Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Wednesday, April 21, 1999 Published at 13:37 GMT 14:37 UK


God 'fills in' for dentists

A gold-cross which "appeared" during a Canadian church service

Charismatic Christians in the UK are claiming that God has turned their ordinary amalgam dental fillings into gold during church services.

The church-goers believe they are experiencing a phenomenon reported by their Canadian counterparts last month, and associated to the Toronto Blessing.

The appearance of precious metal fillings in the mouths of the faithful - as well as instances of gold dust appearing on their heads and hands - is being hailed as a miracle.

And they say some of the fillings are even cross-shaped.

[ image: Some church-goers claim to have received
Some church-goers claim to have received "many" fillings
Several members of Folly's End Christian Fellowship in Croydon say they have been affected.

The church's leaders - whose more usual dealings with the media have been to protest about proposals for lap dancing clubs - say they are awaiting confirmation from medical experts before giving the credit to a divine dentist.

Senior pastor David Markee, who has invested in a dental mirror to look at "miracles", said: "Our God is big enough to do anything He wants but I have still been taken by surprise at this phenomenon.

"I have asked my congregation to help me by getting dental verification where possible."

One Folly's End parishioner told the Christian online magazine, Ship of Fools, that God had turned her grey amalgam fillings into a metal which appeared to be platinum or white gold.

She said: "I was amazed! I was absolutely stunned. I thought, isn't God good? You feel humbled that He's purified your mouth.

[ image: A meeting of the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship]
A meeting of the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship
"None of us is totally how we would like to be, and it's a sign of that - he's just cleaning me up."

"A man sitting in front of us in church received a gold crown, a really bright gold."

Another hive of alchemic activity appears to be Bath City Church - where last Sunday about 150 of the congregation said they had experienced "dental miracles".

Spokesman Sandy Campbell said that not all of those people had received gold fillings, but had had the mercury leached out of their existing amalgam fillings - leaving shiny metal behind.

He told BBC News Online that leaders of the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship were visiting when the "miracles" happened.

He said: "There were also a handful of people who had gold fillings. One man was a medical doctor and he had two shiny gold crowns.

'It's a laugh'

"He and his wife were quite overcome - they were crying. They are both going to the dentist and have promised to forward any written or photographic evidence the dentist comes up with.

"I think they were very genuine because the emotion they were obviously feeling was very real.

"Gold fillings is probably the fun part of what happens in our church - it not only shows us God's care, but it's a laugh."

The Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship - where more than 300 incidents of "dental miracles" were claimed during a conference last month - say there is evidence in the Bible for the phenomena.

[ image: A believer receives the
A believer receives the "Toronto blessing"
They quote Psalm 81:10: "Open wide your mouth and I will fill it."

The "miracles" are associated with the "Toronto blessing" which came to prominence in 1994.

During a Toronto blessing, a congregation member will enter a trance-like state, fall to the floor shaking, laughing, shouting - or even making animal noises.

Believers say God enters the body during this blessing and carries out works which might not be achieved otherwise.

An official statement from the Toronto church reads: "... over 50 people were on the platform at Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship testifying to having received what appeared to be gold or bright silver fillings or crowns, which they believed had supernaturally appeared in their mouths after receiving prayer.

[ image: A filling put in place by a dentist]
A filling put in place by a dentist
"Many received one, two, three or more, and in some cases up to ten changed fillings!"

But Ship of Fools editor Simon Jenkins says church leaders are irresponsible to encourage reports of "miracles".

He said that doing so was dangerous for the church - which may be made to look ridiculous through unresearched claims - and for individuals, who may feel cheated when they discover that the dentist put a filling there, and they had just forgotten about it.

He said: "My criticism is for church leaders who do not think it through, who do not put a break on these claims before they have been whipped up.

"We have the worst conflict going on in Europe since WWII, and yet we have these people saying God is performing trivial magic tricks.

"Many will be thinking, why is God concerning himself with people's fillings, while there is such serious trauma in the world as Kosovo. They are bound to ask, hasn't God got anything better to do?"

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

UK Contents

Northern Ireland

Relevant Stories

12 Apr 99 | UK
Disbelief at church's 'miracle cure'

Internet Links

Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship

Ship of Fools

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online