Something to Remember

I hesitate to share this. But if I identify as a Christian before the world, I ought to be transparent with my own story.

I spend a lot of my blog effort on workaday apologetics and one woman’s understanding of the application of Christian evangelical doctrine. But if I am not careful, my account of the Christian experience could become something dispassionate, held at arm’s length, and useful to no one.

Here is something different. It is my best attempt to describe one small passage in a relationship with God. I can confirm to you that He really is the still small voice amid the cacophony of life on earth and the distracting roar visible and invisible.

We foolishly try to translate the spiritual to the material with 1 to 1 correspondence, such as in ghost stories, but it is clumsy at best. I suspect it will be difficult to understand what I relate as I have understood it, but I hope I can tell you something real which doesn’t come across as only me relating my feelings. Personal experiences which happen in our heads are somewhat beyond words, and that must necessarily be true here. But I do not intend to tell you about my feelings.

A few years ago, I did something I don’t dare to do often. I asked him a direct and open-ended question. “Of all these plans we/I have for good things to do, which one? Which ministry should we throw our effort into? Which big plans should we pursue?  We can’t do it all, so which ones do we sacrifice?  What would you have me do?” And I really wanted His answer, not mine, for a change.

And he clearly said to me: “Love me.”

It wasn’t anything remotely like any answer I was expecting.  The answer came from outside of me and made itself known in my mind.

The full weight of the answer will be evident to many believers. When Jesus asked us to love Him and His Father, he also taught that the result of that love would be humility, sacrifice, obedience, and active love toward our fellowmen. That result flows supernaturally from the true source of intentionally and actively loving Him. Love for Him is the true act.

I’m a slow learner. In spite of his earlier conversation with me, I went on imagining myself an indispensable cog in Important Business.

Recently, I had the flu. I recognized the flu by its trademark impact on my mind. It was waaay too much trouble to think very hard about anything. Even more unusual for me, I did not much care about anything either.

I had no interest in food. After a few days, I realized that my body, normally a hypersensitive rollercoaster of alarming sensations, seemed to relax. (I must remember to try that fasting thing.) I lay almost comfortably content. My body felt calm; my mind was peaceful.

I will try to describe how God the Creator of the Universe, my closest Friend, seamlessly stepped through the barricades I had thrown up high against intrusion from anything but self.  He waited his opportunity, and simply became present. But He had something to say.

He had things to tell me. And what He had to say was the same as who He was. Becoming aware of His intimate presence was understanding what he wanted me to know.

Illness can be an excellent focuser. All the striving just became too much for me. The non-essentials put aside and cleared away, you can see more clearly. As I floated on the surface, sick, I realized that all the stuff could wait.

This caused, or allowed me, to step back from my frenetic wheel-spinning and to look at the bigger picture. You might be thinking: “Well, duh.”  Yes,  I knew all this stuff but the evidence all seemed to prove my indispensability.

But I am not really essential to anything. Keeping all the plates spinning is too much. I encouraged myself to lose my grip on all that I have to control. Let go of all the nonessential, the totally vital things I must do or the world is ruined. There is a chance here for humility.

Why? Because my part is to do my little bit, but God really has the grip and the control. Just do the next right thing, step by step, and God will have it all in His hands. I don’t need to know everything.

It’s not ME accomplishing the great things.

For my part, doing the essentials is enough. If all I can do is nothing, everything will still get done.  So if I do my little bit, and discern my little bit well, I will be being faithful. I want to do simply the right thing.  Which is whatever He wants.

Whatever you want me to do, that is what I am ready to do.  I don’t want to bother with what I want plus what you want. Just tell me in your way, what you want from me, and that is what I will gladly do.

Be conscious and mindful about now, keep close and connected with Him. And just do the next thing.  Ask him what the next thing is, or do the next thing that has presented itself. Take your time. There’s no panic. Do it, quietly, don’t hurry. He is guiding and He is accomplishing. Do the obviously right thing by Me without projecting the result and weighing whether you think it’s worth it. 

A  few days later, we were with dear friends with whom we’ve been meeting for Bible study for several years. As we discussed the passage, our friend Rob asked a question which I don’t even remember.  Suddenly I began processing my recent experience in quick-time.

