith healing. Sometimes we would conduct what is known as a prayer circle where the congregation would form a circle around the sick and hold hands as we all prayed for their health to be restored. 

Herbert and Catharine Schiable read their tragic story here.
In Mark 2 1-12 is the story of a paralytic that is healed by Jesus. I want you to pay attention here for a very important reason. Notice in James 5:16 how there is a correlation between being healed and having your sins forgiven. In that text they are used synonymously with one another. In the story of the paralytic Jesus does the same thing! 
9Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11“I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”  Mark 2:9-11

It is because of this that many fundamentalist churches teach that sickness is caused by several reasons. One is that God is testing your faith and perseverance, you have some unresolved issues (sins) that you have not yet repented of, or as a result or consequence of sin itself. It is because of this that many times people who are prayed over are admonished to claim their miracle and not let anything shake them from that proclamation of faith. They are told even if they feel ill or pain from not taking a prescribed and needed medication that they must stay the course. That's nothing but the devil trying to "steal" your blessing. 

Faith is after all: confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 
Many studies have shown that faith healing does not work. In fact there is a great article about faith healing here written by a medical doctor who runs the website The American Cancer society also has a nice little article about faith healing here.

The U.S. Constitution

Many Christian groups that shun medical treatment over faith healing love to grab a hold of the first amendment when they feel that their religious freedoms are being violated. 

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
When you read this do you think that what the authors of the Constitution meant was that this clause gave churches the right to violate the laws that are otherwise applicable to all U.S. citizens in the name of religion? I don't think so! In fact, in 1947 Justice Hugo Black wrote:
"The "establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion to another ... in the words of Jefferson, the [First Amendment] clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between church and State' ... That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach."
 In the case of faith healing children should not be allowed to die with or without the consent of the parents. This is not about some church ceremony that no one who is not a believer would even care about. This is about the life of an innocent child who does not yet possess the mental capacity to make such a difficult choice regarding life and death. It is the responsibility of the parents to protect their children from harm, religious faith be damned!! 

It is my opinion that any parents who allow their children to die because of their so called faith should be charged with child neglect and murder. As for the brain washed zombies that choose to die because they have faith that God is going to heal them good riddance! You probably deserved it for being so goddamned deluded!

Note: All biblical citations are taken from the New International Version of the scriptures. All other citations have been linked to in the body of the text.


  1. I think the faith healers themselves and the religious leaders who encourage people to get get treatment, especially for kids, should also be charged with homicide and neglect. The faith healers should also be charged with fraud a practicing medicine without a license - even though they aren't really practicing medicine they claim to be able to heal people.

    1. Even in the U.S. you can get away with fraud as a profession. Alhtough I don't think that all faith healers are being intentionally deceptive. I know that some of them actually believe what they preach and are in fact themselves deceived.