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Hi Sandra, I just wanted to respond to your post at

www.exchristian.net. You said to email you if we (any

ex christians) had similar experiences, and I will try

to share what I know. You can read my anti-testimony

at (

http://exchristian.net/testimonies/2006/07...n-to-happy.html

)

if you want to see where I am coming from.

 

You said : "I really don't know where to start. I was

a serious Christian when I turned 19, I think. (Of

course I have heard since I am not sure of the exact

date of my conversion, then I must not be really

saved). I went to a spirit-filled church for five

years and to other denominations before that. I stayed

in the spirit-filled church because my pastor was, or

is, a "prophet", or had a prophetic type gift. I was

going through really hard times (emotionally). No one

knew my personal life in that church at all, yet

somehow he came straight to me on several different

occasions to tell me things so accurate and so

precise, that I was going through, that it had to be

real. The things that he would prophesy were not

generalized like you see from a fake fortune teller."

 

My Response : I would first examine the

pastor/prophet's way of convincing you that he knows

things about you that nobody could possibly know

(supposedly). Or better yet, just imagine it was not

a pastor/prophet, but rather a psychic on the phone or

at a carnival. Would you believe they had some

supernatural ability? You didn't specify what the

pastor said that convinced you they were a true

prophet, so I am just going to step out on a line on

this one. If you could let me know the specific

things the pastor said which made you believe it was

real, I might be able to better understand.

 

You said : "I became very involved in Christianity and

knew it had to be real, or I would not see these

"gifts of the spirit" in operation.

 

I have been healed of things miraculously and knew

that for those things to happen, there must be a God.

 

I have seen demon-possessed people speaking in

tongues... and these people were for real. I mean

there was no faking this stuff. I have actually seen

someone thrown around on a floor and jerked in such a

manner that their body could not have done that! I

knew this person all of my life, knew them to be of

sound mind, and watched their body twisted in really

unnatural ways. This person could not have been

faking. Freaky voices would come out of her and would

say things about other people that only those other

people knew at the time. She spoke in other languages

and she only knows English. There were other people

that knew some of these other languages and that is

why everyone was so shocked that it would come out of

her mouth.

 

I would normally think, "well I guess anything can be

faked," but I know this person, and she is not the

type to fake, to want attention, or anything of the

sort. She was disabled in her body (her mind

completely sound, however), so I know she could not

have contorted her body in the weird ways, and slung

it around on the floor, or flipped herself over and

over all around the church. These things would only

happen to her when we would go to church, or watch a

movie like that Mel Gibson movie that had to do with

Christ."

 

My Response : I also was involved in Christianity as

you were in regards to the "gifts of the Spirit" such

as speaking in tongues, supposed healings, falling

backwards, lifting up hands, shaking violently, etc.

As far as you being healed, you didn't specify what

the illness was, if you saw a doctor, if you used

medicine for it, and if the doctor couldn't explain

it. If you could let me know the specifics, that

would really help.

 

As far as "demon possessed" people, you have to

already have a bias in order to believe it is "demons"

in the first place. For example, a psychiatrist would

probably consider someone doing such things to have a

mental illness of some type who believes they are

demon possessed. Many schizophrenic people believe

they see demons everywhere, so it is possible the

person is just unmedicated. My wife works with

schizophrenics and she tells me their behavior and it

is identical to what you say you saw as "demon

possession". It wasn't fake in the sense that it

happened, but how you understood it was mistaken I

believe. See, here is how it works. If you are

convinced there is a god before you critically think,

you will apply everything you see to the supernatural,

rather than a scientific natural method. So, for

example, when someone is blind or deaf, you might

believe they are cursed by God or maybe they are made

that way by the devil. It all depends on your

specific beliefs in christianity/religion. But,

anyone who critically examines why people are born

blind or deaf can clearly see it is an unfortunate

side effect of being so complex and highly evolved

(because evolutionary biology is imperfect). A person

who has no belief in gods can easily explain without

excuses why bad things happen to good people, whereas

the christian/theist has to make one excuse after

another (which no person with rational thought would

buy). If you saw these "normal" people in your type

of church shaking violently of some "demonic"

possession, then perhaps they were not as normal as

you thought. For example, a person can seem very

normal, yet it turns out they are a serial killer or

child rapist. So, just because they appear one way

doesn't mean they are like that all the time. Freaky

voices are easy to manipulate and create (Just look at

that comedian Michael Winslow who can imitate hundreds

of sounds and people). And especially, if the person

BELIEVES they are demon possessed, such skills come

out in order to convince others that what they believe

is true. Sometimes, I am so sharp in my personality

skills, I can tell things about someone specifically,

that turn out to be correct. It happens every now and

then, yet I am not "demon possessed". It is just

being able to see a person's appearance, body

language, and knowing what they believe which can make

it easier to do such things. And my guess is these

"demon possessed" people could only do it with people

they already knew at church. If they were truly demon

possessed, you could experiment and bring 100

strangers from the street to them and ask them

specific questions about each person. If they really

have a supernatural demon in them, it should be no

problem to accurately say things about each person

that nobody else could know. Do you think it would

happen? I highly doubt it.

