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A Dilemma On Miracles


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#1 Fred Williams

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 10:22 PM

There was an interesting topic on miracles on the old forum before it was hacked, so here is something I wanted to share but didn't get a chance to do until now.

I believe my daughter was healed by a miracle. She had a problem with her heart at the age of 1 that wasn’t life threatening, but was severe enough she would have to be careful about certain things throughout her life. The doctor who made this original diagnosis is one of the leading doctors at Children’s hospital in Denver. He was convinced of his diagnosis, but he didn’t take an MRI or whatever they needed to do to be 100% sure. About a year later the problem had healed itself, which the same doctor said is not possible so he assumed the original diagnosis was wrong. I reminded him that he was convinced at that time of the diagnosis, but he pretty much ignored this and just brushed it off.

But I also have a problem scripturally with claiming God healed my daughter, and why lately I can no longer bring myself to be dogmatic on it. God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10: 34, 35; Eph. 6: 9; Col. 3: 25; I Pet. 1: 17). Many Christians in similar situations with similar prayers did not have such a miracle occur. I certainly did not deserve to have my prayers answered while other's did not have there’s answered (or at least answered the way they wanted). I realize that the Bible also says “all things work together for good to those who love God (Rom 8:28)”. But can we really be sure when something like this happens that it is truly a miracle? It is possible this doctor just misdiagnosed it. If that is indeed the case, then I’m ascribing to God something he didn’t do.

My position is this. I know God didn’t heal her because I have some better faith or prayed harder than other Christians, I fall way short. But I still believe God healed her, though I’m finding myself more and more reluctant to share this with other Christians. Eventually I would end up sharing this with someone who lost their son or daughter who is a strong Christian. How would you feel if that were you? “Why did God heal your daughter and not mine?” “What did I do wrong, or what did you do better?” Etc. The only answer we typically give is Romans 8:28, which is comforting to be sure, but it does make me wonder if this is truly the right answer all the time. Perhaps we use it too liberally when we have no other comforting words to say.

Ultimately the reason all people get sick is not because God wanted it that way, it is our fault. We need to look in the mirror if we are looking for someone to blame. We brought sin into the world, and therefore death, and now the whole creation is in a tailspin (“for we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now” Rom 8:22). As we know from "the rest of the story", the good news is that God has already fixed things for us spiritually, and will eventually fix things physically (God calls death an enemy that will be done away with; 1 Cor 15:26)

Knowing God does not respect persons, I can’t say with complete certainty that God healed my daughter. I still believe He did heal her, and I want to give Him the glory for this, but at the same time since I can’t be 100% sure I don’t want to ascribe to Him something He didn’t do. Hence the dilemma! Thoughts?

Fred

#2 Ray Martinez

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Posted 18 April 2005 - 05:57 PM

The doctor who made this original diagnosis is one of the leading doctors at Children’s hospital in Denver. He was convinced of his diagnosis, but he didn’t take an MRI or whatever they needed to do to be 100% sure. About a year later the problem had healed itself, which the same doctor said is not possible so he assumed the original diagnosis was wrong. I reminded him that he was convinced at that time of the diagnosis, but he pretty much ignored this and just brushed it off.


Mis-diagnosis is a very predictible response and necessary because the alternative of a miracle taking place is not an option.

But I also have a problem scripturally with claiming God healed my daughter, and why lately I can no longer bring myself to be dogmatic on it. God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10: 34, 35; Eph. 6: 9; Col. 3: 25; I Pet. 1: 17).


I disagree.

God is a respecter of persons.

He respects the Person of His Son above all and those who are IN HIM walking by faith. This doesn't mean the elect are exempt from tragedy as the Bible makes it clear the rain falls on the just and unjust alike. It means God will enter in and respect His elect who are walking by faith and honor their faith with His deliverances.

Many Christians in similar situations with similar prayers did not have such a miracle occur.


