Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


MIRACLES BELIEVERS DON'T REALLY RESPECT MIRACLES FOR THEY PICK WHAT ONES THEY WANT TO BELIEVE IN

Despite claiming that miracles are signs to show what doctrines are true, religionists just pick the miracles they want to believe and discard those they donít.
 
A religion that has some verified miracles and rejects ones that are just as credible would fake miracles and so we could not believe in any of its miracles.

The Church says that it rejects silly miracles such as bricks floating in mid-air Ė another proof of its double-standards in relation to miracles. But when you think about it miracles of healing are just as strange. When miracles are just signs it does not matter what form they take. Apparitions are an example of a miracle that is just for sign purposes only.
 
Catholics will assert that they believe that Mary appeared to Bernadette in Lourdes and that this was a sign from God that their religion is true ignoring other miracle claims such as that of spontaneous human combustion and ghosts and UFOs which have no Catholic or indeed religious connotations and which are better substantiated by the sheer volume of claimants.
 
Religionists often pick out some of their own miracles for belief and are agnostic about the rest. The Catholic Church does not accept every miracle it examines even if it is as good as the ones it has accepted. It is always rather hostile to all miracles at first. Even Lourdes was opposed at the start.
 
All the Church manuals say that any apparition that does not agree with official and orthodox Catholic doctrine, is not from God. The Roman Catholic Church only investigates miracles that suit its doctrines. If I saw the Virgin Mary today and she did 500 unmistakeable miracles of healing through me to back up my testimony that I saw her, the Church would not investigate but would throw out the miracles if she told me the pope was not the head of the Church on earth. If she found a way to persuade me that I misunderstood the Virgin or to persuade others that I did she might investigate then and hijack the miracles as evidence for herself and say they are really from God. To say that evidence backs you up when you are manipulating that evidence is clearly one thing: fraud. The Catholic Church and all its clergy is guilty of gross fraud. That is the fruit that miracles produce, all this deception and exploitation. That is what the Church collects money to build shrines and publish holy books for: lies. This is very serious.
 
The greatest minds in history disagree over exactly what right and wrong are. Even today people have to agree to disagree. Ordinary people are bad at working out right and wrong and donít have the time to think. When Jesus indicated that you can tell true prophets by their holy and beneficial fruits he was telling you to arrogantly act as if you know it all about right and wrong! This shows that he was condemned by his own standard as a prophet from Satan because he was trying to create the bad fruit of arrogance and bigotry. And he gave this advice to people who knew less than what people today know. For example, his hearers believed it was right to force a woman to marry you, to sell your daughter into slavery, and to kill homosexuals. By modern standards, Moses was a fake prophet for he said God gave him many laws and we find most of these laws savage and harsh and barbaric. There is no point in banning hate if you are going to allow evil like that in the name of love. Moses was a false prophet and so was Jesus for Jesus regarded him as a true prophet and a forerunner.
 
The Christian faith says that faith is not natural. You need the light of the Holy Spirit to help you see the faith is true so that you can believe in it. So Christians believe not because of miracles or anything but because they think the Spirit has made them see stuff as true. That totally eliminates the need for miracles and shows that whatever is doing them is not God. Miracles that say they approve of the Christian faith are attempting to trick for they are approving of a subjective standard of truth which is not a standard at all but a caricature. I mean the Seventh-Day Adventist, the Mormon and the Catholic all have theologies that contradict each other in several important matters and yet they all swear that the Holy Spirit has been making them see that their faith is true. Worse they all have periods of doubt and unbelief when they wonder if the Spirit is telling them something different. When miracles leave it up to your feelings and insights that you think are coming from God to decide if the faith is true they are not signs for it canít be a problem if you think there is no Spirit communicating with you and you decide not to believe. When the miracle is just about you asking yourself what you think or donít think the Spirit is saying then it is only a waste of time for the Church to authenticate or refute a miracle for it is not important if a miracle has really happened or not. All that matters is that it looks like a miracle happened. Miracles are encouraging chaos and division by encouraging you to elevate your imagination as a vehicle of divine revelation. That canít produce faith. It can only produce self-deception and the deliberate blinding of yourself to the truth. Miracles are not signs. Claiming inspiration from the Spirit is pride. It is occult as well for you would need to be a psychic god to know it was the Spirit. This stuff about faith being supernatural insight that is mostly Godís work is really a plot to stop you thinking for yourself. If it is up to you, you can think what you like but if God is inspiring you then you are a bad evil person destined for Hell if you donít go along with what he is inspiring and believe. So it puts pressure on you to obey the pope and the Church or Jesus and the Bible. It advocates and employs conditioning while pretending that it is not conditioning that makes you believe but God.
 
