It’s Official. Jesus Doesn’t Heal Cancer

The New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority made a no-brainer of a decision earlier this week when they determined that a church billboard reading, “Jesus Heals Cancer,” violates advertising standards.

Thank you, Captain Obvious!

According to The New Zealand Herald:

The [ASA] complaints board acknowledged the church had no intention of causing offence with the billboard and instead wanted to provide a message of hope.

However, it upheld the complaints, ruling the advertisement had “neither been prepared nor displayed with the due sense of social responsibility required” and therefore breached the code of ethics.

Due sense of social responsibility, indeed! Nine complaints were filed in response to this billboard, including Jody Condin, whose 3-year-old son is battling leukemia.

Again, according to The New Zealand Herald:

“(It’s) totally disrespectful and hurtful to those that have lost loved ones to cancer or are caring for loved ones with cancer and waiting for them to die.

“How dare they make a claim like this. It is false advertising.”

Of course it’s false advertising! Accepting Jesus as your personal lord and savior doesn’t have squat to do with curing your cancer. Prayer isn’t an effective medicine. While the billboard, according to the church, was meant to convey a sense of hope, Pastor Lyle Penisula actually believes that Jesus can cure cancer. Why oh why does he believe this?

Anecdotal evidence!

In a statement, the church said, “Our belief is substantiated by the fact six people within our congregation have testified to Jesus healing them from cancer.”

Six whole people! Can I assume that none of these people had any outside medical treatment? That it was the ethereal power of Jesus? To be fair, the article doesn’t go into the medical history of these six people, but I think it’s safe to say that science journals would have been blowing up if there was good evidence to support it.

It was wildly irresponsible for this church to advertise that it can deliver us from cancer. It preys on people who are at their most vulnerable, as the ASA pointed out. Why go through chemo or radiation when you can pray the cancer away? I understand the instinct to want to save loved ones from the ordeal of treatment, or to look for a miracle if the treatments are not effective. But reality doesn’t work like that. People with cancer need actual, real life medication, pure and simple.

There is more to it, though. The billboard is also insulting to every person on the planet who has ever had cancer. To tell anyone that they had to go through all the pain and suffering because they didn’t believe the right thing just shows an utter lack of compassion. It’s gross and unnecessary.

Kudos to the Advertising Standards Authority for making the right decision. I have no doubt that its decision will eventually save an earthly life. And that’s what matters.

Related posts:

Christian MPs Try to Overturn ‘God Can Heal’ Ad Ban

Steve Jobs, Alternative Medicine, and Cancer

Failing to Treat Child’s Cancer Medical Neglect

Image credit: br8w


Ashley D.
Ashley D.5 years ago

For those of us who are not healed immediately the healing is a gradual process, ie learning to live with our condition. Whether it leads to complete healing is within God's will. Jesus our Lord will heal who He wishes. I once had a partially-sighted Christian friend who made the most of life and trusted in the Lord, whether He would heal her condition or not.

Carole B.
Carole B5 years ago

Kathy P.....How wrong you are! There are thousands of documented miracles incuding healings from cancer! Richard Kent`s website for one, the 700 club pray for people and they get healed, Revelation TV also! I`d dig a bit deeper if I were you and you will find that many people are healed around the world from Almighty God every day!

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson5 years ago

another thing.. doctors are not "blessed" with knowledge. They work hard for it. Late nights studying, crucial exams, long work hours and YEARS of training and experience. If they just woke up knowing all they needed to, then that argument would be valid. i could study to be a doctor. Nearly any human being could. It isn't a gift, it is a choice that takes a lot of commitment, compassion, and determination. Frankly If I were a doctor I would be offended that people thing some old guy in the clouds "gave" me the ability to use science to better mankind

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson5 years ago

Telling people that their imaginary friend chooses who lives and who dies based on some superpower of knowing what is best for those who suffer is twisted, especially when they are dying and desperate. If knowing "Jesus" is a personal relationship.. KEEP IT TO YOURSELF. personal means no one needs to know. Pray to yourself. Get into your little club meeting and do whatever you need to do to make you feel like you are actually helping, while the rest of us visit the people who are suffering, and try to find a scientific cure that works. Also, semi side note, I wonder how many Christians with cancer refuse hospital care or pain meds? Shouldn't their God "protect them"? And shouldn't the pain they feel be "his will? If he didn't want them to be in pain, he wouldn't allow it. The whole thing is hypocritical

Colin K N A U F
Colin K5 years ago

It is a sad world that has more complaints than kudos and such little tolerance for that which they have no understanding in areas they are ignorant of. Whether chemo therapy or prayer or placebo, people can cure themselves. Belief is as strong as any drug. In fact Pharmaceutical consortiums only have to prove to the FDA that in their sham offered as clinical drug trials; that their ‘pill/drug’ is a few percentage points better than a placebo used in a blind trial; in curing whatever ill they are shilling for.
It is a scientific fact that placebos heal. Just because we have never done clinical trials on the curative possibilities of prayer and strong belief in miraculous healing and Christ or any other figure we hold as dear and powerful; doesn't mean it DOESN'T WORK.

So the question that begs an answer is when we heal, when cancer goes into remission; was it our belief in being healed belief in our doctor or the drugs that did the healing.
Audacious to the extreme to believe it was drugs and chemicals that as one doctor put it: "make us better or kill us!"

So how can we call a claim like Jesus heals cancer as false?
How can we say chemo therapy cures cancer?
We can’t. People cure themselves by their belief in themselves, their nature, their doctor, their drug, or prayer? I know I have a whole lot more faith in myself and God than I do in the Pharma-Surgical Consortiums claiming to heal, when in fact they only mask symptoms long enough for us to heal

gary b.
gary butler5 years ago

Sheri P.
WHY do you think Jesus sometimes cures cancer and sometimes doesn't, rather than the more logical belief that sometimes cancer goes into remission for no apparent reason (and typically it gets better when treated by doctors, regardless of any divine intervention)?

It seems about as plausible as believing that Santa Claus sometimes brings cancer cures for Christmas (except for when he can't be bothered).

Sheri P.
Sheri P5 years ago

i think jesus can heal cancer, though he doesn't always choose to. whether or not you believe in him has nothing to do with it. sometimes it's just not his will.

Armando P.
Armando P.5 years ago

I am neither religious, nor do I trouble myself with the idea of divine healing. Yet, something seems wrong about the response taken to these ads. I fail to see how they are any more offensive then lots of other claims being made by advertisers. We seemed to have gotten by this far disregarding what we don't believe, so what has changed?

Ainsley Chalmers
Ainsley Chalmers5 years ago

Jesus Christ is the creator of this world/universe and as such he has built healing into our bodies. For example what stops you from bleeding to death when you fall over or the surgeon cuts you.Our coagulation system. What fights cancers trying to grow in our bodies as well as microorganisms. Our immune system. Death results from sin as the bible says the sting of sin is death. God has provided us talented doctors we should avail ourselves of when needed. His word also says by his stripes we are healed so we should also pray to God for our healing. The greatest healing we will ever have is eternal salvation by the grace of God when he shed his precious blood at Calvary 2,000 years ago for our sins.

Marie W.
Marie W5 years ago

Whatever, that kind of sign -believe/don't believe is for the reader.