Faith healing, divine wonders, and miracles are a significant part of religion’s shtick. A miracle supposedly subverts nature causing unexplainable supernatural things to happen. Pastors and evangelists use the idea and promise of miracles to swindle the masses into giving them cash and obedience. Miracles do not exist, but science brings amazing cures!
The Bible abounds with miraculous events, from the beginning to the end. The myth makers who desperately wanted to add authority to their stories put them there. What better way to add authority, than by having the hero heal the paralyzed, cause the blind see, and the deaf hear? If we could pray and have limbs grow back, then there would be no better way to prove god’s existence. There would also never be an ex-Christian because no one would walk away from something so obviously true and powerful.
This leads us to a problem. The fundamentalist Pentecostal tradition I was raised in, the Assemblies of God, holds divine healing as one of its “16 Fundamental Truths.” The statement says, “Divine healing is an integral part of the gospel. Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement, and is the privilege of all believers.” Many denominations have similar statements of faith. All pointing to the same belief, healing was not just for bible times and it supposedly happens today. Okay . . . but it doesn’t!
It is nothing more than doublethink when modern Christians believe miracles continue to occur, even though overwhelming evidence to the contrary exists. The only assertions faith healing supporters can make are anecdotal or observational. “A friend of a friend was supernaturally healed of cancer.” When in reality, the person may have been undergoing chemo, but they attributed the remission to god. As the story makes its way down the telephone chain the faithful tend to minimize the natural and exaggerate the supernatural, until you have an amazing, but fabricated, proof story.
These beliefs are made worse by charlatans like Benny Hinn and Peter Popoff who prey on the sick and needy. They ask for money to support their ministries, which in turn fund lavish lifestyles. If they have enough faith and send enough cash, then they are promised healing. Just load any video on Youtube by James Randi to find out exactly how horrible these conmen are!
Thomas Paine said it best, “All the tales of miracles, with which the Old and New Testament are filled, are fit only for imposters to preach and fools to believe.” Supernatural miracles are a hoax, but amazingly, the blind see, deaf hear, and amputees are receiving new limbs.
January’s National Geographic cover popped out at me last night as I walked through the supermarket. The headline read, “Merging Man and Machine” and the cover had a bionic hand on it. The prosthetic hand looked more like something from a Star Wars movie than real life. With my curiosity piqued I flipped open to the article. What I read on the next few pages amazed me. The story started with information about cochlear implants being put into deaf infants who then are able to hear and learn language. The deaf hear.
It also mentioned some ground breaking science being done with restoring vision to the blind. Video signals from a small camera are converted into an electrical pattern the cells in the eye can understand. 60 electrodes attached to the retina receive this information and converted it to vision. The blind see.
The majority of the story was about Amanda Kitts. She tragically lost her arm in an automobile accident. The good news to the story, Kitts has been fitted with a revolutionary bionic arm. Kitts controls this electronic/mechanical arm by thinking, exactly the same way you would use a natural arm, but she does this without having anything implanted in her brain. They did this by stimulating nerve cells that would have connected down the arm and to the hand to grow in the muscles of the stump of her arm. As these nerves grew their signals were strong enough to be read by electrodes that touch the skin. As her brain tells the hand to open and close it responds to the signal by reading the nerves in the muscles. Amputees are receiving new limbs!
The natural wonders of today far outweigh the mythical gods and prophets of the past. The stories about Jesus healing the blind, deaf, and crippled are impossible to verify. And miracle claims above all other assertions require exceptional proof. Those who cling to the Christian myth dumbfound me. I do not understand why people would pray for divine healing when it never comes.
The popular question among skeptics is “why won’t god heal amputees?” There is a great website devoted to this question. It is an important question because if god did heal an amputee after the limb was prayed for, then we would have conclusive proof a supernatural miracle of healing occurred. We would also know modern medicine had nothing to do with it. Unfortunately, for the religious, this has never happened.
So when I asked myself this question, I came to the ultimate conclusion that divine healing is nothing more than mere religious mumbo jumbo. The good news is humanity has a lot of amazing solutions to the problems that cause suffering in our world. Science is overcoming superstitious quackery bit by bit everyday. We are getting closer and closer to a real cure for amputees and a better world for all those in need. I hope we get there!