The subjective basis of faith makes faith an idol. If your reason brings you to God that is better than your emotions and imagination doing it for they canít tell you what you should or shouldnít do. Reason cares about what is real. A God who limits or opposes reason hates himself and wants to be abused.
 
You need to have the Spirit inspiring you to see that the fruits of religion are good or really good. So the fruits are no good when the resultant faith is subjective and therefore bigoted. They depend on an evil principle that defiles them and makes them fly catchers rather than really good fruits. To use the fruits argument is to deceive yourself and others and to boast that you know more than you can.
 
The fruits of miracles would seem to be one way to avoid just arbitrarily picking some miracles as worthy of belief and not others. You could reject miracles with bad fruits as not being from God and accept the ones with good fruits. Since the Catholic faith claims to come from one source, God, that means miracles will encourage you to accept the entire faith. But what Catholics do is continue to scratch the surface of the faith. They do not make sure they like this faith in its entirety. Very few Catholics know the faith properly and have the right perceptions of its doctrines. The nastier doctrines either donít sink in and are sometimes treated as taboo in the Church to pull the wool over the eyes of members for being too out of fashion or vicious would drive them away Ė for example, Iíd say only one in a thousand Catholics knows that the Church considers oral sex in marriage to be a sin. This is just as bad as the lukewarm attitude that Jesus said he would spew the Christians who had it right out of his mouth for. Their enthusiasm then would be the fruit of irresponsibility and ignorance mixed with a little honesty and would be keeping them away from the full truth of God and not bringing them towards it. So miracles then in this context have bad fruits that look good. They must be the Devilís work or illusions or lies or all three. It also means that the priesthood is thieving off people by taking their money for they donít fully know what they are paying for and are encouraged to think they do. It was because teachers in religion, including parents and clergy, have such a hard job and have to teach so much that James the apostle said it was a bad idea for too many to become teachers for their job was a danger to them for they would be called to a very strict account before God (James 3:1,2).
 
The truth about the fruits is that it is not the fruits of any individual miracle that count as much as the fruits of belief in the possibility and reality of miracles itself. To say the fruits of a miracle are important is to say the concept of miracle is more important for you have to see that miracles are possible before you can adjudge their fruits. So any miracle, be it from God or Satan, is causing people to adopt miracles as something that can happen. The fruits of belief in miracle then has been the vast majority of believers in miracle led astray by false miracles. Buddhism, Hinduism, Mormonism, Judaism, Islam, Paganism and Satanism have all reported undeniable miracles. So a miracle of healing having good fruits means nothing when the very concept of miracles has led to nothing but error, superstition and crime.
 
The Church would answer this problem as follows: ďPeople are going to believe in miracles whether they happen or not so God might as well encourage belief in miraclesĒ. Obviously, that is all they can say. But if people are going to believe anyway and God does no miracles then surely it is not Godís fault. To ascribe any miracles to God is saying it is his fault and that he is bad news and causing trouble on purpose.
 
