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Filled With The Spirit?


Randi
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So below is an excerpt from an email I received after "coming out of the agnostic closet". I'm a little frustrated because I feel like so many people seem to think that I must have gotten it wrong somehow. they can't fathom how someone can come to the conclusion that there is no god, or at least the god they worship. I'm racking my brain as to how I might respond to this, or if I should at all. Thoughts?

 

 

"Have you ever been filled with the Holy Spirit? Not just believed in God. Not just asked for sins to be forgiven. Not just gone to church and tried to live by the rules. It’s a place we all come to when “being saved” doesn’t work. So go ahead, toss church, give up on church, admit church people fail you. Realize that having your sins forgiven is not enough. Paul came to this place when he says, “For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help. I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it. I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. . . Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. . . I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?” Fortunately he goes on to say there is an answer—“You, however are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the SPIRIT, if the SPIRIT OF GOD lives in you.” The Spirit-filled life is a different level of living. Like the disciples before and after the Spirit comes upon them on the day of Pentecost. I didn’t intend for this to be a sermon, just my story. I came to this same place at age 34. I didn’t have love from my mom growing up. When I was filled with the Spirit I was able to feel the love of God for the first time. So many of the words used for the Spirit are nurturing, mother words—teacher, comforter, guide, “the One Who comes along side.” Along with the ability to say “no” to sin came a mothering, loving relationship with the Spirit of God. I was able to free all the people in my life from having to meet my love needs. I was “saved” at age 8 but didn’t have the relationship with God that really satisfied until 34. Don’t give up on God—Be filled with the SPIRIT."

 

 

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It's just a cop-out way of saying "If you left the Christian faith, then you must not have really been a Christian in the first place". It's a wall protecting their faith. It's a statement of arrogance and self-conceit. Putting one's self above others. "Look what I have....you should strive to have this also!" We did, and maybe most of us actually HAD it! But we also experienced an awakening.

 

Filled with the spirit = I'M NOT LISTENING TO YOU, BUT YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO ME! It also = I'M NOT THINKING FOR MYSELF!

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It does seem like a variation of the "No True Scotsman" fallacy. In this case it's a "No True Christian" fallacy.

 

It's like saying, "You're brand of Christianity was wrong. You don't have the "right" strain of Christianity - the "Spirit filled" kind of Christianity." In other words, you weren't practicing the RIGHT kind of Christianity - the TRUE Christianity.

 

In other words, if the carrot that was dangled in front of you to keep you faithful quits working, here, try this super duper really cool carrot! The thing is, they will always bring out another carrot to dangle in front of you just to get you to come back to Christianity.

 

Each denomination has its favorite scriptures that they emphasize and use as their "theme." Some denominations emphasize "Sola Scripture" and demand doctrinal purity and rigorous bible study. Others emphasize their creeds and traditions. Your friend finds great meaning in the direct, experiential emphasis they find in certain scriptures.

 

Instead of coming up with a response, just ask them how they can tell that the spirit of god is working in them and not the devil. How do you know it's not the same kind of euphoria that a person attending a symphony or a rock concert can feel?

 

Or you could just respond with, "I'm not a christian because there's no reason to believe in god. Until I can be shown a reason to consider believing god exists I thinking seeking to be filled with the Spirit is meaningless."

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So below is an excerpt from an email I received after "coming out of the agnostic closet". I'm a little frustrated because I feel like so many people seem to think that I must have gotten it wrong somehow. they can't fathom how someone can come to the conclusion that there is no god, or at least the god they worship. I'm racking my brain as to how I might respond to this, or if I should at all. Thoughts?

 

Wow... The nerve. I can totally relate to this "higher level of christianity" way of thinking as it was preached at the church I used to attend. You were not a real christian until you were filled with the holy spirit. Bullshit.

 

Regarding a response to this - I think it totally depends on the relationship you have with the person who sent it.

 

Sorry I couldn't be of more help, but I do hope you find the answer you're looking for.

 

 

 

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Honestly, it depends on whether responding would make you feel better or not. The whole letter is filled with the usual "It's not a religion but a relationship" BS. He's dismissing all of the reasons why you reject their archaic religion because he has been "filled with the deeply hole filling thrusting spirit". None of your reasons, feelings, emotions, experiences or evidence are acknowledged because you never really were a xtian, or you didn't try hard enough.

