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The Absolute Power of Christianity!

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posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 03:25 PM
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of God. There are literally millions who can attest to the miracles they have experienced in their lives and all the good things that come from accepting Christ as the one who paid the penalty for our sins.

www.allaboutgod.com...

"The drugs and my roaming had taken me to many places but on December 20, 1990 I came across a man that told me about Jesus and how He could deliver me and make my life an example to others. I had not eaten in a couple of days and he asked me if I was hungry, so he took me to a restaurant and bought me something to eat. The entire time he shared about Jesus Christ with me. He told me Christ could and would set me free if I was willing, and how He (Jesus), would give me a new life without all the pain and turmoil I was living in. Of course being a Christian does not eliminate us from pain, trials and tribulation but with Christ in our hearts He will give us the strength to overcome and withstand even in the worst times. I began sharing my life story with this man and he still said Jesus is the answer, and boy was he right. Right there I gave my heart to the Lord and I decided to live for Him and serve Him for the rest of my life.

I had been singing for many years and I had destroyed my voice through drug abuse, I just abused the gifts that God had given me. So I prayed and told the Lord that if He would heal and restore my voice I would use this gift for His glory for the rest of my life. Now, God has done exceedingly and abundantly above all that I could ask or think. The songs that I sing and others that I have written they are all His I am only an instrument holding the pen. It does not matter where you are, Christ will come to you and meet you if, you are willing to let your life go and let Him be God of and in your life."

I have had so many miracles in my Christian life as I am a walking miracle myself."
www.breadsite.org...

www.testimonies4u.com...


I recognize how impersonal these must sound because neither of us have met these people, so to non-believers I'd like to challenge you to go to a Christian and ask them, "How did you come to believe in God?"

Want to receive this free gift of eternal life? Send U2U for details.

Christians, I challenge you to do and speak. Put feet to your faith and "go and tell the good news" at every opportunity. Can't find opportunity? Pray for the eyes and ears to see them. They are there.

[edit on 25-9-2006 by saint4God]




posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 04:53 PM
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Originally posted by saint4God
I recognize how impersonal these must sound because neither of us have met these people, so to non-believers I'd like to challenge you to go to a Christian and ask them, "How did you come to believe in God?"


I'll do this tomorrow. Will get back to you.



Want to receive this free gift of eternal life? Send U2U for details.


Eternal life doesn't half sound good. And it's free. The most enjoyable word to hear in the Dictionary must be 'Free'.


Seriously, where's Jesus when you need him.

If I'm totally honest, I'm actually quite envious of people with faith. They have the assurance of eternal life, love, and a devine being to answer their questions. It's tempting to say the least..

[edit on 25-9-2006 by shaunybaby]



posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 06:19 PM
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Originally posted by saint4God
of God. There are literally millions who can attest to the miracles they have experienced in their lives...

I had been singing for many years and I had destroyed my voice through drug abuse, I just abused the gifts that God had given me. So I prayed and told the Lord that if He would heal and restore my voice I would use this gift for His glory for the rest of my life. Now, God has done exceedingly and abundantly above all that I could ask or think. The songs that I sing and others that I have written they are all His I am only an instrument holding the pen. It does not matter where you are, Christ will come to you and meet you if, you are willing to let your life go and let Him be God of and in your life."


I'm sorry saint but if that's a testimony or even part of a testimony, i'm really disappointed. This statement doesn't actually say anything at all that makes me think a miracle has taken place, are you serious?

What is the message here? I can heal myself if I pray? What if I don't pray, will I not heal? How did this guy really make the connection from this occurence to anything god, jesus or bible related?

on another of your links...

Right there I gave my heart to the Lord and I decided to live for Him and serve Him for the rest of my life.


Just like that! How does this happen? Is this just an epiphany? what happened here? Is there a moment of clarity? Do you see anything? Hear anything? I don't get it, I have lots of questions, can you help me here.

Thanks.



[edit on 25/9/06 by Prote]



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 11:01 AM
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Originally posted by shaunybaby
I'll do this tomorrow. Will get back to you.


Sure thing, no hurries no worries.


Originally posted by shaunybaby
Eternal life doesn't half sound good. And it's free. The most enjoyable word to hear in the Dictionary must be 'Free'.


Totally agree and is why I think it's such good news!


Originally posted by shaunybaby
Seriously, where's Jesus when you need him.


I'd be glad to help if you're interested in the search. May be surprised to find much closer than initially thought.


Originally posted by shaunybaby
If I'm totally honest, I'm actually quite envious of people with faith. They have the assurance of eternal life, love, and a devine being to answer their questions. It's tempting to say the least..


The assurance is an awesome thing, truly. There are many who would love to share the info. There's me, Junglejake, dbrant, kinglizard, among others I'm sure. Ask to the one you'd like to hear or all (even better). I know we've been talking a while on the boards, some U2U, and am certainly open to discuss.

[edit on 26-9-2006 by saint4God]



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 11:45 AM
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Originally posted by Prote
I'm sorry saint but if that's a testimony or even part of a testimony, i'm really disappointed. This statement doesn't actually say anything at all that makes me think a miracle has taken place, are you serious?


It's the tip of the tip of the iceberg. There's more in those links certainly and even STILL is very limited to people we've not met and what they've experienced. Where the awesomeness really comes into play is when it's someone you know, moreso a close friend or family. Ten times moreso when it is you and believe that the things you'd consider miraculous can without a doubt happen to you as well. God isn't a magical wishing genie, but He can certainly empower great things to happen to us, those around us, and to the rest of the world.


Originally posted by Prote
What is the message here?


The message is this:

"That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." - Romans 10:9

and, as a result as well...

"God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will." - Hebrews 2:4


Originally posted by Prote
I can heal myself if I pray?


Absolutely not! That is not to say though, that God cannot heal you if you pray to Him. I'm sure most of us would be astonished to find that there's next to nothing we can do by ourselves.


Originally posted by Prote
What if I don't pray, will I not heal?


That's up to Him.


Originally posted by Prote
How did this guy really make the connection from this occurence to anything god, jesus or bible related?


Putting the Book aside for a moment. As a person who's studying science, I hope we can accept that probability can be measured. The greater the unlikelyhood, the broader the ratio. For example, if I flip a coin, I have approximately a 1:2 (one in two) chance that it will be heads. The probability to win my local lottery boasts a 1:1,000,000,000 chance or 1:10^9. Taking in consideration a specific event occuring at a specific point in time that is exactly what we're hoping for but unexpressed to anyone but God... well...that's can be certainly much greater but let's say it was a 1:10^4 for example, less than half the chance of winning the lottery. Then, it happens again. What? Very strange "coincidence" indeed. Now we have 1:10^4 x 1:10^4 which equals = 1:10^16. Then it happens again 1:10^16 x 1:10^4 = 10^64. So a long shot of something occuring did occur that was 1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. Keeping in mind, this is a very very conservatively underestimate. My math may be off, feel free to check since it's been some years since I had Calculus.

This is a good question because I was reeling at the math trying to figure some things out that have happened.


Originally posted by Prote
on another of your links...

Right there I gave my heart to the Lord and I decided to live for Him and serve Him for the rest of my life.


Just like that! How does this happen?