 

If this person who was "demon possessed" was not the

type to fake or want attention, yet they are a

christian who goes to your church, that clearly must

make her "testimony" about being a believer

questionable, since a christian who is demon possessed

must not TRULY have the Holy Spirit (in some

doctrines). This church you attended seems very

extremist in how they view reality, so it would be

"all or nothing" mentality. So, this person you know

may have the same mentality if they are a person who

goes there (or to a similar church). Perhaps, they

thought they were doing something in their private

life which was "bad" and felt guilty and because of

the clever indoctrination of that particular church,

she thought it was a "demon", which brought forth this

entire extreme behaviour. You might have to specify

the actual things this person is (are they a

christian? Do they go to your church? Does your

church teach these types of things? etc). Obviously,

the body has ability to do tremendous things when the

mind is "sound" or even when it is NOT sound. I don't

know how you can be around someone who does such

things and yet claim they are of "sound mind". Those

things are clear indication they don't have all their

marbles rolling around in their head. She might need

medication. My advice is to have her go to a

psychiatrist who can properly examine her and give her

the right meds so she doesn't have to endure such

things. As far as the Passion movie, it is such a

disgusting piece of fiction and Gibson is good at

pushing emotional buttons on people. It is a catholic

movie, with catholic mysteries in the film as well

(the 14 stations of the cross, the 5 sorrowful

mysteries of the rosary, etc). She probably responded

emotionally to "Christ" because she has been

indoctrinated to believe in such things since being

young (or at least sympathetic to it).

 

You said : "Everyone was really taken aback by this.

 

So here is the problem, I have found tons of

contradictions in the Bible, only some have been

answered enough to suffice.

 

The rest I have yet to find an answer for. After

coming to this site I've found more contradictions or

errors that I did not even know about.

 

I'm not sure what to do about all of this, so I simply

don't go to church. It's hard to sit there with all of

these questions, knowing no one will take the time to

answer them, and when they do, the answers are not

sufficient.

 

I normally, by now, would have concluded Christianity

as false. However, after seeing all of these

supernatural things, I can not say it is false,

either.

 

I am here because I know there are a lot of Christians

out there that have seen the same things, and

experienced them as real—not as a hoax or what have

you. I am hoping there are some ex-Christians on here

that wouldn't mind emailing me if they have had the

same experiences and could help bring some sort of

light to the subject.

 

Sandra"

 

My Response : I assume you mean "everyone" being your

church. This doesn't surprise me. This sounds more

like a cult (which every religion technically is).

Using emotionalism to "feel" some sort of supernatural

euphoria is not unique to christianity. It happens in

almost every religion around the world. People claim

to be healed miraculously, or they have relics that

somehow look like the god they worship, or they can

say things about people which are specific to that

person. All that proves is people will believe just

about anything if the right variables are there.

 

All that is left for you (now that you admit plainly

that the bible is false because of its

contradictions), is to explain those "supernatural

things". I would suggest talking to a psychiatrist

about these things (because they are experts on human

behavior). Also, perhaps talk to people of other

religions and ask them if they experience the same

types of things in their religions. I would say talk

to : muslims, witches, pagans, hindus, vodoons, native

americans, etc. Also, ask yourself, if there IS a

god, why would it let your church do such things (when

they are too lazy to answer simple questions about the

bible)? Why would "god" do "healings" in your church,

yet not be able to do the more simple task of

answering a few questions? The answer is simple.

That church is based on emotionalism and people's

ability to be suckered. If they were based on

critical thinking or logic, they would be able to

answer any questions you had about the bible.

 

Also, ask yourself the basic questions. If the

biblegod is perfect and eternal, why would it bother

creating anything or anyone? Perfect means to be

complete, having no needs or wants. What disrupted

the equilibrium of eternity past to have some god say

"I'm bored and lonely, I think I'll make a universe

and small versions of myself to play with". If the

biblegod WANTED to create the universe and people,

then it was lacking something it wanted (which means

it was imperfect). If the biblegod NEEDED to create

the universe and people, then it was lacking something

it needed (which means it was imperfect). There are

many more questions that no Christians will probably

answer (to your satisfaction) because you have opened

the door to skepticism. Don't feel bad about it. You

will find that as you examine christianity and the

bible closer, those "supernatural" things you

experienced will be shown for what they really were.

