I was reading eariler about a Christian group in Bath being banned from promoting themselves and their “healing powers” outside the Abby. I myself feel that this was a good thing to do. These people arent assoicated with the Church of England abbey and have no way of proving their claims.

I myself when pushed say i am a church of england christian, as that was the faith i was brought up in. However I don’t feel that i can truely be a christian follower as i have always had more questions then answers and never managed to get answers to my most important questions. Like for example IF God allows people to die horribly in natural disasters then surely that means god enjoys letting people be in pain and therefore god is satan as well. If god loves us all so much and only wants the best for us why has he given satan and demon cart blanc to tempt us, and then punishes us for being just as weak willed as he made us? To name but a couple.

My father spent ten years of his life crusading with a couple of evenelists and had true faith, he lost it when he saw people use faith as a way to get rich. He saw people who truely believed int he power of god and his kindness in letting a mortal man weild his power and heal them. Only to come back the next week and need healing again as it didnt work. And these people blame themselves for not being good enough, praying enough, not always having a kind thought in their minds etc.

Not once stopping to think “hang on, i have a medical condition and the doctor is giving me drugs for it. Drugs that are proven to work for my illness. I am a faithful follower and do my best to behave as the bible says i should. My god is supposed to be a kind god who doesnt want to see children suffer so why is he letting me suffer.”

Now i know that there is proof out there about placbos working just as well as the drug in trails. And that it has been put downto peoples faith in them reciving the real drug and expecting to get better. But that doesnt mean that groups like the one mentioned above should say they can heal you by praying or laying on hands.

In my fathers experince a lot of the people who are atracted to these type of christians are ones who are going through a hard time. have hit rock bottom like i have the past few weeks. Going off what my father says if i accutaly left the house and went to the nearest large town my current mental state is the excate state that these people look out for and prey on.

Yes i could love to have someone take away the pain i feel. Yes i would love to be able to find forgiveness for the pain i have caused and has been caused to me. Yes i would love to know that there is someone bigger hten myself who loves me and wants the best for me.

But i dont think that i am going to find that in a street preacher or a group who claim to be able to heal me and mine. The things we have gone through and the hurt and pain both emotionally and physically isnt something that will be taken away with a prayer and laying on of hands. Just like a lot of the illness that these groups clai to be able to heal.

In a lot of cases i believe that these people are giving false hope and in some cases even endangering lives by telling people they will heal them and they dont need to take the meds the doctor gave them. In the cases for terminal cancer that is cruel and could be stopping people taking meds that would prolong their life giving them more time with the people they care about.

There are the odd cases where going to these people and allowing them to take you under their wing does make your life better. We have all heard storied of drunks and drug addicts being taken in by these people, finding faith and leading better lives from then on.

When i worked in Blackpool i regularly chatted to a street preacher and was genuanly intreasted in what he had to say. At the time i was studing religon at collage level and disscussing the things i had studdied that week with him often helped me get those things straight in my head, or getting a real life persons perspective on what he and his church believed about x,y and z.

He never managed to persude me to go to one of their services, which maybe i should have done. But i had better things to do like studying and spending time with my boyfriend. I may have learnt more about his faith and htat if the people he shoce to surround himself with after getting off the drink. But if i’m honest “happy clappy” churches tend to freak me out. i left one church because people started throwing themselves ont he floor almost having fits, screaming and making animal noises. Thats not  my idea of practicing a faith. Thats just drawing attention to yourself away from the reason why your there. Its like i never understood the whole shouting out during a “normal sermon. By that i mean one aimed at adults. At the church i attended, where i was an alter girl. There was a service once a month where the vicar would get the kids to come to the front and he would give a sermon by getting them to act out scenes in the bible or testing their listening when he was reading the passages from the bible. More often then not the kids where given sweets for getting the answers right or just cause he felt like it.

Sadly he died and the only person who ever really tried to help me amswer the questions i had was gone.

I know this is an emotive issue and one where i may be in the minority. i look forward to reading your comments.