by Matt Slick
How does anyone know that God does not heal amputees? Who says He doesn't? Just because we don't see amputees being healed under medical supervision, doesn't mean it never happens anywhere in the world. The question is problematic because it presupposes that God does not heal amputees anywhere, anytime. But this cannot be known to be true. Therefore, the question itself is not a good question. A better question would be, "Does God heal amputees?"
Though we now have a better question, it still is very difficult to answer. Let's say that there was an amputee that was healed. Was it because God did it, or was it because of spontaneous generation? How does a person being healed demonstrate that it was God who did it? If someone prayed for healing and it happened, does it necessitate that God did it? How would you know? So, the question is basically impossible to answer.
Then again, what if someone did claim such a healing occurred. Then what? Are we to believe him at his word, or do we need before and after x-rays and/or pictures under laboratory conditions? But again, if a repeatable experiment can be performed where an amputee is healed by let's say prayer or the laying on of hands, how would it be known that it really was God doing it?
Does God subject Himself to laboratory experimentation for the verification of the critic? It would not seem to be the case since God, the creator, is not obligated to subject Himself and perform miracles for the sake of those who doubt Him, often ridicule Him, and deny His existence because He doesn't heal amputees when and where the critics want it done.
However, this logical truth will not satisfy the critics of Christianity. They want to see an amputee healed. But let's say there was an atheist visiting his Christian friend in the hospital who had just gotten out of emergency surgery because his foot was just amputated. The Christian, right in front of the atheist, prays for his amputated foot to be healed, and in two days it grows back. Will the atheist then believe that God exists? Will he convert to Christianity? Will he say that a miracle happened or that his friend's body had an innate ability to regenerate its own foot? Who knows, since different atheists and different critics have different assumptions about the world, along with different criteria that make something believable. One may believe God exists after such an incident where another may not. So, are we to conclude that if an amputation is healed after prayer, that it is God who did it? How would we know?