Diabetics, children with spin bifida, wheelchair bound paralytic elderly, people with practically every known malady come to these “revivals” desperate for a chance to have some self proclaimed agent of God heal them, where medical science could not. They come expecting that their faith in God, and faith in this man who claims to be the conduit for God’s healing power, will make them whole, will resurrect their dead organs, their disintegrated nerve cells, and their wasting muscle tissue.
Of course, time permits only a very few to be selected to receive a face to face laying on of hands by this agent of JESUS. And some will invariably collapse to the floor upon the electric touch of the healer, jump up, claim to be healed, and fade immediately into obscurity, never to be seen again, nor their medical histories made available for examination. How convenient.
So many others, the truly ill and incurable, are used as just so many pawns. When they are challenged before the thousands of eyes of the faithfully expectant, as to whether or not they felt the power of GAWD enter their bodies through the slap to their forehead, or a kick to their chest, their options are two fold: Say “YES, Thank You JAYSUS!!”, and be praised by the frenzied multitudes, be the focus of their hallelujahs, prayers, and waving of hands by their fellow sheep; or say “NO”, and be dismissed as lacking faith and given the bums rush from the stage to clear the way for the next act . There are genuine and immediate benefits to saying YES.
And yet, whenever those claiming to have been healed can be found by skeptics and debunkers, invariably there are two outcomes: either the perfectly healthy “healed” person can produce no medical records or genuine accredited physicians who will attest to their original illness; or the person is still in their wheelchair, still paralyzed, still succumbing to their disease, etc.
None of this is a new revelation. All of it has been documented by debunkers and the media for years. Faith healers are exposed regularly for their tricks and accomplices in the audience, for their less than holy life styles and illegal money making schemes. The Benny Hinns, the Todd Bentleys, the Peter Popovs, the Theodore Wolmarans, the W.V Grants, the list of the disgraced and exposed is legion.
And yet the faithful keep coming, they keep believing, they keep trusting and tithing. Every newly anointed healer, with their promise of having a divine gift brings the bleating flocks of the desperate ready willing and able to be duped and sheared of their money. Even those who were wheeled or climbed onto that stage and had their heads touched but who, sometimes after a brief improvement due to the placebo effect, are still succumbing to their illnesses, even they retain their belief that something good has or will eventually happen. There seems to be nothing that can shake them from their self deception and involuntary servitude to delusion.
While my reasoning side tells me to despise these sheep for their ignorance, gullibility, credulity, and blind denial of reality, more so even than the charlatans who prey upon them; my …what shall I call it … “humanity?” makes me just pity them. Not for the incurable illness of their bodies, but for the incurable illness of the mind that is the religious meme.