Part I of a three part series
The Monday Sermon: Are Faith Healers Bad For Your Health?
Pat Robertson began his ministry as a charismatic - a faith healer. He was also the first "prosperity gospel" preacher (calling it, however, "reciprocity" faith). People who first donated to his "700 Club" honestly believed that they would receive returns hundredfold and the poor were disparaged because they didn't "believe enough." His image as a healer was tarnished a bit when he opted for heart surgery in 2009, cries of "heal thyself" not withstanding. But as recently as February of 2011, Robertson hosted a mass faith healing of an audience , telling people how important it was for people to give to the 700 Club and its causes.
Entertainment Industry Of Faith Healing
long been said: America has made a religion out of entertainment ... and an
entertainment out of religion. Pat Robertson discovered that early on when he
became one of the first truly successful televangelists to utilize cable TV.*
Others followed suit and empires were built out of promises of prayer to heal
everything from hemorrhoids to cancer. The TV shows then gave rise to
videoed rallies, the size and scope of which have been the envy of dictators.
Today's Benny Hinn Ministries rallies are held in stadiums. And as we shall
see, the rallies have actually increased in size and number, despite the number
of exposes attempting to reveal the totally fraudulent enterprises.
for Sale is probably the most astounding expose of the world of faith
healers: he actually trains a man to be a "healer" with tricks done
by magicians, hypnotists and inside-the-scam experts, for example, using
partially-sighted people for "the blind see" and the use of music as
a subliminal tool. Anyone who views this hour-long video realizes how
profoundly manipulated people are into believing in Word of Faith. It features
heartless mass manipulation through skulduggery and shills and outright sham:
it uses entertainment as a most insidious tool.
for Sale is
a searing dismantling of the genre that every American should view regardless
of faith or denomination. It is something that Pat Robertson and Benny Hinn
don't every want you to see. Since its production, it has had only several
million viewers in the U.K. and only 170,000 views on YouTube. Hardly a viral
aren't the exposes successful in shutting down the faith healing industry?
Perhaps because they are telling people things they don't want to hear ... or
believe: a "man of God" would never scam them or lie to them, would
Immorality Of The Faith Healer
normal to place the machinations of someone like Benny Hinn into the category
of scam artist and dismiss his immorality as based on greed. His "falling
bodies" are entertaining and many people deem him as harmless (see video
below). But the fact remains that faith healers have an immorality all their
own: they use faith - albeit mostly blind faith - to scam people, people who
are innocent in their gullibility or desperate in their quest for a cure. Faith
healers are bad for the country's economic and mental health; like grave
robbers, faith healers rob the coffins of people who are dead of reason, while
raising false hopes to heights that fatal when fallen from.
next parts of this series, we'll be looking at some of the ridiculous claims
and events put on by today's faith healers, proving that exposes have had
little effect upon the country's attachment to them and bringing to the fore
the question: so what do we do about these guys? Here's an over-the-top
proposal that matches the over-the-top tenor of the situation. It's amusing,
but worth a thought.
Healer - Guaranteed!" Certification: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?
face it: the only way to prevent scams by any entity is to keep tabs on it by
regulating it. Organizations like the Consumers Union can
do only so much to prevent people from falling into scams. And failure of
Christianity in policing its own is obvious: denominations may frown upon faith
healing, but do very little to discourage it. Pat Robertson, for example, was
ordained as a Southern Baptist, but he is a charismatic, something which the
Southern Baptist Convention does not recognize. It also does not recognize
glossolalia (speaking in tongues), but some Southern Baptist churches have a
decidedly Pentecostal bent.
people don't want to wind up waiting in line just to become one of Benny Hinn's
human dominoes, it may be time to have our healers ... certified.
of it: an agency with a list of "certified" faith healers, people you
can go to with a modicum of confidence, and with the knowledge that you won't
be totally ripped off. It's implausible, of course, given the tenure of
"freedom of religion" these days, and total irony would ensue: the
people who scream at the very thought of Separation of Church and State would
be demanding its enforcement. But such an agency would be a practical solution to
protect people from fraud. It would work in this way: