Manspeak


Why Won’t God Heal Amputees? by Justin Day
December 4, 2008, 8:00 am
Filed under: Thought Initiative

thoughtintiative

by Justin Day

Due to a popular youtube video titled “10 Questions Every Intelligent Christian Must Answer,” the atheist website whywontgodhealamputees.com has become very popular recently. Its main thesis, as the url address suggests, is if God is active in the world and is actually healing people then why won’t God heal amputees?

Even though most of the readers of this blog would call themselves continuationists (people who believe the spiritual gifts are still active today), I think every Christian would agree, even cessationists, that God is still actively healing people. The debate over healing would just be the means used for the healing, not the act of healing itself. Given this, why is it the case that so many people claim to be healed by God and yet amputees are never healed?

There is clear precedent in scripture for people being healed in miraculous ways, many of them being just as, or far more, miraculous as regrowing a limb. Christ healed paralytics (Luke 5:18-25; 7:1-10), lepers (Luke 5:12-13), people with withered hands (Luke 6:6-10), regrew ears (Luke 22:49-51), and even raised people from the dead (John 11). Even the apostles healed people (Acts 5:16; 8:5-7).

1) Given that there is clear Biblical precedent for miraculous healing, is it true, as the above website suggests, that God is showing partiality towards non-amputees? If God heals people and, more importantly, is still actively healing people today then why aren’t amputee victims being healed also?

2) Does this lack of amputee healing give credence to cessationism? If God is still healing people in miraculous ways, why is he not doing it in ways which we can all verify? If the point of miracles is to authenticate and draw attention towards the Gospel, what would show the grandeur of Christ’s power greater than healing an amputee?

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10 Comments so far
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Where are we talking about here? In America for example? Or in Africa for another?

Want to know about miracles? Get out of America. This isn’t to say Miracles don’t happen here. But when is the last time you found a church that didn’t have a building? When is the last time you met a Christian who owned nothing? When is the last time you found someone who literally “sold everything” and followed Christ? We are all pretty much hypocrits when it comes to that side of the gospel.

But what about in other parts of the world? Places where people are desperate. America has crappy health care, but other places have no health care. God’s eyes search back and forward on the Earth for people of faith in tough situations where He may be glorified in the end.

If you want to know about miracles, get away from our part of the world. Read a book titled Heavenly Man. It is about a man named Yun from China. He started many of the house churches in his province there. He was imprisoned, beaten, tortured, starved, he even went on a 74 day fast. The miracles that happened in and around his life are unbelievable if you didn’t think there was a God.

When is the last time you heard about someone being raised from the dead? Do you want to go to a place where you can ask the question “does anyone know someone who has been raised from the dead?” and a multitude of people raise their hands? Go to Africa.

We are in a pathetic situation – i don’t care what people say. At least i’m able to admit it.

Comment by James Baby

Again I saw under the sun that race is not to the swift, or the battle to the strong, or bread to the wise, or riches to the discerning, or favor to the skillful; rather, time and chance happen to all of them.” -Ecclesiastes 9:11

So much for the prosperity gospel and “good things happen to good people.” I think the questions, “why are there so many innocent deaths” and “why do bad things happen to good people” can be properly addressed with this scripture.

Comment by David W.

Better yet David,

One could argue there is no such thing as a “good person” in the bible. Indeed, no one is good except the Father.

One could also argue the bible says all are “guilty” and not “innocent” by any imagination.

Comment by James Baby

Obviously. This is only one verse among many upon the subject. But Ecclesiastes is a good book to read when trying to discern God’s purposes from creation. The simple answer is that you can’t. The video portrays a narrow view of what a good, loving God is. When we associate God’s goodness with how full our bellies are or how big our pocket books are, then God goes right out of the picture. Scripture also clearly states that all are sinners, particularly Romans 3, Genesis 6:5 and Jeremiah 17:5-6.

Comment by David W.

Can one show that God has never healed an amputee?

Comment by Jonathan Kelfer

I don’t think their argument is about the past, but rather amputees in the present. I think the whole point is about the verification of miracles. I’m gonna be careful not to straw man those guys, but I think their argument would be something like:

(1)If God is actively healing people in the world, then we would expect the ability to verify the miracles.
(2)There are no miracles which we can verify.
(3)Therefore, God is not actively healing people in the world.

John Macarthur points out something like this in his book Charismatic Chaos where he discusses continuationists. He basically says that so many people attest to miracles, but they are never verifiable. At the end of the day we’re always going to have to understand these things through the scope of scripture, but I do think this is a somewhat stirring argument (probably the most convincing cessationist argument).

Comment by Justin Day

God is in heaven and does as he pleases. Apparently, it doesnt please him to verifiably heal amputees in America and force it onto CNN. Without faith it is impossible to please God. We can’t and shouldn’t escape the faith element. It is our strongest argument! Often, faith, to Jesus, is a necessary prerequisite to healing.

Thanks for initiating this thought Justin!

Comment by jiminy christmas canned vegetables

Jiminy,

why do you feel we must have any argument at all?

Justin,

2 in 3 doctors will tell you that there is such a thing as divine healing (I read that in my sociology? book).

Comment by James Baby

Here is my take on all this:
http://slingword.wordpress.com/2009/04/15/why-wont-god-heal-amputees-good-question/

Comment by slingword

The underlying mindset of the question seems to be one of judgement and mockery. I also think it is the wrong question to ask.

You should probably start by asking:

If God exists, is he a God who does anything or a God who does nothing?

If he does nothing, people will say “If God exists, why isn’t he doing something?”

If he does anything, people will say “I can’t believe in a God who shows partiality.”

It is a loaded question.

You also need to define what a “miracle” is. I assume that in the context of ‘healing amputees,’ the ‘miracle’ people are looking for is spontaneous regeneration of limbs.

And there is a historical precedent for that miracle- In Luke 22, Peter slashes off the ear of a slave named Malchus. Jesus heals it.

It would be interesting to poll Bible-believing, Christian amputees and ask them if they feel ignored or feel as though God likes non-amputees more.

In John 9, the rabbis come to Jesus with a similar quandary. “Why is this man blind? Was it his sins or his parents sins that caused it?”

“Neither,” says Jesus, “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.”

And there lies the rub- any healing God does is not to prove miracles exist, or prove that God exists, or entertain atheists, or make everyone standing around go “oooooh.”

It happens so the power of God can be seen.

Comment by Jeremiah Ramsey




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