|The Raising of Lazarus
Conservative Christian: Well, according to Jesus, “A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas.” Quite honestly, in my estimation, the reason it (miracles) happens in third world countries is because they haven’t been taught that miracles don’t happen anymore. (Jesus doesn’t perform indisputable miracles in front of TV cameras and cellphones) because He came to seek and to save them which were lost, not do flashy stuff to entertain skeptics.
Gary: It is certainly possible that the reason why the resurrected Jesus does not perform indisputable miracles in front of TV cameras or cellphone cameras is because he wants people to believe by faith, but could you admit that it is possible that the reason no indisputable miracles are performed in front of video recorders is because miracles aren’t real; they are misperceptions of reality?
And if Jesus wants people to believe by faith, why do so many Christians like Nick Peters and Craig Keener go to such lengths to use evidence to prove the veracity of the Christian Faith??? To me, the excuses for why Jesus won’t perform indisputable miracles today is no different than when a child claims to have an all-powerful invisible friend who performs miracles. So you ask the child,
“How do you know that your friend is there?”
Child: “He talks to me and performs miracles.”
“Would you ask your friend to speak to me or perform a miracle for me?”
Child: “My friend says that you don’t really believe so he isn’t going to speak to you or perform a miracle for you.”
“But I would believe in him if he would speak to me or perform a miracle.”
Child: “He wants you to believe first.”
“Ok. I believe.”
Child: “My friend says you are only pretending to believe.”
And on and on and on it goes. Bottom line: You can’t prove that the invisible friend is really there or not because the child has created a defense mechanism to prevent you from disproving his friend’s existence. I believe that this is what Christians have done to protect their belief in their imaginary friend, Jesus the Christ.
Note: Both the child and the Christian truly and sincerely believe that their invisible friend is real and is present with them. They are not trying to be deceptive. They are simply trying to protect their belief from outside attacks, and because their belief is so central to their psychological well-being, any excuse will be created to defend it.