I realized with almost with a start what God had been saying. It was simple yet awesome.

He is here by me. I mean really here, in my life, in me, a Someone not to be dismissed and ignored. He is there. As in: I’ve been standing here all this time. Now you can see me!

And that place I had arrived, courtesy of the flu: He’s been waiting for me to get here, with everlasting patience; he would have waited as long as it took for me to get around to waking up.

It’s interesting to note that The Almighty God of the Universe, the Creator of all things visible and invisible, the Alpha and Omega…whom unbelievers  label an avenger, a genocidal destroyer, a petty accountant of our sins…actually interacts with us with what seems like respect and humility. He can wait for me. He gave us our own free will and knows the danger, yet waits on our slow-witted epiphanies.

He seeks us out.  Like “The Hound of Heaven” referenced by Stott*, he pursues us relentlessly.  But he pursues less like a hunter and more like a spurned yet hopeful suitor. We would rarely seek Him.

There is a private place where it’s only He and I. I’m ashamed to say that I don’t go to that quiet place often enough. But that has to change this time.

* Why I Am a Christian by John Stott, chapter 1

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44 thoughts on “Something to Remember

  1. Michelle Styles

    We don’t always get what we want, but we do get what we need.

    Sometimes we think he didn’t answer at all and we ignore that “no” is a perfectly reasonable answer as well.

    Sometimes like your answer it is indirect and seems vague. But he was telling you pick any but love me first. What’s wrong with that answer? Nothing at all. I hope you allowed him to do the things that need doing and I hope the ministries you in faith start last forever.

    I think the answer wasn’t very vague really. It was indirect and sideways but it was pretty clear. 🙂 Love me, let me guide you and use you and together we will change the world. You just weren’t in a place to hear the rest of the words at that time. But you seem to have figured them out.

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  2. madblog Post author

    Oh, it was not a vague answer at all. It was clear and undeniable. I understood. And I put it into practice, remembering now and then, but very imperfectly.
    He keeps repeating to me how life is really all about relationship, and that the only way to be true to real relationships with real people is to put Him first; to put loving him, which includes obedience, very first, front and center.
    If I love him with HIS definition of love, I cannot go wrong. All else follows.

    Thanks very much for your insights!

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  3. insanitybytes22

    That was just beautiful! I love the term “slow witted epiphanies.”

    I’ve had a similar encounter, where I asked God what He wanted me to “do.” Love me was also the answer as well as to just receive that love and all the beauty life has to offer. “Do” nothing. Naturally I struggled against this, I must do something or the whole world will fall apart! I too was laid out flat and could do nothing even if I had wanted to. Eventually it began to resonate however, to simply love God is doing something, something He actually calls us to do. It is not really about me and all the busy of life, it is about receiving Him. I love that quote, “human beings, not human doings.”

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    1. madblog Post author

      Ah yes, the insistence that I did not experience what I think I experienced.

      I recognize a conversation when it happens to me.

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      1. tildeb

        I have no doubt you experienced what you say you did. I think you ‘heard’ what you said you heard. It’s what you attribute that to that I ask the question… because we duplicate this experience of hearing a distinctive voice (separate from our own… including the voice in our head) that subjects insist came from somewhere other than themselves. The work of Michael Persinger at Laurentian University has many documented cases of causing this kind (and others often attributed to some interaction with ‘god’) by magnetic interference.

        You seem quite sure that this voice came from somewhere else and so I was wondering if you had anything to go by… other than the voice itself?

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  4. madblog Post author

    Your difficulty with my self-report arises from a prior belief of yours that the source I name does not exist. That is certainly a problem for you.

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    1. tildeb

      I simply have no compelling evidence that source you claim does exist. That’s not an assumption on my part but a fact. But I do have compelling evidence that your experience can be repeated by artificial means on a host of subjects. That indicates to me that the source you claim may not be what you think it is. That’s why I asked how you knew… because the how determines the what.

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      1. madblog Post author

        Oh. My experience could be “artificial” but yours cannot be. What is your compelling evidence that I did not understand a message from someone who was not me? Also what is your compelling evidence that my source does not exist?
        Your “facts” are beliefs.

