Healer? Heal Thyself!
by Sandy Simpson, 11/14/00


A good subtitle for this article might be "Practice What You Preach!"  There is no doubt that God can and does heal people today.  But the false doctrines of the Word-Faith Movement about "declaring" healing, "name-it-and-claim-it", etc. have been proven to be lies by the very people who sell this deceit.  If you don't know about where these famous "faith healers" go when they need healing, you may be surprised.  Why couldn't they heal themselves when they purported to be able to heal others by virtue of their superior faith?

The following examples are listed alphabetically.  We will keep adding as self-proclaimed "healers" keep getting sick and/or dying.

Do the math.  Be a Berean.  Learn to discern!


A.A. ALLEN

An acknowledged divine healer and exorcist died from alcohol abuse.

At the entrance to Miracle Valley (A.A.Allen's 1,280 acre community) was a huge sign that made it plain just what was going on in that neck of the desert. In red and gold, it proclaimed: A.A.ALLEN REVIVALS, INC., MIRACLE VALLEY, ARIZONA. The Blind to See. The Deaf to Hear. The Lame To Walk. SIGNS. GIFTS. WONDERS. (James Randi, The Faith Healers, 1989, p.83-85)

Interestingly enough, A. A. Allen claimed thousands upon thousands of healings, and himself died of sclerosis of the liver in 1967 (actually 1970), having secretly been involved with alcohol for many years while supposedly being able to heal everybody else. (John McArthur, Does God Still Heal, Grace Community Church in Panorama City, California, transcribed from the tape, GC 90-60, titled "Charismatic Chaos" Part 9)

John McArthur later acknowledged the error in the above quote that A.A. Allen actually died in 1970.  Here is an e-mail I received to clarify A.A. Allen's death certificate:

I need to bring to your attention that A.A. Allen did not pass away in 1967. Rather, he passed away on Thursday, June 11, 1970. I realize that John MacArthur indicates that Allen passed away in 1967, but they've acknowledged that error. On A.A. Allen's death certificate, it says he died of "cardiac arrest", not sclerosis of the liver caused by alcoholism. (Rev. David Vivas, Tue, 9 Jan 2001 07:18:33 +0800)

Though Allen's death certificate indicated he died of "cardiac arrest" there were numerous reports in 1970 that he died of complications due to liver disease.

In 1970 Allen died from what "news accounts report [as] sclerosis of the liver." (Reported in "New Revival Tent Dedicated in Philadelphia," Miracle Magazine, pg. 15; quoted in Harrell, 202) One writer describes Allen's cause of death as "cirrhosis" of the liver (see Gary L. Ward, "Allen, Asa Alonzo," in J. Gordon Melton, Religious Leaders of America [Detroit: Gale Research, 1991], 9)

In any case, this self-proclaimed "healer" could not heal himself.


JAMIE BUCKINGHAM

Discipleship Movement & charismatic author - died of cancer. Jamie's too was under a medical doctors care.


WILLLIAM BRANHAM

There is another one who succumbed to ailments and that is a man by the name of William Branham, and if you study anything about the healing movement you are going to come across the name of William Branham. He would be the father of the post World War II healing revival. He was a man reputed to have been instrumental in some of the most spectacular healings that the Pentecostals
have ever seen. He died, however, in 1965 at age 56, after suffering for six days from injuries received in an automobile accident. His theology was unbiblical and heretical, and of course when applied to himself his theology of healing had no effect whatsoever, though his followers right to the end, were confident God was going to raise him up. And even after he died they believed that God would raise him from the dead. (John McArthur, Does God Still Heal, Grace Community Church in Panorama City, California, transcribed from the tape, GC 90-60, titled "Charismatic Chaos" Part 9)


CHARLES CAPPS

Word of Faith teacher, teaches power of our words to create reality - his wife got cancer and was medically treated.

I don't deny the existence of disease. I deny the right of that disease to exist in this body, because I'm the Body of Christ." (Capps, The Tongue, pg. 43)

I guess Chuck's wife must have not spoken the right magic words to keep the cancer from her body.


JACK COE

An acknowledged divine healer died from polio.

(Coe) warned followers "that the day would come when those who consulted physicians would have to take the mark of the beast." Coe (subsequently) became critically ill with bulbar polio ... (and) took the "mark of the beast" and was admitted to the hospital. (Hank Hanegraaff, Counterfeit Revival, 1997, pg. 137 citing Harrell, All Things Are Possible, 101)


DR. HOBART FREEMAN

Word of Faith teacher & pastor of Faith Assembly - over 90 people died in his church following his teaching and then Hobart died due to a medically treatable disease.

I personally respect Hobart & his misguided followers. They actually took the teachings of the WOF movement to their logical conclusion. They stood on the "promises" alone and believed in their doctrine enough to face painful deaths instead of refusing to deny what they believed. Hobart Freeman is the most chilling testimony of the complete bankruptcy of the WOF errors. If WOF teachings were true they would have certainly worked for Hobart and the 90+ people who died in "faith believing." (BTW - Hobart is a name NONE of the WOF'ers mention, he was too serious about the teachings). (Robert Liichow, Sick Healers)

After a 15 year old girl whose parents belong to Faith Assembly, died of a medically treatable malady, the parents were convicted of negligent homicide and sentenced to ten years in prison. Freeman himself was charged with aiding and inducing reckless homicide in the case. Shortly afterward, on December 8, 1984, Freeman himself died, interestingly enough of pneumonia and heart failure complicated by a severely ulcerated leg.

Hobart Freeman's theology did not allow him to acknowledge that Polio had left one of his legs disfigured and lame. Quote, he said, "I have my healing." And that is all he would say when anyone pointed out the rather conspicuous inconsistency between his physical disabilities and his theology. Ultimately, his refusal to acknowledge his infirmities cost him his life. He had dutifully, according to his own theology, refused all medical treatment for the maladies that were killing him, and medical science could easily have prolonged his life, but in the end he was a victim of his own teaching. (John McArthur, Does God Still Heal, Grace Community Church in Panorama City, California, transcribed from the tape, GC 90-60, titled "Charismatic Chaos" Part 9)


KEITH GRAYTON

Prophetic Movement - died of the complications of AIDS. He spoke at our Church in Detroit, and declared he was totally healed. He died a year or so later.


KENNETH HAGIN

"Father" of the Word of Faith Movement - sister died of cancer.  Hagin’s great faith and special anointing could not keep her on the planet.


BUDDY HARRISON

Kenneth E. Hagin’s son-in-law, died of cancer Dec. 1999.  Dad Hagin’s "special healing anointing" (read I Believe In Visions by Hagin) could not help his own family member.


RUTH WARD HEFLIN

A self-proclaimed power preacher and healer, Heflin's untimely death of cancer made more news.  A Religious News Service story reported: "Revivalist Ruth Ward Heflin Dead at 60. -- Revivalist Ruth Ward Heflin, known for her role in the so-called "gold dust" revival involving churches across the globe, died Friday (9/15/00) at a Richmond, VA hospital.  Heflin, who had suffered from cancer for several months was 60. ... She directed the Calvary Pentecostal Campground in Ashland, VA which was founded by her parents in the 1050s and later led by her brother, Wallace, who died in 1997. (The Christian News, 9/25/00, pg. 10 as cited in "The Life And Times Of Golden Girl And Globetrotter Ruth Ward Heflin, by G. Richard Fisher, Personal Freedom Outreach, The Quarterly Journal, January-March, 2001, pg. 5)

Heflin suffered a broken ankle in an automobile accident last year.  In April, doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer that already had spread to her bones.  Heflin underwent a mastectomy on April 25, but refused chemotherapy or further cancer treatment because she said the Lord told her to refuse, according to Connie Wilson, her personal assistant. (Renee DeLoriea, "Ruth Ward Heflin, Revivalist and Prayer Minister, Dies At Age 60.", Charisma Magazine, November 2000, pg. 21)


BENNY HINN

Benny Hinn is no stranger to mishap and sickness, yet he preaches that those who truly have "faith" will have no need of money and will be without sickness.  Since Hinn boasts of having a superior "anointing" and even claimed to be "a little messiah" and "a little god", why is it that he cannot heal himself or his family?  Two cases in point.

