The Bible Supports Science
Vol. 5 No Miracles
“DO ALL WORK MIRACLES?”
THE BIBLE ITSELF
Parts of the Bible that
There can be no doubt: anyone who went to many church sermons until very recently – c. 1967 or so – knows that 1) by quoting selected parts of the Bible, most of our preachers, 2) churches, definitely promised us huge, amazing miracles; in sermon after sermon. Even “all” and “whatever” we “ask.” While 3) 4) furthermore, preachers insisted or implied, that the Bible itself, had promised us these miracles. As our preachers quoted parts of the Bible that, as they were quoted, definitely seemed to promise such things.
Until very recently, most preachers told churchgoers over and over, or constantly implied, that if people just trusted and believed and followed our preachers and their idea of God with simple, total “faith,” then they would get many huge miracles. For example, preachers told us, we would get bread out of thin air; we would get the power to walk on water; we would get the power to move “mountains”; indeed they assured us that Jesus himself promised us “whatsoever” we “ask”ed for. And we were told that many got these big miracles in ancient times.
5) Yet here is the huge, fatal problem in traditional Christianity: we were constantly told that miracles arrived in ancient times, and would arrive for us today; yet ordinary life experience of what “comes to pass” in real life – and even the most elementary science – we have just found, teaches us that even very faithful believers here and now today, just don’t see today, most of the specific miracles named above; or any of the big huge miracles. Not here and now, today.
And so therefore, what should we all now conclude, about historical, traditional Christianity? Which constantly promised us miracles? 6) Was a major element of traditional Christianity, just simply, false? And if so, what is supposed to happen next? After we discover this? What 7) kind of Christianity should we have, in the future, if any at all?
As it turns out, 8) eventually, the Bible itself began to question whether miracles really happened all that often. The Bible itself, began to ask, “Do all work miracles,” after all. Then, after questioning miracles, 9) the Bible then, next, to be sure, began to then hint, at least, at dozens of possible defenses, apologetics, explanations, for that lack of miracles. 10) Yet after looking at all these hints, we will find here that finally, the Bible itself did not fully accept most apologetic excuses for the lack of material results; so that finally, 11) the Bible itself, began to question promises of miracles. While indeed, 11) finally, given the failure of promises of miracles, and excuses for the lack of them … there was no option for the Bible itself, but to simply admit, here and there, that there was often simply something false, “deceitful,” in the midst of our oldtime holy men, and some of their promises and prophesies.
So that 12) finally the Bible itself, was to say that because of this, our traditional heaven, and “all” in it; our holiest prophets and saints, and their prophesies and promises – including promises of miracles – are simply to be destroyed, “dissolved,” one “day.” In order for us to be allowed to see something new and better.
While 13) we will add now that finally, the Bible itself began to question old promises, prophesies, specifically, … of miracles.
God Warned of Great Sins in Priests,
More Than Just “Secular” or “Worldly” People
Preachers today are fond of pointing to parts of the Bible, that 14) seem to question, find fault in, allegedly secular leaders, like “kings.” And in fact, the Bible often found that our leaders, our rulers – like “kings” and Pharaohs for example – and their laws, rules, were not entirely perfect; and therefore, the Bible told us, following our leaders’ rules, even following the rules perfectly, did not always lead to the promised “prosperity,” or wonders, or miracles. For that reason, finally even the Bible itself began to increasingly note problems even with our highest secular leaders; with say, “kings,” like especially, Saul. Yet we will have note here, that while preachers have liked to quote the parts of the Bible that seemed to question, say, allegedly “secular” leaders, finally it is extremely important to see that ancient biblical warnings about false leaders, rulers, were not just – or even primarily – warnings about secular leaders; but were about religious leaders. In fact, a) even kings like David, were not just secular rulers, but were often also partially, priests, religious authorities. While b) we have found here that even more than warning about secular leaders, the Bible especially, even more, warned about “priests” and “prophets.” Who are all too often, “false.”
Increasingly in fact, the Bible began to warn about false things, not in secular leaders, but in religious leaders. And even at times, c) their “law”s. In fact, the Bible came to say, even our holiest leaders, are men; who often make mistakes. And therefore, if we follow holy men and their rules, too “faith”fully, then we will follow them even in their mistakes (like the blind following the blind). Indeed, in the Bible itself, there are many warnings about “false” leaders; and related warnings about the blind following the “blind” over a cliff; sheep following false “shepherds.” And so forth. While finally, the Bible even warned that most of those who think they are Christians, who are following a “Christ,” will be found to have been deceived; will be found to have been following a false idea of Christ; following an “anti-” or “false” Christ, etc..
To be sure, overall, the Bible often essentially tells us to follow authority. More specifically, the Bible outlines basically, a guide that tells “child”ren to follow the rules of adults. Or then, it expands this, into an early proto-feudalistic, manorial model of civilization; telling simple people, to follow the rules, to follow adult authorities; and thus participate in – and get the benefits of – civilization; civil society. Essentially, in the Bible, the people are often told to follow the local authority, ruler or “lord” or priest, or their idea of Good and God, his laws; in order to get prosperity, wonders. The wonders of peace and civilization. But while much of the Bible seemed to tell children and simple people to simply follow their rulers, authorities, eventually, finally, the Bible itself began to note, to more “mature” persons, that often even our best and holiest leaders, and even their holiest laws and doctrines, at times made mistakes. And that therefore, the Bible itself eventually concluded, we should not follow even our holiest men and laws, too faithfully, or too loyally. Instead – as we have found here – finally the Bible itself tells us that we are supposed to carefully examine – with science and so forth – even our very holiest men and angels. To see if they are really producing the material prosperity that God promised; to see whether they are producing material “wonders”; or if they promise them, to see if they are actually producing real material “miracles.” And finally, if they are not producing them? Then we will have found here, contrary to what we always heard in church, we are not supposed to continue to follow our leaders with total faith at all; but instead, we are supposed to deduce they are at least partially bad, false leaders; are even the foretold “false” religious leaders, that, we were warned, would come to dominate the whole earth (Rev. 13). (As we found in our writings on the Destruction of Heaven).
Rather than telling us consistently to follow everything priests and ministers and even angels say – or told us that God said – eventually the Bible began to warn that even our holiest men and angels often make “mistakes,” and are not entirely “perfect,” and so forth; even in their most allegedly perfect and “inspired” laws and rules. And for this reason, finally the Bible actually allows, even commands us, to question, our holiest men and angels, and the sayings they attributed to God himself; including his promises of miracles.
Or finally, if you continue to honor and follow authorities in the Bible, then note this: finally we will find here and now, next, that the Bible itself began to include many authoritative figures like St. Paul … who began to openly question whether “all” worked miracles, for example.
