Miracles don't still occur?

Discussion in 'Controversial' started by devilslayer365, Oct 28, 2017.

  1. devilslayer365

    devilslayer365 Wazzup?!

    I was curious. For those that are of the opinion that God doesn't still perform healing miracles in modern times, that He only did it in biblical times, and the reason that miracles have ceased is because the New Testament is finished, on what basis do you come to that conclusion? For some reason, Corinthians 13:8-10 is often given by many as an explanation... "Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears." My questions are these. Where in this scripture does it even mention "miracles" ceasing? Where in this scripture is it indicating that this "completeness" has already arrived? Where in this scripture does it indicate that the "completeness" is the completion of the writing of the New Testament?
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2017
  2. tango

    tango ... and you shall live ... Staff Member

    The best explanation I've come across (which is still totally unsatisfactory to me) is the idea that "when the perfect comes" is referring to Jesus. I can't see that holding any water because Paul wrote to the Corinthians after Jesus has been and gone and clearly tongues, prophecies etc hadn't yet ceased. I think the idea that "completeness" refers to a group of people closing the canon of Scripture is a stab in the dark, retro-fitting an event to a text to make a case that isn't there.
  3. Kierkegaard

    Kierkegaard Life is not a problem to be solved Staff Member

    Can confirm that they do. The only reason to think they don't is theological that's been divorced from reality.
    DaniH likes this.
  4. devilslayer365

    devilslayer365 Wazzup?!

    So, now that you told me what you believe the “completeness” ISN’T, any ideas on what it IS?
  5. פNIʞƎƎS

    פNIʞƎƎS Connoisseur of Memes Staff Member

    Just curious Aaron. What's your opinion of the OP? Do you believe miracles still occur?
  6. devilslayer365

    devilslayer365 Wazzup?!

    Yes, I do. I don’t believe God limited His mercy and kindness to one particular chunk of time. I’m aware of too many instances of people experiencing healing that “shouldn’t have happened,” according to medical doctors. Do I believe all claims of “miraculous healing,” though? No.
  7. TrustGzus

    TrustGzus Don't make me hangry Staff Member

    This has to be parsed out carefully. I think you have a bit of a straw man of the view going on here. Cessationists believe the gifts of healing have ceased. They don’t believe that all miraculous healing ceased.
  8. devilslayer365

    devilslayer365 Wazzup?!

    Explain the difference. Also, on what biblical basis do “cessasionists” believe the gifts of healing have stopped?
  9. TrustGzus

    TrustGzus Don't make me hangry Staff Member

    The cessationist view is that gifts of healing have ceased but God can still heal.

    So, with gifts of healing having ceased no individual goes around with a regular ability to heal people. God may heal directly with no medium or he might heal where a group of people pray for an individual but it’s not as if any individual, Aaron or Joe for example, can go around healing people with any regularity because no individual has that gift today.

    The positions they take is based upon the idea that God can confirm a messenger (an apostle or prophet) is of him by granting that they can do signs and wonders.

    So the reason for the gifts ceasing upon the completion of the NT is that with no Scripture being written such gifts didn’t serve a purpose anymore.

    Verse such as 2 Corinthians 12:12 where Paul states, “The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles,” (NASB) are understood to support the position.
  10. tango

    tango ... and you shall live ... Staff Member

    TG covers it pretty well - one can believe that God can and does still heal without believing that there are people today who can literally walk around and see people healed by nothing more than their shadow being cast over them.

    Personally I think if people want to claim the one gift has ceased they need to look at all the gifts - it doesn't seem to make sense to say that the gift of healing has ceased but the gifts of tongues, prophecy, working of miracles etc have not. I guess one might argue that "completeness" is when the last of the original apostles died, but I can't help thinking that looks a lot like trying to retrofit an event to suit a comment.
  11. TrustGzus

    TrustGzus Don't make me hangry Staff Member

    Piggybacking off Tango, cessationists believe some gifts ceased and others continued.

    Generally speaking, it doesn’t seem that coming of the perfect is part of their case as the perfect is usually believed by them to be the eternal state.

    They do see the sign gifts ending as the apostles and those the apostles laid hands on went to be with the LORD.
  12. tango

    tango ... and you shall live ... Staff Member

    Why would some gifts cease but not others? Is there a Scriptural basis for this argument, or is it based more on observation?
  13. TrustGzus

    TrustGzus Don't make me hangry Staff Member

    We definitely wouldn’t want all gifts to cease. Teaching is pretty handy. Hospitality is nice to have around, et al.

