The predatory claims of Daniel King.

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Daniel King, the worldwide evangelist and alleged healer I mentioned in a previous post, has a website advertising his books where he makes some claims that some might consider pretty spectacular. I thought in light of the post I made a few days ago, it might be worth following up with some more insight and thoughts on the matter. As a side note, I think its worth mentioning that Daniel King has responded to me a few times and engaged with me on these matters. This is a rarity and something that is appreciated. In a small way it sets him apart from the overwhelming majority of word-faith preachers, and I think this is a virtue worth being lauded.

In any case, let’s get to the thrust of the post, which is to review and comment on the promo page for a recent book that he wrote and some of the claims that he makes about not only his ability to heal, but the means and extent in which he heals.  The book is called “Healing Power”.  I would post the link, but after I spoke to Daniel about, the website was taken down and redirected.  It was healingpowerunlimited.com. If you can find it in the interweb achieves , anyone, please link in the comments so I can update this post with it.  I have saved the entire page, however, and will quote it verbatim.

In the first section, we see a few claims. We see him saying that the powerful truths that have cured thousands are available to “you” indiscriminately. If you buy his book, you will be the recipient of the knowledge of God’s healing power. You will learn that much of the secret of healing originates in Daniel Kings ideas, which he says he proved repeatedly. He also states that because he has witnessed countless miracles, he knows that the person buying this book will also be the recipient of a miracle

“To: YOU

From: Daniel King

Subject: How YOU can be HEALED!

Dear Friend,

EVERYONE needs healing in some area

For the last fifteen years of my life, I have intensely studied God’s Healing Power…I read over two hundred books on healing…I have tested and proved every one of my ideas in countless services on almost every continent in the world…I have personally witnessed thousands of miracles with my own eyes…and I KNOW God can perform a miracle in your life! In our services, blind eyes are opened…deaf ears hear…cancer is cured…the lame walk…bad backs are repaired…”

What part of your life needs healing? Is your body sick? Do you need healing from bitterness, fear, or loneliness? Have you ache from abuse in your past? Do your relationships need healing? Do you need spiritual, sexual, emotional, or physical healing? Do you suffer from Alcoholism, Allergies, AIDS, Arthritis, Asthma, Back Pain, Bleeding, Blindness, Bruises, Burns, Broken Bones, Cancer, Crippled Legs, Colds and Flu, Coughs, Curvature of the Spine, Depression, Diabetes, Deafness, Down’s Syndrome,  Eye Problems, Epilepsy, Fear, Fever, Heart problems, Tooth Aches, Infections, Infertility, Liver Problems, Lung problems, Mental illnesses, Skin Diseases, Sore throat, Sprains, Stomachaches, Smoking, Swelling, Growths, Tumors, Warts, Effects of Strokes, Ulcers, Uneven legs or any other physical ailment?”

We see that the miracles consist of curing major physical illness and life threatening conditions. We’re not simply talking about bad backs and leg lengthenings. If you have cancer, AIDS, Down Syndrome, blindness, or any other major problems, you do not have to suffer these anymore. You do not have to experience the pain, isolation, crushing financial burden, anxiety, fear or heartache that this must cause you or your loved one. Daniel King knows for a fact that you will be healed if you purchase this book.

Are you interested in discovering proven “step-by-step” secrets to DRAMATICALLY improving your health?

Would you like to learn how to QUICKLY receive the healing you need?

If so, I know you will find this book EXTREMELY valuable!

Because I’m going to show you what took me over fifteen years to perfect…a proven, “Battle-tested” system for tapping into God’s healing power…

Daniel King then gives us some testimonials of those who have been healed. To say they are vague and non-specific is generous.

In the Dominican Republic, a seven year old boy named Valintino who was born deaf and dumb was completely healed!

In Honduras, a deaf girl’s ears were instantly healed because of the secrets in this book.

In Sudan, Africa a blind baby was suddenly healed as his mother listened to my message.

In Brazil, a man jumped up out of a wheelchair and began running because of the truth he heard.

If you were sceptical up to this point, and you think of your mother dying of breast cancer in a hospice, your brother hooked up to a dialysis machine, your best friend wasting away from HIV, your father-in-law losing his mind to the ravages of dementia, or your young son battling leukemia, and you think this sounds too good to be true, Daniel King wants to allay your concerns and suspicions.

