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TinMan

On Healings - Episode II

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After my last discussion on this topic, I was able to have another conversation with the same colleague regarding the miracles he witnessed first hand:

 

1. The deafness was caused by a ruptured eardrum. After praying for his sibling over the phone, the eardrum was healed. His follow up was that the doctor called it a peculiarity.

 

2. Another person had vertebrae in the neck that seemed to be fused together. After praying over them, he could "literally" see them moving away from each other. (No medical records of before and after)

 

3. Another was that a person had plantar fasciitis and sciatica; both were healed instantly. (No medical records of before and after)

 

Those three items I listed are at the top of his list as to why Christianity is true. After finding out details, I am not completely blown away. Ruptured ear drums are known to heal themselves, granted, if it happened to heal itself right when he prayed, that is highly coincidental. Number 2 is unusual, not really sure what to make of it. Number 3 could easily be psychosomatic.

 

I am curious to hear what everyone else thinks of these "miracles." As I stated before, I have never gone down the rabbit hole of miracles happening around the world/other religions, so if anyone has done some research, I would be glad to hear it.

 

We continued the discussion on Christianity for a while, and like before, he kept retreating to ambiguity, or would flat out deny he believed cherished church doctrine (this one surprised me, he said he is not sure he believes the Trinity, but accepts there is a God, there is Jesus, and there is a Holy Spirit, because the Bible says so - he is a Bible literalist when it suits his argument, but will retreat from it when it does not). I kept pinning down issues such as Paul in disagreement with James, Peter, and the others over what gentile Christians should do about Jewish laws. The fairness, justness, or reasonability of an eternal torture chamber. Through all this, and this is always the answer when I am able to argue people into a corner, "it is all about believing in Jesus, and who he said he was." I heard the same thing from our Chaplain whenever I was routing his arguments as well. So strange I keep hearing that argument, because no Christian actually believes it! It ends up being a bait and switch. They lull you in saying you just have to have faith, then it turns into a whole litany of demands depending on the denomination: no movies; no music; no sex before marriage; you should be celibate (according to Paul & Jesus); you should get married and pump out a 1,000 kids (Quiverfull); no taking communion from two or more cups; observe the Sabbath; it is Yeshua - not Jesus; hell is eternal; Jesus - I mean Yeshua loves you; Yeshua hates you; psychology is heresy; psychology heals the mind as medicine heals the body; hell is annihilation; God saves everyone; creationism; Bible conforms to science; science is the devil; when you should attend church: Saturday or Sunday; Paul was/is a false prophet; Jesus' teachings only; the whole counsel of God (Bible as we have it now is inspired - not sure what that means exactly); OT says the laws are everlasting, and Jesus said the law is forever; Jesus fulfilled the law; Genesis is literally true; Genesis is allegory; the Bible describes the past; the Bible does not make sense in historical context (Origen actually said this); our denomination has the truth - everyone else is deceived (why would Jesus let someone be deceived if they are earnestly seeking him?); God sends lying spirits (1 Kings 22); God does not lie; God believes in preserving life; God let Israel start cannibalizing their children - God ordered the slaughter of man, woman, and child; God ordered animal sacrifice (Exodus); God did not order animal sacrifice " For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices" (Jeremiah 7:22); God gives commandments that are good, and good for life; God gave commandments that were not good, nor good for life: "Moreover I gave them statues that were not good and ordinances by which they could not have life, and I defiled them through their very gifts in making them offer by fire all their first-born (emphasis mine), that I might horrify them; I did it that they might know I am the Lord." (Ezekiel 20:25-26).

 

There are two serious passages I want to point out here: 1 Kings 22 and Ezekiel 20:25-26. In my opinion, these two passages (and no doubt there are more) are a dagger to the heart of any statement from evangelist saying carte blanch "God loves you, unconditionally." That is not even in the realm of possibility. Moreover, I would say it should cause concern to any believer because it opens the door to doubting any possible chance of assurance that they are saved, or will be saved. I know a lot of people maintain their beliefs because they convinced themselves they are right with God. By their own scriptures, I would say that is unknowable! We are talking about a God who has no problem letting people be deceived, or sending them a lying spirit, or quite frankly, giving commands to horrify them. Case closed.

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On 1/25/2019 at 8:25 PM, TinMan said:

I am curious to hear what everyone else thinks of these "miracles."

 

If true then wouldn't one have to call them miraculous?

 

On 1/25/2019 at 8:25 PM, TinMan said:

 As I stated before, I have never gone down the rabbit hole of miracles happening around the world...

 

What about the gopher hole, ever gone down the gopher hole?  No, it is not the hole left in the ground from the roots of a gopher tree, but that was a good guess. 

 

You do know what gopher tree is known for don't you?  :ukliam2:

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On 1/25/2019 at 8:25 PM, TinMan said:

I am curious to hear what everyone else thinks of these "miracles." As I stated before, I have never gone down the rabbit hole of miracles happening around the world/other religions, so if anyone has done some research, I would be glad to hear it.

