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Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.
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Re: YouTube...

#31

Post by Short1 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:40 pm

As far as supernatural stuff:

A while back I went to a retreat thing with some people from my school. There was a healer guy once I got there and I didn't buy into that at all. But I was curious about speaking in tongues and went up to see what that was all about. They really hyped up the holy spirit, and I was curious to see if there was supposed to be something more to my Christian faith. The guy prayed over me and this huge emotional rush welled up. I lost control of my voice and started saying stuff. Just random sounds, but I was in AWE of what was happening. I didn't know anything like that existed.

They also did a laying of hands and that brought on a huge emotional swell. I can't describe it. Just a rush. Each of my experiences with a strong emotion tend to have a visual attached to them... just some random thing. It brought me to my knees.

Once I was talking to my girlfriend about bad stuff I've done in the past and she said I should talk to God about it. I felt like it didn't make any difference though, and she suggested I pray for help with forgiving myself for stuff. I prayed again and this HUGE rush came up. It got stronger and stronger and I was amazed that it was happening. (This was also my very first experience with an emotion like this btw) Afterwards I felt completely clean... I felt like there was nothing on my conscience. Nothing. Like my insides were a silver platter. Just clean.

Last night I read a Youtube comment from a Christian and I got another sort of rushing energy. It felt round inside my chest. Afterwards I had trouble thinking about ANYTHING related to atheism or the stuff I was learning about the old testament being the way it is.

I can't describe the feeling from these cases. They're just huge feelings.. they happen randomly.

As far as stuff that confused me about Scripture, I think I'm going to reread the gospels and Paul's stuff and see what bothered me. There were several things but I can't totally remember and need a refresher.

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Re: YouTube...

#32

Post by Reactionary » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:48 pm

Short,

I think you crave for some supernatural event that will create a fuzzy, pleasant feeling, letting you know that there is a God. But I don't know how likely it is to happen. Sometimes we subordinate God to our desires and wishes, we try to bargain with Him like, "You do this for me, and I'll..." That's not the way things work. We may not always understand what plans God has in store for us - He is a being of infinite intelligence after all. But we may notice certain patterns.

For instance, when I look at my life, I have a strong impression that someone oversees everything I do and everything that happens to me. Someone, like a brilliant manager. But this being is obviously benevolent, at least to me. Numerous times I was very close to having a grave accident, either due to me being careless or because of other factors; on other occasions, when something bad does happen to me, it's never so bad that I can't find a way out - although I complain. And whenever I recover, I feel stronger and more experienced. Without those experiences, I'd still be immature. It's Friday evening in my time zone at this moment. I'd probably be getting ready to get drunk, with fake friends that I'd be hanging out with, lying to myself that I'm having fun. But this is not happening, I want to do something useful with my life because I believe I was created for a purpose. I'm a being made in the image of God, not a randomly assembled heap of matter.

Study the way God has been creating and interfering with His creation. It took Him over 4 billion years to prepare the "scene" for the "show" called humanity. Obviously He's not in a hurry - He's not bound by time after all. However, we humans sometimes become impatient and want everything immediately. What you're going through at the moment may well be a test to make you stronger. I was though it a year and a half ago. I thought I'd lose my faith forever, but it didn't happen. Slowly I recovered (by slowly I mean a year or even more), but I did. And I wouldn't go back to the time before that test. Even though I suffered, I'm grateful that I was given the opportunity to learn that lesson. When I ask myself why I had to suffer, I find out that I had been rejecting God before that happened. He was trying to attract my attention, but I was, more or less consciously, stubborn. I had to learn the hard way. So I'd encourage you to ask yourself, are you doing enough for your faith? Are your demands to God realistic?

Another thing. Calm down. Perhaps take a week off or so. By that I mean, don't think about all those things for a while, your brain is overloaded with info, take some time for it all to settle down.

P.S. If it's not a secret, how old are you?
"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces." Matthew 7:6

"For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse." Romans 1:20

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Re: YouTube...

#33

Post by Short1 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:45 pm

I'm feeling a little better now.

I'm realizing there is nothing I can do to acquire enough knowledge to know what's going on. I would have to spend hours upon hours upon hours on each subject... Read numerous books about each subject.. Decide where each author made mistakes.. It's just too much.

