A reader sent along this site which asks "Why Won't God Heal Amputees? The point of the site is to convince readers that either God doesn't exist or that he hates amputees.
Billions of people believe in the power of prayer and pray their own prayers. Not only do they pray, but they personally witness God answering their prayers every single day. In addition, the entire industry of inspirational literature is built around God's ability and willingness to have a personal relationship with us and answer our prayers. Any Sunday morning we can find thousands of ministers and priests preaching about God's grace, God's love, God's blessings and God's desire to hear and answer our prayers.
Nonetheless, the amputated legs are not going to regenerate.
What are we seeing here? It is not that God sometimes answers the prayers of amputees, and sometimes does not. Instead, in this situation there is a very clear line. God never answers the prayers of amputees. It would appear, to an unbiased observer, that God is singling out amputees and purposefully ignoring them. ...
In the same way, any medical miracle that God performs today is obvious. The removal of a cancerous tumor is obvious because it is measurable. One month the tumor is visible to everyone on the X-ray, and the next month it is not. If God eliminated the tumor, then it is openly obvious to everyone who sees the X-ray. There is nothing "hidden" about removing a tumor. So, why not regenerate a leg in an equally open way? If God intervenes with cancer patients to remove cancerous tumors in response to prayers, then why wouldn't God also intervene with amputees to regenerate lost limbs?
The gist of this argument is that regenerating lost limbs would be the same as healing a tumor, and yet though people are quick to believe that God heals tumors he never seems to regenerate lost limbs.
Howver, it seems to me that those two types of healing are actually quite different because of one characteristic: deniability. It doesn't seem that God performs undeniable miracles any more. (Which begs the question: are any miracles undeniable? In any event, restoring lost legs would sure be a lot harder to deny than the removal of a tumor.)
So the question then becomes, why doesn't God perform undeniable miracles? In order to understand, consider why God ever performed such miracles.
24 The Jews gathered around him [Jesus], saying, "How long will you
keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
25 Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The
miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me, 26 but you do not
believe because you are not my sheep.
The miracles Jesus, the other prophets, and the apostles performed were intended to prove that the words spoken by the prophets and apostles were true. There are no prophets or apostles now (because there is no new revelation) so there is no need for miraculous signs. The earlier signs verified the revelation in the Bible, and the Bible needs no further verification because it has not changed.
Interestingly, you'll notice from that passage (and remember from the
Old Testament) that despite witnessing many miracles there were still plenty of people who still refused to accept the Word of God. They killed the prophets in the OT, and they killed Jesus. Even if God were to restore amputated limbs today, there would still be plenty of people who would not believe or accept his message. Do you think the people who own WhyDoesGodHateAmputees.com would believe if they saw limbs restored, or do you think they'd find a different excuse to reject God's teachings? This is why I asked whether any miracle is truly undeniable -- humans have a remarkable capacity for denying anything they don't like.
Similarly, my experience with many "intellectuals" is that they first decide to reject God and then start looking for ways to justify their rejection. There's something appealing to the intellectual to reject the primitive beliefs of the uneducated rubes. Nonetheless, many of the most intelligent and wise people I've known have been strong believers, which leads me to think there may be a self-selection factor independent of intelligence that affects who travels in "intellectual" circles.
The point, made often in the Bible, is that God wants us to come to him through faith.
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
The lack of undeniable miracles is a feature that God intended, not a bug that demonstrates his nonexistence.