 

When I was a child, I was on a mission trip to Haiti. I was in Jr. High by then and I had recently outgrown my fear of monsters in the dark. Or at least, comically ridiculous ones. Yet it was after midnight an I had to go to the bathroom. My tent was on the roof of the compound and the nearest bathroom was two levels down. As I was returning to my tent, I heard a tune. Something eerie and unsettling that I knew from childhood that used to frighten me. And this was strange. I felt like something was behind me. This seems like a monster in the dark situation so I sucked up my courage and walked like I had nothing to fear. But the fear kept building. I went up the stairs to the next level and looked down the stairs to face this monster of my imagination that I was no longer going to be frightened by and said aloud for it to leave me be. The something at the bottom of the stairs looking up at me didn't budge, didn't flinch and it felt more powerful and real than any monster I imagined leaping out from me from around a corner. And I was scared. I quickly looked up and around for help and my eyes settled on the "prayer chair." It was a chair that we manned 24/7, everyone, for 1 hour at a time and while on shift, you read the Bible, prayed for the mission, prayed for the people. Point was, never at any time was there someone not praying for the mission. And as soon as my eyes focused on the prayer chair and the person there praying, the song in my head stopped instantly, all sense of dread vanished instantly and suddenly the sounds of crickets and cicadas that I hadn't even realized I wasn't hearing anymore flooded back into my ears. 

 

Once my father was working on a dishwasher at a customer's house and he found that the installers had stupidly wired it backwards. He thought he had killed power to the appliance but as he was disconnecting the electrical power, he felt his muscles clench up as he started shaking violently. He couldn't let go. He couldn't do anything. He felt himself start to leave his body as his life's memories played in fast forward, slowing down when they got to his wife and kids. As his memories finished, he heard a voice that told him, "It's not your time yet" and suddenly he felt himself back in his body and he found he had control of his legs, and he kicked hard and knocked himself off the live circuit that was electrocuting him. 

 

My grandfather is dying. He has slipped so far into Alzheimers and dementia that we bought him a plastic children's tool set to help him "build" all the projects he's been working on at the nursing home. And he's been happy as can be. But my mother was ravaged with guilt feeling like she failed him. He never wanted to go to the nursing home and the day we moved him, it must've been the cold weather that got his heart rate up and rushed blood to his brain, but he had a moment of complete lucidness and shouted, pleaded, then broke down crying that he was sane, that he wasn't losing his mind, and that he didn't want to leave his home. That was four days ago as of the writing of this. My mother had spent every day in tears since, wanting to explain to her father, wanting his forgiveness but he wasn't lucid after that and didn't know who she was. Yesterday she and a few other family members were eating supper with my grandfather at the nursing home and he asked if he could pray. And in his prayer he thanked god for his family, for being there with him "...in this new situation..." referring to the nursing home and thanked my mother for being there for him. He recognized her. Only in moments of prayer does he show such lucidness. 

 

I could go on with story after story. All my personal experiences (well, the second one was my father's). I came up with nearly a dozen. These are just three I chose. Now, I know the average Christian will hear these and be shocked that I am not a believer. I have had so many personal experiences that confirm god's existence and his influence in my life, right? Well, here's the problem. God so far has been completely indistinguishable from anything other explanation. Let's say I have no bias whatsoever. I merely had these experiences and convey them to two people, a Christian and an Atheist. 

 

Haiti Story:

Christian: These was a demon stalking you and he fled when god's protection fell upon you.

Atheist: So satan took time out of his evening to send a demon to mildly frighten a 13-year-old? Sounds reasonable. Out of curiosity, did you get sick on that trip? Maybe run a high fever? (I do not recall if I get sick on that trip, by the way, but it was not the last time I went and other trips, I did get extremely ill)

 

Out of Body Experience:

Christian: My dad had nearly died and god sent my dad back to do his will. (This is what my father believes)

Atheist: Near death experiences are very well documented in people of all faiths and non-faith. What's special about this one?

 

My Grandfather:

Christian: The power of god shows itself through prayer. Those lucid moments are evidence of the power of god and the power of prayer.

Atheist: Praying, for him, is likely something that invokes a lot of powerful memories and emotions. He isn't brain damaged so it likely brings him back to a state of recall briefly.

 

So how do I distinguish which one is true? I do not have an explanation for any of these things. They are experiences, yes. But what makes it god and not something else? And ultimately here's the issue I have. Why does god feel it necessary that when he manifests his power, to make it completely indistinguishable from other possible explanations? Why does he make it impossible to test his power? I know I know, Deuteronomy 6:16, Luke 4:12 and Matthew 4:7. But at what point does god's edict not to test him become a coverup? Why is god not able to convey his presence well enough that it's drawn into question under the smallest scrutiny. Anyway, I am going long but there's my thoughts on personal experiences. 

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8 hours ago, Justus said:

You do know what gopher tree is known for don't you? 

 

Supposedly the wood used to make the ark. No one seems to really know what the word means because it is foreign to Hebrew and possibly a mistranslation. 

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