Tuesday, 23 July 2013

CHARISMATIC CRUELTY: HOW FAITH HEALERS HARM BELIEVERS

Are TV and radio preachers cruel? Those who claim that people can be healed or become wealthy with enough faith certainly are. Many charismatic teachers also brutalize their followers through giving insulting criticism.

How could ministers be cruel? By teaching that faith is a force and that words contain that force, charismatic teachers foist a false notion on their followers. People are taught to pray and claim whatever they want in the name of Jesus and if they have enough faith, they'll receive the desires of their hearts. When their prayers go unanswered and nothing happens, the victims of this dastardly belief are accused of lacking faith or having some sort of  fault.

I experienced this personally in July of 1978. I had attended a house church, led by a self-proclaimed teacher from God,  for six and a half years. Congregants laid hands on me and prayed that I would receive full sight. Whenever nothing happened, elders would insist that I not wear my glasses anymore.

During that time, I missed some Wednesday evening meetings because I had to work. Since the studies were recorded and transcribed by Sister Roberta (not her real name), I asked if I may borrow the tape so I could hear what Brother Herald taught that week. Sister Roberta reluctantly gave me the reel after warning me that Brother herald spoke about me that evening.

I enjoyed hearing the study until Sister Roberta asked why I wasn't being healed of my poor vision. Brother Herald's answer impacted me as if I had been kicked in the crotch. He said I lusted for sight since I wanted it so I could get a better job. If it wasn't for my misguided trust in him and his doctrines, I would have left that church and never returned.

I learned years later that faith is really our trust placed in God. It isn't like a electrical charge that would trip God's relay of blessing as that charismatic minister taught. Additionally, the Lord often works through disabilities. The ninth  chapter of John's gospel is an excellent example of that. I take comfort that the heavenly Father is also working through my infirmity to bring glory to his name and make me a stronger person.

In How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity, I wrote about the ongoing criticism I received from that cultic house church and how God freed me of their reprehensible nonsense. Read more about this inspiring story at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.