Bulletin Article
April 29, 2001


By Doug Long

A couple of weeks ago I read a joke, one of the many that are e-mailed to me on a regular basis. This joke was about a wise old man and some young lads who had a lot of energy. The old man just moved into the neighborhood, which was quiet. Once school started the neighborhood erupted in noise as the young boys would go down the alley banging on all of the trash cans both before and after school. The wise old man devised a plan, he met the boys one day and told them that they made him feel young again and offered them a dollar if they would continue to beat on the trash cans each day. After about a week he met the boys again, and told them that hard times had hit, and that he would only be able to pay them 50 cents form then on. There was some grumbling but the boys agreed. Another week passed, and he met them again and said that times were getting worse, so he would only be able to pay them 25 cents for banging on the cans. Well the boys were indignant, and refused to bang on the cans. The wise old man lived in his house which was now quiet. You may be wondering how I am going to relate this to the Bible, well here it is. When we read the stories in the Bible, we read of miracles and great things happening, but we don't see these things happening today. The other day I was listening to the radio, and the minister was telling people that great miracles still happen today, and to come to his Church. He promised quite a show. It seems that he figured that for the people to believe they needed to see a miracle. The only problem is all of his miracles are the result of hypnosis. The techniques are well known. First you establish trust, then you hypnotize the people. I have been hypnotized before, and I can tell you that you don't feel any different than you do sitting reading this article. You can easily be hypnotized sitting in a crowd also. Next the hypnotist uses differing techniques to put you to sleep, the most common being a shock to the body, an abrupt jerk of the arm, or a bop on the head will do the trick. I must admit I was astonished when I hit the floor. Because of the trust that has been given to the hypnotist you will now believe what he says, if you have a back ache or sore knees, he can "cure you". I think this practice is dangerous, deceptive and evil. People never the less crave the show. The apostles were able to do miracles to prove that they spoke with the authority of God. I think that miracles were more for those watching than for the person being healed. The Bible has been established however as God's unerring word, and it is its own proof. The age of miracles is over. 1corenthians 13:8 tells us that "where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away." As we know by reading Acts 8:14-17 the apostles were able to pass the ability to do miracles to others, but the recipients couldn't pass it to any one else, so when the apostles died, miraculous powers went with them. We have enough in the Bible, we have the complete word of God. We should not be like the young boys at the beginning of this article who didn't mind banging the drums for free, until they were paid for it. We have it all, the Bible is complete. We don't need any more proof, and we don't need a side show.