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Where is the Power of the Gospel Today?

Posted by truthtalklive on March 12, 2008

Todays guest host: Dr. Michael Brown www.revolutionnow.org

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69 Responses to “Where is the Power of the Gospel Today?”

  1. Darlene said

    God’s Word is the same today as it was yesterday. Jesus is the same today as He was then~God never changes.
    The power of the gospel has been changed by men, by pastors or teachers that have changed the Word of God to their own liking. There is no power if it is not being taught according to the Word of God. People claim to be Christians, but look how they live. Look how they act. No different from the World. We are to come out of the ways of the World. We live a very strict life and are criticised by other so called Christians~why? Because we are trying to live like Christ, instead of living like the world. I consider it a blessing to be persecuted because of how I live for Christ. I see power, I have the power of the gospel, I know it’s real!!! If you can’t walk and live close to Christ you will never have or see that power. I don’t care what anyone says. You can’t wish for the power, it comes from Christ. God bless. Darlene in Clover, S.C.

  2. Elias said

    Throughout the bible we see miracles and wonders during times of revelation. though there’s nothing preventing God from doind miraculous things now, we should expect to see a less amount of them because there is no more special revelation being reveled by God through a messenger.

  3. Willie said

    no more special revelation being reveled by God through a messenger.

    Or maybe they didn’t happen back then either.

  4. Jeff42 said

    Willie,

    Let’s not turn this thread to your skepticism. There are enough threads that currently have that theme. This is a discussion of the power of the gospel. I don’t say this to be mean, but let’s keep this one on track please.

  5. Willie said

    If you don’t like the answer don’t ask the question.

  6. David said

    This is a great question, one that I think is very important for reaching the lost, for today. I don’t think that true evangelism was ever supposed to be done without the backing of signs and miracles. Maybe they did not happen every time the gospel was preached, but it was expected that if one would follow the true and “living” God, a miracle could be expected, as demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ many times. Our God, today, is a “living” God. He’s not a God that only did signs or miracles in the past, but his Spirit is alive and at work today. How can we convince a skeptical world that Jesus is the way, if we try to lead them to a God that only performed miracles in the past, and wants nothing to do with them in 2008? If we take away the power of God, meaning the power of God to do miracles and distrbute spiritual gifts, then we have basically reduced the Gospel of Jesus (in the eyes of the world) as just another philosophy. We have tons of earthly philosophies, that can be debated by both sides to every arguement, but it is hard to debate a legimate miracle happening.

    As to “why” there is no power in the gospel today, I beleive a good part of the void is due to a lack of faith and genuine committment to the Lord. Were we (as Americans) to experience true revival and take up our crosses as we were suppose to, we would find more Christians relying on the power of God in their lives. Secondly, I believe that there is a great deal of skepticism within the Body of Christ, as to operating in the Spiritual Gifts, and to what is legimately – of God. It seems that the “power” of God has been somewhat “marketed” by some insincere denominations/ministers, and this has created a backlash of disbelief among Christians. Miracles having been exaggerated or faked, in the interest of promoting the Gospel can actually create the opposite effect.

  7. Truck said

    Seems all the big revivals peter out after a few years.. Is it because of all the side distractions to the real Gospel… things like bookstores, trips, vacation retreat conferences, etc?? God really doesn’t sem to like churches being turned into businesses or a source of funds for the leaders. Things that seem good at first, like supplying tapes for attendees, turn into major distractions and sidelines for the folks putting on the “show” and they get burned out on “revival work.

    And a side note.. whatever happened to all the gold teeth, fillings, dust, etc????? Was a victim of that one myself.

    Truck, formerly a regular on Reapernet chat.

  8. Jeff42 said

    The gospel is the power of God for the salvation of both Jew and Gentile (Rom. 1:16). Men are born again by the power of the Spirit, through the living Word of God (1 Peter 1:22-25). We preach the gospel in dependence upon the Spirit to use it to bring God’s children to himself. Faithful preaching of the gospel is our job; saving souls is God’s job. And if the preacher is to be filled with the Spirit, he must be living in line with the Word he is preaching. Maybe we would do better to ask where have all the faithful preachers gone. So, my answer to the question is that the power is in the gospel. The power is where it has always been – in God and His Word. Do we believe that? And are we willing to simply preach the gospel and let the Spirit demonstrate His power by converting sinners (1 Cor. 2:1-5)?

