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If you don't believe in miracles, you're an atheist...

was what a preacher giving a sermon said this morning on the Christian radio station. (Miracles here meaning expressly supernatural occurrences, like Jonah being eaten by the fish and Jesus walking on water, that can't happen without divine interference in the natural world.)

Do you believe this, that if you don't believe in those types of miracles that you "ipso facto" (his words exactly LOL) don't believe in God, and are therefore an atheist. And the other way around, if you DO believe in those kinds of miracles, do you then necessarily, automatically, also believe in God? The God of his understanding being, naturally, the Jewish/Christian/Muslim god... but anyone is welcome to answer with their own ideas of god. Or non-god.


Asked by Collinsky at 3:39 PM on Jun. 5, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

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This question is closed.
Answers (23)
  • I think the term "Miracles" is a term the Christians coined, but over time people other than christian's have used. There are other religious paths whose terms have been used by those "not of the faith" so to speak.

    "Mother Nature" a term my children and I use to address the Goddess when learning/teaching about her. Now i've heard many a weatherman make a reference such as "Mother Nature is bearing down on the southeast with all this rain"....

    That said, I have to say that this preacher clearly has no right to say that simply because you don't believe that a whale swallowed a man and somehow he miraculously had someone tell about his conversations with god in the whale, does not mean someone doesn't believe in miracles. Or that miracles do not exist in their lives. An atheist my use the term miracle meaning "supernatural occurrence" without believing in God..(cont)

    Answer by CinderAmethyst at 4:40 PM on Jun. 5, 2009

  • I believe in miracles/fate/crazy coincidences......I am not a (father, son, holy ghost)christian....I don't think GOD did it.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 3:48 PM on Jun. 5, 2009

  • no. a miracle does not have to happen because of god

    Answer by moki1984 at 3:48 PM on Jun. 5, 2009

  • Hrmm... I believe in some miracles, while there are others I do not believe happened. I'm not well versed in the Bible, and I'm not any type of religion, but I DO still believe in God. The way I see it is this: Yes, God created the universe, but He created it with RULES (physics). Is it possible that Jesus walked on water or that Moses parted the Red Sea? Absolutely YES! They were both possible with a certain specific set of circumstances and conditions that our world may never see again. They didn't break the laws of physics, BUT they are so completely improbable they'll probably never happen again! That's where I think the hand of God plays: in setting up all of those circumstances that would make these miracles possible.
    That said, miracles that don't follow our world's laws, like Mary's immaculate conception, I don't believe. I always try to keep in mind that at the time the Bible was written, it was as much a

    Answer by motherofanaries at 3:48 PM on Jun. 5, 2009

  • (cont) political publication as it was a religious one, and it was written by MEN, inspired by God or not, MEN are fallible.

    Answer by motherofanaries at 3:48 PM on Jun. 5, 2009

  • Meh. It really depends on what atheist you ask.

    I hate it when preachers monopolize words.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:04 PM on Jun. 5, 2009

  • Sounds like the minister could benefit from some study. Either this particular god did it or no alternative?

    I've wondered for years, why the miracles stopped. There used to be lots, virtually everyone had them regularly. Thousands of people at a time witnessed them. Now they're gone. No more worldwide floods (does it say somewhere that miracles have to be nice?) no more pillars of salt, no more whales coughing up seamen... did this god get bored and go to another planet to astonish those folks?

    It seems to me that there are 2 things going on when people claim miracles: more than we currently understand (why we don't consider thunder to be miraculous anymore), and the real world (go ahead, make a living flower out of... anything you'd like).

    I do not believe that anyone survived being inside a whale. I do not believe people can be turned into salt. Those stories are parables, or gossip, or propaganda, imo.

    Answer by LindaClement at 4:08 PM on Jun. 5, 2009

  • I do believe in miracles, I do believe the miracles in the Bible, no I do not believe you are Atheist if you do not.

    Answer by MaryJane849 at 4:20 PM on Jun. 5, 2009

  • The preacher needs to do a study on the word atheist. Many Christians sadly do not believe in the miracles Jesus did but that does not make them an atheist. Atheist in the true sense of the word means does not believe God exists. I am curious as to who the preacher was?

    Answer by Shaneagle777 at 4:24 PM on Jun. 5, 2009

  • (cont) just as a weatherman can use Mother Nature without a Pagan/Earth-loving person.

    there are all kinds of stories in the bible. Some nice ones, and some that just don't make a hill of beans of sense(IMO). Anyway, a miracle can be something that a non-christian person can say happened to them, without having it relate to GOD on the Christian/non-christian level. Hope you understand my point here. Not enough space to cover all i wanted to say on this...good question though! :)

    Answer by CinderAmethyst at 4:43 PM on Jun. 5, 2009