It certainly could have been something in that person's mind clicked that said "Hey, whoa, this is way to weird to be coincidental". This person had decided to dedicate heart, mind and soul to the service of God, giving over trust and control to God. That is not easy for a person to do by any means. We're used to thinking we should be in charge of our lives. So, if this person was relinquishing that control and putting their trust in God it must have been something big and convincing. Also, not just big and convincing, but were assured God was the source and reason behind it. That's a very specific grouping of information. The "how" of it is trying to describe a mechanism that God uses, which is no small undertaking. We could discuss theory on how but I don't think any of us will be able to explain exactly how this miracle occurred. Some miracles are done through the environment (like the flood, parting of the red sead, etc.) and some are not (like Christ raising Lazarus from the dead).


Originally posted by Prote
Is this just an epiphany?


That could describe it, but think everyone is expected a grand, immediate change all at once. To some, that's how they are called, for others, maybe a more gradual convincing from God over time. I don't think everyone just one day hears a voice that says, "JOE! You've got it all wrong. Know that I'm God, I sent my son and believe!" It can happen, but in studying testimonies, it's not commonly the case. All testimonies do carry common core elements though, it's a way of verifying the validity. For me it was a drastic change, but I attribute it to being stubborn and hard-headed at the time.


Originally posted by Prote
what happened here?


Physically I cannot diagram the details of the miracle. Spiritually I can say that God approved of the person's desire to have the voice for songs to spread His glory. I don't know for certain, but the usual course of action when someone has a physical barrier is to see a doctor, try prescriptions and so forth. Unfortunately, most people go to God when nothing else works in the world. The good news from that is they can now say they tried all of man's solutions before being resolved by God.


Originally posted by Prote
Is there a moment of clarity?


I believe this is a core element in believing, yes. We can test this if you'd like. For example, I can pray for you for clarity. To ask God to give you the eyes and ears to see what is unseen and to hear things previously ignored. I believe according to His will and the desire that "all men to be saved".

"This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus," - 1 Timothy 2:3-5

Isn't that awesome that our Creator wants all people to come to know the truth and be saved? I can also include others I know, prayergroups, anyone I can get to petition on your behalf as well.

Would you like to give this experiment a try?


Originally posted by Prote
Do you see anything?


Depends, as God is a very personal God, He delivers the message by the means He knows is most effective. For me personally, I saw some pretty evil things. I was relieved to NOT see them pursuing me anymore. They're still around and I pick up on them, but I'm not on the hunt trail for them in that painful way as before.


Originally posted by Prote
Hear anything?


Also depends. At the time of my belief, I didn't hear anything, but rather knew...which is atypical of any kind of learning we have here on earth. Here, we know things by seeing, hearing, reading, etc. and even then we have doubts, but in my case I knew without a doubt immediately. Since then, a series of events occurred to validate, "yes this happened, yes it's real". It may be different for other people. I know one cynical accusation I get from others is "you hear God don't you". To which in my candidness I answer "yes, but not through the ears. It's more like, spoken directly into the head and is hard to explain since we don't hear things like normally". Then their rebuttal "it's your conscious/ego, not God" and my response is, "no, my conscious/ego usually tells me something different and God is correcting me for it. He's right every time and it's the same message that can be found in the Bible. I for one reason or another ignored that message before or missed it." Glad to share more details as it's even more fascinating than the science I'm studying.


Originally posted by Prote
I don't get it, I have lots of questions, can you help me here.


Certainly
, glad to be able to help. We can get into more detail on how these would apply to your life and how they've applied to mine if you'd like to U2U. I try not to talk about specifics on the boards as they can be very long and off topic.

This thread is really rolling now!
Thank you shaunybaby and prote for the really great questions and discussion.

[edit on 26-9-2006 by saint4God]



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 12:39 PM
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Hi Saint,

Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I wanted to respond to specific elements and ask many more questions about your reply but I may come back to that.

I would like to clarify a couple of things before I ask further questions as it will help my understanding.

1. What exactly IS God to you?

You refer to God as "him" but I cannot imagine any God having a gender. Please also don't say that he is everything because that's silly. (A refridgerator cannot make someone win the lottery twice). Excuse the flippancy but I am asking for a tangible description of your personal perception of God.

2. Why do you think it is so difficult for non believers to believe?


There is a personal reason why I want/need to understand more about this and I have an aside question that may give you a hint.

My Roman Catholic Wife was a little upset by your name, because you aren't a Saint but have assumed the title. I won't go into detail but does this make any sense to you or is she confused? Because I am.

Please be patient, I have a lot to understand and I may have difficulties understanding some things. Thanks



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 02:37 PM
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Originally posted by Prote
Hi Saint,

Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I wanted to respond to specific elements and ask many more questions about your reply but I may come back to that.


Sure thing, thank you for the genuine interest.


Originally posted by Prote
I would like to clarify a couple of things before I ask further questions as it will help my understanding.


Certainly.


Originally posted by Prote
1. What exactly IS God to you?


Wow. Well, God has more characteristics than I can begin to count and by definition even beyond my comprehension. So I'll stick to what I know. Who He is to me is the Creator. All stuff that we see came by His hand. He was my rescuer when I pursued the wrong things. Where I was seriously considering death, He convinced me to turn to life.

He's my teacher in many different ways. Through His son, his Words, his son's words, and all other things through which He flows. I'd learned the differences between His ways and my ways, seeing clearly the benefits of His and the consequences of mine. This was not immediate, sometimes I have to learn by trial and error but have a better gauge and dialogue to know when I'm on-track.

He's my ultimate Father, cares for me, my family, and every situation I'm in. Not one who moves my hands for me, but gives strength and ability...and the results to show me how the tools of faith, love, and hope work.

"God is love", merciful. He cares so strongly I can feel it. It wasn't like this all the time, but is irresistable now to the point where when I'm without it for a moment I feel very sad.

God is just. "He will by no means allow the guilty to go unpunished..." so I've been disciplined "because the Lord disciplines those he loves". "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." Though He is ultimate justice, He loved us so much that He sent His son to die for my sins, paying that penalty so that I can receive the place in heaven purchased for me. He was the ultimate sacrifice with no sin who could take upon himself the sin of others and absolve them.

I could fill pages upon pages.


Originally posted by Prote
You refer to God as "him" but I cannot imagine any God having a gender.


Neither can I. I had disputes face to face with Mormons over this issue. The English language doesn't have "gender-neutrals" as others do. I used to play a game on the computer where we'd use "hir" and "sie" for him/her and s/he if we didn't know the other's gender. But, if I started calling God Hir or Sie, no doubt that would add to the confusion.


Originally posted by Prote
Please also don't say that he is everything because that's silly. (A refridgerator cannot make someone win the lottery twice). Excuse the flippancy but I am asking for a tangible description of your personal perception of God.


I understand where you're coming from. I have issue with saying he is everything as that would include the devil and his crew...who have been ejected from heaven. Also, God has big issue with worshipping the creation and not the Creator. The golden calf is a good example upon many in the Book. Finally, I don't think you or I are God. I believe we can become vessels to carry a part of God, that His Spirit can fill us, and that Christ can be the guiding force in our lives but that does not make us God.


Originally posted by Prote
2. Why do you think it is so difficult for non believers to believe?


This is an excellent question. My favorite questions are those you can ask any believer and yet get a different answer. From what I understand, we have to crutch upon our limited understanding in order to answer it. My answer will be no different, though I hope it contains enough elements of truth to be helpful:

From my personal experience and in talking with others, I believe we're "proof-driven". None more true than those I've met here on ATS. I was one of those people, which is probably why I'm here and feel I can identify best with those of like-mind. We look up on a clear day and shout, "God if you're there, show me a sign!" Our expectation is that a lightningbolt will come down, strike us on the head and God appearing in front of us in a white-beard and robe saying, "Believe in me so that you can one day be with me in heaven". I'm not saying this is impossible, but know this is not how God had chosen to communicate to me. Why?

