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The Delusional Christian Experience

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posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 08:25 PM
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I hear this a lot when people try to explain away the revolutionary change Christ has brought in people's lives, and their experience with Him and coming to know Him. Some have even gone so far as to call all Christians insane for their experiences. There is a lot of this kind of dismissal of people's experiences here at ATS, and I'd like to explain why it's incorrect. I'd also like y'all to probe into the motivation of believing and speaking this dismissal. People don't go up to people who have Downs Syndrome and say, "you're retarded", but they will go up to a Christian and say, "you're insane."

In every subjective experience, such as what many Christians profess to have, there is an objective reality behind it. To use an example Josh McDowell does, say there's a track runner who puts a stewed tomato in his shoe before he runs a race. He does this because every time he puts the tomato in his shoe, he runs a 10 second 100 yard dash, and he says it's brought him peace, love and happiness. If he runs the 100 in 10 seconds, it's hard to argue with his experience. McDowell proposes two questions to test the reality of this subjective experience. First, What is the objective reality of the subjective experience, and second, how many other people have had a similar subjective experience from the same objective experience?

In this case, the answer to the first question would be the tomato. The answer to the second question would be that no others have experienced the same thing.

If we apply this to Christians, the answer to what is the objective reality of the subjective experience, the answer would be Jesus Christ. How many have had similar experiences based on that reality? Millions upon millions upon millions, since the first century! People from all nations, all background, broken or wholesome, and all professions, have experienced similar subjective experiences based on the objective reality of Christ. If it's a delusion, it's one that knows no bounds except the person of Jesus Christ.

What delusion can change people's lives so dramatically? In closing, I'd like to quote from "Why is Christianity True?" (Mullens, E.Y.: Christian Culture Press, 1905.)


A redeemed drunkard, with vivid memory of past hopeless struggles and new sense of power through Christ, was replying to the charge that "his religion was a delusion." He said: "Thank God for the delusion; it has put clothes on my children and shoes on their feet and bread in their mouths. It has made a man of me and it put joy and peace in my home, which had been a hell. If this is a delusion, may God send it to the slaves of drink everywhere, for their slavery is an awful reality." (pp.294-295)




posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 08:41 PM
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A life changing experiance is not a delusion, regardless of where that life changing experiance comes from.

I'm a Spiritual Anarchist but I still have to admit that religion does change the lives of people. It turns most to a higher purpose but does occasional turn someone into a fanatic. Spirituality is a path that each of us must walk in our own way. It's a covenant between ourself and our creator.

There is nothing delusional about it, regardless of the path you have chosen to walk.

Love and light,

Wupy



posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 10:04 PM
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I am sorry for being so frank mrwuppy, but what exactly is a spiritual anarchist? Does it mean you are an anarchist practicing a particular religion? I just never heard anyone use that term to describe themselves. Please don't feel like I am insulting or attacking you, I am honestly intrigued and asking out of curiousity.



posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 10:11 PM
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Is it dellusional for me to think that people will stop putting non-conspiratorial threads in Conspiracies in Religion without me having to take harsh and drastic measures?

Will the world first have to have a spiritual awakening?

Tell me, what is it going to take?

Yes, this is now being moved to BTS.



posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 10:39 PM
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Originally posted by mrwupy
A life changing experiance is not a delusion, regardless of where that life changing experiance comes from.


But why does Christ transform so many lives so similarly where no other objective reality has the same impact? Sure, there are exceptions, people radically change their lives after reading a book, going through a 12 step program, etc. but people consistantly change so many fascets of their being when they come to Christ. From Saul of Tarsus to Minkayi of the Auca and so many in between. All revolutionary changes, all focused around Christ.


Originally posted by Thomas Crowne
Tell me, what is it going to take?

Christ?



posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 11:35 PM
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Originally posted by junglejake
People don't go up to people who have Downs Syndrome and say, "you're retarded", but they will go up to a Christian and say, "you're insane."