No apparition or miracle is from God at all because the Church cannot and does not check out the fruits thoroughly. But it could check the fruits out better but it does not. This makes it a bad fruit to believe in any apparition!! It must be a sin to seek apparitions for everybody looks for fruit in the visionary so the visionary is asking to be put up on a pedestal as an example of humility and prayerfulness which Jesus strictly forbade which makes one wonder if the apostles made the resurrection appearances of Jesus up. Jesus had stated that if you are going to pray do it in private and close the door so nobody knows. Anybody who can have their life examined by the Church and maybe proclaimed a saint is obviously a sinner for breaking this commandment. They are not a saint at all. If they had been they would have hidden their inner life from others to perfection and would have come across just as a sinner no better than anybody else who was trying to make it to God.
 
To say you have had an apparition is to say good fruits will appear in your life. It is a boast. It is the sin of presumption. No wonder St John of the Cross said the danger of pride made it best to have no visions at all. Most visionaries and recipients of miracles are not that saintly before they have their experience Ė the Medjugorje visionaries were totally normal guys and gals like Jesusí apostles Ė which shows that God doesnít have the sense to choose saints to have visions so that we can be a bit more sure they are not going to be captivated by pride.
 
The Devil might tell a person how to pull off the perfect miracle hoax for why would he do miracles and waste his power for a religion that is so dishonest that it treats evidence like putty? It can do the hard work for him.
 
STIGMATISED SIGNS

There have been hundreds of people who had the stigmata, miraculous wounds like the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ. The Church believes that Jesus was nailed in his hands and feet and had a slash in the side. Some stigmatists, however, may just have some of the wounds. St Rita of Cascia (1381-1457) had a wound on her forehead. The Church has officially stated that the stigmata of St Francis of Assisi and two others, St Catherine of Siena and St Theresa of Avila were indeed miraculous. It has made no judgment on the rest except to judge a handful as frauds.
 
The number of stigmatists is well over 400. There are many modern cases.
 
The booklet, The Stigmata and Modern Science by Rev Charles Carty (TAN, Illinois, 1974) states that Francis, Teresa Neumann, Padre Pio and St Mary Francis of the Five Wounds had stigmata for which there is no rational explanation. The priests would like us to think there is a miraculous explanation but to do that they would have to refute the existence of poltergeists which is impossible for them. It would be easier for an invisible spook to inflict stigmata than spend time writing on the walls and tossing tables around the room.
 
Dr Romanelli who examined Padre Pio testified that his wounds were inexplicable (page 15).
 
The stigmata of Louise Lateau (1850-1883) was examined by a Catholic doctor and one who was a freemason who said that medicine could do nothing to explain it (page 15).
 
She could lose half a pint of blood a day from her wounds (page 67, The Bleeding Mind). Her right hand was once put into a jar that she couldnít get it out of in order to prove that she was not cheating and she still developed open wounds in it like nail marks (ibid, page 39).
 
Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824), a German nun, was observed and examined by more than twenty doctors who agreed that something that medicine was mystified by what was going on (ibid, page 31, 32).
 
These miracles are not signs when the Church has not officially recognised them as such. It is refusing to give them their proper status and implying that everybody else should do the same. The miracles happen to verify the Church and when the Church is not moved by the Spirit to let them then they are false miracles and possibly hoaxes. They prove that the Church is dishonest in relation to miracles for it arbitrarily presents some for belief and not others.
 
I am not saying the stigmata is real. If you read my book Stigmatic Sorcery you will see that it is not but when Rome listens to doctors who say a cure is inexplicable and they use that as an excuse for saying it was a miracle it should do the same with the stigmata but yet it dismisses some very convincing cases as unworthy of an official statement of authenticity.

