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COVID-19 Infections and Deaths Expose Faith Healers as Frauds

elmer gantry
Is Your Pastor an Elmer Gantry? Are You Sure? How Can You Know?

Cable and satellite TV subscribers are “blessed” to have numerous explicit Evangelical channels to watch. These channels are dominated by Charismatic faith healers, many of whom are fabulously rich. Con artists, the lot of them, their goal is fleece the flock while pretending to heal them of everything from cancer to cavities. As the Coronavirus pandemic sweeps the world, infecting and killing people of every race, religion, and social status, I have noticed that these faith healers seem impotent, unable to heal anyone of the virus. Bill Johnson, pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, California, a renowned fake healer, revealed his powerlessness over COVID-19 by cancelling all in-person worship services at his church. Johnson even shut down the church’s Healing Rooms, going to online healing instead. Why is that?

All across the world, Evangelical faith healers are powerless over COVID-19. Oh, they keep praying, anointing people with oil, and performing magic tricks, but their marks still get sick, and in some instances die. Their helplessness exposes for all the world to see the bankruptcy of faith healing. Rational, skeptical people have always known this, but I suspect that true-blue Charismatic believers are beginning to wonder if these so-called men of God are little more than modern Elmer Gantrys and Sister Sharon Falconers.

The Coronavirus pandemic also exposes Jesus himself as a fraud. Again, rational, skeptical people have always known that the miracle-working Son of God was a fraud; that the miracles recorded in the Bible are works of fiction. Yet, 2,000 years later, Charismatic (and Pentecostal) Christians still believe that Jesus, through the hands and prayers of Holy Ghost-filled preachers, can and does heal them. After all, Jesus did say to his disciples:

And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. (Matthew 10:7-8)

Just before allegedly ascending to Heaven, Jesus said to his followers:

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mark 16:15-18)

Jesus’ brother James had this to say:

Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. (James 5:13-15)

These Bible verses seem clear to me: preachers, evangelists, missionaries, and even common, every day Christians are empowered by God to heal the sick. Why, then, are they powerless when it comes to healing people of COVID-19?

It is obvious, at least to me anyway, that faith healers are frauds; that for all their supposed supernatural power and faith, they are unable to heal anyone from COVID-19. Will the Coronavirus pandemic be the seismic event that finally exposes these preachers for who and what they are: money-grubbing frauds? Will devoted Charismatic and Pentecostal Christians finally pull back the curtain and see that the divine wizard is but a man? Will they put their checkbooks away and let these so-called anointed prophets starve? I want to think that this is finally the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back. I really, really, really want to believe that Charismatic and Pentecostal believers will be drawn to the light of reason and science. However, the Coronavirus pandemic will eventually fade into the fabric of human history, and when it does, faith healers will come up with a new shtick to rob Christians of their money. Perhaps if God would infect Kenneth Copeland, Jim Bakker, Bill Johnson, TD Jakes, Todd Bentley, Benny Hinn, Rodney Howard-Browne, Paula White, Pat Robertson, and others like them with COVID-19 and let them die horrible deaths while hooked up to respirators, maybe then believers would see the light.

I don’t wish COVID-19 on anyone, but a bit of karmic justice might put an end to the control faith healers have over so many people. Did you attend a Charismatic or Pentecostal church? Did you really believe faith healers could deliver you from your afflictions? If yes, what caused you to change your mind? Please leave your heavenly thoughts in the comment section.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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    When I was a young teen in the early 70’s I was in a Pentecostal church for a while. They did faith healing, speaking in tongues, the whole bit. I remember one preacher saying that “a cold is as easy to cure as a cancer”.
    We had a special event, a faith healer who was supposed to be really amazing and anointed by god. I think her name was Katherine Kuhlman? The service that night was especially rousing, and she was praying over people, and they were immediately “slain in the spirit”. Two strong young men were stationed behind to catch the people as they fell. I went up to be prayed over and she placed her hands in the small of my back and on my chest so I was off balance, almost up on my toes. When she was done, she gave me a little push and down I went. I didn’t have the guts to come back up and say you pushed me. I left the church not too long after that. It was a lot of things – not just that. It all seemed like a fake circus.

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    Brian Vanderlip

    I have to resist saying, Kill them all, God will know His own! There is a tendency in me to evangelical reaction to things even though I have long left the stained-glass rooms of belief. I still do as my parents did so to speak in reacting to things rather than engaging with humanity, heart and spirit, so to speak.
    My older brother likes the Pentecostal whoop quite a bit because, I think, he likes reacting. It feels good to react.
    It’s defense used in fundamentalism. Sometimes the believer does the reacting with a gentle smile and sometimes with angry hellfire promises but it is always a reaction, not quite an engagement.
    Carla states it very well above in her comment: “she placed her hands in the small of my back and on my chest so I was off balance, almost up on my toes. When she was done, she gave me a little push and down I went.”
    Indeed, down we all went in our time. Thank goodness we had two good legs to run on.

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    You had me at “online healing” – that’s the funniest thing I have heard in awhile. “For the low cost of $59.95 (payable by credit card, money order, or check) we will pray for your healing and offer a virtual anointing. For an additional $19.95 we will pay for a loved one. Or for the deluxe package at $99.95 we will pray for a family of 4. And for the low low price of $129.95 we will upgrade the deluxe package to the gold package including virtual anointing for a family of 4.”

    I saw,an article that hucksters for Jesus Jim Bakker is asking viewers dir cash because the state of Missouri is suing him for the fraudulent claims he made about his product being a cure for covid-19…….

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    If prayers are said for a sick person and they survive, it’s a Jesus miracle! If they die, Jesus called them home. Either way it’s a win win for the hallelujah people.

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    I’m confused. I know that Kenneth Copeland claimed victory over the coronavirus a few weeks ago so what is this fake disease still hanging around?

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    I’ll be a bit sad when Kenneth Copeland and Pat Robertson go home to be with the LORD. As a young Atheist in the early 1990s I found them infinitely entertaining. The Kenneth Copeland Covid-19 remix… I can’t stop watching, it is just so entertaining. I know Kenneth believes he’s going to make it to the Biblical 120 years, and while he looks great for his age I rather doubt it. If I was 80 years old sitting on $300 million I can think of a LOT of ways you could help a lot of people. You could buy medical debt for pennies on the dollar, one church recently did this and I was thinking, well done! Acquiring airplanes so people can see you in the flesh is a narcissistic waste, and sitting on that much money and not giving some back is dispicable.

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    While doing missionary work in Jamaica, where medical care is terrible and if you get sick you die, some American preacher sent me a letter asking for some “seeeeeeeed” money for his healing ministry!!! I remember writing to him, while I was in the beginnings of my deconversion, telling him I would be more than glad to pay for his way to Kingston where, once he arrived, he could come with me every morning to the hell hole public hospital where every day around 7 am there were literally hundreds of sick people most of whom would end up dying and not getting proper care. It would be risky, sanitation is not good there, and what better ready-made healing audience could that ever be, right? Come on down, Fake Healer!!! Of course he never responded!!! These preacher pray and shout and dance and sway to the music with their capes and fluffy hair styles…wass’up with that, by the way…and yet they can’t come and walk the slums with me and lay hands, for example, on all the young people made blind by incompetent doctors in a land without medical welfare. We all know why they don’t show up at such places: they have no powers. Let’s shine light on these cockroaches of society so they will scatter and perhaps we can find good medical solutions for serious conditions instead of wasting time in one more useless prayer meeting for Sister Francis’ arthritis or lung fungus.

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Bruce Gerencser