Why Doesn't God Heal Amputees?

Discussion in 'Apologetical Methods' started by sotzo, Mar 3, 2007.

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  1. sotzo

    sotzo Puritan Board Sophomore

    Anyone seen this? http://www.whydoesgodhateamputees.com/

    The deduction, in brief, is as follows:

    A) God heals physical ailments
    B) But no amputee has ever had a limb restored
    C) God does not want to heal amputees

    I guess the guy is going for a reductio ad absurdum, but it doesn't seem to work. However, it made me think about my view of how God works in regard to healing, at this point in history. Is it inconsistent to say "God healed that person of cancer" but not at the same time believe and pray for that he can restore a limb?

  2. Theoretical

    Theoretical Puritan Board Professor

    I asked this question awhile back.

    Here was the response
  3. sotzo

    sotzo Puritan Board Sophomore

    It doesn't seem like anyone on that thread responded to the argument you posted from the site.

    I think the statements in Scripture that hold prayer as being able to move mountains, etc. need to be reckoned with to effectively answer the gist of the argument. Otherwise we aren't taking the whole of the Bible into account to respond. I'm not saying that the author of such a website is presuppositionally ready to deal with the whole Bible, just that we should try to respond in a way that shows we take the whole counsel of God seriously.

  4. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Why doesn't God heal hemmorhoids? In the history of the world, it is never recorded that God has healed anyone from hemmorhoids.

    Probably because miracles were never too frequent.

    Also, the blind and lame and demon possessed had symbolic value as representative of the devil's work or human ability.

    Also, God DID raise the dead, a thing far exceeding raising a limb. But, all sorts of miracles have seemed to cease nowadays. This is not a problem of the power of God but only a product of us living in this Last Time, when the Word of God should be sufficient.

    If Jesus is all loving, why - out of all the crowds - did he heal only a few people. Probably 90% or better went unhealed.

    What a cruel God that many could envision if we place an obligation that God act according to our rules.

    Of course the websites makes some good points: Why does the divorce rates for Christians versus non-Christians equal one another in the States:

    Either two answers are really possible; () Christianity has no power, or (2) American Christianity has no power.

    I choose the latter. The Western mild form of easy beleivism makes the church and the world indistinguishable. In fact, these statistics that the website show are, indeed, proofs that America is not a Christian nation and the Gospel prevalent nowadays has no effects.

    Here in West Jawa huge numbers of Muslims get divorced. As do some of the nominals Christians. But, by and large the serious and consistent Christians all have solid family lives in contrast to the culture around them. The atheists on that website are attacking Western Christianity, not Christianity at large. In pagans realms Christians are a light on top of a hill. Their behavior visibly surpasses others'.

    We must always destinguish between generic religon versus Christianity or else all arguments of the atheists will win:

    -Who was responsible for Crusades, inquisitions, foot binding, Jihad, massacres, sutti, decption.....religion. Religion in general is an evil thing.

    -In the 20th Century who is responsible for mass murders and genocide and political oppression.....irreligion and atheism (which is really the worship of the State)...

    --Who helped end foot binding, slavery, sutti in India, and who helps poverty relief, diseased babies from being killed in Irian Jaya, prevents temple prostition in India....?........ Christian workers and the Christian faith.

    Also, suppose we picked 10,000 folks at random and did a study of the effects of prayer on dying patients with cancer. First, God in his will has decreed this cancer and Second, we have 10,000 Jews, Muslims, nominal church goers and religionists of all types praying for one of the blind-study groups. This proves nothing unless all religionists are assumed to be praying to the correct God.

    False religion is just as uneffective as false non-religion.
  5. sotzo

    sotzo Puritan Board Sophomore

    No...the real question is should we thank God for the healing of a cancer and never pray for the restoration of a limb.

    I appreciate the jab at Hinn, but I seriously want to know some thoughts on this.
  6. sotzo

    sotzo Puritan Board Sophomore

    "Why doesn't get heal hemmorhoids? In the history of the world, it is never recorded that God has healed anyone from hemmorhoids."

    "Probably because miracles were never too frequent."

    I agree. But premise one of the argument (see above) needs to be addressed. Does God heal people of cancer today? If yes, why does he not heal amputees?

    What the website is getting at is that believers are quick to thank God for cures that are not directly empirically verifiable, while not praying for healing in instances where is would be (ie, amputees).

  7. sotzo

    sotzo Puritan Board Sophomore

    OK Josh...this is one of those issues that has been gnawing at me and I was a little too harsh in my response to you!
  8. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    If it is granted that God still performs miraculous feats, then why doesn't God also raise people from the dead nowadays? Why doesn't He part the Red Sea again? If they are granted as appropriate to this age, we must ask this questions of EVERY type of miracle, not just the medical.

