If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone
The Doctrine that Faith is a Miracle
The Christian faith teaches that the only kind of faith God wants from us is the faith he gives to us. He causes our belief and faith by internally working his magic on us. This is so that faith may be the basis of our life and love so it has to be a gift from God. It makes faith an aspect of your relationship with God which is so intimate because God is deeply involved in your faith and in your having it.
The Church says all are born with spiritual blindness. God has to take this away supernaturally for us to see. That is why they say that the faith they have is supernatural. They say that natural faith in Christianity is useless for only supernatural faith can help you get to Heaven. So faith is a miracle. The miracle then is not in seeing a miracle such a person rising from the dead but in believing that God did it.
God programs us to be amazed and impressed by miracles. He makes the nerves and responses. So why can't he make us amazed at the miracle of the existence of the universe and ourselves? Then he wouldn't need to change the way nature ordinarily works. It is mad to go to all that trouble. Miracles never convert anybody. Ever. It is our reaction to them that does that and God can tweak that instead of tweaking nature. Miracles always have the element of showing off and are beneath the dignity of God.
The Church teaches the existence of supernatural faith which is a miracle. Every other kind of faith is natural.
Religion says that natural faith even in God is about yourself and from yourself and that God has to give you the gift of supernatural faith which is about him. Only the faith he gives is the faith that pleases him and gets a reward. But nobody can tell who has this gift. Put a Mormon and a Muslim and a Jew and a Shinto in the same room and all will claim that their faith is not natural but supernatural so that to respect their faith is to respect the divinity or God. It is a subjective criterion and useless and so it is pride and arrogance that make people claim such faith.
Religion says it is a community of faith set up by God. Thus religion has to claim that this gift of magical and supernaturally caused faith is necessary because it doesn’t want to admit to being a mere human creation. The idea of God performing miracles for the benefit of man-made religion would be total absurdity and would suggest that it is not God that is doing them at all. It would be like God doing miracles to promote the local youth club! To get people to believe in the subjective criterion for a true religion or spirituality, means that the Catholic believer has to slam the Mormon and Muslim etc believer as a liar and they him or her. It is the, “How dare you claim that you have an experience of the divine that justifies and verifies your faith when mine is different. My experience is the real one!” kind of thing. Unless that is done the criterion is meaningless and useless and laughable. Unless that is done, the criterion hasn’t even the semblance of integrity. Miracles clearly pay homage to this bigotry. They are no good without the idea that religious experience is the ultimate decider if somebody belongs to God and the true faith. But that idea is nonsense and is easily disproved philosophically and has been laughed at for centuries.
The Bible is full of miracles and even claims to be a miracle - the word of God. The Bible is for Catholics and Protestants the indispensable source of revelation from God. Any belief that people have that is not authorised in some infallible source such as the Bible is believed by natural faith.
If it is a gift to believe in Bible miracles like the Church says then when you cannot believe in them without God’s help which the Church teaches then these bizarre consequences pop up:
1 Though we believe in the non-biblical miracles by natural faith we cannot believe in the Bible ones except by supernatural faith which is a gift from God that guides our will and mind to embrace the truths given by God.
This is weird. It must be God's fault then if we are lost and blinded. The teaching about God inspiring and giving faith implies that God blinds us to cure us which shows he is neither very sane or decent or sensible. Who would trust anything he says? Plus your belief in both types of miracles will feel the same. Supernatural faith and natural faith to our experience are no different. To say one is natural faith and the other is supernatural faith is just arbitrary and dishonest. You need self-deception to manage to think you believe supernaturally.
2 To suggest that human beings cannot sincerely come to God in faith and through faith unless he helps them denies the validity of self-esteem. Self-esteem is the root of all good so miracles are evil if they suggest otherwise which according to all believers they do.
3 If the Bible miracles are not signs unless God opens your eyes to make you see the truth about them and their message then this is saying they are not signs except for those who respond to God and accept his gift of faith. It is saying that the assumption you make that the faith is true comes before the miracle. You guess the faith is true and you guess that the miracle confirms it. This is not faith but guessing. The miracle then is not a piece of evidence but a guess. The doctrine that faith precedes acceptance of anything as a miracle is saying that nature prevents you from seeing they are miracles and from seeing the message they give and the truth they give. Thus to believe in miracles you cannot have genuine faith in nature or its regularity. The sun might turn into ice cream in the morning.
That is very subjective and what is to stop you feeling that faith that the devil has done them is a gift? Or that the signs or wonders are just done to keep us interested in the supernatural? There are millions of possibilities.