Well, I think God teaches us how to use the very powerful tools of love, faith and hope. Can you see love, faith and hope? If we cannot see them, how can we learn to use them? A certain effort is needed to be made on our part to use these tools first and THEN to see the proof. Those emotional, spiritual, and even at times visual results. That's backwards compared to how we're used to thinking. Our thinking goes like this:

Suppose I'm holding a ball and do not know about what will happen when I let go. I let go of the ball, it drops. Because I have seen it drop, I believe that next time I have the ball and let go, it will drop. That's not faith nor belief. You have received evidence that has shown you that the ball drops when released.

Whereas faith, hope, and love in this example would work more like this. I hold the ball not knowing what will happen when I let go. I have faith and hope that whereever that ball goes, that's where it should be since God created the system to direct its course. I let go of the ball. The ball drops. I now have proof that God is in control. In His control, he allows the ball to drop. I pick up the ball with the same faith and hope I had before. I let go, the ball drops. I now have proof that God is consistent in his direction for this ball.

They look the same right? Not right. Both actions are the same, but in the first I'm assuming I feel I'm creating all the actions, depending on the results to predict the future. In the second, I'm accepting a higher power is in charge and am able to learn more about the Creator's system by trusting first and receiving proof after.

Miracles happen. In the first example there is no way with my line of thinking to permit anything to happen to that ball except for it to drop. A miracle is in that second example I let go of the ball and it hangs in mid-air. Surely that's impossible! Nope, not at all. "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." If it is God's will for this to happen, it will happen. Suddenly the scales are tipped from impossible to absolutely possible.


Originally posted by Prote
There is a personal reason why I want/need to understand more about this and I have an aside question that may give you a hint.


Certainly, will be glad to help however I can.


Originally posted by Prote
My Roman Catholic Wife was a little upset by your name, because you aren't a Saint but have assumed the title.


Firstly I want to apologize for upsetting anyone over my username. That definitively was not the intent. Secondly description is found both Biblically and according to the dictionary. The word saint is found 72 times in the Bible from Old Testament to the end of the new (1 Samuel 2:9 - Revelation 19:8) to describe those who believe in God, who had sent His son to die on a cross and risen from the dead. Nowhere in the Bible is it written one must perform three miracles, be canonized, etc etc. BUT! I would rather be called a heretic by her and you instead of causing any division between you if there are only those two choices. I don't know the relationship you have in discussing these things and I would be a very poor representation of God by promoting warfare among a couple, "therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." That includes me.


Originally posted by Prote
I won't go into detail but does this make any sense to you or is she confused? Because I am.


I don't think it's an issue that should be a concern for any three of us. According to the Bible, she is a saint too if she believes in Christ. The reason why I use the name is as a reminder to everyone (including myself) that there's important work to be done on a serious yet fascinating topic. I hope that the name isn't what is remember though, rather the message being carrying.


Originally posted by Prote
Please be patient, I have a lot to understand and I may have difficulties understanding some things. Thanks


These are all very good questions that delve into the meat of the topic. I'm delighted to be questioned on it.

Alright boss, I'm giving you the yoke, where to next?


[edit on 26-9-2006 by saint4God]



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 06:05 PM
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so exactly what is this thread now?

is it a way for christians to bash the so called "ignorant"

or is it an open forum for discussing the merits and shortcoming of christianity?

i'd really prefer that latter

and congrats JJ, 100 page thread



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 11:14 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
and congrats JJ, 100 page thread


Thanks, I noticed that, too!

As to the purpose of this thread, it originally was to talk about the hypocrisy surrounding the supposed calls to remove anything Christian from the public eye (reread the initial post). However, like so many massive threads, the conversation has evolved into discussing many aspects of Christianity, primarily because people would comment on the subject without ever reading the first post. The various levels of debate, however, have been rather linear as I've watched the thread develop.

Out of curiosity, why? Was there something specific on your mind?



posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 12:43 AM
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saint,

boy, you put so much meat on the bones, I get the whole spectrum of emotions reading and responding, its kinda fun...and frustrating. I'm gonna have to jump in with both feet...


Originally posted by saint4God
I'll stick to what I know. Who He is to me is the Creator. All stuff that we see came by His hand.

So you believe God created us? Is that in accordance with the Old Testament? Do you believe he created the Universe, the planets yada yada?


Originally posted by saint4God
He was my rescuer when I pursued the wrong things. Where I was seriously considering death, He convinced me to turn to life.

OK, so you were contemplating ending it all and your finding God is what saved you?

How do you know it was him? We are not only talking about an advanced being but THE supreme being, GOD, the creator, omnipotent no less. He convinced you? How? What did he say? Did he really speak to you? but you said in another post that you just know. How? and you are sure it was HIM. No-one else? How can you be so sure?

I'm really struggling here already. It's these giant assumptive leaps. Even if you had some amazing experience, you immediately decide that you have communicated with our creator. Do you realise how big that is?


Originally posted by saint4God
He's my teacher in many different ways. Through His son, his Words, his son's words, and all other things through which He flows. I'd learned the differences between His ways and my ways, seeing clearly the benefits of His and the consequences of mine. This was not immediate, sometimes I have to learn by trial and error but have a better gauge and dialogue to know when I'm on-track.

I don't know what any of this means. Mensa tell me my IQ is high so why do these statements feel empty? Dialogue? but you don't speak to/with him or hear him. What dialogue are you speaking of?


Originally posted by saint4God
He's my ultimate Father, cares for me, my family, and every situation I'm in. Not one who moves my hands for me, but gives strength and ability...and the results to show me how the tools of faith, love, and hope work. "God is love", merciful. He cares so strongly I can feel it. It wasn't like this all the time, but is irresistable now to the point where when I'm without it for a moment I feel very sad.

This doesn't say anything either.


Originally posted by saint4God
God is just. "He will by no means allow the guilty to go unpunished..." so I've been disciplined "because the Lord disciplines those he loves". "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." Though He is ultimate justice, He loved us so much that He sent His son to die for my sins, paying that penalty so that I can receive the place in heaven purchased for me. He was the ultimate sacrifice with no sin who could take upon himself the sin of others and absolve them.

Whoa! Slow down a second please. This is about as far as I get in any conversation trying to get a handle on this subject and then I just switch off. You're just saying what the bible says. I accept that you believe what it says but you cannot expect me to understand the true meaning of this statement. It just looks like assumptions to me. I am happy to discuss the actuall bible and it's writings but I'm trying to get a grip on how it all links together. How would an atheist get from his original state to being a practising christian?, or any other religion for that matter.

Just like every other human, I have had moments or even sustained periods of time where I didn't think I would make it. Yes I had to dig deep but no God has ever come to give me a helping hand and the notion that the creator of our universe would pick me up and dust me down is bizarre. You had some sort of moment of clarity or some religious epiphany, as many others seem to have so what was it that convinces you all so much that what happened was indeed, the work of God? Wheres the connection?

If your only answer is "You just know", then thats it I guess.



I could fill pages upon pages.

Please, contain yourself to a sensible level if you can. These are loooong posts.



The English language doesn't have "gender-neutrals" as others do. I used to play a game on the computer where we'd use "hir" and "sie" for him/her and s/he if we didn't know the other's gender. But, if I started calling God Hir or Sie, no doubt that would add to the confusion.