The (airplane) accident occurred in Avon Park, Fla. (south of Orlando) on (Thursday morning) May 26, 1983, at approximately 12:35 a.m. Hinn, along with his wife, Suzanne, a pilot and co-pilot, and two other passengers were returning to Orlando from a religious service held Wednesday evening in
Naples. Approximately 20 minutes from Orlando, the aircraft experienced power loss due to "fuel starvation." The pilot turned the plane around and attempted to land at the nearest available airport, Avon Park Municipal Airport. Due to the loss of power the aircraft hit several trees during its landing approach and crashed into a field about 200-300 yards short of the runway. The plane had flipped over from impact, lying on its topside.

The Orlando Sentinel newspaper reported all six occupants were injured and admitted to the hospital.  Five remained in the hospital for treatments. The Avon Park News Sun reported the following information on Hill:

"Hill was the most seriously injured person in the crash, having to be transported to Florida Hospital in Orlando for plastic surgery. ... Reports have it that Hill suffered serious injuries to the head in the accident.  He was never admitted to Walker Memorial Hospital as were the other passengers, as he was transferred almost immediately. ... The Hinns were transferred from Walker Memorial to Florida Hospital so they could be closer to their homes."

The Avon Park paper also reported Hinn "said he was in a state of shock" and that he said "It will be the last time I will ever fly in one of these (single engine airplane) again." Hinn did not report any miracles at the scene, neither did the newspapers, sheriff, other victims or witnesses to the crash.  The Florida Hospital in Orlando confirmed the admission and stay of both Hinn and his wife, Suzanne.  Their records show both were admitted on May 26, 1983, with Benny released on May 28 and Suzanne on May 29. (SOURCE: The Confusing World Of Benny Hinn, Fisher & Goedelman, pg. 60, emphasis ours)

Another fact to take into account is that Suzanne Hinn has been reported to have been suffering from mental problems for a number of years and has been on medications.  I have this on authority from some private sources.  You can also see evidence of this from her behavior captured on videos, especially the now infamous "Holy Ghost enema" rant.  She was also arrested for shoplifting in South Africa.

“Prosecutor Brandon Lawrence told the Cape Times that although he believed he had a strong case against Penny Hinn, he had dropped the serious charges because the court roll was full. . . The Benny Hinn Ministries in Florida, US, yesterday at first declined to comment on the matter, preferring instead to answer questions in writing. However, when pressed further a woman at the ministry… said pastor Hinn was married to Suzanne. This is the name Hinn says she uses in the US. He [the prosecutor] had earlier considered sending her for psychiatric evaluation. Hinn, who describes herself as a religious person, was arrested at Edgars Store in Adderley Street on December 4 and released on R1,000 bail for allegedly stealing two sets of ladies pajamas.” (sic) (Source: The Cape Times, Cape Town South Africa. Article from Court Reporter, Motshidisi Mokwena)

At the end of (the Godstuff) clip she is shouting and making gestures like a charging bull, charging across the platform back and forth and then sliding to a stop on her belly across the floor. She remained there apparently "slain in the spirit" for several minutes as Hinn's Assistant Pastor explained to visitors of the Orlando Christian Center what this strange behavior was supposedly about. (Video Source: Comedy Central, The Daily Show: Godstuff,28.8K Clip, 56k Clip)

That she suffers from mental problems is without doubt.  Is she also suffering demonic episodes?  You have to wonder. In either case, no healing has come miraculously for the Hinns through Benny.  I thought Hinn was the "man of faith"!

Hinn also prophesied in a crusade in Hawaii in 1997 that the Lord told him he would live to be 96 years old.  Only time will tell, but judging from the untimely deaths of most faith healers it is highly doubtful he will last that long.  If Hinn cannot heal himself and his wife, what makes him expect he can live long enough to heal anyone else?


