Taylor: Miracles are for those who have faith in them

I tend to be sceptical about miracle cures. About anything miraculous, in fact.

There’s one thing more certain than death and taxes. It’s that when someone is diagnosed with a dangerous disease—especially a potentially terminal illness like cancer—someone else will immediately want to tell them about a miraculous cure.

“My sister had that same thing,” they’ll say. “And she went down to Mexico and saw this amazing shaman…”

If not Mexico, then the Philippines. Or China. Or Peru.

I tend to be sceptical about miracle cures. About anything miraculous, in fact.

I don’t question the sincerity of those who describe the miracles. Nor do I doubt that the miracle has changed their lives.

But we rarely hear from the people who didn’t experience the same miracle.

I don’t believe they simply lacked faith. Or that God plays favourites.

In the Bible, God made a promise to Abraham and his offspring: “An everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you…”

Abraham’s descendents became 12 tribes. Among them, the tribe of Benjamin.

When a visitor from the tribe of Levi stopped overnight in Benjamin territory, some randy young men violated the conventions of hospitality. The Levite pushed his woman out the door to appease them. The men spent the night raping her.

When she died of her injuries—does this sound like some recent news from India?—the Levite demanded vengeance. The other 11 tribes annihilated the tribe of Benjamin. Men, women, children, livestock—everyone.

Read the story for yourself: Judges, chapters 19-21.

Yet the people of Benjamin were just as legitimate inheritors of God’s support as the tribes that wiped them out. Somehow I doubt that they would have exulted, like a later psalmist: “Surely the Lord is our help, our defender…”

I’ve written before about the Canadian holidaying in Indonesia when the 2004 tsunami struck. As he was being swept out to sea, he cried out, “Lord Jesus, save me!”

Sure enough, the next wave swept him back to land.

Again, I don’t doubt that it happened exactly as he described it. Or that he genuinely believes Jesus saved him from drowning.

But we don’t hear from the others who also called on Jesus, and didn’t get rescued. They’re not around to tell us their story.

“Histories,” Winston Churchill is reputed to have said, “are written by the victors.” More accurately, by the survivors.

No one can ask Nancy Lanza, for example, if she changed her mind about guns ensuring her safety after her son used them to shoot and kill her.

At one time, the city of Carthage in North Africa rivalled Rome as a centre of culture and learning. Its empire surpassed Rome’s in size and affluence. Apparently founded by the Phoenicians, who also invented the so-called Roman alphabet we still use today, Carthage had a history 2,000 years longer than upstart Rome.

We have all heard of Rome’s fame. But how many of us know anything about Carthage? When Rome won the Punic Wars, it erased Carthage.

I’m not suggesting that miracles don’t happen. Just that when we hear about them, we’re hearing from the winners, not the losers.

Just Posted

Comedy fundraiser for Okanagan baseball leagues

It’s a comedy and carnival night for the Okanagan College, Okanagan Athletics, and Kelowna Jr Coyotes

Two Kelowna stores work to raise funds for non-profit and the Central Okanagan Foodbank

ScanDesigns Furniture and Muse & Merchant Home Collection locations raised $20,500

Ballet Kelowna kicks off with first 2019 program, Winter

The new program comes to the Kelowna Community Theatre Feb. 1

Central Okanagan NDPers organize meeting look at BC government’s record last year

Organizers say open house at UBCO is open to people of all political persuasions

West Kelowna Warriors lose to Rivermen

It was a tight 2-1 loss in the first of a three game road trip

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

‘Dr. Lipjob‘ avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

UPDATE: Police watchdog heads to Kelowna for officer involved shooting

RCMP are surrounding the CIBC at the mall in Kelowna

Widow’s petition demands mandatory training for truckers

Truck driver Stephen Babij was killed in a head on semi truck collision on Highway 1 in 2017

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

B.C. company fights court order to allow public access to Nicola Valley lakes

Legal battle between fish and game club, cattle firms takes another twist

LETTER: Seniors home care, day programs expanding, Adrian Dix says

B.C. health minister responds to latest Seniors Advocate report

Most Read