Jesus Needs New PR

Jesus Needs New PR


A fascinating exposé on 'Faith Healing'

Found at THIS fantastic new blog: Faith Palm



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myclue

posted April 28, 2011 at 1:11 pm


thanks for the link love :)



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James

posted April 28, 2011 at 1:18 pm


Fascinating and yet truly upsetting. I watched it the other day. So tragic at times.



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FUNdMENTAL

posted April 28, 2011 at 2:53 pm


I found that watching Nathan/James going through this experience from struggling with moral issues is even better than the expose`



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    myclue

    posted April 28, 2011 at 3:04 pm


    true. the moral struggle definitely gave it some extra drama.



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Matthew Lyon

posted April 28, 2011 at 3:10 pm


another one for Poe, and his Law.



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Carole Turner

posted April 28, 2011 at 3:58 pm


so disturbing!! Glad they did it. Very glad.



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Steven

posted April 28, 2011 at 4:01 pm


Man does that stir up old memories.. This is where i fit in the picture with Matthew and Jesus needs new PR. My dad use to work for Kenneth Copeland so that is how i was raised, but i was placed into a fundamental Baptist High School so I got the other side of extreme craziness. It really makes it hard for me know what truth is. I question everything. Which i guess is good but makes it hard to have a relationship with God. I know i am one of the only ones on this blog that like mark driscoll or matt chandler, but i always wonder if i am being swindled by them or even Rob Bell for that matter.



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    LRA

    posted April 29, 2011 at 3:45 am


    This is the basic problem with faith… it removes powers of discernment from people.

    If you want to know if something is true/truth, then demand verification of the claim. If no reliable verification* can be given (IOW, if someone tells you that you just have to take it on faith), then the best thing to do is to remain skeptical until reliable verification comes along. It is the only effective method to prevent oneself from being swindled.
    Unfortunately, I have yet to see an example of reliable verification given in religion.

    *reliable verification means that a claim can be reliably demonstrated to be true by good evidence. Good evidence follows the rules of logic and can be repeatedly examined/analyzed by reasonable people who come up with similar conclusions.



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      Steve

      posted April 30, 2011 at 10:52 am


      Seems to me that a lot of the terms you use here are, in themselves, subjective. “reliable”, “good evidence”, “reasonable people”. Who determines the value of those words? The individual, right?
      “People who come up with similar conclusions” seems to me to be another way to say “people who agree with me.”
      This, to me, is why we need the authority of scripture. Otherwise, the individual determines what is true based on his own flawed “reason”.



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Darcy

posted April 28, 2011 at 4:48 pm


Fascinating, appalling, but so needed. I’m glad they showed the guy’s struggle in deceiving people. Showed he was human.



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nicholas

posted April 28, 2011 at 5:49 pm


I agree, FUNdMENTAL. The point around 29′ where they decide to severe the connection with the PR company was very admirable and gave the deception credibility (as it were!).



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MJ

posted April 28, 2011 at 5:50 pm


That was well worth watching! I love how they exposed the tricks of the trade!

One caveat – They give screen time and prestige to Ole Anthony and the Trinity Foundation for their work in exposing televangelists. Unfortunately, Ole is a cult leader and Trinity Foundation is a cult. For more info go to http://www.dallascult.com



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    LRA

    posted April 29, 2011 at 3:59 am


    “This book describes the abusive practices and strange beliefs that define the Trinity Foundation and examines the spiritual damage done by an authoritarian religious leader exercising too much influence in a follower’s life.”

    Not to nit-pic, but doesn’t this describe just about every church out there?

    What are “abusive practices”?

    I think it’s abusive to frighten children with the concept of hell, but plenty of people do it.

    What are “strange beliefs”?

    The notion that a god had to kill himself to appease himself and then raise himself from the dead to please himself certainly counts as a strange belief!

    What does “spiritual damage” even mean?

    Especially is one generally cannot define, let alone give evidence for having a spirit.

    Isn’t *every* religious leader relying on authority for his position?

    Because they sure aren’t relying on logic!

    What is “too much influence”?

    I think that if someone is demanding 10% of your income and telling you what to do with your sex life and procreation, that counts as way too much influence.

    So, from where I’m sitting, the difference between a “cult” and more mainstream religions is simply a numbers game. I guess if it’s popular, it no longer counts as a cult?



