Jump to content

Did You Get "assurance", Proof, Doubt-removing Feelings?


Mutate
 Share

Recommended Posts

I remember I had spent months looking at the people rolling around the floor, tongues, saying they'd visibly seen God etc. I remember thinking if I felt those magic feelings I would know for sure like they do that it is the truth. I have a fuzzy memory of a huge camp with crowds all around me and a band playing emotional songs, and all the people around me putting their hands on my back, and feeling inside...I can't remember the feelings, but I remember thinking "this is it, this is the proof, I feel all electric and fuzzy inside, this is real" and I said to myself then as the chaos was going on "if you doubt in future that it is real, just remember now, you are feeling all real feelings". But I can't remember clearly how it actually felt. Kind of fuzzy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was raised non-charismatic, so there was less of an emphasis on those sort of feelings/signs, and suspicion of anyone who got too far into that stuff. And emotions were seen as bad and misleading and not at all an good way to find truth. We were supposed to have an assurance of salvation by reading the bible and knowing that if we'd truly accepted god, then once-saved, always-saved. Problem with that was the question of whether I'd truly accepted god. I desperately said that dumb prayer over and over again while standing in the pew when I was little, wondering if I'd meant it enough to count this time. I never felt any different afterwords, so I never knew if I was sincere enough for the magic to have worked. But doubt is also a sin, so I was supposed to really really believe that god was strong enough to save me and it was nothing I did that got me that salvation (whether the prayer itself counted as being saved by works was a topic of some debate). So I was often worried about my salvation and wondered how to know that I meant it enough.

 

I didn't get over that until late middle/early high school when I found myself talking to god and asking him if he existed and if I believed enough. At that point I figured if I didn't believe, then I wouldn't be talking to him that way and expecting an answer, and just laughed it off and decided that would have to be good enough. I think I figured I'd been saved at some indeterminate point in the past, and used that story of "assurance" instead of a conversion story. So many other people could name the date, place, and feelings when they said the magic prayer, so I needed some sort of story too.

 

I do remember being confused at all the Holy Spirit talk, then contrasting that with obsession with the bible as the only real word of god. In the church culture I grew up with, too much of personally hearing from the holy spirit, and people thought you were crazy, not spiritual. But if you didn't have the holy spirit, then you couldn't be a moral person because the spirit worked inside you. If you thought the spirit told you something that didn't match what everyone else thought the bible said, then obviously that couldn't have been the spirit. But on the other hand, we were also told that all believers have the spirit so if you don't you're not saved. So we were told it was ok if you didn't really feel the spirit, then we were told how wonderful the presence of the spirit is and to pray for more of it. There was never a consistent answer on what being saved was supposed to feel like, nor a satisfactory explanation of how to know that you're saved (it always turned into a "once you're saved, it's permanent" message).

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I spent years in the Pentecostal church and I had tons of those experiences. However, before I knew anything about Pentecost and all that, I had some experiences that could not have been faked because of my ignorance and I hold dearly onto those. The rest of them, I feel, were a mix of God and wishful thinking. Some of it I believe was real because they had literal outcomes. (When I felt God's leading and followed it and had results.) However, things get fuzzy because we were always LOOKING for those experiences and they were sometiems manufactured. I believe that if there is a counterfeit, there is also a real of some type. :shrug: So, I can't say your experience was real or manufactured. The important thing is you are asking the question and need to feel comfortable with your own answers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super Moderator

I see no evidence to cause us to assume that any such mass hysteria induced ecstasies are supernatural (i.e. "real") in origin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

" Some of it I believe was real because they had literal outcomes. (When I felt God's leading and followed it and had results.)"

 

I believe there is some intuition thing, but not the God of fundamentalist christianity. For example when i lost my wallet once i kept calm and prayed retracing my steps and they had it for me in the store i dropped it. But I wasn't praying to the Pentecostal god, but some kind of force out there, what ever it is. I've heard from Jews, Native Americans who have had religious experiences. I believe in spiritual help, I just dont believe any one faith (especially a fundamentalist/literalist "thinking and investigating is banned" has the monopoly on it. I've heard and seen too much weird stuff to be an ultra rationalist. I wanted to be, I read the Randi, michael shermer books, but couldnt discount "weirdness" altogether.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you think that was proof of the Truth, you should try a Voodoo ceremony. Or a stage hypnotist.

 

 

Thing is though, I remember telling myself at the time "remember this feeling next time you doubt" but I can't remember the feeling, just that I said that to myself. This was 9 years ago, I just had a flashback.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

" Some of it I believe was real because they had literal outcomes. (When I felt God's leading and followed it and had results.)"

 

I believe there is some intuition thing, but not the God of fundamentalist christianity. For example when i lost my wallet once i kept calm and prayed retracing my steps and they had it for me in the store i dropped it. But I wasn't praying to the Pentecostal god, but some kind of force out there, what ever it is. I've heard from Jews, Native Americans who have had religious experiences. I believe in spiritual help, I just dont believe any one faith (especially a fundamentalist/literalist "thinking and investigating is banned" has the monopoly on it. I've heard and seen too much weird stuff to be an ultra rationalist. I wanted to be, I read the Randi, michael shermer books, but couldnt discount "weirdness" altogether.

 

 

Yeah, I think God talks to everyone, no matter what label they wear.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've thought about this all day, and I'd have to say no. At the time, I thought I was having experiences like that, but there was always a sense of something not being right, of something missing.

 

Then, as I began to deconvert, I was introduced to this thing called evidence, and there is overwhelming evidence against Christianity, overwhelming evidence for science.

 

I've gotten more evidence of love from human beings than I ever got from the mythical god. When my husband tells me he loves me, he follows it up with actions that show he loves me. He would never hurt me, and if we had a disagreement, he certainly wouldn't reject me. You can't even doubt in Christianity without getting into trouble.

 

And whether or not there is stuff that can't be explained, the very fact that it can't be explained leaves it open to interpretation. So I have some wild and fantastic fantasies, but I hesitate to call them beliefs, because at any time, evidence could come along that would make it clear one way or the other. And when you have evidence, you don't need faith.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.