SIGNS THAT THERE ARE NO SIGNS

There are many miracles that refute the view that miracles are meant to be signs. The ďFloating WonderĒ Reynard Beck astounded America in the nineteenth century with floating in mid-air. No expert was able to debunk him or catch him out hoaxing. He even vanished in such a manner that it appeared that he had floated up to the sky and died. He is one of millions of examples of a miracle report that is better verified than any Catholic or Christian miracle which indicate that miracles are freaks of nature. He did better than the witnesses of Mary at Fatima and the witnesses of Jesus risen from the dead. You need to refute all the miracles like Reynard Beck that say miracles are just freaks of nature before you can dare to use your miracles as evidence for your religion being true for the simple reason that they cannot be evidence until the evidence that miracles are not signs is dealt with. Until that is done nobody can let miracles dictate to them what they should believe. But the trouble is the case against miracles being signs is stronger than the case for them being signs simply because there are more miracles that are freaks of nature than ones that seem to be signs.

There is more evidence for alien abduction than for any other kind of miracle. Sane people report this experience but few accounts agree. The disagreement means only that something strange may have happened for that is one thing that is agreed upon that it is an odd experience. The differences donít necessarily mean they are all lying because different people seeing different mountains doesnít mean the mountains donít exist. The evidence for alien abduction then indicates that miracles are not signs. They just happen and that is all. It is no use focusing on some miracles that do seem to be signs at first glance because what the majority testify to is what carries the weight and wins the argument.

Lots of different groups report miracles or supernatural events and they have no problem finding the academics and scientists to authenticate them. So why then should we believe, say, in the Catholic Church just because a few eminent doctors say that miracles have happened and ignore say the Christian Science movement which reports miraculous mind cures verified by very intelligent and reliable people?
 
Conclusion
 
Religion uses miracles to pretend that faith is interested in what is fair and real and what can be evidenced. Miracles produce only self-deceit and hypocrisy and even supercilious bigotry.
 
Further Reading ~
A Christian Faith for Today, W Montgomery Watt, Routledge, London, 2002
Answers to Tough Questions, Josh McDowell and Don Stewart, Scripture Press, Bucks, 1980
Apparitions, Healings and Weeping Madonnas, Lisa J Schwebel, Paulist Press, New York, 2004
A Summary of Christian Doctrine, Louis Berkhof, The Banner of Truth Trust, London, 1971
Catechism of the Catholic Church, Veritas, Dublin, 1995
Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Karl Keating, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1988
Enchiridion Symbolorum Et Definitionum, Heinrich Joseph Denzinger, Edited by A Schonmetzer, Barcelona, 1963
Looking for a Miracle, Joe Nickell, Prometheus Books, New York, 1993
Miracles, Rev Ronald A Knox, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1937
Miracles in Dispute, Ernst and Marie-Luise Keller, SCM Press Ltd, London, 1969
Lourdes, Antonio Bernardo, A. Doucet Publications, Lourdes, 1987
Medjugorje, David Baldwin, Catholic Truth Society, London, 2002
Miraculous Divine Healing, Connie W Adams, Guardian of Truth Publications, KY, undated
New Catholic Encyclopaedia, The Catholic University of America and the McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc, Washington, District of Columbia, 1967
Raised From the Dead, Father Albert J Hebert SM, TAN, Illinois 1986
Science and the Paranormal, Edited by George O Abell and Barry Singer, Junction Books, London, 1981
The Demon-Haunted World, Carl Sagan, Headline, London, 1997
The Book of Miracles, Stuart Gordon, Headline, London, 1996
The Case for Faith, Lee Strobel, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2000
The Encyclopaedia of Unbelief Volume 1, Gordon Stein, Editor, Prometheus Books, New York, 1985
The Hidden Power, Brian Inglis, Jonathan Cape, London, 1986
The Sceptical Occultist, Terry White, Century, London, 1994
The Stigmata and Modern Science, Rev Charles Carty, TAN, Illinois, 1974
Twenty Questions About Medjugorje, Kevin Orlin Johnson, Ph.D. Pangaeus Press, Dallas, 1999
Why People Believe Weird Things, Michael Shermer, Freeman, New York, 1997

THE WEB

The Problem of Competing Claims by Richard Carrier
www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/indef/4c.html