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Jabbar

posted April 29, 2011 at 11:21 am


I have been keeping up with your site for the last week and while I understand the gist of the community of ‘believers’ and ‘nonbelievers’ literally burned by the ‘light’ of the ‘church’ (yes I use a lot of quotes), after reading the background of the host of this particular show it would beg the question if he is doing the same thing that he accuses the so called ‘faith healers’ of and that is psychological manipulation of people so hurting, so tired of the life that they are living that they are willing to believe anything. Presenting them a smidgen of truth that fits what they already want to believe whether real or not.
It is a bastardization of faith and belief as presented by God. Nowhere in the scripture is the notion of ‘blind faith’. The Word says ‘Now Faith is the Substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen'; if someone has an idea and believes in it and follows through on it (sort of like coming up with an idea of a show to expose faith healing and miraculously getting it on television and then the internet) then they have faith. Faith is not a ‘Christian exclusive’ concept it is part of the human animal, and the main thing that separates us from the other animals. We can think and with faith and belief see our thought come to fruition. So in Genesis (try reading the book before judging it, yes there are some hard things to understand and concepts that challenge us and brings into question the very being we are and claim to be, but isn’t that what makes a ‘Good Book’ anyway) that is exactly what God did when ‘He created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them’. God never wanted us to be automatons; He wanted us to be thinking and creative people (the discussion of the merits of what we have faith and belief in is for another time).
This particular ‘mentalist’ is not doing these shows as a part of a greater altruism; he gets paid, very well indeed, just like the so-called ‘faith healers’. Yet, just like the people who followed the impostor seeking something, the folks who talk about the people who follow impostors seeking something do the very same thing- base their lives on opinions of others instead of seeking out the facts for themselves. Everybody has an opinion that they are comfortable with, and most are not willing to be challenged by anything that will make them look at themselves or their ‘sins’ if you will. It’s easier to blame others, our upbringing, society, Black people, White People, Mexicans, Asians, right wingers, left wingers, tea partiers, liberals, conservatives, The Man, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, religion, Jesus, or God (and for lot of people all of the above).
The saddest part is that what was ‘exposed’ was that there are so many people that are mentally and spiritually ‘dying’ and we have charlatans (as an illusionist and a mentalist, that what he is) like Mr. Brown exploiting the suffering of others just as a lot of people say ‘Christians’ do.
We that believe in God through Jesus Christ can debate how to make 1+1+1 =1 (which is easy if the numerical base is binary (only having 0s and 1s)),or whether someone speaks in a different tongue or whether it’s gibberish; whether Jesus is coming back on a Tuesday or a Saturday or at all; Whether God wants us to be poor or rich. Paul said that those debates are not what we are here on earth for and because of all this nonsense (which has been going on for thousands of years); people have come to believe that it is better not to believe. Yet, they are still hurting and still searching for answers. One thing that Jesus said (we can debate the merits of the bible, whether it is true or not at another juncture) was to come to him who are heavy laden and labor and He would give us rest. (And this is for the rationalist in the audience) Learn of me (not blindly follow what others have said about Him), my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
And that yoke and that burden is God’s Grace, which is the opportunity to mess up big time and get a do over until we can’t do over anymore (death), and the only Caveat is that we have to be willing to put aside what we think we know, and what we think others know and search for the truth for ourselves and as it says in the bible it is that ‘Truth that will make us free’.



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lisa

posted April 29, 2011 at 11:26 am


whew…
just watched the whole thing. Really sad…charlatans at work.

Also, shows us how the mind can curb pain.

From my point of view, as someone who’s formally studied for years on spiritual formation/discipleship, the whole Business, is awful on various levels. From the consumer to the (phony, or misguided) “service provider”.

In a prosperous country, ppl want. We want things. They want to avoid all pain and suffering. They want what their neighbors have. It seems cheap to follow God for this type of edge in life, and ask for these sorts of things, when salvation and spiritual maturity are about entirely other things. Probably nothing has changed in 2,000 years. Ppl flocked to Jesus for healing, but how many would sacrifice for him?

I have to do an inward check to see what my motivations are when following God, and Christian leadership should involved in the long journey of encouraging Christ-likeness, and weening ppl people off their own self-satisfaction.



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Dianna

posted April 29, 2011 at 12:29 pm


I’m only part of the way through this, but I wanted to leave a comment about it quick before I forget it:

Anyone else find it interesting that, of all the people he auditions to be faith healers, he only accepts men? I’m not saying that it’s sexist, but that it’s moreso an interesting comment on what is perceived as authority in realms like faith healing. I have never (in my memory) seen a female faith healer. There’s something there to do with male authority and the church that I’ll have to spend time thinking about.



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    LRA

    posted April 29, 2011 at 3:17 pm


    That is an excellent point. Also, I’d love to hear your perspective on the line between faith and discernment. You always have such interesting things to say!!!!

    It seems silly that someone of your intelligence is considered “inferior” by many church-goers to people like Mark Driscoll. Whatevs, girl. Whatevs.

    :D



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      Dianna

      posted April 29, 2011 at 6:26 pm


      Hahah, why thank you, LRA! (PS: MPT and I talked about you yesterday [I hope he doesn’t mind me revealing that], but it was all good things. We’re both really glad to have you here).