    From a cessationist perspective the question is about “Why miracles?” “Why gifts of healing?”

    Did those gifts serve a purpose? Did that purpose have an end? Could the continuation of those gifts actually cause confusion if they were to continue?

    Moses asked a reasonable question in Ex 4:1....

    Then Moses said, “What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say? For they may say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’ ”

    Then as we continue reading we see God provide a miraculous event and his reason for it....

    2 The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” And he said, “A staff.”
    3 Then He said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it.
    4 But the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand and grasp it by its tail”—so he stretched out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand—
    5 “that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”

    The miracle was proof that the Lord appeared to Moses, that Moses actually spoke with God and was sent by and spoke for God.

    What did Nicodemus say about Jesus?

    “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

    The apostles said the same in Acts 2:22....

    “Fellow Israelites, listen to these words: This Jesus of Nazareth was a man attested to you by God with miracles, wonders, and signs that God did among you through him, just as you yourselves know.

    They give several other examples, but I don’t want to make the post excessively long.

    So the idea is that God confirms a messenger of revelation by miracles. If new revelation comes to end an end, then the purpose of miracles ends.

    Norman Geisler has an interesting chapter on this in chapter 8 of his book about classical Apologetics called “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist.” He’s written other works on it too.

    IMINXTC Time Bandit

    Yeah, it's sign gifts, from a cessationist point of view, which have ceasesd.
  15. teddyv

    teddyv The horse is in the barn. Staff Member

    Unrelated to the cessationist arguments, I wonder if healings are exceptionally rare in the Western world because the charlatans have made people extremely cynical and skeptical regarding purported healings (and I count myself in this group). One time, someone posted about a healing over a BF. Being me, I looked into the possibility of false positive diagnoses and found that for this particular one, at early stage diagnosis, false positives may be up to 97% of all cases.

    Perhaps we can way too quick to call things a legitimate healing. If I come across an example of someone with ALS healed, then I will take notice (diagnosis of ALS can also result in false positives).

    IMINXTC Time Bandit

    I also lean toward the explanation that that which is perfect is the full outpouring of the Spirit and the spiritual maturing of the Church.

    Cannot elaborate at this time.
  17. RabbiKnife

    RabbiKnife Open the pod bay door, please HAL.

    I find that miracles were extraordinarily rare in th NT to begin with
  18. TrustGzus

    TrustGzus Don't make me hangry Staff Member

    I personally suspect people aren’t any different at any location or time in regard to healings and miracles. Western skepticism gets too much credit imo.
  19. tango

    tango ... and you shall live ... Staff Member

    I think there are a lot of charlatans out there - it seems there are people with great healing ministries but few of them perform healings that can be clearly verified and not faked. Things like "one leg longer than the other" is easy to fake. An invisible pain cannot be verified by those present and if the person at the front has "a word from God" that there's someone among the 50,000 strong audience who "has a bad back" there's a pretty good chance that in a crowd that size at least someone will identify with the description. A well-placed stooge can give an appearance of legitimacy and much can be made of the general lack of knowledge about just what it means to be disabled. A classic example is a wheelchair user - most people will say that a wheelchair user cannot walk. This is generally untrue - many wheelchair users can walk. Not very well, and not for very far, but many wheelchair users can take a few faltering steps before falling over. So the charlatan preacher, after an hour of upbeat repetitive music that gets everybody "expecting a move of the Spirit" (read: on a high wanting more) rolls out someone in a wheelchair and tells them to get up and walk. The poor wheelchair user tries to comply, takes a few faltering steps before collapsing into the arms of the waiting attendants, the crowd goes wild thinking they have witnessed a miracle, and the wheelchair user is quietly wheeled off stage. They can be blamed for their own lack of faith later when it's clear they "lost their healing". Poor schmuck must have had lots of unconfessed sin, or something.

    At the same time, as RK says, it doesn't look as if healings were everyday occurrences in NT times either. Yes, John wrote that Jesus did many more things and Peter's shadow healed people, but most of us aren't Jesus and most of us aren't Peter.
  20. teddyv

    teddyv The horse is in the barn. Staff Member

    But do you think that we may be too quick to ascribe the miraculous to the mundane?

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