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  5. Wally Fry

    I went on imagining myself an indispensable cog in Important Business.

    Madelyn
    That was a huge statement, and quite frankly I am glad it happened to you. Not that I wish you ill will of course, but because it makes me feel a lot less alone. Sometimes I feel like I get so wrapped up in my own self importance that I come to the conclusion that whatever it is I want to do must be vital to God. I fear asking the question you asked because the answer might be in divergence with my own desires. Dang, that hurts to admit.

    @ Tildeb. Magnetic interference? Really? Is there no theory you won’t jump right on in order to deny the existence of God? You are starting to sound like the fellow who argued with me that aliens was a sounder theory of the origin of life than God. Mad has it right when she says that your assumption that God is non existent is certainly a problem for you.

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    1. lang3063

      I’m reminded of a conversation I once had with an atheist psychology student regarding the true identity of Christ. In no time at all he was backed into the corner of insisting that an alien with magical superpowers was scientifically likely but the Son of God was laughable. That student now treats patients…

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      1. Michelle Styles

        He would have been a poor student. One thing I’ve learned helping victims is faith is a powerful tool. It should be built up even if that faith is different from our own. We as mental health workers from councilors to therapists to (my goal) psychologist is to help people. The single most important rule I’ve learned in that endeavor is to always build up the faith of the other person. If they have no faith it will honestly make my job harder because it robs me of a tool.

        I am not Christian though I know the same heavenly father as Jesus knew. I was faced with a young girl who had been systematically raped and she was in crisis. Here is that story of how on our first meeting I attempted to build up her faith.

        https://aghostdancer.wordpress.com/2014/01/18/inside-me-deeply-part-7-choices/

        Not MY faith, not tear down HER faith but build up HER faith and it had to start then and there. Now I know you weren’t a victim or his patient but I believe it best to practice always the rules I’ve been taught. I’d never try and persuade you that Jesus was false even if we disagree on faith. Faith is the single best tool in recovery from anything and that’s just a simple fact.

        That is why I’d never engage in personal conversation where I profess your belief to be wrong. We can agree we each have or don’t have faith but no one can ever disprove faith because faith is believing without the need of proof. That belief can help you stay healthy, recover from injury or illness and is a powerful tool in day to day life.

        He was a bad student and I feel sorry for his patients since he will handy cap himself and them because of his belief that he must tear down god for others rather than just be happy in what he believes in.

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        1. tildeb

          Faith is the single best tool in recovery from anything and that’s just a simple fact.

          What a very silly thing to say.

          Any time knowledge is placed in a lower drawer of the tool box of selecting treatment by the practitioner, I am quite leery of subsequent claims of that practitioner having any ‘expertise’ whatsoever.

          I’ve dealt with far too many individuals with physiological impairments supposedly treated time and time again by various kinds of ‘faith-based’ expertise to little if any benefit and usually much harm to seriously doubt claims of supposed efficacy. Brain function is absolutely central to mental health. Turning to woo in place of physiological treatment is hardly a professional approach for efficacy f physiological impairments… although it may appear to woo-meister to bring about positive (even if temporary) changes. This allows such unprofessional workers the momentary thrill of thinking highly of themselves and this is not an uncommon motivation we find in the field – especially in community based treatment like ‘faith healing’. Appearances – as any mental health worker knows perfectly – are very often deceiving. Falling for the deception is not a ringing endorsement of one’s professionalism.

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        2. Michelle Styles

          1. You’d be a total fool to have misread my post that badly. Faith is “A” tool. It is a valuable and perhaps the MOST valuable tool when someone has faith.

          It is not the ONLY tool, medication, therapy, talking ect are other tools. But to discount faith so naively is utter folly. Here is why there is not hope without belief and faith is the basis of belief.

          Wow are you are slow to not see the facts? You are so willing to throw away the faith of an individual not mine theirs. I made it clear it is THEIR faith which is the tool.

          Sorry that you can’t understand such a simple concept as utilizing ALL the tools available to you simply because you have no faith.

          So when treating a Christian to use their faith as one of the tools toward healing them. That tool can strengthen them spiritually and mentally. This is and remains factual even though you don’t believe.

