Let's face it. This week has just been one of those weeks, and it's not over yet. A little silly break is in order:
There, I fell better now.
Consider this a Thursday open thread. I haven't had an open thread in a while, and when things get busy enough it's a time-honored way of filling blog time...
The Bible Answer Man, of all people, wrote about a kid who was paralyzed since birth. He turned away from the family church because people at that church would tell him... get this... they would tell him that he was going to hell because he didn't have enough faith to get up and walk.(The story went on to point out all the misrepresentations by Hinn and others of what it means to be "healed". I won't bore you with the details.)
That's what these faith "healers" do. If Benny Hinn came up to me and waved his hand, I'd laugh. I would also probably barely make it out alive. That's what they do. They make you so afraid to stand out (threatening you with hell) that you have to admit they healed you.
Joke is on them, though. They're the ones definitely asking for hell with their idiotic behavior. I just wish they didn't drag down so many people with them...
In other news, did anyone read Dr. Jay Gordon's denying his god (Andy Wakefield) over at http://kwomblescountering.blogspot.com/2011/02/open-letter-to-dr-jay-go… ?
Needs more yakety sax.
Oh wait, Benny Hinn, my mistake.
Much like JohnV above, I clicked in expecting Benny Hill. Fortunately the action began quickly enough that I stayed until the charming conclusion.
I just supplied my own background music while it played. Makes it extra good in my opinion.
This version comes with its own background music. GENIUS.
Is this edited? Is this manipulated somehow (besides the lightsabers) or do people actually fall down when Hinn waves his hand at them, as if they were being knocked over by his spiritual aura or something?
It's like Incursion. Every time I think I've seen the lowest depths to which American fundamentalists can sink, I have to go deeper.
Keep that crazy bastard and his wacky lightsaber away from me! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Well, since it's an open thread I'll talk a bit about the mind-boggeling mixing of real medicine and quack that is so prominent in my home-country Germany.
Today I accompanied my mum to our GP. We're in a spot of serious trouble at the moment and so I came with her.
Waiting for our appointment, I looked at the list of treatments they offer and about half of them is quack. Homeopathy, acupuncture, naturopathy, you name it, they do it. I'm not totally unsympathetic. The quack has to be paid privately and the real medicine is badly paid by health insurance (they get kind of flat rates for every patient, no matter whether they treat a cold or something serious), but, well, it made me wonder: do they believe in the stuff themselves? Or do they consciously cheat their patients?
She's a really great doctor and really cares, she called me back last night at half six and I have never heard of her trying to treat anything serious with quack...
I'm really not getting it.
Needs more yakety sax.
Oh wait, Benny Hinn, my mistake.
Another good one with Benny Hinn: Let the bodies hit the floor!
@mad the swine:
Here's a video of an eastern "kiai master" doing the same trick with his students and then trying to do it to a real fighter... and getting his ass kicked:
While I appreciate the humor, its tempered by my experience with Hinn. He did his vulture routine with my mother as she was dying of ALS. She never went to his "show", but he still managed to extract a good deal of money from her through his minions as she sat in front of the TV waiting for her "miracle cure".
Then for the next two years after she died, his money-grubbing letters followed me around the country ("Your blessed prayer thread [a ratty piece of yarn] enclosed" - send us money...).
He's a vile piece of human waste.
@ mad the swine
do people actually fall down when Hinn waves his hand at them
Worse, they actually start falling before he waves at them (like the redshirt past 0:50), anticipating to be subdued by the Force.
Not to mention the ones who are so afraid that they have to be pushed toward him by two good Samaritans (who got a good backsplash of his power; it's obviously a cone effect). And he generally gives the helpers a generous second helping (collateral damage healing?).
These guys would be thrown out of a LARP club for overdoing it.
Note for future reference: all the people concussed in this video are men, contrary to popular belief about hysterics being a woman thingy.
Thought I'd share my two cents. Back in college, I flirted briefly with the fundie mindset (I got better). One day, a friend invited me to a revival. Imagine yourself in a large hall with a whole bunch of like-minded believers. There's a charismatic speaker that gets everyone's energy flowing, lively music and so on. The crowd basically gets worked into an emotional frenzy, and a sort of group hypnosis sets in. The speaker invites people up for a "blessing". Now, in this setting, the typical thing is that when god's blessing hits you, you fall down. It's a grand play, where everyone has their part. You're into it, invested emotionally. You go up, the speaker places his hand on your forehead and, boom, down you go. You aren't even aware that you are acting; that's how involved you are. And everyone else's expectations reinforce that behavior: you get lots of positive attention if you have a powerful reaction, and concern and disapproval if you don't.