It's unfortunate this board prohibits profanity asshole, because you have earned it with this one remark.

...willingly takes whatever the mods dish out for that comment.



posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 11:46 PM
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Really? You think it is just that easy, say what you want and take a tap on the hand?
Thanks for the heads up. Due to the differing titration levels, responses must be adjusted to the individual.



posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 11:54 PM
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Originally posted by spamandham

Originally posted by junglejake
People don't go up to people who have Downs Syndrome and say, "you're retarded", but they will go up to a Christian and say, "you're insane."


It's unfortunate this board prohibits profanity [bad man], because you have earned it with this one remark.


I don't follow... What was it that I said that was so offensive? I was pointing out that either people who say that Christians who have these experiences are insane don't really believe it, or they believe some mental disorders are acceptable to make fun of. If someone truly believed that Christians had a mental disorder that was causing their experiences, would they throw that in their faces as an insult? In some of the cases where I've heard this, maybe, but in others, I know the person well enough to know they would never respond to someone with a real mental disorder in such a way.

Sorry it upset you so much; I hope it was just a misunderstanding. If not, could you explain why pointing this dichotomy out was so wrong?



posted on Feb, 21 2006 @ 01:30 AM
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Man JJ what did you do to offend spamandham? I didnt read anything offensive in that statement...



I wanted to edit this to tell Mr. Crown I had given too many chances to cheesecake. I have to "Just say no" to the beloved delicacy we all love in all of its different forms, the cheesecake!


[edit on 21-2-2006 by LoneGunMan]



posted on Feb, 22 2006 @ 11:11 AM
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junglejake,

Why is spamandham upset? If I were to guess I would say it is because he tires of ignorance. But in this case, it is not the theological issue which bothers him.

Down's Syndrome is not a mental disorder. It is a genetic disorder. Calling a person with Trisomy 21 retarded serves only one purpose-- to make somebody feel bad. No matter how many times a person or their family is reminded they have Down's Syndrome, they will always have Down's Syndrome. No amount of name calling, counselling or medication will ever change the fact. They will always be who they are.

Compare this to a mental disorder such as depression or audial/visual psychosis. Such mental disorders have treatments through counselling and/or medication. Calling a person with such a condition insane may be the shock required that allows them to consider things with a clearer head. A clearer head which may recognize the problem and seek the help they need.

I would not hesitate to tell a loved one going through a psychotic episode or despression they are insane if I believed the use of the language would assist them in their return to normality. If I believed spiritual experiences to be classed as a mental disorder, then I would do the same. Calling my son retarded would never serve a useful purpose.

There really is no comparison. If you believe there is, then I too am offended.



posted on Feb, 22 2006 @ 11:34 AM
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I already explained my intent in making that statement.

What is it about the Christian experience that causes such similar subjective experiences throughout the world? Why should they be dismissed? Why shouldn't they be dismissed? What rational do people have to simply dismiss these life changing experiences as delusional or even psychotic? This is what the discussion goal of this thread is.

What are your thoughts on that, Raphael_UO? LoneGunMan? Thomas Crowne? Anyone else?



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 08:37 AM
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Originally posted by junglejake
What are your thoughts on that, Raphael_UO?


There are so many variations of the "Christian Experience" that it is difficult to comment on such a blanket statement.

When I consider a Christian Experience, I primary think about the emotional catharsis which occurs. This is the (secondary) cause of the joy felt after finding God. Such a release and purification of emotions is neither insane nor unhealthy.

Now when you consider other experiences, such as audial and visual manifestations, you cross into an area that tend to raise the issue of sanity. Not all Christian Experiences are accompanied by these occurances. Those that are are seldom identical in description. These are more like the stewed tomato as not everyone has them. Are these signs of a mental disorder? They could be, but not by themselves. If one would go through the DSM-IV (big book of mental disorders) they would find that very few people, non-christians included, do not have one or more symptoms which could lead to a diagnosis of a mental disorder. But, such a diagnosis is only made if the person has an inability to live what is considered a normal life.