The question was: Why do you refer to God as him? this doesn't answer it. English does have gender neutral words , like it. I ask this question because my current concept of God is more like energy than a person or being. Your perception seems to be like a person. I am looking to you because you know god and would therefore be able to communicate to me a reasonable perceived interpretation of God.


I understand where you're coming from. I have issue with saying he is everything as that would include the devil and his crew...who have been ejected from heaven.

You believe in the Devil? Do all Christians and branches of believe this?


Also, God has big issue with worshipping the creation and not the Creator.

Again, how do you know this. Is this because it is said in the bible?


The golden calf is a good example upon many in the Book.

I'm not familiar with this, can you post a link?



Finally, I don't think you or I are God.

Huh! I didn't expect this statement. This was similar to one of my many old beliefs but I wouldn't have thought you would entertain such a notion. This was the thinking that had saved me, more than once in my youth.



I believe we can become vessels to carry a part of God, that His Spirit can fill us, and that Christ can be the guiding force in our lives but that does not make us God.

This makes me think you really aren't sure.


I think God teaches us how to use the very powerful tools of love, faith and hope. Can you see love, faith and hope?

Of course, without them you shrivel and die.



posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 12:45 AM
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Suppose I'm holding a ball and do not know about what will happen when I let go. I let go of the ball, it drops. Because I have seen it drop, I believe that next time I have the ball and let go, it will drop. That's not faith nor belief. You have received evidence that has shown you that the ball drops when released.

Yes.


Whereas faith, hope, and love in this example would work more like this. I hold the ball not knowing what will happen when I let go. I have faith and hope that whereever that ball goes, that's where it should be since God created the system to direct its course.

OK.


I let go of the ball. The ball drops. I now have proof that God is in control.

No. No. No. You have proof only that the ball will drop from previously observed results. I can let you assume that God exists and that God created the system. If you make many more assumptions, you will get so far off course, you'll be lost.

So let's say God created the system. Why would you then assume that he is in control of the ball? Gravity makes the ball drop. OK, so God created Gravity. That's still ok, it still doesn't prove he is in control of the ball, only in control of the created system, which in this case is gravity.


In His control, he allows the ball to drop. I pick up the ball with the same faith and hope I had before. I let go, the ball drops. I now have proof that God is consistent in his direction for this ball.

No. Same as above.


They look the same right?

No.


Not right.

Right.


Both actions are the same, but in the first I'm assuming I feel I'm creating all the actions, depending on the results to predict the future. In the second, I'm accepting a higher power is in charge and am able to learn more about the Creator's system by trusting first and receiving proof after.

But How? The gap here is getting to that acceptance. You can't just make stuff up willy nilly like assuming a higher power is in charge and then drawing further conclusions based on this wild assumption.

What happens when you have these "awakenings"? Would you pick up the bible and suddenly believe the stories to be true? How do you throw all logic out of the window and add such a thing into how you perceive the world works? If I were to accept God or Christianity into my life, does it mean believing all of the stuff that has seemed so ridiculous to me up to now?

How would this assumptive line of thinking continue? Even if I thought it was odd and followed it. Would I not really see because my heart would be half in it or would it start to make sense. Seeing some sense in the sludge...so to speak.



Miracles happen. In the first example there is no way with my line of thinking to permit anything to happen to that ball except for it to drop. A miracle is in that second example I let go of the ball and it hangs in mid-air. Surely that's impossible! Nope, not at all. "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." If it is God's will for this to happen, it will happen. Suddenly the scales are tipped from impossible to absolutely possible.

No, I would not say that was impossible but I see your point. My own point (or difficulty in understanding) is becoming recurring. If I dropped a ball and it hung in mid air, I would ponder what I had witnessed. I would likely come up with half a dozen explanations and none of them would be the one you mention. So my recurring issue is how this bridge is made. Why would we both witness the exact same event and your factual conclusion would never occur to me at all, despite accepting that God may have made the system.

Could this event be proof for some people?


Firstly I want to apologize for upsetting anyone over my username. BUT! I would rather be called a heretic by her and you instead of causing any division between you if there are only those two choices. I don't know the relationship you have in discussing these things and I would be a very poor representation of God by promoting warfare among a couple, "therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." That includes me.

No, don't worry. Before she dropped most of her religious thought processes, she mentioned it would have offended her. It was the reasons she gave that caught my attention. I was interested in your response to it.


These are all very good questions that delve into the meat of the topic. I'm delighted to be questioned on it.

I hope the tone of some of my questions or responses haven't crossed any lines, apologies if they have or do, offence is not intended. Some questions I may have will be very basic as I have very little knowledge of religion at all so I am not coming at this from a skeptics point of view. I am coming from the point of view of someone that had never been exposed to any kind of religion.

I don't have a specific problem with Christianity, I don't understand any of them. Only parts of Dowism and Buddhism make any sense at all and then only parts. Yet I grapple with the notion that 5.5 out of 6 billion people subscribe to one religion or another unquestionably and I find it perplexing to say the least.



posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 04:50 AM
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The main differences between non-believers and believers is the way in which we think. However, saying that, in the same way I have strong opinions about evolution, Saint4God has strong opinions about God.

In Saint's mind, no amount of evidence against God will persuade him to change his mind. The reason being that he's spoken to God, feels God and knows there is a God. When a person has reached this point in his/her life, there's really not much way back from here.

We've got Saint telling us he's held conversations with the devine creator of everything in the universe and more. Now if this is true, then I may as well believe that 'John Edwards' the medium guy, really does contact dead relatives in a TV studio. Afterall, why would either of them lie?

Maybe conciously neither of them would lie. However, can you push yourself to believe something, and believe it so much, that you just know it's real? In Saint's case, therefore he really is talking to God. And in John Edward's case, perhaps he really believes he's contacting dead people. There's only three different answers to this.. 1) They're telling the truth. 2) They're lying. 3) They're dissillusioned.

In John Edwards case, I would say he's in the 'they're lying' group. He knows he can't really contact the dead, but he plays on people's emotions, and plays on this role as medium to exploit people, so he can have a TV show and make money. If he truely had such a gift, then he would not exploit it.

In Saint's case, he would be either number one or number three. So either Saint's right, and I'm most likely going to hell, or he's so far gone that he's made himself believe all this and is merely in a dissilusioned state that makes him believe all of this is real, and makes himself believe he holds conversations with the almightey creator.

I know which number Saint thinks he is. Although a person that was a number three, would obviously say they're a number one. And you can't really admit to being dissilusioned, because once you admit that, then you're no longer dissilusioned.



posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 10:13 AM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
so exactly what is this thread now?


Same topic, just explained in more detail.

Originally posted by madnessinmysoul

is it a way for christians to bash the so called "ignorant"


Um, no. How did you come to that conclusion?


Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
or is it an open forum for discussing the merits and shortcoming of christianity?

i'd really prefer that latter


Hm...thought that's what we were doing.



posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 10:39 AM
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Originally posted by Prote
saint,

boy, you put so much meat on the bones, I get the whole spectrum of emotions reading and responding, its kinda fun...


Cool!



Originally posted by Prote
and frustrating.


Well, that's not so cool. Does a pledge to try to work through that help?


Originally posted by Prote
I'm gonna have to jump in with both feet...


Grand



Originally posted by Prote
So you believe God created us?


Macrocosmically yes. Microcosmically it was observed we have come from a blend of our mother and father.


