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The Bible: A book for all types

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posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 09:01 PM
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There are many different views you can take for the bible. For example, if you take it liberally you might call conservative/fundamentalist/orthodox Christians Pharisees. But if you are of the second kind, you might accuse liberal Christians of having itching ears and no longer listening to sound doctrine. Or if you are mystical, you might say both have it wrong and Jesus meant that we are all God based on what he said about the kingdom of heaven. Or maybe you are a conspiracy theorist when it come to the bible: that it was written to control people. Or maybe plain atheism: that it was a book of myths needed by primitive people to explain the world. You get the picture.

Which slant do you take and why?

I actually went from an atheist to an orthodox. I didn't believe the bible at all, then I started suspecting it was a scheme to control people. Then I had a religious experience that made me all mystical. After coming to my terms with my experience I started believing that, at the very least, the crucifixion is true. But when I read the bible I fell into the common interpretation that forgiveness was more important than repentance, and that people talking about sin and all that were Pharisees who didn't understand "judge not". But then as I became more close to the bible, I actually read what they were saying, and it is scripturally sound. I realize my liberal interpretation was because of my ideals of pluralism and postmodernism, which is why I didn't have any stand against sin, but instead would foolishly believe that anyone speaking against sin should be silenced by saying "judge not".

But as I read, I finally understood what they were saying, and I feel it is the only way to re-council the fact that God is the same God of the old testament, what Jesus said about repentance and that we must be more righteous than Pharisees, what John said about how if we sin we cannot claim to know God, About Paul and what he wrote. About James when he said good works are a sign of faith, etc. I came to realize that while the civil and priestly codes of the OT were changed, the moral codes have not. Homosexuality is still a bad thing, adulterers are still wrong, fornicators, boasters, revilers, sorcerers, and liars and thieves, among other things, are still going to experience the wrath of God. That is what the scriptures say, and no amount of political correctness can change that. When I was a liberal Christian I would ignore parts of the bible because I didn't understand it, but when I joined it together, I see the fundamentalists are just trying to synthesize the whole scripture and not only views that agree with the philosophy of the society they were raised in.

What really got to me was that "judge not" was misunderstood when I was liberal. We are told to judge fairly and righteously. We are told to warn people about sin, etc, not just ignore it. Hate the sin but love the sinner and all that. Another thing got me is this: when I was liberal I thought that the reason Jesus came was because the Jewish law was all wrong. But really what was wrong was that they stopped following it. They in fact stoned the prophets who told them to repent and follow God's law. I can't help but notice the similarity: fundamentalists are called all sorts of names like "bigot" and they are accused of being pharisees for taking any serious stand against sin. I think of how Jesus said that blessed are all who are persecuted for His sake and how the world is in darkness and does not want to walk in the light.

Anyway, that is my story. What is yours?




posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 09:09 PM
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reply to post by 547000
 


if your faith and belief give you peace and joy, it doesn't matter what others think about yours. who is the wiser? the person who lives happily believing that he is going to a better place when he dies? or the person who knows there is nothing after death, and lives a bitter lonely existence. yah, extreme case, i know. but who's to say what is right or wrong, or what one should believe.



posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 09:09 PM
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I've always considered the Bible to be a book of stories meant to instill good values on the future generations, much like Aesop's Fables. The problems arise when people either take the scriptures too literally or apply their teachings without discretion.

Do we really need "God" to know that killing, stealing, cheating, and otherwise destroying our fellow peoples is wrong?
edit on 29-9-2011 by TurkeyTots because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 09:13 PM
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A thought provoking post! I'm strapped for time at the moment but am commenting so I can find this post later tonight and reply to it. I have a similar story, went from staunch agnostic to Christian theist. This process unfolded through a period of study, reflection, and eventually prayer. What I think is so critical, so SO critical is understanding the Christian story in light of the greater narrative. The full scope of Scripture cannot be understood as a piecemeal work but must be understood holistically. When I first came to realize the unifying truth revealed in Scripture I. Was. Blown. Away. I mean, I was shaken to the core and left staring at the floor wondering how I had missed this truth the whole time. Thank you for your post!

