The story might not make me as angry if I didn't have a son who is 14 years old at this time.
Two days ago, 16-year-old Neil Beagley, of Gladstone, Oregon, died.
He died of a urinary blockage that medical authorities say was "easily treatable". As the blockage progressed, urea increased in his bloodstream, and his heart finally gave out.
But why should he have died if his condition was easily treatable?
Because of a false doctrine.
The false doctrine says that it's wrong to seek medical help when sick, because healing of our bodies was included in the Atonement, and by faith we can "claim our healing".
Not only is it a false doctrine, but it is a well-demonstrated FOOLISH doctrine.
After I became a Christian in 1976, I "kept an eye" on a church in Northern Indiana. It was officially called Faith Assembly, but was commonly known as The Glory Barn.
I lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a couple of hours away, but had a Christian Aunt and Uncle who lived near the Glory Barn. They told stories about the goings on at the Glory Barn, since they had acquaintances who attended it.
The stories included dead members, often kids and babies.
The Pastor, Hobart Freeman, was a brilliant man with a Master of Theology degree from Southern Baptist Seminary, and a Doctor of Theology degree from Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana. He became a professor at Grace Seminary, and even published a couple of scholarly books on the Old Testament with Moody Press.
But he was asked to leave his professorship, when he fell under the teachings of E.W. Kenyon, Kenneth Hagin, and other "Word of Faith" teachers. He started what became The Glory Barn.
D.R. McConnell, in his book A Different Gospel: Biblical and Historical Insights into the Word of Faith Movement, writes this sad result years later:
"For sheer volume of death and tragedy, none can match the record of Hobart Freeman, pastor of Faith Assembly, Wilmot, Indiana. Estimates of the number of preventable deaths associated with Faith Assembly itself are as high as 90."
And that doesn't count the deaths reported at other congregations Freeman "ministered" to throughout the country.
Ironically, Hobart Freeman himself died in 1984 from bronchial pneumonia and congestive heart failure, complicated by an ulcerated gangrenous leg.
This was just two weeks before he was to be tried in court for negligent homicide.
True to his "doctrine of demons" he refused to see a doctor.
His wife left his suit on his bed for months, certain that he would re-appear at any time.
And neither will 16-year-old Neil Beagley, whose family in Oregon carries on the evil doctrine, while prancing faith healers slap people on the forehead and shout, "Out, in the name of Jesus!"
But they only disgrace His name. To the Church. To the World.