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Getting God's Opinion


Mudflappus
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I apologize for these posts in rapid succession but I've really been inspired by the responses I've received from ya'll so far. I was perusing my last post and another point came to mind that I felt was worthy of its own thread. Have you ever asked someone of a religious nature if there has ever been a decision God has made that they disagreed with. The flip side of this is whether they have ever had an opinion that God disagreed with. (The operative premise here is that God exists at all) I suppose the most tangible example they could provide is an unanswered prayer but I think there's quite a difference between an unanswered prayer and God telling someone to who to vote for. What do they do when "God's plan" for them disagrees with their own? How does it manifest itself and what actions do they take?

My point is that of all of the Evangelicals I have ever been confronted by, not one has ever had a problem with what their brand of faith requires of them. I've never thought to ask any of them if God has indeed made decisions for them that they didn't like and how they knew. I know that many use their faith as an easy, unprovable justification for the petty prejudices inerrant with most revealed religions. I'm just curious how dissenting opinions are handled.

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Fundies are trained from the beginning to just grit their teeth and accept anything god wants to happen. "God's way is not our way." Whether they agree with god is irrelevant.

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I apologize for these posts in rapid succession but I've really been inspired by the responses I've received from ya'll so far. I was perusing my last post and another point came to mind that I felt was worthy of its own thread. Have you ever asked someone of a religious nature if there has ever been a decision God has made that they disagreed with. The flip side of this is whether they have ever had an opinion that God disagreed with. (The operative premise here is that God exists at all) I suppose the most tangible example they could provide is an unanswered prayer but I think there's quite a difference between an unanswered prayer and God telling someone to who to vote for. What do they do when "God's plan" for them disagrees with their own? How does it manifest itself and what actions do they take?

My point is that of all of the Evangelicals I have ever been confronted by, not one has ever had a problem with what their brand of faith requires of them. I've never thought to ask any of them if God has indeed made decisions for them that they didn't like and how they knew. I know that many use their faith as an easy, unprovable justification for the petty prejudices inerrant with most revealed religions. I'm just curious how dissenting opinions are handled.

Bad things happen, and they attribute that to "decisions by God." So when they lose their job, fall down the stairs or suffer rain damage to crops, that's God's decision. Likewise, if they decide to plant corn, but God sends hail, that's a decision that they made and He disagreed with.

 

Am I making sense? Because this whole thing doesn't really make sense. It's all just fantasy.

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God always makes decisions they (people) don't like. In fact, I'm surprised we're not seeing an increase in virgin sacrifices to appease their god.

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Bad things happen, and they attribute that to "decisions by God." So when they lose their job, fall down the stairs or suffer rain damage to crops, that's God's decision. Likewise, if they decide to plant corn, but God sends hail, that's a decision that they made and He disagreed with.

 

Am I making sense? Because this whole thing doesn't really make sense. It's all just fantasy.

 

 

This is it exactly. Bad things happen because they were outside of god's will, good things confirm they were where they needed to be. Unanswered prayers are viewed as a "no" reponse. Like Ophelia said, they are trained to accept god's will no matter what...it's sad really, a very demoralizing circle that they live in.

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In my years as a fundy, I often heard people say "God did X, (or said X) and I really didn't like it, but He knows best." I said the same thing myself sometimes.

 

Fundys revel in their unwilling, foot-dragging acquiescence to SkyDaddy's silly-sounding demands, because Father Knows Best. "Look at how childish and ignorant it was of me to protest, and how wise of God to make me do it anyways! Isn't he smart?"

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I guess the next time I find myself face to face with a fundie, I'll have to ask them to give me an example of a personal experience of a disagreement with the almighty. Crop failures, natural disasters and the barn burning down are good examples of a collective Christian opinion as to how pissed God is any given moment but I want to separate a Borg from the rest of the Collective and

see if they are able to articulate how they know if God disagrees with a decision they have made and what they do about it.

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I guess the next time I find myself face to face with a fundie, I'll have to ask them to give me an example of a personal experience of a disagreement with the almighty. Crop failures, natural disasters and the barn burning down are good examples of a collective Christian opinion as to how pissed God is any given moment but I want to separate a Borg from the rest of the Collective and

see if they are able to articulate how they know if God disagrees with a decision they have made and what they do about it.

