1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Does God still Perform Miracles?

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Chris Freeland, Sep 15, 2002.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Chris Freeland

    Chris Freeland Hall Of Fame

    1,660
    0
    Mar 23, 2002
    I believe he still does. About a month ago a friend of mine's 12 year old daughter named Emily got very ill, she developed blood clots in her lungs and hart and the Doctors could not figure out how to treat her and thought she was going to die. Many of the churches in my area both of my own denomination and those of other denominations started praying for her. One night the Elders in my church were called to the hospital to do an anointing because the Doctors were afraid that she would not make it through the night. Within hours after the anointing she started getting better, she was released from the hospital about a week latter. On Saturday at church I talked to Emily's mother and not only are all the blood clots gone from both her lungs and hart but all the scaring and the dead areas of her lung is totally gone. I do not know why God performs miracles sometimes and not others but I do Know he performed one with Emily and he does perform miracles even in the 21st Century and the power of prayer is a wonderful thing to witness.:) :) :) :)
     
  2. Bogy

    Bogy Hall Of Fame

    13,242
    1
    Mar 23, 2002
    Yes.
     
  3. bogi

    bogi Godfather

    309
    0
    Apr 2, 2002
    No, look at the kids in Africa.
     
  4. jonstad

    jonstad Hall Of Fame

    6,002
    1
    Jun 27, 2002
    Haven't "miracles" gotten a little cheap since ancient times? Used to be miracles were actually miraculous. World-wide floods, living days in fish, parting seas, even water into wine, now these are things that deserve a double take. Surviving a normally fatal disease is not on the same level and is done everyday. Even atheists, without intercessory prayer, do it occasionally. Nowadays, narrowly avoiding a car crash(or even just surviving one), winning the lottery, upsetting the favored visitor at Homecoming, and just about everything in between is interpreted as the hand of God. Ironically of course, although God is credited with all these good things, He is never ever blamed for the bad.:confused:

    Humans can be incredibily resilient, especially children. It is truely fortunate that Emily has recovered from her grave illness. But whether it was a miracle or not is another matter. If we accept it as divine intervention, we must also conclude that other children who died with the same symptoms and the same medical treatment and supportive prayer were somehow unworthy of God's grace. Is this what you would explain to the grieving parents? Sure, I know, "mysterious ways" and all that. But isn't this just a cop-out to insure a win-win situation for God? If the child lives, it's a miracle. If they die, then it is "their time to go" or "God has other purposes for them". But even using this logic, there's no implicit miracle. Perhaps it simply wasn't Emily's time to go, or God didn't have another purpose mapped out.

    Since Emily was in hospital and apparently at death's door, I assume she was being heavily medicated with every possible treatment to reverse her condition. Could it be this treatment finally kicked in? If she had received no medication, you might have a better case. But even then, it may have taken her immune system to the brink of death before it could mobilize for a great final battle against the illness which in this case, it won.

    If you wish to believe Emily's recovery was a "miracle" or that your prayers influenced the outcome, so be it. The only harm may be with your honesty with yourself. And besides, probably nothing I could do or say would convince you otherwise anyway. For myself, I'll wait for something more convincing, less ambiguous and not readily explanable by more mundane, natural mechanisms. As bogi points up, a little action for the children of Africa would be a start. Preventing 9/11 would have been impressive, or at least providing a soft landing for those leaping from a thousand feet. Maybe eliminating the tanks and suicide bombers from His hometown, Jerusalem. Answering the prayers of a nation to find Elizabeth Smart alive and unharmed would convince a few doubters. But then again, maybe God's purpose for Elizabeth was for her to be abducted from her bedroom in the dark of night, possibly raped and/or tortured, and let's face it, almost surely murdered and rotting in some shallow grave in the Wasatch or salt flats. Mysterious ways you know!
    :shrug:
     
  5. jrjcd

    jrjcd Arcane Movie Trivia King DBSTalk Gold Club

    1,806
    0
    Apr 23, 2002
    God's existance doesn't hinge on the conditions of any of the people groups on this planet and it's also good that the fact of God's existence doesn't hinge on whether His creation decides to believe in Him or not-i AM thankful that God did give us the free will to either follow Him or turn our backs on Him, tho to be honest, jon, to suggest that God might have engineered such a scenario as you suggested concerning Elizabeth Smart is repugnant at best and kinda blows holes in any kind of intellectual discussion you might attempt in the future-God allows man free will(any cursery reading of scripture will show this)-educated folk realize that problems on this earth, events as the holocost and the crusades, and such are the direct result of our having the free will to rebel or follow God-
     
  6. bogi

    bogi Godfather

    309
    0
    Apr 2, 2002
    What about the kids that are born into starvation and abuse ? Is that free will? Did they really choose to starve? Did some kids choose to have their parents beat them/molest them everyday? Is that free will?
     