    Also, cancer is a progressive disease in many cases. The cells often regularly morph, grow , move. It is still "in process" so to speak. There is no "morphing" growing or anything "in process" if you cut off your leg with a power tool.
  9. sotzo

    sotzo Puritan Board Sophomore

    So, God DOES or DOES NOT heal today? I know God is sovereign over all, but I am talking about how we should be praying...should we pray for healing or just that those who do not belong to Christ would come to him through the suffering and those who do belong to him should be sanctified....or should we pray for physical healing...both?
  10. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    I don't know Joel...how do you interpret the passage in James about the annointing with oil?

    I think that God has already authenticated his Word so that healing is not to be expected in our age. The NT is written.

    God's miracles where not just to help people but to authenticate the message or the messaenger. These both have come... thus, no more miracles are to be expected. Sure He CAN do it, but what historically redemptive purpose would it serve? DOES He still do it..I don't know.

    Plus, aside from being dead (or maybe having a leg cut off) most diseases can be cured without a miracle but only through providiential blessings of docters, medicine, and sometimes stragne twists of providence that - though weird - is not neccessarily miraculous.

    A miracle, after all, must go against nature. If cancer cells ebb and flow naturally and morph and die naturally sometimes, then no miracle is needed for a providential disapearance or alteration to occur.
  11. sotzo

    sotzo Puritan Board Sophomore

    OK...so perhaps the first premise is the one that is incorrect. Since miracles are bound up with redemptive history, and the canon is closed, we should not be praying for healing in the sense of a miraculous healing. Having thought about it further based on what you and Josh are saying, perhaps the reason the reformed catechisms have nothing to say about expecting miralces is that what we should really be concerned about is "what is my only comfort in life and in death".

    I'll keep plugging away at thinking through this...really appreciate the time you have both taken.
  12. No Longer A Libertine

    No Longer A Libertine Puritan Board Senior

    Why doesn't God heal baldness? I'm 23 and so far am enjoying a delightful head of hair but some of my peers are not.

    The list could go on and on and on.
  13. sotzo

    sotzo Puritan Board Sophomore

    Yes, the list could go on and on. The point of the site was that Christians are quick to point to a person who is healed of cancer and say "God did it"...but nobody ever prays for an empirically verifiable event to occur. After thinking more on the input above, I think the first premise (see first post above) is the part that is flawed.

    Great to have a reformed brother in LA Film School...do you know Rik Schwartwelder? Made the short film "The Least of These"...I believe he may be back now teaching at Calvin College, but he was out there in LA for awhile.
  14. ajrock2000

    ajrock2000 Puritan Board Freshman

    I see miracles every single day, all around me. My breath, my ability to talk, laugh, pray, the fact that my body works like it should most of the time considering all the unbelievable amount of junk that is in conventional food these days, the mystery of a humans spirit and thoughts bound with flesh all working together just fine. Then upon looking outside myself...The unique growth of a tree, the design of a little blade of grass, and on and on and on and on and on....

    God's handiwork is everywhere, and are all nothing short of miraculous.

    To me the question is not why does God, it is a statement that God has, is, and will. All according to His pleasure and will, and ultimately, as Joshua said, for His glory.

    As for me questioning God, I will put my hand upon my mouth (see sig).
  15. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    God heals physical ailments...yes. But how?

    Through providentially-appropriate means such as doctors, medicine, and through God's providential but non-miraculous blessings such as certain bacterias dying as they sometimes do naturally ...without always giving a reason why.

    I would argue that on a terminal ward or hospice when cancer is very advanced it would seem rather foolish to pray that the cancer go away. It seems more prudent to pray for the welfare of the soul. Likewise, if I cut my leg off, it would seem foolish to pray for God to re-attach it.
  16. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Sorry Asa but miracles must be defined strictly for any disucssion on it to make sense. If everything is a miracle than there is no way to distinguish what is miraculous. This view does not exalt the place of miracles but actually diminishes it. A miracles is not a blessing, a providential occurrence or a coincidence. It is against nature.
  17. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    Perhaps the problem with the argument lies in its assumption that being an amputee is something from which a man needs healing. Missing a limb may be immensely inconvenient, but are not amputations done only when medically necessary? In other words,, could one say that it was God's providential hand that provided a Doctor for this man who could perform an amputation in order to save that man's life? :think:

    Under normal circumstances wouldn't an amputation be considered a blessing? Assuming, of course, that it was medically necessary.
  18. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    If your eye offends you pluck it out... I guess having no eyes, hands or other parts could also be considered blessings....but it hardly seems so to the one affected.
  19. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    I agree, but the point I am trying to make is this...

    Is it possible that the amputation is not what needs healing. It is the life threatening medical condition that preceded the amputation. In other words,, gangrene and out of control bleeding are the affllictions that need healing or the man will die. The blessing is the amputation which is providentially provided by the Lord in order to heal the man of his life threatening affliction.

    All I am saying is that the argument that we are discussing requires the assumption that an amputation is an affliction from which healing is necessary. But is it possible that the amputation is the healing?
  20. ajrock2000

    ajrock2000 Puritan Board Freshman

    I know. That is exactly my point. Who can distinguish what a miracle is since God works through all things? And when I say all, I mean every minute detail in the universe is under his sovereign control, every cell in our body.