    It is true that God sometimes attends the preaching of His Word with special blessing (like in the Great Awakenings). But we must not think that our efforts will be for nothing if miracles are not present. (By the way, there is no greater miracle than when God gives a rebellious sinner a new heart!) Miracles in themselves convert no one. When Jesus raised Lazarus it only caused His enemies to hate Him more (John 11). And when the rich man asked that one come back from the dead to witness to his family, Abraham said, “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.” He also said, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead (Luke 16:19-31).” The Word of God is sufficient. It will accomplish God’s purpose (Is. 55:10, 11). God converts sinners through the gospel. Do we have confidence in the gospel? Do we trust the Spirit to work through the God-appointed means? We must faithfully preach the gospel in dependence upon the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of the hearers.

  9. Marcus said

    I have a question, if having manifestations of power “proves” that the gospel we are preaching is the truth, does preaching without manifestations of power “prove” that what we are preaching is false? Does this sound like heresy? Consider the words of Paul:

    “But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.”

    He seems to be implying that authority in the Kingdom of God is directly correlated to how much power is demonstrated through people. I really can’t see how Paul could be talking about anything other than obvious demonstrations of supernatural power such as healings, prophetic words, etc…. What a drastically different world the New Testament church walked in. Apostles picked by drawing straws. Authority in the church based on the ability to work miracles. Good thing we’re too “sophisticated” in the modern western church to function that way.

  10. Marcus,

    That’s a very fair question, and I’d be interested to hear how some of the folks here respond, especially to your logical syllogism.

    I certainly believe that the greatest demonstration of God’s power is seen in the radical transformation of lives, but the New Testament pattern is quite clear in terms of God’s miraculous power confirming the reality of the preached word.

    Blessings,

    Dr. Michael L. Brown

  11. Maz Herman said

    Marcus: You have hit on something that should make every true born-again Christian search their hearts about. Why are we not seeing today the kind of power that was demonstrated in the early Church?
    I believe there is only one answer; the state of the Church and what it is teaching.
    But we can’t generalise…..not all Churches have preachers teaching error, but not all Churches are teaching the Truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ either. And there are Churches that experience healings and miracles.

    In 1 Tim: 4 v 1, Paul prophesies in his letter to Timothy ”Now the Spirit speaks expressly that, in the latter times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons..” and in 2 Tim: 4 v 3, ”For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine but, after their own lusts, shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (v4) and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned to fables.” This, sadly is happening in the Church today and more widely than I suspect a lot of Christians realise.
    We SHOULD see Gods power….when we preach the cross…when we preach the Truth. I for one search my own heart about this.

  12. Angie said

    The power of the gospel comes from what Jesus did on the cross. We only have that power when we believe He did it all for us to have salvation. We are ignorant of the scripture. We rely on our pastors, on books and tv to tell us what the word says instead of studying and meditating on the word of God. The gospel is a specific act of love that our Savior did for us to save us from our sins. Only when we believe and trust Jesus for doing all that was necessary can we have power. It all comes from Him. He gives the power. Until we come to the point were we surrender everything to him, we are useless. The gospel is not some vague idea of truth, but the fact that the God of the universe came down as a man to suffer and die a horrible death to die for the sins of the whole world. He died our death but he arose victorious and now we can share that good news to all knowing we did nothing for it. The grace of God is the gospel. That’s the greatest good news of all.

  13. Jeff42 said

    Marcus,

    What Scripture(s) would you point to to prove that miracles will always accompany the true preaching of the gospel? God does sometimes give extraordinary blessing to the preaching of the gospel, but I don’t think that any Scripture actually teaches that every time the gospel is truly preached miracles will accompany it.

    The Scripture you quote is from 1 Cor. 4. In context it is not talking about preaching the gospel. There were some in Corinth who were claiming that Paul was not a true apostle. They were challenging his authority and trying to create doubt in the hearts of the believers there.