So that finally, if you insist on following Biblical authority, then it is time to note here and now that eventually, even the Bible itself, its most authoritative figures and authorities – like Paul – began to finally, themselves, question the existence or reliability of promises of miracles, for example.
The Bible Itself
Began To Doubt
After appearing to promise us miracles over and over, amazingly,
the Bible itself at times, began to include some doubts about miracles. And though at times, those who doubted miracles are seemingly criticized at times, eventually, Paul himself was to question some aspects of promises of miracles: “do all work miracles?” Paul was to finally ask.
Are miracles real? Or, if they are real, are they as common, or as big, as our preachers often promised us? No doubt of course, 1) there have always been parts of the Bible, that seemed to promise miracles. And then too, 2) there were parts especially in St. Paul, that seemed to tell us, that we are supposed to believe and have “faith” in, whatever our religious leaders appeared to tell us; so therefore, logically, we are supposed to believe our holy men when they, say, appeared to promise miracles. And in fact, there were 3) parts of the Bible that even seemed to stress faith in miracles specifically; parts that told us, it seemed, to never complain – or especially, “murmur” – about the lack of miracles. There were parts of the Bible that even seemed to tell us that if we doubted our religious leaders and their God, then we were just bad, evil aa) doubters, bb) “scoffers,” cc) “murmurers,” and dd) “rabble,” and so forth.
And so at first, not just our preachers, but much of the Bible itself seems on the surface, to stand firmly behind promises of miracles. But let us now take a more careful look, at what the Bible really, finally, more “full”y said, about those who doubt supernatural things, like miracles. The fact is, 4) we have already taken a look at those parts of the Bible that seemed to stress total “faith” in our holy men – and we found that the Bible overall, did not stress faith as much as our preachers did; the fact is the Bible often warned about false things in holy men and angels, and therefore, ultimately the Bible told us not to have too much faith in religious leaders, but to “test everything” in Christianity, with “science.” While, if we finally do this, if we do finally more fully obey God, and begin using his science, applying critical science to ancient promises of miracles, then, as we noted above, we begin to come to a shattering realization: that even the most casual science tells us there are few if any miracles today; certainly none of the full size and scale our preachers often promised.
Already by the time of the Greeks and Romans, many educated people had begun to suspect there were in fact few if any supernatural miracles; or that in any case, practical science and technology were proving far more “fruit”ful, than praying for miracles. So how did the Bible itself, finally deal with this? Amazingly in part, 5) after having appeared to promise miracles over and over again, actually, the Bible itself began to allow us to doubt their existence and reality. The fact is, as we will now read the Bible more thoroughly, we will find that there are many complaints in it, about the lack of miracles, in the Bible itself. And if to be sure at first, such complaints about the lack of miracles are made by disreputable persons with no authority – the “rabble”; discontents who “murmur” unjustifiably –
finally however, in the end, very respectable, even central figures and authorities in the Bible, began to hint at problems, with the old promises of miracles. In fact we are about to see here, even canonical, accepted saints, apostles – like Paul and others – began to question whether all work miracles after all. (And though – 6 – we will find the Bible next began to try to explain or excuse the lack of miracles, even here, in its attempted explanations, it was tacitly admitted that after all, there was a perception that miracles were not so common after all; and that perception had to be dealt with).
And so, our Bibles – which on one level began with promising us huge, amazing miracles, seems to have itself begun backing away from those promises somewhat
Places Where the Bible Itself Questioned
1) Amazingly, there are
complaints, even in the Old Testament, about the lack of miracles; statements that miracles just do not show up as often as some holy men promised. And amazingly, at times, these complaints about the lack of miracles, are not criticized, but are allowed to simply stand, it seems, even in the Bible itself.
Joshua for example, just flatly said that there was only one day, up to his own time, when the LORD actually performed a miracle, when people asked for it:
“There has been no day like it before or since, when the LORD hearkened to the voice of a man” (Josh. 10.14).
2). Then too, aside from Joshua, there were still more indications in the Bible itself, that often our preachers were not getting all the wonders that were promised. In Job for example. The Book of Job in fact questions the fundamental promise or covenant of God, the basic idea of Judaism: which was the promise that God would reward those that followed him with prosperity, wonders, and miracles. But in Job, it is implicitly
admitted by the Bible, that somehow for a while God might chose not to give wonders and miracles, even to a “blameless” and “upright” person like Job. In fact, the Bible itself began to allow that even Job, a good man, called “righteous” by God himself, for a while not only did not get all the wonders that had been promised in the name of God, but had even actually, suffered, instead, from disease (“sores”) and so forth.
Amazingly then, in the story of Job, the Bible began to question its own primary theology; and to admit that at times, even good, “blameless” followers of the Lord, might … not get wonders or miracles, after all. And further, though elements of the Bible tried to come up with many explanations for the lack of miracles (God withholds miracles as a “test of faith” etc.), finally we will find here, that none of the explanations for the lack of miracles, is really true or good or consistent with the rest of the Bible. So that a) the Bible is beginning to admit that many holy men and even good righteous people were not getting all the things promised in the name of God; and b) furthermore, there are no good excuses or explanations for that failure. Except to say finally, as we find here, that … some of the old promises of miracles were simply, false.
The “Rabble” That
A “Table,” “Mana,” “In the Wilderness”
3) At first to be sure, preachers claim that those who complain about the lack of miracles, in the Old Testament, are criticized, punished by God; for being complainers, whiners. Indeed, according to the Bible, in the very beginning of Judeo-Christianity, in the book of Exodus, there were some people, following Moses in the wilderness – the “rabble” – who did not get all the miracles they felt they deserved; and who therefore complained – or “murmured” – about lack of miracles. And at first it has seemed to many preachers, that these persons, who complained about the lack of miracles, were condemned, and even eventually killed, by God. Perhaps because they were a) merely greedy, or “craving.” Or perhaps b) they were killed by God, because their doubts about miracles demonstrated a lack of “faith” in their Lord. But now, let us take another look at these people in the Wilderness. As it turns out, if at first it seems those persons who complained about the lack of miracles, were merely low, greedy “rabble,” who were being too greedy or unfaithful, finally, actually, in many circumstances, even such complaints by the “rabble” in the wilderness, about the lack of miracles, prosperity, are allowed by God.
Look closely at this section of the Bible for example. Where the people “murmur” against Moses, for not giving them all he promised. And yet God does not always condemn them, but takes their complaints as legitimate requests, prayer … and merely gives the people what they asked for:
“The people murmured against Moses” (Ex. 15.24).
“The whole congregation … complained against Moses … Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘I am going to rain bread from heaven for you'” (Ex. 16.2, 4 NRSV).