I remember hearing about an Evangelist who prayed for persons with cancer and ALL of them received a healing over a two year period.

This same person was diagnosed with cancer and died never getting a miracle from God.

I certainly did not deserve to have my prayers answered while other's did not have there’s answered (or at least answered the way they wanted).


Nobody deserves anything from God. The fact that you admit you don't deserve anything = the right attitude needed to get an answer.

I realize that the Bible also says “all things work together for good to those who love God (Rom 8:28)”.  But can we really be sure when something like this happens that it is truly a miracle? It is possible this doctor just misdiagnosed it. If that is indeed the case, then I’m ascribing to God something he didn’t do.


Message of the Bible: God is in control.

I believe we are to give God FIRST shot and also we should not tell Him HOW to act.

God can grant a miracle OR choose to heal us through the wonderful medical profession.

My position is this. I know God didn’t heal her because I have some better faith or prayed harder than other Christians, I fall way short. But I still believe God healed her, though I’m finding myself more and more reluctant to share this with other Christians.


WHY ?

You know you can take your unworthiness too far ?

Its the universal problem that all Jesus loving christians have.

I will respond to the rest ASAP.

Ray M.

#3 Ray Martinez

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Posted 18 April 2005 - 07:21 PM

Ultimately the reason all people get sick is not because God wanted it that way, it is our fault.


Matthew 9:2-6:

And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.

And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth.

And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?

For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?

But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.


Jewry believed if you were sick it was because you sinned.

Why did Jesus tell the man sick of palsy that his sins were forgiven ?

The man needed healing - not forgiveness.

Jesus saw his heart.

The man THOUGHT he was sick because of his sins.

Jesus saw the real problem and forgave him of his sins.

Whats the point ?

God is NOT punishing us for our sins. The Cross said He punished Christ in our behalf.

Sickness is simply a reason to have faith in the goodness of God to heal.

Knowing God does not respect persons, I can’t say with complete certainty that God healed my daughter. I still believe He did heal her, and I want to give Him the glory for this, but at the same time since I can’t be 100% sure I don’t want to ascribe to Him something He didn’t do. Hence the dilemma!  Thoughts?


Of course God healed your daughter.

Just because others are not healed does not mean He doesn't heal.

I see Satan immersing you in this pseudo guilt trip attempting to ruin this wonderful healing.

Praise God and keep going forward in faith and I will do the same.

Ray M.

#4 Fred Williams

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Posted 18 April 2005 - 09:32 PM

Hi Ray.

I believe much of my post was misunderstood, much to my own doing.

Me: But I also have a problem scripturally with claiming God healed my daughter, and why lately I can no longer bring myself to be dogmatic on it. God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10: 34, 35; Eph. 6: 9; Col. 3: 25; I Pet. 1: 17).


I disagree.

God is a respecter of persons.

He respects the Person of His Son above all and those who are IN HIM walking by faith. This doesn't mean the elect are exempt from tragedy as the Bible makes it clear the rain falls on the just and unjust alike. It means God will enter in and respect His elect who are walking by faith and honor their faith with His deliverances.


I believe you are saying God shows no partiality to those in Christ, and I would agree with you! My point is this - there is no way I can know with 100% certainty that God miraculously healed my daughter, but that’s OK with me. I thank God for my daughter, and for the fact the problem went away. That way God gets the glory and I don’t trouble a fellow Christian brother who wonders why it was “God’s will” that their daughter died. I’m pondering the idea of how we so often try to comfort Christians who have lost loved ones that it was “God’s will”. Was it God’s will for those girls to be raped and murdered in Florida? That’s what we are telling their parents. I submit it was not God’s will, in fact it never came to his mind:

they have also built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or speak, nor did it come into My mind, Jer 19:5

Yet similar evil will occur in our society, and if it happens to a Christian family, we tell them it's God's will. I think we should be careful what we attribute to God. I do think ultimately God will work bad situations in a Christian's life to good in the long run (Rom 8:28). God is great out of turning something evil into good. But He didn't cause the initial evil. The evil was initiated by some evil person, against God's will!

