If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone
Religionists Arbitrarily Choose the Miracles They
A miracle is an event that cannot be explained naturally. Natural laws cannot account for it. A conjurer can make a statue seem to bleed but if there is some way of proving there is no natural intervention and a statue is bleeding then the bleeding is considered miraculous, paranormal or supernatural. Nobody will ever understand a grain of sand completely. Nobody will ever understand everything about reality and nature. Thus nobody is in a position to say that something cannot be explained naturally. It is never possible to rule out a natural explanation nobody has thought of or can think of. There are laws we know nothing about and as for the laws we do know about we do not know exactly how they work together at any given time. At most, one can say it might be a miracle. But that does not entitle you to believe it is a miracle. So believing in some miracles is INTRINSICALLY arbitrary. The miracle is arbitrary by definition in the sense that you arbitrarily guess there is no natural explanation. If miracles are done arbitrarily, if we believe arbitrarily and if miracles are arbitrary in the sense just explained then it is evil to stand by and fail to discourage faith in them. Why? Because it means you agree that a being arbitrarily doing miracles such as forgiving original sin at baptism or making a monk float in the air is good while a little baby dies in agony without any miraculous cure.
The religious boast that they have evidence for their religion in the form of miracles is a lie for they abuse the evidence to believe and get others to believe. They lie to themselves and everybody else. And these are the basic good fruits of miracles! Good? Dishonest would be the right word!
When God makes a statue of Mary tell people to say the
rosary and will not give us the recipe for controlling cancer so that it is no
longer terminal what kind of God is that? The problem is that it is people's
opinion that it is complicated and that he has reasons for this that we cannot
see. It is too serious of a matter to just to have an opinion on. What if you
are failing to see how bad and final this evil is? Misdiagnosing evil as being
part of a plan is terrible for a correct diagnosis of a problem is needed to fix
And the notion that there is a purpose that looks random
but is not, depends on religion cherry-picking what miracles it is going to
believe. It randomly chooses. A miracle where the Virgin Mary's statue says, "My
son was fathered by a Roman soldier" will be ignored and not even checked out.
People do seem to have incurable diseases that disappear but most of these are
ignored. It is only the ones who suit what the Church wants to believe that are
not. If the context of the "miracle" does not fit Church doctrine the alleged
miracle will be ignored. It is one thing to say that miracles happen and to find
it rational and sensible to believe and then say they only seem random for God
has a plan. You are using evidence to argue that they may look random and not be
random. It is another to make them random by irrationally and foolishly picking
out what miracles you will accept like it was a restaurant menu. That is what
the religions are doing and it is a total insult to suffering people who get no
miraculous help from God.
Suppose miracles are not absurd in principle. A miracle
is so out of the norm that reason demands that it should only be accepted by the
investigator after a thorough, cautious and professional investigation of the
evidence. Depending on somebody else to tell you the miracle happened for the
evidence says so is no good. Most believers are insulting suffering people for
the investigators are virtually non-existent.
To say that God is right to let a baby die in agony when
he does the miracle of turning bread into Jesus at any particular Mass as if the
latter were more important is horrendous. We should do it with extreme
reluctance assuming we should do it at all.
OUTSIDE THE PALE?
The Catholic Church teaches that miracles are evidence that it is true and that God exists. It says that God will never do a miracle outside the Catholic Church in another Church or sect that can be taken as evidence that that other Church or sect is the right religion.
“Catholics logically hold that since God has authorized the Christian-Catholic religion, He could not work a miracle under such circumstances that it could be reasonably be interpreted as divine confirmation of another religion as a whole or of a doctrine contrary to the teachings of Christ and His Church” (Miracles (Theology of) New Catholic Encyclopaedia). The Encyclopaedia maintains that there have been no miracles attesting to another religion or heretical doctrine and says that the idea of miracles having happened in them to support the points of agreement with the Roman Catholic faith in a false religion is debatable. The unfairness of this is evident for the Church says it believes in miracles for all the witnesses can’t be liars and then it scorns the testimony of witnesses outside the fold – how ecumenical: so we see that miracles oppose ecumenism! It is undeniable that if God does a miracle for a Hindu to give him evidence that God is almighty then the Hindu will not take it just as evidence for that doctrine but also for the entire Hindu religious package. Doctrines fit into a system so to give evidence for one will lead to the system of dogma being regarded as authenticated by implication. Suppose a miracle happened in Hinduism to verify some point of agreement between that religion and the Catholic Church which is the true religion. The witnesses are not going to interpret the miracle as the Church would like. For example, if a Hindu is cured of cancer miraculously by praying to the Blessed Virgin Mary that will only confirm to the Hindu that Mary is one of many gods.