For the past couple weeks my head has been vibrating with thoughts and I hate it. I just want to live. And I think realizing that just letting go and doing my thing and just knowing that I don't know everything can be enough.

I do this with a lot of stuff. I hop on board to a particular idea that looks neat and away I go. Then in a couple weeks I grab another idea.

I'm 19. I'm a music education major. I play marimba. But I still know nothing about who I am or who my friends are or what to believe about the world. It's just nuts.

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Re: YouTube...

#34

Post by Icthus » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:05 pm

I'm glad to hear you're feeling a bit better, Short1. I'm also sorry; I seem to have missed the focus of your dilemma. Reactionary, I think, is spot on in his assessment of the sort of relationship too many make the mistake of aiming for with God. God is loving, but he is not permissive. Nor is he some sort of cosmic best buddy or omnipotent gum ball machine. A true relationship with the Lord does not center around mystical or supernatural experiences or having prayers answered to one's satisfaction, but on faith and obedience (Note: not the sort of blind faith many contemporary Christians insist. You've mentioned that you were going to reread Paul, and I'm sure you'll find the faith he advocates to be far from blind.).

As you say, you're only 19. I understand what you're going through (at least I hope I do). I'm twenty-two, and it was about at your age that I first began to question the faith I had followed rather blindly for nearly two decades. I poured over so much information from theists and atheists it just about drove me insane. There were several times where, if I was honest with myself, I would have had to admit to being an atheist, but eventually it began to come together. Amazingly, it wasn't apologists like William Lane Craig or Gary Habermas that convinced me that Christianity was true, it was the skeptical literature. As I delved deeper into biblical scholarship I began to notice a pattern--that for every argument or thesis critical of Christianity I came across, there seemed to be something it didn't take into account, things like context, genre, sociocultural factors, etc that left it weak and unconvincing. Some theories, like the idea of Jesus as a cynic sage, seemed contrived and more polemical than scholarly. With a good understanding of the Bible and the conditions under which it was written tends to cause worries to melt away. Now I'm ranting, so I'll leave you be. I certainly hope things work out.

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Re: YouTube...

#35

Post by Rob » Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:00 pm

Short1 wrote: But those experiences appear to be of no real value because I've had other situations like sleep paralysis dreams where I've been carried into the kitchen by spirits and I scream bloody murder for someone to help me. All of these 'supernatural' things appear to come from the mind because they can be suppressed. They are random.
You're not alone. I've also had these kinds of things happen to me.
If you don't mind me asking, I'd like to find out a little more about your experiences with the "negative stuff." I understand that it can be frightening to recount, but I also know it can make you feel better to talk about it.

When you say you can suppress them, what do you mean? What do the spirits look like in your dream?
Is there anything in specific that you're researching or looking into deeply around the same time this stuff is happening?

Example: Have you been researching UFOs?

Also, hello musician! I too am a musician. And actually, I'm in the middle of writing a song called "Sleep Paralysis." ;)

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Re: YouTube...

#36

Post by Short1 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:06 pm

I definitely do not consider the sleep paralysis stuff to be supernatural in any way, shape or form. I no longer have paralysis dreams involving spirits because I've learned to stay calm when I realize I'm having one. Sometimes I attempt to scream for family in my house and I can barely squeeze out a whisper, but there is nothing frightening happening. Just me stuck in my body which can't move because it is sleeping. The visions are just a panic reaction.

The night I had a really weird supernatural energy thing after reading a YouTube comment, I layed down for bed and thought I saw two dark blobs floating around to my right. So, being in the freaked out goofy mindset I was in, I jumped to conclusions and got scared. I shut my eyes but they started twitching and I started feeling really freaky ( I imagined dark vines of energy wrapping through my body) and started thinking about possession or something. I opened my eyes again and the blobs were still there but I was like 'wow, screw this. I'm being an idiot and freaking myself out' so I just got up and slept at someone else's house. My eyes twitched there too, but instead of being an idiot and coming up with hallucinations, I controlled my emotions and didn't freak out.

I don't know what to do with stuff like that. I don't think there is ANYTHING supernatural about our world. We just get excited and create in our brain what we think it would feel like to have something like that happen.