Where some of us here respectfully disagree is on the free will involvement in this process. I believe in God’s sovereignty, that He decided to give man free will, which means he gave man the power to choose good, or choose evil against God’s will. Now don’t get me wrong, if God wants something to happen, he will “Bring it to pass” (Isa 46:11, etc). But He decided beforehand he would not bring to pass was to overturn our free will, so he allows us, under certain circumstances, to thwart his will:

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing! Luke 13:34-35

Message of the Bible: God is in control.

I believe we are to give God FIRST shot and also we should not tell Him HOW to act.

God can grant a miracle OR choose to heal us through the wonderful medical profession.


I agree completely…


Ultimately the reason all people get sick is not because God wanted it that way, it is our fault.


Jewry believed if you were sick it was because you sinned.

Why did Jesus tell the man sick of palsy that his sins were forgiven ?

The man needed healing - not forgiveness.

Jesus saw his heart.

The man THOUGHT he was sick because of his sins.

Jesus saw the real problem and forgave him of his sins.

Whats the point ?

God is NOT punishing us for our sins. The Cross said He punished Christ in our behalf.


Again, I agree with you completely. I think you are missing my point, which I can attest often happens to me, of my own doing. :)

I am saying the reason people get sick and die is because the creation is cursed due to OUR sin. We are all appointed to die physically, and it is our fault, not God's.


Knowing God does not respect persons, I can’t say with complete certainty that God healed my daughter. I still believe He did heal her, and I want to give Him the glory for this, but at the same time since I can’t be 100% sure I don’t want to ascribe to Him something He didn’t do. Hence the dilemma!  Thoughts?


Of course God healed your daughter.

Just because others are not healed does not mean He doesn't heal.


Again, I believe I was misunderstood, and again at my own doing! :) I agree that God heals. I think he healed my daughter miraculously! But I am not 100% certain. Are you 100% certain He did? How could you possibly be? Isn’t it possible in my daughter’s case she was misdiagnosed? So where I faced somewhat of a dilemma is that I want to give Glory and praise to God, which I do, but at the same time not make a fellow brother stumble. That is why I am reluctant to share this proudly and openly in public. I am uncomfortable with the faith healers on TV. I know people who were told they “didn’t have enough faith” and hence why they were not healed. We have to be careful about how we go about assuming God’s work in certain things. Why for example are faith healers never sucessful at healing amputees? Jesus healed an amputee (Luke 22:51), why can't we? More to this point shortly, on why obvious and blatant miracles seem to no longer be a tool God uses, IMO...

One thing is certain. Ultimately we both agree the great Physician will heal all of us compeltely, 100%!!! :D

OK, back to miracles. and another perspective to ponder. The Bible gives us a strong indication that miracles in general are counter-productive. Throughout the Bible, and I can give you verse after verse, when God does a miracle it tends to harden people’s hearts. For every positive impact of a miracle you can give me in the Bible, I would be willing to bet I could give you 10 where the impact led to even further disbelief. The problem is this – remove that first step of faith, and the next step of submission becomes that much more difficult. Everyone is self-centered, god’s in a sense in their own eyes. They don’t like to suddenly find out they are not the center of the universe. So not only do that have that first step of faith stripped out from under them, now they have to submit to a Higher Authority. I believe this process makes it that much harder for our “desperately wicked” hearts (Jer 17:9) to accept God. Sure some are thankful and accept God after their miracle, but most marvel at first but then turn away and become even harder against God. Consider Pharaoh. Did you notice that every time the Bible says the God hardened Pharaohs’ heart, it was right after God did a miracle? I submit to you that God did not reach into Pharaohs body and sprinkle magic dust on his heart to make Pharaoh react as he did, instead it was God’s miracles that were ticking off Pharaoh!

Thanks for your reply Ray. I hope this post cleared a few things up that I was trying to convey.

