Faith – the ultimate therapy

Coronavirus faith healers under attack  >  Faith healing has not covered by this blog, as it is does not fit comfortably within the term ‘therapy’. We only examine it today as faith healers are jumping on the coronavirus cures bandwagon. Critics say they are simply exploiting people’s fear.

Two examples are grabbing the headlines. The head of the Kingdom Church in Camberwell in South London claims his concoction of cedar wood, hyssop and scarlet yarn acts as ‘an invisible barrier to the powers of darkness‘. His plague protection kit costs £91, though it is currently difficult to buy thanks to action by Southwark Council. It states ‘It is wrong for anyone to exploit people’s fears at this time of high anxiety and we encourage people to report any issues like this to London Trading Standard’.

Not discouraged, Bishop Climate Wiseman says, “It is by faith that you can be saved from the coronavirus pandemic by covering yourself with the divine plague protection oil and wearing the scarlet yarn on your body. That is why I want to encourage you, if you haven’t done so already, to get your divine plague protection kit today!”

He says his remedy is based on a passage from Chapter 14 of the Old Testament Book of Leviticus * .

God is love

The second example has emerged from New Zealand. Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki claims tithe-paying, Bible-believing, Holy Spirit-filled Christians have a Psalm 91 Protection Policy against COVID-19.

His message has spread like the virus around the world.

Psalm 91 Protection Policy

This Pentecostal leader says God allows ‘epidemics, pestilence and famine‘ when people have departed from faith in Him. But for Bible-believing, born-again Christians who pay their tithes, God assures them protection from the virus. He said being guided by Psalm 91 ** is “the best policy that a family can have to protect them from any of these plagues and pestilences“.  He adds, the outbreak was ‘energised by demons and evil spirits‘ to punish non-believers.

His critics fire back. they say ‘it is folly to say his followers are safe and no-one else, which is the absolute opposite of the Christian belief‘.

There are many other similar examples of faith healers peddling Coronavirus cures.

Now, our Bloggers would expect Tonic therapists to take a critical view of faith healing. Not so. Many of us take the view that there is plenty of evidence that it can be a power for good.

Can faith cure the coronavirus?

In the case of the coronavirus, people are scared because there is so little they can do to protect themselves other than isolation. Believing in God gives a sense of empowerment, direction and purpose. If it instils peace and the possibility of healing then it seems an excellent complementary therapy.

The problem with what people like Wiseman and Tamaki preach is that following them is more important than following medical advice. That is dangerous.

Our second objection is that both the cure examples given involve spending money, either by buying a magic potion or giving money to the church. Many have tried, but you cannot buy redemption.

In summary, the first priority is to stay safe by following medical advice. Then on there is nothing wrong in seeking comfort through your faith.

However, with places of worship shut, it is boom time for live-streaming religious services. If this is for you, then go for it. With faith comes hope, comes peace and who knows, maybe healing. But this is one therapy money can’t buy.

Footnotes > *  Chapter 14 of the Old Testament Book of Leviticus. It reads …  “Then he is to take the cedar wood, the hyssop, the scarlet yarn and the live bird, dip them into the blood of the dead bird and the fresh water, and sprinkle the house seven times.  In this way he will make atonement for the house, and it will be clean.”

** Psalm 91 reads .…  Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”  Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.  He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.  You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.  You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;  they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him;  I will be with him in trouble,  I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

20 thoughts on “Faith – the ultimate therapy

  1. Jammi says:

    I am surprised and shocked. Tonic seems to be endorsing something which exploits the vulnerable and dangerous. Remember – you don’t see faith healers working in hospitals, for the same reason you don’t see psychics winning the lottery

    • Carla (Skegness) says:

      These ideas are actually dangerous and Tonic should have been more objective. I would even say this preacher should be taken into custody and not released until he signs an undertaking to stop spreading dangerous ideas.

      • Ahmed says:

        I agree. It is a belief in magic that has only a minimal correlation to science due to the placebo effect. Faith healing causes more harm than good.

