Tuesday, July 1, 2014
The Mystery of Religious Delusion--Miracles
Deeply embedded into my childhood was the Christian belief in miracles. We never saw any supernatural miracles or knew any others who had, but we believed with all our hearts that miracles occurred and that miracles had happened many times in the Bible.
What a wonderful story about how Jesus who was walking across the surface of the Sea of Galilee, stopped, and helped Peter the disciple. How could any of the Bible be true if it's alleged miraculous narratives weren't?
I remember the wonder of hearing about modern miracles even somewhat minor ones. Josh McDowell, (the famous Campus Crusade speaker at hundreds of college campuses), personally told us, a group of teens, that he had witnessed God cause a car engine to break down.
Another speaker told us how a devout person had been able to move a mountain!
We read of resurrections in other countries such as the Philippines like Lazarus.
And that humans had been swallowed by whales like Jonah.
And of documented evidence in Texas that dinosaurs walked with Adam.
Amazingly, we read of reports that a computer at NASA in Texas had discovered proof of the missing day from when Joshua told the sun to stand still!
We were so astounded. So encouraged. So deceived.
No one had ever moved a mountain miraculously. Deceptive advertising!
No one had been dead in a tomb for 3 days and then been resurrected to life.
The NASA report turned out to be a complete lie, fabricated by a Christian speaker.
The intentionally dishonest story then got multiplied and passed on to millions of the faithful.
Finally, years later a research group did a thorough background study and found there was no truth to the claim at all.
Other alleged miracles were NOT true either as evidence later showed.
Needless to say, when all of these miraculous proofs were shown to be untrue, we were devastated.
But then Christian leaders countered the growing doubt by emphasizing to us if there are so many counterfeit dollar bills, surely there must be genuine dollars bills, so we kept believing and searching for evidence to prove it.
A Christian medical doctor did an in depth study of a number of alleged healing miracles but, sadly, discovered not a single supernatural miracle there either, not one! Instead, all of the alleged miracles turned out to be misdiagnosis, placebo, hearsay, and fraud.
Yet I so wanted to believe. There must be a few real miracles somewhere, otherwise why else do millions of brilliant Christian leaders say so?
And in my worst moments of doubt, I was held back from disbelief, finally, because how could a Christian not believe in miracles?
But over 55 years have passed. Much study and searching. Yet no supernatural miracles have turned up in the news, in any scientific study, or in the lives of anyone I know, or in my own life--not even a very little one.
Forget the huge miracles. No one has come back alive from the dead after 3 days like Lazarus. No one has verified anyone walking on water. No scientist has ever found a human born blind who was miraculously cured to see normally.
No human being born crippled has ever suddenly been healed and got up, able to run and leap. No ocean has suddenly divided with dry land for millions to cross through. No one has been miraculously cured of disease by touching a cloth from a Christian leader like the Apostle Paul.
And there is no evidence for small miracles either. Again, when checked, they prove to be hearsay, placebo, or downright lies.
Tragically, the truth is out. Miracles don't happen, They are a delusion.
When I reflect back on my lifetime and my devotion to belief in miracles, I'm baffled that it took me over 55 years to overcome such a deep delusion, to accept the overwhelming lack of evidence.
Thankfully, unlike the miraculous, some other aspects of spirituality are real, do have evidence, and are demonstrable.
To be continued--
In the Light,