Let me reiterate that I believe God does miracles, but not blatant ones that tend to turn people off and are counter-productive. I'd love everyone's thoughts on this.

Fred

#5 chance

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Posted 19 April 2005 - 02:29 PM

Fred Williams Selected quotes -

Again, I believe I was misunderstood, and again at my own doing!  I agree that God heals. I think he healed my daughter miraculously! But I am not 100% certain. Are you 100% certain He did? How could you possibly be? Isn’t it possible in my daughter’s case she was misdiagnosed? So where I faced somewhat of a dilemma is that I want to give Glory and praise to God, which I do, but at the same time not make a fellow brother stumble. That is why I am reluctant to share this proudly and openly in public.


Firstly glad to hear your daughter is ok. The “fellow brother stumble” quote is interesting and you explain it in more detail later. But it is IMO the correct attitude to have when one receives good fortune, especially in the surrounds of those less fortunate.


I am uncomfortable with the faith healers on TV. I know people who were told they “didn’t have enough faith” and hence why they were not healed. We have to be careful about how we go about assuming God’s work in certain things. Why for example are faith healers never sucessful at healing amputees?


Glad you, (and The Deacon as discussed before the board was hacked ) have a healthy scepticism for this brand of ‘religion’. I practically breathe a sigh of relief when I hear statements like yours.
p.s. The Deacon also has a rather apt phrase for this.



OK, back to miracles. and another perspective to ponder. The Bible gives us a strong indication that miracles in general are counter-productive.

That’s about the last thing I would have expected you to say, but I must confess, it has some sound reasoning ….

Everyone is self-centered, god’s in a sense in their own eyes. They don’t like to suddenly find out they are not the center of the universe. So not only do that have that first step of faith stripped out from under them, now they have to submit to a Higher Authority.


I would have to agree with this analysis of human nature, and it’s applicability to scripture and life in general, i.e showing open favouritism can have a negative affect upon those not so favoured.

#6 Guest_The Deacon_*

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Posted 22 April 2005 - 06:05 AM

... About a year later the problem had healed itself, which the same doctor said is not possible so he assumed the original diagnosis was wrong. I reminded him that he was convinced at that time of the diagnosis, but he pretty much ignored this and just brushed it off.


Perhaps he was wrong. But I have never met a doctor who liked to admit such a thing. On the other hand--he may have been correct, but unwilling to face the implications of such a healing.

  But can we really be sure when something like this happens that it is truly a miracle? It is possible this doctor just misdiagnosed it. If that is indeed the case, then I’m ascribing to God something he didn’t do.


Since the definitive test wasn't done I don't think you can be sure. HOWEVER, it is far better to give God the glory for the healing than to assume there never was one. God does not always inscribe the sky with flaming letters pointing out what He did. There is no reason to assume that His hand was not in it because His hand is in everything.

How would you feel if that were you? “Why did God heal your daughter and not mine?” “What did I do wrong, or what did you do better?” Etc. The only answer we typically give is Romans 8:28, which is comforting to be sure, but it does make me wonder if this is truly the right answer all the time. Perhaps we use it too liberally when we have no other comforting words to say.

Knowing God does not respect persons, I can’t say with complete certainty that God healed my daughter. I still believe He did heal her, and I want to give Him the glory for this, but at the same time since I can’t be 100% sure I don’t want to ascribe to Him something He didn’t do. Hence the dilemma!  Thoughts?


"I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and compassion on who I will have compassion", says the Lord. In other words the choice of what He will or will not do is entirely His. Do you recall that Augustin's mother prayed herself to tears for many years over her son? A Bishop finally told her this: "Can a child of so many tears not be saved?". His words were kind, but they were wrong. One can (indeed must) pray diligently for one's children, but it is still up to God what happens. In your place I would be thankful that my daughter was whole without regard to whether or not some doctor might have been wrong. The very fact that she, or any of us, is whole is God's doing. Praising His Name for it is entirely appropriate whether it be a direct intervention (miracle) or an act of divine providence. Either way, God gets the glory because nothing whsoever happens without His approval.

