i must admit i watched all of this programme on 40d, isnt it amazing it had all the people who i thought was going to be on it.
benny hinn, kenneth copeland, morris cerullo, im surprised joel osteen wasent on it.
when i first became a christian i was warned about these guys, when i checked them out i was never taken in by them yet so many people are.
i dont know what to make of them myself, you dont need disernment to work it out where these guys are at.
I also watched it all the way through, and actually found it quite moving and compelling. I agree that it's a good idea for everyone to watch it anyway, in order to engage with the arguments. Robeisner is right that it was pretty well balanced as well.
I was glad it mentioned the power of hypnosis, which people think is probably what's going on in a mild form much of the time, at least in many church services I've been to, so not just those "crazy" US ones. I'd recommend a short interview I saw with a former faith healer, still a christian, about what he used to do and how it was totally unbiblical. Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCJ9v_-aJho
Maybe we should be more careful about the type of music used in worship, so that people in the congregation don't get the wrong idea - worshipping the lovely repetitive music instead of God. Come to think of it, don't know about you but how many of your "tender moments" with God, real experiences of His presence, have been with nice, slow worship music playing in the background?
I too am skeptical of these things, it does say in Thessalonians to "test everything, and hold fast to what is good". Actually, I was talking to a well-known UK pastor/writer and he thinks it's possible to believe that miracles stopped with the Apostles, and reconcile it with scripture. That's how he explains the Church's failure to come up with any solid evidence of the supernatural in recent times despite however many years of TV, Internet etc, it bugs me that all we really have is testimonies, basically anecdotal. But i suppose prayer must be miraculous/supernatural because the laws of nature would have to change for God to bring about a new situation, even if it's just someone deciding to come to a CU event or something easy. Isn't it funny how we never pray for actual mountains to be moved even though God can do it...
Sorry I'm probably going a bit off topic! Michael, why do you believe so strongly that God not just can but "does" heal? Also, my more general question would be, should we be changing worship music so it's less hypnotic? But if so would people have fewer 'presence' experiences as a result?
Would love to hear people's thoughts!
"should we be changing worship music so it's less hypnotic? But if so would people have fewer 'presence' experiences as a result?"
Hmm, interesting. In my opinion, it's not so hypnotic - I think the quieter worship music is almost necssarily so, to give space for people to listen to God and concentrate on Him a bit more, if you get me? So I guess if we didn't create that space, people wouldn't find it so easy to 'experience' God (this might be coming out wrong, but hopefully you get my drift).
"Michael, why do you believe so strongly that God not just can but "does" heal?"
Quite simply, because I've heard more than one case from a reputable person where after prayer for healing, God has delivered, and the person has stayed healed indefinitely afterwards. In short, while I do think (as Derren's shown) that a lot of "healings" can be attributed to either deliberate fakery, misdirection or otherwise, this doesn't show that all healings that have taken place have been of this nature. As for why there isn't any definitive scientific proof around, you can bring that back to the same argument as to why there isn't any scientific definitive proof that God exists.
"Also, my more general question would be, should we be changing worship music so it's less hypnotic? But if so would people have fewer 'presence' experiences as a result?"
I'm not sure it's as hypnotic as the program would make out, at least not in a general church service. Deliberately switching between fast and slow songs then saying "POW" in a really loud voice might make a lot of people fall over and the like, but I think there's a huge difference between that and starting off with more upbeat songs and then bringing it down to a more gentle pace so people can reflect. The program did show extremists, and while I think it was right that they were unearthed I don't think everyone needs to say "wow, that means we're hypnotising people and we need to overhaul how we do things!" If we're trying just to satisfy people on the outside complaining for the sake of it, then it'll always be too hypnotic, too fast, too slow, too much, not enough...
I enjoyed the focus and objectivity of the program, but it only uncovers a small amount of the manipulation that continues to occur behind the scenes in churches all around the world. Don't walk in your faith blindly.