4 Jesus said that you can see that God did something by looking at the good fruits or good results of the deed.
Fruits cannot tell you if say an apparition was heavenly or not. It is not the apparition that works the fruits but your perception of its meaning. And you may imagine that perception to be a supernatural gift from God. To say that miracles are signs from Heaven is to say that miracles bear the fruits of faith and charity and other benefits. You now know that this is a shameless lie that nobody has an excuse for falling for, because we should see that when different people with different faiths all think their faith is supernatural that this is purely their imagination.
If God brings good out of lies and evil, does that make them good? The notion that good fruits from a miracle mean it is from God contradicts the alleged truth that God uses evil as a tool to bring about good. And nothing ever has only good results in the big picture.
Miracles in a Christian context that say that Jesus shed his blood to save sinners by bearing their punishment are undermined by the fact that they result in big money. The miracles give a message verbally and then they deny it by their materialistic and degraded results. So which message then should you listen to? For example, take the commercialisation of Knock and Lourdes. Is that compatible with the gospel of a man who wanted people above all to live simply and who said that all our money belonged to God and not us? Would God want people spending money on pilgrimages to holy places with his money that he would give to the poor if he were in our shoes? A God who was generous enough to give his life for us on the cross would have none of this pilgrimage stuff. The money spent on pilgrimages in the twentieth century alone would be more than enough to wipe out poverty in Africa.
5 The miracles deny free will if they back up the concept of supernatural faith. They imply that we cannot take God's word for it and honour him unless he helps us. Yet they must back free will up if they want us to believe in the God of Christianity who says that faith is a gift from him to be freely accepted. Miracle believers contradict themselves.
The Bible miracles claim to be binding on us making it our duty to believe. Religion gives us duties we don't really have or that we cannot be proven to have. Only bullies invent duties. No human thinking is sacrosanct and you can think you have supernatural faith and not have it at all.
To deny free will or to say that God made us defective is to say that God is evil. Free will is the nearest to a possible way to blame man and not God for evil – it doesn’t work but it is the believer’s only option. To see miracles as signs is to accuse God of being evil and them as beacons to slavery to this evil being.
6 To say you came to faith because of a miracle is to say that if faith is a virtue – which it must be if it is a gift from God – is to boast before unbelievers, “I am better than you and holier for I have come to the virtue of faith and received a gift from God you don't have.” This completely contradicts the parable of Jesus about the Pharisee and the Publican in which the Pharisee was rejected by God for telling God how good he was – another reason why I say there was a tradition in early Christianity that denied that Jesus did miracles. The Bible says it is great that Christians have nothing to boast about (Ephesians 2:8, 10). So miracles encourage the insulting and offending of unbelievers. They encourage division. That is terrible. We know how over time even a little looking down at a group can escalate into violence and hatred over time – just like what happened in Northern Ireland. Whatever is doing the miracles, if they are true miracles, is not a friend to people but a false friend.
7 Theologians would tell you the following: A miracle is something supernatural that cannot be naturally explained or for which a natural explanation is implausible. It facilitates God as a personal reality for us who gives us the truth and the true religion. Grace is God's forging a supernatural relationship with us.
If so, then it is the sense that a miracle is a grace from God that matters. The supernaturality of it is secondary. It is the grace that follows a miracle that is to get prime consideration when examining the authenticity of a miracle. To authenticate a miracle purely because it is supernatural shows no concern for how the miracle helps change people. People get grace as a result of the miracle. This alone should lead to a miracle being accepted as genuine and as originated by God.
Believers run after miracles for the awe effect and out of curiosity. A man who miraculously changes from evil incarnate overnight to a hero of virtue does not get the same following as somebody who says he sees the Virgin Mary. Disgraceful!
8 Belief in miracles always involves arrogance and lying that failing to work out how an event happened means it is a miracle if somebody says it is.
The miracle believer does not understand how something seemingly or allegedly miraculous happened. "I don't understand therefore it is a miracle" is claiming that not understanding it means it is supernatural. That is more than just irrationality. It is arrogance - arrogance always boils down to saying that a belief is justifiable when it is not or claiming to know what you in fact do not know. Real faith does not involve arrogance. It cares profoundly about being realistic and rational. Real faith is based on the notion that reason and feelings cannot tell us everything but that we need to have faith for own their own they are not enough. But it is open-minded. The believer in God will be happy to drop that belief should she find that faith in something else makes more sense and helps her live a better life. Faith in a miracle strictly speaking is impossible. Arrogance pretending to be faith is the nearest you can get to faith in a miracle.
Miracles are promoted by devious people and fools. No decent God does miracles - period. No God worthy of faith does them - period.