          The same is true for a Muslim, a Jew, a Wicca or any faith a person has. If you can find a way to shore up that faith quickly then you can stop the bleeding faster per-say.

          As someone who will soon hold a Bachelors in Psychology and is already accepted for her masters as well as someone who has been a victim I know EXACTLY what I’m talking about.

          PS I’m not talking about witch doctors who claim to be able to heal you by simple prayer or by “casting out” your sins. I am talking about the tool of faith plain and simple.

          the write words can save that faith to be used to aid them in recovery. Thanks little one try again.

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        3. tildeb

          Little one? As an almost graduate, you seem rather sure of yourself. After my first degree I felt like I was just beginning to learn. Oh well. That’s a lesson that will probably be taught to you in your not too distant future not by a teacher but by reality.

          What reality might reveal to you as you embark on your continued studies is the scope and depth of damage that utilizing faith as a therapy does to real people in real life causing real harm. I see it every day in my hospice work.

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        4. Michelle Styles

          I already have a bachelor’s in information technology and have been a counselor for near 10 years and have seen exactly the oposite. I have seem salvaging ones faith as valuable and helpful.
          That’s ok you can believe what you want but using someone’s faith as a tool has great value. And that is from practical experience and seeing these women year in and year out for a decade. Most have returned and thanked me personally.

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        5. Michelle Styles

          So to clarify. I am not Christian, I would never tell you HOW you must believe. But were I treating a Christian rape victim or abuse victim I would certainly not overlook utilizing their faith to guide them to as quick and complete a recovery as possible.

          Does that sir make more sense to you? If you feel the need because you are so lonely or whatever to tear down another persons faith simply because you have none then you are no better than those who preach because you don’t believe in Allah or Jesus you will burn in hell. Both views are bigoted and simplistic.

          My view is why do I care what you believe or why? Why would you care what I believe? Does my faith so damage you that you must attempt to tear it down? If so you should look inside yourself for the problem.

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      2. Wally Fry

        That’s not good lol. I wonder if it was my commenter. He said almost the same thing that aliens made sense but belief in a God was quite insane

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    2. tildeb

      It’s not a theory, Wally. It’s an ongoing experiment with truly astounding results.

      Look, you have a bicameral brain. Stroke victims often report new voices in their heads and quite often (and understandably) attribute their source to some external agency. That’s not unusual. Even subjects of this magnetic helmet (appropriately called the ‘God Helmet’) who are alone and understand exactly what part of the brain is going to be temporarily impeded still insist that the voice was externally sourced. The problem there – as with MB’s claim here – is that that source is being attributed. Attributions are personal and subjective and are not good sources upon which to build a high degree of confidence because we may be wrong. A good indication that we might be wrong is when the same experience (hearing a foreign voice in our head who seems to know just what to say to us to have the greatest effect) can be reproduced. Granted, the similarity between hearing that voice and MB hearing this voice is not one-to-one but unique to every individual. That’s not the issue. What is the issue is that the experiences for profound effect on the subject receiving the experience is very similar.

      Again, I am not denying MB had this kind of experience. I’m not questioning how profound it was for her. I’m questioning how she knows if it came from her god or from a different part of her brain because, as far as I can tell having received her answer is that she can’t offer anything independent of her subjective experience. This means there is no means to tell what the source actually was. But it is enough to justify having some lower level of confidence than certainty.

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      1. Wally Fry

        Tildeb

        I don’t dismiss out of hand the experiment you cite. It may actually be valid and may very well be the cause of what is observed in those folks. Not being an expert in mental health I would be quite remiss to really comment.

        You on the other hand dismiss out of hand the experiences claimed by Christians as having no possible merit. You are not an expert in that area nor can you be. Why not you ask? Because you are lost with a heart hardened to the truth of God’s Word. Until you remove the blinders you are wearing you will not understand.

        My only point is that any theory no matter how ludicrous, including aliens, is gladly accepted over the fact of God. These theories are complex and difficult. On the other hand repentance and faith are simple enough for even a child to get.

        It has been truly said that God’s Word is like a pool shallow enough for a child to wade in and not drown yet deep enough for a scholar to swim in for years. Tildeb you need to get your feet wet.

