Faith Healers: Heal Thyself, Or Stop Your Rubbish!

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.

Kathryn Kuhlman in her heyday. | Source: www.discerningtheworld.com

Kathryn Kuhlman in her heyday. | Source: www.discerningtheworld.com

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.

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Pepper is the father of two adorable children named Paprika Lim and Saffron Lim. "Dear Paprika" is a series of letters written for posterity. When Paprika is 20 years old, he will be 61. He prefers to use logic and evidence when presented with seemingly miraculous events. He supports LGBT rights and believes a person’s sexuality is no concern of others. In his spare time, he authored "The Troublesome Prince Lucky Mole"; a best-seller children’s story book. His family lives in beautiful Malaysia, a country rich in natural resources and unlimited potential. He moves with UndiMsia and APOSL. He has plans to make his family proud.

Posted on 2 May 2011. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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13 Responses to Faith Healers: Heal Thyself, Or Stop Your Rubbish!

  1. Miss Paws

    Pepper Lim = MURTAD!

  2. To those in support of faith healing:

    You all appear to be ignoring the entire point of the article. Faith healing has not been shown to work scientifically.

    Everything you have all quoted are anecdotes. Anecdotes do not equal evidence.

    If you all believe so much in faith healing, you are free to remove yourself from using medicines. Just don't foist those irresponsible and dangerous ideas upon people who could be killed because of what you asked them to believe.

  3. Well said Pepper. Faith healers prey on the insecurities of the sick, and it is no wonder that those who are desperate flock to them. Many charge ridiculous amounts of money. I note a lot of Christians have responded here, but claims of faith healing exist in all religious traditions. Psychology and a positive approach to illness is of course helpful, but certainly not the be all and end all. And God does not heal – medicine does it. Faith may or may not help in the healing process, but it does itself heal.

  4. Seet Lip Teng

    Dear Pepper, you must admit that in psychological cases , fatih -healing may be effective. Allow me to elaborate. If there is a man who thinks he cannot walk when there is absolutely nothing wrong with his legs, then he goes to a faith healer and sincerely belives that the faith healer will cure him. The faith healer places his hands on him and commands him to rise from his wheel chair and walk. That man who fervently believes that he had been touched and healed, then stands up and walk. Now in this case, the "crippled" man with the help of the faith healer had overcomed his psychological barrier to walk again. Therefore don't you agree that the faith healer had done some good?

  5. dilkumar

    The primary process of healing lies in your head and faith being part of that is a necessary process to convince yourself to heal. Modern medicine does not heal any disease but induce the body to do so with chemical imbalance and will lead you to death with continuous intake. As such the first aspect of healing is faith in your self and next taking the necessary steps being with nature-cure by knowing that the body is made of five elements. if you want to know more go to sun healing process (www.sooryayog.com), no cost, in abundance and everywhere! You get vitamin D and build a strong immune system.

  6. Rebekah

    To each their own, if that is what you believe kept it to yourself.

  7. Rebekah

    Faith is the currency of heaven. Where is your faith? The others? Were they having faith? I tell u this, u and the other have doubt. Stop fooling urself BUB that you know it all, cause at the end all i hear from you is contempt and doubt :)

  8. mark mathew

    Dear Pepper Lim,

    No one laid down His life for you either than The Lord Jesus.He received the 40 strips on His back for you,and He has promised that by His strips you shall be healed.I can give you evidence of many people been healed in Jesus Name.When you pray in Jesus's Name, and His Name is alone lifted up, that others will know who truely God is,healing will surely take place.You only have seen and witnessed selfish,self name seeking healers.Give me a chance to pray for you, even if it is over the phone,God loves you and will heal you.

    God loves you and bless you my Brother.

    Mark Mathew.

  9. Sumpah Orang Minyak

    Who really knows? Maybe God can heal. It does depend on what you men by "God".

    For instance, UMNO people cannot understand that Malays no longer hold those goons as decent people. And of course, this is not acceptable to UMNO who hold that nothing they do can but bring good to Malays and the universe.

    So we have UMNO leaders who just can't take it any more, you know. The UMNO Muslim Malays are losing their faith, so the leaders assume. So what we have now is like some sickness over the whole system.

    Those clean and honorable Malay UMNO leaders look very "hodoh" like Orang Minyak. Najib, Mahathir, Tambi Chik etc. last time were so good and squeaky clean and now what …?

    Now the whole country is sick because of the Orang Minyak UMNO! ;)

    P Ramlee brought out these issues 60 years ago but nobody learned anything. Poor UMNO people look so sick and hodoh lah !

    # http://youtu.be/DgQ0Eda4S3s
    # http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orang_Minyak

  10. True, if healing happens, it is God! So don't waste time going to see any of these faith healers. Just intercede with God yourself. He does have a direct line to you. just go look for it!! Its around somewhere!!

  11. Lee

    It's not the preachers who have the power to heal. The one who does the healing is God, and should be God if it is really healing by faith. And let's look at it this way, God didn't create humans with the ability to think up of medicine if He didn't also want us to use medicine.

  12. Pepper Lim’s failure in witnessing healing through faith healers has caused him to be so critical that the word, “rubbish” is used against their work. It is not this response to show the many medical evidences of healing that took place either through faith from individuals or through others like faith healers (Please refer to Doxa 21st century:

    “We’ve seen the power of belief,” said Dr. Herbert Benson, author of Timeless Healing which offers scientific evidence that faith has helped to cure medical conditions ) and

    Medical Doctors Present Scientific Evidence of Divine Healing at Conference in Indonesia November 10, 2007 (more than 400 physicians from thirteen countries)

    [Identity Network, Your Apostolic and Prophetic Resource Center. The theme of the unique gathering was “Spirituality and Medicine” and was held under the auspices of the WCDN (World Christian Doctors Network)]

    There is no sure-fix formula or methodology as such manner smacks of occultism itself. God is sovereign, healing or not.

    God wants his people to be healed in mind, body and spirit. More important than physical healing is the soul and spirit healing. It is important that people who come for healing do not just seek the gift, not the healer for the main reason for the ministry of healing is for salvation of souls. The eternal source of healing is in heaven where there will be no pain, tears, or death (Rev. 21:4).

  13. pane

    One double-blind study about 5 years ago on heart patients showed slightly poorer outcomes for those who had been prayed for. Can you imagine the trumpeting that would have gone on if it had been the other way around?

    According to a History Channel documentary, of the millions visiting the acclaimed Lourdes shrine in France, despite the impressive accroutements on display like vast stacks of abandoned prosthetics and crutches, there are only 2 or 3 certified curs. Scientifically, given enough cases, we cannot rule out (a) remissions occurring at an opportune time, particularly given the change of environment and the vast number of links between mind and body discovered in recent times (b) a small number of people, religious OR OTHERWISE, having unexplained powers to heal. If you had never heard of reflexology and someone applied it to you with a lot of mumbo-jumbo, you might be impressed.

    Perhaps we need a legal case where a generous donor insists on a refund due to false promises. Alternatively, we could have a website collecting the testimonies (ah, a favourite word) of those who found out soon tht they were no better in health.