E.W. KENYON

E.W. Kenyon studied at the Emerson College of Oratory in Boston which was a hotbed at the time for the emerging New age thought. They imagined they have discovered laws of faith, promoting a Christianized version of occultism. Kenyon had divorced his wife even when he taught that what one speaks they will possess. E.W Kenyon who is certainly the Father of the Word of Faith Movement taught divine healing and that it was always God's will to heal. But he died in a coma, brought on by a malignant tumor.  He died from disease. (Mike Oppenheimer, Let Us Reason Ministries, Death By Faith, http://www.letusreason.org/Wf25.htm)


KATHRYN KUHLMAN

An acknowledged divine healer died from heart disease in Ann Arbor Michigan.

Kathryn Kuhlman died of heart failure in 1976, curiously enough. She had battled heart disease for nearly twenty years, and that statement is made by Jamie Buckingham who would have been one of her disciples. (John McArthur, Does God Still Heal, Grace Community Church in Panorama City, California, transcribed from the tape, GC 90-60, titled "Charismatic Chaos" Part 9)


AIMEE SEMPLE MCPHERSON

An acknowledge divine healer - died of a barbiturate overdose. Why was she taking pills in the first place? Wasn't the "peace" of God enough for her?

Sister Aimee died of a barbiturate overdose in 1944. (The Interactive Bible, 1998)

While the Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements deals with the controversial aspects of "Sister Aimee's" life -- her mysterious disappearances and alleged affairs, multiple marriages (two of which ended in divorce), and death from an apparent drug overdose -- it is strangely silent about her theatrical preoccupation with the slain in the spirit phenomenon. (Hank Hanegraaff, Counterfeit Revival, 1997, 168)


JOYCE MEYERS

Almost the majority of the known healers went for some kind of treatment from medical professionals. This was in spite of all their claims of miracles and the practice of their "positive confession" faith. Even Joyce Meyers did, and she was honest to admit that she had breast cancer and was medically treated. One of the few honest admissions. (Mike Oppenheimer, Let Us Reason Ministries, Death By Faith, http://www.letusreason.org/Wf25.htm)


DAISY OSBORN

T.L. Osborn's wife also, regrettably died of cancer several years ago.


JOHN OSTEEN

Word of Faith mega-church pastor in Houston - his wife, Dodie got liver cancer and through the mercy of God and medical attention survived.

John Osteen himself passed away a little over a year ago due to several medical conditions.  His church "confessed" his healing and he himself had stated that God told him he would be preaching in the pulpit in his 90's.  Osteen died in his 70's.

One of the more recent sad stories was John Osteen who was a pastor in Houston of a mega-church, who had kidney dialysis in late 1998. He also had a heart catheterization in August that determined all was well with his heart at that time. Later on doctors performed surgery to put in a pacemaker for his heart.  Pastor Osteen knew "he was in need of a miracle." He claimed God had given him Psalm 27:14. Requests went out to his friends to wait on the Lord with him, and agree with him for a creative miracle for his kidneys and his heart.  They agreed with the Psalmist in Psalm 41of the Lords deliverance and protection to keep him alive. He will transform  his illness. He will raise him up! The "Lord" gave him a vision that he would be preaching into his 90's. Osteen "confessed," his healing and 20,000 members in his church stood in "agreement" with him for his recovery. They believed he would have his miracle just like his wife Dodie received her miracle  (Dodie his wife got liver cancer and was treated through medical attention).  But unfortunately did not happen. (Mike Oppenheimer, Let Us Reason Ministries, Death By Faith, http://www.letusreason.org/Wf25.htm)


ROD PARSLEY

It is reported that this up-and-coming Word-Faith prosperity teacher has recently been admitted to a hospital for back surgery.  There go all his claims of being able to "name it and claim it"!  And it doesn't stop there, according to G. Richard Fisher of Personal Freedom Outreach:

To say that Jesus had to suffer all our diseases on the cross is an old error referred to as healing in the atonement. While healing is in the atonement in the ultimate sense (Romans 8 and Revelation 21), the full benefits of glorified, deathless bodies will only be realized in heaven. We owe everything (all spiritual and physical blessings) to the atonement of Jesus but we do not receive all of those blessings right now. Scripture makes that abundantly clear. Parsley has evidence in his own home that his teaching on healing is off-base — his son Austin has been diagnosed “with Asperger's syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism.” God has provided evidence of Parsley’s own errors but for whatever reason he refuses to see it. It is sad that Parsley can so compartmentalize that he lays teaching on his followers but has a different reality at home. Parsley shared in a sermon televised last June 4 that his son was diagnosed at the Cleveland Clinic and reports while he is making improvement, “we're not all the way out of the woods but we're on our way.”

