Answering a Deist: Mark 16 Discussion

    By Jeremy Wednesday, July 22, 2009

    Although clearly on the disrespectful side, Tracks has argued that I did not answer his question. Of course, the risk here is that I will never answer his question since he seemingly has already made up his mind as to what that answer is. For if that were not the case, he would have cared enough to do the research on his own. Nevertheless, I'll humor him a bit more, then perhaps we can move on...

    Tracks claimed that he tried posting his response via the comment system but that it didn't show up (accusing me of "censoring" him). Why would I? "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." (Romans 1:16)

    Anyway, his e-mail:

    Jeremy,

    I will try not to embarrass you.  But Your post concerning my question concerning Mark 16 15-19 does not even come close to any kind of answer.  Now the referenced chapter and verses in Mark 16 concerns the signs for those that follow Jesus.  It has nothing to do with "Why do bad things happen to good people"  I post the verses here in case you have never read the Bible:
    Mar 16:17  And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
    Mar 16:18  they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."
    Now how do you get to your answer when the context is SIGNS OF HIS FOLLOWERS.  You must follow someone other that Jesus.  You could learn a lot from my site but you would not have to loose face by telling others.

    Now forget trying to baffle me with BS.  It may work for others but not for myself.
    I responded on your site but have no idea if the post went through.

    Warmest Regards
    Bob
    Tracks
    And my response (which I'm opting to post here rather than e-mail back in hopes that this discussion will generate some thought/comments from readers):

    ~~~

    Greetings Bob,

    I appreciate the time you took to read my post. Unfortunately, I do not see that you have posted a comment on the blog; you can try again if you'd like, but we can just as well continue the discussion here (although I'd hate to miss out on having a general audience keep us both in check) obviously, I opted to post.

    I felt that I actually did answer your question, although I geared the post towards the more general and much more common basis question of why bad things happen to good people / why evil exists in the world. I hope we can both agree that those questions are the basis to what your original question posed.

    However, there was a paragraph within the post that directly answered your question, I will abbreviate here for posterity, but please see original post:

    This is also why you don't really hear about miracles. As you asked, "if his follows are who they claim to be ... " why don't we hear about miracles (healing the stick, etc). There are many reasons for this ...

    In addition, the Bible teaches us that miracles occur only when the proper amount of faith is present. As in Matthew 13:58 "He did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith." And also in the very verse you cited, Mark 16:17 "And these signs will follow those who believe." How can you expect to see miracles in the name of Christ when you don't believe in Christ in the first place? Unfortunately, the worldly saying of "seeing is believing" is counterproductive in this sense.

    The second paragraph being the more direct answer.

    I could certainly have gone into more detail but due to the nature of such an answer and the fact that I would like to keep the general tonality of my blog more on the light side (since it is about using technology to find Christ, after all) I decided against it. However, I'll gladly delve into this here:

    Mark 16:17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
    Mark 16:18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover

    From the book of Acts, we see these specifically mentioned:

    Speaking in tongues, Acts 19:6 "When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied."
    Healing the sick and casting out demons, Acts 5:15-16 "As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter's shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed."


    The Bible Handbook to the Acts of the Apostles is a good book discussing such topics in much greater detail, written by numerous Biblical scholars.




    These are also examples in post-Biblical events:
    Poison: St. Photini ; St. Abanoub
    Casting out demons: Coptic Exorcisms ; A simple Google / YouTube search also turns up countless results
    Healing of the sick (linked to in the original blog post: Miracles of Pope St. Kyrillos VI and St. Mina)

    Ah, does this mean that you can take a bottle of bleach, gulp it down and expect not to die? Surely not, for "You shall not tempt the Lord your God" (Deut 6:16) and as exemplified by Christ himself when he refused the devil's temptation in Matthew 4:7 (and also cited this scripture).

    So, Bob, read into my original answer and this one outlined in more detail here for you and tell me again that I'm "BS"ing you. However, if you expect me to take any of our discussions seriously, I'll also ask you kindly to show a little more respect. If you have no interest in doing so, then it's probably best if we just don't waste each others time.

    But I do sincerely hope we can keep things respectable, for as the Bible reminds us that "a word causing pain makes anger to come up," (Prov 15:1) but by contrast, "pleasant sayings are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and a healing to the bones" (Prov 16:24); I'd enjoy further discussion (perhaps moving onto one of your other questions?) since Prov 13:10 teaches us that "with those consulting together there is wisdom."

    In Christ,
    -Jeremy

    ~~~

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    2 Responses

    1. Excellent jer simply awesome! I do not know which had a bigger impact on me the answer, which hit the nail on the head, or you patience. Wish you the best Bob

      brother in Christ,

      mina

    2. Thank you very much for your kind words, Mina, much appreciated.