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If Only I Could See a Miracle, I Would Believe

Post Author: Bill Pratt 

If you are a person who says this about Christianity, excuse me for being skeptical.

God performed miracles through Moses, and yet Pharaoh did not believe.

God performed miracles through Elijah, and yet Jezebel did not believe.

Jesus performed numerous miracles that confirmed his power over sickness, weather, and even death.  Ultimately he rose from the dead.  Yet still some who saw these miracles did not believe.

God has provided plenty of evidence that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and rose from the dead.  If you are a person who has heard the gospel message and understood it, but you continue to demand more evidence in the form of miracles, ask yourself if there isn’t another problem.

Is it possible that you just don’t want to believe?  Is it possible that no matter how much evidence you are shown, that no matter how many times God reveals himself to you, that you just will not believe?

If that is the case, search your own heart and figure out why you don’t want to believe.  Where is this barrier of belief coming from?  We can answer your questions about Christianity, but until you deal with your will, our answers will remain unpersuasive.


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Comments

  • Lisa Cran

    LUKE 16: “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ ”

    1 JOHN 3:4-6 4Everyone who commits (practices) sin is guilty of lawlessness; for [that is what] sin is, lawlessness (the breaking, violating of God’s law by transgression or neglect–being unrestrained and unregulated by His commands and His will).
    5You know that He appeared in visible form and became Man to take away [upon Himself] sins, and in Him there is no sin [[d]essentially and forever].
    6No one who abides in Him [who lives and remains [e]in communion with and in obedience to Him–deliberately, knowingly, and [f]habitually] commits (practices) sin. No one who [habitually] sins has either seen or known Him [recognized, perceived, or understood Him, or has had an experiential acquaintance with Him].

  • http://suddenlyatheist.wordpress.com/ morsec0de

    And those are wonderful excuses for the lack of big, obvious miracles in the modern world.

    And what about Doubting Thomas? He demanded evidence, he got it, and he believed. What’s wrong with that?

    A few messages on a universal p.a. system would be awesome, and push me in a huge way towards believing in a god. Or even a mini-miracle or revelation that so many Christians claim they have individually have. But that hasn’t happened.

    I guess your god, if it exists, doesn’t particularly care enough to try and convince me, if the best you have is the bible.

  • Bill Pratt

    Morsecode,
    You are Exhibit A. Have you asked yourself why you want to disbelieve? You have been on this blog many times, and I have responded to numerous questions and comments you’ve made. Do you listen? Do you understand?

    I don’t know, but your claim that miracles would help you believe strikes me as quite unlikely. It seems to me that this is just your way of setting a bar so high that you can stay comfortably in your non-belief. If you received a miracle, you would probably explain it away and demand another. If you received another, you would do the same. This is exactly what the non-believers in Jesus’ day did. Doesn’t that give you pause? Do me a favor, if you want to understand Jesus’ interaction with non-believers, go read the Gospel of John. It’s not that long. Read it just to see how non-believers reacted to Jesus.

    Your problem may not be miracles, but your will.

    God bless,
    Bill

  • http://empretho.wordpress.com Michie DeBerry

    Out of all the miracles Christ did, when He was being scourged by the Roman soldiers, they said “If you REALLY are the Son of God, then prophesy to us, tell us who hit you” and yet, they had heard and probably even seen the miracles that this man had done, yet they were unbelieving and wanted more signs.

  • Shamelessly Atheist

    What, you mean the gospel written more than seven decades after the fact? You expect anyone to accept that as evidence? We don’t even accept that kind of thing in a civil suit where rules of evidence are far more lax. Let me make this clear – had you the eyewitness evidence you claim (you don’t), it would still be insufficient. Empirical evidence far outweighs easily-impugned eyewitness testimony. Hundreds of inmates placed on death row by eyewitness testimony have been exonerated on the basis of physical evidence. The gospels don’t qualify as evidence at all, let alone as being the extraordinary evidence required for such an extraordinary claim. It never ceases to amaze me the mental contortions that believers go through to present their evidence as being conclusive when it isn’t even evidence at all. I’m sure you believe it is. But that does not make it so.

    You make no attempt to respond to morsec0de’s point that no miracles beyond the bogus weeping statues and Jesus ‘ appearances in toast. Instead, you want us to accept a bar which is so low as to make the word ‘evidence’ meaningless. If science were done this way, astrology would be taught at universities and physicians would be performing iridology. Phah!

    Whether morse would accept that an event was a miracle (and here we should use David Hume’s definition, not the typical “some guy I know prayed for money and got $100 from out of nowhere”…) or not isn’t even relevant since his original point stands – no such events have taken place. All I see here is evasion of the issues in a vain and desperate attempt to maintain a vacuous belief system.