Regards,

Followtheevidence



posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 09:28 PM
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I was raised Catholic so I was taught that the Bible was all true. We really came from Adam and Eve. There really was a flood that wiped off most of civilization. Jesus died and in 3 days rose again. He really turned water into wine. That sort of thing. I even thought the world would end with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

When I got to about 13 I started to question priests in my head. I would listen to the Homily and I would compare the priest's beliefs with my own. Then I stopped going to Church for several months. Then I saw Passion of the Christ and cried for several hours and prayed to God how sorry I was how I've forgotten him for so long. Then I went to Church that next Sunday, which I think was Easter Sunday. I sat in the back by myself, and didn't know anyone, and when I prayed after the Eucharist I cried. After that, I stopped going to Church altogether. I'm not sure why, I just did. I would only go with my grandmothers from time to time. The last time I went to Church it was my friend who found out he had HIV, and I went with him for support. I really don't feel a need to go to Church. I feel like I understand God, and I don't really have to pray to him. But writing about this now I feel a little guilty. Blah!

As for the Bible, I read passages from time to time. I don't think I've read the whole thing since I was 16. That's when I was into the Left Behind series, and reading the Bible. That sort of thing. I think I'll read it again for sure. But I want to read some other Holy Books first. I haven't read the Qur'an nor the Bhagavad Gita. I tried reading the Bhagavad Gita but I couldn't get past all the violence in the beginning.

Anywho, as for do I think the same of the Bible as when I was a kid. Heck no! I'm not even sure Jesus rose from the dead. I'm very skeptical now. It's weird. I used to believe in miracles, but now they seem so farfetched. Why is that? Couldn't a holy person heal wounds and restore flesh? I have no idea...I know for a fact that they can't anymore, so I'm going by rational thought.



posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 09:37 PM
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reply to post by Xaberz
 


You bring up a good point. When we are young, we don't know enough about the way the world works to doubt what we're told is true. When someone says that the whole world was flooded for 40 days and 40 nights and that one guy put all the animals on a boat to save them, you don't say "pffft yeah right", you say "whoa... cool...". It's similar to thinking that Santa is actually bringing you presents on the night of Christmas Eve. It's what you're told and you don't know any better, so you believe it.

As most people age, they start to see things as they are and start becoming more skeptical. However, the stories that have been introduced as part of your childhood are usually there to stay. It takes a lot to reverse those types of thoughts.



posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 09:41 PM
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Originally posted by TurkeyTots
reply to post by Xaberz
 


You bring up a good point. When we are young, we don't know enough about the way the world works to doubt what we're told is true. When someone says that the whole world was flooded for 40 days and 40 nights and that one guy put all the animals on a boat to save them, you don't say "pffft yeah right", you say "whoa... cool...". It's similar to thinking that Santa is actually bringing you presents on the night of Christmas Eve. It's what you're told and you don't know any better, so you believe it.

As most people age, they start to see things as they are and start becoming more skeptical. However, the stories that have been introduced as part of your childhood are usually there to stay. It takes a lot to reverse those types of thoughts.


It was the opposite for me. Even as a child I was a skeptic, and I wasn't raised in a Christian background, but I had a religious experience which drew me to Christianity.



posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 09:45 PM
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reply to post by 547000
 


Yep, of course that's entirely possible, too.

But as you mentioned, it usually takes some kind of major event or experience for you to change those existing beliefs.



posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 10:58 PM
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Firstly, I would like to say that though I respect how you are attempting to draw out the opinions of others by stating your opinion in a non-confrontational way, this topic has no where to go but confrontation. Men have been arguing for millennia over the authenticity, interpretation, and implications of this book and to no real avail. Millions have lost their lives either in defence of it or at the hands of megalomaniacs defending themselves with the book's apparent intentions. Be that as it may, I will respect the thought and care you put into your OP by instilling the same effort into my return.

My journey has been precisely the mirror opposite of yours. I was raised a strict baptist. The church/school I was indoctrinated in carefully chose (based on the intent of the writer) when to interpret literally and when to interpret figuratively. I must say that those who led the way for us were incredibly learned in their field. They spent many, many years learning the original languages and translating it for themselves. Not relying solely on the translations already established, they would use their own doctoral work in concert with the well known and validated translations already in circulation. So, consequently I was brainwashed into thinking rock music was wrong, that homosexuality was a choice and damnable by hell, that god's governing attribute is his holiness over his love.

I removed myself from this influence and rebelled as it were in my late teens. I began to follow my dreams of writing rock music and began to experiment with, how shall I say, a “broader” lifestyle. For many years though, a decade in fact, the ever lingering presence of my past knowledge hovered over me as my conscience tried to rectify the many inconsistencies in my own life and in the lives of those who initially taught me this bronze-age drivel. Something had to give and as I delved in to the history and the facts behind this bible the more I realized it is a complete and utter fraud.

From the very beginning it essentially plagiarizes many myths/legends of cultures that predate it's writing. From the creation story, to the flood, to conditions of the messiah, it blatantly and callously (with no concern for the future reader who would invariably have a better perspective on it's history) assumes that first and foremost it's reader will buy it's regurgitation. There is literally nothing original in the bible at all.