“The people complained against Moses, saying, “what shall we drink?” He cried out to the LORD; and the LORD showed him a piece of wood; he threw it into the water, and the water becomes sweet” (Ex. 15.24-25 NRSV).
aa) Note indeed that here, many asked in the Bible asked for more wonders from their lords, their God … and for a long time, such requests for miracles, wonders, were not condemned. bb) Indeed, those who asked the Lord for things, who “prayed” for them, were seen as just people praying for the things, after all, that the Lord promised to them.
cc) And in fact, far from punishing those who began to complain about the lack of miracles, or who asked for more miracles than they already had, actually, in much of the Bible, God is pictured as simply listening to their requests; and is pictured, often (if not always), as … simply giving the people the wonders they requested.
Consider therefore, our first example: even the people in the wilderness, who were in effect complaining about the lack of miracles, wonders, who were asking for more food, for some time, were not condemned by God; God did not fully condemn them for being greedy or craving, but instead, God treated their asking, complaining about lack of things, miracles … as being prayers in effect. Prayers, requests for what, after all, God had promised. While finally then, far from punishing them for “doubt” or “murmur”ing or “craving” and so forth, instead, God just simply gave even these “murmur”ing people, good things, wonders: miraculous manna or bread from heaven, and good water, even from the desert “rock”s as we find out.
So actually, note, there were complaints, “murmur”ing, about an occasional lack of wonders, miracles, early on – and for some time, the complaints were not punished particularly, by God. Instead, when the people complained about lack of wonders, miracles … the Lord simply gave the people what they wanted.
dd) Later to be sure – in the misleading parts of the Bible that preachers are fond of endlessly repeating – eventually, those people who doubted the abilities of our lords like Moses, to furnish the wonders or miracles promised, or those who asked for many more wonders, were eventually pictured – it has seemed to many preachers – as being in effect, greedy, “craving” people; as people who asked for too much from their Lord(s). And they are punished:
“The rabble among them had a strong craving … and said, ‘If only we had meat to eat!'” (Num. 11.4). “But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was consumed, the anger of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD struck the people with a very great plague” (Num. 11.33).
ee) Then too preachers suggest God punished people who complained or “murmur”ed too much about shortfalls by preachers. And eventually – as preachers never tire of pointing out – to be sure, eventually, many of those who seemed to complain about the lack of wonders from God, were killed by God. For, some preachers conclude, the sin of Greed; “craving” more than they needed:
“How long shall this wicked congregation complain against me?” (Num. 14.27 NRSV).
“They grumbled in their tents, and did not obey the voice of the LORD.
Therefore he raised his hand and swore to them that he would make them fall in the wilderness” (Ps. 106.25-6).
Preachers never tire of using these parts of the Bible, to try to tell churchgoers that no one should ever complain of the lack of miracles, prosperity, from preachers; that if they do that, then they will be regarded as being greedy or “craving,” and will be struck down, killed, by God, they claim.
Yet we just noted that earlier, God had allowed people to murmur, grumble about the lack of miracles, wonders, for some time, above.
And so let us finally offer a different interpretation of this second event, of God slaying the people in the wilderness. (And then, let us even move on to other parts of the Bible where it becomes very acceptable – even mandatory – for people to question their preachers; and to demand miracles from them.)
First of all, as we just noted above, aaa) for a long time, God did not really discourage people from questioning the lack of miracles, or asking for more. And bbb) indeed typically, throughout the Bible, whenever we ask or “pray” for example for miracles, God treats any such doubts about miracles, or requests for more, as simple, honorable prayers.
Then too, we might suggest that even here, ccc) if the people in the Wilderness were finally punished, it was not for asking for miracles at all. Remember first of all, that those who know the whole story of the people in the wilderness, know actually, many requests for miracles had already been made by Moses and others … and those requests were simply honored by God; God giving Moses more than dozens of huge wonders, already; wonders given Moses and the people themselves, live and in person. God having done many wonderful things previously – including causing plagues for the Pharaoh; allowing Moses to part the seas; and so forth.
Indeed, it seems likely therefore, that if the people are killed by God, likely the people in the wilderness were being punished largely not for asking for miracles – but for disobeying other commands by God.
There were many other commands by God, that the people disobeyed. They disobeyed for example, Moses’ command aaaa) not to leave any food leftovers:
“And Moses said to them, ‘Let no man leave any of it till the morning.’ But they did not listen to Moses; some left part of it till the morning, and it bred worms and became foul; and Moses was angry with them” (Ex. 16.19).
And then too, the people disobeyed bbbb) God’s command not to work on a Sunday or Sabbath, as it turns out (Ex. 16.28):
“Six days you shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is a sabbath, there will be none.’ On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather… And the LORD said to Moses, ‘How long do you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws? See! The LORD has given you the sabbath,…‘” (Ex. 16.26-29).
ff) But what about, say, Greed, again? Is God punishing the people for asking for too much? For Greed? In fact, we might only partially sustain this.
At times indeed, it seems as if – among the many other sins the people were committing – they were being greedy, craving, by asking for too many wonders, miracles. But we will find here, that the people are not condemned for Greed … until they ask for more than dozens of huge miracles performed live, in person, for they themselves.
To be sure, the Bible may hint that those people in the wilderness who were killed, were killed because they disobeyed the command not to be greedy; they became“craving”:
“The rabble among them had a strong craving … and said, ‘If only we had meat to eat!'” (Num. 11.4). “But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was consumed, the anger of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD struck the people with a very great plauge” (Num. 11.33).
“They grumbled in their tents, and did not obey the voice of the LORD. Therefore he raised his hand and swore to them that he would make them fall in the wilderness” (Ps. 106.25-6).
“How long shall this wicked congregation complain against me?” (Num. 14.27 NRSV).
But remember again, one thing we said above; that there were other sins the people had also committed; perhaps God was punishing the people for them. And more importantly, note here and now …
aaa) How much, here, is too much? Is greedy? God, we noted above, did not punish the people in the wilderness for asking for miracles, until they themselves, had already gotten, live and in person, dozens of huge miracles; Moses parting the sea; Moses causing plagues; Moses making water appear out of a rock; and so forth. So that finally, God does not consider we are asking for too many miracles or wonders … until we have ourselves have gotten, live and in person and for ourselves, dozens of gigantic miracles, it seems. As the people in the Wilderness got.