    “Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.” ~ Mark Twain

  • Bill Pratt

    Exhibit B. Not only don’t you want to believe, you are mad at everybody who does! No amount of evidence that could ever be presented would convince you, I suspect. You rule out miracles a priori without ever even investigating them. That is the definition of dogmatism. As someone once said to me, “All I see from your comments are vain and desperate attempts to maintain a vacuous belief system.”

  • http://suddenlyatheist.wordpress.com/ morsec0de

    “Have you asked yourself why you want to disbelieve?”

    Nope, because the question is false. I don’t want to disbelieve. I would love to believe. I’ve just come to realize that my desires have nothing to do with the facts.

    “Do you listen? Do you understand?”

    Yes. And you’ve consistently been wrong. Not your fault in most cases.

    “I don’t know, but your claim that miracles would help you believe strikes me as quite unlikely.”

    See? Another example of you being wrong.

    “It seems to me that this is just your way of setting a bar so high that you can stay comfortably in your non-belief.”

    So there are bars too high for your god to reach? Interesting to know.

    “If you received a miracle, you would probably explain it away and demand another.”

    If it could be explained away, would it be a miracle?

    And of course I would demand more than a single event. Single events could easily be misconstrued as mental fugues. I would not only want to believe, but have enough solid evidence to get anybody else to believe. Is that so wrong?

    “Doesn’t that give you pause?”

    No, because the book was written significantly after the events that were supposed to have taken place by people with an agenda. I see no reason to give it any more credence than the Koran or the Bhagadvagita or the Book of Mormon.

    “go read the Gospel of John. ”

    Hah!

    I did a whole YouTube series on the Gospel of John, reading each chapter one after another, one day after another, and responding to them with a new video each time. You’re welcome to check them out, although I highly doubt you’ll agree with my conclusions.

    Saying we shouldn’t need miracles is just your way of getting around the fact that they don’t happen. Never did.

  • kay

    Have you paid attention to what is happening in the world today — the plans for a one world government, one world currency, state of affairs with Israel and enemies. They are happening just as the Bible said. Does that not make you think that the Bible is correct about everything? You don’t need to see a miracle to believe it. What about people who pray and the tumor is gone? There are lots of “internal” miracles today.
    I don’t see how anyone can not believe if they pay attention to world events and the Bible.

  • Brad

    Morsecode,

    A couple things to consider. First, whether or not you, or anyone, “converts” to Christianity or “becomes saved” is entirely YOUR choice – no Christian is held responsible if you DON’T accept. That’s important for you to understand, b/c it means there is no burden, so to speak, on me or any other Christian to ensure that you are “saved.”

    Second, just b/c there is no burden, doesn’t mean that Christians aren’t responsible for telling others what we believe. While it may not be my responsibility whether you convert or not, it IS my responsibility to tell you and others what I believe about God, and how Christ has changed my life. For that, I am responsible, but not responsible for what YOU do with the information YOU have received, or how YOU process that information.

    Third, we as Christians realize that there are those who simply won’t believe, no matter what. The Bible speaks clearly about that. While eternally unfortunate, at least from a Christian perspective (though you may not consider it so), it is simply the product of human free will, which allows the choice to believe or not believe, according to what each individual chooses. If you choose not to, as you apparently do, that is, of course, your right to do so.

    I don’t want you to get the impression of an uncaring God, or uncaring Christians. He does care, as do we, about salvation for all. However, He has also left that choice up to the individual, and will not force anyone’s hand. However, He has spelled out consequences for those who choose not to believe – this is hell, which you may or may not believe in, but we as Christians certainly do. Again, your choice to believe or not. I would pray that you would, but can’t help it if you don’t.

    I’m not happy when people don’t accept God, it gives me no pleasure at all. I’m disappointed, and feel sad for them. But I also don’t beat myself up, b/c I’m not responsible for their choices, only my own. I would ask you to look into it more.

  • Bill Pratt

    “But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him” (John 12:37).

  • http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/ Wintery Knight

    Rats, I’m late again!

    God does still provide miracles to those who need them today. For example, the miracle of the entire physical universe coming into being out of nothing, or fine-tuning of the initial conditions of the creation for intelligent life, the miracle of biological information or the creation of body plans in the Cambrian explosion. Outside of science, the resurrection is a miracle that is historically testable.

  • Tye

    What, you mean the gospel written more than seven decades after the fact?

    I love it when people say this. Would you like to offer some proof to go along with your flagrant assumption?

  • Greg

    Really! It is clear that the NT authors did not write their gospels/letters 70 years after Christ death and resurrection. What happened in 70AD that is recorded all throughout history; the sacking of Jerusalem by the Romans and the total destruction of the temple. Is it not a bit odd that nowhere in the NT is this mentioned?? Does Shamelessly Atheist believe in Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great? The recorded writings about them are separated by thousands of years from the actual events. Even if they are separated by 70 years, there still would have been people around that were first hand witnesses and they would have refuted these writings.

