Who Seeks Miracles
Arlene Gaynor of the Universal Church accused me of writing a 'faithless article' and also alleged 'He clearly has no faith.' (Gleaner, June 12) because I said, "The greatest miracle is the resurrection which defines Christianity and we should not expect a repeat of this miracle, but, rather, exercise faith in God as revealed in Jesus and as convicted by the Holy Spirit, that God will ensure that good triumphs over evil and life over death!' (Gleaner, June 11).
Gaynor obviously feels that my belief in the resurrection of Jesus is a sign of being 'faithless'. Apparently, she does not recognise that the resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the mother of all miracles. It is Jesus' triumph over death that gives us hope of being raised from the dead. This miracle is central to the Christian faith because if Jesus be not raised, then our faith is useless. We need to believe in the resurrection of Jesus.
Ironically, Gaynor does not realise that it is a 'faithless people' who seek after signs and miracles. 'Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him [Jesus], "Teacher, we want to see a sign from you." He answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah' (Matt 12:38-40. See also Matt 16:1-4). 1 Cor 1:22 states, 'Jews ask for miraculous signs, and Greeks look for wisdom ... .' Jesus said to doubting Thomas, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." John 20:20. Jesus praises a person who believes in Him without the crutch of signs, wonders, miracles and sight.
Gaynor also said 'I pity the poor members of his congregation over which he has pastoral care.' I have the privilege of giving pastoral oversight to members who do not need frequent miracles to keep the faith in God. There is a young member who is not yet 50 years of age and has had double leg amputation and her faith is strong in God. Since the amputations, she had more surgeries; the last one was done last week. She attends church in a wheelchair pushed by her husband. There are other congregants who have gone through hardships, but they will not curse God and die. They, like Daniel, believe that God can deliver them from the burning furnace, but even if He does not deliver, they will not worship false gods.
NO GREATER THAN JESUS
Gaynor further added: 'Jesus said in the Gospel of John that we will do what He did and perform even greater works'. I do not believe that Gaynor can do greater miracles than Jesus. I do not believe Gaynor will turn water into wine; walk on water; cause the sun to stand still; raise people from the dead. These miracles are rare. However, if she has the power to make miracles happen frequently, then I suggest that she attends KPH and heal every sick body. My belief is that few people will get healed from critical illness.
A miracle is more than just an extraordinary exploit such as surviving a car crash. It is a suspension of the natural order for a while. It is a deviation from the known laws of nature. By nature, miracles are rare.
Perhaps what Gaynor is admiring is magic, which is the manipulation of people's senses. Magic has no place in the church.
Who needs daily miracles to sustain faith in God when the greatest miracle is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead which keeps us going in this life and offers us eternal life?
• Rev Devon Dick is pastor of the Boulevard Baptist Church in St Andrew. He is author of 'The Cross and the Machete', and 'Rebellion to Riot'. Send feedback to columns@ gleanerjm.com.