If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone
ARE JESUS' MIRACLES CREDIBLE?
What is the evidence that the Christians present to persuade us that Jesus Christ was indeed the Son of God and to be obeyed without question? The Church argues that the miracles of Christ help prove that he was who he said he was, the revelation of God.
Christians say the miracles of Jesus are believable because:
First of all, he did may of them not only in front of his
disciples but in front of the public.
Second, he did the miracles often in front of hostile
witnesses. These witnesses never denied the reality of the miracles.
Third, he did different kinds of miracles at different
Fourth, unlike the pagan miracle stories, Jesus did
miracles to show the power of God to people who did not already believe in the
miracles so they were not biased.
But none of this is valid when it was believers or at least people who wanted others to believe who wrote all this down. A Jesus who gives evidence and is unable to look after that evidence and unable to provide independent verification is not much of a miracle-worker! The Catholic Church constantly hears of miracle reports similar to those about Jesus but they crumble under investigation. Jesus was never checked out. That didn't stop him from ordering people to believe in his miracles. His example implies that checking out is a sin! They were expected to take his word for it that they would go to Hell if they did not believe what they were told. If it is not right to check him out, then its not right to check anything out.
Jesus prophesied that signs and wonders would be done by impostor Christs that would be so great that even the elect, the holiest of the believers, could be deceived despite their spiritual discernment and theological insight and training. This means that we should look for the bad side not the good side for we can’t be too careful and that any miracle that attracts the devotion of ordinary laypeople is showing a bad fruit, causing imprudence, and must be false. But Jesus didn’t realise that if the fakes should not be accepted as emissaries of God then he should be even less accepted for all the evidence we have for his miracles is some anonymous paperwork! Modern miracles are more believable for we can test them with science and yet Jesus wanted us to believe in his!
How bigoted and unreasonable!
The Church admits that it cannot conclusively prove every miracle reported of Jesus in the Bible or outside of it when you consider every miracle by itself.
The Church for example has only the word of the gospel of John that Jesus turned water into wine at Cana. The gospels say that Jesus even concealed some of his miracles like when he warned nobody to tell that he raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead. If Jesus does ten miracles and you can verify them all but the last then you can’t believe in the last one. You must consider him a liar if he asks you to believe in it and of course he does for in the John gospel he tells skeptics to believe in his works if they can’t believe in him. If a man commits ten murders and you can only prove he committed nine of them you are not permitted to believe he committed the odd one out. You need better evidence for miracles than murders for miracles are stranger and more unusual. To claim a miracle happened is such a serious claim that naturally the evidence has to be very serious as in strong and good and convincing and every individual miracle requires it. You can’t say the resurrection of Jesus is provable so the other miracles of Jesus must have happened as well for Jesus rose to prove his teachings and claims and miracles to be real. Bearing in mind that we need very strong evidence the stranger or more unlikely a claim is this is unacceptable. Every miracle is so serious so it has to be checked out on its own. Christians know that miracles are very serious for they as good as suspend or change natural law and you need near if not actually impossible evidence to believe in them. Imagine the evidence you would need to justify believing in the tooth fairy – a miraculous being. A miracle that doesn’t have extraordinary evidence backing it up isn’t worth talking about. The more extraordinary the claim the more evidence you need before you can justly expect anybody to believe in it. The failure of the Christians to prove every individual miracle in the gospel accounts and Jesus failure to prove the miracles reported by God in the Old Testament prove that the miracles never truly happened. It is blasphemy against God and reason to say that they did. A God who does miracles should be able to preserve the proof for them. If Jesus does ten miracles to prove he is from God and you can only prove nine of them then the one that can’t be proved proves that whatever did the miracles it was not God so we can dismiss Jesus from our minds with a clear conscience. One failed proof proves that the resurrection even if supernatural was not a miracle from God.
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
Philosophy of Religion for A Level, Anne Jordan, Neil Lockyer and Edwin Tate, Nelson Throne Ltd, Cheltenham, 2004
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