 

His whole argument is based off a subjective experience that is not testable, provable or even universal among the thousands of denominations. Arguing with any sort of evidence won't persuade him in any way in my opinion because he has closed himself off to any arguments. His own emotions and euphoric feelings make him impervious to any manner of evidence. It's a pretty dismissive attitude and way of living. He even goes on to compare himself somehow to the early disciples? So if he is filled with the spirit is he out performing miracles, speaking in tongues, casting out demons and writing books that will be added to the canon?

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Wow! Anyway, just a couple of thoughts - from personal experience. I would not be in any type of a hurry to respond to this. I hung onto one of them for a few days and ultimately just hit the "Delete" button. Could quote their own scriptures back to them about "Not casting pearls before swine." LOL

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So below is an excerpt from an email I received after "coming out of the agnostic closet". I'm a little frustrated because I feel like so many people seem to think that I must have gotten it wrong somehow. they can't fathom how someone can come to the conclusion that there is no god, or at least the god they worship. I'm racking my brain as to how I might respond to this, or if I should at all. Thoughts?

 

" I came to this same place at age 34. I didn’t have love from my mom growing up. I was able to free all the people in my life from having to meet my love needs." [/size]

 

Not sure that there is an easy answer for you to give! I can't fathom how many people can come to the conclusion that there IS a god!

 

I see that the person who sent the e-mail didn't have love as a child and doesn't want love from the people in his/her life.

 

I suspect that Christianity attracts a huge number of crippled people, those who don't have human love from parents or family and friends, people who have mental problems or social problems. Christianity is like a magnet to those people, making all sorts of promises of acceptance by an invisible being. It makes for an easy "relationship", love between a human and a god. Neither of them have to do much, especially the god!

 

Human love is much more difficult and there are all sorts of responsibilities when you love a person that you don't have when you love a god!

 

I would be inclined, as others suggest, to ignore the e-mail. On the other hand, Christians only comprise 30% of the people on this planet, so does that make the other 70% wrong?

 

Belief or non-belief in a god or gods is a personal issue and no one really has the right to question the belief or non-belief of others.

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So below is an excerpt from an email I received after "coming out of the agnostic closet". I'm a little frustrated because I feel like so many people seem to think that I must have gotten it wrong somehow. they can't fathom how someone can come to the conclusion that there is no god, or at least the god they worship. I'm racking my brain as to how I might respond to this, or if I should at all. Thoughts?

I feel your pain. It's one of many things that I'm frustrated over too. They can't accept the idea that they could be wrong. So if they're not wrong (in their opinion), then of course you're the one to blame. That's how they reason.

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I use "the fact that MY beliefs are my own and none of your business,because I think for myself!""I have all the proof I need to discount the fairy tale god"

 

When it comes down to it you must stand up to the emotional abuse of the fundies.I have told those around me that the babble is off limits in conversation because it is fiction.After a while they will leave you alone. Or delete the e-mail as suggested above. Good Luck

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Personally, I probably wouldn't respond. This is not someone who is going to listen or hear your side of things. They are so close-minded, even among their own kind they may have issues helping someone who was seeking help.

 

If I really felt the need to respond, I'd keep it simple - "It's hard to be filled with something that doesn't exist. Additionally, if earnestly praying, reading the bible, studying the religion, attending church and trying to seek out god's face do not make me a good enough christian to be "spirit filled" then how exactly does one go about forcing god to do one's will? Because according to what you are saying, I should be able to force the spirit to fill me since none of the normal things worked. Why don't you tell me how you have gone about forcing god to do things? Better yet, why don't you go ahead and force him to fill me with the spirit. In the meantime, I'll continue on with the knowledge I've gained. If I ever get filled with this spirit, you'll be the first to know. Until then, leave me to my beliefs and stop bothering me with yours."

 

or something like that...course, I'm in a bit of an evil mood today :dumbo:

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considering all the thoughtful replies, I'll go ahead and give a funny.

 

Being filled with the spirit is codeword for being gassy

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An excerpt from the latest concerned email. This is a totally different person than before.

