WHY PROVIDE MEDICAL EVIDENCE
It Takes Honoring The Testimony To A New Level
It’s powerful to tell a person a testimony. It’s even more powerful to provide people with evidence that something happened. God understands people's need for evidence. That’s why He had the Israelites gather stones from the center of the dry river bed when they crossed the Jordan, so that there would be evidence of what happened for future generations.
“Joshua called together the twelve and said to them, 'Go …into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder…to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever (Joshua 4:4-7).”
God reveals in this text that He thinks collecting evidence that a miracle happened will help the next generation's ability to believe. What would happen if we thought that way? What do you think will have a larger impact 100 years from now, a prayer minister’s report stating a broken leg was healed overnight, or before and after X-rays with a handwritten note from a doctor? Better documentation is better stewardship.
Jesus Presented Evidence of Miracles to Honest Inquirers
When Thomas doubted if Jesus had been resurrected from the dead, Jesus didn’t chastise him. He let him place his hand in His side. Then He said "stop doubting and believe." It was after Thomas performed this action, not before, that Jesus discussed the need to believe. Jesus meets people where they are. Some people need evidence to believe. If we are to become like Jesus and minister in the way He did, then we need to learn how to meet others where they are.
Evidence Can Open Closed Doors in Academia and the Medical Field:
In higher education, evidence is used to form theories about reality. Miracle claims are nearly often followed with the question: “Where is the evidence?” Charismatics have very little influence in academia because we don’t speak the language of evidence. Telling a professor, scientist, or doctor that miracles happen, and then being unable to back it up with evidence is like speaking English to a person who only knows Chinese. The church has very little impact reaching these people groups because we have not made the effort to communicate in a language they respect and understand. What do you think would happen if we decided these people were valuable enough to learn to speak their language?
We Are Losing a Generation
In the last 20 years the American mainline church has been shrinking at a phenomenal rate. According to George Barna, one of the top reasons this is happening is the church is not providing strong enough intellectual answers to hard questions.
I'd like to think the presence of God is enough to be convince people. However, I have seen multiple leaders in the church apostate who I know encountered the presence of God. We need His presence, but we also need the truth. The reason the early church spread so quickly was because many of its leaders, especially in the second century, were Spirit-led apologists. They knew how to minister in power and how to demolish intellectual strongholds through clearly articulated reasoning and evidence-based arguments. We have forgotten that apologetics is a form of spiritual warfare. Its goal is to replace lies with truth. Therefore, we are seeing a decline of Christianity in America.
Anti-intellectualism has been tolerated in the Charismatic/Pentecostal movements since their inception. The devil loves when Christians don’t develop their intellect. He can use unbelievers who do think to lure people away from the faith. Teaching Christians how to think and to evaluate evidence for what they believe is like providing an immunization shot to apostasy. If we lose this generation, it is because we did not present the gospel in power and in truth. I want to do something about this by making a documentary that presents medical evidence that corroborates healing testimonies.
POOR REASONS FOR NOT PRESENTING EVIDENCE
The Bible Teaches Jesus Healed, Shouldn’t Christians Just Believe Miracles Happen Today?
The Bible teaches Jesus healed, and that God heals today. Christians should trust God's word. However, it is an entirely different issue when someone says that a particular person was healed. It may be true, or the person making the claim may be mistaken.
God does not expect us to believe what a person claims to be true. He expects us to believe what is true. Because humans can make mistakes, providing evidence helps establish the truth of a matter in people's minds about a particular case.
Isn't That Testing God?
Testing God is when you do something that forces Him to act, like jumping off a cliff and expecting Him to save your life. This movie is documenting what God has done.
The People Involved Might be Inconvenienced
Some claim we should avoid presenting evidence for miracles because researchers might bother the people healed and the doctors who verified their healing. They don’t want others to experience the inconvenience of unwanted phone calls. There are solution for this like finding people who welcome the contact, and get their permission. If needed we can also, deidentify them. That means we can cover up the personal information in medical records, or if needed, we can blur their faces and voices in the video footage.
Presenting Evidence Will Destroy Faith
Some people think that faith is believing something without evidence. That's not how the Bible uses the word. What they are describing is called simply being uneducated. Biblical faith is when you live like your beliefs are true. For example, I believe exercise and diet will get me in shape. I place my faith in that belief by working out and eating right.
When I was a child my mom told me dinosaurs existed. I believed her. Although I had a true belief, it was an uneducated one. When I studied science in school I found reasons for what I believed, and became educated in why I believed what I did. My confidence grew that what I believed was true.
The same thing happened with my belief in healing. I believed some were healed because what the Bible said happened when we prayed. I grew more confident as people reported healing after prayer. As I studied the matter deeper, I began to discover that there were natural phenomena that mimicked miracles. That caused me to question what I believed. As I studied more, I discovered medical records that coincided with people’s testimonies. My confidence grew that what I believed was true. That lead me to pray for more people with great confidence that God's power to heal was a reality.
Skeptics Will Pick Everything Apart
It's their job to ask hard questions and to look at things from different angles. In a courtroom both sides present their case, and they let the evidence speak for itself. I have no fear of the truth being examined closely. Neither did Jesus. He believes truth sets people free.
Skeptics Will Not Change Their Minds
It’s very dishonoring to claim that others will not listen to solid evidence. It’s an attack on the character of someone you don’t even know. Secondly, the claim is false. This is a quote from Testing Prayer by Candy Gunther Brown:
“The nonsectarian Redbook magazine commissioned an avowedly skeptical reporter, Emily Gardiner Neal, to write an article on Kuhlman in 1950, titled “Can Faith in God Heal the Sick?” Like other naturalistically-oriented investigators, Neal collected medical and X-ray records and workman’s compensation reports as well as testimonial letters from those claiming or witnessing anomalous healings. Unlike previous investigators, Neal and Redbook’s editors— who wrote a foreword to Neal’s article endorsing her findings— became convinced by what they saw that people really did experience healing in Kuhlman’s services. Neal was sufficiently impressed that she converted from agnosticism to Christianity and embarked on her own career as a lay Episcopal minister of healing.” Brown, Candy Gunther (2012-05-14). Testing Prayer: Science and Healing (Kindle Locations 1930-1931). Harvard University Press. Kindle Edition.
If people don’t change their minds that’s their problem. If we don’t put forth what God has done, in an acessible thoughtful way, that’s our problem. We would be hiding our light under a basket. It’s bad stewardship, and doing so is undermining the church’s credibility.