Reasons to Believe

Discussions on creation beliefs within Christianity, and topics related to creation.
WillemBurr
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Reasons to Believe

#1

Post by WillemBurr » Tue Mar 22, 2005 5:35 pm

Hello, my name is Harrison. I've registered at this board to correspond with fellow Christians for the purpose of increasing my faith, and hopefully the faith of others around me. I've come here for knowledge, and answers to some of my questions as well as the questions of people whom I've met and have yet to meet. I have no scientific background and so in that regard I am a layman. I cannot by any means answer scientifically any Biblical questions, however God has blessed me by revealing to me His works through phenomena that is unexplainable. I feel extremely grateful for these certain experiences as it makes it far easier to believe in God, and the Bible. I've always believed in some shape or fashion of a god, but did not truly come to believe in the personal God of the Bible, and the Bible it self, until seeing the power of God through miracles. I will give an account of what happened to me, as I feel it is our responsibility to share what God has done for us, so others that have not had first-hand accounts of God's power may know that He still works today, just as He did in the Bible.

It was 1997 and I was in my twelfth summer. I was on vacation with my parents and my older sister, we were traveling to Florida by car to get to Disney World. On our way we stopped in Pensacola, where apparently "Revivals" were being held. My mother being quite spiritual decided that we had to stay and witness the power of God if indeed it were here. My reaction was just about the equivalent the Feminist movement would have if the 19th amendment had been removed, in other words, I was horrified. There was no way I wanted spend 4 or more hours of my vacation time in church, the idea disgusted me and I had no qualms about complaining. As I continued to complain my mother said "God wants you in church", and I arrogantly responded "God doesn't want me board on vacation" "God if you want me to go to church, say something!" to which I of course got silence. Despite my protest it was decided that we would stay and go to this "Revival" we entered the church and my sardonic comments continued. The church was packed with quite a few thousand people, and at the beginning the church had "praise and worship" with people dancing and singing, I however remained quite quiet and still. After the singing, the preacher started his sermon, and at this point I was still wondering how many miles I was from "It's a small world", but soon, my attitude began to change. After the sermon, the pastor asked for people to exit the pews and stand in a line between them. Lines started to form, and soon the pastor was walking through the sea of people, touching one person at a time and screaming "fire!" when he touched each individual. As he did, the people that he would touch would just collapse to the floor. Now at this point, I was surprised, but my mindset was still one of doubt. I had been in plenty of churches before, and seen people fake this same thing. I also had been PUSHED down by a pastor long before I'd ever visited here, and as such was not convinced, though admittedly I could "feel" something at this point. One by one the people fell as the pastor worked his way through the aisles, and at this point, the number of people were easily in the hundreds. Now I wasn't the only one who was not convinced, there was a very attractive teenage blond girl sitting with a guy on each side of her that was 2 rows in front of me. They did not get out of their seats, and instead they pointed and laughed at the people who were falling on the ground, and basically had the exact attitude I had earlier, but with more mockery than even I dared to exude. When the pastor had worked his way to the area in the aisle where they would be standing, he saw them still sitting in their seats, but instead of passing over them he went into the pews and touched each one of them as well! When he walked away they were all totally unconscious! Most of the others before them had remained conscious just not able to stand, but that girl and her friends were just completely out. Her eyes were closed and she and her friends were rather oddly leaning on each other, and just remained completely unmoving. Now at this point, my thoughts were quite shaken. Before I had come to this church I was questioning the Bible's veracity and indeed weather God even existed. In many ways the Bible seemed like some kind of fairy tale my parents told me to make me be a "good boy" and obey them, but after seeing these incredible things, well there was a great deal of ambivalence towards my disbelief. So then and there I told God "Prove it to me. God if you are real, prove to me this is not fake, prove this is you. I'm going to resist this with every ounce of strength in my body so If I'm knocked down, I'll know that YOU had to do it, and that it was not my mind or this man. Prove it." So now the preacher is right in front of me, the moment of truth, or falsehood. He reaches out his hand and GENTLY touches my midsection and screams "fire!", instantly I feel weak, but I resist. Again he lightly touches my stomach and screams "fire!". Now my body almost collapses, and I double over, but still I fight it. I refuse to go down, like a prize fighter who know's he can't win, but fights anyway. Then for the third time the preacher does the same thing, gently as always, almost like a feather falling on a pillow he touches me and screams "Fire!". The feeling I then had is hard to describe, but perhaps is best described as powerlessness, and not in a pejorative way, just as if you're encompassed by something that is 100 times larger than you. My legs buckle, I give up. I can't take anymore. I fall to the floor and say, "It's you God." With a critical mindset, a sardonic disposition, and an actual physical resistance to the power of God, I still fell.