        • Bobby (Nottingham) says:

          If it is free what is the harm? I know this Posting highlights two rogue agents, but in most cases faith healers do not charge and have better intentions than most other mediums or the alike. I suppose they can be criticised for creating false hope, but that applies to so many complementary therapies.

          • Ivor (Ramsgate) says:

            Faith healing is based on belief and is about as far as you can get from science-based medicine. But it is not exempt from science. If it really worked, science would be able to document its cures and would be the only reliable way to validate its effectiveness. The jury is out (and likely to be so for a very long time!)

        • Mrs V. Lord says:

          You overlook the fact that the placebo effect DOES work. From a scientific perspective, faith healing is unexplained, incomprehensible and should not work. Yet it does work. Scientists recognise the value of the placebo effects but have trouble accounting for them. That does not mean they are banned!

        • anon says:

          By means unknown, faith healing is evidently capable of healing. If placebos account for half of the effects of non surgical medicine, then why be so critical of faith healers?

    • Mohammed Law says:

      Faith healing seems to evoke a placebo effect, not unlike the use of drugs to treat people who are mildly depressed and therefore experience no true pharmacological response to the medicine. If there is a history of successful outcomes, then people who consult the faith healer are likely to show up because they already have a positive expectation of cure, even if they consider themselves too sophisticated to be taken in by magical thinking.

  2. anon says:

    The common denominator for these two faith healers is money. Whether buying a magical potion or tithing to the church, safety comes via spending money. Tonic is wrong to give them any support.

    • Tina M says:

      This preacher stresses his message only applies to tithe paying believers. In other words – pay me and you will be saved. Shame!

    • James T. Myers (researcher) says:

      Faith healing is a pseudo-scientific issue and you are right to be wary. It is really big in the Christian practice of religion, which is what this Posting is all about. In truth faith healing is closes associated with the placebo effect. A placebo effect can mean that because of faith healing, one simply expects to get better. This can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy – thus there is a strong correlation between belief and something happening. It is possible that belief can help the functioning of our immune system, and this is an explanation for faith healing. However, not everyone has good experiences with faith healing and there is no scientific backing or true evidence.

  3. Clara (Client 189) says:

    Tamaki claims that because viruses travel through the air controlled by satanic spirits, only Christians covered by God can avoid being affected by the virus. That is so wrong. The problem is that he is instilling fear among the vulnerable. They are being told …. “The prince of the power of the air, Satan, has control of atmospheres, unless you’re a blood-bought born-again, Jesus-loving, Bible-believing, Holy Ghost-filled, tithe-paying believer. You are the only one that can walk through atmospheres and has a, literally a protection — the Psalm 91 protection policy around you. I don’t care if you don’t believe it. It’s all right. I’m just giving you so you understand’.
    People when they are scared buy into such salvation. We must fight back and I urge Tonic to take a more robust stance.

  4. Mick says:

    a church tithe is normally set at 10% of your income going to the church
    so as long as you keep paying you will be protected from the virus
    if the protection fails and you die will you get a refund

  5. Oak 9 says:

    From a scientific perspective, faith healing is unexplained, incomprehensible and should not work. Yet it does. The same is true of drug placebo effects, of course. Scientists recognise that there are placebo effects but have trouble accounting for them. At the end of the day, if there is a possibility that something works, then why knock it if the alternative is to do nothing?

  6. Larry T. Johnson says:

    The starting points should be establishing what are the facts and how may they be explained? I can find no proof to establish either so this ‘therapy’ is really based on mind over matter. Nothing wrong with that, but a degree of realism is called for.

    • Patsy-O says:

      There really is no cognitive explanation as to why it might work. I think its important to note how the empirical evidence has a lot to do with personal experience and that’s a characteristic of an extraordinary belief.

  7. Jordie says:

    There simply is no evidence that faith healing heals. Not what science considers evidence. And the true believers don’t value evidence or the scientific method: for them, belief is enough.

  8. Raj M says:

    A survey by ComRes has found that almost one in four British adults have watched or listened to a religious service since lockdown began. Academics from British Religion in Numbers estimate that typically just 6% of adults regularly attend a religious service.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>