In the case of the people of Moses, remember this critical fact: it was they themselves who had personally witnessed, gotten, live and in person, dozens of huge miracles (and in effect, it was asserted, lots of evidence). Moses had personally worked, before many witnesses (as it was said) many wonders; including 1) having turned his rod into a serpent (Ex. 7.9 ff); 2) having turned the Nile red blood (Ex. 7.17; 3) having caused a plague of frogs (Ex. 8.2); 4) of gnats (8.16); 5) “flies” (8.21); 6) then a plague on cattle etc. (Ex. 9.3 ff); then 7) boils (Ex. 9.9); 8) hail (9.18); then 9) locusts (10.4) ff); then 10) darkness in heaven (10.21); 11) then the death of all first-born sons of non believers (Ex. 12.1-29). Then after having miraculously caused so much disease and death, Moses with God, worked some somewhat positive miracles: 12) parting the seas in Ex. 14; 13) giving a pillar of fire by night to guide the tribes; 14) closing the sea on the pursuing Egyptians; then 15) sweatening bitter water (Ex. 15.22 ff); 16) raining manna from heaven (Ex. 16); making water come from a rock (Ex. 17).
Note therefore, that God did not become truly impatient with the people’s dissatisfaction with doubts about his powers, prayers or requests for miracles, until many reliable people had seen not just ancient accounts of miracles, but had personally seen dozens of big huge miracles, they themselves, live and in person, as material proof of his abilities.
Likewise, then, this might be the most strict standard for asking for results: we ourselves are allowed to demand real material proofs from our holy men; and should never even begin to firmly believe someone is from the Lord, really represents God, unless or until, they furnish for us too, dozens of great works, live and in person, in front of we ourselves, in our own time. (While even then, we will add, this proof is not enough in itself; since there are false prophets that can work signs too, over the short term; so that we will need to see them work many wonders, consistently, over the long term).
bbb) Futhermore, the New Testament later, seems to extend the amount of miracles we are allowed to ask for: Jesus being shown to work dozens of them, as he then told us next we too would get “whatever” we “ask.” (While likewise, God told Ahaz elsewhere, to ask for whatever “signs” he wanted.) So that finally, is hard to reconcile the idea that God punishes us for asking for too much. Or even to imagine what asking for too much would be; given the huge magnitude of our holy men’s promises.
So that indeed, the whole theory that God sometimes punishes us for asking for “craving” for too much, does not seem consistent with other parts of the Bible, and many sermons; that promises us gigantic things. To the point that it would seem impossible to ask for too much. So that finally we must say, either the condemnation of those who ask too much is wrong; or the gigantic promisies are wrong; one or the other.
gg) Finally, typically, many preachers tell us the moral of the story of Exodus, is that we should not “test” the Lord, or test our holy men, by asking for miracles from him. But aaa) we have already found here (in our chapter on the science of God), that the better Biblical translations, tell us rather, not to “tempt” God; that is, not to test his patience, by our immortalities. Indeed then, this episode in the Torah did not intend to tell us not to apply scientific testing to God and/or his alleged representatives; since elsewhere, as we noted earlier, God often told us to “test everything” (1 Thess. 5.21); even “put me to the test says the LORD” (Mal. 3.10; see our writings on the science of God).
Perhaps bbb) to be sure, we can eventually, be greedy, and ask for too much; but that would be asking for more than dozens of gigantic miracles, for we ourselves, as we found out above.
So the real meaning of that no “test” sections of the Bible then – as we will have seen in our sections on the science of God – is that the Bible does not want to to “test” or “tempt” God in our “hearts” by being bad, including greedy; (“as you tested him at Massah” Deut. 6.16; as they “tested God in their hearts by demanding the food” Ps. 78.18). But finally, all this apparent prohibition on “test”ing is better translated to say we should not “tempt” God’s patience, aaaa) in our “hearts” and not physical reality; by bbbb) being immoral. Or cccc) even if we should not test God himself in some way, then we still, should test his alleged followers. To see if they are getting real material results or not (as we found in our writings on science).
hh) So that finally, what is
the real moral of these episodes in the Wilderness? Where people complain about the lack of wonders, miracles from Moses (and his God?); then ask for more … and then are killed? The moral of this story, is unclear at best. And while this story is often used by preachers, to illustrate their assertion that aaa) we should not ask God for miracles under any circumstances; or bbb) should not scientifically “test” him or preachers; or ccc) not ask for so much, finally, we have seen earlier, these cannot be the real morals of the story. Since these morals, would conflict with dozens of other parts of the Bible.
So what is the moral of this tale? As some scholars have noted, is almost impossible to come up with any interpretation of these related episodes in the wilderness, that is consistent with the rest of the Bible, and its huge promises. But finally, we might have suggested elsewhere, that if anything, we are punished by God, only for being beyond hugely Greedy; only if we demand more miracles for we ourselves, in our own time, than dozens of huge miracles. Though even here, if there is any limit at all on what we can expect from our holy men in terms of miracles, then after all, that would mean that Jesus’ promises of “all” and “whatever” we “ask” would be in turn, false. So perhaps we might say that even if this saying of Moses’ was true once, this is part of the Old Testament of the Jews that, after all, the New Testament, the “new covenant,” changed.
Perhaps one might say that the “New” Testament – with Jesus promising “all” we “ask” – simply corrected the Old; and dropped its threats of punishments for too many requests?
ii) Or finally, we might suggest, if people are eventually punished for asking for too much, more specifically, it is because the people did not remember to honor empirical evidence.
In some parts of the Biblical accounts of all this, the word “remember” figures in somehow; the people are punished because they did not “remember” the miracles, wonders, already worked for them. So indeed finally, we will finally say perhaps, if people who ask for many more miracles are punished, was probably because they did not “remember” all the material evidence, of their Lord’s powers, they themselves had already seen; the wonders that had already been furnished for they themselves, live and in person.
Many preachers here try to over extend this point; they aaa) will then tell us this means that we should remember the miracles given by Moses long ago; and that we should not ask for more miracles in our own time. Preachers saying we will be punished if we ask for any miracles for ourselves. So that we should be satisfied with the lack of miracles today. But actually, we will see, bbb) God promise miracles, wonders, to all, “whosoever” asks; miracles therefore, in their own time. Then too ccc) God told us to honor “science” … and science demands that any past results, to be considered still valid, must be duplicated in our own time too.
And so, all this means that we ourselves, should not believe or have faith – and will not be punished for lack of faith or anything else – unless or until, we have seen ourselves, live and in person, dozens of huge amazing spectacular miracles, performed in our own time, for we ourselves. It is only when we ask for far more than that, that we might be considered greedy, or to have “forgotten” or failed to “remember” the evidence that we have seen.
