by Kenneth Justice
“I thought babies could be conceived through oral sex so you can imagine how scared I was of doing anything during my high school years” she said
~ Last week I was sitting with three acquaintances of mine at coffee and the subject of miracles came up. I’ve had a couple friends at coffee tell me that as teenagers they used to believe babies could be conceived via oral sex, which would truly be a miraculous event.
With Christmas only a few days away much of the world is wrapping up the celebration of advent and of course the subject of miracles comes to the fray front and center. For many people, miracles present the greatest barrier to their belief in the supernatural or simply their belief in anything other than themselves. As with my friends who thought oral sex could lead to pregnancy, some people believe in miracles that are simply a tad farfetched.
Of course, other people believe that a stubborn relative apologizing to them would be the greatest Christmas miracle of all. And while I would definitely be pleasantly surprised if certain people who slandered and gossiped against me suddenly called and apologized for all their nastiness, it would be difficult for me to point to that as proof for the miraculous (I suppose the explanation is better described as these stubborn people had finally come to their senses).
I’m one of those sorrowful individuals who tends to skeptical toward the miraculous,
—-) Someone once told me God audibly talked to him on three different occasions; oddly enough God never told this person that they aren’t very nice and direly in need of an attitude change
—-) Someone once told me that God allowed him to levitate and instantaneously transported him to Russia and back; my dad told me later that this dude did a lot of Acid back in college which explained quite a bit
—-) Someone once told me that God had promised the birth of her first child to be entirely pain free; unfortunately, she forgot to tell the doctor to give her the Epidural shot so that when she was yelling “GOD” in the midst of 7 hours of labor, it was NOT because she was free of pain
Like David Hume, every time I’ve ever bothered to research the miraculous claims of friends, acquaintances, and fellow Christians, I tend to come up empty handed; such claims are often dubious and entirely subjective in nature.
My father was a firm believer in the miraculous. Shortly before his death he wrote an entire manuscript of his life in which he detailed all the miracles he believed to have experienced. I’ve read his manuscript a few times, and sadly, after each reading I become less and less impressed with his claims.
For my close Christian friends, the lack of enthusiasm I demonstrate regarding miracles tends to be a downer. I’ve had many a friend ask me, “Kenneth, how can you be such an intensely devoted Christian and not believe in the supernatural?”
Of course, I never said I don’t believe in miracles, I’m merely skeptical regarding all of the various claims that have been presented to me. The simple truth of the matter is that the very basis of Christmas is upon the foundation of a miracle; the Virgin birth.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace”
When it comes to the principal of the miraculous I am entirely passionate; I believe in miracles. And when I’ve been asked, “Kenneth how in hell can you believe in miracles”, I often think to myself, “How can I NOT believe in miracles”
In order to ‘prove’ that miracles have never occurred, will never occur, and can never ever occur, you would have to prove the improvable. Of course, that may seem like a tongue twister, so perhaps we should break it down just a tad; the only way to prove that miracles can’t occur and have never occurred, would entail being present in every single situation throughout history (past and present) and weighing the various factors present (a herculean task if I might say so myself).
The dude who led me to blogging, Matthew Arnold, once told me, “Even if your God spoke down to me from heaven right this moment and struck me blind, I still would not believe him to be God, because how would I know that he’s not merely a more evolved human that is lying to me?”
Arnold’s statement always struck me as very honest, and very sad. What a lonely world it would be to always suspect others of lying. This isn’t to say that others don’t lie, bloody hell; people lie all the time! Yet to live in a mindset where even if the miraculous happens before your eyes you are forced to deny it, seems rather depressing.
A dude walks on water, the dead come back to life, a spoken word calms a storm, a mysterious star in the sky, or a virgin birth. They all seem rather fantastic. They all seem like stories larger than life. They all seem like stories disconnected from the world that you and I live. Yet that is how life is I guess. Each of us have to come to terms with how we view the world. Each of us has to ultimately decide if we want to believe in the improvable, or hold out hope, like Fox Mulder, that there is something more out there.
Just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee,
Categories: Culture & Society