  • Sukirtha

    Hi,
    I read through the entire conversation. I can see a lot of people doubt about miracles. Ppl like MorseCode say miracles don’t happen at all. Some say the Bible was changed. Well I don’t want to argue here as I know any amount of argument would not clear the mind of people who do not believe. However, I would like to share the miracle that i recieved and for which I will be ever grateful.

    I was in death bed when I was nearly 10 years of age. I was admitted to the hospital and due to the carelessness of doctors, I became seriously ill. The doctors din’t know what to do. No treatment was given after that. It was the earnest prayers of my parents and my grandparents that brought back life into me within minutes.

    People would demand scientific evidence for such an even which I do not have. All I know is that I am alive and I owe it Christ Jesus. This is just one miracle. I have seen many more miracles in the lives of people around me and in my life itself. For believers, it gives joy. For non-believers, they would demand more evidence or something bigger than this. Well, to believe or not to believe is your own choice. But the truth will always remain.

  • lightsmith

    I’d believe if I could see a miracle.

    That story about Pharaoh is a cop-out, as far as I’m concerned. First, I don’t believe it even happened. Second, the story itself says Pharaoh didn’t believe because God “hardened his heart.”

    What the hell?

    His chosen people are suffering under the yoke of slavery, His chosen spokesman is performing miracles to convince Pharaoh to free them, and God HARDENS HIS HEART so the miracles will be ineffective? I guess He was REALLY looking forward to killing all those babies, and didn’t want Pharaoh to cave in TOO quickly, because how else can you explain this “the right hand giveth, and the left hand taketh away” behavior?

    Sorry, that story just doesn’t pass the sniff test.

    But I can give you just one example of what would convince me.

    If I walk outside tonight, and the stars spell out “Jesus is Lord,” I’ll not only believe in *a* God, but I’ll believe in *your* God.

    I’d wager that just about every atheist on earth would be convinced in the space of a day.

    Now, you claim that God really wants to forgive everyone’s sins, and for some reason He can’t just DO it. The only way He can “just do it” is if everyone on the “forgiven” list BELIEVES in Jesus.

    Consequently, God really wants everyone to believe in Jesus too. If there was a God that God could pray to, that’s what He’d be praying for: “Please, Uber-God, let mankind believe in my son.” That’s how badly he wants it.

    Because even though He can do anything, He can’t just forgive everyone. They have to ask for it, and believe that a man who died 2000 years ago will give it to them.

    Mind you, I, as a mere mortal who is quite limited in what I can and cannot do, am still quite capable of forgiving anyone, whether they ask for it or not. I can forgive the guy who cut me off in traffic, or the waitress who was slow in taking my order, brought the wrong meal, and gave me attitude when I explained the mix-up, or the co-worker who took credit for my ideas. I can forgive them even if they don’t ask for my forgiveness.

    But, according to you, God is incapable of that. He had to hatch this Rube Goldberg system which involved having a baby with a human virgin, having His child tortured and killed, raising the child from the dead, and then whisking Him off of the earth again before too many people got wise, so that if people BELIEVED that this REALLY HAPPENED, they could wish, in their mind, that this child would save them from a hell they’ve never seen.

    Got it.

    And, according to you, God REALLY REALLY REALLY wants everyone to make this wish in their mind, because that’s the ONLY WAY He can NOT send them to hell, even though He REALLY REALLY REALLY doesn’t want to.

    Once again, that story doesn’t pass the sniff test.

    But let’s assume it’s true anyway.

    And let’s further assume that God can really DO ANYTHING (except forgive sinners who haven’t made the aforementioned wish in their mind at some point).

    He could, for example, re-arrange the stars to spell out “Jesus is Lord” when viewed from the earth. In all the languages known to man. He could have the trees start singing, “Jesus is Lord.” In all the languages known to man.

    Man, that’s the day the scales would really fall from my eyes.

    So why doesn’t He? He could. He wants to.

    But He doesn’t.

    For me, the most likely explanation is, “There is no such God.”

    But if I saw a miracle, believe me, I’d change my mind in an instant.

  • Bill Pratt

    Lightsmith,
    You claim that the stry of Pharaoh never happened. Fine, how do you explain why Jezebel and her priests did not believe in God after Elijah’s demonstration on Mount Carmel? How do explain the people who did not believe after seeing Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead or or the people who did not believe after Jesus himself came back from the dead?

    Why did they not believe? Were these demonstrations of supernatural power not enough?

  • lightsmith

    Why don’t you believe that Mohammed is Allah’s messenger? After all, he split the moon, and the eyewitnesses saw the Hiram mountain between the halves. It must be true, because it’s in the Quran, which was dictated by an angel of Allah directly to the prophet.