Finally indeed, what then is the sin of those who were punished after asking for miracles? If anything, it is that we are told to honor science; and so in effect, the people are being punished … because they failed to honor empirical, scientific evidence, of the power of their Lord; evidence witenessed live and in person by they, themselves. Their real sin then, is that they did not remember, honor, empirical evidence, science.
jj) And clearly, elsewhere in the Bible, it tells us over and over, that we are allowed – even commanded – to demand real material results from our preachers, live and in person, in our own time. Indeed in fact, elsewhere in the story of Moses himself, God says that when the Pharoah demands results, proofs, from holy men like Moses, they are supposed to simply, deliver them. kk) Or else be found to be false religious leaders:
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “When Pharoah says to you, ‘Prove yourselves by working a miracle,’ then you shall….” (Ex. 7.8-9).
ll) So if the Torah does not like people to “murmur” against religious leaders, still, religious leaders, preachers, are required to deliver real material results; or else perhaps not be “murmured” against, but simply, openly, repeatedly, declared to be false. To be sure, it might be possible to ask anyone for too much; but at the same time, God grants that a real holy man, should be able to demonstrate great material accomplishments for himself, and/or his tradition. And if he cannot do so, then far from continuing to follow him without complaint, “murmur”ing, instead, we are supposed to loudly “rebuke” him as a false priest, following a false idea of God.
Do not “murmur”; but instead, shout. And then even beat false, bad people out of the church; as Jesus beat people out with a whip.
Other Parts of the Bible
That Allow Us To Ask For More Miracles, Wonders:
To be sure, it has often seemed to many preachers, that in a few parts of the Bible – like especially, the part about the people in the Wilderness – some people are chastised for asking for, say, too many real miracles from holy men. Yet still, we are now finding here, that moral can be questioned, even from the text narrating this incident. While in any case, there are many other parts of the Bible, where complaints about the lack of miracles are increasingly, allowed. In fact, we will note here, not only Joshua and Job, complaining about the lack of wonders, miracles; but then especially remember ….
4) The Bible itself began to warn that there have been sins in practically “all” our holy men and angels; “all have sinned”;
“all the host of heaven” will fall.
5) Therefore, rather than continuing us to just trust and believe and follow our religious leaders, like even Moses, with total “faith,” instead, finally, the Bible began telling us to critically examine our religious leaders … with Science.
The incident of the people with Moses in the Wilderness, complaining about the lack of miracles, to be sure, is often used by preachers to try to prove that the Bible itself commands us not to apply science to religion; especially they use the phrase apparently telling us not to “put the LORD your God to the test“; trying to tell us that the Bible here commands us not to scientifically “test” Judaism (and Christianity) with science. But indeed finally, if that is what it told us, then this part of the Bible would flatly contradict many dozens, hundreds of other parts of the Bible. In fact, the vast bulk of the rest of the Bible made it clear that the very essence of Christianity, the major theology presented in the Bible overall, is that we are to demand – and scientifically examine – real, material, empirical results from our holy men. Even in the book of Exodus, above, God told Moses himself, that he is supposed to “prove” himself by working miracles, when “Pharoah,” for example, asks him to do so.
Proven material results in fact, are not only the primary promise of the Bible, but also are the chief criterion by which we decide whether a given saying attributed to God, is really from God or not. While, as for an alleged prohibition on “test”ing, finally any part of the Bible that seemed to tell us not to “test” God, is flatly contradicted by other parts, that tell us the exact opposite of that:
“Put me to the test, says the LORD” (Mal. 3.10).
“Test everything” (1 Thess. 5.21).
“Understanding … science” (Dan. 1.4 KJE).
If at any time therefore, the Bible seemed eager to tell us just to blindly, “faith”fully follow religious leaders, or to tell us never to question or test, demand real empirical results, from our holy men, finally those parts of the Bible were hugely overweighed, corrected, by hundreds of other parts. Parts that warned us constantly, that there have always been sins in our holiest men; and that therefore we should not therefore have too much faith in them, but should demand real, material, scientifically-verifiable results from our holy men. We should always demand real, empirical proofs, prosperity from would-be holy men and angels; before even thinking of accepting them and their sayings, as being truly, from God.
Clearly the Bible tells us over and over, that we are allowed – in fact, we are commanded – to demand real material results, from our preachers, live and in person, in our own time. Before we are required to follow them. In fact, elsewhere in the story of Moses himself, God says that when the Pharoah demands results, proofs, from holy men like Moses, they are supposed to simply, deliver them. kk) Or else be found to be false religious leaders:
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “When Pharoah says to you, ‘Prove yourselves by working a miracle,’ then you shall….” (Ex. 7.8-9).
God told us to apply science to our holiest men … and even angels; indeed, Jacob wrestled even with angels, and is not condemned by the Bible for doing so. (In fact, there are many warnings about angels specifically, throughout the entire Bible). And if science then tells us for example, that there are few if any supernatural miracles? Then we will have found here that, far from continuing to believe and have faith in them, instead, the Bible itself commanded us, to simply conclude that those promises of miracles were simply, false; that the sayings that seemed to offer us miracles, were mistranslated, or were not really from God at all.
In these and many other ways then, the Bible itself began to turn against miracles. In fact, though many parts of the Bible, taken by themselves, seemed at first to promise us miracles, and to not allow us, to even question that, eventually other parts of the Bible began to increasingly, tell us to question holy men, and to question especially, alleged miracles. As finally, St. Paul was to question miracles.
Eventually, not just chronic discontents, the “rabble,” but accepted authorities like Paul, began to, say, question promises of miracles. And those questionings, were not disapproved. As noted earlier, a) early on, even those who complained about the lack of miracles, we not punished, but their complaints were treated in effect, as legitimate prayers, requests; and those who “ask”ed for more, simply got more, from God. To be sure, for a period of time, b) those who asked for far too many things, miracles, some preachers say, were condemned as “murmurers,” “crav”ing Greedy people, “doubt”ers, “scoffer”s, complainers, the “rabble.” But c) then finally, increasingly, the Bible itself began to allow complaints.
6) Finally in fact, the Bible began to allow authoritative figures, even some of our very holiest men – like Paul – to question whether all believers can work miracles, after all. And these questionings were not condemned as “murmur”ing; but were simply, accepted.
a) Paul in fact, began, if not explicitly deny the existence of miracles, to at least question whether therewere so many miracles, or if all believers worked them:
“Do all work miracles?” (St. Paul, 1 Corin. 12.29).
b) And when Paul begins to wonder openly whether miracles are all that common, the Bible does not condemn Paul for asking, doubting; but just allows his question to stand, unchallenged.
c) To be sure, this sentence by Paul, merely poses an open question; it does not flatly say there are no miracles; it merely asks
whether all people work them.
Thus to be sure, St. Paul’s remark, never quite fully, explicitly, denies all miracles. Yetthese simple steps did begin to question miracles; and whether “all” worked them after all. And this was a revolutionary – and extremely important move. Indeed, some might have thought it was almost heretical; since after all, Jesus himself had seemed to promise miracles, to “whosoever” or all, that “ask”ed. Therefore, Paul seems to be questioning … even Jesus himself. As if Paul was questioning whether Jesus was really, fully, the promised Christ; and whether the statements of even Jesus, are entirely true.