 

"I know you may not care about any of this, and I know I can't make you believe. I do know that we can love you and accept you no matter what. Just remember, that just as you ask not to be judged for who you are, you must not judge those who choose to believe. Because I can't make it through this life without Christ in my life. We love you and pray for you to find truth."

 

The funny thing is she can't see the wood for the trees. "I can't make it through life without Christ in my life." Clearly she is weak. Proof that Christianity is a crutch. Meh. These people are maddening.

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I was able to free all the people in my life from having to meet my love needs. I was “saved” at age 8 but didn’t have the relationship with God that really satisfied until 34. Don’t give up on God—Be filled with the SPIRIT."

 

Danger Will Robinson!

 

This person has brainwashed themselves.

 

I know because I did this to myself, bought into this Holy Spirit stuff big-time. I was filled with the Spirit, listened to God, heard his words to me, had visions, was overcome with emotion I thought was the Holy Spirit laying stuff on my heart... oh yeah I was as filled with the spirit as anyone.

 

But now I know it's just self-brainwashing, and people like this use it as a code word to signify they are even more "true" christians than the true christians.

 

Don't even respond. You will get absolutely nowhere.

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ah yes, like Robert Tilton!

 

 

Ahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahah!!!!!:lmao::asshole2:

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On a rational level, I think all of the "Spirit Filled" experiences that people have are in fact experiences that they have finally allowed themselves to have. It is and will continue to be my contention that if we really believe something strongly enough when it comes to something within our mind, then we can make it happen. It's a form of self hypnosis. The person that wrote you wanted to feel love, and willed it on themselves.

 

If God really wanted to convince you that he was there, then he would have known your doubts and given you a holy spirit filling to keep you from leaving. I imagine that you, like many of us, really tried to find the evidence that would have persuaded us to stay before leaving.

 

 

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We've got spirit yes we do.

We've got spirit how 'bout you/

 

oh wrong spirit.

 

:loser: am I.

 

 

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When I was nine and became a christian I had a massive conversion experience. I can't say what happened to me, I don't really know but when I read the bible even at such a young age everything suddenly made sense to me in a way it hadn't before. But that was probably because I was extremely traumatised from severe childhood abuse. I would have said as a christian that I met god or was filled with the spirit or whatever, but at the time I felt that gods spirit and mine were welded together and we could never be separated. I was filled with so much love for people, acceptance and empathy. I don't know where it came from.

 

But life happens and there is just too much shit in it, especially where christians are concerned, too many inconsistencies and way too much dishonesty for me to stand there with those deluded judgemental fuckwits every sunday and think i am better than everyone else. Im not, none of us are.

 

For years I thought it was god, now I just think it was me, I may be wrong and one day I might find out. I always seemed to want to be more honest. more kind, more loving than most of the christians I ever met, and all I ever seemed to do was fight with them because they didn't practice what they preached.

 

I suspect it had nothing to do with god, and that the philosophy of jesus just resonated with me even at such a young age, coz I'm weird. Im still the same person, now i just fuck and swear where I didn't before. Im full of something, might be god, might be shit :)

 

Randi what you believe is your business and you don't have to justify it to anyone, ever.

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I can get people filled with the spirit of the FSM just by playing a soft tune on a guitar and use a gentle, rolling voice to say things like 'Come FSM, Yes FSM we welcome you, We open our heart to you now FSM" etc.

 

Seriously, that's all it takes to make people think they're being 'filled with the spirit'. When they want it bad enough the brain will make them think something is happening. It doesn't prove or mean anything, except that people are gullible.

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For years I thought it was god, now I just think it was me, I may be wrong and one day I might find out. I always seemed to want to be more honest. more kind, more loving than most of the christians I ever met, and all I ever seemed to do was fight with them because they didn't practice what they preached.

 

I had lots of intense 'spiritual' experiences and now I realize it was my brain making it happen for me because I wanted it. The truth is people have those experiences in religions all over the world, it's just a matter of believing it's possible. It has nothing to do with any gods, just humans.

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I can get people filled with the spirit of the FSM just by playing a soft tune on a guitar and use a gentle, rolling voice to say things like 'Come FSM, Yes FSM we welcome you, We open our heart to you now FSM" etc.

 

Seriously, that's all it takes to make people think they're being 'filled with the spirit'. When they want it bad enough the brain will make them think something is happening. It doesn't prove or mean anything, except that people are gullible.

