Lotta Stories ‘Bout Jesus, Ain’t There?

Question from Kole:
Hello, I have seen testimonies lately, about people meeting Jesus. A few are: Nasir Siddiki, (former Muslim who had really bad shingles and claimed Jesus saved him)

Afshin Javid (former Muslim who claims Jesus spoke to him in a jail cell)

A story of a former Muslim woman who claims she had gall stones so bad she was in the hospital, she was in so much pain, she called out to Jesus, he appeared, cured her. Then when the doctors came later, she had no gall stones, everyone was baffled

Many NDEs where a person has a hellish experience, they call out to Jesus, he suddenly transports them into a positive place.

The thing is, there are many examples of people claiming to have interacted with Jesus, and many claims state that when they call to him, a bright light appears right away. One man said he was in hell and when he started to say Jesus, before he could finish the light appeared. Afshin and Nassir, plus the former Muslim woman all describe a bright light appearing right away, after they call out to him, and they can talk to him, he helps them. There was even a few NDEs I came across where Muslims say they were in hell, or in a life threatening situation called out to Allah, no response. Then they tried “Jesus” and suddenly a light appeared and rescued them. Does this to you prove that Jesus is the correct way to go? Does this prove Jesus to you? If you were to google it I assure you that you would find similar stories. I just don’t get how this can be.

Answer by SmartLX:
As you can see I’ve added a couple of links above to where I’ve already addressed the claims of some of the people you mentioned. The woman, Amy Ghazal, is new to me but it’s similar to other tales we’ve had here, Siddiki’s in particular. Like what’s come before, we have only her word and not her hospital records.

In any case, it’s been on record since 1979 (see this article in the NMA’s journal) that gallstones can in some cases spontaneously dissolve or disperse. This is exactly why Ghazal was scanned again before surgery; the surgeon already knew he should double-check on the day, and while he would have been surprised to see the gallstones gone he would not have thought it a miracle. That was all down to her.

You hear so many of these conversion stories because there is a way for you to hear them, and it’s hard to miss. The 700 Club disseminated Ghazal’s story, and Javid was trumpeted by It’s a New Day. Christians eat up stories like this, it feeds directly into the “one lost sheep” mentality of redeeming those on the outer. That’s why televangelists and other preachers seek the stories out and parade them before you.

People convert the other way, of course, and it can be an equally intense experience; I daresay you’ll find some fascinating stories on this list. You just won’t hear about it on Western public access TV.

Healing

Question from Kaye:
I am doing a research on the concept of healing. I was wondering do atheists believe in the concept of healing? Not weird or religious or fanatic…just plain everyday healing that may or may not be explained.

Answer by SmartLX:
What heals a body, more often than not, is the body itself. Doctors can help, but in the end the human body is at the mercy of its own immune system and other regenerative processes, such as skin regrowth and bone knitting (no, that’s not the medical term for it).

Beyond the capabilities of the body alone, there’s a lot that physicians and “healers” can do to effect real healing. They can help physically by removing dangerous tissue, binding broken limbs, cooling a fevered forehead and so forth. They can help through chemistry by administering medicine and drugs, and regulating a patient’s diet. They can help psychologically by encouraging a positive outlook in the patient, which is known to affect internal processes.

The kind of healing which apparently falls outside of these two categories is the “miraculous recovery”, where a person recovers from an injury or illness normally beyond the body’s own capabilities without medical help. If it’s really happened (which, in many instances, is a question well worth asking), there must be a reason, and this is where different people are tempted to insert their favourite god or other supernatural entity.

To an atheist, the most likely reason for super-healing like this (again, once verified as having actually occurred) is something natural but unknown to the chronicler: some unique property of the subject’s physiology or body chemistry, prior treatments or preventative measures, added time for recovery, etcetera. Just thinking that there aren’t any supernatural agents at work doesn’t mean assuming that one knows every phenomenon that can affect a human body. Medical science may one day benefit greatly from what we presently don’t know, based on its progress so far.

If you have a particular healing story in mind, comment and re-tell it for us to discuss.