In any case, more moderately, when Paul asks “do all work miracles?,” we see at least, at last, hints of attempts by the Bible itself, to subtly back away from the bigger promises of miracles; miracles for “whosoever” asks; Paul at least questioning here, whether all who ask, really do get miracles, after all.
Furthermore, we will also see next, in other, very careful but determined language, St. Paul began often, to utter or write still more sentences … that could be read as questioning miracles; and even more suggesting that there was something wrong or inadequate, about promises of say, physical miracles; as Paul began to speak of “spiritual” rewards, not material rewards, from God.
Eventually, many parts of the Bible began, if not to firmly negate or cancel the promises of big miracles, then at least, to question them. Note indeed, the question marks at the ends of all the following sentences; which also question early promises of miracles. Which in fact, turn apparent promises of miracles, into open questions; into questioning hypotheticals. As they ask, “will” God not give us what was promised:
“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him?” (Rom. 8.32). “Everything?”(NRSV).
“What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?… How much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” (Luke 11.11-13).
There are many subtle linguistic devices, tricks of language, in our Bibles, that our preachers nearly always miss. But today, everyone now needs to know about these subtleties. One thing preachers and churchgoers need to know about, is how to notice and interpret, the “fine print” in the Bible. Which means: often our preachers make very bold promises to us; but if we look in the Bible itself, we find there are conditions, qualifiers, demurrers, and other fine print, attached to those promised. Just like those letters you get in the mail (from Publishers’ Clearinghouse, etc.), promising you that you have just won a BMW, a million dollars, you need to read the fine print a little more closely; these apparent promises of wonders are often playing semantic games with you; if you give these offers a closer, “second” look, you will find that they are not what they appear to be on the surface.
Here, in these parts of the Bible, there is specific linguistic, semantic subtlety, that preachers do not call your attention to: the fact that these remarks, which seem to promise miracles to us, are not technically, promising miracles at all; but are only surmising hypothetically, or speculating – or indeed, merely asking – whether God should give us miracles. Though at first, readers and preachers will take the above quotes, as firmly promising us miracles, in firm declarative statements, look now more carefully; these statements above are not firmly promising us miracles, but are in fact, merely wondering about all this. Merely asking open questions.: “will” God not give us good things? “What” father would not give his sons good things? Thus, again, the Bible merely poses promises of miracles, not as being firm statements, but indeed, open questions. Or at most, leading questions. To be sure, people and preachers often hastily read leading questions, as if they were firm statements, firm promises. But they are not; they merely question something.
Why all the tricky language, the strange tongue? (Cf. “twist”ing). Why give us statements that appear on the surface, at first glance, to promise us miracles … but then play word games with us? In fact, most of the Bible is written in such evasive, equivocal language … because often the authors of the Bible, had some doubt about supporting this or that, given position or statement. Especially when that position seemed to differ with other parts of the Bible. In particular, it was no doubt evident to many of the later authors, editors of the Bible, that the Bible seems to have two different opinions on miracles; a) seeming to promise them firmly at times, but then b) questioning whether miracles are real after all. So that the Bible seems to at least equivocate, and even contradict itself, on the subject of miracles. And given this, what then, could our biblical authors finally say about miracles? Finally, they can only offer sentences that offer both possibilities; that have two different meanings. One of which seems to offer miracles; while another interpretation seems to question, doubt them.
You might think this is a difficult trick. However, priests – who were often the only literate persons in an average community; the only people who could read and write – were masters of language, “tongues,” and their “subtle”ties; they knew what a “metaphors” or “figure” of speech was for example. And clearly, the authors of our Bibles knew how to use language in such a way, that a single sentence can have two or more, even opposite readings.
And so, what did the scribes who wrote our Bibles, do in situations where the Bible seems to contradict itself on a given subject? When the Bible seemed for example, to at times firmly promise miracles … but then, there were reasons to doubt whether miracles were real? Often, in such situations, priests advanced their statements on any given subject, in very tricky language, tongues; in language that would allow either interpretation; that would allow both positions, according to how you read them.
Specifically in this case, regarding miracles, finally there were so many hesitations regarding them, that our priests began issuing, not firm, univocal, clear, declarative statements, promises of miracles, but instead, they began speaking of miracles in roundabout, elliptical, ambiguous language. Specifically, they began posing the existence of miracles, as an open question. So that in the examples above for instance, a) the Bible does not simply say, that of course God would give us miracles; or b) that he does not give them to us, either. Instead, c) technically speaking, it only asks a question: “will” God not give us good things? “What” father would give his own son bad things? It is the nature of blind, impetuous, precipitous, simple people, to try to read such sentences simply; as promising us miracles. But note the fine print; the subtleties of language, here.
d) The “tongue,” the Bible told us, is a great evil, with many “twist”ing ways; and often it appears to be saying one thing, when really, it is not. In this case, the Bible is written in such a way as to appear, at first glance, to promise us miracles. But if you now, at second glance, and with a little more linguistic sophistication, look at these specific quotes above, you will find that technically, actually, they are not firmly promising us anything at all. Here note at last, that the Bible is no longer absolutely, firmly promising us huge miracles, any more, in clear unequivocal statements. But instead, it is rather, merely asking leading questions; that might seem to imply, but never firmly say, that God will give us miracles. Though simple persons – and preachers – usually read these quotes as promising us miracles, actually, technically, they are merely asking questions; asking, hypothetically, whether God will not give us some many wonders. Wondering indeed, why good Christians did not get miracles, but instead often found death by torture, instead of the promised wonders. As the text wonders what “father” would give his children “scorpions,” when they ask for food.
e) Many uneducated readers – or unintelligent preachers, eager to promise us many things, and get us to give money to their church – have rushed in, to read these open questions, as if they were statements; especially, as if they were firm promises of miracles. While to be sure, f) elsewhere the Bible had seemed to strongly declare that miracles would for sure, come to all who asked. And yet we are finding out here and now, that science – and finally even the Bible itself – began to discover that miracles were not so common; if they existed at all. And therefore, later authors and editors, of our holy books, began to equivocate, on the existence of miracles. To question them.
Firm promises of miracles have often been made to us; possibly by the Bible itself; or certainly by preachers, televangelists. But finally, there have been increasing indications that our holy men are not delivering all the miracles they promised; that such promises are false. But how then do we change our Bibles? Change of what was said to be the word of God? Indeed, any move away from miracles, had to be made very, very “subtly”; in very veiled, ambiguous language; in sentences with two or more interpretations. So that no one could ever be pinned down, with firmly saying either this, or that.
And so finally indeed, the whole matter of miracles, was discussed in very tricky language; in sentences that have two or more, often opposite meanings; in sentences that could never be pinned down, as to their exact meanings. The above phrases on miracles for example, could be taken as still more promises of miracles. But read more closely, here and now, we actually find that they are actually, mere questions; questionings that, if anything, begin to doubt “whether” God really was giving us miracles, after all. Questionings that began even to doubt whether God was really good; since those who followed him often got, instead of promised rewards, tortured to death on a cross; and stung by thorns and scorpions.
Such things could not be said openly and clearly; without the authors being accused of heresy, apostasy. But such things are increasingly said, even in the Bible itself, in the subtext. Which began to say here and elsewhere, that the existence of miracles was at least, at best, an open question.
7) Confirming, related to this? The tricky use of language to back away from promises of miracles? Parts of the Bible began to suggest that promises of miracles should not be taken literally; but could and should be taken as metaphors, “figures” of speech. So that in effect, everything in the Bible has two different (even at times opposite) meanings. Literal, and metaphorical, for instance. If God at times had seemed to promise us real, eatable, “bread,” other times were are told that Jesus meant to give us instead, the spiritual, metaphorical “bread” of his own spirit and ideas. Etc..
Thus at this point, the Bible is equivocating mightily, on the question of miracles. To the point that it is now impossible to pin the Bible down to any firm position, at all. Does the Bible promise miracles, for instance, or not? Finally the language in the Bible is so tricky, so equivocal, it is all but impossible to say. The language can be taken two different ways.
The Bible Begins to Partially Acknowledge Sins in Promises of Miracles –
But Until Today, We Have A “Patch”Work,
With Two Contrary Voices In It
8) St. Paul and others therefore, began point up, another, second, level of meaning in the Bible; one which indirectly, subtly admit there were problems with the old, simple promises of miracles. And this “new” accentuation, seems good in many ways; at last, we have had a Bible that was not hoplessly simplistic, but that began to grasp some of the subtleties and complications of life, and miracles. But while many more modern readers, might like the more complex, ambiguous position of the Bible on miracles, there are still sins in, this kind of language, with two or more meanings. There are problems with, sins in, a) being thus “double-tongued.” It is trying to say two opposite things at once. So how can you trust it, or use it as a guide? If it is always saying two or more opposite things, how do you know which message is right? And isn’t the Bible self-contradictory at this point? An impossible, Frankensteinian “patch” work job, of inconsistent parts?
b) Many preachers, scholars, recognize the present ambiguity, polysemy, of the Bible; the “Bible,” they say, “was written by a poet“; which is to say, today almost every line in it can be taken at least two different ways. And some celebrate such “ambiguity” as literary critics called it; they feel the Bible thereby, begins to match the fuller complexity of God and life.
Yet c) here we will note that there are still problems with ambiguity, in turn. First, aa) if you’d like to try to match the full complexity of the universe, even merely two or three levels of meaning, is of course, still not enough; so that this poetic ambiguity, equivocality, is still not complex enough to adequately describe God.
Worse bb) in any case, there are fundamental objections to ambiguity itself. The fact is, there many, many times in real life, when ambiguity, poetry, is not good: when you are sick and want directions to the hospital, you don’t want ambiguity; you want clear, unambiguous directions. Or what teachers of speech call “clear unambiguous prose.” At times to be sure, complex ambiguity, is better than clear but hoplessly over-simplistic directions, to be sure; but on the other hand, in particular, when you are looking for directions to life, you often need clear, unambiguous directions. While a Bible which continually says two or more things, contradicts itself, and finally offers no very firm directions at all.
What indeed, do you do with a document that tells you, on the one hand:
“Answer not a fool according to his own folly” (Pr. 26.4; that is, do not frame an answer to his queries, in the foolish terms he uses).
But then advises exactly the opposite of that? That says:
[Do] “Answer a fool according to his folly” (Pr. 26.5).
What use is a document, how can you follow a document like the Bible, that gives us radically different, contradictory directions, rules? And tells us that both are the word of God? How do you follow a document that gives us often, exactly contradictory, opposite pieces? In fact, you cannot follow it exactly. Indeed, it appears that the Bible begins to, at best, cancel itself out.
With its many different, conflicting attempts to deal with complex subjects, with the complexity of God and life, in the end the Bible seemingly became an equivocal, “patch”work construction; with two or more different levels, different voices, different messages, in it. At times for example, the Bible seems to promise miracles to us; but then, in more equivocal language in Paul especially, it now utters ambivalent phrases; double entendres; phrases that can be taken either way. While to be sure too, it would be extremely hard in fact, for the Bible to end up with any very definite, unambiguous statement at all; since whichever position we take here – that God promised good things, even miracles to good people; or on the contrary, that God gave bad things to good people – either interpretation would fit only some of the evidence, only some of the rest of the Bible … but would conflict with other parts (Unless you decide finally, that Jesus say was not good; nor are most Christians; in which case, if they get bad things, it is because, after all, they were really not all that good after all).
To be sure though, in any case, since there are few if any miracles today, then at least, the Bible is not firmly opposed to saying this any more. And indeed, it is quite open to those who say there are no miracles. As it allows that indeed, many people had noted such shortfalls in the performance of alleged holy men in the past; while it finally opens up the whole matter of miracles as being in fact, at best, an open question.
Yet finally to be sure, such ambiguity – and self-contradiction – is not good enough. The Bible itself complained of problems in such “patch” work holy books; while condemning those who are “double-tongued” too.
9) So what is the solution? It is not more poetic ambiguity and contradiction. It is good that finally, God gave us a science; to simply, firmly say “yes” or “no,” one or the other; to firmly decide whether there are miracles, or not. Here we are not in what Joe Ratzinger/Pope Benedict called the “dictatorship of relativism”; finally we are not dealing with relativism in the Science of God; classic Science is not very relativistic, but is concerned to find a positive, clear truth of things. (Though to be sure, always being open to change, modification of our hypotheses, as new data comes in).
In any case though, note that here, the old promises we heard in nearly every church – especially televangelical churches – of huge wonderful benefits – including miracles – for “all” those, “whosoever” believes and follows God and Jesus, are finally, when you look at the language of the Bible more closely, not being uttered as positively, clearly, and unequivocally as many thought. So that, by use of complex language – the use of open questions, metaphors, hypotheticals – by using such ambiguous and contradictory language, finally, the Bible itself is again, in yet another way, backing away from firm promises of miracles.
Did the Bible really promise miracles at all? Who can now say? Finally, it turns the whole matter of whether we are promised lots of miracles, into at best, an open question; “do all work miracles,” after all? While indeed, once this is seen as an open question, we can then use science to try to answer it. (While the final answer of science will be? Mostly, that in fact, most alleged miracles were false. Though we will also find that we can see, a kind of truth – say, natural wonders – in the old promises. Though still, this means that our preachers ideas of miracles as supernatural, will be found false).