Ultimately the reason all people get sick is not because God wanted it that way, it is our fault. We need to look in the mirror if we are looking for someone to blame. We brought sin into the world, and therefore death, and now the whole creation is in a tailspin (“for we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now” Rom 8:22). As we know from "the rest of the story", the good news is that God has already fixed things for us spiritually, and will eventually fix things physically (God calls death an enemy that will be done away with; 1 Cor 15:26)


I wish more people understood that.

#7 Fred Williams

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Posted 22 April 2005 - 02:42 PM

Since the definitive test wasn't done I don't think you can be sure. HOWEVER, it is far better to give God the glory for the healing than to assume there never was one. God does not always inscribe the sky with flaming letters pointing out what He did. There is no reason to assume that His hand was not in it because His hand is in everything.

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Thanks, and I agree. I guess I’m just more careful where and with whom I give God the glory. There are other examples, such as when certain successes come your way, and I’ve always been inclined to say, "yep I was really blessed (instead of lucky) that happened to me". But none of us deserve any good fortune that come our way, so lately I've been inclined to interchange ‘blessed’ and ‘lucky’, depending on who I’m with. I don't know if you read the book ‘Prayer Of Jabez', but it kind of plays along with my thinking here. I basically disagree with the premise of that book, it seems to make God a respector of persons and it could make Christians who do not have the same "good fortune" of others feel like they are not praying hard enough, their faith is weak, etc.

Fred

#8 Daedra

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 08:22 PM

Hi,

I was in a car accident and was in a coma for 3 months, during summer vacation!. My parents said it was a miracle but my brother said it happens all the time. He doesn't understand that God helped me. Just becuse it happens to other peeps doesnt mean its not a miracle.

Take care,
D

#9 OC1

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 10:08 PM

Hi,

I was in a car accident and was in a coma for 3 months, during summer vacation!. My parents said it was a miracle but my brother said it happens all the time. He doesn't understand that God helped me. Just becuse it happens to other peeps doesnt mean its not a miracle.

Take care,
D

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Just curious-

If you think that god was responsible for your recovery, who do you think was responsible for your crash?

#10 Geezer

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 06:32 AM

Just curious-

If you think that god was responsible for your recovery, who do you think was responsible for your crash?


Do you believe she or relatives prayed for a car crash?
How about a healing?

#11 Daedra

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 01:55 PM

My brother says similir things. "God caused the car accident". God would never hurt me! He only helps when things go wrong. Don't get me wrong, I love my brother but I think he says things just to argue with me.

He told me I have Lenny syndrome, from Mice And MEn.

George pushes Lenny in a lake and Lenny starts to drown. George saves him and Lenny thanks him cuz he is too stupid to realized that George is the one who pushed him in in the first place.

Why would God hurt me just so he can save me? It doesn't make any sence.

Take care,
D

#12 Fred Williams

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 10:42 PM

My brother says similir things. "God caused the car accident". God would never hurt me! He only helps when things go wrong. Don't get me wrong, I love my brother but I think he says things just to argue with me.

He told me I have Lenny syndrome, from Mice And MEn.

George pushes Lenny in a lake and Lenny starts to drown. George saves him and Lenny thanks him cuz he is too stupid to realized that George is the one who pushed him in in the first place.

Why would God hurt me just so he can save me? It doesn't make any sence.

Take care,
D

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Welcome to the forum Daedra!

A passage that comes to mind is 1 Kings 19:

And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and He said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" So he said, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life." Then He said, "Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD." And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. - 1 Kings 19:9-12

There are various ways to look at this passage, but one of the things I believe God was illustrating to Elijah is that He was separate from the evil that had befallen him. So just as God was not the cause Elijah’s troubles, I suspect God was not the cause of your car accident.

Fred




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