    According to your understanding, were missionaries like William Carey, who preached the gospel for 7 years with no obvious outward response among the people of India, preaching a false gospel?

  14. Marcus said

    Maz,

    I would also like to raise a possibility with regard to whether what most of the church is preaching is “the Truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ”. Something spoken can be doctrinally true, but not be spoken in a “spirit of truth”, thereby making it false. What do I mean? I think Art Katz expresses it best in his essay, The Spirit of Truth:

    Appropriately enough, the essay that you are about to read had its origin at a church where I was brought one Sunday morning, free from any commitment of my own, to enjoy the luxury of hearing another preacher. I went tripping as a doe, full of delight and anticipation, buoyed by the lavish praise for the minister as a preacher of the Word, by the brother who escorted me.

    I was seated in the balcony of the crowded church, attentive and waiting, but not a little disturbed by the
    contrasting groups around me. On the one hand, the assembly included clusters of giddy teenagers round about. On the other hand, I was struck by the air of religious stiffness and joylessness in the adults. I endeavored to throttle my jaundiced subjectivity, not wanting in any way to allow it to impinge upon the preached word now beginning to come forth. As the message unfolded, I could readily understand the enthusiasm for the preacher that my companion held. The words were clear, pointed, and correct. What, then, was this strange uneasiness rising in my soul that intensified with every word, till finally my innards were knotted in an inexplicable anguish?

    At last I realized my dilemma: my mind was approving the outward biblical and doctrinal correctness of the word preached, but my soul was recoiling at the spirit of the speaking that contradicted its every syllable! We were with the one enjoined to radical commitment and sacrifice, while the other was saying, “No need to panic; this need not be taken seriously-remember, this is only a sermon. I’ll provide a biblical message weekly, and you provide for my personal security and well being. I won’t push you, and you won’t push me, and we’ll get along famously.”

    In that moment, the realization was birthed in me (should I have not long before seen it?): the truth is the whole truth and nothing but the truth, or it is not the truth. The spirit of the one speaking-the constitution and grit of the person-must be in complete agreement with the words of the one speaking, or it is a lie. The devastating words of the widow of Zarephath to the prophet Elijah pierce me still:

    “Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth.” (I Ki 17:24 KJV).

  15. Maz Herman said

    Marcus: I believe that anyone who is going to preach the gospel, that is……. that Jesus, the perfect Son of God, came down from the Father, lived a sinless life, died on the cross and shed His blood for our sins, that He rose again from the dead on the third day, and once we accept His sacrifice for our sins and receive Him into our lives, He will dwell there by the power of the Holy Spirit…….(they) should preach it from a real personal experience of Jesus in their lives and from a heart that loves people and wants them to know forgiveness through Christ. Just preaching a sermon is not enough, it must be preached with the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The Bible is a living Word and it should be preached with true faith and love.
    I’v heard a lot of sermons, but you KNOW when someone has had a personal experience with Christ when they preach from the heart.
    There are too many dead churches out there with too many dead preachers, preaching too many dead sermons to a dead congregation. God cannot work among dead people………well, He can…they just need resurrecting! 🙂

  16. Marcus said

    Jeff, you said:

    What Scripture(s) would you point to to prove that miracles will always accompany the true preaching of the gospel? God does sometimes give extraordinary blessing to the preaching of the gospel, but I don’t think that any Scripture actually teaches that every time the gospel is truly preached miracles will accompany it.

    I agree, that’s why it was a question and not a statement 🙂 What got me thinking about it though, was the thought that perhaps the lack of true spiritual power is a very serious thing that we as the church need to consider as a symptom of something deeply wrong with us. Perhaps having miracles accompanying our preaching is not an “extra” thing, that God graces us with every now and then, but instead is so inextricably linked to the true proclamation of His word, that when they are not present, it is a sign that we need to get on our knees and ask God what’s wrong.

    The Scripture you quote is from 1 Cor. 4. In context it is not talking about preaching the gospel. There were some in Corinth who were claiming that Paul was not a true apostle. They were challenging his authority and trying to create doubt in the hearts of the believers there.