The whole thing is very, very surreal. When I went up for a "blessing" I was sure that I wouldn't drop. I didn't consciously buy into the whole thing and thought that it was just people hamming it up, but no sooner did the hand touch my head than down I went. I lay on the floor for a bit, with tingles shooting all through my body. I'm sure there was probably some flood of pleasure-inducing chemicals in my brain.
So, yeah, it can happen, but only when the recipient of the "power" believes and on some level agrees to play along.
Good music (French):
A.L. who's busy rebuilding his Gentoo Linux server with intel compiler suite.
That was some of the funniest antics i have seen in a long time. Thanks Orac and other for posting those you have made my friday at work that much more bearable.
Open thread time! I was wanting to post this but didn't really know where to put it :)
I had a weird dream two nights ago. I was in the audience of the Oprah show when she came to Australia, and somehow I got talking to the person next to me about vaccinations. I asked him if he read any Science blogs, and he said no, so I recommended that he read Respectful Insolence.
Suddenly, Steven Novella comes out of nowhere, says "Orac is such a geek", and disappears. The dream then ended.
I didn't make this dream up! It was crazy.
Wow. I'd never heard of this guy and couldn't believe what I was seeing.
What happens if people injure themselves when they fall over? Do they have to come back?
Benny is starting to look a little like John Lovitz (all apologies to John)
I recall tuning this guy's show in by accident for exactly the reason JohnV @ 2 suggests. it was in the grid guide as Benny Hinn Show and I thought (wanted to see) Benny Hill.
Benny Hill was a great guy, and a burlesque comic of the old school.
As for Benny Hinn. . . he's also one of a long tradition.
But instead of slightly bawdy music hall comedy, it's a tradition of hucksterism. A tradition like the fictional Elmer Gantry. A thing to be despised. stealing money from the hands of the poor and ignorant.
By the way, James Randi has extensively debunked this guy and others like him. It's worth looking up on his site.
A few years ago the CBC show The Fifth Estate aired a program about Hinn. I figure a few people might be interested in it. Luckily you can see the entire program online. From what I remember it was worth watching though it has been a few years since I last viewed it.
Thanks for sharing that, Todd. People who haven't experienced it for themselves may not realize just how powerful a hold a good speaker can move a crowd, and how easy it is for someone to get caught up in that emotion and act in a way they'd not have predicted.
The Lord Jesus Christ said that many will imitate Him, even supposedly performing miracles in His Name, yet He will tell them, "I never knew you." He also said that whatsoever a man sows, that and only that shall he reap in this lifetime, to the hundredfold return. It is the faith of the believer in the Name of Jesus that brings healing; those who have received their healing through Benny Hinn or Oral Roberts or the local drunk who had a moment of spiritual awakening did not receive it from anyone else but God. Those who go for the "name brand" or "the show" or "the experience" fool no one but themselves.
God is not interested in what seems to be; He is interested in your heart, in having a personal relationship with you through Jesus Christ, the Savior of all mankind. As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, I have been so privileged to see people set free from strongholds, delivered from demonic influence, healed of sickness and disease as I followed the command to go into all the world and do so.
I learned first from the Scripture, then from sound teachers and preachers, and then from hands-on application. Truly Jesus spoke that His Kingdom is not of this earth; our natural senses cannot comprehend it. But the born again spirit can learn to comprehend it and as instructed in what is called The Lord's Prayer, establish His will on eart as it is in heaven.
Be careful whom you mock.
Colleen, we are mocking a person who uses faith like yours to fleece people out of real money and causes real harm. Did you notice the tragedy perpetrated by Benny Hinn's fraud in the comment by Yojimbo above, which says "Then for the next two years after she died, his money-grubbing letters followed me around the country"?
Do you actually condone the taking of money from sick people, Colleen? Is it okay because Hinn evokes the name of Jesus Christ? Because, to me, it makes him even more evil.