Then I began to study how major ideas and doctrines were shaped, influenced and down right spawned from other cultures. For instance, a large part of the doctrine of salvation is dependant on the idea of eternal punishment. Why else would Jesus need to be the final sacrifice other than to save all of humanity from eternal damnation? Only problem is, the concept of hell doesn't predate the Babylonian captivity. While the Jews where exiled in Babylon they lifted the idea of Hades from that culture. Before that time the afterlife was the same for all both good and bad. It was Sheol. The grave. The ground. David, Solomon, and many other “founders” of Judaism never feared Hell. All they ever feared was the cursing of their names, a painful existence/death, or a swifter more disgraceful one.

Angels too, are another example of how the writers had to “up the ante” to keep pace with surrounding religions. The description, number, and necessity all increase proportionally through time.

Even the fabrications surrounding the explanation of Christ is all too fantastical. It's out and out strained. There most likely was a fanatical delusional from Nazareth wandering about the desert when the writers claim, but he was certainly not the “son of god”. The way the recorded circumstances surrounding his “virgin” birth (real original) are extravagantly manipulated points emphatically towards it's falsehoods. For instance, how would they get a man from Nazareth to be born in Bethlehem? I'll tell you how. By falsifying the story of the census. There was NEVER a census to which the people of the empire had to return to their town of birth. BUT it puts Jesus in Bethlehem and it puts him on the putting green for being in the house of David. Presto, prophesy fulfilled. The list continues by the way.



posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 10:59 PM
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But what are we REALLY after with all this rhetoric? What is it that this book REALLY means to anyone? Isn't our acceptance or refusal of it's truth or lack there of, just something we decide to better suit our current need? The OP mentioned he had a religious experience (which I would be intrigued to find out what that was and how well it fits in to a proper view of Dispensationalism) which prompted him to “open his heart” to the word. But one has to wonder, do we just need it to justify that itch in the back of our skulls that's continually makes us ask, “who's there”? Dogs don't ask that question. They ask, “what's there?” or “what's that noise?”. We as a species, for whatever NATURALISTIC reason, personalize everything. And this book helps defend it.

Or is it that we are too scared to just end in the grave or too scared to be “alone”? Are any of these reasons enough to imagine in to existence a God that would send to hell for eternity an 8 year old child because he didn't except the blood of Christ? Is it? God's holiness is greater and more important than anything and no sin can stand before him. So when the child dies after the age of self awareness and has not accepted the gift of life, then the child goes to hell FOREVER. Hmmmm.... I'm not convinced.

Many believers follow up on the scripture's claim that god has made himself apparent to man. That he has revealed himself clearly through scripture. If that were the case then why are there hundreds of religions based off the same book? Why are people willing to die for lies? Why are people willing to slaughter children and kill unborn babies in the name of a righteous and holy god?

No. Whether the bible is true or not, whether you and every other professed feeble spirited atheist converts to some form of quasi-Christianity, I refuse to accept such a loveless, heartless, totalitarian system of beliefs based on Bronze-age ideals.

“'I could never follow Stalin. He puts people in the Gulag.' That is what doubters tell themselves to rationalize their rejection of Stalin. But the truth is that Stalin does not send anyone to the Gulag. It is those who have hardened their hearts against him who send themselves to the Gulag through their bourgeois attitudes and counterrevolutionary actions. This was not Stalin's plan at all. He truly wants everyone to go to the Worker's Paradise. And it grieves him that so many harden their hearts against him. But he will not force anyone into the Worker's Paradise against their wishes, he respects their free will. So if you don't want to go to the Gulag, just open your heart to the love of Stalin. And stop resisting him.”

Your christ is not love.

In conclusion, to get back on topic, the bible is nothing to me but manipulation and fabrication.



posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 11:07 PM
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IMHO... If one word could describe what the Bible is all about it would be grace. First God's grace towards us, then we must exercise grace towards ourselves, then to others. The law kills.



posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 11:17 PM
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we are punished by our sins, not for them. one can know god while sinning, but one must understand and bear it's burden.



posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 05:17 AM
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reply to post by TheSepticSceptic
 


I experienced the miracle of invisible stigmata, so it's not helpful to convince anyone else but me, which is precisely what I asked God for. I needed an experience of my own before I could believe, and I prayed for a subjective one if an objective one was unavailable.



posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 06:18 AM
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"I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts."

