Faith Healing: How to Prove or Disprove?

The_Faith_Healer_(1921)_-_Isis_Theater,_Indianapolis,_Indiana

Hi All,

The evidence for faith healing relies not on statistics and scientific procedures, primarily, but on personal testimonies. Testimonies, which are designed to strengthen one’s own faith while convincing or converting an audience, can be faked and dissimulated.

Semantically, a healing testimony or faith claim enacts an exchange between the giver of the message and its recipient. If the recipient doubts, the faith testimony has failed, in a sense, since it has not achieved its goal of converting the listener. If the giver of the message is lying, then even if the listener believes it, this faith healing is untrustworthy.

Nor does quantity of evidence matter so much as quality, when it comes to healing miracles. A multitude can be tricked and deceived, just as a single person of discernment may be sufficient to vouch for the truth of a miracle or faith claim.

Further, proof of spiritual matters — such as healing or prayer – can be quite elusive. One believes in the causality of the Spirit, through prayer or healing, once one receives its benefits. Yet, the mind and ordinary reasoning kick in very soon afterwards. Doubts crowd in and ordinary explanations assert themselves, thus undercutting the validity and credibility of one’s faith or healing testimony.

How then do we decide faith healing claims?  It may be that the mode for gaining trust in a faith claim is not unlike our ways for ascertaining a trustworthy character or a reliable experience of love.

The heart can be deceived, yet after some time, and some testing, by our intuition we do know, if we are honest with ourselves.  We recognize the one we love, the one who loves us. We can ascertain who is trustworthy. Likewise, we know when faith plays a role in healing; it will be obvious to the heart that is open and discerning.

Some have made use of new scientific paradigms in order to test phenomena like distance healing and the use of thoughts or intentions to provide beneficial outcomes. See, for instance, the interview (below) with Lynne McTaggert, author of The Intention Experiment.

Here are some resources, for your own exploration.

1. Here’s a discussion of the science of healing, prayer, and paranormal experiences by the researcher Larry Dossey : a podcast interview and an older article

Dossey Interview podcast

Dossey NY Times 90’s

2.  Here are testimonies of faith claims by Christians:

Christian Scientists: Christian Science Healing Video

#2 Christian Science Healing Video

Evangelical Christians: Testimonies: Christian Assemblies International

3. Fraudulent Faith Healing

Faith Healing Scam Article

James Randi : Skeptic

4. Interview with Lynne McTaggert about distance healing and such phenomena:

 

 

Advertisements

Jesus in India: Hoax or Hidden Reality?

JesusKrishnaHello Lightworkers,

Nicolas Notovitch (1858-1916), a Russian, popularized the notion that Jesus had travelled to India in his The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ. I am linking to the audiobook version and to the PDF copy of his book. This Russian doctor, while traveling through the Himalayas, over the Vale of Kashmir, stayed in a Tibetan convent. There he learned about a Tibetan legend, called The Life of St. Issa, about Jesus’s sojourn in India and Tibet.

Was  The Life of St. Issa, and the general proposal of Jesus’s sojourn in India, a deliberate hoax? Here’s a 19th century article arguing that it was just such a fiction: Hoax article

One Swami Abhedananda, however, purported to confirm Notovitch’s evidence. During his travels in the region, he found a Bengali translation  of Notovitch’s text (two hundred twenty-four verses).  A Russian philosopher Nicholas Roerich  (1925) followed suit and corroborated Notovitch’s discovery.  (See: Notovitch: Corroborating Evidence )

Here’s the PDF of Notovitch’s work: The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ

True Friendship

 

Jonathan David WL by Goetz

David and Jonathan

Gospel of John : #34

Friendship is a theme in the Gospel of John (John 15:15-16), so here is post on the theme of friendship.

Friendship involves: promises, commitment, imagining a life together, taking on the burdens of your friend as your own, not only wishing but also working together for the best. If we remain superficially acquainted, we are never obliged to anybody nor do we ever grow and change through the power and possibility of love.