Originally posted by Prote
Is that in accordance with the Old Testament? Do you believe he created the Universe, the planets yada yada?


Ya. To both questions.


Originally posted by saint4God
OK, so you were contemplating ending it all and your finding God is what saved you?


Kinda. I was contemplating ending it all and did something very stupid. By doing that stupid thing I sought escape from it, trying anything and everything until God had put an end to it with my plead for Him to do so.


Originally posted by saint4God
How do you know it was him?


Very good question that has a multiple answer. First is deduction. I'd tried everything else which failed. Second is initiation. I'd gone to Him for help. Thirdly is temporal reconciliation. When I ask, it stopped. Fourthly, I was infused(?) with a total internal change spiritually and immediately. Fifthly I went from unknowing to knowing. Lastly, that was not the one and only occurrance but is rather validated throughout the years by additional happings. Hard to describe. Sure it would be a lot easier to say "He appeared before me and put His hand on my shoulder and we had a one-on-one discussion" but would surely seem less credible, requires no trust/faith, but is no more valid than the actual sequence of events.


Originally posted by saint4God
We are not only talking about an advanced being but THE supreme being, GOD, the creator, omnipotent no less. He convinced you?


It's not that God is unconvincing or that is unable to convince me. Surely with a mere thought I could've been convinced. Yet, he lovingly let me pursue the way I had insisted on so that I would learn the consequences of trying to steer my own course. It hurt. A lot. But it also ensured I'd not go anywhere near it again and helps others going through similar circumstances.


Originally posted by saint4God
How?


I'd like to use an analogy if I may, because he didn't come down, fix my clothes, cut my hair and say "you look good kid" and send me on my way. Picture you're having a hard...life. You're an oprhan. Everything seems to end in failure, it's all your fault, you cannot and will not believe anything unseen, with no hope, no future, where you wish yourself and everyone around you would just die. Then on top of it all, someone breaks into the abandoned warehouse while you were asleeps, then next thing you know he's is chasing you with a gun saying that he's going to kill you and there's nothing you can do about it. So figuring your fate is sealed, you run. When you do, you find a policeman on the corner so you ask him for help. The one chasing you with the gun sees the officer and takes off running. The police officer takes you into the barracks, sets up a cot and tells you you'll be safe there. He tells you, "you have a bright hope and future here. I'll teach you many things that will help you grow each day. You'll have a job protecting and serving others." Suddenly the life that seemed useless now has hope. There is a greater plan and you are a part of it. Each day he shows you the ways of being a police officer.

This was a physical example, but if you can template that onto a spiritual level as well as integrate it with some personal physical events, it'd be pretty close to being on-par.


Originally posted by saint4God
What did he say?


At that time of change, nothing. It wasn't many years later that I heard anything in the way I'd described before. Those things I can share via U2U. They're personal, meaning it's not advice that would be useful to someone not in the situations that I was in, but every time they are in alignment to scripture.


Originally posted by saint4God
Did he really speak to you?


Yes, but not through the ears. It's more like straight through the head. Sounds odd even as I look at what I've written. More to come, hitting max number of characters in this post...



posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 11:20 AM
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Originally posted by Prote
but you said in another post that you just know.


That was the case the the time of my change. I believe he chooses the most effective or productive method to get through to us.


Originally posted by Prote
How?


That's the thing, I don't know anything like it. I'll have to use another analogy to try. Suppose a friend gives you a memory card from a camera. You put the memory card into your computer and up pops all these pictures. Then you shout, "I didn't know you went to see Europe!" But, the evidence is suddenly right there. There's your friend standing next to the Eiffel tower, Big Ben, and statues you didn't even know existed! Instant proof. You surmise that the evidence was there before you put the card in, that the proof was in the works while s/he was on the trip, but still you did not know about it.

One step further: You tell your friend you'd like to share that proof with others. Your friend says, "Sure thing, but there are a lot of those pictures I'd like to describe in great detail so if they want to see them, tell them to give me a call and I will come over and show them."


Originally posted by Prote
and you are sure it was HIM. No-one else? How can you be so sure?


At the time there was no doubt. Years later since I hadn't had anything like it in quite a while, I did wonder. Was it because of this? Or that? Or this factor? Maybe it was my own mind? Etc. During that time I kept up with regular physicals, bloodwork, EEG, EKG and so forth because of a sports competition program. All tests came up normal. During this time I wondered perhaps maybe the enemy was playing both sides of the fence, luring me into a false sense of security for the next strike etc. I'd learned though, through addition experience and study what the problems of this would be. For example, why would anyone wishing to dominate drive me away? Don't make much sense from that perspective. Also learned the full implications of "a house divided against itself can not stand" and we can observe various demonstrations of this tactic. I think it's human to second guess things that actually happened sometimes. It's good to test and make sure in my opinion. Now I've come to a place where that relationship is so strong and all test have been run, that doubt no longer merits serious consideration.


Originally posted by Prote
I'm really struggling here already.


No worries, it's a lot and is difficult to describe. Before this happened, I would refuse anyone who would make such seemingly absurd statements.


Originally posted by Prote
It's these giant assumptive leaps.


It probably seems like giant assumptive leaps, I can understand that. But when you're living it, it's a lot more step-wise. I'm trying to cram 15+ years into a sentence...and it just doesn't work well that way.


Originally posted by Prote
Even if you had some amazing experience, you immediately decide that you have communicated with our creator. Do you realise how big that is?


Nono, I did not DECIDE to whom I was communicating. That's just the thing. I didn't go to the spirit-world deli and say "hmmm...that looks like what I want, I'll take that". On the contrary. Facts existed, the only decision I had to make was to accept or reject it. There are some facts that are very uncomfortable that I had to come to terms with...but such is the way in reality. I can hope and wish all I want there is no war in the world, but the truth is war exists. I can either turn off the tv news about it or I can watch it with intent interest in finding out what's going on.


Originally posted by Prote
I don't know what any of this means.


Sorry, I'll try to reposition better.


Originally posted by Prote
Mensa tell me my IQ is high so why do these statements feel empty?


Congrats on that recognition
. My neighbor's father (who also believes in God) has gotten that recognition as well and his statments in conversations are always two and three steps ahead.


Originally posted by Prote
Dialogue? but you don't speak to/with him or hear him. What dialogue are you speaking of?


A very unconventional one. When you talk to a friend typically it goes something like this. You sit down on the couch with tea/coffee or whatever. One person makes a statement or asks a question. The other person makes their statement or asks a question, and on and on.

This conversation works differently (from what I know, though it is documented to happening similarly above). There are ways to speak to Him through prayer, talking to Him, talking about Him, even thinking about Him. God being God who knows your heart and thoughts doesn't need you to go through these motions per say, but it does help us communicate and understand what it is we wish to communicate. Then there's the other end, He to us. It is certainly possible for there to be an expected, immediate response though this was often not the case for me. It can come direct from Him via feeling, statement but again isn't a majority case for me. Usually it's an indirect discovery/exploratory method such as reading the Word, talking to other believers who have Him on their hearts & minds, and even events that happen in our day lives like an action-reaction effect and analysis thereof. Again, tough to explain but will try to expand...but am out of text for this post. More to come....



posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 11:52 AM
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Originally posted by Prote
Whoa! Slow down a second please.


Sorry, certainly.


Originally posted by Prote
This is about as far as I get in any conversation trying to get a handle on this subject and then I just switch off. You're just saying what the bible says.


