Advice to People Who Leave the Fold

People email me from time to time asking for advice now that they no longer believe. I've written a chapter in my companion book on that topic, but for people who don't have that book this is where I'll place links below about this problem.

I'll begin with an actual email that's typical of the ones I receive:
Greetings. I know you must get tons of email everyday, and thus cannot respond to each one. I’m hoping just writing this will help. I’ll keep my story short. It is similar to yours in many ways, although I confess I did not go as deeply into the intellectual end of Christianity as you did, however I consider myself a fairly intelligent person. Certainly, at least, a thoughtful one... I was converted to Pentecostal Christianity in my teen years following a rocky childhood…

I pursued a calling in full time ministry for 9 years after going to Bible college for 4 years and being credentialed with the Assemblies of God. I was later ordained as well. Recently, due to some relatively minor occurrences, a floodgate of doubts has opened up to me in my faith. I had come across a couple of books that peaked my interest, such as Dawkins book “The God Delusion”. I am currently working my way through it. I’ve always contended what good is your faith if it can’t stand up to scrutiny? Well, mine isn’t standing up very well. It is not the outside sources warring on me (such as Dawkins book, or the anti-christian bias of our culture), as much as my own struggle with my beliefs and being honest to myself. I find I am tortured going to church now.

I’ll be honest. I’m scared. No, petrified. I feel like I’ve murdered someone and am trying to keep it a secret. My wife literally has no idea, and would / will come unglued when I finally bring the subject up. I’m scared of the response of my wife/kids/family, but also of the prospect of life without God. Yet I feel a strange sense of exhilaration as well, like a great burden may be soon lifted off my shoulders. This is what I experienced when I left the ministry.

As I said, I can’t even believe I’m writing you this email. I’ve read through much of your blog. Yet there are a couple of questions that I didn’t see addressed (perhaps they are in your book) that I think would be great for the average “joe” like me, who is really struggling in their faith.

1) What do I do now? How do I weed through all of the questions / struggles / problems going on in my head? Where do I start? How do I tell my family? How do I explain (there is no one simple answer)?

2) What would you say to the “guy on the street”? What I mean is this. I consider myself to be of average or slightly above average intelligence, with a higher motivation than most for understanding things (I enjoyed school). But what about the average guy that needs it boiled down in USA today fashion? Is there hope for this person, or do we merely leave them to struggle along with their faith? I REALLY appreciate your approach (not angry, bitter, condescending), like many other people who are anti-Christian.

I purchased your book today (linked through your site so you should get some commission), and I do intend to support the site. I know this gets a bit tricky, probably not wanting to take the Church approach of asking for donations, but I’m glad you have the option there. I still believe a workman is worth his wage. You are performing a great service, and I hope you are able to support yourself at some point through the service you provide. I am finding many of the stories and posts simply fascinating, and I’ve only scratched the surface. As I said, I’m very early in this journey, and not at all sure where it is going to take me. Either way, I’m glad you’ve made this site available. It is a Godsend (sorry, I just had to say that. I’ve a bit of a warped sense of humor).

I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been in terms of the personal attacks you’ve had to endure. I am going to continue down this road, and your book seems to be the most “human” approach to the subject I’ve seen so far.

Best wishes to you, and thanks again.
Here is my typical response: 1) I don't know you or your family to be able to give specific advice on what to do now. But I know I would tell your family and friends when the time was right. I would break it to them slowly by asking questions or by telling them you are investigating into the new atheists and show them the books you're reading. After all, if your faith is true then it should withstand the arguments to the contrary. And I would ask them the questions that these books are asking whenever I could. [Actually for anyone who is secretly reading this Blog and/or these books I would tell my Christian friends up front about this, just in the slim case that you might actually lose your faith. I would inform people from the very beginning so they would not be that shocked if you do deconvert.]

2) To the "guy on the street" I’d say that Christianity doesn't make sense. That opens up the discussion. If they say you're not supposed to make sense of it but just believe, I say that advice doesn't make sense. ;-) Then I would tell them that if God exists he created us with our minds and if that's so we should use them. If God is a reasonable God then the truth should comport to reason. In fact, we are asked to love God with all of our minds (the greatest commandment). So if it doesn't make sense then there is a real problem for faith. I cannot do othewise but to use my mind. Such a faith should stand up to reason so by saying it's "not supposed to make sense" makes no sense. I cannot think otherwise.

Here are some similar links:

Some advice to those who leave Christianity.

Should I come out of the closet?.

I no longer believe: What do I tell my kids?.

Ed Owens' story.

Help me Convince my Brother, John!

Here's a link to a young man who feared the worse in telling his parent he no longer believed and found it to be just fine. They still love him--imagine that!

185 comments:

James F. McGrath said...

My own advice would be for the individual in question to get hold of some liberal Christian scholarly works, which raise the same sorts of questions about the Bible's factuality, and are quite persuaded of the necessity that we abandon some traditional doctrines, without jettisoning the label Christian or the whole of Christianity in its entirety.

I don't say this because I happen to be a liberal Christian myself and want to win this guy for 'our team'. I genuinely would encourage him to follow the evidence where it leads him, and would prefer he be an honest atheist rather than pretend to be some sort of Christian that he isn't.

But he shouldn't have to do this in isolation from his family. Liberal Christian materials might provide a useful way of mediating his struggles to his family and allow them access to the questions he's wrestling with, without yet placing on them the scary label of "atheist". ;-)

Chuck O'Connor said...

Another great post John.

Yesterday via Facebook, I was called out on my agnosticism by a former member of a church I attended 4 years ago. I gave him my explanation for leaving the fold and even apologized to him if my honesty may have hurt his feelings. His response is below and is one of the reasons I distrust Christians and Christianity. The presumption to know based on something other than knowledge (revelation? faith?) seems arrogant and baffling. (When reading this keep in mind I haven't seen or talked to his guy in 4 years. In that time I've married, changed cities and changed jobs. He really knows nothing about me or my life.) He then "de-friended" me so I couldn't respond to his email. Strange.

Re: Hard to believe

Chuck, I really feel sorry for you. You are missing it all. Your intelligence is blinding you to reality. I know where you are at, but it will never work. It actually is making your life worse. You keep looking at the world for answers regarding God, and you keep coming up empty. That is why your soul is empty. Your mind cannot fill your soul. Only your soul can find God, and you are stopping that from happening. God is of the heart and soul, not the mind.

An authentic person would admit they do not have the answers and you keep insisting you have the answers, therefore you have emptiness. Your judgemental and biased language clearly shows how bigoted you are. You fail to see beyond your own understanding and therefore, totally miss reality.

I do not wish to continue to debate someone who refuses to see beyond their own limited rationalizations. You really are limiting yourself.

I wish you well.

Paul

Richard said...

I suspect that this person might have some options that would make the transition easier.

With regard to 'coming out', I'm an atheist. I'm also a naturalist.

Very few theists have heard of 'naturalism'. So, there's not the instant stigma and hostility that comes with the word 'atheism'.

And, then I get to explain what 'naturalism' means, and avoid the eternal, "Nuh-uh, atheism means nihilism and kitten eating. You're using the word wrong!" debate.

So, that might be an easier (and equally true) thing to tell a family.

With regard to 2), I agree with John about Christianity not making sense.

I might look at the concept of 'God'. There are a whole bunch of traits and claims that are bundled into 'God'. People assume that they're necessarily connected, and rejecting one trait means rejecting all the others.

But, it's definitely possible to believe in some things that are connected to the word 'God' while rejecting the singular, male, judeo-christian being.

For instance, one could believe that people are all connected in some fundimental way, without also saying, "That connection was responsible for the creation of the world, and inspired the OT."

This misunderstanding seems to create a lot of the friction between theists and the atheist-movement.

feeno said...

'Wuh 'Dup

My advice would be, not to take advice from that "Paul" guy that Chuck was talking about.

John, do you want to be known as the Atheist Dear Abbey?

Dueces Mooses, feeno

edson said...

I really find it strange that almost all Christians who are considering apostating suffer apprehension and aghast on the prospect`of being apostates. Christianity is not Islam that apostates will be killed or ostracized. In this current world, in which everyone values personal freedom, at least in the western world, I think the fearful state expressed by this guy at the prospect of being an apostate is unnecessary paranoia. I only read these kind of stories on non muslims blogs critics of Islam as to apostate from Islam only guarantees death as per Islamic creed.

Furthermore, most Christians I know from across the spectrum do not view apostating or atheism as something strange. It only started recently when the rampaging so called new atheists went beserk against Christianity such that a unique kind of animosity developed between the two groups. Even that, it has not yet reached a state where I and Chuck both cannot have a mountain climbing picnic together, and for that I cannot understand the state of paranoia expressed by this fellow.

Andre said...

I would advise you to clear your conscience as to what you believe and what you cannot believe before you go to your wife and family. I'm sure it would be great support if you could talk to your wife about the doubts during such a struggle though. I also think you should break it to them slowly. For example, my wife love to watch Joel Osteen on Sunday mornings, and when I watch it with her, (if she lets me speak) I'll try to point out a few inconsistencies and contradictions with what he's saying. Maybe you can do this also when she says something that you think doesn't make sense.
You'll have many opportunities here and there to do things like that.

The key thing for anyone who's struggling with their faith I think is, as you mentioned, being honest with yourself. That's all you can do even if it turns out you were wrong or you change your mind down the road. I'll will never forget sitting in bed reading the bible and realizing for myself what was concluded by some that Jesus wasn't God. "I wept". I cried because I had truly believed Jesus was God, but I also cried b/c in all honesty, it really didn't make sense to me.

Letting go though was emancipating. Reading books from both side helped reaffirming what made the most sense to me. I would suggest you keep reading to be more informed as much as will help you if and when you do approach your family, and "the guy on the street" with good reasons.

Sometimes being honest with yourself is being honest with others, so it would be nice if your honesty will be respected.

edson said...

Hi feeno,

I just wanted to let you know that it is just now that I clicked on your nic here and went straight at "If I became an atheist" at the "quote" section and I must tell you "I have just broken my left ribs of laughing"! I may no more comment on here unless you pray for a "miracle":).

feeno said...

'Sup Andre

What part of the Bible were you reading when came to the conclusion that Christ was not God?

Edson, Thanx for the props,
Late, feeno

Andre said...

Sup Feeno,

When I say that I realized that Jesus wasn't God when I was reading the Bible, I meant after considering some of the arguments against the Jesus as God concept. All the verses in the bible that Jesus himself made it clear he he's not God nor equal to him, such as Mark 10:17,18. Also all those verses where God makes it clear that he is one God.

Note at that time I still believed in God the father only

feeno said...

W'dup Andre

I re-read what you wrote and saw the error of my ways.

IMO the rich dude you mentioned in the book of Mark called Jesus "Good" and referred to him as teacher, Jesus was saying only God is good, if I am only a teacher then I can't be good or God. Jesus wanted rich boy to realize he was God. (not just some teacher).

Now you can believe that JC is God again.

Dueces, feeno

savedbygrace said...

Andre,

In John 8:58 - Jesus said "Before Abraham was I AM! He was calling Himself the "I AM" - God's mane in the OT! In Rev 1:7-8 Jesus reveals Himself as "The Almighty".

savedbygrace said...

correction - God's NAME in the OT

Carbon Based said...

"In John 8:58 - Jesus said "Before Abraham was I AM! He was calling Himself the "I AM" - God's mane(sic) in the OT!"

Ooooh doesn't that sound all mystical and deep? I suppose to a bronze age goathearder it does. But it's just nonsensical jibberish in the age of reason.

savedbygrace said...

Carbon,

Age of reason???? Have you looked at the news lately???? GIVE ME A BREAK!

Chuck O'Connor said...

Edson you said,

"Even that, it has not yet reached a state where I and Chuck both cannot have a mountain climbing picnic together . . ."

I'd love to. You pick the mountain and I will be there. : )

Carbon Based said...

"Age of reason???? Have you looked at the news lately???? GIVE ME A BREAK!"

Your right here in Orgen we are waiting for the jury to decide whither some wacky faith healing christian parents who let their 16 month old daughter die from pnemonia will be convicted of negligence/manslaughter. Sad very sad case.

http://www.oregonlive.com/clackamascounty/index.ssf/2009/07/raylene_worthington_disputes_p.html

savedbygrace said...

Oh really? And how many atheists are on trial for murder? Give me a ANOTHER break! Age of reason my butt!

savedbygrace said...

How many atheists are convicted of child abuse, sexual molestation, rape, and any number of hideous asaults on children? If you want to compare religious profiling, then let's go for it!

feeno said...

How we went from Broke Back Mt. (Edson and Chuck) to the War of the Roses (SBG and CB) is beyond me. However we've just been through this "Morality" argument, and we all agreed that we can all be equally bad/good?

Shalome, feeno

savedbygrace said...

Hi feeno,

There are documented mass murders that came to Christ and are totaly rehabiltated. I do not know of any Christians who became atheists and had that kind of miraculous transformation.

deuces wild,:-)

SBG

feeno said...

SBG Rocks!!!

Shooting Dueces your way, feeno

Corky said...

In John 8:58 Jesus is not claiming to be God but that he was the promised messiah who was promised before Abraham was (Gen. 3:15). The one who would bruise the serpent's head. That is, the one who would destroy the works of the devil. See Romans 16:20 and I John 3:8.

Jesus was not God but the mediator between God and men.
1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Of course, before the gospel of John was written, Christians did begin to believe that Jesus was God. The church scribes "corrected" the early writings to make appear that he was.

Yes, the writings were tampered with and not just a little either. The church even tampered with the Jewish scriptures but the Jews had copies of them too, so that hasn't worked quite as well.

The later church of Constantine persecuting other Christians and destroying the opposition's books is a good sign of pious fraud. If they had nothing to hide, why burn down whole libraries and persecute to the death all opposition?

savedbygrace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
savedbygrace said...

Hi Corky,

You did not address Rev 1:7-8 where Jesus reveals Himself as the ALMIGHTY.

There is the PRE-flesh Christ, and the POST-flesh Christ, which is GOD! In the flesh, He had humbled Himself a became a man. In the Spirit, He is God.

bob said...

savedbygrace said..."There are documented mass murders that came to Christ and are totaly rehabiltated."
And I have never met a Christian who displayed any moral attributes that I could need or want. I get along just fine in society without being a Christian.

"I do not know of any Christians who became atheists and had that kind of miraculous transformation."
Most atheists would not call their transformation "miraculous", but as for me, I was a very confused and unhappy Christian for 25 years. The day I gave up my religious faith in favor of reason was one of the happiest days of my life.

You do realize don't you, that there have been people who "came to Christ" first, and THEN became murders...? How do you rationalize that?

Andre said...

Feeno, IMO it makes no sense that Jesus is saying he's God in that verse, he clearly says no one is good but God "alone". Also, Jesus is not called Yahweh or Jehovah, who is one.

SBG, verses 4-6 indicates a distinction between Jesus and God the father.

savedbygrace said...

Those who "came to Christ" in what way? There are counterfeit conversions on a massive scale, and counterfeit Christians on a massive scale!

Do you know any mass murderes that rehabilited like the "Son of Sam"?

Carbon Based said...

"Oh really? And how many atheists are on trial for murder? Give me a ANOTHER break! Age of reason my butt!"

"How many atheists are convicted of child abuse, sexual molestation, rape, and any number of hideous asaults on children?"

The problem for you is to demonstrate that their "athiesm" guided their behaviour. Can athiest do bad things, of course they can.

But it more henious when so called religous followers or those in religous leadership roles use their religion/positions to commit atrosities against their fellow humans.
Priest's buggering little boys and the recent scandales in Ireland come to mind.

If I were you I'd quit right here.

savedbygrace said...

Andre,

There is no Jehovah or Yahweh. The OT Hebrew tetragrammaton is simply JHVH or YHWH. There is no Greek equivalent. So your point is moot.

savedbygrace said...

Carbon,

Atheists have no one to answer to except themselves and the court system if they get caught. God ALWAYS cathes us! BIG DIFFERENCE! There is no escaping God. A TRUE Christian knows that. There is much more reason and motivation for a TRUE Christian, who REALLY knows and understands God.

Andre said...

SBG,

Was Jesus associated with JHVH or YHWH in the OT?

savedbygrace said...

Plus, a TRUE Christian has a renewed mind and a transformed heart. He longer wishes to sin. His values have changed dramtically. Does he still screw up? Of course! But that is never his goal or agenda.

savedbygrace said...

The Septuagint - the Greek translation of the OT uses the word "Kurios" - LORD. And the NT says that Jesus is Lord.

Is that a direct equivalent - no, it is not. There is no direct equivalent in the Greek. So the TECHNICAL answer to your question is NO. But neither is God ever referred to as JHVH in the NT!

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved you wrote:

"Hi Corky,

You did not address Rev 1:7-8 where Jesus reveals Himself as the ALMIGHTY.

There is the PRE-flesh Christ, and the POST-flesh Christ, which is GOD! In the flesh, He had humbled Himself a became a man. In the Spirit, He is God."

Are you serious? Did you not read his post? The scripture you quote would be one of the scriptures he references as manipulated to prove the church fathers premise Jesus was God.

The source from which you draw authority for your claims is flawed.

savedbygrace said...

Chuck,

Here is his exact quote:

"Yes, the writings were tampered with and not just a little either. The church even tampered with the Jewish scriptures but the Jews had copies of them too, so that hasn't worked quite as well."

So where is the evidence that Rev 1:7-8 was tampered with???? Either provide the historical and direct evidence or hold your peace.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved here you go:

"Of course, before the gospel of John was written, Christians did begin to believe that Jesus was God. The church scribes "corrected" the early writings to make appear that he was."

Now, are you still going to argue from the flawed authority of the bible that you are correct?

savedbygrace said...

Chuck,

All you have is hearsay! Where is your evidence???

savedbygrace said...

Chuck,

Give me some viable and confirmed evidence that SPECIFICLY - Rev 1:7-8 was tampered with. Let's see your documented and tested proof.

savedbygrace said...

oops - SPECIFICALLY

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved,

I think Rev. is myth and don't believe that the bible is the word of god. I was commenting on your misunderstanding of Corky's post. He was raising doubts on the verifiability of scripture so you then used scripture to prove him wrong. Kind of an echo chamber there. That's all.

savedbygrace said...

Chuck,

Here is what you quoted:

"The church scribes "corrected" the early writings to make appear that he was."

So now you want to change your story? Come on now Chuck, admit that you have no proof and you are now trying to change what you originally charged, that the writings were tampered with. Let's stick to your original argument, shall we? So are you now willing to admit that you have no evidence that Rev 1:7-8 was tampered with, YES or NO?

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved,

I don't care. My comment was that Corky corrected your source of authority (the bible) by stating its authorship should be held in question.

You then quoted the bible as a means of proving him wrong.

Do you not see your foolishness and probable insanity in that?

I personally think very little of Rev.

You are silly and as I stated elsewhere, your passion to prove fairytales true only calls into question the maturity of the Christian ethos.

bob said...

Saved said - "God ALWAYS cathes us!"

Then Saved said - "All you have is hearsay! Where is your evidence???"

Saved, you don't get to make claims based on hearsay with no evidence, then accuse someone else of doing the very same thing. That is called hypocrisy.
Please provide evidence, that's EVIDENCE, to back up your claim that "God ALWAYS catches us!".

Also, please tell us the difference between a "Christian", and a "True Christian".

savedbygrace said...

Chuck,

If The Bible is not God's word, then what do you care if it was tampered with or not? Bogus is still bogus! You are talking in circles and you have no argument, just opinion. If you are trying to convince me of something, then you are doing an extremely pathetic job. Now do you have any FACTS? Apparently not!

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved you said,

"If The Bible is not God's word, then what do you care if it was tampered with or not? Bogus is still bogus! You are talking in circles and you have no argument, just opinion. If you are trying to convince me of something, then you are doing an extremely pathetic job. Now do you have any FACTS? Apparently not!"

Here's my point. You are either insane or you are an idiot.

Corky countered your argument to authority (quoting the bible) as to Christ's divinity by stating how the bible can't be trusted due to its sketchy authorship and to prove him wrong you then quoted the bible at him.

LOL. You one silly person.

My argument is this. You're stupid.

savedbygrace said...

Bob,

The Bible IS my evidence! The Bible is not hearsay. There are millions of Bibles. It is the largest selling book in the world. If it CONTAINS unsubstantiated hearsay, then prove that Jesus is not God, and that the Bible was tampered with to say He was! That is what we are discussing.

savedbygrace said...

Chuck,

Calling me stupid is not an argument. Neither is anything else that you have had to say an argument. I do not care one iota about your opinions. They are 100% worthless babble. Go waste someone else's time with your pathetic nonsense.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved you said:

"Calling me stupid is not an argument. Neither is anything else that you have had to say an argument. I do not care one iota about your opinions. They are 100% worthless babble. Go waste someone else's time with your pathetic nonsense."

Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved you said:

"then prove that Jesus is not God"

You can't prove a negative.

ccubeman said...

sbg,

I agree with you, we shouldn't call each other stupid or marginalize another opinion with ad homs. Argue your points with evidence and see where they stand.

Let me point out something though. No one here can prove that jesus isn't god, as one cannot disprove the non-existence of anything(apart from mathmatical axiom). In fact, since we are not discussing mathematics, the words proof/prove do not belong in this forum.

If your claim is: jesus is/was god, present your evidence. When doing so, remember where you are. This forum is filled with skeptics who do not believe the bible is good for anything. Provide some evidence from non-biblical sources. Perhaps even provide some opposing evidence and explain why it may wrong.

savedbygrace said...

Chuck,

Me thinks that I could not care less you you thinks!

And so far, you cannot and have not proven anthing, except how arragant and ignorant you are. We all have plenty of evidence for that. My discussions with you have now ended. You are a total waste of my time.

Finito

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved,

Was Martin Luther a "real Christian" because he considered Revelation Apocryphal?

Just wondering can you help enlighten me?

ccubeman said...

Rats Chuck.

I think you chased Saved away.

savedbygrace said...

ccubeman,

The point was tthat the BIBLE said that Jesus was God. Someone made the contention that the BIBLE never said that Jesus was God. I then referred then to John 8:58 and Rev 1:7-8. I was NOT trying to prove that Jesus was God, only that the Bible said so.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved you wrote:

"I was NOT trying to prove that Jesus was God, only that the Bible said so."

But you also wrote:

"There is the PRE-flesh Christ, and the POST-flesh Christ, which is GOD! In the flesh, He had humbled Himself a became a man. In the Spirit, He is God."

Now, are you saying that you don't believe Jesus is God and weren't asserting that he is?

bob said...

Saved - "The Bible IS my evidence!"
Evidence for what?
You said "God ALWAYS catches us". Can you prove it? Give some evidence of someone being "caught by God". No fair quoting bible verses. Just because you believe what was written down 2,000 years ago does not mean it is true.

Saved - "There are millions of Bibles. It is the largest selling book in the world."
This is evidence that millions of bibles have been printed and that millions of people purchase bibles. It is not evidence that the bible is true. You do understand that, don't you?

"If it CONTAINS unsubstantiated hearsay, then prove that Jesus is not God, and that the Bible was ...blah, blah, blah"
You made the statement, "God ALWAYS catches us", based on nothing but your belief. You have no evidence. Quoting the bible only proves that you believe the bible. It does not prove that your statement is true. So, you have no reason to demand proof if you will not offer proof.

savedbygrace said...

Bob,

The only proof I demanded was that Rev 1:7-8 had been tampered with - PERIOD.

I was caught by God! I know from first hand experience because no one else knew what I was doing! I know God for REAL! I have seen His word come true in my life many times, amd it has NEVER lied to me.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved you said:

"I was caught by God! I know from first hand experience because no one else knew what I was doing! I know God for REAL! I have seen His word come true in my life many times, amd it has NEVER lied to me."

Care to share a few concrete examples?

ccubeman said...

Sbg,

You wrote:

The Bible IS my evidence! The Bible is not hearsay. There are millions of Bibles. It is the largest selling book in the world. If it CONTAINS unsubstantiated hearsay, then prove that Jesus is not God, and that the Bible was tampered with to say He was! That is what we are discussing

So, what's the premise and argument here? We already know the bible has been translated, versioned, edited, shortened, lengthened. Is it possible the original texts were different(than now) when first written? Do we know for certain the original biblical texts say jesus is god? Why is your version better than any other version.

Regarding your personal experience with gods word. Share some examples.

savedbygrace said...

ccubeman,

I do not rely on English translations, and I have taugtht myself Biblical Greek grammar.

I used to be addicted to pornography. No one knew except me and God. Today, I am 100% free from that addiction after God gave me a miraculous deliverance. I know God and his miracle power in a very real first hand way. No counseling, just me and God, one on one.

bob said...

saved - "The only proof I demanded was that Rev 1:7-8 had been tampered with - PERIOD."
And the only proof I demanded was for your claim that "God always catches us" - PERIOD!

saved - "I was caught by God! I know from first hand experience because no one else knew what I was doing!"
This may qualify as proof to you, but you do understand that any reasonable person would require some evidence from you before they believe you. All you are giving me is what you believe. Opinions are fine, but they are not evidence.

saved - "I know God for REAL! I have seen His word come true in my life many times, amd it has NEVER lied to me."
Again, I hope you are not offering this as evidence that God is real or that the bible is true.
Saved, I hate to say it, but your religious delusion is showing.

savedbygrace said...

So my delusion was able to free me from my porno addiction? If that is true, then thank God for my delusion, because it saved me and my family ( if they had ever found out)! And my DELUSION has also healed me miracuulously and instantly with no medicine and no doctors! What a Wondeful Delusion it is! Mt Delusion also told me of future events that came to pass! Praise God for His Delusions!

ccubeman said...

sbg,

Why is the greek translation good? As opposed to the hebrew versions, or, and lets stretch it a bit, the kjv.

Kudos on your addiction recovery.
Nevertheless, why was it necessary to seek divine help for this. Couldn't you just stop, or go see a psychologist? Why is your addiction recovery different from someone who performs self-help or seeks professional psychological help? Lots of folks successfully deal with addictive behavior through established science. It's been shown that faith isn't really required. If it helps, swell. But it's still no evidence of supernatural power.

bob said...

Saved, I used to be addicted to pron also. My entire 25 years as a Christian was plagued by guilt over my fascination with the female form and all things one can do with it. I sought deliverance over and over again. I prayed, and prayed more. I had Christian friends pray for me, over me. I studied and studied. I never got relief. NEVER! I just lived with the extreme guilt. That was when I considered my obsession as "sin".

Now, as an atheist, I realize that what I was experiencing was just a normal result of male hormones. How do I know this? I am now in my early 50's, and I can go weeks without even desiring sex. I haven't "polished the pole" in...I can't remember. And porn...I just don't want to waste the time.

So, what your God would not do, could not do, age and maturity has done.

The experience you claim to have had can be proof that you just have good self control. You understand that, don't you?

savedbygrace said...

ccubeman,

That is the miracle of it all! I had been addicted to porno for over 30 years! And then God, and Him alone freed me from my addiction with no human intervention whatsoever. No clinics, no treatments, no psycholgist - NOTHING! Just me and God. 100% supernatural. There is no natural explanation available - NONE! My addiction is 100% removed by the gracious and miraculous hand of God!

The KJV suck compared to the Greek manuscripts - no contest. The English has no equivalents at times, so an intimate knowledge of the greek is necessary for true understanding of the full implications. I also study textual criticism, hermeneutics, linguistics, and exegesis.

savedbygrace said...

bob,

This addiction was dealt with overnight! It was spontaneous and instant! It went from a million miles per hour to a dead stop- literally overnight! Age had ZERO to do with it! My sexual desire for my wife is stronger than ever!

Corky said...

Rev 1:8 is one of those passages that gives away that Revelation belongs to Jewish apocalyptic literature of the first century.

Christians added to the book the letter to the seven churches and other sentences here and there to make it sound Christian, but in fact, it's Jewish.

"Savedbygrace", you should do some study of what biblical scholars and critics know about the book. The knowledge of Christianity's more educated theologians has not trickled down to you. However, you do have the Internet, if you choose to use it.

Probably a simple explanation of the Revelation is found here:

http://www.geocities.com/b_d_muller/rjohn.html

More scholarly works are out there but not near as easy to understand.

Carbon Based said...

"Atheists have no one to answer to except themselves and the court system if they get caught."

Why doesn't your god care about atheists? :)

You have not show that your fictitious atheist on trial for murder, murdered due to his atheism. Why is that?

"God ALWAYS cathes us! BIG DIFFERENCE! There is no escaping God. A TRUE Christian knows that. There is much more reason and motivation for a TRUE Christian, who REALLY knows and understands God."

So are you good because of the promised reward or the punishment? And why is this the same technic used to train dogs? Are you a dog that you need to be threatened to be good?

This has gotten way to far from the original OP so I'll just cross swords with you later dog. ;)

savedbygrace said...

Corky,

I am very aware of the Jewish apocolyptic nature of Revelation. That does not change Rev 1:7-8 at all. In fact, it even makes it all the more wonderful! For the Jews to finally recognize their Messiah as God Himself!

I am also very aware of the controversies regarding the Canonicity of the text. I study quite a bit of textual criticism.

savedbygrace said...

Carbon,

God loves atheists! But atheists do not love God, so He deals with them in a different manner. REAL Christians are able to hear and talk to God bout their situations in life and get divine counseling, healing, deliverance, etc etc. You atheists go to clinics to get delivered from your addictions. I get free treatment!

Carbon Based said...

"REAL Christians are able to hear and talk to God bout their situations in life and get divine counseling, healing, deliverance, etc etc."

So do schizophrenic’s, that is not evidence for gods existence. Just that you imagine you talk to god.

BTW your personal antidotes are not evidence; no one has access to them but you and you alone. Also quoting bible verses is not an argument, I notice you do this a lot. Just a suggestion.

savedbygrace said...

Carbon,

I am good because God has given me a new heart and a transformed mind by the presence of His indwelling Holy Spirit. My obedience is not about rewards or punishments. I love God and have recognized the tremendous wisdom of walking according to His directions. I have NEVER been disappointed when obeying God - NEVER!

savedbygrace said...

So schizo's get delivered from their addictions all by themselves? They get healed miraculously?

Carbon Based said...

"So schizo's get delivered from their addictions all by themselves? They get healed miraculously?"

No they hear and respond to voices in their heads. Sheesh!

ccubeman said...

sbg,

On the bible note... Do you believe there's a problem with greek authorship of jewish traditions? For example, the jewish tradition of tracing ethnicity via women and the lineage via the father.

Regarding personal experience, I could tell you I regularly feed a pink unicorn in my back yard to prevent it from destroying my plants. I can fervently believe in its existence and perhaps even describe it in detail. And that's the rub, only I can see it. No one else can see it, because it probably doesn't exist. There's no way to empirically determine its existence. The point is; Arguments from personal experience will not get you far here. Simply saying you overcame an addiction through god that others overcome by natural means isn't a good example.

No, schizophrenics cannot magically deliver themselves from their condition. It very often takes years of treatment and medication to overcome the disease. John Nash, the famous mathematician, is a good example of using science and self-will to overcome a horrible disease. No faith in god was required or used.

So here's your mission sbg; Show us something that is so improbable, something that defies any naturalistic theory. Something that we cannot help but consider some supernatural element caused. Be mindful that filling a knowledge gap with the supernatural is not allowed. After that, show us this supernatural occurrence was caused by your god.

Jim said...

IMHO, no one should have asked SBG for examples of God's intervention into his/her life. We just finished hammering DenCol for doing that!

Personal experience has no business being used as any sort of evidence for supernatural powers. I told the atheist group I meet up with to slap me if I ever come into the meeting and declare, "God spoke to me and changed my life--miraculous things have happened and you should now believe!" I told them I'd smack 'em (euphemistically, course) if they actually bought into it for one second.

SBG, you said "You atheists go to clinics to get delivered from your addictions. I get free treatment!"

If I ever talked to a god that existed and had miraculous powers, I would ask him to help everyone else that has worse problems than me before he acts on my behalf. I'm probably oversimplifying your position a bit, but, "God helped me--so I believe in him and worship him," just sounds so selfish to me.

I could certainly believe in a god who approached me in a way that I could comprehend, but I could never PRAISE a god who would let kids die because their parents wouldn't take them to get their insulin shots while he helped me get over my "porn addiction."

I know that doesn't prove there is no God, just (for me personally) there is no God worthy of my praise.

Regards,

Jim

ccubeman said...

Jim,

I agree in one sense; asking for personal stories is unnecessarily rhetorical - in short, we know what we'll get. Whether it's relief from addiction(sbg) or panic disorder(dencol) or boy meets girl(also dencol). It all ends up being some sort of personal experience.

Personally, It's interesting to hear what the fervently faithful have to say about the natural things we take for granted. Some folks believe there's supernatural forces at work guided by their particular deity. Others like myself believe everything has a natural/scientific explanation.

In the context of this thread, from a belief perspective it's good to know where someone who left the fold came from. I grew up, partly, in a fundamentalist christian home, now I'm a skeptic. I will not go back to those beliefs, but I'm glad I have some perspective - I guess.

savedbygrace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
savedbygrace said...

ccubeman,

There are 100's of thousands of Christians with testimonies of divine intervetion and miracles of healings and fulfilled prophecies. I have not heard any testimonies of pink unicorns on the other hand.

So are these 100's of thousands of Christians all delusional? Are they lying? Are all these fulfilled prophecies just pure coincidence? If you do not believe in God, then you are FORCED to come up with some desperate answers to solve this mystery. ANYTHING but God! ANYTHING!

So who here is REALLY delusional?

Walter said...

First off, let me say that I am an agnostic who is open to the concept of God.

I cannot accept orthodox Christianity due to the absurdity of it all (such as the concept of the Trinity). I also feel that believers of all stripes (Muslim,Christian,Hindu,etc.) tend to engage in confirmation bias; they count the hits and ignore the misses of prayer requests.

I would like to see at least one clear, documented example of a miracle by any deity; such as a regrown limb for an amputee believer. Anecdotal stories are worthless. Bring on some hard evidence!

ccubeman said...

sbg,

Millions of children all over the world believe there is a red-suited fat man who delivers presents every December 25th. Call anyone of them delusional and they'll rip your figurative head off. Does this make Santa real? Probably not. Are there folks out there that believe in pink unicorns or other mythical fairy creatures, yes there are. Just as there are people that believe the world is flat or geocentrism or zeus or tree spirits.

Like belief in a deity, all we have are personal anecdotes as evidence there are mythical creatures or gods. We cannot reproduce, test, or falsify claims of the divine. This means for folks like me, I choose not to believe in deities because the evidence is not present.

Regarding divine intervention, or miracles. There is no evidence that a spiritual connection is anything other than psychological. For all the christians who experience something they feel is divine, there are just as many others experiencing the same things who do not attribute their experience to a deity.

Regarding prophecy. Give me an example of fulfilled divine prophecy. Prophecy that came directly from a deity and not from a human being who had inside info or good at game theory.

In an earlier post I challenged you to tell me what you as a christian can do that I(as a skeptic)cannot. How is your life more fulfilled than mine? Since you dont know me, you may be at a loss. So in very general terms, What makes your life as a christian better than my life as a non-believer/skeptic/atheist. Have at.

savedbygrace said...

ccubeman,

How do you explain the fact that 100's of thousands of Christians speak in another language that they never heard before? We are speaking of mature adults, not children and Santa Claus. Very poor analogy. Compare apples with apples, please.

savedbygrace said...

I have had fulfilled prophecy but told that personal experience was not appropriate to this blog. I will call you on the phone and give you the exact details if you want me to.

Scott said...

Saved,

In what way did you use pornography? Was it an way to shift your attention or a means to alter your mood?

Have you considered that, instead of a divine miracle, you may have exchanged one means of altering your mood (pornography) with another (belief and worship of God)?

I'd ask you to reflect on these questions carefully and honestly, instead of quickly firing off a enthusiastic but hasty denial or Bible verse, as this sort of response is often used to deflect questions that might make you feel uncomfortable or that you wish to avoid.

Scott said...

Saved,

Just to be clear, I'm not asserting that this is actually what happened in your case. Surely, it would be impossible for me to make such an assumption given our limited interactions here on DC.

Nor am I trying to equate pornography with worshiping God in any kind of a moral sense. This is not my intention in the slightest.

Instead, I'm asking if you, personally, have ever seriously considered this as a possibility. Has it even crossed you mind?

Again, I'd ask you to honestly reflect on this question.

Gandolf said...

Chuck O'Connor said..."Your intelligence is blinding you to reality. I know where you are at, but it will never work. It actually is making your life worse."

L.o.L.....Yes of course for sure the world would be a much better place,if more humans were quite willing to become blinded more by what seems to be of unreality rather than stupidly leaning towards being more prepared to be blinded by what seems more like reality.

Hell it makes real god sense dont it?.....Shame on you Chuck!!...Quick get some more good old unreality into ya.That way at least wonderful folks who used ta go to churches with ya might be prepared to still stay friendly....After all unreal friends like this is what everyone needs in this world and bibles can provide plenty of them!.Friendships and relationships bound only by agreement and common belief of books are real great,and you know have really lost something great when you lose them !.

Keeping in mind once again to always be prepared to be blinded by unreality of course.

Gandolf said...

"Advice to People Who Leave the Fold"

At least try to (be prepared) for the worst that could possibly happen,such as supposed friends and even your own family sadly finding reason to disown and dislike you.

Strangely faith belief books said by so very many to supposedly be so wonderfully good,also very often seem to have a phenomenon that brings out the very worst in people that happen to have read them.

Some folks would call this suggestion as just simply being pessimistic.Some others would say no its a observation and opinion containing a fair amount of reality.

But hey what ever the answer really be,maybe its still the blind optimist that allows himself room to be let down the most.

bob said...

savedbygrace said..."How do you explain the fact that 100's of thousands of Christians speak in another language that they never heard before?"

Oh Saved, I wish there was some way to get you to look at these experiences rationally, but I fear it is to late for you. I could spend time trying to get you to see, but you are seeing what you want to see. You can not look at your religious experiences from the outside, which is exactly what you must to.

Gandolf said...

Bob said.... "Oh Saved, I wish there was some way to get you to look at these experiences rationally, but I fear it is to late for you. I could spend time trying to get you to see, but you are seeing what you want to see."

Yeah i agree Bob.

Ive met quite a number of folks who get all drunk and hyped up on alcohol too and with such excited exuberance they speak another language that they never heard before,and whats worse is they cant understand why others cant understand what they trying to tell you either.

Luckily these folk tend to wake up next morning realizing they was just a bit tiddly.

Anders said...

To savedbygrace:

I recommend you to do an extensive research of NT and Pauls doctrines (and learn what the followers of Ribi Yehoshua – the Netzarim - said about Paul; see the below website) to find about its origin.

This below website proofs that Ribi Yehoshua impossibly can't have a uttered a statement that supports anti-Torah doctrines as the trinity-doctrine.

www.netzarim.co.il

Anders Branderud
Geir Tzedeq, Netzarim

ccubeman said...

sbg, you wrote

How do you explain the fact that 100's of thousands of Christians speak in another language that they never heard before? We are speaking of mature adults, not children and Santa Claus. Very poor analogy. Compare apples with apples, please.

Why is belief in santa a poor analogy? The point was that well educated/rounded adults realize that superstitious beliefs are not a replacement for common sense. I'll even go as far to say the some superstitious beliefs have value - a childs belief in santa for example. So, Why is your belief in a deity any more sensical than belief in santa? If you dont like the santa idea, replace with mithra or zeus or any of the other 3000+ deities.

I cannot explain why christians spontaneously speak in another language - because it does not happen. If you're referring to the practice of tongues, this is not speaking another language. This is strictly babble. Find me a documented/confirmed case of a person spontaneously speaking a known recogonized language previously unknown to that person, and I'll have a look.

ccubeman said...

sbg you wrote:

I have had fulfilled prophecy but told that personal experience was not appropriate to this blog. I will call you on the phone and give you the exact details if you want me to.

When I said personal experience will not get you far, that meant personal experience is not evidence of divine intervention. And as such, is not a good example of a deity. Even without knowing your experience, I can say with confidence; Anything you experience has been experienced elsewhere and can be explained by naturalistic means.

That said, personal experience is invaluable. It helps you shape your personality and beliefs. All we're asking here is for you to consider that these were your ideas, and not some deity whispering in your ear.

Now, if you lop an ear off and it grows back - I'll take you up on that phone call.

savedbygrace said...

Scott,

My addiction to pornography did not stop when I became a Christian. I had been a Christian for 20 years before this miracle happened. In fact, I had tried to quit many many times with no success and finally had given up! It was a 100% miracle - there is no other explantion whatsoever.

savedbygrace said...

To all of you who think speaking in tongues is just babble - I offer you a challenge. I will call each of you up and let you record my babble and then take the recording to any linguist to see if it is babble. I will speak in tonguies for 10 or 15 minutes or longer if you want me to. I will also challenge you to duplicate my babble. Babble is highly repetitious and easily discernable to the ear as jibberish and not a language. Any takers?

Russ said...

savedbygrace,
You said,

How do you explain the fact that 100's of thousands of Christians speak in another language that they never heard before? We are speaking of mature adults, not children and Santa Claus. Very poor analogy. Compare apples with apples, please.

The explanation is simple: "speaking in tongues" is not "speaking" at all. It is the mere uttering of nonsense syllables. It's not repeatable. Those "interpreting it" simply weave a yarn using language that those in attendance commonly recite in their church meetings. Nothing is being revealed and there are no prophecies except in the same vague sense as astrology. "Somewhere, something will happen."

Just as it is with psychics, you do all the work to imbue the experience with meaning. You are the one who reshapes nebulous statements to conform to your life, and, when relevant, you back-correlate to invent fulfulled prophecy. You then pretend that your "prophesy" is a miracle. "Oh, wow! Something, somewhere DID happen. The prophecy is fulfilled!"

Show me a prognosticator who foretells events in detail - exact dates, times, places, people, carnival rides, names of pets, etc - in a way that it can be known that the predictions actually took place in advance of the foreshadowed events. Then, demonstrate to me that it was those particular events that were actually foretold, and that those events did not result from deception intended to make it appear as though the prophecy was fulfilled. Then, demonstrate to me that it did not result from coincidence and that it did not result from regular processes or procedures known to our prophet, but unknown to those evaluating the predictions. Then, show me that this prophet can perform this feat more than 90 percent of the time, so it makes some sense to accept that what they say has some reasonable possibility of actually happening. Then, I might agree that your prognosticator shows some promise. However, this is never what the religious mean by prophesy.

When you say, "We are speaking of mature adults," I'm not sure exactly what you mean, since maturity suggests an ability to deal with the world as it is not as a fantasy land one wishes it to be.

savedbygrace said...

So Russ,

Are you willing to accept my challenge if you are so sure that tongues is simply jibberish?

Russ said...

savedbygrace,
You said,

My addiction to pornography did not stop when I became a Christian. I had been a Christian for 20 years before this miracle happened. In fact, I had tried to quit many many times with no success and finally had given up! It was a 100% miracle - there is no other explantion whatsoever.

You say "there is no other explantion[sic] whatsoever," but there are.

One perfectly reasonable one is this: chafing, defined as "rubbing so as to wear away : abrade [waxing his carrot caused chafing on his peepee] b: to make sore by or as if by rubbing." You chafed the shit out of your willy and you decided to give it at rest.

Another perfectly reasonable explanation would be that you suffered some of the many other painful side effects of excessive masturbation: fungal infections, urinary tract infections, prolonged aching of the testicles, diminished sensitivity of the penis, rectal bleeding due to anal probing, hemorrhoids.

There are plenty of explanations for why you reduced your monkey-spanking to a tolerable level. Nothing in what you've said shows that "It was a 100% miracle." It hurt. You stopped. Not miraculous. More like self-preservation.

savedbygrace said...

Russ,

You are dead wrong. It had ZERO to do with anything you said. Getting desperate to find an alternative answer, eh? Wish to try again?

savedbygrace said...

Pearls before swine? Perhaps.

Richard said...

@Saved

There seems to be little point to your challenge. It is easy for me to find a scientist who'd call Glassolalia 'gibberish'.

Then you'd come up with some excuse for why their opinion didn't count.

Then, you'd feel like I cherry-picked an atheist (or whatever) scientist, and I'd feel like you're playing a dishonest make-work game.

So, let's start by looking at the existing literature. Here's the introductory paragraph from a research paper:

"Glossolalia, sometimes referred to as “speaking in
tongues,” is an unusual mental state associated with
specific religious traditions. The individual appears to
be speaking in an incomprehensible language over
which he or she claims to have no control. Yet, the
individual perceives glossolalia to have great personal
meaning. The individual also describes a lack of
voluntary control over the vocalizations. Studies have
shown that the vocalizations, which often are part of
singing, are not related to any clear linguistic structure
(Samarin, 1972)
. It is unclear whether glossolalia is
related to psychopathology (Hine, 1969; Lovekin and
Malony, 1977), and one study suggested that abnormal
temporal lobe activity could be a possible cause of
glossolalia (Persinger, 1984). Since there are no imaging
studies of this phenomenon, we wanted to determine if
glossolalia was associated with specific changes in
cerebral activity" (emph. mine)

My source is: (Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging. 2006. Vol. 148, No. 1, 22, pp. 67-71).

So, the authors of this study are happy to call glossolalia gibberish.

If you're not just playing a stupid make-work game, please provide a peer-reviewed citation that supports your claim that glossolalia is not considered gibberish by anyone the scientific community.

If you can't/won't, then it seems that there's little point in anyone individually contacting a linguist, or putting much effort into debunking your claims.

savedbygrace said...

Hi Richard,

I have complete control over mine and speak at will just like I do in English. No difference whatsoever. I also have 4 years of French and am self taught in Biblical Greek. So once again, my challenge remains for you to record my "jibberish" for 10 or 15 minutes, or however long you want me to speak it. You say stop, and I will stop. You say start, and I will start. I am in 100% control, contrary to you bogus article! Come on, prove me wrong!

Richard said...

Oops.
"that supports your claim that glossolalia is not considered gibberish by anyone the scientific community."

should have read:
"that supports your claim that the scientific community thinks of glossolalia as something other than gibberish."

I need to do a better job editing my posts, I guess.

savedbygrace said...

Richard,

From your quote:

"The individual also describes a lack of voluntary control over the vocalizations."

Total BS!

savedbygrace said...

Here is an article from Wiki:

"William J. Samarin, a linguist from the University of Toronto, published a thorough assessment of Pentecostal glossolalia that became a classic work on its linguistic characteristics.[3] His assessment was based on a large sample of glossolalia recorded in public and private Christian meetings in Italy, Holland, Jamaica, Canada and the USA over the course of five years; his wide range included the Puerto Ricans of the Bronx, the Snake Handlers of the Appalachians, and Russian Molokan in Los Angeles.

Samarin found that glossolalic speech does resemble human language in some respects. The speaker uses accent, rhythm, intonation and pauses to break up the speech into distinct units. Each unit is itself made up of syllables, the syllables being formed from consonants and vowels taken from a language known to the speaker.

It is verbal behavior that consists of using a certain number of consonants and vowels[...]in a limited number of syllables that in turn are organized into larger units that are taken apart and rearranged pseudogrammatically[...]with variations in pitch, volume, speed and intensity.[4]

[Glossolalia] consists of strings of syllables, made up of sounds taken from all those that the speaker knows, put together more or less haphazardly but emerging nevertheless as word-like and sentence-like units because of realistic, language-like rhythm and melody.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossolalia

ccubeman said...

sbg,

Coincidentally, my wife is a linguist with a BA in Linguistics from Furman University. She tells me tongues is jibberish. She then told me to look up something known as xenoglossy, which is the spontaneous speaking of a known language previously unknown to the speaker. She feels, as a linguist, that both xenoglossy and glossolalia are bunk.

It was suggested to find someone who can take english and translate into tongues. Then pick another tongue speaker at random, and speak the english phrases in tongues, then ask for a translation. It has never been successful, according to my learned source.

Scott said...

Saved,

As I suspected, you did not answer my questions. This is even after carefully qualifying them to avoid such an outcome.

Specifically...

Just to be clear, I'm not asserting that this is actually what happened in your case. Surely, it would be impossible for me to make such an assumption given our limited interactions here on DC.

Clearly, this is NOT what I was implying. Yet you responded as if I did.

Instead I asked if you have considered the roles that pornography and Christianity have played in your life. Your response, seems to suggest you have not.

For example, should you not understand why you were addicted in the first place, it should come to no surprise that you would not understand why it stopped - which could lead you to think it was a miracle.

Should you see pornography as ultimately caused by an supernatural evil force beyond your control, it would be no surprise that you would assume it's absence could only be caused by a supernatural good force, such as God.

Do you see how asking these questions would be an important part of qualifying this as a miracle?

ccubeman said...

sbg you said:

I also have 4 years of French and am self taught in Biblical Greek. So once again, my challenge remains for you to record my "jibberish" for 10 or 15 minutes

Are you saying your jibberish is really a mishmash of french and greek? If you already know two languages through normal study, why would we take you up on the challenge? You could speak slew of greek and french words. How would this support your assertion of xenoglossy?

The debate here is the miraculous spontaneous knowledge of a known language. I say it does not occur. This seems to be supported by the scientific community.

Richard said...

@Saved.

I note that your claim has changed.

Previously it was: "The non-repetitive nature of Glossolalia is so difficult to reproduce that any linguist would say it's non-gibberish."

It now seems to be: "I can make non-repetitive mouth-sounds on command."

I have found a scientist who feels that non-repetition is not a sufficient proof that glossolalia is language. So, I've answered your first claim to my satisfaction.

And, I am happy to take you at your word about your new claim.

So, I do not see that there is any remaining dispute.

With regard to: "The individual also describes a lack of voluntary control over the vocalizations."

Total BS!


The individual described that or they did not. If you have evidence that the authors are lying, please send it to the journal editors.

If you have no such evidence, your claim is libelous.

savedbygrace said...

Scott,

There are many people addicted to porno. It is an addiction, just like any other addiction, whether, gambling, drugs , alchohol, etc etc. I completely fail to see your point. What exactly are you trying to say? You are making no sense to me whatsoever.

Why was I addicted? I found some porn in my uncle's house when I was about 11 yrs old. It was a major rush. It was the best high that I had ever had. I was hooked and stayed hooked until 1990 - almost 30 years later.

savedbygrace said...

Richard,

You said: "If you have no such evidence, your claim is libelous."

I have my own personal proof that I =can do it on command, so that is why I say the article is total BS! I will prove it to you, as I have already stated. It is 100% voluntary for me. This guy was making a sweeping statement that is was involuntary! Not so!

Richard said...

@Saved.

You claimed that there existed no other possible explanations.

Scott disagreed. He provided another possibility that would explain the phenomenon you described. (Suddenly losing a desire to watch porn could be the result of a medical condition).

He explicitly said that he was not asserting that he KNEW the answer, merely that there existed another possible explanation.

You replied saying, effectively, "I believe that your proposed explanation is not the correct one."

Your reply did not actually address his claim.

Russ said...

savedbygrace,

So Russ,

Are you willing to accept my challenge if you are so sure that tongues is simply jibberish?


In Jabberwocky, Lewis Carroll made up words that sounded like language, too.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"


savedbygrace, accept your own challenge. If you are going to make some claim, you need to accept the burden of proof. If you're convinced that when you "speak in tongues" you are using a known language, then, recording in hand, soldier on from linguist to linguist to verify it.

Of course, you're missing the fact that if it really was a recognizable language, and if there really are all of those hundreds of thousands of others who also "speak in tongues" then someone would have already ferreted out what that language is, since it would prove beyond all doubt that through their holy spirit they had been given information they had not acquired via some other means. But, no one has done this. Why? It's jibberish, babble, burping, gargling, hiccups.


He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!


If those who claim that it really is a language, lack the curiosity to verify that it really is, I'm quite content to let them vocalize all the nonsense they desire.


One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.


You say there are a great many speaking in tongues, and, thereby, receiving meaningful prophesies. But, the fact that those of us outside your group never hear about these great foresights, means we can safely assume that those great insights are only in your minds. If so many were gaining deep insights from this, it would be broadly known outside your group.

Outsiders, recognizing the power you're tapping into, would be clamoring to join to get a piece of it. Instead, what we observe is that those who regularly witness this speaking in tongues firsthand are leaving those churches in greater percentages than ever. Even as eyewitnesses they do not see what you say you see; they do not hear what you say you hear.

Speaking in tongues is group entertainment along the lines of excorcisms and faith healing. You could better spend your time learning some science, painting your neighbor's house, or playing with your children.


'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.


At least the artful jibberish of Jabberwocky is not intended to deceive.

ccubeman said...

sbg,

That wikipedia article doesn't really add support to glossolalia as anything but a mix-up of consonants and vowels. These letters are then strung together to form words. People can take these words and apply their normal cadence, accent, structure. But... These words remain meaningless.

The article does not say that speaking in tongues has actual etymological meaning.

Richard said...

@Saved

You should re-read the part of the paper you quoted. It does not say what you think it's saying.

"The subject said that Glossolalia is involuntary" != "We, the scientists, believe that Glossolalia is involuntary in this case" != "Glossolalia is involuntary in all cases."

The authors were quoting a subject. If you have proof that they're quoting him improperly, send it to the journal editors. If you do not, your claims are libelous.

savedbygrace said...

A medical reason? When my sex drive is stronger than ever???? Let me see you find such a medical reason! I will be waiting. Can't you see how desperate you are to find an altenative answer? "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH" :-)

savedbygrace said...

"Speaking in tongues is group entertainment"

More pure BS! I speak in tongues all by my lonesome!

savedbygrace said...

I can speak in jibberish just like anyone else. I can also mimic Japanese like anyone else. I have also listened to my shortwave radio for years and heard all kinds of foreign languages. I still challenge anyone of you to try and duplicate my speaking in tongues or come up with something similar.

bob said...

Concerning speaking in tongues, and the source that Savedbygrace used to bolster his claim...

William Samarin wrote:

"When the full apparatus of linguistic science comes to bear on glossolalia, this turns out to be only a facade of language — although at times a very good one indeed. For when we comprehend what language is, we must conclude that no glossa, no matter how well constructed, is a specimen of human language, because it is neither internally organized nor systematically related to the world man perceives."

So, Saved, are you saying that tongues do resemble a human language, or do not?

savedbygrace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard said...

If I could pose a question to the ex-evangelicals:

Did participating in things like Glossolalia make it harder to leave the faith?

I heard someone propose that these practices are a sort of 'bridge-burning' act.

So, once someone's gibbered in public, participated in an exorcism, or whatever, leaving the faith requires that they admit to having acted in a really silly way.

This seems like a reasonable explanation to me. Have people found this to be the case?

savedbygrace said...

Hi bob,

The Bible says we will speak in the tongues of men and of angels. Also, there are primitive tribes that have languages that no one has ever heard other than them. I have heard some very strange sounding languages on my short wave. Really weird stuff!

Gandolf said...

Savedbygrace said "Really weird stuff!"

Sorry!!,that might have been me :)

savedbygrace said...

Richard,

Also, please ask if anyone was ever healed instantaneously without any doctors or medicine involved? Did any of them ever receive a very specific prophecy that came true that was not just a coincidence? Did any of them ever believe that God had spoken to them? I would be curious as well.

My hunch is that the vast majority of ex-Christians were not in the charisamtic circles. I will bet the vast majority 90% and more, were Baptists, Lutheran, Methodists, Presbyterian, or Catholic.

Are there any ex-charismatics on this blog?

Alexis said...

Savebygrace says very dumb and disturbing things. I think is hopeless to reason with him.

savedbygrace said...

Alexis,

Great post!

Scott said...

I wrote...

For example, should you not understand why you were addicted in the first place, it should come to no surprise that you would not understand why it stopped - which could lead you to think it was a miracle.

To which you Saved replied..

Why was I addicted? I found some porn in my uncle's house when I was about 11 yrs old. It was a major rush. It was the best high that I had ever had. I was hooked and stayed hooked until 1990 - almost 30 years later.

This would imply that each and every 11 year old who was exposed to pornography must become addicted to it for decades. However, I don't think this is your position. Is it?

So can you explain what caused you to become addicted when other children may not?

Nor do I think you'd suggest that someone who was addicted to porn could only be free of such an addition by divine intervention. Yet, this seems to contradict your statement that...

It was a 100% miracle - there is no other explantion whatsoever.

savedbygrace said...

Scott,

My miracle happened literally overnight with no human intervention and no other explanation whatsoever!!

And why do people get addicted to anything? I have gambled many times but never got addicted. I took illegal drugs, but never got addicted. I took r[prescription drugs and never got addicted. I smoked cigarettes and never got addicted. So why porn? Your guess is as good as mine. And what difference does it make why?

I do not know of one other person that was freed from porno overnight that was not a Christian. If you do, send me the article or info on how it happened

Scott said...

So why porn? Your guess is as good as mine. And what difference does it make why?

Saved, I'm starting to question the usefulness of continuing this conversation.

First you say that you're absolutely sure that your freedom from pornography couldn't have come by any other means than divine intervention.

Should this be an accurate statement, you'd need to rule out all other possible reasons, which would require advanced knowledge about the nature of additions in general.

But then you say you don't know what caused you to become addicted to porn in the first place?

How is this not a contradiction?

savedbygrace said...

Scott,

I have already ruled out all other possibilities! I do not need to know the cause of my addiction to know that my freedom from it is miraculous! Have you ever had any serious addictions? Whhat caused them? Do you still have them? How did you get free?

You do not want the truth, you just want ANY other possible explanation! That is the problem with manu=y atheists. They will not even give a real close look at the evidence to even consider a true miracle.

Scott said...

I have already ruled out all other possibilities! I do not need to know the cause of my addiction to know that my freedom from it is miraculous!

Saved, how can you have ruled out all other possibilities if you do not have knowledge of how addictions work in detail?

If you do not know how a car engine works, does this justify claiming that it could only be fixed by divine intervention?

If you do not know how a computer works, in detail, would you be justified in claiming that only divine intervention could fix it?

Yet, you've essentially made the same claim with addiction.

savedbygrace said...

Scott,

I know enough about addictions to know that people do not wake up one day and their addiction is no longer there. That much I do know. You arguments are totally lame and impotent.

savedbygrace said...

Scott,

I see that you live in Oralndo. I lived in Daytona for 30 years.

ccubeman said...

sbg,

You're right, atheist do look for other explanations other than the miraculous. Why? Because we've learned that stopping at god did it leads us nowhere.

It seems to me your only explanation for recovery is a miraculous one. Why is this? Why didn't you stop viewing porn simply because it was the right thing to do? Perhaps it wasn't good for your marriage or pocketbook? Perhaps you simply grew tired of watching whatever it was.

For every claim of a miracle there is a plausible natural explanation. We've learned throughout history that although strange things happen, there are natural laws that govern our world, the people in it included. Your addiction recovery is no more miraculous than any other recovered addict who has not relied on faith. The next time you think divine help is required, simply stop, think, consult with loved ones, and try to help yourself by simply doing the right thing.

As I said in an earlier post, lop off an ear, then grow it back unaided by modern medicine. You'll have a darn good case at that point.

And ignore Alexis. Although we disagree, spirited debate should never get personally nasty.

Greg Mills said...

SBG --

I'm struck by the ages of the start of your addiction and the end of your addiction.

When you're eleven years old, stumbling on a cache of porn is like finding Viking gold: it's a powerful bouillabaisse of cultural cues and hormones, so it's incredibly vivid. At forty-ish the hormonal urge is thankfully abated some what. I imagine you had struggled with your love of nekkid people, so you were already probably reprogramming yourself through concentration (prayer, let's say). At some point your chemical need for it had ebbed a bit, so in effect you were reversing the primal moment at eleven when you reached a perfect storm of naughty feelings and hormones. Faith IS a powerful cultural cue, so I have no doubt your faith had not a little to do with your success.

When imagination, personal morality and cultural mores work in tandem with biochemistry, that's some hard stuff to ignore. It was true when you're 11 and it was true in your forties.

As for the overnight thing, I can't say in happened to me overnight, but the abatement of horniness as I approached forty was pretty quick.

I may be completely wrong, and I don't want to diminish your successful unburdening of something that made you unhappy. My point is, sitting here I could come up with a reasonable naturalist explanation of how you beat your addiction.

Scott said...

I know enough about addictions to know that people do not wake up one day and their addiction is no longer there. That much I do know.

So, you should have no problem providing statistics to back this up.

How many people do you know who are addicted to pornography? What studies can you reference that support your claims?

Is someone who has sex regularly, yet still feels unsatisfied more likely to be addicted to porn? What happens to a man's sexual appetite as they grow older? What diseases or conditions could cause a sudden reduction, but not a complete loss, of sex drive?

Surely, you must be very knowledgeable on theses subjects, and more, since you have ruled out all other options.

Scott said...

Saved,

I moved here about about 14 years go from the midwest. I try to make it to the coast at least once a year.

savedbygrace said...

Hi Greg,

I am hornier now than than I have ever been! My sex drive is stronger, not less! It has not diiminished one iota! The difference is that it is now directed 100% at my wife! Thank you for confirming my miracle.

savedbygrace said...

Scott,

I do not need any statistics bcause I know EXACTLY what happened to me and WHO did it! You do not have a clue because you are totally ignorant of the miraculous power of God. No offense intended, just fact. And God had told me years before that He would remove that sin from my life. I just had no idea when, where, or how. But God was fauithful to His promise to me, and it was miraculously gone one day!

Greg Mills said...

sbg --

Um, I didn't confirm jack, bub. If that's your standard of confirmation, I'm not sure what to say.

Regards to your wife. She sounds busy.

Russ said...

savedbygrace,
You serve as a perfect example of how religion corrupts the mind as believers desperately grasp for anything on which it can hang the "miracle" label. Once they have their miracle, they obsessively cling to it, even when evidence to the contrary is presented. Some religious people simply swap their old addictions for new ones. Here, many commenters have provided realistic 100 percent supernatural-free explanations for how one might overcome a hormonally-mediated affliction as they near mid-life. Some of these plausibly explain how such a force of habit could be altered essentially over night.

Yet, rather than considering the merits of these natural contributing factors, you persist in your useless miracle claim while you claim that some god altered the natural course of events to free you from your proclivity. For you to claim a miracle it must be the case that you really do know that no possible natural explanation sufficiently accounts for your experience. But, you can't know that, and from what you have said here, it appears you have no interest in knowing more than you do.

Your miracle claim has no explanatory ability since cause and effect are irrelevant. To you, your penile preoccupation and its resolution were both just another part of your god's unobservable and completely arbitrary plan. Your miracle claim provides no insight into how to help others avoid such involvement or how to help others release themselves from it. Your miracle is of no help whatsoever. And, from what you've said here, you have no better understanding of it than any of the rest of us. Your miracle explanation even fails you.

Good bye.

savedbygrace said...

Russ,

None of the explanations had anything to do with me - not one! All of the other possiblities have been 100% ruled out in my specific situation. YOU are the one in denial, not me. I know EXACTLY what happened and the time frame involved and my sexual intensity at that time. NOTHING HAD CHANGED WITH MY SEXUAL DESIRES OR INTENSITY! Did you read that?

So far, evey single explanation offered has been ruled out!

Greg Mills said...

To add to what Russ said, if you accomplish something you credit to the intervention of some supernatural agency that can be accomplished merely by will or circumstance, the utility of that agency is negligible.

For instance, take Yuri Geller, who claims he can bend spoons with his mind. Well, so what? I can bend a spoon with a lot less effort with my own two hands.

If I can reasonably accomplish something by ordinary effort, I can't be impressed by your supernatural agent, especially since your solution isn't scalable to general use. If it was, it wouldn't be a miracle by definition because it would part of the state of affairs of the world.

savedbygrace said...

Hi Greg,

I did not use any effort! I had quit trying a long time before! This time GOD did it! I know the absolute truth and you are ignoring that truth! You atheists do not like REAL miracles do you?

Yuri Geller was exposed as a fraud many years ago!

Donald said...

Dear Saved,

No true addict would ever be able to quit like that. If you were able to quit cold-turkey, then it's quite obvious that you were never really an addict.

People quit porn every day, without without any help from God. That diminishes your claim of it being a 'miracle'. Isn't a miracle supposed to be something out of the ordinary?

Why does God only handle the 'easy' problems. Why didn't he cure the little girl that died after her parents had prayed for her to get better instead of taking her to a doctor? It looks like God thought that keeping you from looking at dirty pictures was more important than this little girls life. Does that sound like a fair and just God to you?

Scott said...

I do not need any statistics bcause I know EXACTLY what happened to me and WHO did it! You do not have a clue because you are totally ignorant of the miraculous power of God

Saved, it seems you've changed your position after being pressed for details.

First, you claimed that you had considered all possible alternative reasons why you abruptly felt free from pornography and had ruled them out. Now, it seems you've presented a completely opposite approach in saying that you didn't need to explore these options because God had told you earlier that he was going to free you?

Which is it?

Also, how exactly did God reveal this to you? Was it a dream? A vision while wide awake?

Richard said...

Dear Saved,

I am an atheist who was also tormented and ensnared by the power of pornography. I used reason and the knowledge I received from psychology books to overcome my addiction. This proves non-theism is true. You don’t need your delusional god to overcome your weaknesses. Just soften your heart and let your belief in god go away. Embrace science and reason.

Scott said...

SBG wrote: You atheists do not like REAL miracles do you?

As apposed to FAKE miracles?

Saved, I'd love to see a real miracle. However, I've seen no indications that one has actually occurred.

While your presentation is enthusiastic, you also come across as one who jumps to the conclusion that God is behind an event without carefully considering other options.

This lack of reflection doesn't give me much confidence in your conclusion.

In addition, I've found that most people who use many exclamation points and omit or present conflicting information merely want to cause an emotional response or outrage in their favor. Should someone actually have a strong position, why would they need to resort to such an approach?

Furthermore, if your primary reason for believing that God miraculously freed you of your addiction to porn is based on a "private promise" he made to you long ago, which we would clearly have not access to or could not confirm, you'd realize how unreasonable your expectations is that we simply "take your word for it." However, this does not seem to be the case. Again, this doesn't give me much confidence in your position.

Greg Mills said...

"You atheists do not like REAL miracles do you?"

I don't see a miracle here. You described a result that could happen through naturalistic means.

In other words, your miracle could be achieved WITHOUT supernatural intervention. God is not needed here.

As long as we going anecdotal, I can tell you of two
cases of people very close to me overcoming nasty issue involving haywire biochemical reward response (in other words, addiction) through strength of will and therapeutic means. I'm proud of both of them.

There wasn't any miracle involved (though I'm humbled by the effort these two people put into getting to a healthier place). There was a lot of hard work.

You stated that you didn't put in any effort. Well, I guess you didn't suffer too much then.

I'm also flabbergasted that you'd think that you could make an extraordinary vague claim as a more or less anonymous poster on a blog, then be surprised that people might have problems with it.

James said...

Saved, what do you make of the many respected Christian believers who insist speaking in tongues today is not real?

John Macarthur from Grace To You ministries:

Now, when you go into 1 Corinthians 14, the Apostle Paul says, "Tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not." What are they a sign of? They’re a sign that God is present and about to speak, for one thing. And, secondly, in 1 Corinthians 14, it says, they are a sign to Israel. What are they a sign of? Well, you go back to Isaiah, and Isaiah said, you don’t listen to me, when I speak your language, so, someday, I’m going to speak a language you don’t understand. And, so, tongues were a two-fold sign. One, they attracted the attention of people to show that God was there. Two, they said to the Jews, you haven’t heard when God spoke in your language, and now, He’s going to speak a language you can’t hear. So, it was a judicial sign of judgment on Israel.

After that era, I believe, tongues ceased. And, that’s 1 Corinthians 13, "Whether there be tongues, they shall cease." And, I believe they ceased.


Secondly, and, probably, the most common thing, it is learned behavior. Somebody started it and there was a euphoria about it, and so you sort of get into the swing, and you learn how to do it. There’s some ecstasy. Two Lutherans, by the name of Kildol (sp?) and Colvin (sp?) did a survey and study of this thing, and their primary result was that it’s learned behavior. And, you have a certain person who’s predisposed to that kind of thing emotionally and he learns how to do it, and falls into that. Just like there are hypnotizable and nonhypnotizable people. There are certain psychological types of people who fall easier prey to that kind of phenomena. But there’s no need for us as Christians to seek that. I think it’s a wrong thing to seek.

savedbygrace said...

Scott,

I was very depressed about my addiction to porn, and I was thinking about giving up on being a Christian because I did not want to be a hypocrit and live a double life. God clearly spoke to me and said "You keep worshipping Me and I will remove that sin." I never forgot that moment. The fulfillment of that prophecy did not come until many years later.

So I know God for real, and His miracle power for real. You can jump through all the hoops you so desire trying to explain this away, but it will never work. I know exactly what happened.

savedbygrace said...

Greg,

You said: "I can tell you of two
cases of people very close to me overcoming nasty issue involving haywire biochemical reward response (in other words, addiction) through strength of will and therapeutic means. I'm proud of both of them."

BINGO! Strenght of will and theraputic means! I did not use my will one iota and had ZERO therapy! I woke up one day and my addiction was 100% GONE! Miraculously removed by the mighty and loving hand of God! PERIOD!

I was also instantly healed by God one time with no medicine and no doctors. I know God first hand and for REAL!

savedbygrace said...

Donald,

You said: "No true addict would ever be able to quit like that."

Exactly! "I" did not quit! God took the addiction away! That's what makes it a miracle! You are right, I could never have quit like that. 100% impossible. It was an all day obsession and I was completely engulfed in it.

Thanks for another confirmation that it was truly nothing but a miracle!

savedbygrace said...

James,

There are many anti-charisamtics like McArthur that have never been filled with the Holy Spirit. They deny the gifts of the Spirit and say that all of that ended when the apostles died! What nonsense! The Holy Spirit never died! McArthur is a moron!

Scott said...

Saved,

It appears that, instead of answering my question, you dismissed my attempt get a clear understanding of your position as "jumping though hoops."

First, you claimed that you had considered all possible alternative reasons why you abruptly felt free from pornography and had ruled them out. Now, it seems you've presented a completely opposite approach in saying that you didn't need to explore these options because God had told you earlier that he was going to free you?

Which is it?


Also, you wrote:

God clearly spoke to me and said "You keep worshipping Me and I will remove that sin." I never forgot that moment.

How does God speak to you? Through a dream? A vision? Please be specific.

Again, I'm sensing that you're simply dismissing our questions out of hand and have an unreasonable expectation that we simply take your word for it.

Should God speak to me, I'd be fascinated by the particular means in which he revealed himself. I'd be interested in how the entire process of communication between us works at a detailed level. I'd be curious as to what conditions that God communicates with some, but not others. But God has not communicated with me.

This leads me to think that we are talking past each other when you say "spoke to me" as we seem to have different definitions of what that means.

savedbygrace said...

Scott,

I was talking about right here and right now! I looked at all of the possiblities that people were asking me about. None of them were true in my case! Do you understand now?

savedbygrace said...

Scott, God speaks in many ways - through dreams, enlightenment, discernment, words of wisdom and knowledge through the Holy Spirit, visions, prophecies, the Bible being quickened in our spirit, revelation, awareness, and dirctly to our spirit. God spoke directly to my spirit that He would remove that sin.

I cannot explain to you what you have never experienced. It will not make any sense to you. You first need to be born again and filled with the Holy Spirit before it will make any sense to you.

Greg Mills said...

SBG -- So your supernatural intervention took several years after your experience of receiving the promise. It didn't instantly disappear. You had to apply some sort of technique, yes?

You're kind of all over the place in your claim.

ryan said...

sbg:

You do realize that talking about you personal experience (being saved) is quite useless, being that "we/I" are not "you", and therefore cannot comprehend what you may have experienced. While I will agree that you may have had a happy experience, how do you know that I didn't have that same happy feeling when I performed my "morning ritual"?

savedbygrace said...

Greg,

No I applied no technique whatsoever. The Lord miraculously removed it with no participation from me whatsoever. It was 100% God! I did NOTHING! He simply removed my addiction one day and it is still completely gone 20 years later! It never came back! It was a miracle, plain and simple. There is no other explanation. NONE!

savedbygrace said...

Hi Ryan,

My experience of being born again had NOTHING to do with a happy feeling! I was in God's holy presence and I knew it. I went from an atheist to a KNOWER in .00001 seconds! Another miracle!

And you are correct, you cannot know until it happens to you personally.

Scott said...

Saved wrote: cannot explain to you what you have never experienced. It will not make any sense to you. You first need to be born again and filled with the Holy Spirit before it will make any sense to you.

Saved, I'd suggest that we shared a majority of these experiences, which you interpret as some form of supernatural communication.

However, I've concluded this interpretation was incorrect over 10 years ago. This was due to a wide range of factors, many of which have been posted here on DC.

In addition, I've had similar experiences reading books on Buddhism, philosophy and even fiction. Does this mean that the Buddha was speaking to me?

Wrapping up my comments here, It's become clear that, should God exist, we have no sufficient means to discern between what would be his actual nature and what we desire God to be. The Christian God speaks to you just as Mohammed "talks" to Muslims and Buddhists teachings "speak" to me. Which seems to say that we're experiencing a process that occurs with our own minds and thoughts.

Of course, you will assert otherwise, but have not provided any means to support this assertion.

Greg Mills said...

What if I were to say to you I could, through artful application of electrodes to your limbic system, allow you to experience the undeniable and sublime presence of God?

Corky said...

It's amazing how a born again will lie and lie and lie for Jesus. However, when they keep it up long enough, they begin to contradict themselves. It happens every time.

They will even invent "sock puppets" an have arguments with themselves - which they always win, of course.

There is no limits to the deceptions and outright lies that these born agains will stoop to for the sake of Jesus.

The intention is good, of course, it's to convert an unbeliever. At least they imagine it is "good" but it is not, it's lies based on a lie and that's never good.

savedbygrace said...

Hey Scott,

Can Buddha tell you your future in very specific detail? Can Mohammed instantly heal you? Can either one free you miraculously and instantly from an overpowering addiction?

You experienced churchianity - not Christianity. You experienced a counterfeit and a substitute.

savedbygrace said...

Hi Corky,

Yes, I am either lying, or I have experienced a true miracle. You are FORCED to conclude that I must be lying. You have no other choice. Either that or I am completely delusional!

You are forced to remain in denial, and to keep your head buried in the sand while yelling "It can't be true - it can't be true - HELP!" A very pathetic sight indeed.

Greg Mills said...

Can Buddha tell you your future in very specific detail? Can Mohammed instantly heal you? Can either one free you miraculously and instantly from an overpowering addiction?

I'm sure there are followers in every tradition that make claims that can't be substantiated, just as in every tradition there must be schizotypes that have very real mental experiences that can seem like the intervention of supernatural forces.

There is also in every tradition people whose memories of an event are wrong and they reverse engineer an explanation to suit what their current beliefs.

People have strokes, migraines, fugue states, psychotic incidents, waking dreams. All people, universally, have brains that function in a purely rational, dependable way a lot less than we realize.

We are bipedal hunters with binocular vision, and as such, our brains have particular quirks and blind spots that come from our physiological circumstance.

We're also story tellers, so there you go.

BFG had an event that he has attached a narrative significance. Damned if any of us are going to talk him out of it.

savedbygrace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
savedbygrace said...

Greg,

I have had way more than just an experience! God has completely tranformed my life with no help from me! No counseling, no drugs, no rehab, no therapy, no psychology, and no other outside intervention - NONE!

So why do you want to deny reality? I know why! Because you are forced to! You have no other choice. You are just another sad case of throwing pearls to swine.

Greg Mills said...

SBG -- Buddy, throw some pearls then.

You are an anonymous poster on a blog. I wouldn't buy a used woodchipper under these circumstances.

I don't even disbelieve you. You haven't even made a concrete claim.

savedbygrace said...

Greg,

Swine do not know what pearls are and cannot recognize their value and worth, just as you cannot recognize the pearls that God has given me. See that, the Bible is correct again! Wondeful thing that Bible!

Greg Mills said...

You're incoherent, pal.

savedbygrace said...

Greg,

Thanks for confirming my previous post and the wisdom of the holy Scriptures.

Carbon Based said...

It wasn't zombie jesus that cured SBG's porn addiction it was the devil. Hep lucy her self.

Why there was SBG wasting his days waxing his pole and the devil said "cure this dweeb and he'll think it was baby jesus and go online to annoy people with a false miricle story thus driving away possible converts to baby jesus's side.

Well what do you think? It seems to explain all the evidence and it sure is working well no?

LOL

PS: Can satan do miricles?

savedbygrace said...

More swine! LOOKOUT!

"Anything But God! Anything! Oh please help us poor atheists! We do not know what to do or what to say! HELP!"

savedbygrace said...

It seems like there are some atheists on here with a touch of the SWINE flu. I will be praying for your sorry asses. :-)

For Sure said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

Saved,

In case it's not clear, I do not think the Buddha's teachings actually "speak" to me. I think I have an ah-ha moment of understanding when I read them. This does not require a supernatural cause.

Can Buddha tell you your future in very specific detail? Can Mohammed instantly heal you? Can either one free you miraculously and instantly from an overpowering addiction?

No they have not cannot, but neither has the Christian God.

Should I have a ah-ha moment while reading or contemplating a particular teaching then think how that teaching might resolve something I'm struggling with in some point in the future, the actual resolution of said issue does not mean some supernatural being must have been involved. You'd have to show how this was not simply statistical chance.

As for being instantly healed, I'd expect evidence of both detailed existence of a disease and evidence of it's instant disappearance.

In addition, why has there been no claims of God having healed an amputee?

What Up? said...

God does not heal amputees because there is nothing left to heal! The leg is gone!

Wonder Boy said...

What is "the fold"???

goprairie said...

the mind and the body 'heal'themselves every day in apparently random ways and this happens to people with and without faith equally. warts are finally conquered by the body, the high from smoking finally ceases to be, the fear of something suddenly is no more. saved claims it was sudden, yet knew for years it was 'wrong' and so the brain was 'trying' to find ways to stop even if the person was not purposely trying. i promised a friend i would quit smoking and i did and every time i was around smokers, it was difficult to resist. then one day i was with a group of smokers and realized i did not care. my brain finally lost interest in the chemical thrill of the smoke. it was obviously not god come to save this atheist. it was brain chemistry passing some threshold. people have tumors that the body gradually stops and erodes away until gone and often they never knew they had them. i was afraid of water for years and purposely worked to desensitize myself, yet still felt the panic just below the surface. two weeks ago, out in the canoe in waves that would have pushed me to panic i had to control, i realized i was enjoying the rocking of my little boat. no god. my brain just got used to being safe in the boat in those conditions and stopped shooting adrenalin into my system in that situation. had i been a god-loving person, i am pretty sure i would attribute those 'miracles' to god, but they are not miracles. they are things the body and brain regularly engage in, and the point where the body or brain suddenly pass the threshold from still trying to success is not a miracle, but the end of a process the person is often not even aware of, just like digestion, heartbeat, and the feelings of joy at seeing the face of a loved one, other things we atheists know are from instinct and brain and body chemistry, but the religious also often call 'miracles'. you can't convince me my wart went away due to a miracle and i cant convine the christian theirs went away due to a change in body chemistry.

rich386 said...

God heals. He made our body the way it is. It is all His doing.

Gandolf said...

savedbygraces experience might hold more proof of validity if these type of suggested miracles ever became more obvious to us all.

But they never do! these so called miracles have always been only in the domain of the person who tells us they have some faith in them.They are never documented and proved with proper evidence.And ones that are scientifically studied are soon debunked time and time again,and if they were not they would soon become news worldwide!.Faith beliefs would soon soar to new heights if they were proved and in time maybe even need for hospitals would become obsolete.Saving much cost economically as well.

But as is even so with religious books as well! all we actually ever have to rely on is faith in people hopefully always telling us the truth.When relativity in this world by our experiences tells us already blatantly! that quite often people just cannot be trusted at all,and that its often ever better to decide who should or shouldnt be trusted by looking for good evidence that backs up their claims.

So why in a world where we really need so often to rely so much on finding good evidence to really believe any of peoples claims,would a god ever be likely to create us with expectations we would ever be likely to throw much weight on what only really adds up to religious faith?.

Why cant people understand this when all they can ever come up with to try to convince us,is the special pleading of their own supposed experiences?.What is really only ever going to be superstition, without the forthcoming of some decent proof that really proves otherwise.

Carbon Based said...

"God does not heal amputees because there is nothing left to heal! The leg is gone!"

But apparently god saw fit to endow the Axolotl Salamander with the ability to regrow limbs, skin, organs and even spinal cords and parts of the brain.

So again why won't god heal amputees?

goprairie said...

"God heals. He made our body the way it is. It is all His doing."
oh, rich, that IS rich. So if god heals our bodies he must then be the one to mess them up? so he made my plantar wart before he healed it and . . . well, the unhealed bunion and the unhealed arthritis and the unhealed allergies and . . . well, he sure does suck then if he made it all messed up and only healed PART of it and only heals for SOME people . . . what a crappy mean inconsistant god he is . . .

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