Prior to Christ, God's laws were written on stone and parchment. This didnt work out so well as man is easily persuaded to disobey it. God's gift through Christ's death was that the Holy Spirit would come into man. When the Holy Spirit comes to us, he shows us what the law really is. He writes it in your heart. If one listens to God's soft guidance, through prayer and study, it leads you on the path to know God's will and laws for mankind. It opens your eyes. One delights in following God's laws and strives to follow Him.

This was His gift to His children, to lead them home. I cannot explain it in any other way. OP, "fundamentalism" is your heart knowing what God wants and approves of versus man's set of created values.



posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 06:34 AM
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reply to post by 547000
 


The only way I can describe the Bible is holographic information. It is an onion that can be peeled. There is a core truth inside with many implications in its symbolism. Many people who see the mystical side of the Bible understand that truth must be rightly divided. The Seven Rules of Hillel are the key to doing this.

All of the symbols in the Bible are meant to represent a greater significance. Here are examples.

Baptism - Immersion into the material world through the body.

Temple Veil - The veil over the mind to keep us from seeing the spirit of God directly as fact.

Faith - Seeing God apart from fact. Many more layers to this word as well, but we can connect this directly to the veil.

Water - Blood of the body. The Watering hole where souls meet and gather to drink knowledge.

Wilderness - The material world. Suffering for the development of sentience.

From here, a person can learn a great deal by knowing the symbolism of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet. Consider this article I put together on the subject. LINK

Also, consult this link. Ancient-Hebrew Pictographs

For me, one central piece of this puzzle is to answer the why of our existence and allowing the mind to see God in the proper perspective of a highly advanced intelligence and creator. Take a look at this article. The Physics of God Pay close attention to the first video at the top of the article, then read the content carefully.

God Bless.



posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 06:44 AM
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reply to post by 547000
 


I personally see the BIble as a collection of stories, an insight and view into the primitive thinking and explanations of the "unknown" some 2000+ years ago.

It contains some very common sense ideals and beliefs and also some very closed minded ones - again, based on ignorance and the lack of understanding of the world, genetics, science and so on.

I don't think it should be used as a "spiritual guide" or any means of a reliable account of history. People were simply too misinformed and uncivilised back then.

But, if it helps YOU as an individual lead a happy life, and so long as you :

a) don't infringe upon others or the belief of others
b) prevent others from living how they wish to live
c) don't push your beliefs onto others

then by all means, enjoy. Otherwise... as Chalmers said to Flanders, "Take it outside, God-boy..."



posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 06:46 AM
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Originally posted by WhoKnows100
"I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts."

Prior to Christ, God's laws were written on stone and parchment. This didnt work out so well as man is easily persuaded to disobey it. God's gift through Christ's death was that the Holy Spirit would come into man. When the Holy Spirit comes to us, he shows us what the law really is. He writes it in your heart. If one listens to God's soft guidance, through prayer and study, it leads you on the path to know God's will and laws for mankind. It opens your eyes. One delights in following God's laws and strives to follow Him.

This was His gift to His children, to lead them home. I cannot explain it in any other way. OP, "fundamentalism" is your heart knowing what God wants and approves of versus man's set of created values.


This might be true. I find God's laws to be righteous. Instead of telling us to be just good enough, He tells us to be holy. Meaning leaving out things like reviling, boasting, thinking you are superior and all those things. In orthodoxy I see the connection and wisdom of both testaments.
edit on 30-9-2011 by 547000 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 09:24 AM
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reply to post by 547000
 


This is precisely what I suspected. And again realize that I say all of these things in the understanding of your original post, in that you are aiming at an open dialogue free of ad hominum attacks. Your claims of invisible stigmata are exactly the kind of false miracle that is a VISIBLE STIGMA on the reputation of many denominations of faith. It damns them before they even leave the gate. The sign you asked for is false and your motive for asking was wrong.
If you truly understood the scripture you would understand the work of John and Paul. You would understand that the “age of miracles” ended with the last persons who knew Christ personally. You would also know that the Holy Ghost is the only proof needed by anyone who turns towards God. Many of the teachings of the early church leaders explicitly state that the third part of the trinity is the one to take over the duties of “convincing man”. Therefore, you would also understand that merely asking or in biblical terms “tempting” God for a sign, is an egregious affront to the work of the Holy Spirit. You would therefore, begin to bring into question the true nature of your experience based on the description of the way Satan works and you would begin to ask you if perhaps you have been led astray.

THIS is the doctrine of Dispensationalism and you would do well to learn. I do not mean to insult you in anyway. But understand, your “experience” is really nothing to someone who was raised by REAL theologians, was taught an excessive amount of doctrine from a very early age, and came to a rational rejection of the hocuspocus anyway.

