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"Words of Knowledge" and "Prophetic Words"


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I've attended many churches where people claim they've received "words of knowledge" or "visions" from God about the future or things they couldn't normally know. The prediction/word is often very vague (usually unintentionally so) and as a result gets applied to the first significant thing that seems to line up with it. Many of the predictions, usually the more specific ones, never pan out at all. Furthermore, the most significant visions I've seen people point to are ones they've almost completely forgotten about until a significant event makes sense of it. These same people, however, completely forget similar sorts of visions that never pan out, and as a result never acknowledge the inconsistency of it. It's confirmation bias at its worst: Latch on to the things that confirm what you believe and toss out the things that clash with it.

 

A church I attended in Redding California (before it literally went up in flames) often taught, alongside healing, that "words of knowledge" are one of the ways God can show them his power. He supposedly can use these to lead people to help or pray for someone, or just to show that he's "thinking of them". This operates exactly the same as "cold reading" that psychics perform, except that they believe it's actually real. I'd tried this a few times toward the tail end of my time at the church, but it felt as awkward as it should have, and I do have memories of other people trying it with me without much success, but there are still many people out there who think this is actually an act of God.

This video is a perfect example of what I'm talking about:



Note how many people she had to go through before her prophecy came true, and even then she kind of had to twist it to make it make sense, and yet felt this was significant enough to record a testimonial for. It kinda just makes me sad.

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I mean that's easy to say when they're not your family.

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Well, that's certainly adds a complication.  They are still delusional, regardless of who they are.  As to avoiding them, that can be done, either in part or entirely.  You can leave the room when their conversations turn to their brand of religious nonsense and go read a book.  You can choose to not speak with them about such subjects.  There's much you can do to mitigate things.

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I had a vision back in 1989 in which the lord showed me that you would start this thread a full 20 years later.  The lord told me to tell you to wear a hat more often.  He said you'd know what it meant.  I hope you can receive this in the spirit of grace and brotherly love; I'm just being faithful to what the lord asked of me.

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Where's the discussion in that? Besides, I don't want to avoid them. What's that going to accomplish? This kind of stuff is damaging. I've seen my parents time and time again take "prophetic words" they've received from friends and people in their church and made life-altering decisions inspired by them. Beyond my own family, you hear all the time about people refusing to take medication or visit the doctor because they believe God has healed them, and in the most extreme cases people have died because of this. Avoiding someone you care about because they're delusional is pointless, because it's not like it's contagious, and it's not like there's even a remote chance I'll join back in on the delusion.

 

One of my sisters went through the Bethel school, fully buying into all of it, but outside of religion I think of her as a very intelligent, logical person. She even believes in evolution, but still finds excuses to slide God into how it all works. She's someone who I think might come around eventually if made to see reason, and could actually benefit from it.

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@Quark,

 

I get the motivation to encourage the religious to think. This is a daily effort on the part of old MOHO and also a daily challenge to hone my skill sets in this area  - such as they are. By skill sets I am referring to interpersonal communication and knowledge of subject matter. 

 

Reading and studying assist a great deal with the latter. I's the former that remains a challenge. 

 

What I have found is that many people can be reached and almost always require a tailored approach. Having conversations with them before interjecting your antidote for indoctrination is helpful. Obviously, if these are fams, you know them well enough to give it a go. 

 

Some are more difficult to reach and may not be reached at all unless they experience a life-changing event. It has been my experience that those more challenging are those who are attracted to the religion and the special command of it "that ONLY they posses" due to their more narcissistic personality traits. There are those who simply get off so very much on having some special talent or power or communication with a higher power, that no one else in the world has, that they continue the charade even when they should be embarrassed. 

 

I am not a psychologist or a sociologist. These are just my personal observations.

Also keep in mind that the sheeple are hammered with almost  weekly doctrine that Satan is out there to sway them from the faith. Our efforts surely can bolster that belief so there is that to contend with as well. 

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