“This book is bare-bones facts about how to be healed…no nonsense about trying to figure out if it is God’s will to heal you…this book proves it is God’s will to heal you…and teaches you how to apply this truth to YOUR life.  Learn the healing secrets that work…both in receiving your own healing and in helping others to get healed.  If you have a friend in the hospital, don’t buy them a bouquet of useless flowers (roses won’t heal cancer) get them a copy of this book so your friend can LEAVE THE HOSPITAL.  Stop sitting around complaining about your aches and pains…learn some faith principles that are GUARANTEED by God to succeed.”

Stop complaining about your cancer and your friends and family suffering. That cold, helpless feeling you feel in the pit of your gut  is unwarranted, as its quite the simple process to take care of any frightening situation. All your loved ones need is a copy of the book. Don’t believe him yet? Well here are a few more objective, properly sourced, medically confirmed testimonials to convince you.

“The doctors found four tumors on my ovaries…after prayer I visited the doctor for another sonogram…the tumors disappeared!  – Woman in Brazil “

Whenever I start feeling sick I pull out your book “Healing Power” and re-read the stories about how God heals the sick…without fail, I feel better almost immediately.” – Man in Ohio

And another guarantee that everyone can be healed of anything

Now, Daniel King is on record sharing the facts on how anyone and everyone can be COMPLETELY healed.  You will learn in a few pages what many Bible school students have spent years studying.

We learn the benefits of what buying his book will do, which include courses on  “17 Secrets to Healing Power” and “the healing power of positive confession. If you buy this book and do what it says, you will see these benefits

Pain Free Living
Reduce Doctor’s Bills
Help Your Sick Friends or Family Members
This is not heavy reading…just bare-bones essentials to what you need to know to be healed.

We are then given another quick assurance which again attests to the secrets found within [notice that the term “secrets” is a major theme here]  Daniel King has discovered the secrets to perfect health, and in fact, he markets it as “healing insurance” so that you never get sick in the first place.

Everyone needs healing…but the reason so few are healed is because they don’t use any of the secrets in my book. If they knew and applied these faith building techniques, healing would quickly appear! Not only will this book help you get healed…it will also help you STAY HEALTHY. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Don’t wait until you get sick to turn to God…buy healing insurance today by using the valuable information in this book to build your faith for when tough times come.

So Daniel King has made some pretty astronomical claims, which could be summarized as follows “God will definitely, definitely, definitely cure and heal every sickness and disease if you buy this book, thereby allowing you to discover the secrets that I knows, and then apply them to your own life.” I imagine it is a great and awesome responsibility to bear- knowing that you have discovered secrets that are so profound and earth shattering, yet also being super easy to learn and can be done in a step-by-step process. Is Daniel King going to hospitals in North America and emptying them out? Is he going to the oncology department in a childrens hospital and imparting his gifts? What is he doing with this information?

Well, he’s selling it. Allow him to explain

“How much does the book cost? I’ll be honest with you…the truths in this book are not cheap by any means…it cost me tens of thousands of dollars to learn what is in this book…you can learn in a minute of reading how to activate what took me years to learn.

A single week in the hospital can cost thousands of dollars…insurance costs keep rising year after year…a visit to the doctor’s office can be extremely expensive…

The  wisdom in this book is worth thousands of dollars…but I’m making it available to you for just $19.99.”

A few things here. First, why did it cost Daniel tens of thousands of Dollars to learn these secrets? Are not all these secrets found in plain view in the Bible? Wouldn’t all the effort involve him simply reading the texts and doing what it says,  or are the secrets found in extra-biblical texts written by other human beings? Second of all, this strikes me as an implicit chastisement to all the people who are in hospitals being overwhelmed by hospital bills because they or they’re loved ones are battling debilitating illnesses. If only you were willing to pay 20$ for this book, you would have had healing insurance and you would  not gotten sick in the first place. Your husband wouldn’t  have gotten prostate cancer and your little girl wouldn’t have been born with down syndrome. Daniel King knows the secret to get everyone healed of anything, and he is willing to share his secret knowledge, but you have to pay for it first. No money, no miracle. Freedom from grief and pain isn’t free. It’ll cost you. 20 bucks.

“If you think that is too much, you can keep paying enormous doctor’s bills.

But, if you want healing in your life, sow a seed that will produce a miracle harvest. By selling this book, I’m not trying to get money FROM you, I am trying to get God’s blessing TO you.

If I did not believe these secrets would help heal you, I would not make them available to you. These are the most valuable ideas of my years in ministry…all in one place for you to access.”