In 1870, the First Vatican Council, which claimed to be infallible decreed that anybody who says that miracles can never be proven or that they cannot ever show the divine origin of the religion of Christ is to be excommunicated for heresy (The Encyclopaedia of Unbelief, page 454). The text is in the New Catholic Encyclopaedia and commands belief in miracles as evidences (Miracles (Theology of)): “In order that the ‘service’ of our faith be ‘in accord with reason’ [cf. Rom 12,1], God willed that to the internal helps of the Holy Spirit there be joined external proofs of His revelation, i.e., divine deeds, and principally miracles and prophecies. Since these clearly show forth God’s omnipotence and infinite knowledge, they are signs of revelation that are most certain and suited to the intelligence of all men. Therefore not only Moses and the Prophets but also pre-eminently Christ the Lord Himself wrought many obvious miracles and made numerous manifest prophecies” (Denz 3009). The idea that “miracles can never be known with certitude nor serve as valid proof of the divine origin of the Christian religion” (Denz 3034) was censured. The Anti-Modernist Oath of 1910 said that miracles were evidence for Catholicism. It had to be taken by all priests and teachers for priests under the regime set up by Pope St Pius X.
The suggestion that God will never do a miracle outside the true faith that people will take as an indication of his approval for the errors of a false religion is totally insane because most human beings are not rational. The fact that there are millions of religions contradicting each other suffices to prove that. And it is even more proven if there is a God for they are ignoring the promptings of his grace which helps them discern the truth so they still manage to listen to lies.
And the religionists lie in saying that no miracle can be proved outside their own religion which they maintain is the true one. They know that there are alleged miracles that they haven’t disproved. Nobody can be expected to conduct an in-depth study into every miracle claim that has ever been made. So when they are saying that miracles happen only in relation to their religion they are guessing which proves they are guessing when they call miracles evidence. They are only pretending to be sure. Jesus said you can tell a false man of God and a false miracle by the fruits (Matthew 7:15-23). Miracles have bad fruits and cause bigotry and arrogance and division and obstinacy when they demand to be unjustly treated as evidence. Jesus exposed himself as a fraud when he stated that the Devil had miracle powers meaning that it was possible that the Devil was supplying him with his preternatural capabilities. Jesus himself admitted that the miracle of multiplying the loaves and fishes had bad fruits for instead of making the people holy it caused them to run after him for free food (John 6:26).
St Vincent Ferrer was the most famous miracle worker of all time and allegedly the most powerful miracle worker ever. He was in fact a member of the excommunicated rival Roman Catholic Church led by anti-pope Clement VII. The man the Church believes was the true pope Urban VI excommunicated his rivals supporters as schismatics, excluded from the true Church and the Catholic Church still has the nerve to say that miracles only happen in the true Church and show us who the true saints are! Vincent’s miracles were intended to draw people into the false Church.
The Catholic Church accepts many unacceptable miracles as being from God which refutes her suggestion that miracles in a Church mean the Church is the true Church. For example, when a miracle of healing worked by a saint to be is accepted the Church has to wait for another one to happen and be authenticated before it will proceed with the canonisation. What this is, is an admission that miracles are not signs for one miracle should be as good as two. What this also is, is this: “God, we will make your friend a saint if you do another miracle and only then.” That is clearly tempting the Lord which both the Law of Moses and Jesus said was a sin. Jesus told Satan he would do no miracle before him to impress him for it was written that the Lord God must not be tested. The vast majority of miracles accepted by the Church are signs from Heaven that God wants the dead people they are attributed to, to be declared saints. When the first miracle encourages the sin of trying to tempt God and the second comes to show that it is right to tempt God it is obvious that the Catholic Church has no right to endorse miracles as evidence for the divine origin of the Church and all its official doctrines.