  7. Bogy

    Bogy Hall Of Fame

    13,242
    1
    Mar 23, 2002
    I have never been to Africa, or any of the other third world nations that might be mentioned, but family and friends have been to some of the worst of them. From their witness I would at the least speculate that you would find more people who believe in miracles, really believe, than you will find in our nation. People of faith in these nations are truly that, people who survive because of faith. We so trust our own power that we dismiss any power outside of ourselves.
     
  8. bogi

    bogi Godfather

    309
    0
    Apr 2, 2002

    They also lack education and if you starve everyday education is not your primary objective.
     
  9. Bogy

    Bogy Hall Of Fame

    13,242
    1
    Mar 23, 2002
    That's what God created you for Jon. Of course, you are also the person who drives his truck through salt water and then complains because it doesn't last forever. Jon, have you thought of blaming God for creating salt? Of course, salt is one of those things that our bodies need. Could it be that God could have created a good world, but that even the good things that God created have the potential for being used in bad ways? Could this be part of "free will?" Or of the possibility that more than good exists in the human heart? Could it be that God is still a possibility in an imperfect world? That we have a responsibility to bring healing back to this world?

    I happen to be glad that God did not create me an automaton. But it does give me a responsibility to make decisions. What's the matter Jon, don't you want to have to make any decisions?
     
  10. Bogy

    Bogy Hall Of Fame

    13,242
    1
    Mar 23, 2002
    My friends and relatives have been to these nations building schools, providing medical care, digging wells, and helping to plant sustainable crops. As well as learning from the people they are supposed to be helping what faith really is.
     
  11. jrjcd

    jrjcd Arcane Movie Trivia King DBSTalk Gold Club

    1,806
    0
    Apr 23, 2002
    ...if you for a moment actually understood the concept of free will, then your question would be answered....

    you're arguement is basically one of the typical smokescreens that people build to put up a wall between them and God-the question is not starving kids in africa for you, but is actually why God loves you specifically and so much that He sent His Son to die for the myriad of sins in your life-and the fact that you are resisting this so vehemently...
     
  12. jonstad

    jonstad Hall Of Fame

    6,002
    1
    Jun 27, 2002
    Perhaps I need to state upfront I am extremely skeptical of the concept of God and any comments I make regarding His will or actions are extremely ironic because I view His existence to be extremely unlikely. I guess you could call me an extremist.:D Although my intention occasionally is to shock, it is never meant to offend and I apologize if anyone is offended. I mean only to provoke free, open thought on a subject that is all too rarely critically examined. Regrettably, a sledgehammer is usually preferable to a gentle knock to penetrate the wall of faith.

    What, prey tell, would we have if we DIDN'T have "free will"? Not free will? Out of all the curious notions in the Bible, this is perhaps the most counterintuitive and inane. Indulge me and assume the premise, for just a moment, that no God existed to grant us free will. Certainly everything, almost by definition, could not be predetermined in such a scenario. Therefore we would necessarily HAVE free will. What other possibility is there? So the only way that God could grant us free will is if He had taken it away first and then magnanimously given it back. Forgive me for not being eternally grateful.:shrug: Besides, why in heaven's name;) would God have (re)granted us free will when it He knew it would inevitably lead to so much suffering and pain for the creatures He loves. He does love us, right? And of course He knew it would happen. Right?

    I do not suggest that God engineered the Elizabeth Smart tragedy, nor any human pain, death and suffering. I can't because I don't suggest there is a God to start with. IMHO humans are entirely and soley responsible for all the evil in the world as well as all the good. The irony apparently lost is that human free will is immediately blamed for heinous acts and outcomes, while human free will to conquer disease and illness for example, exemplified by the doctors and nurses who hovered over Emily 24/7, administering the highest, humanly acquired medical treatment, is given no credit. Since prayers were offered up, it is obviously an act of God with nothing to do with human medical science or Emily's very human will to live.(irony BTW)

    Naturally the next argument is that humans are inherently prone to evil and are only constrained by (belief in)God. This raises a comment and a question. The comment is that this is a dreadfully pessimistic conviction to hold of one's own species and will always lead to the acceptance and condoning of evil on grounds that "we just can't help it." The question is, how could a perfect God have created creatures He knew capable of such unimaginable evil? Again, He did know, right?
     