Look at all of the varying opinions of this topic on this page alone. Look at this entire website as a whole and you will find opinions multiply exponentially. Is it wrong for there to be so many variations on something? No, not necessarily. What makes it so derisive and detrimental is that, when it comes to the Bible, it is seldom enough for people to leave it at a difference of opinion. Two thousand years of recorded history prove the deadly nature of these ideas. There are discussions that occur everyday about the factual existence of Socrates. But as far as I know, no one has been moved to start a genocide, world war, ethnic cleansing, or book burning crusade in response to his teaching. I still do not see the merits of such a book.

What are you looking for in this book? Why do you feel it must be true? What would be the implications if it were not? What if your original “gut feeling” on the subject were accurate? What would that mean to you, to the world? You tell me. What are the imperatives of this subject? What do you fear?



www.biblebelievers.com...



posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 09:36 AM
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Originally posted by TheSepticSceptic
reply to post by 547000
 


This is precisely what I suspected. And again realize that I say all of these things in the understanding of your original post, in that you are aiming at an open dialogue free of ad hominum attacks. Your claims of invisible stigmata are exactly the kind of false miracle that is a VISIBLE STIGMA on the reputation of many denominations of faith. It damns them before they even leave the gate. The sign you asked for is false and your motive for asking was wrong.
If you truly understood the scripture you would understand the work of John and Paul. You would understand that the “age of miracles” ended with the last persons who knew Christ personally. You would also know that the Holy Ghost is the only proof needed by anyone who turns towards God. Many of the teachings of the early church leaders explicitly state that the third part of the trinity is the one to take over the duties of “convincing man”. Therefore, you would also understand that merely asking or in biblical terms “tempting” God for a sign, is an egregious affront to the work of the Holy Spirit. You would therefore, begin to bring into question the true nature of your experience based on the description of the way Satan works and you would begin to ask you if perhaps you have been led astray.

THIS is the doctrine of Dispensationalism and you would do well to learn. I do not mean to insult you in anyway. But understand, your “experience” is really nothing to someone who was raised by REAL theologians, was taught an excessive amount of doctrine from a very early age, and came to a rational rejection of the hocuspocus anyway.

Look at all of the varying opinions of this topic on this page alone. Look at this entire website as a whole and you will find opinions multiply exponentially. Is it wrong for there to be so many variations on something? No, not necessarily. What makes it so derisive and detrimental is that, when it comes to the Bible, it is seldom enough for people to leave it at a difference of opinion. Two thousand years of recorded history prove the deadly nature of these ideas. There are discussions that occur everyday about the factual existence of Socrates. But as far as I know, no one has been moved to start a genocide, world war, ethnic cleansing, or book burning crusade in response to his teaching. I still do not see the merits of such a book.

www.biblebelievers.com...


I disagree that the age of miracles has ended. There have been many miracles, even first class miracles in the Catholic Church, but they are called liars. If you believe in a God that can raise the dead, there's no reason to suspect miracles are impossible. That's injecting a philosophy of rationalism into it. It's the hubris of man to limit what God can and cannot do. And there is no mistaking the sensation either. I truly felt hole es in my palms and invisible blood dripping out. If no one can say "Jesus is Lord" but by the Holy Spirit then maybe it was convincing me.


What are you looking for in this book? Why do you feel it must be true? What would be the implications if it were not? What if your original “gut feeling” on the subject were accurate? What would that mean to you, to the world? You tell me. What are the imperatives of this subject? What do you fear?


I am looking for guidance. I feel it's true because God acted in a very personal way with me. If it were not true then Hitler and people like him are simply morally superior because they have the power and they make the rules. That is simply the conclusion of nihilism. If my original feeling were correct I have lost nothing, but if in my skeptical pride I still denied God after He gave me exactly what I asked for, well, I am an idiot who deserves hell. It would mean humans are bags of chemicals and morality is decided by the human tyrants. I fear hell because in my skeptical pride I did not take the prospect of hell seriously.
edit on 30-9-2011 by 547000 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 09:58 AM
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Just quickly because we can go in circles all day and I have a life to go live with my children free of worries about eternity.

People on drugs often feel bugs crawling on their skin. Just yesterday my wife and I both kept checking the zippers on our clothing because we thought they were down. Are these sensations miracles?

There are no such things as subjective miracles. By the biblical definition they can't exists. There is not one subjective miracle anywhere in the bible. That's the whole point of them. To Validate.

And that's the problem with modern “miracles”. They, along with yours do not conform to the biblical prerequisites.

I'll address more later.
edit on 30-9-2011 by TheSepticSceptic because: (no reason given)



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