    My reasoning was essentially: Since Paul considered authority in the Church, i.e. who to listen to, something that should be based on the ability to work miracles, then Paul would apply the same principle to the question of who’s gospel to believe in. It’s definitely two different circumstances, but I don’t think I stretched the application beyond limits.

    According to your understanding, were missionaries like William Carey, who preached the gospel for 7 years with no obvious outward response among the people of India, preaching a false gospel?

    Again, I raised a question, not a statement. I personally believe that people that preach the doctrinally true gospel with no outward manifestations of power are doing the Lord a service and are truly preaching the Word. It’s not like I see tons of miracles taking place when I pray for people, though I do see some. But we must compare our lives not to others, but to the Word, and the Word seems to show that generally, not every second of every day, but in general, that when the gospel is presented that God is so zealous over that word, that he just naturally accompanies it with supernatural power obvious to all. And my question is, if we don’t see it, is there something wrong? Could it be that, for a believer, a life void of the supernatural power of God isn’t normal?

  17. Anonymous said

    Willie
    You’re not qualified to answer unless you know what the power of the Gospel even is.

  18. Maz Herman said

    Marcus: Miracles and healings should be the ”norm” in the Church not a ”once in a while” manifestation, you are quite right to question whether there is anything wrong. I don’t want to appear too simplistic but my answer would be YES!
    James speaks clearly about prayer for the sick in the Church. Ch. 5 v 14-16.
    And 1 Cor: ll v 30 also gives a reason why some are sick in the Church. Communion must be taken, not just as a weekly tradition but a real reminder of what Jesus did for us and thankfully and reverently acknowledge that the wine and the bread are symbols of the Lords body broken for us and the Lords blood shed for us. It should never be taken glibly.

  19. Marcus said

    As far as scriptures that point to the fact that the proclamation of the gospel is generally linked with miracles (again, not every time as if it were a magic formula, but generally):

    1) Miracles happened through Jesus as he preached
    2) Miracles happened through the disciples as they preached after Jesus sent them out
    3) Miracles happened after Pentecost through the apostles when they preached
    4) Paul expected miracles to be happening in the Church, both within the body, and when they preached the gospel

  20. Maz Herman said

    Willie: Are you qualified to say that?

  21. Willie said

    You’re not qualified to answer unless you know what the power of the Gospel even is.

    Please define it for me then.

  22. Marcus said

    Willie,

    Could you explain more about what you meant by “Or maybe they didn’t happen back then either.”? I’m interested to hear more about where you’re coming from.

  23. Willie said

    I was responding to this:

    Throughout the bible we see miracles and wonders during times of revelation. though there’s nothing preventing God from doing miraculous things now

    There are no miracles now because there were no miracles then.

  24. Marcus said

    Willie,

    I am interested in your response to 2 questions I have:

    1) How do you know there were no miracles then?

    2) I have personally experienced miracles in my life. I also have close reputable friends that have experienced miracles. I’m not talking about “wow, I prayed for 100 dollars and got a 100 dollar check in the mail from the IRS, what a miracle”. I’m talking about the actual presence of God very similar to what’s spoken of in Acts, actual deliverance of demons, just like in the Gospels, I’m talking about significant healing that there is no natural explanation for. Since you are sure there are no miracles today, would you say I am lying, deceived or crazy?

  25. Maz Herman said

    Marcus: Willie doesn’t really want to know, he’s just bating you.
    You give him an answer and he’ll throw another question at you.
    He does this on every question he goes on here. I cannot believe he is serious about any of the questions.

  26. Anonymous said

    Willie (like Fred) just likes to agrue and stir things up. He seems to enjoy thumbing his nose at those who have different beliefs than he does. He does not engage in any thoughtful dialogue. He just makes inflammatory remarks and then runs away from any serious conversation.

  27. Marcus said

    Maz,

    You may be right about Willie, hopefully he’ll step up to the plate though.

    I would also like to know what you think about how we can take what we have been talking about here, and do something about it. What steps can we as disciples of the Lord take to see our lives become so full of the authentic message of the risen Messiah, that we see the power of God manifested regularly in our lives?

  28. Maz Herman said

    Marcus: I would love to be able to tell you what we could do about it. I’m not sure there is an easy way. For me personally, I want a closer walk with Jesus, I want to be so in tune with the Spirit that I know what God is thinking and what He wants me to do. I go to a real good Pentecostal Church, where the Pastor does teach and preach Biblical truth and we Feel the Spirit move in our services sometimes, but alas the miracles evade us.
    God uses me in a couple of the gifts, and I do my own evangelising in my home town.
    I pray….not enough! I read my Bible daily to see what God is saying to me.
    I watch….we must be aware of teachings in the Church that are going off the Word…and there are many BIG preachers going somewhere else! (On Christian TV)
    I can’t really do much about the Church as a whole except blogging on here to other Christians and hope my words will incourage, inspire, support and comfort…..and reach the lost too.
    But I am also a great believer in PRAISE and WORSHIP! That is where I get my strength and inspiration, and I find when I sing along with a really good Praise CD that then I can enter into the Presence of the Lord more than at any other time. (Except in Church)
    If every Christian could just seek after Jesus, and get into His Presence every day we may see a change. What do you think?

  29. Fred said

    Marcus asks:

    1) How do you know there were no miracles then?

    2) I have personally experienced miracles in my life. I also have close reputable friends that have experienced miracles. I’m not talking about “wow, I prayed for 100 dollars and got a 100 dollar check in the mail from the IRS, what a miracle”. I’m talking about the actual presence of God very similar to what’s spoken of in Acts, actual deliverance of demons, just like in the Gospels, I’m talking about significant healing that there is no natural explanation for. Since you are sure there are no miracles today, would you say I am lying, deceived or crazy?

    ———-

    1. Assuming that the laws of nature haven’t changed we infer that there were no miracles in the past. Humans are as easily deceived today as they were in the past.

    2. Insufficient data.

  30. Jeff42 said

    Fred,

    Where did these “laws of nature” come from?

  31. Marcus said

    Fred said:

    1. Assuming that the laws of nature haven’t changed we infer that there were no miracles in the past. Humans are as easily deceived today as they were in the past.

    A miracle, by definition, is something outside of nature. I’m not arguing that nature changed, I’m saying that the author of nature performed some acts that were outside of nature. Surely if there is a God, then He can act in ways outside of nature, which He created. Whether He does or not is another question, but you seem to be arguing that miracles could not happen. How would you respond to this statement: If there is a God, then it is possible for Him to at times do things that nature prevents from happening. If you agree with that statement, then what you’re really saying is that there is no God, correct?

    2. Insufficient data.

    Good answer! But you do believe that I would have to be either lying, deceived, or crazy, correct?

  32. Willie said

    What Fred said X 2. Plus
    1) It’s said the Buddha was born from a slit in his mother’s side, could walk when he was a week old, and caused flowers to grow out of the rocky ground wherever he walked. Can you prove that didn’t happen?

    2) 1 million people will pray that their cancer goes away. By the laws of probability a few will have spontaneous remission. I’m sure they will go around telling folks that God did a miracle. But why does God never do miracles than can be proven. Why does God hate amputees for example.

  33. Maz Herman said

    Willie: Sounds like you have a big chip on your shoulder.
    If God doesn’t exist why do you ask ”Why does God hate amputees?”
    As I said before to Marcus, you don’t really want to know anything to do with God
    so why ask senseless questions?

  34. Willie said

    Once again, a non-response from the Christians. Instead of responding to the questions they attack the motives and insult the personality of the questioner.

  35. Marcus said

    Willie said:

    1) It’s said the Buddha was born from a slit in his mother’s side, could walk when he was a week old, and caused flowers to grow out of the rocky ground wherever he walked. Can you prove that didn’t happen?

    Nope!

    So if I’m hearing you correctly, you believe the miracles recorded in the Bible didn’t happen because miracles can’t happen? If this is the case, could you answer the question I asked Fred:
    How would you respond to this statement: If there is a God, then it is possible for Him to at times do things that nature prevents from happening. If you agree with that statement, then what you’re really saying is that there is no God, correct?