  13. Neil Derryberry

    Neil Derryberry Hall Of Fame

    2,014
    0
    Mar 23, 2002
    Those are the rantings of a typical atheist. Jon, you are free to believe or not believe as you see fit. I dare say that until you have an experience that can only be explained by "divine intervention", then you will never accept a power higher than your own. In fact, you are most likely more close-minded than many religious radicals - at least those folks can get their minds around the fact that everything that happens to us and around us is more than just mere coincidence.

    You seem to be a very intelligent man. I'm not trying to win you over to the "Good side", because right now you seem completely closed to it. I challenge you to do this.... take just a few minutes, open your mind, and consider that God exists...
     
  14. jonstad

    jonstad Hall Of Fame

    6,002
    1
    Jun 27, 2002
    More people in Africa and other third world countries believe in voodoo and black magic too. Does that make them any more, or as, real than miracles? Poverty, and the ignorance that inevitably accompanies it, breeds superstition. Natural human optimism leads those who are in such situations to look to a higher power, whether it be witch doctors or western religion, for relief and assistance in this world, or at least a better life in the next. Does desparate desire for or wishful thinking make supernatural beings any more likely?

    Salt? Certainly chemistry and physics is necessary for life as we know it although it does eat at my roof and fenders.:mad: The same could similarly be said of fire. The fact that they do exist in no way necessarily implies the existence of a higher power though. Could some form of "life" exist without them? I don't know. Do you? This could be a good thing. I'd certainly have to quit smoking.;) You are very well aware that I have NEVER denied the possibility of God(s). I merely beg the reciprocity that others accept the possibility of NO gods. This seems to be a very difficult accommodation to come to.:(

    It is certainly not that I "don't ...want to have to make any decisions". On the contrary, I(Humanity) want to make ALL the desisions in regards Humanity. And I think that the evidence is incontrovertable that we(Humanity) always have and always will. I only suggest that for clarity and safety we acknowledge this. Yes, we have free will. And that free will sometimes leads us to believe in myth and superstition, often out of ignorance, convenience or security. Increasingly more often though, that free will manifests itself in the quest to investigate and understand the Cosmos we inhabit. Progress, human progress, is generally advanced by the latter and rarely the former.
     
  15. bogi

    bogi Godfather

    309
    0
    Apr 2, 2002

    There are more religions then Christianity that do NOT BELIEVE IN JESUS... Buddha never sent his son to die for my sins.

    The miracle(if you call it that) of Emily's health is the one of the Human Brain. Machines helped keep her alive and Will Power kept her healthy with I assume anti-blood clotting medicine.
     
  16. Chris Freeland

    Chris Freeland Hall Of Fame

    1,660
    0
    Mar 23, 2002
    Just because their is other religions in this world that do not accept Christ does not prove a thing. I believe their is plenty of evidence that Christianity is the one true way to salvation, however I can not prove it with out a shadow of doubt and in order for us to have free will God has to leave a little room for faith. Faith however is not believing in something that their is no evidence for, faith is believing in something that their is much evidence for but can not be proven without a shadow of doubt. Where me and you differ, is that I believe their is much more evidence for a creator God then evidence that their is not one.

    I agree that that the human brain is a miracle. To me the miracle of the human brain is evidence of a intelligent creator, none of us believe that computers or satellites that we love to discus here just evolved, so how could the human brain which is so much more sophisticated then any of mans inventions just evolve over millions of years? I also agree that modern medicines and machines may have contributed to Emily's recovery, however I do believe that when modern medicine and Emily's emune system which was designed by are creator could do no more that is when God took over. As far as the power of prayer goes their have ben many studies done that indicates that prayer is a powerful tool.

    I also believe that God originaly created a perfect universe with out sin, but he gave us the free will to choose and unfortunatly Adam and Eve made the wrong choice, and this original wrong choice has led to the wars, famines, murders and other evils in this world today. The good thing is that God had a plan B when he sent Jesus Christ to this earth to live a perfect life and to die for are sins and eventually will return again to put an end to evil. I feel sad that you have so far chosen to reject God, I just hope and pray that you will change your mind someday before it is too late.
     
  17. Chris Freeland

    Chris Freeland Hall Of Fame

    1,660
    0
    Mar 23, 2002
    A note for the Skeptics. I am not a medical person but my wife is a Nurse Practitioner with 25 years experience in Pediatric medicine, she informed me that modern medicine does not explain the fact that not only was Emily's blood clots and dead areas gone, but that all scaring in the hart and lungs are completely gone, modern medicine will leave scars, she has none. This indicates to me that more then modern medicine is involved here. I am not saying that if God does not perform a miracle after much prayer that their was not enough faith, I do believe that God by being an intelligent being outside of time knows the ending from the beginning, some times he intervenes when it serves his purpose for the overall good of man kind and many times lets nature take its course and chooses not to intervene, only God know the reasons..
     