They were merely highly elevated emotional states that

you were in which convinced you that a natural

phenomenon was supernatural. It happens to lots of

people, and christians are no exception.

 

I hope this helps you in your quest for answers. If

you want to write back, feel free.

 

Have a good day,

 

Matthew F. Hocker

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Hi all, this is the response I got back from this person, but I have not heard back from them since. Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

Hi Sandra, thanks for writing back, I will try to

respond point by point as best as I can. I apologize

for not writing back right away, but this definitely

takes some time to respond in such length.

 

You said : "Hi Matthew,

Thank you for taking the time to go in depth and to

answer my questions.

I can only answer you briefly because I have a 9 month

old baby that requires a lot of my time.

You had asked specifically what the pastor had said.

The very first prophecy went like this. I went to the

church for the first time, not knowing anyone or

anyone knowing me. The pastor had said that I felt

like I had committed the unpardonable sin and that

Satan was telling me to curse God and die.

 

Sounds extreme I'm sure to most people. For me

however that is exactly what was happening. I had

thought I had committed the unpardonable sin which is

suppose to be an irreverance of some sort towards the

Holy Spirit. My uncle had just been murdered (no

violent crimes has ever happened in my family I was in

Shock and extremely grieved). I had said to God very

angrily that we must be puppets on a string to him or

something of the sort and how could he let this

happen. At that moment I had a thought that if God was

the trinity and the trinity was God then not only was

I blaspheming God at that Moment but the Holy Spirit

as well."

 

My Response : I would first say that a church pastor

that uses a lot of emotionalism and psychological

tricks is sometimes dead on about new people they

meet. I don't know how big the church you visited

was. Because depending on its size, it might be

something this pastor says often, because the odds are

that there is someone who believes they "blasphemed

the Holy Spirit". Not only that, it is just like the

"word of knowledge" on the 700 Club. Out of the many

people who watch the program, the odds are there will

be someone who they describe (you have a pain in your

elbow) or something like that. And of course, it

might have just been a matter of a lucky guess. Every

now and then, I am dead on about people I have never

met. That doesn't mean I am a prophet or

supernatural. Just because the lottery has tremendous

odds to win it, doesn't mean people won't ever win it.

There are lottery winners all the time.

 

Actually, you would be correct about God makes us

"puppets on a string to him". At least, if the bible

is true. You said that you thought God was a trinity,

and that was "blasphemy"? I am going to go out on a

limb and guess you are or were, a Oneness Pentecostal?

If so, that would explain a lot of the emotionalism

and psychological trickery on the part of that church.

Even fellow christian churches have dismissed them as

a cult. It's kind of strange to be angry at God

because he let a family member get murdered, and then

begin to think about christian doctrines like the

trinity. What does God being a trinity have to do

with a person's murder?

 

 

 

You said : "I went into a severe depression because

the bible says there is no forgiveness for this sin

and then thoughts came into my mind that I was

hopeless and to curse God and die. The pastor had

said that I thought I had committed the unpardonable

sin and that Satan was telling me to curse God and

die.

 

I feel you can't get any more exact than that. I

generalisation would have been for me something like "

Someone here is really depressed about something and

they feel like giving up"....but his words were exact.

 

There were many other things like that too numerous to

list. I have been healed at different times of

different things. Once a lady prayed for me on the

phone and I was very ill from an upper repiratory

infection...I mean I could hardly breathe without a

lot of pain I had only had the infection for one day

so in order to run it's course it would take atleast 5

days because that is how my body dealt with illness

She prophesied that I was ill and I know I didn't

sound sick on the phone and I also didn't tell her I

was sick and she prayed and asked God to heal me and

the next morning I awoke with not so much as even a

sniffle , lung pain and everything gone. The rest of

my family however kept their upper respiratory

infection and lung pain for a whole week."

 

My Response : Of course you went into severe

depression. Christianity is well known for causing a

perfectly healthy person loads of grief and

depression, because they believe the nonsense that it

teaches. It is unnatural to embrace many of the

doctrines of christianity or similar internal cults of

it. For example, the doctrine of hell is probably the

most disgusting piece of fiction ever to have been

invented by the church fathers. Yet, I am guessing

you believed you were going to "Hell", because that

church teaches hell does exist. As far as his words

being exact, he has probably been confronted by church

members who have children or themselves who are

worried they "blasphemed the Holy Spirit". Of course,

nobody can ever define what it is. Everyone has their

own opinion about what constitutes it. But, the good

news is that there is no "holy spirit" to blaspheme.

