California pastor Bill Johnson is on a healing tour in Australia. And he’s drawing in the crowds quite well. This story is a bit… disturbing.
Hundreds lined up for hours to hear the Californian-based based teacher, author and healing evangelist speak at a Brisbane church on Monday night.
Many in the 1750-strong crowd were young people attracted to the fifth generation pastor’s teachings about ‘encountering God’ for themselves – and having the faith to pray for healings for others.
The practice has already made headlines in Brisbane – as well as YouTube postings as people tell of experiencing ‘liquid love’, a warm sensation, and healing.
At the end of Monday night’s service, dozens of people indicated they had been healed after being prayed for, for head trauma, knee and back injuries, hearing loss, and other ailments.
Others were not healed but Johnson said some did not receive their healing straight away but days later.
Johnson himself never laid a hand on anyone, instead encouraging those in the crowd to pray for others.
Among the lucky who were healed right away was a woman who had had pain in her knees for some 17 years after a skiing accident, a man whose hearing became clear as day after years of listening to loud music and another man with torn ligaments in his knees. All dubious and none verified by any medical evidence. This is the same old story of faith healing evangelists. In a word, performance. People wish to believe so deeply that they have been healed that they experience a rush of what feels like a miracle. But does any one ever follow up on these people? Are their real stories ever documented? No. It’s all about the moment.
Plain and simply. Faith healing is bogus. Spectacles like this are just… a spectacle. I can’t even say “be skeptical”. I can only say, don’t fall for this stuff. It’s theatre.
Bill Johnson is not quite finished with Brisbane as he’s scheduled to appear again next week.