    Your accounts of ancient miracles seem just as valid to me as the Quran’s accounts of ancient miracles seem to you.

    Like I say, show me something TODAY. I wasn’t around to see Elijah and Jesus, and I don’t see where any of those tales are corroborated in any source other than the Bible.

  • Bill Pratt

    First of all, I am not aware that Muhammad did any such thing in the Quran. Please point me to the verses. Second, you have rejected the possibility of any miracles having ever occurred in the Bible, so your starting position seems to be this: “Miracles have never occurred and don’t occur today. If God will just show me a miracle, I will believe.” You say you’ll believe if you see a miracle of your exact specification, but you have ruled out the possiblity of miracles even being possible! This is a bit odd, don’t you think? Third, Jesus specifically refused to perform miracles when challenged by skeptics of his day because he knew they would not believe in him, so the Christian God will not perform miracles today to convince people with closed minds of his existence.

    The truth is that history is replete with supernatural events occurring and that many people who were there to witness them chalked them up as either hoaxes, magic, or originating from demonic or occult sources. I hope you can see that no matter what I or God say to you, you will never believe until you are willing, until you are receptive. Your demand for a miracle is just your way of erecting barriers for Christians to climb over. After we climb over one, you have 47 more waiting.

  • lightsmith

    The verse 54:1-2 is a description of the event in question, widely accepted in Islamic tradition as a miraculous demonstration that Mohammed was really Allah’s messenger. Some believe that, rather than being an event that happened in the past, it will happen in the future. Others believe it happened before, and will happen again.

    I don’t rule out “the possibility of miracles being possible.” Obviously, if there really is an omnipotent God, anything is possible. I don’t personally believe there is an omnipotent God, but there was a time I didn’t believe I’d carry a phone in my pocket that would tell me what street I was on. Evidence convinced me otherwise, and could easily do so again.

    That “Jesus refused because he knew they wouldn’t believe anyway” is just nonsense. Offering that as an excuse today is more nonsense when you claim that an all-powerful being really wants everyone to be convinced.

    You say after I see one miracle, I’ll want 47 more. Even if that were true, an omnipotent God could perform 48 miracles as easily as he could perform one, so there’s really no good reason not to.

    But it isn’t true. Really. I just want the one.

    When the stars spell out “Jesus is Lord”, I’ll be the quickest convert you’ve ever seen.

  • Pingback: If Only I Could See a Miracle, I Would Believe « Coming World War 3 / One World Government

  • http://alabamatheist.blogspot.com/ Tim D.

    Why do Christians write posts like this?

    Seriously? Do you really think calling non-Christians liars and saying that they “just don’t want to believe” for some arbitrary reason is going to magically make them sway in their beliefs (or nonbeliefs)? You claim that non-Christians are so hostile to Christian belief simply by not believing, yet you’re so ready to make claims about non-Christians that you cannot possibly substantiate — you are not inside their heads, you are not able to read their thoughts or feelings, you have no idea what their true motives are.

    Why don’t we try to be civil and deal with the evidence on a case-by-case basis, instead of making categorical attacks against entire groups of people based on assumptions?

    How would you feel if someone came along and said, “Christians just don’t want to believe in reality, otherwise they’d be atheists. They say that they were swayed to belief in god by ‘divine revelation’ but actually, they’re just claiming that because they want to be able to do whatever they want and say god told them they could.”

    It becomes impossible to have a sensible argument with anyone if you resort to putting words in their mouth. Why don’t we try listening to each other instead?

    God does still provide miracles to those who need them today. For example, the miracle of the entire physical universe coming into being out of nothing, or fine-tuning of the initial conditions of the creation for intelligent life, the miracle of biological information or the creation of body plans in the Cambrian explosion. Outside of science, the resurrection is a miracle that is historically testable.

    1) First, I want to point out that unless you believe the universe was created today, then “the universe coming into being out of nothing” doesn’t count as “god providing miracles to those who need them today.” Even YECs believe that the earth was created over 6000 years ago.

    2) “Nothing” in physics is actually something (a state of minimum energy). “Nothing” as an abstract concept apparently doesn’t exist at all — there is nowhere in the universe where “nothing” can be found. Quantum physical laws actually seem to point to the conclusion that the universe as we know it came into being out of something, not nothing.

    3) Biological “information” (DNA) is not “information” in the traditional sense. DNA, for example, doesn’t actually contain “traits” like an egg contains a yolk — DNA contains molecules which, due to their reactive circumstances with other molecules, aid in the construction of a particular protein. This protein acts in such a series of ways that it later results in a trait. There is no literal “information” in the same sense as computer “information” (or “data”). The “information” contained within DNA is actually just molecules obeying more basic, fundamental laws of physics.

  • Rrowland

    “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.” Matthew 7:6

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