April, 2013 - brandon Schaible, a 7 month had suffered from pneumonia for several days. His parents didn't contact paramedics or get medical assistance. They prayed. Brandon died that month. They called the caretakers at a funeral home, who called the local Medical Examiner, who called the police and paramedics.
A few years before in 2009 they chose to pray for their two year old son, Kent, instead of giving him antibiotics for bacterial pneumonia. He also died. Afterwards the father said, 'We tried to fight the Devil, but the Devil won.'
August, 2003 - a guy called Ray Hemphill, member of the Faith Temple Church of Apostolic Faith, performed an 'exorcism' on an 8 year old boy called Terrance Cottrell Jr. The boy was autistic. Hemphill placed Terrance on the floor, put his knee on the boy’s chest, and screamed, 'In the name of Jesus, Devil get out!' Terrance died two hours later. The coroner's report said that Terrance died from 'mechanical asphyxiation due to external chest compression' i.e. crushing of the chest.
I feel angry reading about these events. I know that people of faith have cared for the sick, counselled the addicted, fed the hungry, and sheltered the homeless, but all that good is offset by what can only be described as the worst type of fundamentalism. Does anyone here consider it an act of Christianity to leave a 7 month old baby to die of pneumonia? Or to literally crush the life out of an autistic boy 'in the name of Jesus'? I don't recognize this type of Christianity, and I can't fathom why or how anyone could think these actions are acceptable.
In my opinion, they are not acceptable. Things are different now than they used to be, not that God has changed, but we have. Our faith has weakened over the years and the power we once had, we no longer have. It is sad and deplorable that these things happen and criminal charges should be brought against those perps, if they haven't already been.
The above cases you enumerated are but examples of beliefs, be they religious or anti-religious, gone haywire.
Humans cerebrate based on knowledge that ultimately has the effect of helping perpetuate the specie... not cause it to "die in the vine" so to speak. But when beliefs obscure knowledge to the degree that it negates the persistence of existence, then those beliefs go against the the first Law of Nature.... that of self (specie) preservation.
The examples you provide are at the horrific end of the spectrum. At the other end some people will not take a paracetamol for a headache believing in faith that prayer will make it go away. Within the church there is often a dissonance between what they see written in the gospels concerning healing and demons, and what they actually experience in real life. If it's in the bible it must be true so the logic goes that their faith should also work today to heal the sick.To seek medical attention reveals an element of doubt which then fundamentally undermines the faith position. Biblical anecdotes are put forward to support the idea that without 100% belief, this faith stuff won't work. Each person might try to believe that they can self heal or find someone with more faith to heal them, and when they don't get the results, seek medical attention as a safety net. Each person will bottle out at a different level.
This is horrific. I hope these people are thrown in jail and/or never allowed near children again.
It is a very fine line we attempt to walk between freedom of religion and taking care of our nation's children. All too often there just isn't any good answer, but when it happens twice it is up to us to make sure remaining children aren't hurt.
One has to wonder; What is the difference between trusting God to heal and challenging God to heal?
It is for this precise reason that I departed the ministry: faux-faith, aka word fundamentalism / churchianity versus true faith, the ever constant action of creation. For years, I watched and even participated, in such events of "healings", "demon casting", "evoking the spirit" until one evening the Spirit literally knocked me on my arse and opened my eyes to the reality that there is no power in quoting "In the Name Of" or quoting any portion of texts. To prove it, He enabled me with a temporary gift, I suppose, of healing. Whereby, without even speaking or doing much of anything really, witnessed people close and not-so-close to me healed from everything from cancer to the common cold. The ability and power behind the ability does exist. However, its application has been watered down -so watered down- that it resembles nothing of its true self.
The use of medicine -holistic, imo- is not evil, nor does it undermine Faith, by the definition I provided. I am very skeptical of modern medicine, regardless of its trillion-dollar, billion-pill influence on humanity. There is something just no right about it, same as something not right about quoting "In The Name Of...", to bring about a permanent cure to whichever ailment of Choice manifests. But, neglecting a child is still neglect. Likewise, imposing extreme fundamentalism and/or extreme scientism is also neglect.
It all comes back to asking ourselves, "What is it we are really -honestly- doing, with our existence, knowledge, emotions and abilities. What is the game we continue to play: the "devil's advocate", "the gods of pharma", "the offspring of El scared sh!teless of a place called Hell", "Your god is a psychopath, so let's all have spaghetti, In the name of Ramen!"
Do we really need to cut open our fellow man, remove his parts, stuff him with pils, potions and powders, then sew him back up like a bag of haggis; do we need to babble endlessly in nonsensical gibberish else with forceful palms and ritual dances, to bring about a total healing/restoration? (Permit me to reference Occam's Razor here) The answer is: No. Do we need Faith, definitely.
With the "power of healing" I suggest you present yourself forthwith to any reputable academic institution, and allow them to research this amazing ability, so that we may all learn about it, and perhaps unlock some of the deepest secrets to our existence. Oh but what a shame that this "gift" was only temporary, thus negating the possibility of anyone actually studying it to verify your claims. I'm tempted to say that this sounds rather convenient, and that anyone who claims they can heal the sick, but avoids rigorous scientific scrutiny is likely to be nothing more than a shyster, but that would be impolite, so I won't.
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