Faith Healing
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Faith healing is healing purportedly through spiritual means. Believers assert that the healing of a person can be brought about by religious faith through prayer and/or rituals that, according to adherents, stimulate a divine presence and power toward correcting disease and disability.................................
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Spiritualism       
 is a system of belief which holds as a tenet the belief that contact is possible between the living and the spirits of the dead. For this reason, death, as an outcome of disease, may not seem as frightening to Spiritualists as it does to those who practice other religions. According to the 20th-century Spiritualist author Lloyd Kenyon Jones, "This does not mean that sickness is unreal. It is real enough from the mortal viewpoint. The spirit feels the pain, senses the discomfiture of the flesh-body, even though the spirit is not ill.

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........ Belief in divine intervention in illness or healing is related to religious belief.
In common usage, faith healing refers to notably overt and ritualistic practices of communal prayer and gestures (such as laying on of hands) that are claimed to solicit divine intervention in initiating spiritual and literal healing.

Claims that prayer, divine intervention, or the ministrations of an individual healer can cure illness have been popular throughout history. Miraculous recoveries have been attributed to many techniques commonly lumped together as "faith healing". It can involve prayer, a visit to a religious shrine, or simply a strong belief in a supreme being.

The term is best known in connection with Christianity. Some people interpret the Bible, especially the New Testament, as teaching belief in, and practice of, faith healing. There have been claims that faith can cure blindness, deafness, cancer, AIDS, developmental disorders, anemia, arthritis, corns, defective speech, multiple sclerosis, skin rashes, total body paralysis, and various injuries.

Unlike faith healing, advocates of spiritual healing make no attempt to seek divine intervention, instead believing in divine energy. The increased interest in alternative medicine at the end of the twentieth century has given rise to a parallel interest among sociologists in the relationship of religion to health.

The American Cancer Society states "available scientific evidence does not support claims that faith healing can actually cure physical ailments." "Death, disability, and other unwanted outcomes have occurred when faith healing was elected instead of medical care for serious injuries or illnesses." When parents use faith healing in the place of medical care, many children have died that otherwise would have been expected to live. Similar results are found in adults.
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In various belief systems

Faith Healing claims have been made by many religions and the sick have visited their shrines in hopes of recovery.

   I have visited Lourdes in France and Fatima in Portugal, healing shrines of the Christian Virgin Mary. I have also visited Epidaurus in Greece and Pergamum in Turkey, healing shrines of the pagan god Asklepios. the miraculous healings recorded in both places were remarkably the same. There are, for example, many crutches hanging in the grotto of Lourdes, mute witness to those who arrived lame and left whole. There are, however, no prosthetic limbs among them, not witnesses to paraplegics whose lost limbs were restored.
  —John Dominic Crossan
Christianity
Overview
One use of the term faith healing is in reference to the belief of some Christians that God heals people through the power of the Holy Spirit, often involving the laying on of hands. It is also called supernatural healing, divine healing, and miracle healing, among other things. In the Old Testament, Jehovah-Rapha, translated "I am the Lord your Physician" or "I am the Lord who heals you", is one of the seven redemptive names for Jehovah God. Healing in the Bible is often associated with the ministry of specific individuals including Elijah, Jesus and Paul.

Christian physician Reginald B. Cherry views faith healing as a pathway of healing in which God uses both the natural and the supernatural to heal. Being healed has been described as a privilege of accepting Christ's redemption on the cross.p:p.32 Pentecostal writer Wilfred Graves, Jr. views the healing of the body as a physical expression of salvation. Matthew 8:17 says, "This [Christ's ministry of healing] was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah, 53:5 (NKJV): 'He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.'" "Faith" in this context is based on biblical uses of the term. Faith has been called "the very nature of God." A classic definition of faith appears in the New Testament: "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen ..." (Hebrews 11:1) Charisma writer Larry Keefauver considers it important to distinguish between the faith aspect in seeking a cure and the divine source of the healing.[citation needed] Exodus 15:26 points to God as the source: "I am the Lord that heals you." "The truth is that God is the God who heals. Faith is trusting the God who heals. Faith is a radical, absolute surrender to the God who heals. Faith is not holding on for your healing but holding on to the God who can do the impossible."

Some Christian writers believe it extremely rare that God provides a supernatural intervention that actually reverses the natural laws governing the human body. Keefauver cautions against allowing enthusiasm for faith healing to stir up false hopes "so that a sufferer stakes all his or her faith on belief in miraculous healing at this level. We cannot build a water-tight theology promising physical healing, surely, for the most 'miracle-ridden' Christian will die in the end, yielding to the natural processes of senescence." Those who actively lay hands on others and pray with them to be healed are usually aware that healing may not always follow immediately. Proponents of faith healing say it may come later, but that it may not come at all.

New Testament
Parts of the four gospels in the New Testament say that Jesus cured physical ailments well outside the capacity of first-century medicine. Most dramatic perhaps is the case of "a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was not better but rather grew worse."[Mk 5:26-27] After healing her, Jesus tells her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace! Be cured from your illness."[Mk 5:34] At least two other times Jesus credited the sufferer's faith as the means of being healed: Mark 10:52 and Luke 19:10.

  • Jesus endorsed the use of the medical assistance of the time (medicines of oil and wine) when he praised the Good Samaritan for acting as a physician, telling his disciples to go and do the same thing that the Samaritan did in the story.

  • The healing in the gospels is referred to as a "sign"[Jn 6:2] to prove Jesus' divinity and to foster belief in him as the Christ.[Jn 4:48] However, when asked for other types of miracles, Jesus refused some[Mt 12:38] but granted others[Lk 9:38–43] in consideration of the motive of the request. Some theologians' understanding is that Jesus healed all who were present every single time.:p.61 Sometimes he determines whether they had faith that he would heal them.

  • Jesus told his followers to heal the sick and stated that signs such as healing are evidence of faith. Jesus also told his followers to "cure sick people, raise up dead persons, make lepers clean, expel demons. You received free, give free."[Mt 10:8] [10:8][Mk 16:17-18]

  • Jesus sternly ordered many who received healing from him: "Do not tell anyone!" Jesus did not approve of anyone asking for a sign just for the spectacle of it, describing such as coming from a "wicked and adulterous generation."[Mt 12:38-39]

  • The apostle Paul believed healing is one of the special gifts of the Holy Spirit,[1 Cor 12:9] and that the possibility exists that certain persons may possess this gift to an extraordinarily high degree.

  • In the New Testament Epistle of James,[5:14] the faithful are told that to be healed, those who are sick should call upon the elders of the church to pray over [them] and anoint [them] with oil in the name of the Lord.

  • The New Testament says that during Jesus' ministry and after his Resurrection, the apostles healed the sick and cast out demons, made lame men walk, raised the dead and did many other miraculous things.

Research
A study of beliefs about miraculous healing among the more religiously committed has indicated that there are significant differences in belief about miraculous healing even among people within the same denomination (Anglican). Researchers found that positive belief in faith healing was mainly a characteristic of conservative Christians, most especially those with charismatic experience. Belief about miraculous healing was seen as a subset of belief about health and well-being in general. Older people had less belief in miraculous healing or the sovereignty of God over illness, while those with experience of higher education had more inclusive beliefs about miraculous healing and saw human input as less important in the healing process. The study further showed that people with degrees or post-graduate qualifications can and do believe in the possibility of miraculous healing. No significant gender differences were noted.
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References
Thoughts about faith healing
Cancer.org
Who is Jesus
Biblegateway.com
Thefaithfulword.com
Wikipedia faith healing

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