If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone
Good Fruits and Miracles"By their fruits you will know them..."
SPOTTING FAKE PROPHETS THE JESUS WAY!
Matthew 7:15-20 New International Version (NIV)
Jesus said 15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."
1 he is teaching that false prophets no matter how nice they are, are always bad
2 he is saying that you must judge them severely - it is up to you to see them as dangerous wolves if that is what they are - you cannot read their minds so see them as a tree and check the fruit. The tree looks good until you check the fruit. And the fruit will not always be there so it takes time to see if a tree is good or bad. It follows that if a prophet's followers are nothing special in terms of goodness or are worse than average people then the prophet no matter how esteemed is a false one. Jesus himself staked his own reputation on the behaviour of his followers. He said that you know his disciples by how much they love one another so he was promising the power to help them love. The tree is the prophet who forms a set of followers and the fruit is the followers.
3 Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? This question shows true prophets produce followers who are special in terms of goodness and are so good that it miraculous and way above the norm.
Matthew Henry Commentary
7:15-20 Nothing so much prevents men from entering the strait gate, and becoming
true followers of Christ, as the carnal, soothing, flattering doctrines of those
who oppose the truth. They may be known by the drift and effects of their
doctrines. Some part of their temper and conduct is contrary to the mind of
Christ. Those opinions come not from God that lead to sin.
The Matthew text mentions that the prophets will seem so good that they are like sheep. All false prophets need to do a lot of good to get a following. Also, how much bad fruit does a tree need to be called a bad tree? Jesus is saying that a good tree bears only good fruit. This is a metaphor for a good tree can bear a little bad fruit. But the metaphor suggests that the true prophet makes his followers into trees that bear only the best of fruit. True followers of the prophet will be like angels.
Jesus said that bad fruits follow false prophets. He said that we know the true prophets and the false from their fruits. Good prophets make good fruits. He asked if grapes can be gathered from thorns. He meant us to see that they cannot. He denied that an evil religious teacher or prophet can produce ANY good fruits. Or did he?
Others say he meant that the false prophet cannot turn evil people into good rapidly. They point out that he said that a true prophet is able to gather grapes from thorns metaphorically speaking. He is talking about miracle conversions following true prophets. So if evil people miraculously turn good that is like the impossible happening and it is like grapes coming from thorns. The agent is God through his prophet.
Whatever Jesus meant, he rejected the popular view that if a religion does a reasonable amount of good it is from God. A reasonable amount of good is not enough. It is normal and so it means nothing. It has to be abnormally or miraculously good. Clearly the fruits he has in mind are heroic and supernatural virtue. He means true prophets have an unusually high following of saints. He denied that an evil or good natured but fraudulent religious teacher or prophet can produce such good fruits. People tend to think a religious claim is true if followers feel happy because of it and do good. But Jesus says that is not enough. You need to see saintly heroism in them.
The implication was that his fruits were marvellous so he was the Son of God and so should be a super-celeb.
Good people are inspired by other good people. Living out your desire to do good works can make doing good contagious. This is what causes good people to draw other people to them to become good people too. It is that simple. The notion that being part of a religion or a particular religion does it just obscures that fact. How dare Jesus Christ claim that his followers would bear good fruits that verified that his mission was from God and his teaching true! Translation: "I Jesus and my interpretation of religion have supernatural power to make my followers better than the followers of any other faith." The goodness then becomes a prideful badge of religious prejudice.
The fruits argument is used today by believers in apparitions of the Virgin Mary. The claim that the reported visions of her in Medjugorje are real are based mostly on the alleged good fruits - the conversions and prayers. But conversions and prayers follow fake prophets too. It gets confusing when Catholic tell us that even fake miracles and apparitions attract conversions and good fruits.