    2) 1 million people will pray that their cancer goes away. By the laws of probability a few will have spontaneous remission. I’m sure they will go around telling folks that God did a miracle. But why does God never do miracles than can be proven. Why does God hate amputees for example.

    I would agree that cancer goes away sometimes unusually without it being a miracle, but the supernatural phenomena I mentioned aren’t explainable through me simply being mistaken. I wasn’t speaking in hyperbole when I said:

    I’m talking about the actual presence of God very similar to what’s spoken of in Acts, actual deliverance of demons, just like in the Gospels, I’m talking about significant healing that there is no natural explanation for.

    I cannot simply be “harmlessly mistaken” as in attributing things that happen in nature to a miracle from God, either I’m telling the truth, I’m lying, or I’m deceived/crazy. So, in your opinion, am I lying or deceived/crazy?

    Obviously, you can’t know absolutely, I’m just asking your opinion to drive home the fact that there are serious consequences to this subject. Either I’m deceiving people into thinking they have hope in the Messiah when this hope is false, or you’re deceiving people into thinking there is no God act work on the Earth, when in fact He is and you are a stumbling block keeping people from Him!

    As far as the amputees are concerned, I would love to see an amputee be healed, but I’m not going to go around grumbling that unless I see an amputee healed, that the other miraculous things I’ve seen are worthless, just like I’m not going to demand that God stop time or turn the Earth inside out, I’m going to appreciate what He has given, while hoping for more.

  36. Willie said

    supernatural phenomena I mentioned aren’t explainable through me simply being mistaken. I wasn’t speaking in hyperbole when I said: I’m talking about the actual presence of God very similar to what’s spoken of in Acts, actual deliverance of demons, just like in the Gospels, I’m talking about significant healing that there is no natural explanation for.

    Please give an example.

    So, in your opinion, am I lying or deceived/crazy?

    False dilemma. Lots of people believe believe in the power of astrology and check their horoscope every day. Are they lying or insane?

  37. Marcus said

    I misspelled “act” in my previous post, the second to last paragraph should have said:

    Obviously, you can’t know absolutely, I’m just asking your opinion to drive home the fact that there are serious consequences to this subject. Either I’m deceiving people into thinking they have hope in the Messiah when this hope is false, or you’re deceiving people into thinking there is no God at work on the Earth, when in fact He is and you are a stumbling block keeping people from Him!

  38. Tripp said

    Willie – It’s very simple. If you don’t like the responses then go away. You’ve nothing left to try and prove here.

  39. Maz Herman said

    Willie: ”Once again a non-response from the Christians. Instead of responding to the questions they attack the motives and insult the personality of the questioner.”

    You talk as though we havn’t responded to anything you have asked.
    All you seem to come out with is skepticism and then more skepticism.
    I’d like to respond if you gave me something worth responding to and I thought you would listen to it.
    Read Anonomous on 26 again, I think he put it quite succinctly.

  40. Marcus said

    Willie,

    Let’s make a deal. You answer my first question:

    How would you respond to this statement: If there is a God, then it is possible for Him to at times do things that nature prevents from happening. If you agree with that statement, then what you’re really saying is that there is no God, correct?

    And then I’ll tell you specifics about the experiences I’m referring to.

    Sound good?

  41. Fred said

    RE: post 30

    I don’t know.

  42. Willie said

    If there is a God, then it is possible for Him to at times do things that nature prevents from happening.

    Yes, that is correct.

    If you agree with that statement, then what you’re really saying is that there is no God, correct?

    No, that’s not right. Think about the logic here:
    If there is a God then it is possible that he lives in France.
    You deny God lives in France, therefore you are saying there is no God..

  43. Fred said

    RE: post 31

    1. Marcus, using your definition of ‘miracle’ anything goes. Outside of nature anything is possible. I am not saying there isn’t a god. I am saying we don’t observe a god in nature.

    2. Yes, you must be mistaken in some way. I don’t know.

    Your turn:

    How can we observe something “outside of nature”?