 

You said you were healed different times of different

things. Here is the question though. There are 6.6

billion people on planet earth. 2.2 of them are in

one form of Christianity or another. How many of them

are ever healed of diseases they have? Ever notice

the ones who live in more modern societies tend to be

healed more often? So, for every "healing" you

supposedly had of supernatural phenomena, why did the

same god NOT heal the millions more of the same

things? You told me that you thought you blasphemed

the Holy Spirit. So, why would a god heal someone who

blasphemed the Holy Spirit, but not heal people who

didn't?

 

I'm not sure about that phone call with that lady.

Why were you calling the number? And which church was

it affilated with? These supposed personal

"prophecies" are no different than calling psychics

who know how to deal with the caller's emotional

responses to their suggestions. The power of

suggestion is very powerful. That is why people think

Iraq had WMD's. Not because it had any evidence, but

because the mere suggestion could justify going to war

in Iraq in their eyes. Ask yourself, why does this

"god" seem to love you so much more than your family?

If he doesn't heal them, but supposedly heals you,

what does that say about him? Another problem I have

is that from everything you have said, it seems that

you have the ability to fight off infections more

often than others in your family. There is clearly a

scientific reason for why you have more "healing" than

someone else. The question is, why would "god" allow

you to get "healed" after only 1 day, yet your family

didn't get "healed" til 1 week later? And how is that

a miracle? If there was a god, it wouldn't let you or

your family get sick in the first place. However, the

religious mind is convinced that even the menial, and

perhaps unexplained, is somehow "proof" their specific

god is watching over them. But, how would you explain

the exact same things that happen in other cultures

who deny Jesus Christ? How do they get healed?

 

 

You said : "Another time a mole of mine had started to

itch, grow, bleed, and form irregular borders. I had

not had it checked out by a doctor yet; I was 23 with

no insurance so running off to the doctor would have

to wait. The symptoms were that of melanoma because my

step father's mother had passed away from it and I

knew of the disease and I had other family members

with moles like that removed that were cancerous. I

however can not say it was cancer because I never went

to the doctor. So I got out my bible and concentrated

on the verses of the bible that said Jesus took died

for our healing or something like that (been a long

time since reading the bible). I read it over and over

and told myself to be healed I did it for about 30-45

minutes or so until I believed that he would heal me

(cause without faith you won't please God). Finally I

had the faith and right before my eyes my mole had

shrunk to half the size and was normal in border. It

no longer itched after that or bleed.

 

Those things are very convincing for me. Other people

may be able to explain them away but I can't they were

real and I am of sound mind. There were many other

things over the years but my baby is crying and I need

to attend to him.

 

Thanks so much for your help.

Feel free to respond if you have anything to add.

I will take the time a little later and read your

extimony.

I am looking forward to it.

 

By the way I do not think the bible is false yet. I

said I normally would conclude christianity false by

now but...

I have not concluded it false because I have a lot of

research to do.

Yesterday after looking up some contradictions that I

could not explain I found the answer to one after

seeing it explained in the greek. If there was an

answer to that contradiciton than there might be more.

 

Thanks again!"

 

My Response : Regarding the "mole" you had, my

question is this. If there is a god, who made you

with a body, then he made you with a mole that did

some nasty things. That would seem to be an imperfect

creator for making such a faulty part on the body.

And as you said, you didn't go to the doctor, so you

were merely assuming you had some type of similar

experience which might have been cancer. As far as

reading the bible and concentrating on certain verses

which talk about healing, that is a coping mechanism,

but believe me, it is ALL YOU doing it. If you were a

buddhist, you would probably meditate to focus on

positive energy. If you were a hindu, you might focus

on your third eye. If you were a wiccan, you might do

a ceremony and cast a spell. But, you are a christian

who uses the bible to be "healed". Just one problem.

Why does the all powerful creator of the universe

require intensive reading of the bible in order to

heal someone? How did he heal people when they were

once illiterate and had no "bible" to read? Also, why

would God make you suffer for 30-45 minutes while

reading his "word"? And if God is all knowing, why

would he need to put you through that to know you had

faith? Wouldn't he already know?

 

These are the questions you need to ask before

assuming "God" is giving you some special treatment.

We all want to feel special it seems. We want to feel

important. And if "god" is doing it, that is like the

height of all importance, since God is the creator of

everything. But, it sounds to me, that you were

psychologically tricked by clever scam artists using

Jesus and the bible. Like I said, if there is a god,

why doesn't it heal everyone the same way? How do you

determine you have "more" faith than someone else (in

order to be healed)?

 

You said the bible has contradictions, yet you say it

is not false. How many contradictions does it need to

have for you to consider it to be false? And also, if

there is an all powerful, all knowing, all loving god

who made the bible as his "word", why would it be so

contradictory and foolish in what it says? And if

christianity is based on this faulty, contradictory

and foolish book, then, wouldn't christianity be the

same thing?

 

Just words for some thought.

 

Have a good day,

 

Matthew F. Hocker

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