In America, when Spiritualism appeared, half the nation converted to it and felt happy. The good fruits were tremendous. But the Medjugorje vision says the Bible must be read and it is the word of God meaning approval for the severe condemnations of Spiritualism and the occult in the "inspired" pages. So Spiritualism is an example where the fruits are misleading. It may be that the good fruits have to be direct if a reported phenomenon is really from God. In other words, priority should be given to how the apparitions have spiritually benefited the visionaries. If there is nothing unusually good there then there is no point in thinking any other fruits indicate the truth of the visions.
Catholics pervert Jesus logic that bad prophets give bad fruits and good and real prophets give good ones to manipulate people today. The Catholics say that there are such a huge number of conversions over Medjugorje's alleged apparitions of Mary that the apparitions must really be of her and she must be sent by God. So the huge scale of conversions is supposed to point to the apparition being real. Some Catholics say it is the power of the Mass and prayer that is behind the conversions not the apparitions. Even the apparitions attribute the conversions to the power of Mass and prayer. It seems then that you cannot use good fruits to bolster your belief that an apparition is from God. The good fruits argument for thinking Catholics is really about the efficacy of prayer to Jesus and the power of the Mass. It is about what has a direct effect on the soul and on healing the mind of evil. An apparition or healing or any other miracle sign can never do that. That would be external help. We are talking about what is claimed to be the work of God from within the person. Suppose Catholicism is good. Then conversions to a more Catholic way of life would be good in themselves. It would not necessarily follow that the apparition that is linked with them is good.
The argument that conversions and prayer resulting from visionary claims support the claims or even prove them means you should only accept the claims that seem related to maximal praying and conversions. Thus the Catholic should regard the fruits argument as making the revelations of Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet, the most convincing revelations ever reported. It is dishonest for the Catholic to focus on Medjugorje as authentic. And especially when the fruits are to be expected. And especially when the fruits could be down to how people respond to the vision and not to the vision itself. And especially when Medjugorje lacks miraculous healings. The healings are based on gossip and science sees nothing strange about them.
Speaking of the boast of many about the good fruits of Medjugorje, why is there no mention of Tomislav Vlasic (who was the spiritual director of the Medjugorje visionaries and who got much praise from the Gospa) and the fruits he manifested? He is now promoting heretical apparitions and a heretical form of Catholicism www.towardsthenewcreation.com in defiance of the Vatican. Is it really right to boast about fruits when the one person who should have manifested the best fruits failed to do so? Good fruits only mean you must give the apparition claims serious consideration but it does not follow that they are evidence the claims are true and that the apparitions are from God. Mormonism has good fruits too and it contradicts the apparitions of Medjugorje. The fruits argument is being used to make Medjugorje critics feel bad and to silence them and that is unfair. It is a bad fruit itself when all pro-Medjugorje people promote it! Medugorje is the best proof ever that you cannot read to much into good fruits!
Catholicism teaches that rather than messages from God, you just need the teachings of the Pope for he is open to the Holy Spirit who guides him as head of the Church. Catholicism teaches that rather than apparitions you just need Jesus in the Eucharist. It says that you should not find anything at an apparition site that you cannot get in the Church. An apparition encouraging devotion to itself more than prayer or Mass or whatever is not a true apparition from God.
Jesus was using the by your fruits you will know them logic to defend his own following and himself. He was saying that those who truly follow him will show good fruits and that way we will know he is a true and good prophet and messenger of God for he has made them like that. Was Jesus saying that nobody but his followers were good or had hope of being good? Or was he saying their goodness would be extraordinary? He did say that not all his followers would be good. So we can conclude that some of his followers would be good to a supernatural degree. They would be saints. Thus Catholics should not be saying that there is something to Medjugorje for there are loads of conversions. They need to point to those who become saints in its name. They won't do that for there are no saints.