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Re: YouTube...

#37

Post by Callisto » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:33 pm

Short1 wrote:
I don't know what to do with stuff like that. I don't think there is ANYTHING supernatural about our world. We just get excited and create in our brain what we think it would feel like to have something like that happen.
Then what were you so afraid of, if it really was just a blob of darkness? Clearly something scared you and I don't think it's because you just saw a blob. You thought it was something other than what you "saw". Incidentally, if naturalism and thus atheism is true, you might want to question your senses, your "mind", your "emotions", and so on. You can't really trust anything in that case, least of all your senses, reason, and logic. Why would we even have "imagination" to think that the blob was something other than a patch of darkness, if naturalism is true? It seems that when you were scared, you DID believe something supernatural could exist, otherwise why be scared of a unformed blob? Plenty of people have been "scared" into belief. Plenty of people "reason" to belief. You'll notice in the Bible, when angels came to speak with humans, pretty much every single person was afraid and the angel had to tell them not to be afraid. Why were they afraid? Because it was not something that was clearly of our nature - it was therefore "super-natural". It defied natural explanation. Some people thought they were imagining things, but when the angels kept reappearing or when God gave other signs, it became hard to say they were only hallucinating (particularly if several people see and hear the same thing at the same time!).

What I'm saying is this - you may have imagined blobs and scared yourself. But do not think that just because of this imagining, that no supernatural activity exists. I have imagined things myself, but it doesn't mean that everything I've seen was imagined. Many people out there legitimately see and hear supernatural things and are not insane or deluded.

If you're looking for God, sincerely, you will probably find him. But you'll need to drop some baggage to do so. Often times people have to really humble themselves. Other times people can be in any given situation and it's like a light-bulb goes on - C.S. Lewis was riding in the sidecar of a motorcycle when it happened to him. But you have to let him in - you can't just ask for him to come to you and then shut the door in his face.

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Re: YouTube...

#38

Post by BryanH » Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:03 am

Then what were you so afraid of, if it really was just a blob of darkness? Clearly something scared you and I don't think it's because you just saw a blob. You thought it was something other than what you "saw". Incidentally, if naturalism and thus atheism is true, you might want to question your senses, your "mind", your "emotions", and so on. You can't really trust anything in that case, least of all your senses, reason, and logic. Why would we even have "imagination" to think that the blob was something other than a patch of darkness, if naturalism is true? It seems that when you were scared, you DID believe something supernatural could exist, otherwise why be scared of a unformed blob? Plenty of people have been "scared" into belief. Plenty of people "reason" to belief. You'll notice in the Bible, when angels came to speak with humans, pretty much every single person was afraid and the angel had to tell them not to be afraid. Why were they afraid? Because it was not something that was clearly of our nature - it was therefore "super-natural". It defied natural explanation. Some people thought they were imagining things, but when the angels kept reappearing or when God gave other signs, it became hard to say they were only hallucinating (particularly if several people see and hear the same thing at the same time!).
If you think/believe/feel something is supernatural that doesn't actually mean that the specific event/incident is actually "supernatural". Even the word supernatural related to things that we don't have an explanation for, yet... The most simple example I can offer right now are the Ancient Greeks who assigned the power of lightning to Zeus. Today we know what lightning is and we don't think it is the manifestation of a good or something supernatural.

Another very important psychological factor is that human beings are afraid of the unknown, especially when you find yourself in a situation that you can't control. I think that the "sleep paralysis" is a very good example of that. I had that problem too and I was very scared and then I "googled" it and what do you know: it's a medical issue caused by bla bla bla and doesn't have to anything with ghost, spirits bla bla bla. The immediate moment I had a logical explanation for it, I wasn't scared and it also didn't occur, but on very rare occasions. I think it has been long over a year since I had my last sleep paralysis.