... um...yeah, that's the hope. And thank you for the compliment. Perhaps it would help if I gave the history between me and The Bible. I used to hate the Book. Seriously. I'd get very angry because it didn't seem to make any sense. By the second or third line reading it, I'd get angry and throw the Book. Post-God discovery, I was directed back to the Book. I didn't want to go there. But, apparently I was asking a lot of questions that had already been answers. Voila! Indeed I was. I even bumped scripture up with God. "Hey God! Says here that this and this and this. Did some guy add that in? I don't get it". Within days or weeks, I got got it through the mechanism He wished to communicate it. Sometimes I felt like a real idiot for not seeing it before, but was grateful to get the solution to that which for me was a puzzle.


Originally posted by Prote
I accept that you believe what it says but you cannot expect me to understand the true meaning of this statement. It just looks like assumptions to me. I am happy to discuss the actuall bible and it's writings but I'm trying to get a grip on how it all links together.


Sure thing. Some people find God through the Bible, but I went the opposite order.


Originally posted by Prote
How would an atheist get from his original state to being a practising christian?, or any other religion for that matter.


I am totally into these questions. They're wonderfully complex and deep. I don't think I've been this activated like this in quite some time. I cannot speak to any other religions since they were a "no show" when I'd invited them to the party, nor do I have any need/desire to defend them. The difficulty I have with this question is the context is all atheists are the same. Further, it seems to direct that the answer would require all atheists to go through "the same process". I've found God to be magnificiently creative and effective in His ability to soften the hearts of even a murder. If you asked me to do the same, despite my technique, I would fail miserably. In fact, I fail miserably to soften the hearts of people at all! I can use tricks like empathy, sympathy, persuasion and such but that only penetrates the surface for a very short while. God on the other-hand in a moments notice can reach down so far and make such a huge change that it affects their forever. Wow! THAT is absolute power!

By what mechanism does He do this? Probably different per person but I'll tell you the one He used for me. He let me have what I asked for knowing full well that when I get it I'd hate it. In effect, "This is what you want instead of Me? Go for it." And I did, and I paid. What I wanted looked at me and said, "You need to see to belive? Here I am, now worship me". When I saw it for what it was and refused, that's when I ran to God and gave Him the reigns. "God, I know I can't do this without you, I've tried. I know that what I want ultimately leads to self-destruction. Save me so that I can learn the right way".


Originally posted by Prote
Just like every other human, I have had moments or even sustained periods of time where I didn't think I would make it. Yes I had to dig deep but no God has ever come to give me a helping hand


On the contrary, he has not ever come to give you a helping hand in the way you expected. Firstly, we have to stop expecting things to happen our way and let Him make things happen His way in our lives. U2U for detailed discussion. Much too long of a tangent for here.


Originally posted by Prote
and the notion that the creator of our universe would pick me up and dust me down is bizarre.


Hehe, sounds that way yes.


Originally posted by Prote
You had some sort of moment of clarity or some religious epiphany, as many others seem to have so what was it that convinces you all so much that what happened was indeed, the work of God? Wheres the connection?


Not only that instance, but recurring instances (see miracles and probabilities) and above all, a daily personal relationship. It's like asking a husband of 30 years whether or not he thinks his wife loves him. By that time, there shouldn't be any doubt.


Originally posted by Prote
If your only answer is "You just know", then thats it I guess.


That's only 1 piece of it. When dealing with a skeptic like myself, that's not enough.


Originally posted by Prote
Please, contain yourself to a sensible level if you can. These are loooong posts.


It's my favorite topic and really really like the questions.


Originally posted by Prote
The question was: Why do you refer to God as him? this doesn't answer it. English does have gender neutral words , like it. I ask this question because my current concept of God is more like energy than a person or being. Your perception seems to be like a person. I am looking to you because you know god and would therefore be able to communicate to me a reasonable perceived interpretation of God.


I'd rather use Sie or Hir, but again that's confusing. I don't like "it" to be candid because "it" also describes rocks, my toenails, and such. Very difficult to say I have a personal relationship with It. Sounds like an oxymoron or unreturned.


Originally posted by Prote
You believe in the Devil?


Does a person need to believe if they've already seen? Discussion for U2U, off topic here.


Originally posted by Prote
Do all Christians and branches of believe this?


I don't know what all branches entails, but I can say Christ spoke to the Devil, so if you follow Christ, you should know the Devil too exists.


Originally posted by Prote
Again, how do you know this. Is this because it is said in the bible?


No, I wish it were the case for me.


Originally posted by Prote
I'm not familiar with this, can you post a link?


Surely: www.biblegateway.com...:1-20;&version=31;

Also the first commandment is: "You shall have no other gods before me." - Exodus 20:3

There are many many more. Worshipping things other than God was a HUGE problem in the Old Testament and still clung on a bit in the New.


Originally posted by Prote
Huh! I didn't expect this statement. This was similar to one of my many old beliefs but I wouldn't have thought you would entertain such a notion. This was the thinking that had saved me, more than once in my youth.


I'm glad to hear it had brought you rescue, though am not sure why it's a surprise. I'm good for it though and will talk more about it if you like.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD." - Isaiah 55:8


Originally posted by Prote
This makes me think you really aren't sure.


I will never stake claim to know all the ways God moves and communicates. I'm limited to only my experiences, study and understanding thereof. I can however, direct you to One who does have all the answers. I would stake claim that I do a poor job describing before doubting my certainty though.


Originally posted by Prote
Of course, without them you shrivel and die.


Yes. Spiritually this is true. Sometimes physically too when weakened.

Cool cool cool! Moving on to the next...


[edit on 27-9-2006 by saint4God]



posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 12:33 PM
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Originally posted by Prote
No. No. No. You have proof only that the ball will drop from previously observed results. I can let you assume that God exists and that God created the system. If you make many more assumptions, you will get so far off course, you'll be lost.


All hypothesis are an assumption until testing. Once testing they become validated. That validation changes hypothesis into law. This is the heart of the scientific method. Now I don't think someone can prove God through the scienfic method but you can apply the principles to help understand God. I agree though that we should not make false assumption, but am trying to template a mechanism for trust.


Originally posted by Prote
So let's say God created the system. Why would you then assume that he is in control of the ball?


Is that different than assuming it will fall before it does?


Originally posted by Prote
Gravity makes the ball drop.


We describe gravity but cannot see it. Such is true with God as well.


Originally posted by Prote
OK, so God created Gravity. That's still ok, it still doesn't prove he is in control of the ball, only in control of the created system, which in this case is gravity.


True, but what's your explanation for the ball hanging in the air? Gravity says it should fall. Miracle example.


Originally posted by Prote
But How? The gap here is getting to that acceptance. You can't just make stuff up willy nilly like assuming a higher power is in charge and then drawing further conclusions based on this wild assumption.


I agree. It would be very unscientific to do so. But, what happens when the systems break down and they no longer make sense? Further, we start to see a patter of the things that don't make scientific sense. We call it "weird, phenomena, etc." Then, the pattern starts to form a picture and the picture turns into a whole that is greater than science. But, I agree we should not rely soley on the breakdown of science, this is merely one piece of the picture.


Originally posted by Prote
What happens when you have these "awakenings"?


I cannot speak for the experiences for others. Some say it is gradual, for me it was spontaneous. Physically every muscle in my body when relaxed. I remember smiling and tears. I was laying down at the time. All the "noise" in my head stopped, because a calm peaceful silence. Every reason for anger left me. The air tasted like I had been holding my breath under water, it was fresh and full. I no longer "shook" from stress, nervousness and fear which consumed me for seven days. Emotionally and spiritually there were a lot of shifts as well. Mentally I'd described a bit before.


