Tuesday, November 24, 2009
When Faith Kills
Evangelist Billy Joe Daugherty died Sunday morning at the age of 57. Daugherty was an advocate of the Word of Faith theology. The Word of Faith theology is basically a combination of Christian Science and traditional Christianity.
Christian Science was founded by Mary Baker Eddy in 1866. The basic premise of Christian Science is a denial that sickness and evil are real things. In the Christian Science view, bad things are only real if we believe them to be real. As such, if we have positive thoughts, we will not get sick or have difficulties. Basically it is a denial of reality.
In the 20th century a sect of Christianity melded Christian Science into traditional Christianity. This sect later became known as the Word of Faith or Prosperity gospel. The practitioners believe that God wants us all to be rich and healthy and we can obtain such a state if we have enough faith. And faith does not mean trust in God. Faith is a supernatural substance (sort of like The Force in Star Wars) that is used to manipulate reality. And we manipulate this reality through our words. Say the wrong thing and you can speak evil into existence. It is magic thought.
As traditional Christianity has lost its influence in Western Civilization, we have seen various weird sects sprout. These sects tend to be based more on emotion rather than discipline. Much of modern Christianity has devolved into a “feel good” religion that lacks substance. In a word, Christianity has become feminized.
If these sects had only a minor influence it would not be much of an issue. But, unfortunately, much of the Right in America has been co-opted by a strain of Christianity that bears little resemblance to the religion that birthed Western Civilization.
According to Billy Joe Daugherty’s teachings, if he had enough faith he would have lived to a ripe old age without sickness. Billy Joe Daugherty chose to deny reality. And while nature allows us to deny reality, nature does not allow us to escape the consequence of denying reality.