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 How can miracles be found in other faiths?

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KEVINfromHB



Number of posts : 18
Registration date : 2008-10-28

PostSubject: How can miracles be found in other faiths?   Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:53 pm

If the Christian view of God is the only right one, why are believers in magic or other religions sometimes miraculously healed of disease or injury?
When someone is seriously ill, loss of hope can bring disastrous consequences.

Writing from his extensive experience of treating cancer (including more than 1,000 melanoma cases) at Sydney Hospital, Milton (1973) warned of the impact of the delivery of a prognosis, and how many of his patients, upon receiving their prognosis, simply turned their face to the wall and died an extremely premature death: “. . . there is a small group of patients in whom the realisation of impending death is a blow so terrible that they are quite unable to adjust to it, and they die rapidly before the malignancy seems to have developed enough to cause death. This problem of self-willed death is in some ways analogous to the death produced in primitive peoples by witchcraft (‘Pointing the bone’).” (p. 1435, from article by W. B. Cannon)

Another example of the devastating effect of despair is called takatsubo cardiomyopathy, or “broken heart syndrome.”1

In contrast, faith—the spiritual foundation of hope—is a powerful force for healing.

God has given us freedom and allows us to choose. (See the ATQ: Why would an all-powerful God permit evil?) This means that faith of any kind can get results. Medical science is familiar with the powerful effect of placebos, for example.2 Even faith in superstition or occult ritual can sometimes bring physical healing. God will apparently even allow counterfeit miracles performed through preternatural satanic power (Matthew 24:24; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; Revelation 13:3). This is consistent with God’s commitment to the freedom and awareness of the creatures He created in His image. However, healing that comes from misplaced faith is likely to be only temporary. (See the ATQ article: Why is it dangerous to seek physical healing through magic or occult means?)

1. “Researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered that sudden emotional stress can also result in severe but reversible heart muscle weakness that mimics a classic heart attack. Patients with this condition, called stress cardiomyopathy but known colloquially as ‘broken heart’ syndrome, are often misdiagnosed with a massive heart attack when, indeed, they have suffered from a days-long surge in adrenalin (epinephrine) and other stress hormones that temporarily ‘stun’ the heart.

“‘Our study should help physicians distinguish between stress cardiomyopathy and heart attacks,’ says study lead author and cardiologist Ilan Wittstein, M.D., an assistant professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and its Heart Institute. ‘And it should also reassure patients that they have not had permanent heart damage.’

“In the Hopkins study, to be published in The New England Journal of Medicine online Feb. 10, the research team found that some people may respond to sudden, overwhelming emotional stress by releasing large amounts of catecholamines (notably adrenalin and noradrenalin, also called epinephrine and norepinephrine) into the blood stream, along with their breakdown products and small proteins produced by an excited nervous system. These chemicals can be temporarily toxic to the heart, effectively stunning the muscle and producing symptoms similar to a typical heart attack, including chest pain, fluid in the lungs, shortness of breath and heart failure.” (from the article “Broken Heart” Syndrome: Real, Potentially Deadly But Recovery Quick” on the Johns Hopkins Medicine Website)

2. The effect of placebos on healing is well documented. A placebo, “a harmless, unmedicated preparation given as a medicine to a patient merely to humor him, or used as a control in testing the efficacy of another, medicated substance” (Webster’s New World Dictionary) can have spectacular effects, depending upon the suggestibility and expectations of a patient. Healing can even occur when a patient doubts the treatment being administered.
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