According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, faith healing is a method of treating diseases by prayer and exercise of faith in God. Here in our country, however, we associate it with shrine visits, prayer chants, intake of herbal concoctions, use of candle drips on water to identify the cause of suffering, and surgeries without incisions on the skin. We know terms such as albularyo (herbalist), espiritista, (spiritist) and manggagamot (faith healer). We’ve heard them from relatives, saw them on television, and even visited them. They are more common in the provinces since people go to them for treatment of common as well as unusual physical pain and unexplained behavior of family members.
For whatever reason you may have for consulting with a faith healer (less expensive than doctors, more comfortable to talk to, last resort for grave diseases, etc), it is very important that you exercise practical and spiritual wisdom about the truthfulness as well as safety of dealing with them. As an influence of animist practices in our country, many faith healers, knowingly or unknowingly, are dabbling into the occult and the realm of evil spirits. And we have to remember that consulting with spirits is forbidden by God (Deut. 18:9-10).
Instead of approaching a faith healer, seek the Great Healer who promised to restore our health and heal our wounds (Jeremiah 30:17). There is no need for secret prayers or magical pendants. Jesus Christ told us to pray when we are suffering and seek the anointing of the church elders (James 5:13-14). He is able to grant us healing and freedom.
God does require our faith when we seek His healing. Thus, we should thus enjoy the freedom and confidence to approach Him directly.
- Be wise in consulting with herbalists and faith healers. Make sure that they are not doing any practices that are contrary to God’s words.
- Check the background of the herbalists and faith healers that you consult. It might be dangerous if the medicine and procedures they dispense have no medical basis.
- If you have previously sought the services of a faith healer, seek God’s forgiveness and deliverance.
- For healing, pray for God to touch your body. You can also seek a godly man to anoint and pray for you.
- If you are a faith healer and want to turn away from your sinful practices, it is possible to seek forgiveness from God and walk according to His commands.
- Faith Healing in the Philippines by Johan D. Tangelder: http://www.reformedreflections.ca/studies/faith-h-in-philippines.html
- The Heart of Healing: Help for you and your loved ones by Ardy O. Roberto
- Principalities and Powers: Reflections in the Asian Context by ATS Forum Contributors
- Folk Christianity in the Philippines: http://www.omf.org/omf/us/peoples_and_places/religions/folk_christianity
- One form of faith healing called psychic surgery is practiced by faith healers in the Philippines. It involves reaching through the skin of the patient without incisions and removing the cyst or malignancy which was causing the pain.
- In Philippine Health Matters, the Health Action Information Network (HAIN) said there are about 200,000 traditional medical practitioners in the country, including faith healers and psychic surgeons
- Several reasons given for the popularity of faith healers / psychic surgeons in the Philippines are Filipino’s religious nature, good vibes, and the high cost of medicines.
- A 1984 US Congressional Committee concluded, based on a 4-year investigation, that there is no evidence that psychic surgery was effective. (George Nava True II)
- Some Filipino psychic surgeons whose names were connected with anomalies: Gary George Magno, Ramon “Jun” Labo, Jr., Antonio “Tony” Agpaoa, Alex Orbito, etc.