The Catholics claim that infallible and totally reliable revelation from God can only be found in the Bible and in the Church's teachings and it is the role of revelations such as Medjugorje to attract people to infallible revelation. That is why even if the Church approves Medjugorje it will consider Catholics who are sceptical of it to be good loyal Catholics. The Church considers infallible and totally reliable revelation to be public revelation. Any other form of revelation is private revelation. There is no obligation to accept it. As there was no concept of this difference in private and public revelation in Jesus' day, he must have meant that the false prophets and true prophets were claiming to be delivering public revelation. Thus the fruits argument then has nothing to do with proving a private revelation to possibly be from God.
GOOD FRUITS AND MIRACLES
A miracle is an event that is not naturally possible. That does not mean it is necessarily impossible. There could be a power greater than nature such as a god that can do it. A miracle is supernatural. Its really magic and superstition under a different name. If a power can instantly remove an incurable terminal disease, then it can guarantee bad luck for those who walk under ladders.
Christianity claims that God shows his love by doing miracles. The biggest one is when he raised Jesus from the dead to be our saviour and to give us hope of resurrection. But many miracles contradict each other. A god appears in one religion condemning the god of another. So religion argues that not all miracle stories are true and we know what miracles are really from God when we see amazing good fruits such as conversion and joy and peace.
Religion says God will do miracles only to help make it easier for people to see the truth he has given to them that will make them better people. But when God decides what way miracles will be done and when and why we cannot really know all his reasons. We might even mistake the side-effects that are good as being intended by him. You cannot say that God did a miracle without being able to give evidence why he must have done it. It is not for you to judge that the good is a good fruit and not just a side-effect. Its like, "Oh I'm so special that God went to all that trouble for me!"
A person who sees a miracle says it opened him or her up to the grace of conversion. This is not true. God is said to bring people to himself by grace or his undeserved favour. The person sees a miracle. God calls the person to convert. It is their response to that that changes them not the miracle. Miracles never convert anyone. So it follows that they are totally unnecessary. They are just showing off. It is how people choose to respond to a miracle that effects the positive changes – not the miracle.
Miracles produce bad fruit if they support bad or false doctrine. No God would raise Jesus who was so evil that he claimed that sinners who die will go to Hell forever. God sends them there according to the Bible and we are to believe God for believing what he has allegedly said is an act of worship towards him. We see and touch one another and we cannot be as sure as that that God exists and yet we are expected to have faith that people we know can go to Hell and this should be approved of all for the sake of this God.
When Christian miracles verify error it is clear that miracles are not signs and should not be considered as such.
Naturally, modern miracles would be more credible than ones that happened centuries ago for people know human nature better and know science better these days.
Prayer is not about trying to change anything but to unite to God and opening yourself up to being like him. If miracles emphasised that doctrine they would not have as many fans. A handful would have been there the day the sun spun at Fatima. The attraction about miracles is not God but human craving for idolatrous worship and its love of sectarianism and man-made religion.
Many believers say prayer has good fruits so it is from God. When miracles have plenty of concern for calling us to prayer and none for the unspeakable crimes we commit against animals mainly by doing nothing for them it is clear that this talk about fruits is only sanctimonious nonsense. It is better to save animals from suffering than to pray. Yet the teaching of prayer says no. A clear example that faith comes first for Christians and people don't matter in comparison. If you needed to hurt an animal to believe, you would therefore be obligated to do that.
A good God will be satisfied with one brief prayer for it is quality not quantity that matters. Prayers offered when you are sinning or unrepented which is a sin in itself are worthless and trying to take God for a fool. "God reward me with an answer to my prayer and I will not reward you with obedience."
The fruits people call good fruits mean the people are putting themselves in the place of judges. It is not that easy to judge. They say they know what the good fruits are which is quite an arrogant boast for the fruits might be unintended by God.
The Christian God is praised for doing nothing miraculous about the Holocaust while the Christian thinks that finding a dollar on the street that he needs to buy some bread is a miraculous response to his prayer. There is appalling arrogance in that. The Christian thinks his dollar is more important than stopping the Holocaust. He thinks the dollar is a good fruit of his prayer. It is far from it.
