A tragic story has recently come out in Thai national news reports about two people who have died as a result of visiting a Cambodian faith healer. For those who understand Thai, I have included the TV news video at the bottom of this post. For those who are not fluent in Thai (or just prefer to read), the summary of the story is this:
A Cambodian woman who has been in Thailand for 30 years opened a clinic in Bangkok, in the Asoke area. She claimed to be a doctor, and to have a special anointing from God, enabling her to heal every disease. Her methods included an extremely painful massage method, combined with injection of medicine. Her clients were mostly Christians, including Ms. Ammy, who had recently graduated from a prestigious university but suffered with a chronic health problem. She went to this healer (who claimed to be a doctor) three times, became sick, including vomiting. Her mother was worried but the healer said she would soon improve and the vomiting was due to the sickness being driven out of her body. The mother reported that Ammy started to talk nonsense, and upon a third visit to this doctor, she died.
Ammy’s younger brother also went to get healed by this “doctor”, and reported that it was the most torturous experience in his whole life, but his health problem did not get any better.
The family was very distraught, and considered whether they should say anything. But in the end they decided to reveal the whole story publicly so that others would not be deceived.
The police arrested this anointed faith healer and she has now been released on bail, pending a more complete autopsy on Ms. Ammy to determine for certain whether there is a connection between her death and the treatment of this faith healer.
I wish that this kind of thing were an isolated incident. But it is not. And if the church does not stand up and oppose this kind of fakery, the name of Christ will continue to be dragged through the mud and the small Christian minority in Thailand will be shamed and discredited, labeled as gullible or deceivers.
In the West, and even more so in the East where face-saving and maintaining superficial societal harmony are highly valued, it is unpopular to criticize erroneous teaching and outrageous claims from those who say they are Christians. It is seen as unloving and unchristian. If an anointed faith healer or preacher is criticized or called out as a fake, the one making the criticism is accused of not believing in the power of God or being a jealous Pharisee. But this attitude must be done away with.
Those who love God and love people must stand up against these false healers and false prophets. Those who stand up in this way will be slandered and accused of being judgmental, mean, unloving, and lacking faith in the power of God. But stand we must.
If the church does not self-police herself, then the day will come when people die and the world will stand up and say, “Church, if you knew about this, why didn’t you do something? Where were you when your own people were being deceived and killed?” And then it will be the world’s turn to accuse the church of being unloving, and have even more reason to hold the name of Christ up for public ridicule.