The Church says that God can answer prayers made by non-Roman Catholics. Answered prayer is taken as evidence for God though it is weak evidence for nobody can be very sure that chance was not responsible. When God answers the prayers of those outside the pale why wouldn’t he do miracles out there too? The Roman Catholic Church must see this. She is wilfully lying. Surely she sees that when her doctrine about miracles causes so much evil and deceit that the miracles must be from her Devil if genuine? She is capable of any lies at all. Though there is no evidence that some Catholic miracles have been hoaxes we should believe that the Church has covered up the real facts which are that no real miracle has taken place. The Catholic Church tells so many lies so we ought not to pay any attention to her at all. She is in the same category as the prophets who give a word from God that he never spoke (Deuteronomy 18). God commands that such prophets and revelators be ignored.
The modern doctrine that all love starts with self-love is a modern doctrine (a better formulation for it is the advice that you cannot respect others unless you respect yourself first). It is wholly incompatible with the Bible teaching that we must love the Lord with all our hearts and that this is the basic commandment and the commandment to love yourself is the second (Mark 12:28-34). Even Christian psychologists while giving an insincere assent to Bible teaching, support the new idea. This new doctrine has certainly caused an apostate condition within the Catholic Church. It means that the Church practices egoism though it is well disguised. God is used for spiritual thrills and not for his own good. The shift in spirituality is so serious that it means that the modern Catholic Church is not Catholic at all but an imitation. Yet the miracles are still happening. What use are they for teaching? Who is doing them? The saints of the Middle Ages all did miracles as a call to the people not to love themselves first but to love God first. Now better miracles are happening and all they show is that religion cannot be true or believable for the gospel alters with the times. It’s all politics.
When the Church has optional miracle beliefs then these beliefs are outside the pale for if the gospel cannot be added to then whatever they support it is not the Catholic faith despite happening within it.
TAKE YOUR PICK
Despite claiming that miracles are signs to show what doctrines are true, religionists just pick the miracles they want to believe and discard those they don’t.
A religion that has some verified miracles and rejects ones that are just as credible would fake miracles and so we could not believe in any of its miracles.
The Church says that it rejects silly miracles such as bricks floating in mid-air – another proof of its double-standards in relation to miracles. But when you think about it miracles of healing are just as strange. When miracles are just signs it does not matter what form they take. Apparitions are an example of a miracle that is just for sign purposes only.
Catholics will assert that they believe that Mary appeared to Bernadette in Lourdes and that this was a sign from God that their religion is true ignoring other miracle claims such as that of spontaneous human combustion and ghosts and UFOs which have no Catholic or indeed religious connotations and which are better substantiated by the sheer volume of claimants.
Religionists often pick out some of their own miracles for belief and are agnostic about the rest. The Catholic Church does not accept every miracle it examines even if it is as good as the ones it has accepted. It is always rather hostile to all miracles at first. Even Lourdes was opposed at the start.
All the Church manuals say that any apparition that does not agree with official and orthodox Catholic doctrine, is not from God. The Roman Catholic Church only investigates miracles that suit its doctrines. If I saw the Virgin Mary today and she did 500 unmistakeable miracles of healing through me to back up my testimony that I saw her, the Church would not investigate but would throw out the miracles if she told me the pope was not the head of the Church on earth. If she found a way to persuade me that I misunderstood the Virgin or to persuade others that I did she might investigate then and hijack the miracles as evidence for herself and say they are really from God. To say that evidence backs you up when you are manipulating that evidence is clearly one thing: fraud. The Catholic Church and all its clergy is guilty of gross fraud. That is the fruit that miracles produce, all this deception and exploitation. That is what the Church collects money to build shrines and publish holy books for: lies. This is very serious.
The greatest minds in history disagree over exactly what right and wrong are. Even today people have to agree to disagree. Ordinary people are bad at working out right and wrong and don’t have the time to think. When Jesus indicated that you can tell true prophets by their holy and beneficial fruits he was telling you to arrogantly act as if you know it all about right and wrong! This shows that he was condemned by his own standard as a prophet from Satan because he was trying to create the bad fruit of arrogance and bigotry. And he gave this advice to people who knew less than what people today know. For example, his hearers believed it was right to force a woman to marry you, to sell your daughter into slavery, and to kill homosexuals. By modern standards, Moses was a fake prophet for he said God gave him many laws and we find most of these laws savage and harsh and barbaric. There is no point in banning hate if you are going to allow evil like that in the name of love. Moses was a false prophet and so was Jesus for Jesus regarded him as a true prophet and a forerunner.
