Christian evangelist and healing the sick.

I read the “fundamentalist” thread and it got me thinking about some that I know. Then I started thinking about a question I thought about a few years ago. My Dad and step mom got really tuned in to this guy Benny Hinn. (Think I spelled that right) They went to see him at a large gathering and told about the experience. The thing that struck me as funny, and I mean funny in the literal sense, was the healings he performed. I have seen lots of these guys perfrom healings. Cancer, arthritis, parkinsons, you name it, they claim to cure it through GOD. Sooooo, insted of renting the civic center and charging admission or hawking your latest book, why doesn’t Benny take himself down to the hospital and just heal people? If I had the power to heal people I wouldn’t do it for show like that, I would just heal people. Does the Bible say something about healing people off television that I missed?

I don’t know about the “healing people off television” but I do think that there is something about “The love of money …” being the root of all evil.

Because he’s a greedy charlatan. Most of us know this, Willy. You’re proselytizing on the wrong streetcorner.

Benny Hinn is the same man who claimed that Adam (of Adam and Eve fame) could fly, that women were originally designed by God to give birth out of their side, that Jesus was actually a very wealthy man and that God was going to destroy the homosexual community by the mid-90’s (said this in Orlando in 89). And these things are just the tip of the iceberg. Check this Christian site that has quite a few things on Mr.Hinn, including other links. I’m sure you can find quite a few non-christian sites on him as well.

Don’t think I am proselytizing anything here. Benny Hinn is just one example. I think they are all frauds and none of them have healing powers. I guess pretty much everyone here agrees. So how about those fundamentalis? How do we convince them?

We don’t. Haven’t you figured that out by now? All any of us can do is be honest, supportive, and caring.

If you read the fundamentalist thread, you know where I stand on this point.

Compassion
Compassion
Compassion

And, JFTR, I’m one of the people that some fundamentalists would cheerfully stone to death given the chance.

However, if you’re talking about convincing those specific fundamentalists who follow Benny Hinn that he’s a fraud, I’m afraid the answer is, we don’t.

After all, there’s a sucker born every minute. I can’t stop anyone from spending their money (or their hope) in a manner I consider foolish. All I can do is offer them a warm shoulder if they realize they’ve been taken advantage of.

Well that sounds good but…how about someone who is dying and doesn’t get help because this idiot convinced them they don’t need it. If we are to care, don’t we care if people are being defrauded? We are pretty tight about what we let alternative and herbal remedies claim while these guys are claiming they can cure cancer on national television. If I made those kinds of claims based on anything but religion, and did it for profit, I feel pretty sure someone, somewhere would come down on me like a ton of bricks. And honesty? … that is whole other can of worms when it comes to this sort of thing.

Which is why he doesn’t go into hospitals-he’s a fraud, he knows he’s a fraud, and if he went into a hospital, he’d be kicked out and charged with practicing medicine without a license, whathaveyou.

OK, he is a fraud that claims he can cure illness. He is not in a hospital but on television and traveling from town to town with his road show. It is still fraud. Why does he get away with it on such a grand scale? Why has there been no investigative task force out there demanding that these people stop practicing medicine without a license? Why don’t we take his money and give it to cancer research? I know there are alot of suckers out there but in most cases we try to protect them from Miss Cleo and the like. Why don’t we peotect them from these guys?

Because if they want to give their money to a magician, they should be able to.

Besides…what if he really IS healing people, just as Jesus is purported to have done? Wouldn’t we be making a matyr out of the guy (in the eyes of his followers) by stopping him?

That is fine if all the magician promised was a magic show. If he promised to heal you of cancer and didn’t produce then you have been cheated and scammed. If he really is healing people then he should apply to the FDA, have his technique approved and market it as a proven and effective cure. Otherwise he is breaking the law in my opinion.

The legal problem appears to be establishing the “if” rather than the “then”. In his fascinating The Faith Healers (Prometheus, 1989), James Randi devotes the final chapter to a brief layman’s discussion of the legal issues involved and cites a 1986 case where a widow attempted to sue a Christian Scientist who had “treated” her late husband. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected the attempt on the grounds that “the issues raised would require an inquiry into whether the tenets of the Christian Science Church are valid, and such an inquiry would violate the First Amendment.”

As you might expect, Randi isn’t entirely happy with the situation and, in general, is fairly pessimistic about the prospects of prosecuting faith healers. Of course, the situation can be very different outside the U.S.

Subpeona God. If he doesn’t show, issue a warrant.

Does he require money in direct exchange for his “services”? I think this might also be at the heart of the matter.

You could donate to CSICOP or subscribe to their magazine, the Skeptical Inquirer.

Thanks for the link December.