Healing by Jesus and Reiki (#1)

Japanese Jesus Lightworkers,

There are Christians who believe that the Japanese healing technique of Reiki  is demonic. This judgment means (so I infer) either: a) demons give people the idea that something harmful (Reiki energy healing) is actually healing;  and/or b) the use of Reiki healing methods invites demons into one’s life. This explanation supposes  the reality of demons, i.e. unclean or evil spirits, which cause confusion, chaos, and morally debased actions.

In the youtube video below, please find the testimony of a former Reiki master, who meets up with a Christian evangelical group in Denmark, led by Torben Sondergaard.  (For a critical article about this leader see: Torben Sondergaard Article).

Apart from the question of the efficacy of Reiki — which I will not evaluate, here — the video raises a serious scruple about the Christian teaching of this Danish evangelical teacher. Before I make this critique, note that this group, called the Last Reformation, may have good things to say.

However, their critique of Reiki, and their larger theology, contain some dubious premises.  The leader of this group argues, in this video, that the Fall of Adam into Sin characterizes our lives unless we accept Jesus Christ as savior and the baptism by the holy spirit. So far his theology sounds like a standard evangelical Christian teaching.

If we listen more closely, however, it emerges that the God against whom we sin in our pre-saved predicament (i.e.  before accepting Jesus) resembles a tyrannical demon himself. This part of Sondergaard’s theology seems to promote a God who condemns us to guilt and fear.

For instance, Sondergaard says that when we come before God at Judgment Day, because God’s holiness is absolute and unparalleled — (infinitely grander and vaster than any human virtue or goodness)– our every sin will sink us. No matter how much good we have done, it will be our sins not our virtues, our evil not our goodness, that will be measured and judged.

According to Christian teaching, however– so it may be urged — God is infinitely good and wise. He or She rewards acts with the greatest mercy. Those who love God and have faith, even as small as a mustard seed, will obtain mercy. Though our sins be scarlet, he will make them as white as snow. Would a good and infinitely wise God really judge sinners in the manner of a tyrant or demonically angry Despot — as Sondergaard’s theology of intimidation suggests?

Is God himself a Vindictive, Suspicious, Angry Deity ? Such a characterization approximates the personality of a demon, according to  Webster’s Dictionary, whereby a demon is: a) an evil spirit angels and demons; b) a source or agent of evil, harm, distress, or ruin. This Pseudo-God (advanced by the Danish evangelist) seeks our harm, evil , distress, or ruin, insofar as anybody who fails to be baptized by the holy spirit and to recite the proper creeds will be condemned because of the slightest sin, no matter his or her goodness and righteous deeds.

Whatever one believes about Reiki in relation to Christian healing, it is surely lamentable that a Reiki master should fall prey to such a distorted preaching of the Christian Gospel. This kind of theology can make one suspicious of practices, like Reiki, which are either benign or innocuous in themselves.

Happiness and Healing : the example of Martin Brofman (1940-2014)

A puzzle about the Gospels: how does spiritual healing actually work? Did healing take place as described in the Gospels? and if so, how does spiritual — or specifically Christian healing — apply for our own day? Occasionally, we post about healers and healing (by spiritual means), in order to probe this question.

Martin Brofman (not a Christian) was given a diagnosis of terminal cancer, while he was still a young man. He decided that if he had only a small time to live anyway, he would live his remaining days in peace and freedom. He began a quest for happiness, to mold his life according to his deepest desires.

In the process, he healed himself — against all the odds — and taught others to do the same. Surely, this interconnection between happiness and healing follows from, and confirms, a spirituality of abundant life and love. That is good news.

 

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: