posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 09:03 PM
Being the curious sort, I usually lurk and only occasionally reply to threads when I think I have something to say. I've never related a personal
story before, but I've read many on here. It will be brief, but I figure some of you might find this one interesting.
As a note about myself: I don't know what to make of this story. It is a story told to me by someone I trust and whom I regard as intelligent and
wise despite often disagreeing with him, my father. He began his career as a chemistry professor before becoming a succesful businessman in the
plastics industry, so I have reasons beyond mere sentimentality for thinking he's not an idiot. Yet, I've never had any supernatural experiences, so
I have reasons to doubt these sorts of things happen. That's part of why I'm posting this; I want to know how you all think one should deal with
such a situation, when you trust a person in general, but yet don't have much other evidence for their claims, or even feel compelled to doubt them.
It seems I have epistemic reasons to believe both p and not-p; this tension must be broken lest I fall into incoherence.
Without further boring introduction, my father's story:
I have never asked him the date, but I'm pretty sure it was before my existence, but while he was with his company, so sometime during the 60s or
70s. He was driving through one of the very flat midwestern states to visit one of his company's plants. He still had more than a half-tank full of
gas, and having made the trip before knew that it would get him to his destination. Even so, he felt compelled to stop at the next service station to
top off. When he stopped there, he found the place was closed. There was, however, a young man waiting outside the station who asked my father for a
My dad accepted, and soon they were off down the highway. Upon being asked where he wanted to go, the young man said that whichever direction my dad
was going was just fine. Soon, the young man began to tell my father all sorts of strange things. Some of them are religious, but not supernatural.
For example, the young man gave my dad a lesson on why God would choose this little tribe, the Israelites, to be in some sense chosen. More
surprisingly, however, the young man told my father things about his (my father's) life. He told my father that soon the church of which he was a
part, one of the largest in our home city, would go through a massive split. He also told my father of friends of his, by name, who would soon die.
Finally, he told my father that one day he would see a building with a particular Bible verse on the side of it.
Eventually, after giving his little historico-theological lessons and predictions, the young man asked to be let out of the car. My father pointed out
that they were in the middle of nowhere, fields on either side of the highway. The young man said that it didn't matter, just to let him off there.
My father pulled off, and when he looked back in his mirrors the young man was nowhere to be found.
The predicted church split and the deaths came to pass. My father has never seen a building with the predicted verse emblazoned acrossed any of its
walls, however, and he's getting up in years and poor in health, so I don't suspect he ever will. For many years he wouldn't tell anyone the verse,
as he didn't want to cause someone to fulfil the prediction. Recently, perhaps because of disappointment or something else, he told me; it was
Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." (New International Version)
So, that's the story. Like I said, I don't know what to make of it. I trust my dad and know him to be a smart man, a man who likes teaching and
learning about the world as do I. (One of my brother's and I have both followed him into teaching at the college level.) I don't, however, share his
faith and I've never had an experience like this. Given that, I don't take these stories to be of much worth. On the flip side, however, I want to
trust him, and sometimes wish something supernatural like this might happen to me so that I could believe him. Am I alone in feeling this inner