[Originally published as What Do News Writers Report When a Miracle Occurs?
Editor’s note: If they can’t be honest with what we have living eye witnesses to report, why should we trust such people to be different with what happened long before any of us were born?]
In the world of science, the philosophy of naturalism is so firmly embedded that every hypothesis of how living things operate in the present or how every past event in nature occurred must only be explained by using natural processes. Even when it is obvious that God designed and created the universe, the world, living things, and humans, they still insist on an explanation based on natural processes for how all these things came to be. Naturalism also shows up in many news reports, based on the little room they leave for supernatural miracles.
An Example from June 15, 2017
Most of us heard the news report of a busload of prisoners who were being transferred from one prison to another prison when two of the convicts somehow overpowered and killed the guards and then escaped. This was a top news story for three days as the convicts stole cars, invaded homes, and evaded police. They were finally captured in a small community in Rutherford County, Tennessee.
A variety of dramatic headlines and news accounts told of how the convicts were captured. The stories were strung together by local members of the community and even by local law officials.
Some accounts told of how they tried to steal a car from Patrick Hale, a Tennessee homeowner. It was said that they were met by Mr. Hale who held a loaded gun on them and forced them to surrender. Another account told of a neighbor with a loaded gun who helped Hale keep the convicts in line until law enforcement officials arrived. One report said the convicts were confronted in the woods by Hale and his neighbor and came out with their hands up about 15 minutes later.
But, it turns out, none of these stories were true.
The accurate story is that Patrick prayed to God for help and experienced a miracle. So, how do professional law enforcers and newspaper writers relay this to the many people who had been following this dramatic story for the past three days? A miracle that doesn’t make sense to our natural minds? An outcome that a grateful and humble Patrick attributed to Jesus Christ?
Here’s the real story:
Patrick was home alone with his three-year-old daughter when he got a phone call. His friend had a terse message: The two escaped criminals have been in a shootout with law enforcement and are in your area. Patrick immediately loaded the guns in his house and looked outside to see two white men crossing a fence 300 yards from his back door. He made an urgent fervent prayer to his Lord. He then made the decision to drive away rather than get trapped in his house.
Grabbing his daughter and a loaded gun, which he was fully prepared to use if necessary, he got into his car and began backing out of his driveway. But the unthinkable had happened. The two men had already reached his driveway and were waving their shirts frantically at him trying to get him to stop. They came closer, and Patrick began to slowly back up.
Patrick was aware that they had just been in a shootout with police and possibly still had their weapons. They had nothing to lose at this point because they were already facing murder charges for the death of two law enforcement officials.
Hale then called 911 as he prayed earnestly for his daughter and for the situation. Even though Hale had a loaded weapon, he had not shown it; nor had he given a commend to the men to give up.
What happened next, he could only attribute to an answered prayer.
Without a word from Patrick and without showing his weapon, both Dubose and Rowe silently lay down on their stomachs in Patrick’s driveway in an act of surrender. After about 20 seconds, both men slowly got up and walked to a water faucet where they got a drink of water. Then they returned to the same place on his driveway and lay down on their stomachs.
Patrick watched this surreal scene unfolding in front of him for three minutes before an army of law enforcement officials reached his property and arrested the men who still maintained their surrender position. During those three minutes, Patrick just watched from his car and prayed.
Patrick had no problem recounting these events to the media and giving Jesus Christ proper credit for what happened, saying
If that doesn’t make you believe in Jesus Christ, I don’t know what will.
Predictably, many of the mainstream media walked around a supernatural miracle and published a variety of inaccurate stories. Some of the media accounts focused only on how the story related to gun control. The quotes about prayer and Jesus Christ were only mentioned in a few media stories. Many reporters had difficulty writing about how the men simply laid down in a surrender position in front of Patrick’s car for no apparent reason.
But Patrick Hale will forever know that God answered his fervent prayer when he call upon Him on June 15, 2017.