I've been getting questions from people in other parts of the country this week about another national news story involving faith healing here in Oregon. Parents, Travis and Wenona Rossiter, members of the Church of the Firstborn, are in prison after their daughter, Syble, died from diabetes. The couple used prayer to treat her, rather than seek medical care. You can read more about their story here.
So, the questions are coming in - what's up with Oregon? Faith healing does not only occur here in Oregon. The national stories coming out in the past fourteen years may indicate this is a new phenomenon here, but it is not. Walking through the Followers of Christ private cemetery, there are countless children who died before the late 1990s, but there was nothing authorities could do about it because faith healing was protected here in Oregon at that time. It was only in the last fourteen or so years that laws have been changing to protect these children.
For those who have been reading this blog since its inception, this will not be news, but the two church groups who make the news here in Oregon are actually related. The Church of the Firstborn and the Followers of Christ are splinter groups.
In February 2012, Darren Russell, an active member of the Church of the Firstborn, wrote about the history of the groups: Monikers of Our Faith and What's in a Name?
Darren has written several interesting guest blogs about church history and faith healing here. Two of his more controversial blogs were: Why I Choose Not to Use Physicians and his follow up story Why I Choose Not to Use Physicians, Part 2.