These Christian Parents Sadly Think Their Dead Daughter Will Be Resurrected December 18, 2019

These Christian Parents Sadly Think Their Dead Daughter Will Be Resurrected

It’s a tragedy no parent would ever want to experience: the death of a child. Sadly, Kalley Heiligenthal is going through that right now. The worship leader for California-based Bethel Church, which actively promotes the supernatural, lost her two-year-old daughter Olive over the weekend.

The details are sparse, but the girl stopped breathing on Saturday and she was declared dead. Just horrific.

I’m always reluctant to criticize how people grieve. Unless you’ve been through it, you don’t know what they’re going through.

The reason it’s worth talking about in this case, however, is because the family is openly praying to God to resurrect their dead child… and the entire Bethel ministry appears to be propping up the belief that their prayers could bring Olive back to life.

It’s not grief in response to tragedy. It’s tragedy in response to grief.

Heiligenthal has posted these pictures on Instagram sharing her delusion:

We’re asking for prayer. We believe in a Jesus who died and conclusively defeated every grave, holding the keys to resurrection power. We need it for our little Olive Alayne, who stopped breathing yesterday and has been pronounced dead by doctors. We are asking for bold, unified prayers from the global church to stand with us in belief that He will raise this little girl back to life. Her time here is not done, and it is our time to believe boldly, and with confidence wield what King Jesus paid for. It’s time for her to come to life.

Day 3 is a really good day for resurrection. We are overwhelmed with gratitude by your outpouring of love for us and faith for Olive. Jesus is Faithful and True and He’s riding in with the victory He bought for Olive. Olive Alayne means “victorious awakening”. We call on the mighty all-sufficient name of Jesus and we call you back by name, sweet girl. You will live. Thank you for your faith-filled declarations, keep them coming. Worship Jesus with us, He is moving, He is good, He is worthy and He is alive.

Day 4 is a really good day for resurrection.
All hail, make way for King Jesus! Thank you so much for joining your faith to ours, we feel your strength and radical belief. Keep declaring life over Olive Alayne with us. “It is finished” were His last words before bursting back in resurrection life, so we’re not done. It is finished, so we’re not done. This is awakening. Come alive, Olive!

How do you tell grief-stricken parents that their dead child isn’t coming back without adding to their misery? I don’t know the answer to that, but it’s appalling that no one in their Christian circles — including their friends and family members — is willing to tell them the truth. It’s one thing to hope or pray for the best in a troubling situation. But this is definitive. It’s cruel to let these people think death will reverse course.

That’s not a condemnation of her inner circle; it’s a condemnation of an entire belief system that suggests the rules we all live by somehow don’t apply to you.

And if that “miracle” is to happen, it’ll be because of doctors and not because a few extra prayers convinced God that it wasn’t the girl’s time yet. As if the family just needs a few more people to clasp their hands together in order to change God’s mind.

Just look at a video from Sunday’s service — the day after the girl’s death — in which Heiligenthal is leading worship and talking about how God will bring her child back to life.

Commenters are not helping by saying they will pray for the dead little girl and using the hashtag #WakeUpOlive.

Perhaps the most telling (and sad) statement about this whole situation comes from a Christian writer, who wrote this with no hint of irony:

There is currently no update on Olive’s condition but we will keep you informed with any new information as it comes to light.

Again, the family deserves to grieve as they see fit. But there’s well-deserved criticism awaiting the Christian leaders who put these false ideas in other people’s heads. Same with the people at Bethel who began a GoFundMe for the family while still insisting the girl will return… but, you know, in case she doesn’t, they’ll need to pay the medical bills.

The girl is not on a ventilator. She’s not in a vegetative state. She’s not currently being operated on. It’s painful to say this, but she’s gone. The family may need time to accept that, and they deserve that space. IN the meantime, everyone else in their church needs to accept it too.

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