PROBLEM: Personal Testimony (You Explain)

Kenny5682
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PROBLEM: Personal Testimony (You Explain)

Christian or athiest, with a little work, either side can take something said by the other and mold it to fit their own argument.  I look outside and I see a beautiful creation obviously created by God.  Others look outside and see a manifestation of matter completely controled by chance.

 Personally, my faith did not begin or strengthen by looking at the trees or the stars.  Nor did it strengthen by scientific knowledge or historical evidence.  It strengthened with personal experiences.

 The first time I called out to God I pulled over along side a mountain right off of a very busy road.  I asked that if there be a God, and if He is the God of the Bible, that He would show me a shooting star.  I never did see one.  Instead, I got an overwhemling urge to get down on my knees and pray.  I didn't want to because I was along a busy road.  So I requested to pray in a quiet place.  Just then, the traffic stopped for quite some time.  It was completel silence.  I waited, and waited some more.  Nothing.  So I got down on my knees and I prayed, and although I took my time praying I did not hear a single car off in the distance until about 1 second after I said "Amen."

 

    Later in my walk, a guy I worked with wanted to buy my Jeep.  I didn't want to sell it to him because my wife had wrecked it and it would need work.  He said he does body work and that he would still like to buy it.  Because this man was poor, I felt convicted by God to give it to him free of charge.  My wife cleans the Church as a part time job.  She called me from the Church and I told her that I wanted to give the jeep to this guy.  She said, "We could probably get about $500 for it, but if that's what God wants you to do; do it."  We both agreed to trust God.  10 minutes later my wife called and informed me that our pastor handed her a check for $500.  Apparently, the elder board discussed our current financial situation and decided to give us the money toward a new car because we were struggling so much. 

 

I have many more stories, but I'll leave you with this final story.  A few weeks ago I had a dream where a girl I used to know popped in, and I felt like I had something to tell her from God.  I woke up before I told her anything.  About a week later I decided to message her on MySpace and I was very open about feeling as if God wanted me to tell her something.  I said "I feel as if you have been lying awake in bed at night and seeking God."  I also made it very clear that this was something that happened very often, and not just here and there.  When she wrote me back she informed me that every night that week she had been up struggling with guilt and asking God to forgive her.  

Did traffic just happen to stop just long enough for me to pray?  Did my pastor just happen to hand my wife $500 dollars within 10 minutes after we sacrificed that exact amount to help somebody else?  Did I just guess that the girl I knew was struggling at that exact time and describe her exact situation to her without knowing anything about what she was going through?  Or did God make Himself evident through these things?  

 I cannot prove to you that He did any more than you can prove to me that He did not.  But the issue here isn't what I can prove to you, or what you can prove to me; it's what He has proven to me and millions of others around the world who follow Him.

 You will never be able to prove what did or did not happen 2,000 years ago.  But can you disprove the personal testimonies of millions?

 

Good luck, if there is such a thing.


sugarfree
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Cory T wrote: The quotes

Cory T wrote:

The quotes seem a bit judgmental. Not making us Christians look good, SugarFree.

I came here hoping to possibly to make Christians "look good".  That failed.  I don't think it is possible for Christians to look good in an atheist's eyes.  At least, that is the conclusion I have drawn here.  So, in this particular post to zarathustra, I was being brutally honest about the truth as I see it.  I'm guessing zarathustra might at least agree with me on this point: we should not modify our truth for the sake of others, i.e., to not offend them.  The truth is the truth.  Sometimes it is not pleasant.

I may be wrong on parts of my understanding of the Bible, however, that "test me" stuff I did not make up.  God said "test me" in Malachi.  I do not claim to be perfect, and I know I have said some stupid things here.  But, the bottom line, for me, is that I do care about the people here...them being atheist does not cause me to look down on them.  However, I cannot in good conscious, water down my opinions just to get them to like me.  I simply refuse to do that.  I know it makes them mad, just as they make me mad when they refuse to water down their truth for me.  But, at least we can say we agree on that one thing.


sugarfree
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Vastet wrote: sugarfree

