11 January 2013

Zimbabwe: 'Miracle Money' - Complaint of the New Season


Opinion is divided over the topical issue of "miracle money".

To some people, "miracle money" is regarded as a relief and a pointer to greater things coming with this new season. But to others, it has become a complaint and a complication to the new season.

Both Christians and non-Christians are puzzled over this new phenomenon. Some Christ-ians readily believe in "miracle money". Others doubt it. Most non-Christians reject the whole phenomenon altogether.

Granted, the issue of "miracle money" is a rather complicated one, but there is a way to handle it. Instead of giving sweeping statements like saying it is a true miracle from God or not, it should suffice to give reasons from Scripture why it may be believed to be from God and why it may be doubted

Miracle defined

Before giving reasons for and against "miracle money", it is important for one to fully understand what a miracle is. A miracle is a supernatural occurrence or an extraordinary event. It is something beyond the common order, beyond the common method and beyond the common course of things. A miracle can also be defined as an event or effect in the physical world deviating from known laws of nature. It is therefore an abnormal event brought about by supernatural means. Biblically, the best definition in my opinion is this: A miracle is a work wrought about by a divine power for a divine purpose by means beyond the reach of common man.

Understanding these definitions makes it easy for us to rule out the physical process of printing money. It also helps us to know that "miracle money" may not be used to settle national debts whether these are external or domestic unless God has stipulated that.

Thus, the source, means and purpose of a miracle are all a divine prerogative.

Now, armed with this clear understanding of a miracle, let us now explore reasons why "miracle money" may be believed and why it may be doubted.

Reasons to believe in 'miracle money'

Firstly, miracles abound in the Scripture. Countless miracles of healings, multiplication of food, raising of the dead and reversing the laws of nature are recorded in both the Old and New Testaments. For example, prophets Elijah and Elisha performed many miracles and some of them were miracles of divine supplies. They multiplied meals and oil (1 Kings 17:14). Jesus himself, among other miracles, performed a number of miracles of provision. He turned water into wine (John 2:9). Jesus miraculously provided miracle tribute money (Matthew 17:24). Since miracles exist in the Holy Book and there is one that specifically deals with miraculous provision of money, miracle money may be believed.

Secondly, the design or effect of miracles in the Bible was to lead people to believe in God. Many unbelievers were converted after witnessing a miracle (Acts 4:4; John 2:11). If "miracle money" is resulting in the conversion of souls and strengthening of the faith of believers, then it may be believed to be true.

Thirdly, according to Mark 16:17,18 miraculous signs will accompany believers in the ministry of evangelism. Since the performers of miracle money are believers and anointed servants of God it may not be a wonder if signs and wonders like miracle money follow them.

Fourthly, God mainly used prophets and apostles in the Bible to work miracles for His people. The miracles were used as a witness or confirmation of their calling (Hebrews 2:4). Since the workers of the miracle money are prophets and they claim that they are performing this miracle to show they are God's servants, "miracle money" may therefore be believed.

Reasons to doubt miracle money

Firstly, the doubt is rooted in the conditions necessary for miracles. Miracles of provision in the Bible only happened in extremely difficult situations where there was no natural way of meeting the needs. It remains to be testified by the recipients of "miracle money" if they could not work to earn the money they received miraculously.

Furthermore, faith and obedience to God's instructions were necessary in most cases before a miracle was performed. The people in need would desperately and prayerfully present their plight to God or the holy man of God in faith and when they obeyed instructions given them, miracles happened. It remains to be heard from the recipients of miracle money if such conditions existed.

Secondly, since magicians, diviners, sorcerers and charlatans can counterfeit God's miracles as the Egyptian Pharaoh's magicians did in Exodus 7:11,12, benefit of doubt can be given to those who do not perceive the performers of miracle money as genuine vessels of God.

Thirdly, since there is only one "miracle of money" in the whole Bible and many miracles of healings and deliverance, the doubters would expect to see more miracles of healings and deliverance than of supplying money. Moreover, it is most likely that the miracle of the tribute money in the Bible was not in the creation of money but rather in the restoration of a lost coin into circulation.

The best conclusion to this issue of miracle money and to any other miracle is drawn by the one who received the miracle. Experience is indubitable. The blind man who was healed in John 9 gave a more convincing testimony than his parents.

Doctor Gamaliel's rule of thumb in judging spiritual things applies in this matter: If the thing is of God it cannot be thwarted but it will remain. However, if it is not of God, it will not last (Acts 5:38-40).

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