Originally posted by Prote
Would you pick up the bible and suddenly believe the stories to be true?


I've heard that had happened to some, but I didn't want to pick up a Bible right away. I wanted to continue that experience, change and personal relationship. It wasn't until I started bugging with all the questions that I was steered to the Book. Much to my surprise when I did though, I could write pages upon pages about a single chapter, whereas before my vision would be blurred, eyes would jump around the page and I'd get angry and throw it. It was the opposite this time around. All the words made sense, like going from an old staticy television to Plasma HDTV. It was that sharp. I was in awe and could not get enough.


Originally posted by Prote
How do you throw all logic out of the window and add such a thing into how you perceive the world works?


Faith requires a momentary trust that there's something greater than mankind's thinking/understanding.


Originally posted by Prote
If I were to accept God or Christianity into my life, does it mean believing all of the stuff that has seemed so ridiculous to me up to now?


This change did not mean I'd given up who I was, all I thought and all I knew. In fact, I have more freedom to be myself, not less, because I no longer have the things that weighed me down such as: fear, anger, resentment, etc. I did not forget things, rather added a great deal of knowledge to them. I learned great benefit to doing the right thing and the rewards thereof enabling me to do so much more with my life than constantly making big mistakes. I still make mistakes, but am better to learn and change with great agility. I've also learned how to avoid making big mistakes as well. I doubt (but don't know) that you're thinking will change in an instance other than going from not believing in God, father of Christ to now believing in Him. Certainly possible but wasn't the case for me.


Originally posted by Prote
How would this assumptive line of thinking continue? Even if I thought it was odd and followed it. Would I not really see because my heart would be half in it or would it start to make sense. Seeing some sense in the sludge...so to speak.


Okay, let me add a little more to describe. For me, I did not believe a great deal in trust. I had to do what I thought was right then hope it was scripturally sound. When it was and was scriptually sound I believed it was correct. If I had done something I thought was right but was by God's Word wrong, then guess what? Consequence. Immersed in that consequence, it was a bitter pill I had to swallow to realize "hey (my name here), you don't know what you're doing and see the result". Fine, I then learned the Book was right after all, changed and it was clear as day it was right all along. I can provide specifics if you'd like.

Advanced approach. Now when I read scripture, I trust that what it says is correct (because it passed all trial & error on my part in the past on unrelated issues) and apply it. BINGO! Right the first time. I trust, then apply then verify. That's the smart way to do it but in most instances it took this hard-headed witness over a decade to figure that out. I'm merely hoping to help others save all the time...and consequences.


Originally posted by Prote
No, I would not say that was impossible but I see your point. My own point (or difficulty in understanding) is becoming recurring. If I dropped a ball and it hung in mid air, I would ponder what I had witnessed. I would likely come up with half a dozen explanations and none of them would be the one you mention. So my recurring issue is how this bridge is made. Why would we both witness the exact same event and your factual conclusion would never occur to me at all, despite accepting that God may have made the system.


Perhaps not right away. But, after going through the science checklist and crossing things off, your mind will begin to wonder what happened. Suppose nothing further at that moment would happen except a moment of wondering what really happened. Then, an unrelated albeit remarkable thing happens. My next question is how many of these occurrences have to happen before there is some kind of curiosity towards what is going on in the grand scheme of things?

I'm leaving out an important element in these examples. Supposing the hovering of that ball saved someone's life when they were certain to die.


Originally posted by Prote
Could this event be proof for some people?


I believe (my opinion) is that faith is proportional to the amount of evidence necessary to be compelling. Using myself as an example. I was (and to some degree still am, just not as much) weak in faith because I require constant proofs. I keep chalking things up to "chance" when by probability it has been disproven time and time again.


Originally posted by Prote
No, don't worry. Before she dropped most of her religious thought processes, she mentioned it would have offended her. It was the reasons she gave that caught my attention. I was interested in your response to it.


Glad there wasn't great concern over it. I am a minister but not an Ordained Minister. I'm a preacher but not a church Preacher. Though I did not give myself the title, it describes who I am.


Originally posted by Prote
I hope the tone of some of my questions or responses haven't crossed any lines, apologies if they have or do, offence is not intended.


None at all and please don't worry about offending. If I get offended by geniune curiosity, then what's that say about the integrity of what I'm talking about?


Originally posted by Prote
Some questions I may have will be very basic as I have very little knowledge of religion at all so I am not coming at this from a skeptics point of view.


I'd say skeptic yes, but cynic no. Cynics have an aim to destroy, whereas skeptics have the aim to be shown. As a skeptic myself, I can certainly understand where you're coming from.


Originally posted by Prote
I am coming from the point of view of someone that had never been exposed to any kind of religion.


Never hurts to learn I think, the trouble is committing without knowing why and/or to something potentially dangerous.


Originally posted by Prote
I don't have a specific problem with Christianity, I don't understand any of them. Only parts of Dowism and Buddhism make any sense at all and then only parts. Yet I grapple with the notion that 5.5 out of 6 billion people subscribe to one religion or another unquestionably and I find it perplexing to say the least.


I'm not a fan of numbers telling me how to think and act. They're a useful tool to make sense of the environment at times, but I'm more concerned about the truth than polls or tallies.

Awesome stuff! What's next?!


[edit on 27-9-2006 by saint4God]



posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 12:51 PM
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Originally posted by shaunybaby
The main differences between non-believers and believers is the way in which we think. However, saying that, in the same way I have strong opinions about evolution, Saint4God has strong opinions about God.


The reasons behind our opinions is different though, as you've explained here:


Originally posted by shaunybaby
In Saint's mind, no amount of evidence against God will persuade him to change his mind. The reason being that he's spoken to God, feels God and knows there is a God. When a person has reached this point in his/her life, there's really not much way back from here.

We've got Saint telling us he's held conversations with the devine creator of everything in the universe and more.


I think this is an accurate assessment and appreciate it.


Originally posted by shaunybaby
Now if this is true, then I may as well believe that 'John Edwards' the medium guy, really does contact dead relatives in a TV studio. Afterall, why would either of them lie?


I agree we should question the motivations of those staking claims. Rather than going into a rather lengthy dissertation about the difference between myself and 'John Edwards', one evidence is clear. One of us is on TV making money, the other is not. Need we go on?


Originally posted by shaunybaby
Maybe conciously neither of them would lie. However, can you push yourself to believe something, and believe it so much, that you just know it's real?


I'd say no. Eventually even if you do try to convince yourself through whatever means be it self-hyptnosis or whathaveyou, reality has a way of breaking through. For example, if you ever get a chance to listen to the women who are convinced polygamy is right, you can see their eyes, voice, word choice, etc. which often shows they're not convinced deep down. But for sake of discussion will go along with the idea that it's possible to be completely self-convinced dissillusioned.


Originally posted by shaunybaby
In Saint's case, therefore he really is talking to God. And in John Edward's case, perhaps he really believes he's contacting dead people. There's only three different answers to this.. 1) They're telling the truth. 2) They're lying. 3) They're dissillusioned.


With you so far.


Originally posted by shaunybaby
In John Edwards case, I would say he's in the 'they're lying' group. He knows he can't really contact the dead, but he plays on people's emotions, and plays on this role as medium to exploit people, so he can have a TV show and make money. If he truely had such a gift, then he would not exploit it.