  44. Marcus said

    Willie,

    My point was the following:
    You believe that if there is a God, then He can do miracles. You believe there is no way there ever have been miracles. Therefore you do not believe in God. What am I missing? If you believe that if there is a God and He can do miracles but would never, can I ask what drew you to this conclusion?

    Fred,
    When I was referring to miracles being “outside of nature” I mean something that doesn’t happen naturally. Such as a blind man being instantly healed because Jesus prayed for him. Or someone’s ribs going from broken and extremely painful to touch to instantly fine when prayed for, as was the case with a friend of mine when my father-in-law prayed for him. These things are supernatural.

    I will ask again, If there is a God, couldn’t He do whatever He wants? Including things that don’t line up with the way He has designed the Universe to function?

    I’m a computer programmer. I may design a system to work one way, but surely I can alter that program if I want to? Why couldn’t God? Again, the question of whether God WOULD do things outside of nature is another question altogether. If you believe He CAN but WOULD NEVER, then I ask you the same thing I asked Willie, why do you believe this?

  45. Fred said

    Marcus, there’s a much simpler and natural explanation for most faith healing reports. I don’t believe miracles occur because most can be explained naturally. There’s no denying that unexplained phenomena occur that aren’t readily explained. That doesn’t mean that divine intervention is responsible; or that extra-terrestrials are responsible.

    If there is a God perhaps He can do whatever he wants. I don’t know.

    You obviously believe that you have witnessed something that can only be explained by Divine intervention. I am going to respectfully decline to accept that explanation. Hope we can still be friends.

  46. Willie said

    Marcus- your argument makes a little more sense the last way you presented it. But you are still assuming that I believe miracles CAN NOT happen. I didn’t say that. Anything is possible but we have to think about what is probable and what there is evidence for.

    someone’s ribs going from broken and extremely painful to touch to instantly fine when prayed for, as was the case with a friend of mine when my father-in-law prayed for him.

    did he know he was being prayed for? In that case I would say it was the placebo effect. Ever seen people at a Benny Hinn rally? People with crippling arthritis jump up and down and say, “the pain is gone!” I do not believe they are lying. The body releases it’s own opiates and anti-inflammatories in response to placebo. The effect is well-documented. Also, if prayer “worked” why does every study of prayer (eg for patients undergoing surgery) show absolutely NO effect? Why does the maker of heaven and earth only do miracles that could have easily happened by chance? The amputees want to know.

  47. Maz Herman said

    Willie: If you are an amputee then I cannot promise that you could have a miracle and get your legs back but I can promise that if you just lift up your heart to Jesus He can give you a new heart, and that Willie is far better, though you may not see it that way, but I can assure you it is.

    Fred: You said, ”There’s no denying that unexplained phenomena occur that aren’t readily explained. That doesn’t mean that divine intervention is responsible…”

    But Fred, can you deny that it is possible? That it does mean divine intervention, God, is responsible?

    Let me tell you a story, (as a famous British singer once said): My sister and her husband, both Christians, went on a mission to the Phillipines. They were in a crusade where thousands of people attended, and many sick. At the end of the crusade there was prayer for the sick.
    My sister and her husband were involved. They prayed over people. Suddenly, there in front of my sister stood a man who was blind. Fred, he had no pupils in the whites of his eyes. He ‘stared’ out from completely white eyeballs. My sister was not sure what would happen, but she prayed over this man, and even to her surprise….suddenly two new pupils popped right into the whites of his eyes and he could see! He’d been like that from birth and now he could see for the first time. No doubt he had been to doctors during his life and they could not do anything. A simple prayer to God changed all that.

    Now a true sceptic would probably try and find some explanation how this happened without ‘divine intervention’ but you cannot deny that it COULD BE divine intervention, that this was not just a healing (a pain going away) but a full blown miracle.

  48. Fred said

    Maz, no, I don’t say Divine Intervention is not the cause of some unexplained phenomena. I do say that there are usually simpler, scientifically acceptable explanations available for them.

    I must ask that your indulgence to allow me to defer judgement in this particular?