I think what we really ought to take away from that program as Christians is that there are people out there who will use the Lord's name and the faith of individuals for their own ends. I agree totally with what Max said in relation to testing everything. You can have faith and yet still be sceptical, indeed many (most?) would say that questioning one's faith is vitally important for its growth and development. I have always been deeply reluctant to believe in 'faith healers' of any type. Additionally though I am also uneasy trusting any paster/minister who makes a ludicrous amount of money from their 'ministry' (e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joyce_Mayer) as I have major concerns about where their heart truly is ('where your treasure is, there your heart will be also' Mt 6:21).
n.b. I guess the reason they didn't show anyone who was ACTUALLY healed is simply because that is not in any way what the program was about (or claimed to be about). It was consistently, and solely focused on the tricks that fraudulent healers use to extort millions of dollars from the vulnerable.
Like many of you, I was expecting to be an attack on Christianity but it turned out to be interesting and objective.
I think that Darren wanted to make a point that not everyone that claims that they are healing in the name of God are doing so. The lesson we need to learn is to test everything (The bible says so). He wanted to show that it is easy to use tricks and other types of manipulations to "heal"(seemingly).
I know Darren is an atheist but it doesn't mean that he doesn't have any good to say. In this particular programme, I personally think that he showed respect for those who do believe in God but also said in a sense, please don't be naive, open your eyes and see what is happening around you.
As Christians, we need to stay secure in our faith and know how to handle criticism when it arises by praying for those who attack our belief system. We take it our personal mission to defend our belief system but we shouldn't because God says vengeance is mine!
I agree with a lot of what Michael said, especially the closing statement quoting:
I think Derren's genuine point is that there aren't any people that are actually healed in this way, otherwise he wouldn't be an athiest! I suppose his argument would be that he's searched and not found any healings of this sort - but who knows what God might have in store for him later eh?
May be in his experience, he was looking for healing and answers but he didn't find them (for one reason or another) and ended up an atheist. It's important to respect his walk and experience with God. God can deal with his anger, disappointment, grief and even criticism towards Christianity. I may be wrong but I think a part of him is searching for God and if that is true God will meet him at the right time. Let's remember that Jesus came for the lost not for the perfect ones!
ive seen the programme now, and i found it very interesting, shocking and challenging.
balanced it wasnt tho, and if we think its not an attack on christianity, then we're mistaken.
the whole thing was clearly an attack on Christianity. Yes of course a lot of what he was attacking deserves it, people taking peoples money and being false prophets like the guy who was pretending God was revealing peoples name and afflictions but it was really from cards that people had filled in before the service (even with false info on it).
and i totally agree that God came for the lost not perfect, thats how i ended up being saved!
however, derren brown makes statements like, 'despite no one ever being healed'. really? what evidence does he have for this?
looking at the programme he also criticized prayer and preachers in general. when he was out on the street praying for people, that had nothing to do with money he was trying to prove that prayer doesnt work full stop. he also summed up a worship leaders job as 'hyping people up into a frenzy and hypnotising them with repetitive music'
how is that not attacking christianity?!
we need to pray for derren brown of course as i said before, God hasnt finished with him (or us) yet!
ps has anyone seen the film 'leap of faith' with steve martin? its a brilliant film about this whole subject.
isnt is sad when people go to church didnt find what they were looking for or christians get offended and leave the church or christians who lose their faith.
the question is what was darren browns faith in?
was it in the healings or miracles? as christians our faith should be in what we believe. jesus the christ, jesus the son of god, jesus who died on the cross and shed his blood so we could be free.
all we have to do is believe in him, repent of our sin ask for forgiveness accept jesus christ as our lord and saviour.
too many christians are taken in by these faith healers or tv evangelists isnt it funny everything about the preachers is they are there for our pockets they dont care about saving souls or caring for lost souls.
anybody with half a brain can see these used salesmen coming.
Sadly MRHATCH working on how rich some of these people are it seems that a large number of Christians don't have 'half a brain' by that standard.