  18. jonstad

    jonstad Hall Of Fame

    6,002
    1
    Jun 27, 2002
    Well that's the problem, isn't it. There is no such animal as "an experience that can only be explained by 'divine intervention'". If there were, we'd all be believers. At some point, rather then examine the possibilities for natural causes or even random chance, we are ALWAYS told to just "have faith", end of story. Anyone not getting with the program is dismissed as a "doubting Thomas" or in my case, a ranting atheist. Granted, it's far easier to fall back on "divine intervention" then to methodically search out actual causes. And without a doubt it's more comforting and appealing to believe there is a life after death and that some invisible hand is guiding and protecting us. Unfortunately, there is not an iota of tangible evidence for any of this. I know, "have faith".:)

    You'll notice that in this, or any such discussion, there is NEVER any verifiable evidence presented for miracles. It's all conjecture and anecdote. Someone is sick, people pray, they recover, voila, a miracle. Someone survives a fiery plane crash or auto wreck, naturally the hand of God must have been there to protect them, even though many others may have met an excruciating end, and the survivors themselves might only live because of intensive, often painful, medical treatment. C'mon, that's the best you can come up with? Also legitimate questions are rarely answered. They're most often ignored. What about free will? What paradigm would prevail without it? No one seems willing or able to address this beyond suggesting I don't understand the free will concept. Well, what's to understand? I am open to explanations.

    I apologize that "typical" atheists are skeptical enough to insist logic and reason be applied whenever possible and blind faith is not an acceptable substitute. Without skepticism however, we would probably still be regularly making human and animal sacifices to the Sun or volcano gods. Was it not Christ's skepticism of institutionalized Jewish religious practice of His time that inspired Him to speak out against it and eventually caused His death, AND created a new religion? He may not have been an atheist but He was certainly branded a heretic for expressing His opinions. So ironically, the answer to "What would Jesus do?" very well may be to be more, not less, skeptical of religious dogma. How many of you follow this example?
     
  19. Neil Derryberry

    Neil Derryberry Hall Of Fame

    2,014
    0
    Mar 23, 2002
    I know only what I know, and I definitely know that God works miracles every day. Here is an excerpt from a work about the history of a monastery here in Atlanta - Holy Spirit Abbey. This is a trappist monastery, and that place and the monks there have helped my to form and understand my faith. Without faith, the world is indeed a desolate and despairing place.

    (for the full text, go to www.trappist.net . This is from a chapter of the abbey's history entitled "The Building Years")

    The absence of serious accidents is often cited as a sign of God's presence during this period. Actually, there were accidents, but they were near-misses which offer, perhaps, better confirmation of God's designs for the place than would no mishaps. Once a monk dismantling a hoist some forty feet above the ground leaned forward too far and lost his balance, then was pushed back violently against the wall - not by the wind. Another time two monks were cutting down a giant poplar with a chain saw when it got away from them. The first one was knocked into the swamp, the second one was beneath the huge trunk - but with a half inch clearance. The tree had come down and wedged between its own stump and that of a tree felled a few years earlier. (Fr. Ephraim broke silence with a fervent "Pro Maria!") Another monk's fingers were badly mangled in the sawmill and the surgeon wanted to amputate. But the monk was determined to say Mass again with those fingers; he continues to celebrate Mass today.

    Simple miracles, but miracles nonetheless. I know they are true accounts. They may be simple, but they are perfect examples to me.
     
  20. Bogy

    Bogy Hall Of Fame

    13,242
    1
    Mar 23, 2002
    I believe in miracles. I have seen "miraculous" healing and other events. I have even experienced them. I am also very aware that other people who are just as faithful, who also have hundreds and thousands of people praying for them suffer and die. When I visit with and pray for/with a person who we expect to die, to ignore the impending death and only expect the miracle would be foolish and ignore the need the person has to prepare for the very real possibility of death. I pray for both possibilities. To say that I am not troubled by this apparent contradiction would not only be a lie, it would be foolish. I am in many ways as troubled by this situation as my friend Jon, and as we have discussed and argued this same issue over a period of years, I have come to no completely satisfactory answer than he has. Jon has made the decision that he needs "proof" before he can believe. I have made the decision to believe and base my life on faith, while waiting for the proof, which may not come until I am myself in another life. The great theological statement which I feel describes this troubling situation is "Stuff happens." (This is the G rated version of the theological statement, since this is a family site.) Sometimes good stuff happens, sometimes bad stuff happens. What is expected of us is to decrease the amount of bad stuff and increase the amount of good stuff. The more we work together in a spirit of love, hope and forgiveness, the closer we come to where we need to be.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page