#toughquestionfriday: Why are there no more grand miracles?
Most Christians say that the reason God performed such evident miracles in the past (stopping the sun, sending fire from the sky, splitting the sea, walking on water, raising the dead, etc) was to prove to everyone that his messengers were speaking the truth, and that his message (the Bible) was a supernaturally inspired book.
If that is true, why would God stop performing miracles today, in a time when billions don’t believe his message, specifically because they have never seen a miracle to authenticate it? Christians say that God doesn’t change, yet, what explains the change in God plan to use of miracles to authenticate his message?
Why did God stop now? If the stories are true, he performed miracles during both the Old and New Testament periods, so why stop now when we need it most?
POSSIBLE ANSWER #1 – God only did it during the writing of the Bible.
If this is true, how does that help us who don’t live during the writing of the Bible. God proved something to people in the past, but not to us. They knew for a fact it was authentic, we don’t. Now we are stuck with just having to blindly believe in the writings of some ancient people we haven’t met. Why should we be punished for simply being born at the wrong time?
POSSIBLE ANSWER #2 – The Bible has already been validated by miracles, it doesn’t need any more.
Not so fast. How can we know that its been validated? Because it says so? If the only “proof” that the Bible is true, is found inside the Bible, that is like trying to pick yourself up by pulling on your ears. If the only proof of superman is found inside a book about superman, would you believe it? Or would you require superman to fly by above you, before you believed?
POSSIBLE ANSWER #3 – If God proved it, then we can’t have faith, and that would be harmful
So then why did God authenticate it to everyone in the past? This still makes things unfair, but just means we are the lucky ones. Why did God treat everyone in history so poorly by proving his existence to them? Why did Jesus hate his disciples so much that he proved his powers to them? Why be so cruel to Thomas by showing him proof of the Resurrection??
POSSIBLE ANSWER #4 – God does prove it, there are miracles everywhere, your heart is just too hard to see.
If there are miracles that prove it, where are they? In the biblical story of Joshua, God purportedly “stops the sun” to give the earth an extra day. How in the world can someones heart be so stubborn that they will not notice an extra day? Besides, in the biblical stories, people with heard hearts frequently see the miracles of God and believe, for example, in the story of Elijah, when fire fell from the sky “all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God.” So why did miracles change minds back then, but don’t anymore?
POSSIBLE ANSWER #5 – God doesn’t prove it because there would be no free will to reject him then.
In the biblical stories of biblical miracles, people almost always accept that the miracles are real, but still reject God. For example in the Bible story of the Exodus, the Pharaoh had his heart hardened by God (and God didn’t seem to care much about free will, was able to both (a) believe in the existence of the Hebrew God and (b) reject him.
POSSIBLE ANSWER #6 – Because God gave us the Holy Spirit, and now we don’t need miracles.
This is unfaithful to the Biblical narrative which states that during the first half-century of the church they had (a) both the Holy Spirit and (b) the clearly evident supernatural miracles, like sick people being raised from simply being in Paul’s shadow.