To say, "God sent the dollar to me which was a miracle sign that he is looking after me", is a refusal to admit that if it is, then the Holocaust is a sign that he does not look after people. The believer ends up being concerned not about evidence but about wanting to feel looked after. I'd not take such a person's word for it if they report seeing miracles or claim that God cured them of cancer.
Catholics point to the long queue of people going to confession in Medjugorje as proof of its good fruits. But that insults Catholic doctrine that confession is a good fruit in itself independent of any vision. People thinking of going to confession at an apparition site, might prove that confession is good but not necessarily that the apparition is good. To understand this point best, remember that there is no duty to believe in apparitions in the Catholic Church. The fruits argument only applies to Catholic essentials such as confession and communion and prayers to Mary etc.
Jesus used the fruits argument when talking about prophets. These seem to be the prophets sent by God whose utterances are scripture or to be taken as being devoid of error for God does not err. The Catholic Church holds that since the prophets produced the Bible, today's prophets do not have the same rank. You do not have to believe in them. So the fruits argument then only applies to authorised revelation for the whole Church. It does not apply to private revelations.
It is believed that if a miracle results in conversions and repentance that these good fruits prove that God was behind it. The very fact that all believers hold that fruits show this, proves that the miracles promote the bad fruit of deception for it is wrong and self-righteous to appeal to the fruits.
Jesus said that it is by their fruits you know the true prophets from the false. Miracles are not doing a good thing for they attract people to a faith that they would not believe in if they knew it properly which few people do.
And Jesus said that sincere people do their good works in private so if miracles result in the good fruit of good works that means the people are disobeying this rule and showing off. So the good fruits are really bad fruits.
Good fruits follow even fraudulent miracle claims. The fruits argument puts pressure on the fraudster not to come clean. The argument causes a bias in favour of the fraudster as well. Good fruits may be as unhelpful for determining if something is good and true as they are helpful. The good fruits argument is popular but very toxic. It is the number one reason why people were sexually abused by priests and felt unable to speak out about it. The reasoning was, "The priest brings people to God. People see he is a good man. I am bad for thinking he is bad for hurting me. It is my fault."
All false miracles have seemingly good fruits – even the fraudulent apparitions of Bayside which claimed that Paul VI had been kidnapped and replaced by an impostor! The Hare Krishna would tell you about the good fruits of chanting a mantra. They feel they experience union with a fictitious Hindu god. And a god that taught immorality in the Gita, their gospel.
When an event happens there are good direct consequences and bad direct ones and the same holds true for the bad and neutral consequences – therefore to boast that a miracle was from Heaven because of its fruits is just sheer madness and arrogance and deceptiveness for nobody can really know for it is too complicated. Suppose something has fruits that are equally good or bad. People may just ignore the bad. Such fruits are not good fruits but kind of neither. If something is both it is also neither.
The failure of the fruits argument to help show miracles are a good thing and maybe from a good God is a deep one. It is a complete disaster. You cannot show that a miracle was really a force for sufficient good so you cannot repose your faith on it. Its failure shows that the goodness is just as bad as the goodness that comes from taking a e-tablet. The fruit is mostly bad.
When so many people find the attraction to religion that results from miracles disturbing it shows that believers just care about their spiritual thrills and not about whether miracles might be harmful. When most of us live without seeing miracles and so without the fruits it is clear that it is best to assume they are bad. What is so special about miracle mongers that we should take their claims seriously? Who do they think they are?
The most important test of a miracle that really came from God would be the truth of its message. Truth would be the main fruit for without truth we cannot see what good is or what is right so all the good results in the world cannot justify belief in a miracle that is either a hoax or from the Devil but was taken for a miracle from God.
There can be no doubt that the big attraction about miracles is the good fruits but this itself is a mistake. It is a mistake that proves that no miracle can be from God for no miracle seeks to correct this mistake. It is the fruit we want not the miracle and who made us like that? God. It is selfish to value good from a miracle more than good for itself. Miracles result in vice that looks like virtue.
