Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Oh, Really?

As someone who is chronically ill, you can imagine how I feel about Revival or Riots Ministries (props on the name, though) beliefs concerning illness and healing. (You'll have to click on the picture to really see it as it was designed to be a 5' x 7' card.)

Sickness is always from the devil . . .

First of all, this is so ignorant, I want to hit somebody over the head with a medical journal wrapped around a brick. We've only known about bacteria since 1683, when Antony van Leeuwenhoek took a look at the plaque from his teeth under a microscope. We've known about viruses since 1892, when they were discovered by Dmitri Iwanowsk while studying mosaic tobacco disease. We've known about genetic abnormalities since the first time, doubtless tens of thousands of years ago, somebody said, "Hmmm . . . those Smiths all seem to bleed to death after a scratch. Weird."

So to say that Satan causes everything from common colds to cancer is just astoundingly ignorant. It also leads nowhere good. It's not far from "Satan is rotting your joints" to "you are evil because Satan is rotting your joints. It's also not far from "I can cure your rotting joints" to "I failed at curing your rotting joints because you are evil", which is, coincidentally, where RoR Ministries is headed with their helpful instructions on healing.

The instructions on healing take advantage of two facets of illness and one of modern life. (1) Most illnesses are temporary in nature. With or without prayer, you're going to get over a temporary illness eventually. Colds only last a week or two, food poisoning works itself out fairly quickly, and even things like gout will resolve themselves eventually. (1) Chronic illnesses are continuous, but not constantly the same. Anyone with a chronic illness will have good days and bad. This is why it can be hard to tell if a treatment works or not. The sufferer may be crediting a treatment or prayer with improvement, when in reality they simply entered a better phase independent of treatment. (3) Most people will pray and go to a doctor, but if you have a certain mindset you credit god instead of the medicine.

Let's see how faith healing takes advantage of the above:

Command the sickness or pain to leave in Jesus’ name and continue to do so until it does. Do not back down! The devil is very patient and is much more willing to stick it out in a fight with us if he knows that we’ll give up before he does.

In other words, keep at it until the person gets over the illness on their own, has a better day or the medicine starts working.

Ask the person after you tell the sickness or pain to leave how they are feeling. I usually ask, “On a scale from 1-10, if 10 is 100% better, how are you feeling now?”


Thank god for any progress. 5% improvement is IS PROGRESS.

Continually pressure the person for evidence that prayer is working because most people like to please other people and will convince themselves that they do feel a little better even if they don't. Take that as a victory.

Above all, don't stick around. Eventually, the good day will cede to a worse one and the placebo effect will wear off, and then your victim patient is left exactly where the were wondering why god has forsaken them.


  1. I read THIS in the article and damn near fell out of my chair:

    "God is good and in a good mood, ALL THE TIME"

  2. JREF - 1 million dollars - nuff said

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Never blame the person for not having enough faith to be healed if nothing happens. Lazarus didn’t have any faith to be healed—Jesus had enough faith for Him, so should we!

    I'm not saying all healers are aware, but these guys apparently are: faith is not required in the sick person for faith healing to "occur." Jesus healed people all the time who didn't believe in him, that's supposedly one of the ways he won followers (and if it really did work, I'm sure he would have been more popular).

  5. *sigh* Okay, so the first one had major typos and the second one I forgot to put the paragraph in quotes (as it is from the site you linked to).

  6. Continually pressure the person for evidence that prayer is working because most people like to please other people and will convince themselves that they do feel a little better even if they don't. Take that as a victory.

    Bingo. I can't tell you how many times I saw this during "healing" prayer. Also, my co-religionists trying to convince me that someone I had prayed for was healed when I could quite clearly see that they weren't. It pissed me off to no end, but I could never really get my point across without it being interpreted as a lack of faith on my part.

    (Pretend you're all suprised.)

  7. Now I know what your problem is, PersFail. You just don't have enough faith.


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