This book is available as a free instant download. That means there are no production cost involved. He doesn’t have to pay for the paper, or the printing press, or the labor, or the overhead. He could easily make this a free download without costing him any money and more easily get this into the hands of those who need it most if he truly believes that they will be healed. But like he said, if you don’t want to pay 20 $ for it, then keep on paying your medical bills. Keep on selling your home and cashing in your kids savings funds and RRSP’s and 401k’s, all in a desperate bid to keep hope alive and to survive.

Once you order, you will be able to INSTANTLY download the entire book “Healing Power” to your computer as a pdf file…NO WAITING TIME…NO SHIPPING CHARGES… you can keep the book on your computer…or you can print a copy out for FREE if you want.

And there you go. That’s the end of his advertisement for his book. As nice as he comes across, as well meaning as he tries to be, as much as I appreciate him responding to me and trying to interact with me, this ultimately comes down to an issue of predation. Daniel King is a predator. He preys on the hope and desperate fear of people looking for a miracle and promises them the world, all the while delivering nothing. He preys on the destitute, the desperate, and the dying. It takes a special kind of  brazeness and audacity to prey on people this way, and to use this particular tactic. He promises them miracles in exchange for money. Blessings for bucks. Deliverance for dollars.  He promises things that he cannot and does not deliver, and he will not allow himself to have his claims seriously examined by his critics and by those who would disbelieve him. Its simply not believable, and this is just a small part of a larger whole of dangerous beliefs that he holds. Avoid at all costs.

I don’t believe in healing ministries or crusading faith healers

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I believe that God heals. I believe that the Lord, in his mercy, can do wondrous miracles. I believe that a man or woman can be healed from the most frightening, hopeless illnesses. I don’t think its common, but I believe it happens. That being said, I don’t believe any one person has a gift for healing, or that there is such thing as a healing ministry that actually heals anyone on a regular or semi-regular basis. Furthermore, I think the extreme vast majority of all so-called faith healers who hold huge crusades and rallies are all charlatans, and I don’t believe anyone is ever healed at those things.

Much of the reason for this is theological. At this point I won’t name their collective names so as not to detract from the point, but when I survey all the big name and many smaller names who are in the game and claiming to perform amazing miracles, I am struck by the non-coincidence that none of these men are sound in the faith. Instead, what you have is a rag-tag collection of prosperity-gospel heretics who are fleecing the flock in exchange for some impartation of very bad theology . While everyone in this crowd has a different tweak on how they preach and emphasize the gospel of health and wealth,  I would consider it a monstrous, demonic belief and the calling card of this particular brand of heretic.

In the scriptures, we see that whenever a miracle was done it was to support the message that was being preached, which invariably pointed to Christ and was always indirectly the repentance and the forgiveness of sins in the finished work of Christ. Heretics didn’t get to perform miracles. In the same way we don’t consider healings from witch doctors and shamans as being legitimate miracles from God,  so likewise do should we disregard these faith-healing prosperity preachers, whose message is just as useful and sanctified as the shamans is.  So whenever you hear some prosperity preacher telling you that you can get your miracle if you send him 10 bucks as a seed offering, or whatever, you know this is someone is in the process of slaughtering the sheep and who is not from God, and therefore does not have God’s power to do miracles through his name and through the shed blood of his Son.

But there is another, less theological and more practical point to consider. These men claim to have healed hundreds of thousands of people of every terrible, wasting, incurable illness and physical calamity known to man, but there is no proof. I’m not the first person to suggest this, but why not open up the crusade to journalists and other medical professionals? I’m going to pick on one person in this post, and that is Daniel King. Daniel King is a traveling evangelist/miracle worker who came out to speak to Fort McMurray a few years ago at the behest of a local church. When he’s not preaching convoluted messages about the gnostic secrets of Obed Edom, he has massive rallies where he claims that  says  he has healed thousands of people from ailments such as cancer, blindness, deafness, infertility, HIV and Aids, crippled legs, Down Syndrome, tumours, and every other affliction that a man could be burdened with.

So why not contact CNN, BBC, the New York Times, or some other major players in the industry and invite them out to the event? Invite them to bring their high definition cameras, recording equipment, broadband connection,  and grant them an all- access pass to be on stage, back stage,  or mingling with the crowds and being wherever they want to be. Let them come with their equipment, their manpower, their sceptics, and then promote the hell out of this thing. Run full-page ads in every newspaper for a month. Rent TV time to run ads during primetime television. Start an on-line media blitz using every social-media means you can muster.

And then start the revival.

And then start the healings.

You could invite the best and brightest of the scientific world to attend- men and women from the most renowned universities and think-tanks in the world. You could also invite the most hardened sceptics to observe and interact with the crowd and with those being healed. They could stream the entire thing, with commentary, to hundreds of millions of people around the world who could then witness these amazing miracles being done in the name of God.

