An evangelist says he was kicked out of his New Jersey gym when he laid hands on a man and prayed for his pain to go away in the name of Jesus.
Craig Fasler, senior evangelist with Christian Equippers International, says he saw a man in pain in the locker room and asked if he could pray for him. The man agreed, and Fasler "spoke to his muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones and commanded that they be healed. I bound all pain, and stiffness, and loosed flexibility, strength and elasticity. I thank You, Jesus, for healing him.
"I prayed three to four times as the healing came progressively, until he was completely freed of pain," Fasler tells Charisma News. "He was very grateful."
When an employee overheard Fasler had been praying, Fasler says she said she was an atheist and offended at the prayer.
The worker reportedly told Fasler, "You are not allowed to speak about religion here. I am an atheist, and you are not allowed to talk about religion and mention the name Jesus in here."
The employee then reportedly called the manager, who told her to call the police. When the officers arrived, they allegedly escorted Fasler out of the gym.
The gym denies Fasler's account that the employee proclaimed herself an atheist. In a Facebook post, they write:
As a gym/health club, we consider ourselves a business of personal health & mental and spiritual well being. Although not technically a " house of prayer " any member, guest or employee who feels a moment of prayer, meditation or reflection is necessary or beneficial to their well being, is not only welcome, but encouraged to do so.
Mr. Fasler, after several unsolicited advances upon members of offers to be touched, so as to be " healed " or to join in prayer, was informed they did not wish to do so at that time. Members again had to inform Mr. Fasler they did not wish to be touched, prayed for or healed, and that they simply wished to continue their workout and to be left alone. After continuing with said behavior, although he was asked to stop several times by members, an employee intervened and informed Mr. Fasler he was making several members feel uncomfortable. He was asked to stop by the employee, he replied he would not stop. He was then informed if he did not stop, he would be asked to leave. He replied he would not leave. It was at this time our employee felt she had no other option, but to call local authorities and let them handle the situation as they deemed necessary.
One other frequently asked question and concern some have, is the use of the word atheist. At no time during this incident was the word atheist ever used.
As always we respect everyone's freedom to express themselves however they choose, and first and foremost we support our members rights to feel safe and secure while they are utilizing our facility.
Fasler says their statement is simply not true. In the aftermath of the March 21 incident, he says the Christian community has been "most supportive," and he has sustained himself with the Holy Spirit.
"The Holy Spirit has been guiding me to seek His wisdom. Our Lord has shown me that I will fly as if on eagle's wings through this," Fasler tells Charisma News. "Jesus said, 'The whole world will hate you because of Me'" (Matt. 10:22).
Fasler has worked with Christian Equippers for 25 years. The organization equips the local church for the work of the ministry.
Never miss another Spirit-filled news story again. Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.
Three Summer Deals from Charisma: