A well-known atheist website (approved by Richard Dawkins), whywontgodhealamputees.com, attempts to justify a believe that there is no God by attempting a logical argument based on the question, "Why Won't God Heal Amputees?" Though the website's "START HERE" link takes you past the introduction, I want to start with the introduction's premise to demonstrate that the conclusion that is being reached is exactly the presupposition one must already have in order to reach that conclusion, or in other words, the author already believes in his conclusion BEFORE starting his "investigation."
The introduction opens about a woman who was hiding with her students and praying while a gunman enters the room and points a gun at her head, and then this story is paused for a moment to ask the question, "What should God do?" Examine yourself for a moment. In your mind, if you have answered that He should prevent the gunman from shooting her, or that God should allow him to shoot her, both answers have demonstrated that you hold YOURSELF as an authority over God. This question is designed to lead Christians into questioning God's decisions, thereby taking you off the foundation of the Bible, "thou shalt have no other gods before me," (Exd 20:3) and putting you into the atheist's worldview from the first page. This atheist wants you to make your own personal decision about what you feel is right, and what you feel is wrong, (not what the Bible says is right or wrong) before you look at any of their arguments, which is completely arbitrary. If you remove yourself from the foundation of the Bible, and put yourself into a position of judging God's authority, you make yourself into a little "god," which is exactly what the author does, and expects you to do.
(Click to watch an atheist/agnostic guest on our show verbally admit that he believes he is more good than God, but is unable define 'good' when he is questioned on the live broadcast.)
The atheist worldview believes God's decisions are subject to man's approval.|
The Christian worldview knows man's desires are subject to God's approval.
So what should God do? I can't say because atheism is not a logical worldview, so I will not be starting with an atheist worldview to analyze this argument. The teacher was shot in the head and went to the judgement seat of God, and if she equipped the Lord Jesus Christ in her life, she is in heaven because her fine was paid. If she did not, then she must pay her eternal fine. All of us must go through this. Whatever God chooses to do is up to Him, but we don't have faith in Jesus Christ for Him to give us a comfortable life and save us from all pain and suffering, rather, we have faith in Him to save us from the wrath to come.
Before continuing to analyze the atheist website, let's first understand that we have no promises from God to have a comfortable life, no promises to be saved from all suffering and pain, and no promises to be healed of all injury. That's false doctrine mainstream churches are teaching as to why people should become a Christian. In fact, Paul was tortured, his body broken, and he prayed multiple times for God to heal Him, but God chose not to do so, and God gave Paul understanding of why He refused to heal Paul:
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
-2 Corinthians 12:7-10
For example, Joni Tada has spent 40 years as a quadriplegic after a diving accident. She visited many faith healers, but nothing worked. Finally, she accepted her physical condition as God's will, and now writes and speaks to millions of people. She writes the following in her book:
"The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that God doesn't want everyone well.
He uses our problems for His glory and our good."
-Joni Eareckson Tada, Joni: An Unforgettable Story, Zondervan, 2001, p. 159, ISBN: 9780310240013
This is not to say that miracles for limb regrowth, or other physical ailments, have never happened. We have many examples in the Bible where Jesus and the disciples healed the blind, sick, and lame, (Mark 8:23-25, Acts 19:11-20, etc) and I have personally listened to testimony from some of my close Christian frieds of this rare event happening in another country. However, just because God has chosen to heal some, does not mean He chooses to heal all, and again, no where are we given promises that He would heal everyone on command, coming like a puppy-dog when we call.
The atheist wants to use an fallacious argument that says "because I haven't seen it, therefore, miracles never happen," which is one extreme, so let's see what happens when we take the other extreme and say that God heals all ailments of those who asked Him. That means you would never die! By doing this, God would literally have to the remove the curse of mankind despite our sin, and if God did that, then He was a liar when His Word tells us we must die in the flesh. (Heb 9:27) We still have to die, but we can be saved by Jesus Christ, and though we are not promised everything in this life, we ARE promised to be made whole in eternity. (Mark 10:28-30)
The atheist on the website is attempting to demonstrate to Christians that the promises of God are false because Christians who are asking for something in faith are not receiving it, and therefore, God lied. This is an argument based on the assumption that God will do anything for anyone who asks of Him, and is based on passages in John:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
carte blanche: unconditional authority; full discretionary power
Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
The atheist will attempt to disagree with this, and say that it is "wrong" for God not to heal the lame, but the atheist has no definition for "wrong." In fact, there is no good and evil dilemma in an atheist worldview. All the atheist can do is point and say "wrong," but he has no justification for the claim, and thereby turns himself into a little "god" who thinks everyone should do what he personally thinks is best for rest of the world.
(Read "Evolution Can't Justify Morals" here at creationliberty.com for more details; also, watch our CLE Podcast #32 with an atheist guest who tries to justify morals live on our show, but can't pin down any definition for them)
To sum this up, most of the entire website is a false intrepretation of John 14, assuming we have full power to get anything we want when we pray to be done immediately, and then they go into numerous examples about how the atheistic intrepretation does not match what we see in reality. I agree that the atheist interpretation does not match reality, but we serve the God of the Bible, not the 'god' of their personal preferences.
This website is literally page after page of trying to break the Christian's faith in God by presupposing a myriad of assumptions. To understand this better, let's analyze a few questions they pose on their website:
"What if two people pray for two things that are opposites? If they both believe, who is going to win?"
No one will win. It's not a contest. He might not grant either request. God decides in His own time, but this question is based on a false belief that the Christian has carte blanche power to do anything he/she wants.
"Why can't you move mountains?"
Because the promise wasn't made to you. I can answer it in one sentence, but the motivation of the atheist is to move the Christian off the authority of God's Word with false teaching.
"If God answers medical prayers, then why do you need health insurance?"
I'm not advocating medical insurance (I've never had it), but again, God never promised to heal you of all your ailments. This question is designed with a false belief based on scoffing, unbelievers ideas of what they think John 14 should mean.
"What we have found is that there is no evidence for God's existence.
God does not answer prayers. God did not write the Bible. God has not incarnated himself. In other words, God is imaginary."
-"Why Won't God Heal Amputees?" whywontgodhealamputees.com, Chapter 26, [http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/god26.htm]
This is just silly because after all the false teachings in this article, the atheist concludes what he started out believing before he typed one letter; that he hates God, and he wants everyone else to abandon God like he did. (i.e. misery loves company) In addition, he is also assuming that because God did not answer his prayer for a pink bunny, therefore, God does not answer prayer at all. Have you ever seen me eat a sandwich? Never? So by the atheist logic, you can conclude I have never eaten a sandwich because you haven't seen me do it. The atheist believes in the laws of logic, yet they have never seen the laws of logic, so they believe in all kinds of things they don't see, so why do they criticize your belief in God?
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
The website advertises itself to be "the most important question that we can ask about God," and in a way, I would agree. How you answer the question determines who you hold as the authority over your life. Are you the authority, or is God is the authority? We are going to receive the wrath of God on the Day of Judgment, but those who repent and equip the Lord Jesus Christ and His authority will be saved from that wrath. Our promise is Salvation from the wrath to come, and throwing atheistic temper-tantrums because we don't always get our way won't save us.
Finally, consider for a moment that the atheist worldview has no way to account for logic at all! Instead of passing judgement on God, let's turn the tables on the atheist. How are atheists able to say they are presenting a logical argument when they don't have a way to justify logic?
(Read "Everything You Need to Know About Atheism here at creationliberty.com for more details)
Watch this interview with an atheist live on our podcast show to learn more: