“Healing miracles occur today as in the past.” A case against and a challenge.

“Healing miracles occur today as in the past.” A case against and a challenge.

A test.

I propose a test with basic rules for claimants of divine or supernatural or unknown (in an astounding and scientifically noteworthy sense) healings.

E.g. Fred didn’t have/lost his right leg above/below the knee. Fred now has two complete legs with no scaring. Here he is in person and these legless photos/videos were taken last week/month.

With rules.

I am suggesting that there are clear rules or boundaries for a healing miracle claim to be worthy of discussion or investigation here.

E.g. Fred in known to have no twin. Doctors, friends, colleagues, former teachers, family and others who know him testify to this and knowing him and any distinguishing marks. Genetic testing proves he is related to his mum and/or dad. There may be a story surrounding the events of the healing to look at, which coincide with the occurrence.

Conclusion: The claimant convinces me that God likely exists and performed a miracle! I am not too strict and could be mistaken or conned by an advanced medical treatment, but that is one such example. Simple and logical to all sides.

Based on experience.

Like ESP, but to a greater extent, this is a topic I investigated for many years as both a Christian/supporter/believer and a sceptic/unbeliever. I have attended many such healing events, (or ‘crusades’ as they have liked to be called) around the world, witnessed a lot and spoken to thousands of people (often sympathetically and believing) who claim to have been healed, so I am offering the benefit of experience (if not a shortage of words!) here, to save a lot of time, countless testimonies, often second or third hand and minor examples that can be otherwise explained or dismissed or will forever remain unverifiable.

God can do anything.

A genuine God, e.g. the God of the Bible, would be able to heal anything or anyone within non-contradictory terms. So (as a steel man) we assume that He can both cure a common cold within 2 weeks and raise all humans, past and present to life without blemish in an instant… and anything in between or even beyond.

We’ll exclude ancient claims.

We will avoid all claims of the first example/order due to their similarity to natural explanations. And we avoid claims, such as those in the Bible, Quar’an and Hindu scriptures due to the length of time that has passed and the many problems that many have with the literalness or historicity of said books/events that have limited or no testability.

We’ll exclude hard to test claims.

We are most likely going to leave aside for our purposes, claims that are untestable or non-medical or rely upon dubious or biased verification. So, even if 20 or 100 witnesses testify, this could be down to multiple natural explanations, from bias, mass hysteria or misinterpretation etc.

One of many prominent healing evangelists.

I will share an example of something that might seem powerful, but that is not really worth including. Pastor Todd Bentley experiences dozens of people being raised from the dead in some meetings. This is in the 21st century, many events being in the USA or Canada with modern cameras and technology available and plenty of time and opportunity to bring in medical experts to verify claims at these, ‘healing’ meetings which are planned to take place beforehand and obtaining doctors would be simple, of which many would have no doubt happily attended for free in order to witness such miracles, but none seemed to.

I attach videos of this and you can feel free to ask Todd or his team or representatives to obtain verification for the resurrected people mentioned, who I am sure would be happy to testify and waive any confidentiality in order to give God the glory. And then you could check them. Good luck with that.

Todd loves to share testimonies to give God glory, build people’s faith and testify to the world of God’s power.

Todd may well say that the claims are from people at his meetings or beyond, he simply shares this information. If you shot a bigfoot, would you take pics, a sample or the whole thing back or would you just say that you saw it and it was good enough for you and expect people to believe it or choose not to? Given all the fakes, there is every good reason to doubt you, however passionate your testimony. Evidence screams out as the quick, final, logical thing, and how much more for miracles?! Todd et al. One photo or doctor’s report will replace your need to keep spouting off all the testimonies in the world and you’ll gain a lot more interest. So provide the evidence or stop trying to convince with stories. You can’t have it both ways. If it’s true, you have nothing to fear and sceptics can deny the evidence you present if they like and face the consequences, but your conscience is clear. Did I hear someone say that, ‘if evidence is needed for everything, why have faith’ as a counter argument?

Todd doesn’t have a blemish-free relationship with paedophilia and his relationship to sin in general since his conversion has been so close that he has been banned from working as a pastor, returned and then banned again. What he is doing or why he is allowed, as a convicted paedophile in this area anyway I do not know. But one would imagine that someone so close to God and being given such faith and honour to perform such miracles through, would put him off sinning if he really believed it.