Vastet wrote:
sugarfree wrote:
Vastet wrote:
sugarfree wrote:
Vastet wrote:
But if god wants me to believe in him, he'd better do better than nothing.
See? You are testing Him.
Well if he exists then it's his will that I do. So what's the problem with him answering for once? Just once. I'm not asking for a billion dollars here. Just a simple and incontrovertable sign.
sugarfree wrote:
Vastet wrote:
I'm only recounting it to you now so that you can see how I do give without strings attached.
I did not say you were incapable of this. I said, this is the only area where God says to us, "Test me."
Where's the test?
See my response to zarathustra.
Quote:
Because He will respond by providing you with spiritual, emotional, and financial abundance.
Then why hasn't he? All the spiritual, financial, and emotional abundance I have came from me and me alone. I worked for my job, I made my friends, I budget my money, I choose to be happy. Your god has never offered to help. You talk about your god like he bribes you to be good. I don't even want a bribe. I'll be job. Just prove yourself. That's all I want. But that has never happened, and never will. Because god doesn't exist.
All right Vastet.  I am resigned to the fact that we are simply on different pages regarding this subject.  But I had to try, no?  Anyway, kudos on saving the little critter.  I am a sucker for animals, particularly animals in distress.  And even tho, I know you don't believe in God, from my perspective, God even feels concern for the smallest in his creation, so appreciated your actions.  I think you earned a few cool points with that move.  Eye-wink


JeremiahSmith
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Cory T wrote: Misguided

Cory T wrote:
Misguided theology leads people to assert that in the first place.

Awesome! Misguided theology, eh? What did I get wrong, hm?

Is God somehow incompetent? Is that a tenet of Christianity I missed somewhere? Is that some big "Da Vinci Code"-esque secret of Christianity: that God has an extra chromosome and likes fingerpaints?

Is this a free will thing? I'm not talking about God making someone worship and love him. I can see that being a free will thing. I wouldn't buy that argument, either, but I could at least see where you're coming from. I'm talking about God performing a very basic act: convincing someone that he exists. How, precisely, would that violate free will? If I convince you that I exist, have I violated your free will? Presumably, one would still have the free will to make a decision based on the new information that God is Real. Satan presumably knew that God is Real but still managed to rebel. And some Christians claim that even atheists who knew God existed would still deny him, which is stupid but at least it shows a comprehension that knowing of someone's existence is vastly different from worshipping and loving that someone.

It's all a very silly concept, the idea that God is somehow prevented from convincing atheists he exists by sheer force of stubbornness. In the Bible, God shows himself lots of times. He reveals himself to the Israelites, he has his son do miracles and then raises him from the dead. He struck Paul with a vision on the road to Damascus, which is an interesting example because at the time Paul was quite resistant to believing the Christan God, even persecuting his followers. Are atheists even more un-convertable than Paul? And, let's not forget, on Judgment Day, "every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord". Obviously God will have worked out some sort of convincing technique by then, and won't have any qualms about convincing everyone at once.

I'm sure Christian literature is full of stories about people who converted from atheism into Christianity because of some vision or experience. If those really were true conversions, and God really was behind them, why doesn't he do it for everyone? Would that be "too easy"? Are the atheists on these forums just even more stubborn than the conversion stories? I don't know how crazy theology works. I figured it would be a pretty cut-and-dry analysis: God wants Atheist X to be saved, God is all-powerful and all-knowing, God should be able to get what he wants (even without violating free will, to boot). To say otherwise is to say that stubborn atheists are more powerful than God.

That's not how it works, you say. It's not as cut-and-dry as that. There's nuances involved. Years of theological analysis. And I say bullshit. You don't get to play the nuance card because there are no nuances. God isn't just really powerful, he is all powerful. He didn't create some of existence, he created all of it. He is not just really smart, really good, really loving, he is the epitome and ideal of all those things. God is defined in terms of absolutes and perfection. Theists who claim that argument X doesn't take into account little details are idiots, because there are no little details when you define your deity in terms of broad sweeping strokes of perfection.

So, to bring this around to the original topic. If God wants me to believe in him, what's preventing God from getting what he wants? Maybe he's just lazy? Is free will like kryptonite to God, or just atheist free will? Or maybe it's stubborn atheist free will, and less stubborn atheists get converted by the bucketloads. Or maybe it's all crap crap crap crap crap.

Götter sind für Arten, die sich selbst verraten -- in den Glauben flüchten um sich hinzurichten. Menschen brauchen Götter um sich zu verletzen, um sich zu vernichten -- das sind wir.


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sugarfree wrote: Cory T

sugarfree wrote:
Cory T wrote:

The quotes seem a bit judgmental. Not making us Christians look good, SugarFree.

I came here hoping to possibly to make Christians "look good". That failed. I don't think it is possible for Christians to look good in an atheist's eyes. At least, that is the conclusion I have drawn here.

