Miraculous, but with a little help from human beings.


According to an AP story published today,

An eye-opening survey reveals widespread belief that divine intervention can revive dying patients. And, researchers said, doctors "need to be prepared to deal with families who are waiting for a miracle."

More than half of randomly surveyed adults - 57 percent - said God's intervention could save a family member even if physicians declared treatment would be futile. And nearly three-quarters said patients have a right to demand such treatment.
What I find interesting about this is that if God can miraculously heal people who are declared to be terminally ill, why do these patients' families want to continue treatment as a means of summoning the miracle? What does God need the physician for? Can't an omnipotent God heal people on his own?


WES ELLIS said...

I find it interesting that in the gospels whenever Jesus "performs a miracle" other people are always involved. In the wedding at Cana (John 4) it never says that Jesus changes the water into wine, rather the servants do as he asks and then the water is changed. What if the servants wouldn't have done what Jesus asked, would the water still have been changed? And in the feeding of the five thousand does Jesus do much there? No, he pretty much just watches. He tells the disciples to feed the people and miraculously the bread and fish are multiplied. It's as though God does not want to do it on his own but has invited us to partner with him in his work. I guess God believes that mankind is worth the risk of failure.

Margie's Musings said...

My take on the feeding of the 5,000 (if it happened at all) is that in those days, if a person could be gone from their work for a day (and that is doubtful since most of the followers of Jesus were barely getting by and could not have missed a day of work if they wanted to eat that day) they would take a lunch from home for the mid-day meal. After the boy offered to share his, the men were embarrassed at their selfishness and brought theirs out too. Then all shared.

John Shuck said...

Ha! I just posted on this and then saw yours. We asked the same questions.

Mystical Seeker said...

Wes, what you describe represents a way of interpreting the deeper meaning of the miracle stories that both those who believe in such miracles and those who don't can agree on.

Margie, I've run across a similar interpretation myself. Interesting!

John, great minds do indeed think alike! :)

Anonymous said...

Margie: I remember hearing a sermon to this affect when I was in college and thinking, "So, you are saying that there was NO miracle, just people reacting out of embarrassment." Do we really need God for that? It would qualify as an interesting occurrence if it happened that way but hardly a demonstration of God's power. I guess I have a higher opinion of our inborn ability to do good (even if via embarrassment) than some. Not coincidentally, I also think "Total Depravity" is a crock!

Pastor Bob Cornwall said...

It is unfortunate that we prolong the agony of a person in the hope that God will intervene. If we believe that God will intervene then God will intervene. Continuing treatment beyond viability isn't faith, it's foolishness and cruelty.

To do this really is the same thing as withholding treatment from someone who might be cured because we must trust God.

John T. said...

Depends on what you consider healing. Is it full restoration of your physical abilities. Or is it a full connection to your community. If the latter then thats why God needs Doctors and others to assist in that.

Luke said...

ugh.. can't stand magical thinking (just check my newest blog post). i think this is an example. Sure Jesus healed and we don't know how, don't wonder how Christ did this because all reports were that ppl were healed from the gospels to Josephus' historical reports. who knows what happened.

i like how pastor bob put it " Continuing treatment beyond viability isn't faith, it's foolishness and cruelty."

Margie's Musings said...

I don't see God as "interfering in our lives. I think God tries to persuade us in the right direction but does not coerce us,

I also see miracles of healing as being the abilities of our bodies to heal themselves. We were built to be miraculous beings and we have a lot more control over our health then we are aware. Much of our health problems are brought on by ourselves and if we were careful with our bodies, we would be a lot healthier.

It helps to have good genes too.

Mystical Seeker said...

I don't see God as "interfering in our lives. I think God tries to persuade us in the right direction but does not coerce us

I agree with you completely, Margie.

It helps to have good genes too.