If the Bible is either written by God or at least inspired by God, then the information included in the book must be true. If the information is a quote from Jesus, who is supposed to be an avatar of God himself, then we can safely assume that it’s even more reliable.
All 4 gospels in the New Testament report Jesus saying something like “Ask and you shall receive” (Mark 11:24-25, Matthew 21:21-22, Luke 11:9-13, John 14:13-14). The offer is quite clear; there is no legal proviso, no terms and conditions, no limitations presented as long as you have faith.
So, one who believes God wrote or inspired the Bible would be tempted to believe these words. A Christian would be well justified to expect a reply or a fulfillment to his or her prayer.
Obviously, all Christians should:
- be healthy
- have super strength
- live forever
- have superpowers
- look amazing
- have sex with supermodels all the time
- have extra good luck in all
- win the lottery every week, making them billionaires
- make a real difference in the world
- have friends and family with the same luck
If not, then maybe the “Ask and you shall receive” is not entirely true. You mean, there is an untruth in the Bible? How can it be? After all, it was either written, whispered, inspired or endorsed by the creator of the universe!
How do you evaluate magical claims? How can you tell that something totally unsubstantiated is more likely than something else, which is equally unsubstantiated?
Here are 5 ways people evaluate pseudo-science or magical therapies:
- Antiquity of the method. It’s the idea that if something has been around for a long time, then it must be valid or at least have some merit, like homeopathy or acupuncture.
- Authority of the anecdotal source or celebrity endorsement. The Secret was featured on Oprah, making it credible in the eyes of million of people.
- Appeal of the internal logic. The idea here is that as long as the method is consistent with the belief system it lays on, many people will not question the validity of the premise. For example: Angel Therapy is a form of new age healing through guidance from angels. It makes sense that since angels have superpowers and are benevolent, they might help you get better. if you substitute “angel” with other equally fictional characters, like leprechaun, unicorn or the wizard Merlin, the method looses a bit of its charm. Just like angels, those other 3 characters are described at lengths in many books, have been around for along time, might be benevolent and all have some superpowers.
- Perceived power of the method. Angels seem to have more power than pink bunnies, so Angel Therapy sounds better than Pink Bunny Therapy.
- Appeal of the claims. It really doesn’t matter if most or all claims are totally unfounded. If your glossy brochure claims that your method gets rid of migraines, club foot, leprosy and irritable bowels, some people will try it.
If your friend tried Psychic Chromatic Left-brain Biofeedback and got rid of her cold, are you going to stop buying DayQuil and rush to the psychic next time you have a cold?