That's my testimony, or I should say part of it, as I have witnessed things that are arguably even more incredible, but the one above is certainly the most personal. I plan on writing on my other accounts of God's miracles at a latter date, but feel this one is long enough on its own. In closing I have a few questions and statements.

For the Atheist: Can you really afford to not examine God from the Christian perspective and look only at the evidence against, and not for? Answer yourself this; What do you have to lose? What do you have to gain?

For the Muslim: Why would Allah use His power through a Christian in a Christian church and answer my request when it would lead me to Jesus?

For the Christian: Take joy that our God is the living God, and still does great works today! Let this testimony increase your faith and trust in God as you continue to seek Him.

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#2

Post by Mastermind » Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:02 pm

Now THAT is a conversion story.

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#3

Post by Darwin_Rocks » Tue Mar 22, 2005 8:15 pm

interesting, it's stories like these that make me doubt whether disagreeing with christianity is a good thing but then again what we must take into account is maybe there is a scientific explanation for all of what you experienced? Is there a possibility that you could have been hypnotiseD?

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#4

Post by Prodigal Son » Tue Mar 22, 2005 8:17 pm

willemburr,

cool deal, man! :D

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#5

Post by Joel Freeman » Tue Mar 22, 2005 8:33 pm

Darwin_Rocks wrote:interesting, it's stories like these that make me doubt whether disagreeing with christianity is a good thing but then again what we must take into account is maybe there is a scientific explanation for all of what you experienced? Is there a possibility that you could have been hypnotiseD?
I've never heard of any kind of hypnotism that is anything close to this. I've also seen things like this when I was young and it scared me to death! I didn't try it, but I still ended up being a christian. :)

That's a vvery awesome testimony, and I look foward to hearing more. Welcome to the boards, WillemBurr.

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#6

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Tue Mar 22, 2005 8:45 pm

I'm not expert of hyptnosis, but I was in a rather short seminar where one answered questions, and I saw him perform two times. What I know is that, you have to let yourself be hyptnotised. You aren't put into a trance, you allow yourself to be put into a trance. It's usually quiet, and the guy will softly repeat things to you, and after 3 minutes for level 1-2 hypnosis, you should be "under his control" which you willingly gave to him. Now, our good host did not mention anything like that. He also seems like the 3rd kind of subject-the hardest one to hyptnosize, because he's skeptical and fights back. Also, the 3 obnoxious people seemed the same way in the story.

And Darwin, everything cannot be scientifically explained. Science deals with the now and the natural. Not the supernatural.
"My actions prove that God takes care of idiots."

He occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.
- On Stanley Baldwin

-Winston Churchill

An atheist can't find God for the same reason a criminal can't find a police officer.

You need to start asking out girls so that you can get used to the rejections.
-Anonymous

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#7

Post by Mastermind » Tue Mar 22, 2005 8:54 pm

Anything that manifests in this world CAN be analyzed by science. Back on topic, it IS possible to hypnotise people without them giving your permission if you're really good, but some people are immune to it. There's no way that pastor could have done what he did with mere hypnosis.

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#8

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Tue Mar 22, 2005 9:14 pm

With the help of science, one can determine how much energy a certain power plant can put out....but find me a method to find out the quantity of love two people share...and then go and give me a scientific method to determine WHY.
"My actions prove that God takes care of idiots."

He occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.
- On Stanley Baldwin

-Winston Churchill

An atheist can't find God for the same reason a criminal can't find a police officer.