Some people thought they were imagining things, but when the angels kept reappearing or when God gave other signs, it became hard to say they were only hallucinating

I don't want to be disrespectful or anything, but when you talk about people who see and hear angels you have two major issues:

1) People who have hallucinations can suffer from a psychotic disorder such as schizophrenia
2) Even if you claim that some people are legit, you can't actually verify if those people who are said to have seen angels were psychotic or at best if they weren't liars (Not to mention that in the bible times people had no idea about psychosis and schizophrenia: they could have interpreted that as something "supernatural" :)))) )

particularly if several people see and hear the same thing at the same time!
There is already a discussion about this (Bible Prophecies): all the bible was written after events/facts happened, sometimes even after decades.
So basically you are saying that the people who wrote about this angels encounters didn't lie and had the correct information. I sincerely doubt it. Information can get very distorted over the years.

Many people out there legitimately see and hear supernatural things and are not insane or deluded.
Can you name a few and their achievements? Let's see how supernatural they are...

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Re: YouTube...

#39

Post by neo-x » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:12 am

Some people thought they were imagining things, but when the angels kept reappearing or when God gave other signs, it became hard to say they were only hallucinating

I don't want to be disrespectful or anything, but when you talk about people who see and hear angels you have two major issues:

1) People who have hallucinations can suffer from a psychotic disorder such as schizophrenia
2) Even if you claim that some people are legit, you can't actually verify if those people who are said to have seen angels were psychotic or at best if they weren't liars (Not to mention that in the bible times people had no idea about psychosis and schizophrenia: they could have interpreted that as something "supernatural" ))) )
What makes you think that there could not be a genuine case? Would you concede that since you can not prove it definitively one way or the other than that your say on the matter could be regarded as disputed or even wrong, since you do not know the precise factors that could actually allude to a genuine case, avoiding your presumed "no supernatural" bias?
It would be a blessing if they missed the cairns and got lost on the way back. Or if
the Thing on the ice got them tonight.

I could only turn and stare in horror at the chief surgeon.
Death by starvation is a terrible thing, Goodsir, continued Stanley.
And with that we went below to the flame-flickering Darkness of the lower deck
and to a cold almost the equal of the Dante-esque Ninth Circle Arctic Night
without.


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Re: YouTube...

#40

Post by BryanH » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:57 am

What makes you think that there could not be a genuine case? Would you concede that since you can not prove it definitively one way or the other than that your say on the matter could be regarded as disputed or even wrong, since you do not know the precise factors that could actually allude to a genuine case, avoiding your presumed "no supernatural" bias?
1) This answer is just intended more like a serious joke so please treat it as that: there is "alleged" proof of ghosts who actually interact with human beings, some of them actually hurting people. If ghosts exist that means that your soul/ghost doesn't go to Heaven/Hell or anyways, some people found a way to bypass that cycle.

2) Did you know that the way you see the world around you, mainly refering here to your visual sense, isn't actually how the world looks like? Our brain is a very nice "computer" who actually combines and compiles 2D images making it look 3D. To clear things up, I'm not saying the world we live in is not 3D. What I'm saying is that our brain compensates a lot to make it look like that because our eyes are not capable of 3D analysis.

3) I am just trying to point out some common sense and reasoning: people in biblical times had no idea about psychotic disorders. Also the majority of people were uneducated and very easy to manipulate.


So people "seeing" and "hearing" angels? Maybe... But if you believe in angels than how do you explain ghosts?

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Re: YouTube...

#41

Post by neo-x » Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:07 am

Bryan, please do not derail the point. I am asking you that you would you concede that while you may have an explanation for this phenomena - that your opinion could be disputed or even wrong?

I am aware that a lot of people fake this. I am also sure that a lot of so called supernatural activity is mostly our own imagination getting the best of us. What I am asking you as to why, you think there can not be a genuine case? Please! thank you.
It would be a blessing if they missed the cairns and got lost on the way back. Or if
the Thing on the ice got them tonight.

I could only turn and stare in horror at the chief surgeon.
Death by starvation is a terrible thing, Goodsir, continued Stanley.
And with that we went below to the flame-flickering Darkness of the lower deck
and to a cold almost the equal of the Dante-esque Ninth Circle Arctic Night
without.


//johnadavid.wordpress.com

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Re: YouTube...

#42

Post by BryanH » Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:42 am

What I am asking you as to why, you think there can not be a genuine case? Please! thank you.
You ask why? Because I am quite skeptical and pragmatic about such "divine encounters".

Since so many people lie about such facts, how do you know that others didn't do the same, but just in a better and more plausible way?

