Pepper Lim dispels the myth of faith healing and offers to help faith healers win US$1 million!
The charismatic lady in a flowing dress lays her hands on sick people on stage. Then, in a loud, commanding voice, she proclaims them healed. So it was with Kathryn Kulman’s “healing rallies” in the 1960’s. Many sick people flocked to such events hoping to be healed by the power of god.
Such “laying on of hands healing” or “faith healing” are still carried out today with little evidence of effect. And, indeed, you need to have faith to believe someone can heal you by laying their hands on you and commanding, “You are healed!” in a loud voice!
I used to believe in such miraculous powers many years ago. One day, it dawned on me that I have never actually witnessed a completed healing miracle even though I have attended numerous healing events, one so large it was held in Stadium Merdeka.
I saw the preachers praying for the sick and declaring them healed but I have never seen an actual miracle. Through such prayers and healing services, a blind man has never regained his sight, cancer tumours have never vanished, the crippled have never walked nor have the deaf regained their hearing.
I am also guilty of such antics. I have laid my hands on the sick and expected them to be healed by a supernatural power. Years ago, I read many accounts of such a power and I studied it, practiced it and even preached about it. But to my utter horror no one ever recovered from their illness through my prayers.
Thus, I have to come to the painful conclusion that it just does not work.
The Cochrane Library cites a research in 10 databases which conducted experiments on the effects of prayer and the conclusion is: prayer has little or no effect. Think about it, if prayer can heal, why does not the preacher visit hospitals to heal the sick? No “healing evangelist” has ever done such a thing. I suspect it is because they cannot heal squat!
One preacher explanation from the pulpit of his church that sick people are not healed because they do not want to be healed. This includes people who say they want to be healed but secretly hope otherwise. What rubbish! Can you imagine a man with a family who is crippled from an accident who would rather stay crippled at home, unable to work, unable to play with his children and unable to enjoy life?
Another preacher explained the lack of healing is the fault of the sick person “lacking faith that god can heal.” Again, what utter rubbish! If god can heal, why would he need the help of the sick person’s faith.
In 2008, 16-year old Neil Beagley died when his parents refused conventional medical care for him because they relied on their faith to seek god’s healing for their son. Was their faith not enough for god’s healing? Or is it more logical to say “god does not heal”?
Another couple, Carl and Raylene Worthington, lost their 15-month old daughter to faith healing and refused conventional medical care.
Both of these couples were charged under criminal mistreatment and manslaughter. And rightly so — if you refuse a person in need of medical treatment and cause their death, you should also be held accountable. It is inconceivable for educated adults to rely on such beliefs for the well being of their children to the point of being dead wrong. Believing in garden fairies is one thing but believing in faith healing to the point of causing the death of children is gravely irresponsible.
In a report by Child Fatalities From Religion-motivated Medical Neglect, it states: “One hundred forty fatalities were from conditions for which survival rates with medical care would have exceeded 90%. Eighteen more had expected survival rates of >50%. All but 3 of the remainder would likely have had some benefit from clinical help.”
Is that not proof enough that faith healing is bunkum?
There have been many TV documentaries exposing such healing shenanigans too. One of my favourites is A Question of Miracles: Faith Healing (hopefully the link is still working so you can watch it online for free). This documentary goes behind the scenes of “healing preachers” like Benny Hinn who claims to have healed thousands of sick people. Yet, none of these people have ever been medically proven to be healed supernaturally.
A Christian doctor I met once told me god heals through doctors. Again, what rubbish! He might as well say he make the flowers bloom every year or the dew to appear on leaves every morning. Would you believe him? What if he added the phrase “through the power of god”? Now would you believe him?
When challenged to produce evidence of supernatural healing, the preachers would cite instances where they saw the medical reports but have never been able to reproduce a copy for the world to see. Such testimonies cannot be accepted as evidence. They are merely hearsay. Mr Preacherman, if you do believe you are endowed with the supernatural power of god to heal the sick, how about a little challenge? I challenge you to walk into a hospital and heal the sick patients there.
Let us see those cancer cells disappear, show us how to make the lame walk, save the doctor time on the operating table, make the broken bones fuse back to its original place, open the ears of the deaf and what not.
Hey, if you could kill the germs in the hospital and keep it sanitised for a week, I would be impressed too. I could even arrange for you to receive US$1 million as a reward!
If not, stop telling sick people that god heals and point them to the nearest doctor. That doctor studied medicine for five years and had to pass rigorous exams. You did not.
Pepper Lim prefers to use logic and evidence when presented with seemingly miraculous events. He writes from firsthand experience being involved with faith healers for many years. For this article, he has referred to the works of James Randi, Penn & Teller, Derren Brown and others. And he still has plans to make his parents proud.