Bethel Church, a controversial charismatic California megachurch, has called for a stop to its practice of sending members to hospitals on "faith-healing" missions, citing coronavirus risks, the Sacramento Bee reports.
"Healing happens, but it's foolish to take unnecessary risks with your health and the health of others," Aaron Tesauro, a church spokesman, told the outlet.
He further said:
"Through email communications, signage, and church announcements, we are actively encouraging health practices and precautions to our whole community. We believe that wisdom, modern medicine, and faith are meant to work together, and express the value for each in the pursuit of continued health and healing.
Though we believe in a God who actively heals today, students are not being encouraged to visit healthcare settings at this time, and moreover, are taught that even under normal circumstances, they must receive permission from both the facility and the individual before engaging in prayer."
A woman alleged to the Sacramento Bee that Bethel Church members recently approached her in a local emergency room and said "they would pray over the people there and put Jesus in their hearts and this would heal us all and we didn't need to stay at the ER and could go home."
? Bethel Church made headlines nationwide for attempting and failing to resurrect the deceased two-year-old of one of its worship pastors in December.
The church's introductory video on their YouTube channel shows Senior Pastor Bill Johnson proclaiming that "the same redemptive act" of Jesus's death and resurrection "took care of both realms" of salvation and physical healing: