Answering “Questions Christians Can’t Answer” #4 – Failed Miracles?

Faith Healing

 

Who is R. E. Pucket? The world may never know. What the world will remember, however, is the article that made his name known around the internet. A little gem written in 2009 and titled Top 50 Questions Christians Can’t Answer. One would assume from the title that Pucket believes that there are plenty of questions that Christians can’t answer, these where just the best he could think of. This article series will take a look at these questions – one at a time – and see if there could possibly be answers to them after all.

Pucket’s questions frequently assume views which are held only by a very specific sect of Christian believers, and by no means characterize the whole of Christian views. This is not to say that the attack has no merit, but the attack would need to be re-worked to fit a broader representation of that belief.

Finally, it is worth noting that the questions are sometimes phrased in highly emotive or sarcastic forms. This article will attempt to respond to the fundamental objection being raised, rather than the tone in which they are presented, however the questions themselves will be presented in their original format.

Today’s question is:

4.) Why did the old lady that God healed one Sunday need her walker the next? Was she only temporarily worthy of healing?

It must be pointed out that there is a significant number of Christians that will not admit to miraculous healings of the “Faith Healing” variety in the current day and age, particularly cessationists. These Christians are just as skeptical about a person healed in a showy display on-stage as is Pucket. But to take a reasonable look at this question, it must be stressed that all healings – whether through medicine or by miracle – are temporary. The people whom Jesus healed, the ones he raised from the dead, they are all now dead. If God does heal miraculously, it is not to solve all of that person’s earthly woes forever. Rather, it is to make some point toward a more permanent purpose.
This may best be illustrated by a story from Jesus’ ministry. In this story, Jesus was teaching when suddenly he was interrupted by a group of people who had brought their paralyzed friend before him. The story says:
And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
Note that this mans search for healing ultimately brought him salvation; a far more permanent solution to his worldly woes. Moreover, Christ’s primary concern was not for his healing but rather for his forgiveness. He only healed the man as a response to the doubts of others.
A counter-example of this would be the Apostle Paul who fervently prayed that God remove some problem in his life that he described as “a thorn in the flesh.” God denied him, responding “my grace is sufficient.”
What God was saying here is that the grace he gave Paul which led to salvation was more than compensatory for any temporary unpleasantness he might experience in his life on earth. So Paul concludes, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” and elsewhere, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

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