Thursday, July 28, 2011

Why Won't God Heal Amputees - Question #1

Mat (Mature Atheist Turtle): Question #1 – Why Won’t God Heal Amputees?

Ary (Apologist): First, the question is worded poorly. It might read; “Why doesn’t God heal amputees?”  Neither you nor I know that he ‘won’t’, but even so reworded it fails for its premise is wrong.  An amputee is not ill and so, by definition there is nothing to heal.  The questions should really be, "Why doesn’t God restore the limbs of amputees?"

Mat: You’re just being evasive. According to a recent poll 3 out of 4 doctors believe that God is performing medical miracles right now, today.

Ary: You’re making my case for me.  Who would be in a better position to observe and judge medical miracles than doctors?  They know their patients' histories and prognoses, so, if the majority believe in miracles they must be observing something to convince them.

Mat: You’re trying to change the subject.  We all know that amputated legs do not regenerate in response to prayer.  Amputees get no miracles from God.  How do you deal with this discrepancy?  As an intelligent person, you must deal with it because it makes no sense.  And, in order to deal with it you have to create some kind of rationalization.  You must invent an excuse on God’s behalf to explain this strange fact of life.

Ary was silent for a moment.

Ary:  I don’t see any issue at all.  First of all, I don’t know that God doesn’t restore missing limbs.  He may.  Second, and I want to make myself very clear here, I sympathize with the person dealing with any hardship, but hardships are a reality of a fallen world.  That was not the world God gave man, it was the world we chose.  Third, you are assuming that an amputee lacked intervention by God.  That may not be correct.  Perhaps the intervention resulted in the amputation but averted something more severe.

Mat: You’re rationalizing again.

Ary: Not at all.  Let’s look at the reasons for amputation: 1) Accident, 2) Illness, 3) Act of war.  All three of those causes are the direct result of the world humans made. 

But, let’s be honest, your question is really a trap with no acceptable answer.  If I suggested that there were cases where God restored limbs you would demand evidence, and I suspect that the only evidence you would accept is your personal presence when it happened.  In order to meet that demand God would have to perform for you, on your schedule.  For argument’s sake, let’s suppose that God agreed to do that.  You would accuse God of being unfair because He didn’t restore the limbs of all amputees.

Miracles have never been ultimately convincing.  The Bible records that God appeared to the Israelites as a cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night, he brought plagues on the Egyptians, he fed the Jews with the miracle of manna and many still rejected him.

Finally, God used a disability as a reminder of His power when he crippled Jacob.

Picture: Jacob wrestling with an angel, by
Gustave Doré (1832-1883)
public domain.

1 comment:

  1. A young family man from our church had to have his leg amputated just this past year because of a work accident involving a train. His radiant testimony to the grace of God through the whole thing, including the fact that he lived through the ordeal, and that he was able to keep his other leg is a reminder that God is often best glorified when limbs aren’t restored or sicknesses healed. His grace in the midst of a sinful world is strong evidence for His existence and involvement in a broken world!