Interesting thread. Two days ago I received an out-of-the-blue email from an old friend who talked about just this thing. (She's waaaay right-wing fundamentalist.) She told me she moved from Minnesota to Texas three months ago, and I asked why. Here was her response:

 

"I moved to Texas because I felt God was leading me here and that's the truth. I have no idea why He wants me here but I decided that I would obey this time. By that I mean I knew a few years ago that God wanted me to leave MN and I wouldn't do it. I put a stipulation on God saying I'll move IF you provide a job for me. As if I have the right to put a stipulation on God. Duh. Anyways, I moved down here without a job but am trusting God to provide one. I am looking." :twitch:

 

I'm going to e-mail her back and ask her how she "knew" God wanted her to move. I'm sure her reply will be...interesting.

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I moved down here without a job but am trusting God to provide one. I am looking.

Shouldn't HE be looking? Maybe His will is for her to be homeless, jobless, and stupid.

 

His will be done. Glory!

 

 

 

To the OP, in my experience God's will has miraculously mirrored the believer's wishes, or they were told by their pastor what His will was and they never questioned it.

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I moved down here without a job but am trusting God to provide one. I am looking.

Shouldn't HE be looking? Maybe His will is for her to be homeless, jobless, and stupid.

 

His will be done. Glory!

 

 

 

To the OP, in my experience God's will has miraculously mirrored the believer's wishes, or they were told by their pastor what His will was and they never questioned it.

 

Seems that way every time doesn't it. I want to hear a fundie justify their actions while reconciling them with God's will in their own words. We all know that Pastors are nothing but

snake oil salesmen who prey on the psychologically weak. I wouldn't trust one of those two faced shit heads to sit the right way on a toilet seat.

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In my observation there are four ways 'God's will' manifests itself.

 

1] Misfortune. Something goes wrong, and God is either punishing someone, or letting them know that he disapproves of some action they have taken, or were going to take.

 

It varies, and is usually related by some odd rationalization. "I knew God was telling me that he didn't want me to run that marathon when I broke my hip five months before."

 

2} The Church tells them. A Pastor/Priest or other religious 'official' relates God's will and what he wants. Often in the form of a donation, or some organized event, such as an abortion rally. Occasionally something more personal, such as letting people know God doesn't approve of dating another faith, or something similar. Sometimes relates to topics such as homosexuals, or how to view other faiths.

 

3} God's telephone. Another believer relates God's will. The most common for political endorsements [though I suspect that they often originate through a pastor]. 'God told me not voting Republican was a sin.' for example. A pastor or priest can get in trouble for saying something like that. Instead, they either use more gullible and talkative members or imply it through an 'issue' such as abortion.

 

Also often relates to topics like Homosexuals and other faiths. Though, often more vindictive and gossip heavy than the 'official' version.

 

4] Personal opinion. God talks to them, well, they talk to themselves and think it's God, or use God to make their own opinion more credible. Usually the latter I suspect. The most common form of 'God's Word'.

 

Often odd rationalizations for common events is used to tie this and claim some sort of 'sign' for it. Such as seeing a shooting star, or breaking the heel of a shoe.

 

God's will or word is often tied to events after the fact. Such as lottery winners claiming God told them to buy a ticket and play certain numbers that week.

 

In a nutshell, it's most often delusion or self righteous justification and lying in order to promote their beliefs. Some of them are more aware of it than others.

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I moved down here without a job but am trusting God to provide one. I am looking.

Shouldn't HE be looking? Maybe His will is for her to be homeless, jobless, and stupid.

 

Well, here's what she replied when I asked her how she "knew" God wanted her to leave MN:

 

"I just felt a real pressing on my heart and an urgency to leave."

 

You know, I felt that same way, too, about MN, but that was because I hated the winters. :)

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In my observation there are four ways 'God's will' manifests itself.

 

4] Personal opinion. God talks to them, well, they talk to themselves and think it's God, or use God to make their own opinion more credible. Usually the latter I suspect. The most common form of 'God's Word'.

 

There may be a fifth way (which may be a modification of the fourth way).

 

Open the Bible, read, and find a verse that "solves your problems." Basically, it reaffirms what you want it to say, and it's a confirmation bias.

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I moved down here without a job but am trusting God to provide one. I am looking.

Shouldn't HE be looking? Maybe His will is for her to be homeless, jobless, and stupid.