    Thanks,
    Fred

  49. Maz Herman said

    Fred: Before I allow you to defer, maybe you could give me a ”simpler, scientifically acceptable explanation” for the miracle my sister saw?

  50. Fred said

    Maz, how can I defer judgement if I first give you my judgement?

    I asked you as politely as I know how to let me not pass judgement on your testimony.

    It is ungracious of you to not accept.

    Fred

  51. Anonymous said

    As long as you extend that grace to others without belittling them. 🙂

  52. Fred said

    Eye for an eye.

  53. Maz Herman said

    Fred: As gracious as I can be :-), you already question miracles, I gave you an example of one, I won’t be offended if you give me an explanation of what happened (if indeed it was not a miracle by God). You are not judging me or my sister, you would be doing what you said you could do, which is give an natural explanation (if indeed it is not a miracle).

  54. Fred said

    Maz, I asked politely and yet you refuse to allow it. That is graciousness?

  55. Maz Herman said

    Fred: You are trying to get out of answering my question by calling me ungracious, I have given you a chance to answer, no offense on my side, are you trying to say, that it WAS a miracle and you don’t want to say otherwise, or are you saying it isn’t but you have no explanation?

  56. Maz Herman said

    Fred: Just a thot: You didn’t mind judging Brads experience of a miracle when you had an answer for it.

  57. Fred said

    Maz, read my post 48. That’s my answer to you and your sister.

    FOR THE RECORD:

    I tried my best to be polite to this Maz person and my politeness has been refused.

  58. Maz Herman said

    Fred: I have not refused your politeness, and I have tried to be honest and gracious, I am sorry but I can do no more than that. We are in a debate Fred, and people will differ in what they believe, we should all be allowed to voice our opinion, without being accused of arrogance and ungraceousness. A debate by deffinition means a discussion in which opposing arguments are put forward….is that not what we are doing here?

  59. Fred said

    Maz: “I have not refused your politeness”

    Yes, you have. Repeatedly! There is a lack of communication here, Maz. I think it is purposeful on your part. I shall not give any further satisfaction.

  60. Maz Herman said

    Fred: The only purpose I have on here is to have a debate, I have no wish to be anything but communicative. But you don’t seem to like what I communicate. So maybe our communication has run it’s course, seeing as you want to ignore me. That’s not very nice either is it?

  61. Marcus said

    Might I add, that having been to other blogs/forums, in my opinion, everyone here has been incredibly gracious and polite on all sides of the issues.

  62. Maz said

    Thanks Marcus.

  63. F. L. A. said

    [SNICKER SNICKER]

  64. Maz said

    You really had to didn’t you F.L.A.

  65. John said

    But of course.It was justifiable[smile].

  66. John said

    Happy Palm Sunday everybody.

  67. a said

    this thread is a good example of where the “power of the gospel” lies today. all to often, it lies trampled, squelched under the foot of the professing Christian.

    rather than the concern for these mens souls being the top priority, the concern is only with proving our own theories.

    gracious tones lack meaning when our motives are self-justification of our beliefs. this trend is prevelant today. we constantly expect non-Christians to behave and believe in a Christian manner and completely disregard the fact that they aren’t capable of doing so.

  68. Anonymous said

    think A hit the nail squarely on the head….re: post #67

  69. Maz said

    A: As far as I’m concerned my motive is purely generated by Gods love in me. Jesus has made such a difference since He came into my life over thirty years ago, it would take a couple of volumes to tell you what He has done for me. I want those who are lost in sin, and those in cults and other religions that teach another way other than the truth, which is in Jesus Christ alone, to come to now that love. That’s not my opinion, that’s what the Bible, Gods Word, tells us.
    How many times people have judged me simply because I don’t agree with their beliefs.
    Disagreement does not mean that I do not care. I do.
    I don’t expect non-Christians to act like Christians, altho I have been aquainted with some who do, but I’v also seen many christians acting like the devil!
    Where is the power of the gospel? In LOVE, pure and simple. If you don’t or can’t love people, then you can’t preach the gospel and expect people to respond.

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