This is a followup to the post “What Happened To Miracles?”
We read through the bible about great things that happened to great people, and great people who did great things. Miracle and miracle and miracle. And what we’re asked to do is believe those things and accept them as true. At least most of it. But while the Bible’s heroes had crops of blind people seeing, never ending food and drink, walking on water, the dead raised – you and I get none of that.
Nowadays, all we’re left with is claims.
We’re told the bread becomes something more than bread during the Eucharist. We’re told at a certain place and time, the sun did the jitterbug. We’re told a friend’s car finally started. Praise be to God Almighty.
This is the real switch. The only miracles Moderns ever experience are the soothing away of light headaches, bills being paid on time, of things happening just when they were needed. Someone I know heard a voice while they were falling asleep. Their only explanation is God.
Most of the big miracle claims are formulaic, and this certainly tells us something. Doctors are always baffled. That’s nearly a rule. Instead of warning some outcome might occur, Doctors are always predicting the gravest possible one. This is key, absolutely necessary. It sets up the whole story – no miracle account begins with a Doctor saying, “You could live anywhere from 3 months to 10 years.”
Modern miracles are first knit together by a faith that’s not really faith at all (see companion post). Moses walked with God and experienced him like you or I experience anyone else. We’re supposed to be surprised that he then does what this god says? And since God doesn’t change, shouldn’t we expect similar miracles to what we see peppered throughout scripture’s pages? I think Jesus answers this best: “…whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12 ESV). Greater works. Who has seen these greater works? I’m not asking whose cousin’s friend who went on a missionary trip has heard of them – who has seen them?
Modern Christianity’s faith is based in the Bible, on people who are alleged to have acted on the advice of an evidential deity who resided in an ancient culture where holy men performed miraculous miracles. We secure that belief in our pocket, call it “faith,” and make it real. Meanwhile reality continues. No one does the greater works that Jesus proclaims. But maybe you believe greater works are yet to come? Good! I happen to believe that if you combine a faith based on miracles, a messiah who promises these miracles will continue, and the belief of millions of sincere Christians, you ought to get some real results if this is true. But all people seem able to do is heal a few headaches and “miraculously” recover from procedures performed by competent medical professionals.
Something isn’t adding up. The faith and work of the disciples should be the faith and work of Moderns. I’m sorry to say that’s not what we see, despite what Jesus said. If this sounds like a call to holy arms, by all means please pursue those big miracles. I might get sick some day and could certainly use a legitimate “Get out of cancer free” card. I’d love that. Who wouldn’t?
And if that never happens? If the pattern persists as reliably as it has centuries and centuries before us? Maybe at that point we move on to better things.