After all, Jesus and the apostles did their miracles publicly. Their miracles were done to believers and non-believers, in the presence of believers and non-believers, and the reality of their healing was without dispute. In the scriptures, no one was questioning that the miracles had taken place. Instead the sceptics and unbelievers were left grappling for explanations as to how this could be done. Can Daniel King not do the same thing? The doctors could examine the people right before they go on stage, the journalists could talk to their friends and families and their own family physicians, and then Daniel King could do his thing and heal this person who has so much faith. Once healed, the doctors could examine the newly minted recipient of miracles. They could run some quick tests and see what physical transmogrification has taken place, confirm for the world that these indeed were all legitimate healing, and then after that they could stick around for a few days after to do follow up and make sure all the proof is in good order, which would then lend even more credibility to what has transpired.

Wouldn’t that blow the world up? Wouldn’t that set the world on fire for God? Invite the New Atheist out to the party and see what happens when the power of God and his miraculous healing falls on people in a way that has them disbelieving their own eyes.  Wouldn’t that absolutely shake to the core the spiritual state of the world? They could put it up on YouTube and the Atheists, Agnostics, Muslim, Hindus, and every other non-Christian group out there would witness first hand the power of the true and living God, confronting them in a way that they could never deny, and opening the floodgates to give an unbelieving world something to believe in?

We could take this out of the context of secrecy and suspicion. Instead of telling people about some guy you know who know a guy who knows a missionary who raised someone from the dead somewhere “in Africa”, we could say “God is all powerful, and his son Jesus Christ proved he was God by being raised from the dead. And as a sign of his power and great might, we are going to perform some miracles, so you can see the power of the one true God, and these miracles will confirm our message and the gospel we preach, which is that whoever repentant of their sins and outs their faith in Christ will be saved.” and then in front of hundreds of millions of people- Daniel King can do what he does best- he can perform these miraculous acts of healing, in the same way and same vein as the thousands upon thousands he has claimed in the name of Jesus to have done.

What do you say, Daniel King and the rest of the faith healing gang? You’ve been quoting us John 14:12 for years, and saying that we can do greater things than Jesus. What on earth could possibly be stopping you from implementing this and reaching half the world for Christ in one, single, solitary day?

Great David Platt Quote

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“The lesson I learned is that the war against materialism in our hearts is exactly that: a war. It is constant battle to resist the temptation to have more luxuries, to acquire more stuff, and to live more comfortably. It requires strong and steady resolve to live out in the gospel in the middle of an American dream that identifies success as moving up the ladder, getting the bigger house, purchasing the nicer car, buying the better clothes, eating the finer food, and acquiring more things…The way we use our money is a barometer of our present spiritual condition. Our neglect of the poor illustrates much about where our hearts lie. But even more than that, the way we use our money is an indicator of our eternal destination. The mark of Christ followers is that their hearts are in heaven and their treasures are spent there” David Platt: Radical

Rethink : When healing in the New Testament diminshed

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It seems that in the early days of the Church, in its infancy and newness, miracles and other signs and wonders were plentiful. There was a need for authenticating signs to accompany the Apostles’ ministry, and we see a fair number of examples. Peter walked by people and his shadow healed them.  Stephen healed. Barnabas healed. Phillip healed. The other apostles healed.

And Paul healed as well. As one example.

“And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them.” Acts 19:12-13. 50-52 AD

But then there is a shift. Near the end of Paul’s ministry, some 15 years after the events of Acts 19 and over 30 years after Jesus had died- near the time when the Apostles had all but perished and the fledgling movement had become firmly established,  we see something else.

“Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. Erastus remained at Corinth, and I left Trophimus, who was ill, at Miletus”. 2 Timothy 4:19-20. 65-66 AD

 “Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. (No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.”) 1 Timothy 5:22-23. 62-64 AD

“I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.” Phillipians 2:26-27. 61-63 AD

We see that Paul, who possessed apostolic power to do signs and wonders and mighty deeds,  could not, or did not, in the course of that time, heal Timothy or Trophimus or Epaphroditus. Whereas in the first half of the scriptural timeline we see that everyone is getting healed, whether they were believers or unbelievers- faithful or faithless, in the later half we see several people who are not getting healed and this gift seemingly being withdrawn. We see illness, disease, and sickness becoming a permanent reality in the life of the Church and congregations as the Church had become established and the need to have authenticating messages subsided and eventually ceased. This fits in well with other bible verses and other arcs of the narrative.

