Caleb witnessed people anointing, putting hands on, and praying over a young man named Gavin who was said to have cerebral palsy. And guess what? Gavin was cured! He was suddenly “able to run, jump and move freely.” Caleb added for emphasis: “This is a true story!”
Was it a true story? I wanted to know a few rather simple things:
- Was there video? Because for something that amazing, surely someone had at least an iPhone out. If this was a Christian conference, there was probably a full-blown AV department covering the show.
- Are medical records attesting to Gavin’s palsy available to look at?
- Were Gavin’s doctors able to confirm that he’s now cured?
- Was this publicized anywhere? (Not that I can tell.)
- Can we see current footage of Gavin running and jumping without showing any of the signs of cerebral palsy?
A conversation with Caleb didn’t get me anywhere. He didn’t seem to know Gavin outside of that event and couldn’t provide answers to my questions. He also made clear that nobody “took a video of it [taking] place because we didn’t know it would happen for sure” and “there was so much other stuff going on at the time.”
Isn’t that convenient…?
We reached out to Gavin yesterday afternoon, too. As of this writing, we haven’t heard back.
But I think these are the kinds of questions everyone should be asking in these situations. Right now, whether or not Caleb filtered his Facebook thread, all the commenters just buy the story hook, line, and sinker. More than 730 people have shared it — nearly all because they seem to believe it. No one is asking any critical questions.
I’m not surprised. This is something Christians love to do: talk about all these miracles they heard about secondhand or thought they witnessed firsthand without offering any sort of basic proof to support what they’re saying. They didn’t even think to ask the one question that would be obvious to anyone who sees a great magic trick: How did they do it? Because this was likely a trick, whether it was literally a con, or Gavin was pressured into doing something he didn’t know he could do temporarily, or his diagnosis was untrue or exaggerated, or his actions weren’t physically limited by his palsy, etc.
I mean, isn’t it amazing that someone with the poor coordination that palsy gives you can play volleyball, as a picture on Gavin’s Facebook page shows…?
These aren’t conspiracy theories. These are very real possibilities that are far more realistic than “God cured him.” If Christians want to back up their claims, then let’s get some doctors to weigh in on this. Let’s get some video of Gavin showing that the palsy symptoms are gone — and some “before” video of him with those symptoms. Then, and only then, should we even begin to consider a “miracle” as a possibility.
I also reached out yesterday to Paul Fraser, the pastor whom Caleb told me was involved in this supposed miracle. As of this writing, I haven’t heard back from him, either.