Saturday, July 1, 2023

On Miracles Today and Back Then

2 Miracles and the Cessationism of John MacArthur and Justin Peters
Faith On Fire, 28 June 2023

0:35 You are aware that Cessationism in the 16th C. was the hallmark of Protestantism and has never been shared by Catholic or Orthodox Churches?

"St. Francis made miracles and Martin Luther and Hundrich Zwingli didn't - what does that say about who's right?" (a Catholic)
"Oh, the miracles ceased long before your Poverello, some time after the Apostles - those miracles are faked" (roughly resuming John Calvin)
"What about the ending of St. Mark's Gospel?"

Here is from his comment on Mark 16:17

Though Christ does not expressly state whether he intends this gift to be temporary, or to remain perpetually in his Church, yet it is more probable that miracles were promised only for a time, in order to give luster to the gospel, while it was new and in a state of obscurity. It is possible, no doubt, that the world may have been deprived of this honor through the guilt of its own ingratitude; but I think that the true design for which miracles were appointed was, that nothing which was necessary for proving the doctrine of the gospel should be wanting at its commencement. And certainly we see that the use of them ceased not long afterwards, or, at least, that instances of them were so rare as to entitle us to conclude that they would not be equally common in all ages.

Yet those who came after them, that they might not allow it to be supposed that they were entirely destitute of miracles, were led by foolish avarice or ambition to forge for themselves miracles which had no reality. Thus was the door opened for the impostures of Satan, not only that delusions might be substituted for truth, but that, under the pretense of miracles, the simple might be led aside from the true faith. And certainly it was proper that men of eager curiosity, who, not satisfied with lawful proof, were every day asking new miracles, should be carried away by such impostures. This is the reason why Christ, in another passage, foretold that the reign of Antichrist would be full of lying signs, (Matthew 24:24;) and Paul makes a similar declaration, (2 Thessalonians 2:9.)

That our faith may be duly confirmed by miracles, let our minds be kept within that moderation which I have mentioned. Hence, also, it follows that it is a silly calumny which is advanced by those who object against our doctrine, that it wants the aid of miracles; as if it were not the same doctrine which Christ long ago has abundantly sealed. But on this subject I use greater brevity, because I have already treated it more fully in many passages.

This is one reason I am Catholic, not Calvinist.

4:33 I do believe that is possible.
I do not necessarily believe it is true.

The chronicler of Asuza Street was a late comer, he had had an inferior position prior to getting integrated there (kind of like how John Todd could have been pressured into the false witness about CSL and JRRT), he took down what he was told, and it is probable that only one witness was available from the purported occasion to when he was taking it down.

Another reason is, Seymour interpreted certain verses of Joel onto what happened in Asuza Street, when they are about Pentecost (the original one, Acts II).

So, since the people there were not Catholics, those praying were not Catholics, why did God do the miracle?

Well, there are possible reasons. One could be modernist "Catholics," whom God wants to shame for not really believing in miracles. A bit like Jesus said of a Centurion his faith was more than He had seen in all Israel. Or how Elijah had worked miracles among Canaaneans, rather than among Israelites.

5:28 Indeed.

But it is a gift from God to a specific person, when God makes miracles:
  • on that person's prayers
  • and even more, if the person in God's name commands the miracle to happen.

Acts 3:6 But Peter said: Silver and gold I have none; but what I have, I give thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise, and walk.

That was a specific gift of God specifically to St. Peter. Note, he said "what I have" and he said "I give thee" ... the words after which the miracle happened were not "Lord God, if it please thee, heal this man" but "arise and walk" spoken to the man.

5:55 I am fairly confident Peter and Paul indeed could chose whom to heal.

B U T this still doesn't mean it was done by their own power.

7:56 Is Justin Peters the guy with "Deeper Waters"?

10:55 I believe St. Luke was a proficient physician prior to this, and find it probable he himself made the attestation of death for the boy prior to seeing St. Paul raise him.

So, yes, I believe it happened, the evidence is fairly excellent, and Sts Luke and Paul were actual Catholics too.

However, good for you not to be a Calvinist!

15:38 Just in case you (or some readers of my blog) should happen to compare me wanting an editor and paid for book sales from my blog posts to asking money for miracles - I never claimed my texts were miraculous or direct prophecy.

I'm not like a guy charging for money because God* spoke to me, but I definitely am a man wanting in diverse ways money for doing the job of writing texts down on the internet.

When it comes like paid for books, that will be great.

So far, it has (mostly) come from holding up posters with URL's and getting money (at least theoretically)** in return for that.

17:24 You have a very excellent point about miracles here.

Side note, personally. It is possible to be a counterfeit miracle worker (someone just had a person in a wheel chair come in claiming polio, and then couldn't detect it was a fraud test - that could be a case in point, though healing is distinct from prophecy), but it is more difficult to be a counterfeit writer - if I actually write, how could I be a fake writer?

20:37 Few witnesses are enough if they are good witnesses.

These people were new to the faith, still examining its credentials, and they had definitely not been pre-conditioned to expect miracles, plus arguably the event had been recorded to us by one of the very same witnesses, and that one the medical expert witness.

Most historic events are not witnessed by very many people.

A war is not an event in this sense, it is a series of events. It's easier to have been a witness to "Civil War" than to be one to "Fort Sumter" - just as it is easier to be a witness to presidency of JFK than to have been a witness to the shots that killed him, one hour after CSL died.

22:23 The boy probably hadn't been baptised, so St. Paul raising him was offering him salvation.

However, a martyr was already saved.

* Supposedly!
** Some simply ignore the blog and give money, sad but true, and sometimes those are the ones who keep me going, when the money from the bank withdrawal is up for the weekend (I have no card for ATM machines or similar). Or when a market allows me to get some more.

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