You cannot judge a person as good without being open to the possibility of judging and perceiving them as bad. What use would being thought good be if everybody judged nobody bad? Your mental health would not last if you thought people were judging you good not because of your good deeds but because they have that attitude towards everybody by default. Judging must be kept to the minimum as its a necessary evil. If we judge a holy miracle by its fruits - the positive spiritual effect it has on people - then we are forced to judge people over religion. That is wrong. If I judge a man for hurting his baby, I judge him as having harmed the baby and himself by behaving like a monster. But if I believe in religion, I will also judge him for disobeying his religion and his God. That is extra judging and it does nobody any good. Its going too far. Whatever encourages belief in God may do short-term good but it sanctions judging and in that it is bad. Its enough to condemn it.
Religion argues that we can consider a reported miracle of God to be authentic if it has good fruits of joy and so on. God is good so he supposedly does good things. The fact that he makes nasty viruses is conveniently forgotten. He has, according to Catholicism, even rigged nature so that babies are supposedly born in a state that makes them unfit to enter his presence and enjoy an eternal love relationship with him. If miracles are really good then how can they be if they encourage such beliefs?
You need seriously good evidence to back up a miracle claim. If miracles are signs from God, then it follows that we must ask on God's behalf that people believe in them. The more extraordinary the claim you make, the more extraordinary the evidence must be.
In the light of the good fruits notion, extraordinary evidence will primarily or solely consist of extraordinary spiritual and moral heroism in the person touched by the miracle. The person then becomes the miracle. But this hardly ever happens. We have no evidence even that the apostles of Jesus were amazing saints for there is so little known about them. So that does not say much for their proclamation that they witnessed the resurrected Jesus.
To say that the verified miracles of another religion are from Satan is to admit that Satan does miracles that make people live what seem to be better lives and happier. He sees and hears things we don’t so his miracles will do undetectable evil or evil that cannot be directly traced back to the miracle so you cannot tell the difference between a miracle from God or him. The miracle of exorcising demons who are tormenting people they control or possess is a definite hoax because no sane Devil would let a person show the signs of possession in an obvious way.
Belief in miracles, when you see how fake miracles such as those of the US televangelists, Hindu "holy" men and Medjugorje and so on are the most popular, has mostly bad fruits. Religion, in its duplicity, ignores this in order to pretend that some miracle sites such as Lourdes are good. They say we are throwing out the baby with the bath water. We are not. There is not enough good coming from belief in miracles to make the propagation of that belief acceptable. If we refuse to believe in any miracles, we will not be led astray and fooled. It is better to wrongly think that miracles never happen, than to think they do happen. Not believing in miracles does no harm.
The good fruits and the joy at Medjugorje and the healings (not necessarily miraculous - feeling good can do a lot for your health) and the spinning suns are nothing unique. Fraudulent money-mad TV Evangelists in the states are popular for similar reasons. When people give loads of money to the evangelists, does that not prove that they are infinitely impressed by them and their alleged powers? Does their monetary approval carry more weight than the pilgrim's approval of the Medjugorje visionaries who do not money-spin in such a blatant way as the Evangelists do? The Evangelists are followed by those who put their money where their mouth is.
The more supernatural beliefs society had the more destruction resulted. People panicked and stampeded when they saw an eclipse happening. They burned witches and blamed them for cursing their crops. They believed the Black Death was a miracle. Jesus and the Bible advocated belief in miracles and gave no safeguards to restrain the dangers of such beliefs. They wanted the evil and are to blame for the evil. Jesus approved of the Jewish law which gave a black magic rite revealed by God for discovering an adulteress and which caused her grave harm if she were guilty.
