EXPLANATION OF ALLEGED
“HEALING MIRACLES” TODAY
If the miracles did not extend beyond the first century, how
does one explain the numerous alleged “healing miracles” of this modem age?
We are really not under obligation to explain or defend, as divine, a modem event
simply because it may have elements which are difficult to explain.
The antics of witch-doctors, fire walkers, psychics, etc., may be characterized by certain features that we kind difficult to understand; certainly, though, they are not associated with true spirituality. That aside, there are several possible bases for so-called modem miracles.
FIRST, some instances of “faith healing” are pure fakery. Consider the case of Peter Popoff, a
‘miracle-working’ cleric of
SECOND, some ‘miracle cures’ are claimed by people who honestly believe
that God has healed them. The fact
is, however, they had nothing really wrong with them organically. Their ailment was psychosomatic. That means that though some bodily feature
was actually affected, the real root of the problem was mental or emotional,
hence by suggestion a cure might be affected. It has been estimated that more
than half of all the people applying for medical treatment in the
THIRD, another possible explanation for some remarkable recoveries is a
phenomenon known as spontaneous remission.
Spontaneous remission is an unexpected withdrawal of disease symptoms
and an inexplicable disappearance of the ailment. It occurs in about one out of every 80,000
cancer patients. A while back newspapers
carried the account of a bartender in
FOURTH, it may be admitted that since physicians are human, they can and do make mistakes. Sometimes they misdiagnose a case. They may judge an illness to be fatal when in fact, it is not. Some of these situations are seized upon by modem ‘miracle-workers’ and a supernatural aura is attributed to them.
FINALLY, here is a point worthy of consideration that needs to be pressed with great vigor. There is no alleged ‘miracle’ being performed today by those of a ‘Christian’ persuasion (Pentecostals, Mormons, Christian Scientist, Catholic, etc.) that cannot be duplicated by the various ‘non-Christian’ sects. Those who practice Transcendental Meditation, Yoga, Psychic Healing, Scientology, New Age Crystal Healing, etc., claim the same type or ‘signs’ as these others. In fact, more than twenty million Americans of every conceivable religious persuasion annually report mystic experiences (including healing) in their lives.
Now, since the Scriptures clearly teach that the purpose of miracles, as evidenced in Biblical days, was to confirm the authenticity of the system (Mark -20; Hebrews 2:4), does the alleged example of modem ‘miracle healings’ indicate that the Lord has authenticated all of these woefully contradictory systems? Think of the implication in that—especially in light of Paul’s affirmation that God is not the author of confusion (I Corinthians ).
There is ample evidence that there were genuine miracles performed by divinely appointed men in the first century. The New Testament abounds with documented cases. But there is nothing comparable to those wonders being duplicated in this modern age.