Parsley has since claimed that his son, Austin, has been completely healed of Asperger's syndrome. However, since his son is never brought on his father's TV program, it is still to be confirmed that Austin has had any "healing" at all apart from traditional treatments and programs since the diagnosis at Cleveland Clinic.  The question remains ... why would Parsley need medical practitioners to diagnose his son when God is supposed to heal him immediately when Parsley commands Him to?

Added to that is the fact that as much as Parsley rants about God's Kingdom come in our body, he still has a deaf section and a signer in his church. As kindly as we can, we say, physician heal thyself. (Personal Freedom Outreach, Rod Parsley - The Raging Prophet", 1999)

Parsley, in his book, Renamed and Redeemed, states that: “Jesus is not sick - I don't have to be sick!” (Rod Parsley, Renamed and Redeemed. Columbus, Ohio: Results Publishing, 1991, pg. 15)

Isn't it time for Parsley to admit that he cannot speak his own healing into being, as he and so many of the Word-Faith teachers declare?


BISHOP EARL PAULK

I have it from a reliable source that Earl Paulk has been to see Rod Parsley because of Paulk's illness and that he is close to death's door.  Apparently he is seeking healing and does not want to die.  Perhaps he should heed his own heretical message:

"We have received the earnest of the EXPECTATION through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but we must move on to the POSSESSION, which is overcoming the last enemy, death. Sometimes the interpretation has been made that Jesus Christ conquered death, but if that were so, why would Paul's epistle to the Corinthians, written at least ninety years later, say that the last enemy that SHALL be destroyed is death (I Corinthians 15:26)? JESUS CHRIST CONQUERED DEATH INDIVIDUALLY,
BUT IT IS LEFT TO THE CHURCH TO CONQUER DEATH ON A CORPORATE BASIS.. "
(Earl Paulk, "The Proper Function of the Church" (Atlanta: K Dimension Publishers, undated), p.13, emphasis in the original)


FREDRICK K. PRICE

Word of Faith mega-church pastor in Los Angeles - his wife, Betty got cancer and was medically treated (chemo-therapy) and by the mercy of God was patched up.

"If you need a crutch upon or something to help you get along, then praise God, hobble along until you get your faith moving to the point that you don't need a crutch." (Price, How Faith Works pg. 92)

" ... how can you glorify God in your body, when it doesn't function right? How can you glorify God? How can He get glory when your body doesn't even work? ... What makes you think the Holy Ghost wants to live inside a body where He can't see out through the windows and He can't hear with the ears? What makes you think the Holy Spirit wants to live inside of a physical body where the limbs and the organs and the cells do not function right? ... And what makes you think He wants to live in a temple where He can't see out of the eyes, and He can't walk with the feet, and He can't move with the hand? ... The only eyes that he has that are in the earth realm are the eyes that are in the body. If He
can't see out of them then God's gonna be limited ..." (Frederick K.C. Price, "Is God Glorified Through Sickness?" (Los Angeles: Crenshaw Christian Center, n.d.), audiotape #FP605)

So the Holy Spirit was not "living" in Betty while she was sick?  I guess after all the years of sitting under "anointed" faith teaching by one of the movements leading faith teachers was not enough for Fred's wife - she needed a doctor after all.