One man does not say anything about a religion, God or faith. True. If only it was just one though.

I am not suggesting that because of this one man, Christianity or healings do not exist, though there is a very long list of immorality amongst a very long list of prominent pastors and a very long list of those who still came back for more.

Todd on wiki:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_Bentley

28 raised at meeting:


Three raised from the dead in Pakistan:


So let’s just stick to clear, simple, undeniable examples…

So I am suggesting that any healing claims are restricted to very clear and definable examples that are not open to challenge about naturalistic explanation. Back pain, cancer, leg length, crutches and wheelchair issues, anxiety, sleeplessness, arm pain etc. are of no interest, (whether genuinely supernatural or not – we make no judgement one way or the other and so many of these are resolved naturally), they simply are too trivial or grey areas for our purposes.

of which there should be many.

I have done extrapolation studies on the number of certain miracle claims, based on people and churches I have been involved in, and it is noteworthy how many miracles people actually believe occur in the world when added up, even accounting for duplicates and triplicates that happen when speaking to different people about the same second hand event. To suggest that such dramatic events are unlikely to be found does not fit in with the experience of the churches and denominations that I am familiar with around the world.

So, here is a shortlist of which there are many thousands of examples in most countries.

But healing miracles in the categories I am proposing are believed to be in the thousands in my own country alone. Of other healing, there are hundreds of millions each year. So, my suggested list (which has caveats) includes:

  • A dead person being raised from the dead and brought back to life. I exclude many of the types of regularly reported incidents of heart and breathing stopped and they were revived. I would expect rigor mortis to have set in (although there is one natural medical exception recorded https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19935389/) or the head having been unambiguously severed from the body or the person had been verifiably buried and without access to water for two weeks.
  • Having certain genetic or chromosomal abnormalities cured, e.g. Down’s syndrome, dwarfism or giantism or severe deformity.
  • Certain neurological disabilities or impairments or limited functionality that are due to missing or different or abnormal brain parts or accident or birth/genetic issues and that are verified as impossible to restore.
  • Having restored limbs or amputations, received from birth or accident, e.g. a lost arm(s) or leg(s).
  • Missing eyes (from birth or accident) restored or replaced. Note this is not mere blindness.
There may well be others, and

I would be open to hearing what they are, and I am being quite generous here – others would like much stricter controls. I do not wish to be over or under strict, but just enough to rule out naturalistic events or trickery and demonstrate the miraculous. I hardly think it would be a ringing endorsement for God to haggle over this! If the events are true, this will be totally understandable and acceptable and preferable in order to use it themselves as a glorification to God and to increase the opportunity of belief in God.

I mentioned caveats.

Caveats are like clauses to ensure that nothing sneaks in through the back door or catches us out, and again, the genuine claimant will have no problem with this or the motives. For example, if a person has a twin, (especially an unknown or hidden one) then this is a wonderful tool to use in trying to trick you. Think about a twin with an amputated leg or something. If I were going to declare to the world that I now acknowledge miracles or a healing God, then I want to be sure and not be made a fool of later with relatively minor investigation. And again, if there were a genuine claimant, this would be expected. In fact more is o0ften demanded in courts or disputes, so to a God claim, this requires and justifies the highest level of testing.

All are treated equally.

We know there are many honest Christians, Muslims, atheists and even Conservatives. And no-one likes to be doubted ort challenged. Of course there are some less than honest folk in all areas, too, and a lot of misguided, deluded, exaggerating, biased, misinformed, over-trusting and honestly accepting fellows at their word. Sadly, if we accepted them all, imagine where we would be. A Christian taking a test or giving testimony in a court, giving a statement to police or making scientific tests in the laboratory, has to abide by the rules as much as anyone else and it is no reflection on them as individuals, it just puts everyone in the same boat.

We don’t doubt your honesty, but life, courts, science and God rightly require more – independent evidence.

This post is not denouncing testimony or claims of old or things or without HQ video. In fact it is not rejecting God or healing or anything. It simply offers a workable test that can be simply and agreeably applied to all without favour.

Take it or leave it.

No-one is forced to do this and you can go on believing all you want about anything you want. But if you come here with a claim, these are our rules. Take them or leave them.