The Christian faith says that faith is not natural. You need the light of the Holy Spirit to help you see the faith is true so that you can believe in it. So Christians believe not because of miracles or anything but because they think the Spirit has made them see stuff as true. That totally eliminates the need for miracles and shows that whatever is doing them is not God. Miracles that say they approve of the Christian faith are attempting to trick for they are approving of a subjective standard of truth which is not a standard at all but a caricature. I mean the Seventh-Day Adventist, the Mormon and the Catholic all have theologies that contradict each other in several important matters and yet they all swear that the Holy Spirit has been making them see that their faith is true. Worse they all have periods of doubt and unbelief when they wonder if the Spirit is telling them something different. When miracles leave it up to your feelings and insights that you think are coming from God to decide if the faith is true they are not signs for it can’t be a problem if you think there is no Spirit communicating with you and you decide not to believe. When the miracle is just about you asking yourself what you think or don’t think the Spirit is saying then it is only a waste of time for the Church to authenticate or refute a miracle for it is not important if a miracle has really happened or not. All that matters is that it looks like a miracle happened. Miracles are encouraging chaos and division by encouraging you to elevate your imagination as a vehicle of divine revelation. That can’t produce faith. It can only produce self-deception and the deliberate blinding of yourself to the truth. Miracles are not signs. Claiming inspiration from the Spirit is pride. It is occult as well for you would need to be a psychic god to know it was the Spirit. This stuff about faith being supernatural insight that is mostly God’s work is really a plot to stop you thinking for yourself. If it is up to you, you can think what you like but if God is inspiring you then you are a bad evil person destined for Hell if you don’t go along with what he is inspiring and believe. So it puts pressure on you to obey the pope and the Church or Jesus and the Bible. It advocates and employs conditioning while pretending that it is not conditioning that makes you believe but God.
The subjective basis of faith makes faith an idol. If your reason brings you to God that is better than your emotions and imagination doing it for they can’t tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. Reason cares about what is real. A God who limits or opposes reason hates himself and wants to be abused.
You need to have the Spirit inspiring you to see that the fruits of religion are good or really good. So the fruits are no good when the resultant faith is subjective and therefore bigoted. They depend on an evil principle that defiles them and makes them fly catchers rather than really good fruits. To use the fruits argument is to deceive yourself and others and to boast that you know more than you can.
The fruits of miracles would seem to be one way to avoid just arbitrarily picking some miracles as worthy of belief and not others. You could reject miracles with bad fruits as not being from God and accept the ones with good fruits. Since the Catholic faith claims to come from one source, God, that means miracles will encourage you to accept the entire faith. But what Catholics do is continue to scratch the surface of the faith. They do not make sure they like this faith in its entirety. Very few Catholics know the faith properly and have the right perceptions of its doctrines. The nastier doctrines either don’t sink in and are sometimes treated as taboo in the Church to pull the wool over the eyes of members for being too out of fashion or vicious would drive them away – for example, I’d say only one in a thousand Catholics knows that the Church considers oral sex in marriage to be a sin. This is just as bad as the lukewarm attitude that Jesus said he would spew the Christians who had it right out of his mouth for. Their enthusiasm then would be the fruit of irresponsibility and ignorance mixed with a little honesty and would be keeping them away from the full truth of God and not bringing them towards it. So miracles then in this context have bad fruits that look good. They must be the Devil’s work or illusions or lies or all three. It also means that the priesthood is thieving off people by taking their money for they don’t fully know what they are paying for and are encouraged to think they do. It was because teachers in religion, including parents and clergy, have such a hard job and have to teach so much that James the apostle said it was a bad idea for too many to become teachers for their job was a danger to them for they would be called to a very strict account before God (James 3:1,2).