 

Well, here's what she replied when I asked her how she "knew" God wanted her to leave MN:

 

"I just felt a real pressing on my heart and an urgency to leave."

 

You know, I felt that same way, too, about MN, but that was because I hated the winters. :)

 

Wow. If I apply that standard to myself God wants me to: quit my job, slap abortion protesters, illegally ride my dirt bike on closed land, spend all of my money on frivolous bullshit,

and mooch off of all of my friends to get by the rest of my life. It would appear that I could maintain justification for each of these things by simply saying that God told me to do so.

One thing I've noticed is that coincidence doesn't appear anywhere in faith and that EVERYTHING happens by design regardless of how stinking complex said design would have to be in order to accommodate billions of people. It would be a controlled Chaos Theory. Any event that occurred to one person would ultimately affect thousands as a result. Imagine the constant variables as

billions of people were either reward or punished through physical means and how far ahead a deity would have to look in order to proctor a desirable outcome for each individual. I don't think

there's any mechanism of control that wouldn't itself be simply devoured by the chaotic nature of the universe. There is only order if it is left alone to achieve its own equilibrium.

Oops, sorry to get all philosophical. I let my mind get away from me for a moment there.

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Well, here's what she replied when I asked her how she "knew" God wanted her to leave MN:

 

"I just felt a real pressing on my heart and an urgency to leave."

It's sad how people attribute that little "self" inside, that only thing that is truly and absolutely uniquely "self," to "god" so that nothing of that person is left. How distant from yourself do you have to be to not even recognize who and what you are?

 

mwc

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In the event of misfortune, it wasn't always because you fucked up or were going down the wrong path. Whenever misfortune would hit the "perfect family" and there was no apparent reason for it, people would say it's a "trial" so that their lives can be an example of God's grace or some fucking shit like that. God, I feel nauseous.

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If I didn't agree with God's Will, then that was another opportunity to deny myself and grow in holiness. Sometimes if that manifestation was particularly disagreeable then it was incumbent upon me to fast and perform corporal mortification in order to get a clearer picture of God's Will. I almost always went through the Blessed Mother because it was said that she as the Mother of God could give me a clearer picture of God's Will, and frequently I fasted and performed corporal mortification for Her knowing that if I pleased Her I would be more pleasing to Her Son and that as a result of this Her Son would reveal God's Will clearly to me so that I could carry it out. I felt loved by Her and I still remember those feelings. Sadly, things turned out to be mere Fantasy.

 

As an example, I once slept on a 3/4 inch piece of plywood placed over my boxframe, for a period of 13 1/2 months just to please Her so that I would get in good with Her Son and thus grow in holiness. This was merely one of many things I did to please Her. Mary the Mother of God was in a Mediatrix role for me, and through Holy Slavery to the Virgin Mary as espoused by St. Louis De Montfort, I grew very close to Her and felt it my Honor to carry out the will of Her Son as handed down to me through Her. If I didn't agree with God's Will then that was just tough luck for me and I could overcome it through contemplative prayer and other means leading to eventual surrender. If someone else didn't agree with God's Will then they weren't necessarily wicked or so wicked; perhaps they were invincibly ignorant and oftentimes I would assume this and give them a benefit of the doubt that wouldn't budge until overwhelmingly proven otherwise. The bottom line of that relationship with Her was to do the will of Her Son, which wasn't always so apparent; it was only through hard work and serious effort that His Will could be discerned, and I should mention that I felt I was on a "special" track of Marian spirituality that gave me an advantage over others when it came to seeing God's Will.

 

Of course, as I said, it was just fantasy, as all religion is, but the OP needed an honest answer so an honest answer has been given.

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One thing I've noticed is that coincidence doesn't appear anywhere in faith and that EVERYTHING happens by design regardless of how stinking complex said design would have to be in order to accommodate billions of people. It would be a controlled Chaos Theory. Any event that occurred to one person would ultimately affect thousands as a result. Imagine the constant variables as billions of people were either reward or punished through physical means and how far ahead a deity would have to look in order to proctor a desirable outcome for each individual. I don't think there's any mechanism of control that wouldn't itself be simply devoured by the chaotic nature of the universe. There is only order if it is left alone to achieve its own equilibrium.

 

That was hot.

 

Phanta

 

How true! Deists really can't understand how easily their gods become broken goods in the face of logic and rational thought.

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