You need to start asking out girls so that you can get used to the rejections.
-Anonymous

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#9

Post by Mastermind » Tue Mar 22, 2005 9:16 pm

You're assuming love is of this world. You can't measure love, but you can measure a person's reaction to love. Like the velocity of your lips as they are heading for your girlfriend's. ;)

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#10

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Tue Mar 22, 2005 9:27 pm

Anything that manifests in this world CAN be analyzed by science
You're assuming love is of this world.
You're avoiding me 8) I know love is not of this world-God is love and the source of love, matter is not love, and does not express love, and cannot give love, etc. Love, though, is manifested in this world!
but you can measure a person's reaction to love. Like the velocity of your lips as they are heading for your girlfriend's.
And when God blesses me with Mrs. Right (and her first name will not be Always, I'm gonna check on that), according to Einstein my lips will not have any mass because they'll be approaching the speed of life. 8)
"My actions prove that God takes care of idiots."

He occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.
- On Stanley Baldwin

-Winston Churchill

An atheist can't find God for the same reason a criminal can't find a police officer.

You need to start asking out girls so that you can get used to the rejections.
-Anonymous

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#11

Post by Mastermind » Tue Mar 22, 2005 9:51 pm

AttentionKMartShoppers wrote:
Anything that manifests in this world CAN be analyzed by science
You're assuming love is of this world.
You're avoiding me 8) I know love is not of this world-God is love and the source of love, matter is not love, and does not express love, and cannot give love, etc. Love, though, is manifested in this world!
but you can measure a person's reaction to love. Like the velocity of your lips as they are heading for your girlfriend's.
And when God blesses me with Mrs. Right (and her first name will not be Always, I'm gonna check on that), according to Einstein my lips will not have any mass because they'll be approaching the speed of life. 8)
I'm avoiding nothing. Love is not the manifestation of love. It's our actions that are a manifestation of love in this realm. it is those that science CAN measure, just like science could measure Jesus's tension or heart beat rate if He were around.

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#12

Post by jakelo » Tue Mar 22, 2005 9:54 pm

Willem,

I believe every single word you said in your story. Not only because I have faith in God and that He does have the power to reach out to people as He did to you, but I to had an experience similar (but not as intense) as yours. I went to a healing at my church with my family. I didn't go to repent for my sins but to receive help with a personal problem I had that was affecting my family. I was the angriest person, I would explode for the smallest reasons at those closest to me. I was like that my whole life and that was that. So my dad took me to receive a healing for it. When his aunt (who is a very spiritual person chosen by the priest to assist in healings because of the crowd) was praying for me, I didn't think I would fall or anything. But when she lightly touched my forehead, well, lets just say I'm glad my dad had his arm around me. I would've smacked my head on the floor! I can't explain what happened, and I don't need to. I already know it was the power of God. And yes, the healing did work. Everyone I know tells me I'm the most laid back guy that they've ever met (God is amazing, huh?). Praise be to GOD! :D :D

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#13

Post by bizzt » Wed Mar 23, 2005 3:01 pm

Hello WillemBurr

Great Testimony.

I have one similar Experience... I was a Part of a Crowd and Hands were layed on me. Then I felt a Buckling of My Knees and down I went. I was just slain in the Spirit!!

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#14

Post by Shirtless » Wed Mar 23, 2005 8:45 pm

Wow, and I thought MY change was unique! I agree with MM about how anything can be measured with science--like how every chemical and protein and element in our bodies exists in the Earth's soil...so the creation of Adam isn't too far off.

I wish I had a pastor like that. All my Atheist friends would change instantly!

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#15

Post by Darwin_Rocks » Thu Mar 24, 2005 2:48 pm

Okay I really hate doing this but I have to...

Is there a possibility that the power you experienced could be a force that IS NOT God? I mean it seems odd to me that God would PROVE to you in this way that he exists. It contradicts that passage in the Bible where Jesus is tempted by Satan. I don't exactly know what went down but Satan said something like "If you jump off [a building maybe?] won't God save you at the bottom?" to which Jesus (the guy that you guys love) said "Yes but you also cannot question Gods love." which to me seems like a contradiction between the experience Willem experienced.

So if we accept that there are supernatural forces that CANNOT be explained by Science, is there a possibility that this supernatural force was not God?

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