    Here is what Dictionary.com says
    Person a is an amputee, and he gets healed somehow

    Person b is a pregnant woman with a child forming in her belly, where all the body parts are formed, the union of spirit and flesh, all the intricate things that happen there

    Person c is a person sleeping in bed, has no thought at all as to what is going on in his body, only he knows that it all works

    To me, all have something super-natural going on, right? All surpass human powers, right? Humans may be able to inject some chemicals in there to make it behave differently, but the fact is that it naturally happens by some power outside of ourselves. Maybe my natural vs. super-natural mindedness is a little foggy. These sorts of things have puzzled my mind for a while, probably because it involves sticking my head into the counsel of the Almighty which will never make sense in this little mind of mine. ;)

    "Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things." - Eccl 11:5 (NASB)
  21. No Longer A Libertine

    No Longer A Libertine Puritan Board Senior

    Afraid I've not heard of him but I am new to the area, not yet fully moved in.
  22. brymaes

    brymaes Puritan Board Sophomore

    God can, as He does in His Word when He calls some things 'miracles' and does not call other operations of providence that.
  23. Machaira

    Machaira Puritan Board Freshman

    Prayer is never a blank check and is qualified by other portions of Scripture, such as:

    Jas 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

    1Jn 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.

    I think what this shows us is that the ultimate reason why things happen or don't happen is simply to be found in the sovereign will of God.
  24. August

    August Puritan Board Freshman

    I had a debate with one of his supporters a while ago. My counter-question was how they knew He didn't? All it takes is one such a miraculous instance, with any amputee, sometime during the last few thousand years to disprove their argument. Their position makes the illogical conclusion that because they have never heard of such a thing, it has never happened, i.e. they are drawing a false general conclusion based on their limited evidence. Have they examined avery amputee in the last few thousand years to make such a definitive claim?

    Also, God's love or hate does not depend on a persons physical condition. If that was the case, then does He hate ugly people, or sick people, or brain-damaged people?

    There is so much they must assume to get thweir argument off the ground that it does not make any sense to start with.
  25. Brian Bosse

    Brian Bosse "The Brain"

    Hello Everyone,

    Let’s flesh this argument out.

    Prove A: God does not want to heal amputees.
    1. Assume ¬A: God does want to heal amputees.

    At this point, we need to add the following implication to make the proof go through…

    2. ¬A→B: If God does want to heal amputees, then an amputee has had a limb restored.
    3. ¬B: It is not the case that an amputee has had a limb restored.
    4. ¬¬A: It is not the case that God does want to heal amputees. (Modus Tollens on 2 and 3)
    5. A: God does not want to heal amputees. (Law of Negation on 4)

    This is a valid proof. The only steps to be argued are 2 and 3 - everything else follow by force of logic. If they are true, then the proof is sound. One possible argument against step 2 is that it ignores the possibility of an amputee having a limb restored in the future. In terms of 3, how does one verify the claim that no amputee has had a limb restored? This is probably humanly impossible to verify. All in all, I am not persuaded by this argument.


  26. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

  27. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Of course another point wold be that God WILL and IS healing amputees that come to Him, our physical bodies being perfected and all deficincies healed when God finishes His work in the universe.
  28. gwine

    gwine Puritan Board Sophomore

    You might want to read this testimony by Charismatic Calvinist posted on 1/15/2005 at 06:29 PM.
  29. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    I stand corrected! Maybe God does heal hemmerhoids! :think:
  30. alwaysreforming

    alwaysreforming Puritan Board Sophomore

    I find this a very interesting argument/question about whether or not God does work in the empirically miraculous today.

    I don't find the argument compelling which says, "no one has done a study on every amputee......" simply because almost ALL of us know someone in our church or fellowship circles who claim that either themselves, or someone they know (or at least heard about) was cured from cancer or some other life-threatening/non-reversible disease. Yet NONE of us knows of someone who has had a limb restored, or an eye replaced, etc.

    This is at least cause for some serious thought about it, and I appreciate the input thus far. But it doesn't seem as though the original question has yet been answered...

    ARE we to pray for miracles? or are we only to pray for miracles which are "easy" for God, ie. praying for a disease to be cured when we know sometimes these things tend to happen by themselves, or just by natural processes? (Jesus said, "Which is easier...? Get up, pick up your mat, and walk.")

    Is this a lack of true faith on our part? Or are we to assume that God does no more miracles?

    We always say, "God can do whatever He wants", yet for the really hard stuff (a limb restored), we just discount the fact that it will happen and don't pray for it.

    What are we to believe? I'm very confused.

    How then should I pray? And for what?

    I'd like someone who believes so to simply say, "Yes, God can and does heal amputees, and we should pray for it." If "yes" is an anwer, why couch it in so many words?

    And if "no" is the answer, then it seems we shouldn't pray for anything beyond normal sicknesses, or things that can be cured with natural processes.
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