The root of the problem is that too many ppl are taken in by the "show". I do not condone what you are referring to; I can tell you that early on in my faith journey I learned much about the principle of sowing and reaping...I have given into ministries based on the promises, the images, the charisma, and learned the hard way that when I give, I must seek the Lord for how much and where to. Then, my giving is between me and Him; consider how many people have received gifts from friends and just tossed them aside. The reciever is under no obligation to the giver to respect the gift, if it truly is a gift. Gift have no strings.
And here you go again, judging someone you do not know. By the grace of God, I have never fleeced another person, yet you accuse me of it. Are you familiar with Ananias and Sapphira? They are very real people to me; they each dropped dead for attempting to deceive the Lord. That very much helps me to keep my heart pure.
Would you put a price on a woman tortured by demons for many years being set free because she believed in the Name of Jesus? The price had already been paid in the Blood of Gode on the Cross.
Would you put a price on a young mother seeing the child that the doctors said would be dead of cancer in weeks celebrating that child's 20th birthday?
My faith has caused no one any harm, nor has it demanded any retribution other than a thankful heart directed toward the One who healed them.
Only a fool would argue with the point you make, for it can be illustrated time and time again. Yet, the number of people who have received from the healing hand of God in their lives would prove that faith, when carefully placed in the Lord God, will always prove God at His Word.
Chris, I make no argument with you other than to tread lightly when mocking those who operate in the operations of the Spirit of God. A A Allen was a drop down drunk, yet when under the anointing of God, thousands were healed. Kathryn Kuhlman had her quirky life, but under the anointing of God, thousands were healed.
I would ask you to go to scripture for your facts, and leave each heart to its own pursuit of Truth. smiles
Well, I do not know how to know when posts are made to this, so I bid you adieu. Bottom line, folks, is what do you believe about Jesus Christ? The Scripture says that if you believe that He is the Son of God, that He became a human being to die for your sins and was raised from the dead, and that in Him you have your place in heaven, then you are saved from eternal separation from God Almighty. The only other choice is eternal separation. Jesus divided time; He divided religion from relationship; and He continues to divide believers from unbelievers. He is the Truth, the Way, and the Life, and no one can come into God's Presence except through Him.
Each person who takes up the Cross will answer to God for what he did with it. I cannot answer for you, and no one can answer for me. That is why faith depends on the Truth of God's Word, which can never lie.
Be blessed, all. I think my email address in on this if you would care to contact me. smiles
And here you go again, judging someone you do not know. By the grace of God, I have never fleeced another person, yet you accuse me of it.
Excuse me? Is your name "Hinn"? I specifically said " Is it okay because Hinn evokes the name of Jesus Christ?"
I was referring to Hinn. You know, the guy in the video who pretends to cure people in while shouting about your god. How does that accuse you of fleecing people?
I asked if you condoned it, which you do not. I believe that if you wish to be a good Christian, that you should be condemning the actions of Hinn. See, I used his name again, do you understand now who the mockery is being directed towards --- it is not your religion. Hinn is the one making a mockery of your faith!
I seriously hope that you are not homeschooling any children with your level of reading comprehension.
"we are mocking a person who uses faith like yours"
what was that about reading comprehension?
"...to fleece people out of money"
Was the rest of the quote.
I'm not very religous myself, But I'd imagine that even if I was I'd be pretty pissed off about people abusing my faith to get money out of people. Actually I'd probably even more pissed off than I am now.
It's also fairly well documented that he rarely ever actually heals somebody.
Sorry the full qoute was "we are mocking a person who uses faith like yours to fleece people out of real money and causes real harm"
Collen, you must read the whole sentence, just like Maleman noted. I could tell you that you took a phrase out of context, making it a lie of omission. But you would probably re-interpret that to me calling you a "liar." No, you were just blinded by your bias, and would see just what you wanted to see.
You should fight against charlatans like Benny Hinn that are mocking faith, and fleecing people out of money.
Ah, Colleen of the Ever-Moving Goalposts -- try and explain away this:
My point simply was that my faith was equate to his faith; that,by implication, includes me in the subject.
There is no point to arguing, however, until one has made a decision about Jesus. Until then, all arguments will simply antagonize the arguers. Gave that up long ago.
I neither condone nor condemn any man, be he Hitler or Hinn. Take that comparison where you may; God is no respecter of persons. One either believes, or does not. There is no middle ground.
