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Evangelicals bone up their ‘raising the dead’ skills

Evangelicals bone up their ‘raising the dead’ skills

TYLER Johnson runs a ministry called the Dead Raising Team in the US. He claims to have brought 11 people back to life. He says he even persuaded the authorities in his state to issue him with an official photocard which lets him through police lines at car accident sites.

Johnson, according to this BBC report, appears in a new documentary film called Deadraisers, which follows enthusiasts as they trail round hospitals and mortuaries trying to bring people back to life.

Sadly, those they pray for in the film remain resolutely dead.

According to the DRT site:

Tyler and his wife Christine are blissfully married with four kids. They hope to see a DRT started in every city in the world, so that nobody could die without being prayed back to life. Tyler is a graduate from Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry.

DRT

Johnson is unwilling to provide successful case studies. And in general, the proof that believers cite is a bit unconvincing ­– for example, there is an American heart surgeon who allegedly brought a heart attack patient back from the dead with prayer … oh, and a defibrillator.

Other doctors find the story entirely unremarkable. One wonders why.

The BBC’s Jolyon Jenkins then got to meet Alun and Donna Leppit, a British couple who are convinced that the dead can be raised through the power of prayer.

Alun and Donna Leppit

Alun and Donna Leppit

The evangelic loons were subject of a BBC 4 programme today called Out of the Ordinary: The Power of Prayer.

During the course of the broadcast, Donna lamented that there aren’t too many corpses in the UK that they can practice on.

The one that they did try to resurrect to was Donna’s brother,  who died of a heart attack.

By the time they got to the mortuary, he had been dead for eight hours. They prayed over him for nearly an hour, and although at one stage they thought they saw him move, that was as good as it got.

Are they discouraged? ‘Not at all,’ says Alun. ‘Practice makes perfect,’ adds Donna. ‘But in this country, we don’t often get access to dead bodies.’

Jenkins added:

And it takes a lot to shake Alun and Donna’s faith. Alun himself has serious medical problems. He was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in his 20s, has had complications, major surgery, and is now on a waiting list for an ileostomy. He needs a miracle. But so far, and despite the prayer, none has come.

The Leppitt are the UK end of a worldwide fellowship of evangelical Christians called Global Awakening. In countries like Mozambique and Brazil, Global Alliance missionaries are converting people to Christianity with spectacular displays that claim to heal through prayer. They say they cure blindness and deafness in big open air meetings.

From another healer, Ian Andrew in Somerset, Jenkins heard of a woman who got a new heart as a result of prayer.

Literally, a new heart?

Yes.

What happened to the old one?

It was replaced.

These claims are, by any standards, implausible. But in the world of Pentecostal healing, no-one worries about that. In fact, the more impossible the miracle (and they use the term without embarrassment) the better, because it’s more effective for spreading their message.

Hat tip: Beth Williams

101 Responses to “Evangelicals bone up their ‘raising the dead’ skills”

  1. barriejohn says:

    Broga: I don’t know why you bother! The amazing thing is that there is an “official list” of Royals who are prayed for by name in the Anglican Church, though “all the Royal family” is also mentioned, so what’s the point? Why not just say “We pray for EVERYBODY” and then go home for lunch? It would save so much time. I well remember after Charlie Boy’s divorce that there was much head scratching and soul searching over what to do about Diana, and they decided (no doubt prompted by Brenda) that she no longer qualified for a personal mention. Did they feel guilty, I wonder, when she had her accident? Would she have avoided death if they had included her in their prayers? Just take a look at this:

    http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Alt/alt.talk.royalty/2005-12/msg00637.html

    “The Duchess of Cornwall will not be prayed for by name in the state prayers for the royal family. She will be understood to have been included in the phrase ‘and for all the Royal Family’, a spokesman for Buckingham Palace said on Wednesday. The decision, which was announced on Friday, follows discussions between Buckingham Palace, the Government and the Church of England”.

    You couldn’t make it up!