A greater man than Jesus? Today?

I want to mention one more person and give you food for thought, with regard to the claims of Christians, Jesus and miracles and why critics are not necessarily convinced by them.

There was a man who had more followers than Jesus had when He was alive. Tens of millions in fact. He is the self-proclaimed reincarnation of a saint. He performed more miracles and was adored for decades as well as healing himself of paralysis in front of thousands. Not only this, but he lived in the 20th AND 21st century and was often on video and he performed miracles on camera with crowds following after him. If all or any of this happened, why did it barely made headlines in our high tech age? Millions believed and testified to his greatness and gave him millions in money. He was adored, believed and endorsed by the leader of his country and protected from the law. His face adorns national stamps and museums are dedicated to him. Reportedly, well over a million people attended his 80th birthday celebration, including 13,000 delegates from India and 180 other countries. Have you ever wonder how events from 2000 years ago might more powerfully look or be taken seriously if they happened today? How might events before cameras 2000 years ago in a small country stack up in comparison to such evidence I have just presented? The man in question is Sathya Sai Baba by the way. He died in 2011 aged 84 and he interestingly has a similar history/interest in young boys, like Todd Bentley to which documentaries have been made.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sathya_Sai_Baba

Well, I look forward to all of your miracle healing claims.

Did you say not to test God? Doctors are required to do so, by law.


Well that’s our job here, that’s what we do. But you don’t need to, we can do it for you or others. A healing is an earthly, physical and very testable event and all doctors would EXPECT a healing, natural or otherwise, to be tested to ensure it worked. If you have a corneal operation, they WILL test the results. If someone decided to go to God instead of a hospital for whatever reason, e.g. the doctors could not help, then such a healing needs to be tested, recorded and the results logged for any further visit or need, so that no mistakes are made in the case of an accident, operation etc. Even with a God, we need to be practical and abide by rules that most of us put down to natural events, without exception.

If you push your miracle testimonies and add limited detail for authenticity and in order to persuade, expect and answer questions.

Further, it is more often than not that when such healings are being performed, people love to testify and tell people about what God did and how the doctors couldn’t believe it. But at the first sign of anyone asking for details, the defence mechanism kicks in and you are a sceptic/doubter. Win/win for them. Try this with anything else other than God/miracles/healings, and you will clearly see why people do that. Scammers use this very weapon/technique effectively and catch millions out with it. They offer you the world (will generously put $5 million in your bank) but want you in return for such amazing generosity, to first show your trust by sending them a travel fee of £500. Start asking for their address or for a Website, and they start getting funny and will finally hang up if they feel they can’t win you over, then move to someone more gullible. If you can’t show it, don’t expect people not to call your bluff or ask for evidence, especially when the claim is so extreme. Since when was it right to expect people to simply accept and believe in something supernatural, then condemn a person for even asking to check whether it really is? You can’t have it both ways. It is right or it isn’t, on any level, supernatural or natural. This is the concern many have with faith. If you have a legitimate case that God really has performed, why hold it out for all to see when there is no-one there and hide it away when people come? Put up or shut up.

Isn’t the true reasoning obvious?

It is my experience that people are happy to share testimony about healings, be it first or second hand with a friendly, accepting response. And they will be a little more supportive of some questions or scepticism if you are on the inside, i.e. a Christian. But after that, if you pry or question or ask for evidence or doctors, you are looked upon very differently and doors close or anything requested to verify will be missing or vague or stop coming. This is because they are not used to being questioned or asked for actual evidence. And the story shrinks or is evaded.

Think/read before you present your evidence. We are not here to embarrass anyone. Be prepared.

I also offer the last paragraph as a warning and an opportunity for you to look i8nside yourself, ask hard questions, try for yourself to get evidence and when you don’t, ask yourself why and compare it with this post/person’s experience.

Think as a logical outsider.

Don’t buy into any of the tricks or excuses or philosophical gymnastics that all result in the same thing - not providing evidence.

Be honest and challenge yourself.

If YOU are under the impression that there are hundreds of healings taking place each week in most churches and occasionally dramatic ones (let alone all other miracles) and you can’t get your hands on ONE undeniable, verifiable one anywhere, ever; welcome to my world and I would be happy to talk with you or work with you.
 
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