Marriage and Miracles

Question:

Mark 16: 17-18 (NIV) reads: And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well." 

If this is true, and the bible says it must, then how come pastors can't heal people anymore? Why can't they drink poison, or pick up snakes? Not that I'm challenging anyone to do this at home, mind you. Interesting how I never see believers capable of this. 

Secondly, Deuteronomy 22:28-29 reads: 
If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives. So according to this, if some single girl gets raped and is also a virgin, then she's supposed to marry the bastard that raped her and can't ever divorce him? I'm sorry, but this is just wrong. Any explanations?

If this was taken out of context I apologize but don't just tell me, show me.

My Reply:
The 2nd part, yes, you're reading it out of cultural context. We can't understand such a terrible rule because marriage and virginity mean something totally different to us today.
In those days, sometimes marriage was between 2 lovers, but most of the time it was more of a financial agreement between the girl's parents and a man. In other words, a woman was more so property and a means of making babies (for such was the command to multiply). So a woman who wasn't a virgin was of no value, and the odds of a non-virgin ever marrying was near impossible. So though we recognize even today that rape can destroy a woman's life, rape back then would often result in the woman even dying alone (remember, it was a culture structured on the value of birthing. So if a woman wasn't a virgin, and didn't marry, she wouldn't have children. And if she didn't have children, she was deemed worthless to everybody. Or, if she had a child from the rape, the child was deemed a "bastard", and thus an outcast).
So if a man raped her, he was forced to marry her
(sort of like the "you break it, you bought it" policy), for otherwise, he was signing her death certificate.  Also, he couldn't divorce her mainly because God doesn't believe in divorce (Moses only allowed it due to the hardening of the men's hearts. Go to my other blog for details on this).

As for the first part, I see miracles happen all the time. The Lord's also healed people through me several times. One example: I was serving as a hospital chaplain one summer for seminary credit. A woman on my floor was expected to die that night. I and her 2 daughters prayed to the point of us all being in tears by the time we said "Amen". The next morning, when I saw that the nurses were cleaning out her room, I sadly asked, "oh, she died, didn't she?" And the nurse replied, "no, actually it was amazing! This morning, she woke up, got up out of bed, and was better! She checked out this morning...you just missed her."
I didn't do that...God did. I prayed for many others in that hospital to get better and some got worse while others died. God still uses His people to heal people.
I had a professor in seminary who served in the mission fields of South America. He spoke of a time when he was witnessing Christ to the people. And each time, a certain child would run out and gain everybody's attention with his misbehavior. One time, while talking about Jesus with somebody, the child came running out, went into convulsions, and what looked like an epileptic seizure. My professor stopped what he was doing, walked up to the boy and commanded in the name of Jesus that the demon come out of him now...and it did. Then he returned back to the people who he was talking with about Jesus. Healings continue today. Demons are continually cast out. Jesus reigns.

For another neat miracle, check out my post on Activate #3.


---Pastor Andy
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