An interesting proposal from Emmanuel

(I have yet to hear an answer about the following sent over a week ago.) Here we go:

Hey Emmanuel,

Sorry for the delay,

> Let’s start with me praying with your mom for her healing. I pray for > numerous people over the phone and online and God’s healing power is the > same. Just like in the bible times, Jesus spoke words of healing without > physically being there and people got healed the same way.

If what you say is true, then I imagine you can do it right now and I should get a message or a call from her the next instant telling me that she’s completely healed. Anything less and we’re where we started.

> I will not ask for anything from you but only one thing. You’re challenging > my faith (which I respect and understand where you’re coming from) because > you seem to think there is an absence of proof. So when your mom gets > healed, which she will, I ask that you seriously reconsider the doubts you > had for God.

As I’ve stated, if I have a reason, I will believe. The difficulty is I’m not sure what that reason would look like. My mom’s MS
disappearing would definitely be in the right direction. Then again, if god is omnipotent and according to the Bible, he’s raised the dead…

> At the end of the day, a person can have hundreds of miracles, > evidences, proofs and everything, but if he doesn’t take the step of faith, > he is ultimately at a loss.

My understanding of a miracle is a suspension of the observed laws of reality such as physics or biology. If I were to witness one of these, it woudn’t be faith, it would be evidence. However every miracle I’ve ever heard of has either been proven to be a hoax or anecdotal, neither of which is evidence. Again, I don’t understand why faith, belief in something without evidence, is required by an omnipotent god.

> You can mark my words that one day you and I
> and everyone else will stand before the judgement seat of Jesus Christ and > we will remember everything we’ve done including this encounter we’re > having.

And when that happens, that will no doubt be a decent amount of evidence. Until then, it’s just a story.

> We will ultimately be responsible for our own choices and
> decisions. God loves you, but if you refuse to receive it, He won’t force > you nor will you get it.

I’ve never understood that last part. Why doesn’t god just love for its own sake? My own parents have witnessed me doing some not-so great things and, without my request, chose to love me despite those failings. In fact, for nearly four years, I refused to speak to my dad (long story involving divorce) and he didn’t rescind his love for me. He didn’t even require an apology or a request of forgiveness on my part. He just let it go. Surely an omnipotent god can do the same thing without request, without compromise, without faith, etc.

> It’s like a person who needs $10, the $10 bill is
> offered in front of him free of charge, until he takes it into his hand, he > can never enjoy the benefit of the $10.

A better analogy would be the Nigerian businessman e-mails I periodically receive. I’m told that a Nigerian businessman needs me to hold $X dollars for him and in exchange, he’ll give me half. He first needs my bank account number in order to transfer the funds. He says I can trust him because he’s a Christian. Now I have no reasn to believe any of this. Could it be that he truly has this need and is truly willing to make this deal? Sure, but without a reason to believe it, I shouldn’t trust him. Why? Because it turns out that people have used this gimmick all the time to swindel the gullible out of their money.

> Actually coming to think about it now. I suggest we go about it this way. > Since you claim that doctors, diets or other means can get a person healed > without the intervention of God, I will submit to you that you set a time > frame, say 30 days where you will try to use your “mundane/physically > tangible ways/diets/meds…whatever” and try to bring healing to your mom.

You’re conflating unrelated isues. I’ve claimed that medical science has taken care of some diseases. Remember I said I’d never heard of an amputee regaining his legs? It is current medical fact that MS is incurable and terminal. That’s why I requested your services in the first place. Now, either your omnipotent god can and will heal my mom or he can’t or won’t. I assume that since he hasn’t yet, despite her faith, he either won’t, or he can’t. If he can’t, that invalidates the idea that he’s omnipotent and therefore not a god. If he can and has so far chosen not to, then he’s a jerk.

> And if at the end of the 30 days you are unsuccessful, then it will be my > turn for the 30 days to minister healing to you mom with the love and > healing power of God.

Additionally, I said earlier that this is not for my benefit. Yes, my mom’s healing would be a step toward my gaining faith (although specifically speaking since it would be evidence, it would no longer be faith), but it’s for her health and her life that I make the request. I imagine neither you nor god is so petty as to wait to heal her simply to prove a point. Then again, there was the story of Job.

> Meanwhile I ask that you would take her to the
> doctors to check up on her progress. So that you know that this gospel, > healing, and Jesus Christ is real and science will reveal the same.

I can’t since I’m in another state, but she gets regular check-ups. I’ll keep you posted.

> This
> way, we will know exactly what is at work. This is what I suggest, but you > are welcome to tell me other ideas that you have.
> My concern is surely to get your mom well, but more important is through > this incident that you will realize the reality of God.

Wait a minute. Are you saying that my acceptance of an unverifiable entity is more important than my mom’s health? How could that possibly be?

No comments as to that woman’s certainty as to the existence of her Egyptian cat-god?

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