I do believe in healings as a rare, uncommon occurrence, but I also believe that the early overflow of Apostles in the Bible were unique in the history of the church. Once their ministry was accomplished, the need for authenticating signs ceased to exist, and this wholesale, common and frequent signs and wonders has ended.

How I learned to speak in tongues, and then resolved to never do it again. Part 2 of [3!]

Part I here

The days passed and the months came. Those experiences had taken a spiritual toll on me and I began to withdraw myself from Church functions and other ecclesial events. I had become a youth leader at the Church I was attending. Whereas initially I had been  outwardly enthusiastic and committed, inside my mind was roiling. I began to grow non-committal and distant. I was the one guy who didn’t speak in tongues. I was the one guy who couldn’t get it together. I was singled out by the Lord as unworthy of his gift and unworthy to communicate with him in this manner. Hell, I probably wasn’t even saved. The impact that had on me was devastating, and it meant I had to live a lie for a long time.

During Church services we usually had people come up and give prophetic messages. They would say “Thus says the Lord our God…..” and then proceed to give a message in tongues. Sometimes we would leave it at that and the pastor would thank them and we would continue as normal. Other times he would tell us that God told him that someone here had the interpretation, and the service would grind to a halt until someone spoke it.  Oftentimes I thought I had the interpretation. I was taught that after someone gives a word, if you clear your mind and focus on the words, that a thought would pop into your head. That thoughts was almost always the interpretation, and that we should stand and give it. I had spiritual things mulling around in my head during those times, and one time I ventured a guess. I stood up and said [approximately] “Thus says the Lord, I love my people and I am pleased with their worship.” And then I sat down as fast as I could. The Pastor stared at me from across the room, and then said “That was good, but that was not the message that the Lord wanted to give us. Anybody else?”

I sat there with my ears red and my face burning, stewing in my own shame. After a few minutes one of the women elders in the Church, our go-to interpreter, stood up and said [approximately] “Thus says the Lord, I am coming to do a new thing. I am coming like a flood to wash away your impurities, so long as you walk in the new things. You cannot put new wine in old wine skins, and you can’t put old patches on a new shirt. So come to be and give me your hearts, humble yourselves and seek my face, and I will heal your land and bring prosperity.”

I was mortified that I had gotten the message wrong. Later during my midweek discipleship time with the pastor he told me that I was acting in the flesh when I stood up, because it didn’t make sense that someone who couldn’t speak in tongues could interpret those tongues, as only “spiritual could interpret spiritual.” I never ventured an interpretation again.

Then one day during Friday night youth group something happened. March of 2004., It was my practice that however long the youth service lasted, I would arrive early and pray for a corresponding length of time.  During the prayers I felt troubled and uneasy. Agitated and mentally wandering. Probably the best description would be “angst”. My heart felt like it would overflow and burst with angst and recreancy. The service began and I sat there, leaning with my back against the wall, listening to a few praise songs, then watching and brooding as the worship leader began to lead a song in tongues.  Disappointment and disillusionment welled up and broke the dam. Even my worship was defective. Deficient. Incomplete. Inadequate. Flawed. The hollow ache finally overcame me and I wept. Weeping and sobbing out of sheer frustration and futility. One of my friends came and put his hand on my shoulder, probably surmising that I was having an encounter with God, when the exact opposite was true. It was an awful, tortuous experience.

Then, in one last ditch effort, I bit my tongue as hard as I could, and blurted out something, anything.  In my mind it was my final effort to speak in tongues. Sheer desperation. I was tired of crying. tired of trying little speaking in tongue tricks. Tired of trying to make my mouth and lips do things they wouldn’t do. Tired of trying to force the issue. Tired of the constant awareness of inadequacy. So here it was- my final offering upon the altar of God’s  faithlessness and indifference.

Out it came.

I was saying the words “God forgive me, God forgive me” over and over again, and I could think myself saying them, but I heard other words come out of my mouth. It wasn’t English or a language that I knew, but something altogether different.  It bubbled forth and spilled out of me. It sounded like “Sundaya-kasho-run-daya sho-ko-tototo”. Even all this time later I can still repeat those words and feel the familiarity wash over me. I gasped. The music was blaring from the front and I could feel the fuzzy reverb bouncing inside my chest. I was hot and sweaty and exhausted,  but all of a sudden I felt alive. Given over to reckless abandon and joy. I stopped speaking, waited a few seconds, then tried to say something again. I tried to say “Is this for real?” but all I could say, in my state of exhilaration and rapturous wonder  was “shandya-ra-so-tototo-shun-da” .

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To be continued…