To offer another example: 95% of UFO encounters are fake, misinterpreted bla bla but the rest of 5% nobody has an explanation for. Does this prove that aliens exist?


Ex: I saw an angel last night. He told me a lot of things... [now you add here what ever you want; suggestion: start with "the angel told me not to be afraid"]

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Re: YouTube...

#43

Post by neo-x » Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:57 am

What I am asking you as to why, you think there can not be a genuine case? Please! thank you.


You ask why? Because I am quite skeptical and pragmatic about such "divine encounters".

Since so many people lie about such facts, how do you know that others didn't do the same, but just in a better and more plausible way?

To offer another example: 95% of UFO encounters are fake, misinterpreted bla bla but the rest of 5% nobody has an explanation for. Does this prove that aliens exist?


Ex: I saw an angel last night. He told me a lot of things... [now you add here what ever you want; suggestion: start with "the angel told me not to be afraid"]
Bryan my dear, I am simply asking you one thing and you are quite concerned about things I am not even questioning you about.

Call me a consistent pusher, but please for once.

I am not making a case that supernatural happens. I am only asking you whether do you think your bias, because of you being "skeptical and pragmatic" have any other reason to be so than your personal opinion and lack of experience? fakes are irrelevant here, you do understand that. If I can pinpoint it, and here Im trying to do so, you do not believe because YOU THINK such a thing can not happen.

I am only asking, would you therefore concede that you could be wrong in any case since if an angel does appear to you (for the sake of the argument) in the night you will just run to the shrink in the morning, right? So it is not belief in the supernatural which is actually a hindrance rather your disbelief that such a thing can never occur which is causing you to say what you are saying. My point is that since it is, at the heart nothing more than a "lack of proof" argument, (which may or may not be negated anywhere in the future) do you think you would agree that you could be wrong?
It would be a blessing if they missed the cairns and got lost on the way back. Or if
the Thing on the ice got them tonight.

I could only turn and stare in horror at the chief surgeon.
Death by starvation is a terrible thing, Goodsir, continued Stanley.
And with that we went below to the flame-flickering Darkness of the lower deck
and to a cold almost the equal of the Dante-esque Ninth Circle Arctic Night
without.


//johnadavid.wordpress.com

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Re: YouTube...

#44

Post by Rob » Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:09 am

It was clearly a swamp gas-filled weather balloon compounded with multiple cases of schizophrenia in separate individuals which just so happened to all flair up in everyone at the same time.

Personally, I believe "ghosts" exist, but I do not believe them to be the spirits of dead people.
Short1 wrote:I definitely do not consider the sleep paralysis stuff to be supernatural in any way, shape or form. I no longer have paralysis dreams involving spirits because I've learned to stay calm when I realize I'm having one. Sometimes I attempt to scream for family in my house and I can barely squeeze out a whisper, but there is nothing frightening happening. Just me stuck in my body which can't move because it is sleeping. The visions are just a panic reaction.
If you say so. It may have been the case in your situation.
Short1 wrote: We just get excited and create in our brain what we think it would feel like to have something like that happen.
Might be the case sometimes. We were indeed given a creative mind. I find it much harder to accept that when multiple witnesses (some including me personally) are involved, though.

Personal stories won't do anything for you since you weren't there and I could be lying, so I won't go into that.
Last edited by Rob on Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: YouTube...

#45

Post by BryanH » Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:27 am

I am only asking, would you therefore concede that you could be wrong in any case since if an angel does appear to you (for the sake of the argument) in the night you will just run to the shrink in the morning, right? So it is not belief in the supernatural which is actually a hindrance rather your disbelief that such a thing can never occur which is causing you to say what you are saying.
I wouldn't go to the shrink in the morning.

I think I got your question: you are asking me if I could be wrong...

Of course I could be wrong. I mean, we are talking about things/beings that we can't even prove that exist in the first place. So your question if that is the question is basically pointless because even if I admit that I can be wrong, there is no way you or I can actually know that at this given moment of the discussion.

If an angel appears to me, well, that would be nice. But angels don't appear to anyone:)) They just appear to designated people and religious leaders:)) that is something to think about.

I could be wrong, you could be wrong... who can really tell?

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