Is a Christian insane? If they can live a "normal life" without medication or counselling then the answer is no.

Now the use of the word insane also has another meaning. It is often used when something is considered absurd. People who have never had a "Christian Experience" find it difficult to understand and relate to that experience. This is more often than not the usage of the word when one claims that a Christian is insane.



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 01:07 PM
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Heh. I doubt anyone who follows a deity is nuts. If it gives their life meaning, then who are you to say that's wrong? If I may take a line from Yeats.

"But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 03:54 PM
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Im not quite sure what the point of this thread is but heres my 10 cents.
Some Christians may find my opinions to be delusional and vice verser.
However attacking someone elses beliefs only hardens there beliefs. So if you want to have a christian experiance thats fine by me as long as you dont expect me to subscribe to your beliefs.

Can you even say that there is a christian experiance ?
After there seems to be a of differnt branches of christanty.



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 05:50 PM
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i think believing any religion that claims to be the 1 and only way is dillussional to some degree. that's probably because i'm too scientific...

anyway, i find that people may not be dillussional when they have the whole "born again speaking in tongues shaking hands with god" experience, but they may be in denial, though dillusion MAY have something to do with it. it's mostly people faking it to gain acceptance. especially if it's in a church that has a foodcourt, is worth more than $2 million (and is less than 100 years old) without property value factoring in, and whose patrons have an average incom greater than or equal to that of a small nation.

those are the people that really make people doubt the "christian experience"



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 07:11 PM
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People don't go up to people who have Downs Syndrome and say, "you're retarded", but they will go up to a Christian and say, "you're insane."

I only get 2 possible scenerios out of this. Either (Downs syndrome is to retarded as Christian is to insane) or (retarded is to insane as Downs syndrome is to Christianity)

If that is your point, then I absolutely agree



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 09:06 PM
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There is other things that go on with a Christian experience:
The mind feeling like you are on another understanding level.
The experiences of healing or overcoming things where God could only do.
The way the Bible opens like a computer game, the secrets reveal as they do with prophecy as you reach the next level. Its designed that way to open as you read.
The interaction with God.

Yes I know for me anyway God exists but you have to find a way to do so. I have had experiences that I could write a book about and guess what I will not share it, its an individual thing not a worldly matter, you find God not find me.

Just read Joel, The Day of the Lord, 2:28 to 32

There will be a revelation to the people of God before he come back before the end of days.

But I'm just one witness of this positive vibe and the rest all sound the same without even copying each other as I had not and went in ignorantly.



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 10:46 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
i think believing any religion that claims to be the 1 and only way is dillussional to some degree. that's probably because i'm too scientific...


Think about it from an analytical perspective, then. If a leader of a nation says, "Follow my laws", but one of his subjects says, "I have my own laws and they're not yours", is that subject's law going to be honored by the leader?


it's mostly people faking it to gain acceptance.


Do you ever feel like you have to fake something to be accepted by a group of people? Do you feel you have to be someone you're not when you're out in public for fear of being rejected? Christ came here for the liars, the cheats, the thieves and the murders. He didn't come to hold and accept the righteous, he came here for us, for all of us who fall short of who we want to be. You don't have to be rejected, there is a God who loves you just for who you are. He loves you even now, as you reject Him, and He wants you to just reach out and accept this gift He's holding out to you. You don't have to hide anymore. Come out and be free in Christ.



posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 08:18 AM
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I do believe that there is a natural freedom that comes with existence. That freedom is basically a unity that binds the entire universe. This unity has been shown mathematically (I believe) in string theory as the membrane to which all matter and energy in the universe are connected. (See my signature for the rest of my opinion)



posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 09:39 AM
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Originally posted by Rasobasi420
That freedom is basically a unity that binds the entire universe.


Where's the freedom in that?



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