Miracles are dead...

I would like to pose a few questions. Why do you believe that Harry Potter has seen so much success? Why do you think that so many television shows are now focusing on "supernatural" experiences? Ex, "supernatural," "The Ghost Whisperer," "Medium," "Heroes," etc. And look at the movie industry...

I'll offer up a thought to consider. Miracles are dead.

Okay, now before you go off on a tangent telling me about the person you know who was miraculously healed from cancer, I don't actually think that miracles are dead, per say, but the world has changed since Old Testament days. We no longer have any Samsons. We no longer have a Moses or Elijah or Gideon or fiery furnace trio. We don't have a man feeding thousands with a couple fish and a few loaves of bread. Simply put, we haven't had a global miracle in so long that the world is hungry for one. (Personally, I think this is one of the reasons the Anti-Christ will gain so much power and convince so many people that he's the real deal, but that's another discussion.)

So, in the absence of miracles, what would any average miracle-hungry person do? Go looking for one. I write supernatural thrillers/horror and I got to thinking about the reasons that so many people love these genres. In research for a WIP, I've been going back through and re-reading a lot of the OT miracle stories when it hit me: We just don't get to see this kind of stuff any more. Sure, we have our tiny miracles...People saved from accidents that should have resulted in certain death, people cured of terminal illnesses in the blink of an eye, people without a dime to their names living without care day after day on faith...But where is the grandiose "Hand of God" miracle these days?

Ghosts. Ouija boards. Haunted houses. Psychics. Voodoo. Mediums. They offer up little miracles for the people that let them... But why do people let them? Because we hunger for more than what this world can show. Deep down inside, our very souls KNOW the supernatural exists. God is supernatural. And knowing that, knowing the infinity of his power, spurs the imagination, stirs that ingrained part of our souls that hungers for Him.

But not everyone knows Him. Not knowing Him doesn't stop the hunger, it doesn't stop that spiritual need for proof that something greater than our lives exist. And when someone doesn't know Him, all of the other supernatural things become so much more attractive. We want to explain the things we can't explain. We want to hope that there is some kind of life after death. We want to believe that our time on this earth isn't futile. And if we don't have faith in God, in Heaven, what do we have left as options? Reincarnation? Some kind of spirit world? etc.

Now, for those of us who do know Him, who have faith in the here-after, the supernatural isn't as much of a mystery. It's a fact. We know that God isn't the only one who moves in this world. The devil's agents move as well. So, as a Christian who loves supernatural thrills, I've come to see the importance of showing this modern world in which we live in proper light. I think we need to remind everyone that miracles are in fact, alive and well. They might not shake the world's foundation when they happen, but they happen according to His plan. And more importantly, we need to shed Light on those "miracles" that don't come from His throne so that those people who don't know Him can see a glimmer of truth through all the lies.


Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree that people turn to these types of stories to give themselves the hope that there is something beyond the ordinary. Even hard science fiction can provide the feeling that even if we don't have certain wonders of technology yet, they could come about with incredible consequences. But I also wonder whether miracles are "dead" as you have us consider. Think of this...if some huge, seemingly miraculous event were to occur today...what would be the majority response? Sure, there'd be some who credit it to God and all, but I believe most people would find some "rational" explanation for it, or simply ignore it altogether. We see special-effect miracles all the time, read about parallel worlds, and have a society so used to these kinds of stories that I wonder whether we would even know a true miracle if we saw it, or if we, in our infinite human capacity of rationalization, would write it off as a freak of nature or some science we don't comprehend yet.


Deborah Cullins Smith said...

True, true -- every word true, Daniel. The world is desperately seeking some "proof" that God exists, or that there is "something more out there", something or Someone who will sort out all the chaos make sense of it. If we Christians can't show them that our Lord and Savior IS the Great Miracle Worker, they'll seek the supernatural elsewhere. And often in places like those Susan Kirkland spoke of in her most recent blog. What a magnificent challenge to all of us in the genre of Biblical spec-fic! We have the opportunity to pull back the curtain and reveal the miracles of God through our writing, as well as exposing the counterfeits of the enemy.

May we all be wise in our vocation, and led by the Spirit of God every step of the journey!

Daniel I Weaver said...

There will always be those who cast doubt on miracles, Josh. Science has tried to explain every Biblical miracle to date to rationalize them and prove that they weren't miracles. The same can actually be said for anything supernatural. Science wants to assert that it has an explanation for everything, even if we don't know it yet.

So, sure. Even if we had a global miracle these days, there would be plenty of skeptics and nay-sayers. But regardless, even though we live in a cynical age, that hunger and pursuit for something "greater" than us lives on.

Anonymous said...

Just another quick thought. There has always been that saying floating around (Arthur C. Clarke I believe?) that any sufficiently advanced science or technology to us would be indistinguishable from magic. One of my favorite stories is The Taking, by Dean Koontz, which, by the end, turns this saying on its head by supposing that any truly supernatural event would appear to us to be incredibly advanced technology. So the appearance of an alien invasion and UFOs might be in actuality spiritual forces at work. I believe there are two main mindsets at work in our world (to oversimplify, of course). Those that want to remain in control of their fates, and thus want to be able to define everything by science and such, and those who want to believe there are forces beyond their control or ken. All right. I'm done rambling for now.


Frank Creed said...

Daniel stated that "Science wants to assert that it has an explanation for everything, even if we don't know it yet." While there are many who still hold to romanticism, our culture has slid into post-modernism: the view that there is no truth. The logical nihilism of such a position speaks of how depraved America has become. People believe and behave in whatever manner they want, cauterizing their consciences with the thought that "truth doesn't exist anyway". It's a philosophy wherein "getting our way" is front and center. We're like cocaine-addicted lab-rats choosing drug over food and starving to death; post-modernism's believers don't care how illogical their mantra is--that's their point. Everything is spin. One man's terrorist is another's freedom-fighter. Morality is completely personal.

Point is, in our current climate of skepticism and our level of tech, few would believe a miracle, no matter the size. David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear. Many now doubt the historicity of the Holocaust and the moon-landing. Everything is just a big trick.

I believe that mankind's biggest problem is how we choose what we believe in: epistemology. It's no surprise that an all knowing God will judge us all by the intent of our heart.

His will be done,
Frank Creed
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