Today belief in miracles causes trouble for people who feel they have no hope left. They are about to die and they have to be dragged on a dangerous and agonising trip to a miracle site of the Catholic Church. People at Medjugorje stare into the sun and damage their eyes forever thinking God will show them a vision and protect their eyes. Belief in miracles has led to Protestant evangelists and Pentecostalists deceiving the gullible and getting their money off them. Belief in miracles has led to people being more attracted to visions than anything else. When did you see a shrine created at the spot where a raging alcoholic converted and became sober and an outstanding blessing to society? You will see shrines at spots where the Virgin Mary supposedly appeared. Signs and wonders like that demean his "miracle". They are not about helping people though they like to appear as if they are. The help is only a bait that religion exploits to get power and money and prestige.
Another disaster is that miracles cannot prove that God is a desirable belief. To be desirable the belief has to be needed - essential for life. If we can live without belief in God we should, for happiness is more easily attained with simple tastes and the avoidance of unnecessary needs. (Even most people in the Church feel little need for God.) If I can fulfil myself by persuading myself that God exists and is with me then why can’t I fulfil myself without him? The Church creates needs and breeds them into people where there are no needs in order to get you around its little finger.
Miracles are evil for they claim to defend religious belief and religion is full of seemingly contradictory and nonsensical doctrines that are called mysteries beyond reason. But you should not believe in a paradox except as a last resort. You could get a revelation from God commanding that babies be killed and say it is a mystery. Don’t be smug and say that will never happen. You are making it possible and religious motivated killing does happen. To make it possible is as malicious as doing it. You are certainly saying that God should not send down rain on the starving millions in Africa which proves you are a fanatic just because of that one belief.
Any fraudulent apparition of a supposedly benevolent supernatural entity will produce good fruits. It is safer to argue, "There are central doctrines and peripheral ones. If central doctrines produce good fruits that indicates that they are good doctrines. The good fruits must be excellent and not like the inevitable good fruits that follow even fake apparitions. There must be a direct link between the apparition and the fruits. It is possible to imagine Satan engineering a fake apparition of Jesus and people responding to it in a way he never expected with converts and a drive towards humanitarianism resulting." An apparition can never be central in the modern Roman Catholic faith.
Miracles, that are supposed to be signs, imply that sincere and open-minded love coupled with research into ethics is not good enough. That is disgraceful because the message is "one needs religious dogma and obedience to religious authority more than that". And that is a worrying insinuation. Miracles imply that faith in love is not enough. You must also have the correct beliefs about God and Jesus or Buddha or whatever. Thus miracles are used to support the bigotry of the many religions that put dogma before facts for if the religionists didn’t they would change dogmas all the time as new light comes up on each dogma. For example, the Catholic Church considers its dogmas irrevocable. If evidence comes up proving that Jesus was not God they are saying they are going to turn a blind eye to it if it is irrefutable (if that is sincerity then I’d like to see them when they are insincere!). The miracles are saying that being stubborn and refusing to consider contrary evidence is a wholesome and good thing. Why do I say this? Because the dogma that stubbornness is good is the dogma that the dogma of Jesus being God and all the other dogmas depends on. It is the thing that makes them dogmas and so it is their basis and is more important than them. So when miracles advocate dogmas they advocate the dogma they depend on, more than anything else and that is the dogma that the Church should adhere to its teachings at all costs. If miracles are signs then they tell us to put dogma before ethics and people. Such miracles are trying to get us to believe that having the correct beliefs about God and Jesus is most important when it is not important at all if harm is avoided. Miracles are malignant. Many feel that the love that religion preaches about is evil when it is based on and fed by religious faith. Now they know why.
