Tuesday, April 26, 2016

"Mercy Multiplied," A Christian "Healing Center" That Can Do More Harm Than Good


Alan: Faith is powerful. 

Then, there's "the rest of the story."

In one of the New Testament's most provocative passages we learn that Jesus himself could not perform miracles among unbelievers, a circumstance that spotlights "faith" as a necessary pre-condition for the putative God-Man's miraculous power. 

In the 6th chapter of Mark's Gospel we read: "He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith." 

In the absence of human faith, it appears that God "Himself" is impotent.

Whatever we believe, religious faith is not within everyone's reach. 

To pretend otherwise ignores the likelihood that pressure-to-believe can be as damaging as "successful faithfulness" is beneficial. 

Lamentably, zealous believers -- psycho-spiritual absolutists that they are -- will not (and cannot!) accept the inevitable dyadic relativity of "faith" and "faith's failures." 

In Paul's famous reflection on love, we are told that "Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love."

Commonly, Christians believe that faith unleashes hope and love.  

Jesus, however, sees it the other way around. "...Even though you do not believe me or have faith in me, [at least] believe the works and have faith in what I do, in order that you may know and understand." 

Since the starting point is belief in the works of love, faith is not central. 

It may even be that "the unforgivable sin" (hotly - and endlessly - debated) is refusal to perform the works of love. 

"Love Your Enemies. Do Good To Those Who Hate You," Luke 6: 27-42

"Do You Know What You're Doing To Me?"
Jesus of Nazareth 

Yeshua Excoriates Fellow Pharisees: "The Woe Passages"

"Twelve Steps For The Recovering Pharisee (Like Me)" By John Fischer

I propose that the tripartite Pauline sequence of "faith, hope and love" is the other way around and that love -- a virtue which can always be practiced by willfully choosing to perform acts of mercy, compassion and charity -- is the cornerstone of "hope," and sometimes, at the end of this three-part syllogistic process, "faith" emerges. 

If faith in Jesus does not emerge, not to worry. 

Trusting the loving works of Jesus - and then performing those works -- is The Sacred Heart of Christianity. 

Tragically, the lazy allure of "sola fide" (the belief that "faith alone" without need for good works is salvific) seduces many believers as lubriciously as "Triple X" T&A seduces pornographers. 

According to "The Indolent," all that is necessary for salvation is joining a bible-banging revival and, when the preacher shouts "C'mon down y'all," just move to the dais and proclaim "Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior!" 

Salvation by Proclamation! 

No muss, no fuss. Just say the seven magic words.

Salvation is as easy --- and often as productive of good works -- as falling outta bed. 

At bottom, people want to be assured that they are already "saved," by living their lives just as they're living them. 

Above all, humans do not want ANY obligation that requires energy-intensive, life-changing metanoia

The Tragedy Of "Modern Medicine" And The Seduction Of "Faith Alone" ("Sola Fide")

It Is Important To Know These Things So Religion Doesn't Do You More Harm Than Good

What Too Many Christians Get Wrong

"The terrible thing about our time is precisely the ease with which theories can be put into practice.  The more perfect, the more idealistic the theories, the more dreadful is their realization.  We are at last beginning to rediscover what perhaps men knew better in very ancient times, in primitive times before utopias were thought of: that liberty is bound up with imperfection, and that limitations, imperfections, errors are not only unavoidable but also salutary. The best is not the ideal.  Where what is theoretically best is imposed on everyone as the norm, then there is no longer any room even to be good.  The best, imposed as a norm, becomes evil.”  
"Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander,” by Trappist monk, Father Thomas Merton

More Merton Quotes

The Mercy Girls

These young women enrolled in an influential Christian counseling center for help. That's not what they found.



  1. thank you for sharing this important article..
    it happened to my daughter. it happened to many
    other daughters. i speak as the mother of one.

  2. thank you for sharing this important article..
    it happened to my daughter. it happened to many
    other daughters. i speak as the mother of one.