      I’m not quite sure what you mean about the line between faith and discernment. To me, the two have to go hand in hand. There’s not a whole lot I can or should just take on faith, and as I was explaining to a friend yesterday, me seeking a philosophically logical explanation does not mean that my faith is any less (she…actually said that to me…I was kind of insulted). But for me, using my intellect to discern truth from deception has always been an important part of my faith.

      I guess I view it basically in the way that Kierkegaard viewed it: I’m willing to take leaps of faith where I feel it logically necessary, which I know doesn’t sound all that great to a skeptical mind. But Kierkegaard’s argument was basically that you find the logical basis, you argue it up to the point you can get to, and then you can feel safe to take a leap of faith to the conclusion. I’m not explaining it well, but … yeah. It’d be silly of me to think that my entire faith was logically explained, so I examine what I can, take on faith what I know I have to (like the idea that God’s love will extend past death and possibly extend to those who were presented with a Jesus like that presented by faith healers), and use discernment between the two.

      Like faith healing: I believe that God does miracles, but I don’t believe that we can reign God in and call him down to perform a miracle right then and there. Even though there’s no “good evidence” (as you explained below), I take what I know of God and apply it to those areas that require more faith – so I can say, with some confidence, that I don’t think faith healing depends on the amount of “sin” someone has in their life, because that denies what we know of the power of God. God can’t heal me because of something I did? I’m able to hold back the God of the universe? That’s where discernment comes in, I guess.

      In a long roundabout way, I hope I gave you enough to work with. It’s kind of a tough question, but I hope I gave you an adequate attempt at an answer? (Holy assonance, Batman!) :)



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    Steve

    posted April 30, 2011 at 10:32 am


    Kathryn Kuhlman is considered by many in those circles to be one of the “pioneers” of the modern faith healing movement from the 1940’s through the 1970’s. Benny Hinn has patterned much of his ministry and “techniques” after her. And before her was Aimee Semple McPherson in the early 1900’s.
    I would agree with you that I have not seen many women in faith healing today, but I’m confident they are there; just not renown.



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      Dianna

      posted April 30, 2011 at 11:32 am


      Thanks for that information!

      As a point of observation, I think it’s interesting that there aren’t many female faith healers today – there’s this theory of history that we have to cycle backward before we can step forward, and I think the lack of prominent female faith healers (or even just female pastors/preachers) is evidence of that. As we move forward in other areas, we move back in terms of women in prominent positions. The males have sort of “overtaken” what was a woman’s thing, in a sense.

      Or maybe, judging by the timeline, the presence of men in faith healing was an effort to legitimize the practice – just as the presence of men in moral reform movements in the 19th century gave them legitimacy. And eventually, men just took over?

      I don’t know, but the lack of females in power in the church – especially in areas where they used to be dominant – bothers me.

      Now I may have to blog about this myself!



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Jonathan Sigmon

posted April 29, 2011 at 12:36 pm


I was so uncomfortable the whole time through watching this. I guess that means it was good art, but it was hard to watch.

I’m someone who is VERY skeptical of faith healers, but someone who also believes that God can actually do miraculous things (even today – not just the 30 years Jesus was here). The way I navigate this tension is to accept that there are people who manipulate those they have influence over for money (and in God’s name which makes it even worse) and people who God works through to actually do incredible things.

I guess this is where we have to be very discerning as Christians and not just throw out the entire possibility that God could do something miraculous even now.



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Joshua Wypij

posted April 29, 2011 at 8:23 pm


.. I know a woman who was given 7 months to live. she went to one of these…. that was 10 years ago….



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    Jordan

    posted April 29, 2011 at 11:11 pm


    My uncle was given 3 months to live. He kept going to the doctor. That was 3 years ago.



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      Joshua Wypij

      posted April 30, 2011 at 6:29 am


      what a bouche dag you are.



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Mason C.

posted April 30, 2011 at 11:05 am


Should I be impressed that yet another person never seriously trained in the faith thinks it all a hoax when he hits his 20’s and finds he never invested his beliefs with conviction nor discipline?



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    Cand86

    posted May 2, 2011 at 6:16 pm


    That wasn’t what this was about . . .

    And if you want to talk about the hoax aspect of it all, skip to one minute and 50 seconds in.



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amykay

posted May 2, 2011 at 2:35 pm


was anybody else REALLY REALLY disappointed that he didn’t expose the ‘healer’ at the end? when he was doing the leg lengthening thing on the host himself… why didn’t he stand up and say ‘no you didn’t just do that’ or take off his shoes so he couldn’t do it a tricky way? i was really impressed with the whole thing and i felt like they did a great job toeing the line between exposing and not tearing down… until that point. what a missed opportunity.



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    James

    posted May 2, 2011 at 3:40 pm


    Yeah I hoped he was going to as well! Looking at the security etc these places have it might have put him in a difficult position though (protect the wealth and all that)



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