Having established that miracles try to support the view that sincerity and kindness are not enough we see that the implication is that God could reject a person for all eternity for having the wrong beliefs and perhaps on the excuse that those who do not believe will have to pay for their own sins which amounts to the same thing. The fact is, that sincere open-minded love that tries to learn and grow should be enough. Miracles are disgusting for they are hostile to this truth and they, with real rancour, tell us that we cannot and should not believe what we like as long as it does no harm. Religion tells us the same thing so you can’t really expect miracles to improve on anything. Miracles incite us to fanaticism and hatred and violence against our inner selves and against others. If that does not happen then it is a reflection on us not on the miracles for miracles hope to make it something that should happen. They do not lead to sincerity but to insincere faith because anybody who claims to believe in a doctrine and hates the case against it and wants it suppressed is no more sincere than a cat is a bird. If it is right to be so wicked then religion has no business opposing any wickedness for it is just hypocrisy to condemn. Miracles are pro-mystery because they tell us that simple honest and careful commonsense in our dealings with others and how we treat ourselves is not enough.
We don’t need belief in God. (If you want to believe in an afterlife, absence of belief in God is not going to stop you!) To say there is no morality without God is saying that there is no morality and we need God to invent it. That is not a very heart-warming reason to have a God! And its really the morality you want and not him. And its manipulative to say, "Morality is rubbish so we need a God to make sense of it." The end result is not morality. A morality that forbids manipulation while being based on it is not a morality. To understand all that and to worship God would make your worship hypocritical and immoral. Miracles, if from God, definitely imply that we need the goodness of faith in God and to learn about right and wrong from him. Otherwise there is no point in them. So when they are so keen for us to follow the gospel according to men we need to ask if they are really supernatural at all. A religious tyrant finds a God who can invent morality to be the perfect thing with which to further his own agenda when he pretends to speak for that God.
Miracles would not be happening unless we were wrong to reduce right and wrong to the essentials so they imply that we should be enslaved. A good God would not let them happen if they are hoaxes to destroy his reputation. They even imply that believing in the essentials and God and not in Jesus or anything more is evil! The truth is that to make too many moral rules is to be evil for the rules are an extra burden and anybody who breaks them is slandered and hasn’t done wrong at all.
If miracles were about persuading and encouraging us to be more charitable people eager to do good for each other then why don’t miracles happen to promote charities not churches? Why don’t miracles take place to draw attention to charities and attract cash and volunteers to them?
Many would say that miracles are suspiciously too disinterested in love and charity and too interested in furthering the agenda of the Church to get power and money and influence. For example, Mary supposedly appeared in a miraculous vision to St Bernadette of Lourdes in 1858. She never urged Bernadette to do anything humanitarian. It was all about prayers and sacrifices and mainly about Mary's declaration that she was the Immaculate Conception. It was about religion.
All miracles, assuming they happen at all, are malevolent. They would not be happening unless we were wrong to reduce right and wrong to the essentials so they imply that we should be enslaved. A good God would not let them happen meaning they have to be hoaxes or the Devil’s work to destroy his reputation. They even imply that believing in the "essentials" and God and not in Jesus or anything more is evil! Religion says that God guides all people who are open to that guidance so he could keep us on the right path without popes and dogmas and Bibles and Churches. Thus miracles are not needed and are superstition. It is superstition if nature does not change and people report miracles. So how much more is it superstition if there is a sensible God and people report miracles?
Miracles do not square with the view that God does good just because he is good. They do not make much of an effort to show goodness directly. For example, is it really good for John to be instantly cured of cancer when he might take a worse illness later? What good does putting stigmata wounds on Padre Pio do? The goodness must be shown clearly and directly and in such a way that nobody can deny the obvious goodness. Instead we get miracle reports and Christians are forced to speculate about in what way they show short-term and long-term good. And nobody agrees on what the goodness is. Its rationalisation.
The evidence we look for is the evidence for the direct goodness in the miracle. The case for it being supernatural should come second. If miracles are really about God giving us good example and edifying us that is the way it has to be. Religion cares about supporting the view that the miracles are supernatural or proving the miracles supernatural. And even then, its only some of the alleged miracles that suit its claims that its the true religion that it wants to check.
Miracle is a bad tree and produces what seems to be nice fruit but which is rotten when you bite into it.