Sugarfree, that's not at all true.

You obviously didn't read all the posts about Cory_T when he wasn't around and asking him to come back to the forums. 

Also, I don't know anyone that doesn't like Wishkah311. 

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pariahjane
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Cory T wrote: pariahjane

Cory T wrote:
pariahjane wrote:

I've been in desperate times and god has yet to reveal himself (I know, I know, I just haven't been 'looking' for him).

Don't feel bad; no one looks for God. Check Romans 3. We are dead in our sins.

pariahjane wrote:
As for the whole giving with no strings attached, I actually do that quite often. You see, when a Christian gives, it actually does have strings attached. You're giving because that's what the Bible preaches, or because you think god wants you to. Giving gets you a first class ticket to heaven.

Now, when I give, I do it because I want to help the other person, because I want that person to be safe, or happy. I'm not doing it because I have an expectation of pay back or reward.

I actually like you more and more with each post I read. What you have touched on here is the hypocrisy of organized religion. But the Bible has a lot to say about people who give with the expectation of reward in heaven vs. people who give with no expectation of repayment. Yours is actually the purer form of giving. You have the correct motives.

This post reminds me of the video I saw once of the guy who was passionately explaining the need for evangelism, talking fondly about how Christians have the greatest potential for winning souls with the most logical and easiest to preach message, and how each of us should make it our life's goal to win as many converts as we can, and then disciple them to a fullness of life in Christ. He quoted Bible verses thoughout to support his position. At the end, he said that he was an atheist and how all the "God stuff" was crap. It just made him so mad that people who did believe it treated the gift of eternal life like an afterthought. They seemed more concerned with judging others than spreading the gospel, and he thought that that was wrong in the extreme.

Videos like that and posts like yours serve to remind us Christians that we have a long way to go in humbling ourselves before God and learning to do good with the right motives.

Cory!  I've missed you!  Smiling  Glad you liked my post.  But here's the thing - giving, in some ways (at least for me) is kind of selfish as well.  After all, if I'm 'giving' to someone, it's usually my choice and I usually somehow benefit from it.  I benefit when I make a friend happy, because it makes me feel happy and gooey inside that I've made them happy.  If I help someone, it makes me feel good about myself.  I personally think this is a great thing that everyone benefits.    

If god takes life he's an indian giver


sugarfree
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Susan wrote: sugarfree

Susan wrote:
sugarfree wrote:
Cory T wrote:

The quotes seem a bit judgmental. Not making us Christians look good, SugarFree.

I came here hoping to possibly to make Christians "look good". That failed. I don't think it is possible for Christians to look good in an atheist's eyes. At least, that is the conclusion I have drawn here.

Sugarfree, that's not at all true.

You obviously didn't read all the posts about Cory_T when he wasn't around and asking him to come back to the forums.

Also, I don't know anyone that doesn't like Wishkah311.

Maybe that was a bad way to put it.  As people that's one thing, but the "Christian" part...  I do not sense that you all have respect for that aspect of a person.  But, same thing on the flipside, I do not respect your atheism.  I respect your right to be an atheist, and I respect you as a person.  But, I cannot say to you with honesty that I respect atheism.  But, perhaps I am wrong about how you view Christianity.


Vastet
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sugarfree wrote: Susan

sugarfree wrote:
Susan wrote:
sugarfree wrote:
Cory T wrote:

The quotes seem a bit judgmental. Not making us Christians look good, SugarFree.

I came here hoping to possibly to make Christians "look good". That failed. I don't think it is possible for Christians to look good in an atheist's eyes. At least, that is the conclusion I have drawn here.

Sugarfree, that's not at all true.

You obviously didn't read all the posts about Cory_T when he wasn't around and asking him to come back to the forums.

Also, I don't know anyone that doesn't like Wishkah311.

Maybe that was a bad way to put it.  As people that's one thing, but the "Christian" part...  I do not sense that you all have respect for that aspect of a person.  But, same thing on the flipside, I do not respect your atheism. I respect your right to be an atheist, and I respect you as a person. But, I cannot say to you with honesty that I respect atheism.  But, perhaps I am wrong about how you view Christianity.

Actually you just did a pretty good job of explaining our side, in a general sense. I'll just shift the words to reflect our position instead of you and...

Quote:
I do not respect your theism. I respect your right to be a theist, and I respect you as a person. But, I cannot say to you with honesty that I respect theism.

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