Did you have to go to church when you were a kid?
We get sick because we have sinned
We must plead with God to heal us
A rejection of such nonsense
What can we conclude from all of this? We can conclude that the promise of God’s healing is conditional and depends on your obedience. The God of the church will provide for your wellbeing if you are faithful and will punish you if you are not. But healing is not guaranteed, even if you have been faithful and devout. Throughout the ages, millions of faithful Christians have suffered terribly, their prayers for physical deliverance unanswered.
The nonsense I was subjected to as a child in church upsets me to this very day. It was nothing less than religious brainwashing and psychological abuse. But it must have worked, just as the preachers said it would. I became a skinny, sickly child who suffered from one bout of influenza after another. Apparently, I was very bad. I became frightened and neurotic. Once, during a revival meeting, I had an accident in my pants, because I knew God would strike me dead right then and there if I got up to the bathroom during the service. The church-version of God left me profoundly troubled and confused.
As a young adult, I was able to reject this nonsense. I even became an atheist for many years. Not until my mid-40s did I discover that religion has nothing to do with spirituality. I awoke spiritually at that time in my life and learned that real spirituality is not based on fear of God’s wrath and the eternal punishment He might inflict on me. I learned that you don’t become ill because God is punishing you for your sins, nor do you become ill as a test of your faith and obedience. I became spiritual but not religious.