Re: Miracles?

Bill Payne (
Sat, 21 Mar 1998 21:48:27 -0600

Dick Fischer wrote:
> Burgy wrote:
> >When taking a church youth group on a "historical tour" of the town, we
> >visited a cemetery where the caretaker explained that he was able to
> >locate unmarked graves by the dowsing method. Nice old guy.
> >
> >Several of us, at his direction, tried the procedure. Some "felt it,"
> >some did not.
> >
> >I, personally, did experience a "definite pull" at one point; it was
> >quite unexpected. I could not replicate it. Nor do I know if there was
> >anything there at the point where the "pull" happened.
> I'll give you my one experience. One of my friends was visiting me when
> I owned an old house on the Chesapeake Bay. How we got on the subject
> I don't know, but he mentioned he could "witch for water." His grandfather
> could do it and Mike was a scoffer (Mike teaches science at a high school
> and he didn't believe in witching. Although many of his family members
> tried with no success, to his chagrin, Mike found he could do it even
> though he didn't want to do it.
> We spent a few hours testing. I had a peach tree growing nearby (peach
> tree limbs required - don't know why). We cut a few limbs and experimented.
> We blindfolded him, had him walk over an old well, and the limb pointed
> down every time he crossed water. It didn't work for me, but when I
> held one end, and we walked over the well together with him blindfolded
> I could feel the limb twist. I don't understand it. It wasn't a valid
> scientific experiment by any means, but it worked.

OK, let's count testimonies of dowsing by those of us who either can't
explain it or really didn't expect the rods/limb to move in our hands:

A. I personally have observed the dowsing process by others several
times, and have experienced "the pull" on brass rods one time,

B. Burgy felt a "definite pull" once, although he dismissed it as
something like a fluke,

C. Dick Fischer's friend Mike could "witch" for water even though he
was a scoffer and didn't want to to it. Dick confirmed that the limb
was being "pulled" in Mike's hands. Even though dowsing worked for
Mike, it didn't work for Dick.

Dick, Mike, Burgy and me, four skeptical individuals who independently
describe very similar experiences. If dowsing were the result of some
type of weak or, as yet, undetected magnetic or unknown natural force,
the force should work consistently, at least for the same individual. I
felt the pull once, then I prayed, and the pull went away and I have
never again experienced it.

When I decided that dowsing must be a display of demonic power, I read
the book of John again with this in mind. Realizing that there are
physical manifestations of supernatural causes which have no real-world
counterpart cause gave a whole new meaning to the miracles of Jesus and
the power of Satan as related in the gospels.

I remember Walter Martin, who had a ministry against cults, saying that
one night alone in his motel room, he was sitting up in his bed reading
when unseen demons tried to choke him. Only after he managed to whisper
the word "Jesus" did they release him.

I appreciate the skepticism that many who read this will have. It is my
considered opinion, though, that miracles are just as much a part of
life today as they ever have been, and many miracles are completely
disconnected from any naturalistic explanation. Both God and Satan have
the power to alter the normal cause-and-effect continuum of events that
we, especially Westerners, take for granted.