 

I used to play guitar and lead worship for our small group. I wasn't very good at the guitar beyond the worship songs I knew... but you've helped me realize, I can still sing those songs, just substitute Jesus and God for FSM. Thanks!

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I can get people filled with the spirit of the FSM just by playing a soft tune on a guitar and use a gentle, rolling voice to say things like 'Come FSM, Yes FSM we welcome you, We open our heart to you now FSM" etc.

 

Seriously, that's all it takes to make people think they're being 'filled with the spirit'. When they want it bad enough the brain will make them think something is happening. It doesn't prove or mean anything, except that people are gullible.

 

I used to play guitar and lead worship for our small group. I wasn't very good at the guitar beyond the worship songs I knew... but you've helped me realize, I can still sing those songs, just substitute Jesus and God for FSM. Thanks!

 

I hope I didn't sound rude. My social skills aren't very good. :(

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So below is an excerpt from an email I received after "coming out of the agnostic closet". I'm a little frustrated because I feel like so many people seem to think that I must have gotten it wrong somehow. they can't fathom how someone can come to the conclusion that there is no god, or at least the god they worship. I'm racking my brain as to how I might respond to this, or if I should at all. Thoughts?

 

 

 

"Have you ever been filled with the Holy Spirit? Not just believed in God. Not just asked for sins to be forgiven. Not just gone to church and tried to live by the rules. It’s a place we all come to when “being saved” doesn’t work. So go ahead, toss church, give up on church, admit church people fail you. Realize that having your sins forgiven is not enough. Paul came to this place when he says, “For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help. I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it. I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. . . Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. . . I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?” Fortunately he goes on to say there is an answer—“You, however are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the SPIRIT, if the SPIRIT OF GOD lives in you.” The Spirit-filled life is a different level of living. Like the disciples before and after the Spirit comes upon them on the day of Pentecost. I didn’t intend for this to be a sermon, just my story. I came to this same place at age 34. I didn’t have love from my mom growing up. When I was filled with the Spirit I was able to feel the love of God for the first time. So many of the words used for the Spirit are nurturing, mother words—teacher, comforter, guide, “the One Who comes along side.” Along with the ability to say “no” to sin came a mothering, loving relationship with the Spirit of God. I was able to free all the people in my life from having to meet my love needs. I was “saved” at age 8 but didn’t have the relationship with God that really satisfied until 34. Don’t give up on God—Be filled with the SPIRIT."

 

 

 

 

Her expression: "have you been filled with the Spirit" actually meant: instead of just belonging to a religion, have you really experienced God in a hands on way, the way where you can actually feel things and feel like they are a reality and not just a bunch of stuffy dogmas or theory. She was saying: have you FELT the presence of God? Have you FELT like you are actually communing with God?

 

Religious theory is boring and doesn't draw people. But experiences are exciting. She was trying to emphasize the experiencing part, the practical part, the part that makes one alive and excited and happy.

 

I experience a relationship with the Someone. But I just don't call it the same way that she does. Different people connect with that Someone in different ways. But the best ways are where people leave theory and dogmas and move on to actual experiences. Then it becomes exciting and actually very helpful for a person's life.

 

And one who has experienced things feels excited about it and feels like sharing the good news with others. "Look, I found something exciting, don't miss out..." And that's what she was doing.

 

 

 

I

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An excerpt from the latest concerned email. This is a totally different person than before.

 

"I know you may not care about any of this, and I know I can't make you believe. I do know that we can love you and accept you no matter what. Just remember, that just as you ask not to be judged for who you are, you must not judge those who choose to believe. Because I can't make it through this life without Christ in my life. We love you and pray for you to find truth."

 

The funny thing is she can't see the wood for the trees. "I can't make it through life without Christ in my life." Clearly she is weak. Proof that Christianity is a crutch. Meh. These people are maddening.

 

I think it's a matter of what one is used to. For example, if you were a kid who was raised by protective parents and was sheltered, he might feel that he cannot do anything without them. There are kids who live on the streets who can make it on their own. Both possibly could make it on their own. But the first is just not used to that. Having someone one to help you could be seen as a crutch for weak people. But don't we all need some help and support? If not from "God", then from people?

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