BE SURE TO CLICK THE LINKS (BELOW).

1. Here’s Montaigne on Friendship:

Michel de Montaigne on Friendship (1580)

2. Seth Godin on Friendship: a thought-provoking idea

Seth Godin on Faux Intimacy

3. David and Jonathan on friendship:

Jonathan and David on Friendship

And also see:Article David and Jonathan

Note the conclusion: “Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, because we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord shall be between me and you, and between my offspring and your offspring, forever.’” And he rose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city.”

4. Ruth and Naomi

Book of Ruth

Ruth and Naomi: One Perspective on their Friendship

5. Male- Female Friendships

6. Friendship between Men

7.  Friendship Between Women

Miracles: illusion or promise?

Hello Lightworkers, and people who see the miraculous in all of Life:

From the early days, Christianity has spread through miracles. Miracle and healing are claimed by old-time Pentecostal revivalists like Kathryn Kuhlman and her contemporary disciple, Benny Hinn.

Yet, some disabled people, and others who suffer devastating challenges, say they have been left in the lurch by their churches thanks to an illusory promise of miracles. The real grace of the miraculous enters into one’s life, these people say, when we embrace our limitations rather than wishing or praying them away.

Or: could it be that once we embrace our limitations, we may surpass them — so that the miracle unfolds in its own time, rather than being an instantaneous occurrence?

What’s your opinion on miracles in this regard?

1. Here’s an article about Benny Hinn, which is somewhat skeptical: Benny Hinn article

2. And here’s an article about another miracle worker, which raises questions about miracles in the life of faith: :On Miracle vs Disability

3. See the work of Shane Clifton: Article: Shane Clifton   and the longer piece: “The Dark Side of Prayer for Healing: Toward, a Theology o f Well-Being,” by Shane Clifton; Alphacrucis College, Sydney, Australia : [article can be obtained through public library article database] — Clifton argues, on behalf of disabled people, for a theology of wellness rather than an illusory promise of miracle.

4. Here’s a Youtube video about disability, according to a spirituality which says that strength is made perfect in weakness: Zoe Heming: I love my disabled body</

5. Here's Kathryn Kuhlman on Miracles:

Excellent article on Kuhlman: Kuhlman Article

Passionate Conversion: Demons or foreign gods? Lam Jeevaratnam: Christian holy man and exorcist from India (1892-1960)

JeeveratnamAd1

As a young man and entertainer before his conversion

Hello All,

In this post, I address the mixed legacy of missionary Christianity. On the one hand, dramatic conversions — and a willingness to give all to God — are quite moving and exemplary. On the other hand, missionary tactics which claim Christian superiority to other religions seem  short-sighted.

So, in my fascination with multi-cultural  expressions of Christian spirituality, I offer you today some articles, revealing these two dimensions of this Indian holy man. An article — from the 1930’s — recounts Lam Jeevaratnam’s conversion.

The picture (at the side) shows Lam Jeevaratnam, while he was a young man and performer, before (as the Pentecostals say) he got “saved”.  His conversion account reveals him to be a man of courage, passion, principle, and inspiration.

Here’s the PDF:

PentEvangelIndia30s

As inspiring as is Lam Jeevaratnam’s conversion — a story of total transformation – his exorcisms sometimes sound as if they are disrespectful of gods outside of the Christian God. He exorcises people possessed of demons in India, after he converts totally to Jesus Christ. The demons who possess them are Hindu gods, in his opinion.

(OR: are they demons who pretend to be Hindu gods, causing troubles?). Even if we believe in demons and exorcisms, it is surely rash to denounce as demons gods of other religions.

Here is an excerpt about LJ’s exorcisms:  PentecostalExorcismIndia1934

These articles come courtesy of the USC Pentecostal and Evangelical Research archives. You can also find information about Lam Jeevaratnam at this website:  Biography Lam Jeevaratnam

USC Pentecostal and Evangelical Research Archives