To clarify something, though; no man ever heals another. The Lord may use one to heal another, but the glory is God's alone.
I doubt that you called me a liar; no offense was taken. I think part of what disturbs me is that it is so easy to blanketly judge from appearances. Always a big mistake.
There is the story of the man traveling on a train with his three young children, each of whom was running around the train, yelling, hitting other passengers' newspapers. It appeared that he was a most inattentive father to three wild children. When one passenger took it upon himself to tell the man off and ask why he did not control his kids, the man looked into his eyes as if awakened from deep thought.
I am so sorry, he said. We just left the hospital; my wife just died.
I am curious, though, at why you are so angry at God. What disappointment or disillusionment does it seem He has caused you? I am not looking to be anything other than understanding. I was once rather angry at Him.
smiles and blessings
I neither condone nor condemn any man, be he Hitler or Hinn
You mean you don't condemn evil? Whatever you think of Hinn, Hitler was evil, and you won't condemn him?
He stands judged by God, as each of us. His actions, yes, I would condemn; the man, without Christ, he was as hopeless as any other.
John 16 states that the Holy Spirit has been sent for three reasons:
And when he [the Holy Spirit] is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
Of sin, because they believe not on me; [this is the only sin for which a man stands condemned by God; the acts that we call "sins" are subject to repentance and forgiveness]
Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; [Jesus has shown us what it is to be righteous, to be without sin; there is no other example]
Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. [speaking of the devil, who is the prince of this world. His actions have been condemned, and those who refuse to believe in Jesus, the first reason the Spirit has come to us, default to believing in the devil, and that is the sin for which a man stands judged]
I realize that without a scriptural background, that may mean little to you; nonetheless, that is what the Word of God declares.
Always one must be pointed to Jesus; what do you believe about Him? What do you actually know about Him? He is the dividing line, no matter what the situation.
This could become a productive conversation.
Kindly let me know what is your personal disappointment with God, and perhaps I can help you.
My point simply was that my faith was equate to his faith; that,by implication, includes me in the subject.
I won't engage in a theological discussion about judgment with you, but please understand that the others here accusing Hinn of using faith like yours as a weapon to fleece people are in no way attacking you. Many commenters here, but not all, are Christian. Since Hinn is such a transparent charlatan, many people (religious and not) are of the opinion that his claim to faith is likely to be a lie used to fleece money from faithful people. Don't put yourself in the same boat as him simply because he outwardly claims the "same" faith as you.
There is no point to arguing, however, until one has made a decision about Jesus.
Yes, we can actually discuss things without knowing one another's religious backgrounds.
And finally, let me humbly point out that your condescending comment about being "angry at God" is rather insulting. It's not worth belaboring now, because you already say that your perspective on theological issues has changed. Perhaps you will mature a little more and understand that not everyone who criticizes any alleged Christian is angry at or disappointed in God. Like you, maybe they're just condemning his actions.
I am curious, though, at why you are so angry at God.
How does our disgust with the actions of Benny Hinn translate being angry at any God? I would ask you which "God", but this is not an article on faith and theology. Leave that out.
This is a discussion on a charlatan exploiting people of faith for money and fame, and his gyrations are more amusing with special effects. If you think that somehow that makes us evil and angry at any deity, then you should also tell Ministry Watch, which states:
Each year MinistryWatch.com produces a list of 30 Christian ministries that we believe are among the most exemplary of the many great ministries doing the Lord's work.
They also have this on the same page:
Each year MinistryWatch.com also produces a list of 30 ministries that engage in questionable practices that should cause donors to pause before giving. We refer to this list as "Donor Alerts" as these organizations have various red flag issues including: revocation of tax-exempt status, government investigations of their practices, extremely high salaries, ties to cultic practices and more.
One of those on their Alert list is Benny Hinn:
Manipulates individuals at âhealing crusadesâ for personal gain
While I do not agree with theologically with Minister Watch, I do agree that one should donate wisely. I applaud them promoting deserving ministries like Military Community Youth and World Relief (I wonder if the ministry serving military personnel stationed overseas that my brother used to work for ever qualified). I also applaud them investigating dubious organizations that try to exploit the faithful.
Too funny! Reminded me of Star Wars.