By indirect means, tricky language, Paul and Luke too (Luke 11 being quoted above, with Paul), were now uttering sentences that could be read as questioning one or two or our holiest traditions: especially, promises of miracles. Earlier, our holy men had often made seemingly much firmer and bolder, loud, vociferous declarations and bold promises, of big huge wonderful things; but now we begin to hear these promises spoken about, modified by, any number of at-first unnoticeable but important, grammatical, semantic changes. Especially, in Paul and Luke above, the whole matter of miracles is now being presented in a format that subtly changes, shifts those promises: above, statements about miracles, benefits from God, are no longer advanced as the flat, bold promises of Jesus Christ … but are advanced far, far more tentatively, as plaintive questions, hypotheticals. “Would”n’t God give us good things? “What” father would give his son pain and suffering. The text no longer saying firmly here, that he would give either wonders. (Or for that matter, suffering, stings, either).
though many preachers like to read to us just the parts of the Bible that seem to promise us miracles, actually now, overall, in one reading at least, we have a Bible that just within itself, no longer definitely, firmly promises that God will give us wonders or miracles; or even protect us from suffering. While finally, when God gives us “science,” he gives us the right to even finally, definitely reject miracles, finally.
Why would the authors of some parts of our Bible have begun to use this kind of evasive, equivocal language? Language that can be read as backing away from God’s firmest promises and basic covenant; to give good things to those that follow him, and bad things to those who don’t? No doubt, the thought and language of many Biblical writers, did not want to directly contradict the earlier words of God; but it seems likely that – especially in the days when Christians were being killed, martyred – even the people who wrote our New Testament especially, had begun to doubt the promised benefits, miracles, from God; many (if not all) had begun to notice that not everyone was making bread appear out of thin air. And so, according to what many saw “come to pass,” it appeared that the old promises of miracles were simply, false. But how could they say this? Of course, they could not doubt miracles in an obvious way … without obviously appearing to go against God. And so our holy men began to advance veiled doubts about miracles in “subtle” ways; by speaking of miracles say, by way of very tricky language; in sentences that could be taken in at least two or three different ways. Using language which would in one reading, seem to support miracles; but which would also allow, in another reading, some expression doubts, about miracles, and even the other promised benefits from God. “Do all work miracles?” This neither denies that all work miracles, nor confirms it; and indeed, it opens miracles up to questioning. While finally, God next gave us the science, to begin to answer the controversy, and end all this ambiguity.
To be sure finally we will find here, that a subtler, more “mature” reader, should now notice – especially after our closer reading of the language involved, here – that the old promises are here represented not by flat declarative statements or simple promises … but indeed, as at best, open questions. Yet finally, all this textual ambiguity, left us with major, contradictory aspects in the Bible; with a document, that seems to aa) promise miracles. But bb) then there is another voice in the Bible, that believes God might not actually deliver or promise them. Thus finally, so long as we have a merely “literary” Bible, it is not good enough; the Bible itself equivocates, and deliberately try to say two or more things; thus the Bible some would say, is not a clear, unequivocal, reliable, guide to life. Unless or until we finally use science, to decide the truth of things.
So how do we finally, really fix this clumsy, patchwork construction? Finally, as it turns out, we need a thorough re-write of the Bible; or a thorough housecleaning in religion, Christianity itself; we need to turn Christianity from a) blind faith in dogma, miracles, and b) poetic ambiguity and spirituality; into c) a science.
10) And where do we find authorization for such major changes? Finally, we – and St. Paul – found it, in the parts of the Bible we are now emphasizing in this book; the parts that constantly warned that a) there would be sins even in our holiest men; that b) allowed that therefore, we are supposed to “test everything” in religion, Christianity, with “science.” And c) if this causes the destruction of our traditional heaven? Then that too is authorized, commanded, by the Bible itself; by God himself. All d) in order to reward us with finally, another, second, better vision, coming, of God. One that firms up; shows up in concrete, clear manifestations. Here on this material earth; as foretold.
All this is difficult to believe and face. Yet finally, there is no remedy for the present contradictions and shortfalls in Christianity … except for, as the Bible itself says, the Destruction of Heaven, and the Second Coming. Which we begin to see in outline, as it is, even now: the second and better vision of religion, of God, of Christ, is of Christianity as a science. Beyond Christian Science and Scientology; to a full, real, hard science.
11) In the meantime to be sure, until this is accepted – as we will see in our section on Sermons as Excuses – our priests have tried lesser remedies, that have not worked. Priests particularly, have tried to simply over up, “whitewash,” semantically finesse all the evident shortfalls and sins in existing Christianity; with semantic word-twisting, and dishonest excuse sermons. With, as we will see, sermons that implicitly, tacitly, recognize that miracles are not as common today as many had promised; but that now attempt to explain and excuse that lack of miracles. Yet we will find out next, however, that almost none of the most common sermons that you heard in church, were actually true. None were a) true to even the overall message of the Bible itself; b) much less true to science and experience. As we will see soon, in our section(s) on Apologetics, or on Sermons as Excuses for the Lack of Miracles.
Finally then, we will see, there are few if any miracles; certainly no one today is getting the same miracles, miracles on the scale and nature that our preachers promised over and over. And so, promises of miracles, must be now seen, as one of the foretold “false” “deceit”s in worldwide religion and Christianity. Indeed we will see, this is one of the great sins of traditional Christianity: it promised many, many often huge, amazing miracles … and yet today it delivers few if any miracles; and rose, we will find, there are no valid excuses for that, either; none of the common sermons you heard in church, to excuse miracles, are true or good.
There has in fact been a huge, if unacknowledged, dead elephant in the living room, that no one is talking about: our religion promised us many miracles; but there are no miracles; and there are no valid excuses for that either, as we will see soon. So how finally, can we fix this? And get an honest and truer Christianity at last? Finally, there is only one solution, that matches what we see “come to pass” in real life, and that matches the Bible itself. Finally, indeed, the Bible itself said, there is no solution except … the Destruction of Heaven; and the Second Coming. A second and better vision of God.
In the meantime, until everyone sees the Second Coming, until the Destruction of Heaven is recognized, accepted, by the whole earth, we will have continued to have an infinitely vain and grandiose and unsatisfactory and false Christianity; one that constantly, vainly trumpets its own alleged perfection, even as it endlessly molests children (as we found c. 2002-5). And now we add, even as it endlessly promised things, miracles, that do not come.
There are no miracles; and as will be seen, there are no good sermons to excuse or explain that, either. So we must simply say that there was simply something false in the middle of our Christian living room.
And furthermore, if our churches and holy men could be wrong about one thing – like promises of miracles – then of course, they could be wrong about them all. Wrong about their “spirituality” and “faith” too. As indeed, we will see, they are. After looking just a while longer at miracles.
Next: Pat, Doctors, Prove Faith-Healings?