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Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Rival, Sep 12, 2021.

  1. Rival

    Rival Inodj har-ek Amun-Ra
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    Mainly aimed at Christians, but possibly also at Jews as well regarding the general concept of faith healing. I've not heard of this within Islam and Baha'iism.

    Many Christians like to make fun of those Evangelicals who purport to do faith healing and consider them crazy. How would you view Elijah, Jesus, Peter, Paul, and others who also engaged in faith healing (for ex. Peter healing the cripple, Paul healing Eutychus)? They were doing the same thing. Alright, granted, in your faith you believe these things actually happened. This passage in James also seems to suggests faith healing on the part of Preists,

    Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.


    I'm genuinely wondering how Catholics, Orthodox and other non-Evangelicals understand this and how they differentiate between historical faith healers and modern ones?

    Thanks.
     
    #1 Rival, Sep 12, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021
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  2. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    Most Christians are not literalists. I think many of us are sceptical that these things happened in quite the way the bible writers portray them. Given the lack of scientific and medical knowledge at the time, it would not be surprising if these accounts were a bit fanciful.
     
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  3. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Many Christians do not presume that the stories in the Bible are historically factual. Only a relatively small number of Christians adhere to the "inerrant Bible theory". I was raised Catholic, and went to Catholic schools until 9th grade, and was never told that the Bible should be considered historically factual in every detail. And I can even recall discussions about how a particularly unlikely detail in some story or other might have 'actually' occurred (as opposed to how it was being depicted).
     
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  4. Xavier Graham SA

    Xavier Graham SA God is Love, is love, is love. OM, AV KAH AHH!

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    In my Baptist church where I grew up in, I was always taught that the fact we had the Bible meant that there was no more miracles because “we have the Bible”. I didn’t really understand the logic, my pastor would say back then they didn’t have a Bible so they needed miracles as proof, but the Bible is suffice for us in the present day so modern miracles like faith healing were a sham. It was something like that it’s been a while
     
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  5. Rival

    Rival Inodj har-ek Amun-Ra
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    So would that not make Jesus' faith healings un-real as well?

    If not, why is he different?
     
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  6. ideogenous_mover

    ideogenous_mover Well-Known Member

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    I've never heard of the 'anointing with oil' cure. Did any tradition form out of that?

    How much oil, just a drop? A jug? On the top of the head, on the thigh, on the toe?
     
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  7. Rival

    Rival Inodj har-ek Amun-Ra
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    The Healing Power of Anointing Oil & Prayer | Jesus Boat

    Applications Today

    It is often asked my modern Believers if anointing people who are sick with oil as mentioned in James 5 still apply today. For most of the Believing work, the answer is yes. The oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit. We can never neglect to use the means God provides for us to care for ourselves, and to have the elders pray over you say before an operation is perfectly appropriate.

    The core of the ritual is the prayer and the actual anointing goes with it. In giving the blessing, the sick person is traditionally anointed on the forehead and hands. A blessing such as: "Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up" is given to give the individual peace that The Lord is with him.


    I think Catholics have such rituals, too, but are practiced in conjunction with modern medicine, not alone.
     
  8. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    The use of oil is symbolic, and the Anointing of the Sick (Last Sacrament) is not an attempt to heal, but to calm and prepare the sufferer in a good state of mind for accepting death or recovery, whichever is to be their fate. The oil is not thought to be endowed with magical powers to heal.

    It's a nice, kind thing and it can indeed calm and resign believers on their deathbed.
     
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  9. Rival

    Rival Inodj har-ek Amun-Ra
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    This is why I said in conjunction with medicine, rather than alone - but I'm sure there are other sects which take it as healing on its own.
     
  10. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Rival's Creepy Uncle
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    Note that there are secular faith healers, eg, Reiki.
    (I've known a few practitioners.)
    I see them as "nutters", but I also recognize for reasons other
    than theirs, it can work. Placebo therapy is complex indeed.
    The Dramatic Cure
    If it does more good than harm, I'm OK with it.
     
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  11. Rival

    Rival Inodj har-ek Amun-Ra
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    This is true, but I'm more thinking of the 'laying on of hands' folks.
     
  12. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    A miracle must have a meaning. When Jesus heals 1 blind person out of thousands it is to make a point. When someone is healed by Peter's shadow it is to make some sort of point. Every time there is a miracle it is attached to a lesson or lessons, such as the time Jesus curses a fig tree and makes it die. That's a miracle where nobody is healed at all. When in Judges the man Sampson becomes super strong he is very effective at fighting the Philistines, but why? Why him and why only one man and why under those particular conditions? It is an image to which you can attach lessons. What happens to Sampson is all of the curses on Mt. Ebal. There stands Sampson, enslaved, standing right between two pillars to which he has been dragged: a magnificent symbol perfect for teaching a lesson. All his life he has tried to turn to the right and the left away from the covenant placed upon him by his parents, but at the end he is dragged back to the two pillars by the Philistines, back to the two mountains Ebal and Gerazim where he must again make a choice. He repents and in spite of everything he is forgiven, and his strength returns. The story is not about the miracle, because the miracle is not the point of the story. The miracle is there to carry the lesson.
     
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  13. ideogenous_mover

    ideogenous_mover Well-Known Member

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    On the head, and hands.. I would have to look to see if the 'hands' part is biblical, too tired atm. One might associate that with a salve for metaphorical nail wounds, though you'd think they'd also do the feet, to complete the cross symbol.

    In any case, I can't recall this ever being talked about in my family, here in the very Christian Midwest. I never saw it done in a church, as a kid who was taken there
     
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  14. ideogenous_mover

    ideogenous_mover Well-Known Member

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    I am trying to imagine how oil produces those qualities, when it is put on the head. It doesn't seem, in my imagining, that it would particularly have much of a serene or sub-euphoric effect. I would likely worry about my eyes, and wonder if a level of stickiness would result
     
  15. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    Muggles can't do magic! Even suggesting something like that is against The Book.
     
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  16. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    I was referring to the sacrament as a whole, not the oil, which is just a feature of the ritual.
     
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  17. Orbit

    Orbit I'm a planet

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    The difference is that now we can see that faith healing does not actually cure anyone of anything that wasn't psychosomatic to begin with. If faith healing worked there would be no diabetes nor cancer, and well, there is so there's that debunked. As for miracles in the Bible, they were performed by the son of God, who's no longer around to do them. Seeking them is "putting the Lord thy God to a foolish test."
    I'm speaking from 40 years experience as a nonevangelical Presbyterian.
     
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  18. Rival

    Rival Inodj har-ek Amun-Ra
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    This is true, but what then would they say about the passage I quoted?
     
  19. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    They could be a combination of stories and the same sort of thing that sometimes happen today. People get caught in the moment and may think that they are healed. Jesus had some very valid teachings. Why not rely on those instead of events that may have never happened in the first place?
     
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  20. Orbit

    Orbit I'm a planet

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    It's seen as something for Biblical times, not for now. At least that's how it was always explained to me. A bit of a non-explanation, but Christians are good at that "handwaving" stuff.
     
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