The battle for healing in Britain

The battle for faith in the public square currently has an interesting twist to it in the UK. It’s not just about who can (or can’t) be married. There is a contest for the freedom of Christians to practice their faith in regard to healing. Now admittedly there are significant differences within the Christian church about this, but there remains a significant proportion (myself included) who think it is perfectly reasonable to believe that God heals today.

Anyway, this area has been given fresh prominence by three British MPs writing to the ASA about their injunction against churches offering prayer for healing in public. I have some history here, as the church I previously led had a run-in with the ASA over this very issue. (You can read about it here). Since that happened over three years ago, I’ve personally spoken with half a dozen other churches who have had the same thing. It would be interesting to find out how many churches the ASA have ruled against. Just by searching for the word ‘church’ it shows at least 8 adjudications against churches all for offering healing. The ASA don’t really have any teeth against a local church and it seems that Acts 4:18-21 is a relevant text here.

Unsurprisingly in secular rags like the Guardian the response is pretty scathing (NB: some offensive language in this article) but it again highlights the challenge that Christians have. Water our faith down to nothing and there’s no problem, actually believe and well, that’s another story!

What I would genuinely like to see is atheists engage with healing testimonies and come up with a more compelling explanation. Take this one for example

3 thoughts on “The battle for healing in Britain”

  1. God and Politics UK says:

    It’s fair enough that if you claim that a product WILL do certain things then you should be required to provide hard evidence.  The ASA is not allowing churches to say that they BELIEVE God can heal and this is curtailing freedom of speech.  It’s not as if Healing on the Streets groups and churches have no examples of healings, in fact they have plenty.  The ASA want scientific evidence which of course churches can never provide as you can’t test God and miracles through scientific experiments, because only God can replicate miracles, not scientists.

    The sensible thing would be for the ASA to let people state their beliefs and let the public make up their own minds, but instead they come across as having an anti-religious agenda through their rulings.  It really is not their place to be doing this.  That’s why I hope that the issue will get raised in Parliament as clarification on this issue would greatly benefit everyone.

    1. Phil Whittall says:

      Thanks for the comment Gillan, it will be interesting to see what happens

  2. Suz says:

    Good to share these stories!

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