The truth about the fruits is that it is not the fruits of any individual miracle that count as much as the fruits of belief in the possibility and reality of miracles itself. To say the fruits of a miracle are important is to say the concept of miracle is more important for you have to see that miracles are possible before you can adjudge their fruits. So any miracle, be it from God or Satan, is causing people to adopt miracles as something that can happen. The fruits of belief in miracle then has been the vast majority of believers in miracle led astray by false miracles. Buddhism, Hinduism, Mormonism, Judaism, Islam, Paganism and Satanism have all reported undeniable miracles. So a miracle of healing having good fruits means nothing when the very concept of miracles has led to nothing but error, superstition and crime.
The Church would answer this problem as follows: “People are going to believe in miracles whether they happen or not so God might as well encourage belief in miracles”. Obviously, that is all they can say. But if people are going to believe anyway and God does no miracles then surely it is not God’s fault. To ascribe any miracles to God is saying it is his fault and that he is bad news and causing trouble on purpose.
No apparition or miracle is from God at all because the Church cannot and does not check out the fruits thoroughly. But it could check the fruits out better but it does not. This makes it a bad fruit to believe in any apparition!! It must be a sin to seek apparitions for everybody looks for fruit in the visionary so the visionary is asking to be put up on a pedestal as an example of humility and prayerfulness which Jesus strictly forbade which makes one wonder if the apostles made the resurrection appearances of Jesus up. Jesus had stated that if you are going to pray do it in private and close the door so nobody knows. Anybody who can have their life examined by the Church and maybe proclaimed a saint is obviously a sinner for breaking this commandment. They are not a saint at all. If they had been they would have hidden their inner life from others to perfection and would have come across just as a sinner no better than anybody else who was trying to make it to God.
To say you have had an apparition is to say good fruits will appear in your life. It is a boast. It is the sin of presumption. No wonder St John of the Cross said the danger of pride made it best to have no visions at all. Most visionaries and recipients of miracles are not that saintly before they have their experience – the Medjugorje visionaries were totally normal guys and gals like Jesus’ apostles – which shows that God doesn’t have the sense to choose saints to have visions so that we can be a bit more sure they are not going to be captivated by pride.
The Devil might tell a person how to pull off the perfect miracle hoax for why would he do miracles and waste his power for a religion that is so dishonest that it treats evidence like putty? It can do the hard work for him.
There have been hundreds of people who had the stigmata, miraculous wounds like the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ. The Church believes that Jesus was nailed in his hands and feet and had a slash in the side. Some stigmatists, however, may just have some of the wounds. St Rita of Cascia (1381-1457) had a wound on her forehead. The Church has officially stated that the stigmata of St Francis of Assisi and two others, St Catherine of Siena and St Theresa of Avila were indeed miraculous. It has made no judgment on the rest except to judge a handful as frauds.
The number of stigmatists is well over 400. There are many modern cases.
The booklet, The Stigmata and Modern Science by Rev Charles Carty (TAN, Illinois, 1974) states that Francis, Teresa Neumann, Padre Pio and St Mary Francis of the Five Wounds had stigmata for which there is no rational explanation. The priests would like us to think there is a miraculous explanation but to do that they would have to refute the existence of poltergeists which is impossible for them. It would be easier for an invisible spook to inflict stigmata than spend time writing on the walls and tossing tables around the room.
Dr Romanelli who examined Padre Pio testified that his wounds were inexplicable (page 15).
The stigmata of Louise Lateau (1850-1883) was examined by a Catholic doctor and one who was a freemason who said that medicine could do nothing to explain it (page 15).
She could lose half a pint of blood a day from her wounds (page 67, The Bleeding Mind). Her right hand was once put into a jar that she couldn’t get it out of in order to prove that she was not cheating and she still developed open wounds in it like nail marks (ibid, page 39).
Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824), a German nun, was observed and examined by more than twenty doctors who agreed that something that medicine was mystified by what was going on (ibid, page 31, 32).
These miracles are not signs when the Church has not officially recognised them as such. It is refusing to give them their proper status and implying that everybody else should do the same. The miracles happen to verify the Church and when the Church is not moved by the Spirit to let them then they are false miracles and possibly hoaxes. They prove that the Church is dishonest in relation to miracles for it arbitrarily presents some for belief and not others.
I am not saying the stigmata is real. If you read my book Stigmatic Sorcery you will see that it is not but when Rome listens to doctors who say a cure is inexplicable and they use that as an excuse for saying it was a miracle it should do the same with the stigmata but yet it dismisses some very convincing cases as unworthy of an official statement of authenticity.