Bingo



Originally posted by shaunybaby
In Saint's case, he would be either number one or number three. So either Saint's right, and I'm most likely going to hell,


Just to be clear, I don't determine that. It would be foolish of me to say I know for certain one way or the other. All I can do is provide assistance to those who do want to know for certain themselves.


Originally posted by shaunybaby
or he's so far gone that he's made himself believe all this and is merely in a dissilusioned state that makes him believe all of this is real, and makes himself believe he holds conversations with the almightey creator.


Test me.


Originally posted by shaunybaby
I know which number Saint thinks he is.


Surely.


Originally posted by shaunybaby
Although a person that was a number three, would obviously say they're a number one.


By definition a true statement.


Originally posted by shaunybaby
And you can't really admit to being dissilusioned, because once you admit that, then you're no longer dissilusioned.


Also true. But, you can determine if someone is dillusional. They begin to fail the tests. The only successful ones who are dillusional are the ones who are not properly tested to determine.

Here's an example: www.youtube.com...

[edit on 27-9-2006 by saint4God]



posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 05:46 PM
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Originally posted by saint4God
I agree we should question the motivations of those staking claims. Rather than going into a rather lengthy dissertation about the difference between myself and 'John Edwards', one evidence is clear. One of us is on TV making money, the other is not. Need we go on?


I think it's important to note, that it's also exploiting people too, along the lines of those faith healing rallys. And both of these acts are very profitable. I'm sure Mr.Edwards sleeps pretty comfy, and the donations come flooding in at those rallys. The fact that these acts exploit people for money, makes it that much harder to believe it's anything but a sham.


Originally posted by saint4God
I'd say no. Eventually even if you do try to convince yourself through whatever means be it self-hyptnosis or whathaveyou, reality has a way of breaking through. But for sake of discussion will go along with the idea that it's possible to be completely self-convinced dissillusioned.


I think a good example would be Dr. Kent Hovind. Then again is he truly dissilusional, maybe he knows what he's up to, and is profitting greatly from putting such beliefs and thoughts out there. I really like his dinoland thing, where humans lived with dinosaurs 4,000-something years ago. That's when religion goes too far. Honestly who is that helping, other than helping to line Dr. Hovind's pockets.


Originally posted by saint4God
Just to be clear, I don't determine that. It would be foolish of me to say I know for certain one way or the other. All I can do is provide assistance to those who do want to know for certain themselves.


True. You might not determine that. But, I'm pretty sure that unless I accept Jesus as my savior I'm off to dance with the Devil.

So directly or indirectly, your belief, if you're right, would mean I go to hell.


Originally posted by saint4God
Test me.


Not quite sure exactly how it could possibly be tested. You can talk all day about disscusions you've had with God or miracles that you've witnessed, read about, heard about and so on. However, none of this means anything to me, or to a person that hasn't experienced it for themselves.

I thought that was the whole point of faith, that it can't be tested? Hence, it's not a science. You can't put a miracle in a lab and study it. A miracle by definition is a freak occurance, a one-off, something that happens despite great odds against it happening etc. Hence, it can't be tested. So how would I test you?



posted on Sep, 28 2006 @ 12:34 AM
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I hope you continue to enjoy saint. I will upset you (or someone) at some point. But all in the name of honesty, free speech and denying ignorance.


Originally posted by saint4god
Kinda. I was contemplating ending it all and did something very stupid. By doing that stupid thing I sought escape from it, trying anything and everything until God had put an end to it with my plead for Him to do so.

So he didn't come to you at all, you were desperate, you gave up and begged him to come and save you. Is it possible that you felt your only way out was suicide so God occured to you as the only alternative option and your subconcious forced a certain change of perception as your primeval survival instinct kicked in to protect you. After all, the only way was up. Even a slight positive perception shift due to the circumstances and the fact that you pleaded to God, self reinforcement (personal proofs) start to come bundling forward. Only it's no miracle, it's basic psychology. It's a defence mechanism. You'll be amazed what happens chemically when you are not only low but trapped, psychologically caged, cornered. Is it not remotely possible that your experience can have an alternative explanation other than the conclusion you have drawn?




Thirdly is temporal reconciliation. When I ask, it stopped.

I suppose without knowing your personal story, this doesnt make sense to me. Im not asking for more detail, just pointing out that I have no way of knowing what you asked, what stopped and how.



Fourthly, I was infused(?) with a total internal change spiritually and immediately.

I've had moments like this. Why didn't I think God was involved? This on it's own is not enough? or the detail surrounding the "epiphany" may be different?


Fifthly I went from unknowing to knowing.

What sort of things did you know that you didn't previously?


Lastly, that was not the one and only occurrance but is rather validated throughout the years by additional happings. Hard to describe.

No, I think I understand you. I recognise this behaviour but again, you have made a leap of faith where I didn't. Those leaps of faith are the key. I don't know if it is possible to understand without embracing.



I'd like to use an analogy if I may... , because he didn't come down, fix my clothes, cut my hair and say "you look good kid" and send me on my way. Picture you're having a hard...life. You're an oprhan. Everything seems to end in failure, it's all your fault, you cannot and will not believe anything unseen, with no hope, no future, where you wish yourself and everyone around you would just die. Then on top of it all, someone breaks into the abandoned warehouse while you were asleeps, then next thing you know he's is chasing you with a gun saying that he's going to kill you and there's nothing you can do about it. So figuring your fate is sealed, you run. When you do, you find a policeman on the corner so you ask him for help. The one chasing you with the gun sees the officer and takes off running. The police officer takes you into the barracks, sets up a cot and tells you you'll be safe there. He tells you, "you have a bright hope and future here. I'll teach you many things that will help you grow each day. You'll have a job protecting and serving others." Suddenly the life that seemed useless now has hope. There is a greater plan and you are a part of it. Each day he shows you the ways of being a police officer.

This was a physical example, but if you can template that onto a spiritual level as well as integrate it with some personal physical events, it'd be pretty close to being on-par.

I appreciate the analogy and it makes sense, only in that I understand your point. However, I would point out that it's one thing to think the policeman is some kind of hero, but to start thinking he is God? OK, it was a physical analogy for a spiritual happening, but although I see the moral of the story, I can relate to it because it has logic. There is reasoning behind the faith. i.e. the orphan was saved by something tangible, was spoken to. So my little head can cope with that, relate and empathise. Understanding the premise doesn't explain the intangible. I realise now it is probably not possible. There may also be a good reason for that but interesting hearing your view all the same.



in alignment to scripture.

Can you elaborate on what kind of things? That sounds interesting.



Yes, but not through the ears. It's more like straight through the head.

huh!


Sounds odd even as I look at what I've written.

OK. You understand. Phew.



and you are sure it was HIM. No-one else? How can you be so sure?
At the time there was no doubt.

I'm not surprised!





Years later since I hadn't had anything like it in quite a while, I did wonder. Was it because of this? Or that? Or this factor? Maybe it was my own mind? Etc. During that time I kept up with regular physicals, bloodwork, EEG, EKG and so forth because of a sports competition program. All tests came up normal.

I'm not surprised you questioned it either. IMO, it was the natural progression. Things were better now, your defence mechanisms were probably lowering their guard. You were stronger, that's what it's about, inner strength. You had more of that now and if God was your vehicle, that's ok, but instead of moving on, it is safer to stay with this safety net for fear of slipping to where you were. As a result, you know the truth and need to keep it. Anything else may be setback or if you let it go, what happens if you fall? Tell me this is nonsense?



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