ORAL ROBERTS

If someone says they are having heart trouble and they deny this symptom claiming their healing by faith they could die. A perfect example of this is when Oral Roberts was on Paul Crouch on "Praise the Lord" show on TBN (October 6, 1992).  I watched as Crouch was asked to lay hands on Oral Roberts to minister to his chest  pains, Roberts exclaimed, "I feel the healing power of Jesus!" and said it felt like an "electric current go through him." Paul you are anointed. Oral Roberts was pronounced healed on TBN. But was he really? It was reported less than four hours later, while visiting a home in Newport Beach, Roberts felt more pains and was hospitalized at Hoag Presbyterian Memorial Hospital (also in Newport Beach), shortly after midnight. Subsequent articles report that Roberts' heart attack was "near fatal." ("Evangelist Has Tests," The Orange County [CA] Register [Dec.16 1992], A-7) the healing evangelist now has a pacemaker ("Roberts Out of Hospital," The Orange County [CA] Register (2l December 1992), A-30). Of course this is ignored by the crowds following his doctrine. One can only wonder why?


R.W. SCHAMBACH

Faith Healer - got a quadruple heart bypass (from a real live human doctor)

"You don't have any problems, all you need is faith in God." (R.W. Schambach, TBN)

Maybe so, but isn't it nice that He has provided doctors too? Without them, R.W. would have long ago faced his judgment.


RUTH CARTER STAPLETON

Another one that comes to mind, Ruth Carter Stapleton, was the Faith Healing sister of former United States President Jimmie Carter. [She] refused medical treatment for cancer because of her belief in faith healing. She died of the disease in 1983. (John McArthur, Does God Still Heal, Grace Community Church in Panorama City, California, transcribed from the tape, GC 90-60, titled "Charismatic Chaos" Part 9)


MACK TIMBERLAKE

Word of Faith pastor - suffering from throat cancer, getting medical attention.


DAVID WATSON

A corollary of this is that for Christians, death is a defeat.  This, in fact, is what Wimber claimed with regard to the death of David Watson, the British charismatic leader, despite (Wimber's) repeated prayers for healing. There is no place in Wimber's theology for seeing death as positive, as going to meet the Lord, or for godly dying, in which Christians look forward in peace to being with Christ and their departed loved ones. (Cf. David Watson, Fear No Evil: One Man Deals With Terminal Illness (Wheaton, IL: Harold Shaw Publishers, 1985 as cited by Paul G. Heibert in Healing And The Kingdom)


JOHN WIMBER

Signs & Wonders Movement, author of "Power Healing"

Wimber claimed, "It's God's nature to heal not to teach us through sickness. Sickness is generally not beneficial." (Benn and Burkill, p. 102 as cited by Paul G. Heibert in Healing And The Kingdom)

And even John Wimber, who would be probably the most prominent modern contemporary Third Wave healer, struggles with chronic angina and heart problems. He begins his book on Power Healing with a personal note. This is what it says; quoting John Wimber, he says,

"I had what doctors later suspected were a series of coronary attacks. When we returned home a series of medical tests confirmed my worst fears, I had a damaged heart, possibly seriously damaged. Tests indicated that my heart was not functioning properly, a condition complicated and possibly caused by high blood pressure. These problems combined with my being overweight and overworked meant that I could die at any time."  (John McArthur, Does God Still Heal, Grace Community Church in Panorama City, California, transcribed from the tape, GC 90-60, titled "Charismatic Chaos" Part 9)

Wimber ultimately died from a hemorrhage as a result of a long battle with cancer. He too, was medically treated - no "power" healing for him, only chemo-therapy.


These people were all leaders in the field of divine healing, they allegedly got "results" and yet many of them have suffered and as well as died from medical problems. How can this be? Why couldn't their fellow faith-healers get them healed? The answer? - Because NONE of these folks EVER HEALED ANYBODY! They were frauds and con-men/women who DID NOT PRACTICE WHAT THEY PREACHED. When the chips were down where did they go? To the next tent meeting or miracle crusade? NO! They ran to their private highly paid physicians and surgeons! (Robert Liichow, Sick Healers)


ENDNOTE:  I must acknowledge that I obtained a lot of information and direct quotes from a few excellent articles.  The first one is entitled "Sick Healers" by Robert Liichow at Inner City Discernment Ministries.  The second is an article called "Death By Faith" by Mike Oppenheimer of Let Us Reason Ministries.  I am in their debt for a lot of good research.  Please read their original articles for more information.