SIGNS THAT THERE ARE NO SIGNS
There are many miracles that refute the view that miracles are meant to be signs. The “Floating Wonder” Reynard Beck astounded America in the nineteenth century with floating in mid-air. No expert was able to debunk him or catch him out hoaxing. He even vanished in such a manner that it appeared that he had floated up to the sky and died. He is one of millions of examples of a miracle report that is better verified than any Catholic or Christian miracle which indicate that miracles are freaks of nature. He did better than the witnesses of Mary at Fatima and the witnesses of Jesus risen from the dead. You need to refute all the miracles like Reynard Beck that say miracles are just freaks of nature before you can dare to use your miracles as evidence for your religion being true for the simple reason that they cannot be evidence until the evidence that miracles are not signs is dealt with. Until that is done nobody can let miracles dictate to them what they should believe. But the trouble is the case against miracles being signs is stronger than the case for them being signs simply because there are more miracles that are freaks of nature than ones that seem to be signs.
There is more evidence for alien abduction than for any other kind of miracle. Sane people report this experience but few accounts agree. The disagreement means only that something strange may have happened for that is one thing that is agreed upon that it is an odd experience. The differences don’t necessarily mean they are all lying because different people seeing different mountains doesn’t mean the mountains don’t exist. The evidence for alien abduction then indicates that miracles are not signs. They just happen and that is all. It is no use focusing on some miracles that do seem to be signs at first glance because what the majority testify to is what carries the weight and wins the argument.
Lots of different groups report miracles or supernatural events and they have no problem finding the academics and scientists to authenticate them. So why then should we believe, say, in the Catholic Church just because a few eminent doctors say that miracles have happened and ignore say the Christian Science movement which reports miraculous mind cures verified by very intelligent and reliable people?
Religion uses miracles to pretend that faith is interested in what is fair and real and what can be evidenced. Miracles produce only self-deceit and hypocrisy and even supercilious bigotry.
Further Reading ~
A Christian Faith for Today, W Montgomery Watt, Routledge, London, 2002
Answers to Tough Questions, Josh McDowell and Don Stewart, Scripture Press, Bucks, 1980
Apparitions, Healings and Weeping Madonnas, Lisa J Schwebel, Paulist Press, New York, 2004
A Summary of Christian Doctrine, Louis Berkhof, The Banner of Truth Trust, London, 1971
Catechism of the Catholic Church, Veritas, Dublin, 1995
Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Karl Keating, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1988
Enchiridion Symbolorum Et Definitionum, Heinrich Joseph Denzinger, Edited by A Schonmetzer, Barcelona, 1963
Looking for a Miracle, Joe Nickell, Prometheus Books, New York, 1993
Miracles, Rev Ronald A Knox, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1937
Miracles in Dispute, Ernst and Marie-Luise Keller, SCM Press Ltd, London, 1969
Lourdes, Antonio Bernardo, A. Doucet Publications, Lourdes, 1987
Medjugorje, David Baldwin, Catholic Truth Society, London, 2002
Miraculous Divine Healing, Connie W Adams, Guardian of Truth Publications, KY, undated
New Catholic Encyclopaedia, The Catholic University of America and the McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc, Washington, District of Columbia, 1967
Raised From the Dead, Father Albert J Hebert SM, TAN, Illinois 1986
Science and the Paranormal, Edited by George O Abell and Barry Singer, Junction Books, London, 1981
The Demon-Haunted World, Carl Sagan, Headline, London, 1997
The Book of Miracles, Stuart Gordon, Headline, London, 1996
The Case for Faith, Lee Strobel, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2000
The Encyclopaedia of Unbelief Volume 1, Gordon Stein, Editor, Prometheus Books, New York, 1985
The Hidden Power, Brian Inglis, Jonathan Cape, London, 1986
The Sceptical Occultist, Terry White, Century, London, 1994
The Stigmata and Modern Science, Rev Charles Carty, TAN, Illinois, 1974
Twenty Questions About Medjugorje, Kevin Orlin Johnson, Ph.D. Pangaeus Press, Dallas, 1999
Why People Believe Weird Things, Michael Shermer, Freeman, New York, 1997
The Problem of Competing Claims by Richard Carrier