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        1. tildeb

          Wally, it’s not my the dryness of my feet that is concerning; it’s this need you have to try to convince others that your dependent beliefs are independent knowledge about the reality we share. I keep challenging believers who do this to substantiate this supposedly independent knowledge and the failure is complete. You believe what you do not because of reality but in spite of it.

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        2. madblog Post author

          Please prove that tildeb.

          You see, you must have proof of our self-reports (do you even understand this term?) but you assume that your self-reports are unassailable.

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  6. madblog Post author

    Wally, I understand you and thanks. It is so very hard to remember that it’s not us making the world turn. His mercies are new every morning.

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  7. madblog Post author

    tideb, in order for you to equate my experience with the artificially-induced experiences of the subjects you mention, you are assuming a lot for which you have no evidence. You are assuming you completely understand what it is that I experienced, that my experience is in every way equivalent to theirs, that there can be no other reason for my experience than that which YOU assume to be possible…etc.
    Don’t you see the bad science here? Good science, and sound thinking, requires that we investigate and follow the evidence we find to the conclusion ( without determining beforehand where it will go.) You are presuming what the conclusion must be and therefore you are necessarily distorting the meaning of the evidence.

    The problem you have each time I encounter you is one of epistemology. You claim that I do not know what I know. Yet you don’t question whether what you know is valid, nor do you allow me to claim to know something you don’t believe.

    Suppose you had a private conversation with say, Morgan Freeman, while you were totally alone, via a device which is unable to be monitored or traced (yet to be invented). I question that you had such a conversation. Prove it to me.

    I would allow you your experience. Even though you could not prove it, I would accept that it could be true and move on. Perhaps you could do the same with believers without demanding that their real experiences conform to your beliefs.

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    1. ColorStorm

      I apologize for the intrusion, MB, but just have to tell ya; this is a very well ordered, sound and logical comment. Very difficult for a reasonable person to deny.

      Once more, excellent.

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    2. tildeb

      I point out quite often you have no means to have any independent knowledge about your religious claims that you honestly think accurately describe and reflect an independent reality. They don’t reflect an independent reality; they reflect your personal and subjective and dependent attributions and preferred beliefs.

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  8. madblog Post author

    tildeb, I did not hear a voice. So just as I said, you are comparing your clinical reference to my totally dissimilar experience. We are not discussing the same thing at all.

    I am reporting on something quite different. How do you know something? Do you know when you know something?
    Or do you need to test everything you know empirically before you believe in it? I hope not-because you can’t.
    There are many things you and I take on “faith” or assume to be true without seeing. You believe that your memories are accurate; you believe your own perceptions are real; you believe you know things too.You take on faith that someone is going to do as he or she has promised. Or do you go through every day doubting everything that you think you know?

    How can you prove that God isn’t also speaking to you, and you’re not hearing Him?

    Do you know when someone has communicated with you? Do you ONLY know because you can see them, audibly hear them, read their text? Or is there ALSO a certainty in your mind that you have received communication? Imagine the communication without the physical presence, and you might have a slight approximation of what I’m talking about.

    As I have pointed out, you have no means to have any independent knowledge about many things which you claim as well. I guess those things reflect your personal and subjective attributions and preferred beliefs also.

    I get it. I can’t produce a lab result which proves my communication with an incorporeal being. But I knew that. You can stop being the Empirical Evidence Police now. However, in real life, subjective knowledge and unquantifiable experience is, like it or not, part of the package. For everyone. You’re subjective as hell on my blog.

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    1. tildeb

      madblog, you stated:

      “I asked him a direct and open-ended question. “Of all these plans we/I have for good things to do, which one? Which ministry should we throw our effort into? Which big plans should we pursue? We can’t do it all, so which ones do we sacrifice? What would you have me do?” And I really wanted His answer, not mine, for a change.

      And he clearly said to me: “Love me.”

      Now you state, “tildeb, I did not hear a voice.”

      You seem a bit confused because my comments have been directed at people hearing specific voices different from their own in their heads. It’s not uncommon. It can be reproduced. I’m pointing out that you attributing it to your god is not a knowledge but a belief statement. It’s not about an external reality all of us share but an internal experience related to the brain.

      You then ask, “How do you know something? Do you know when you know something?” These are excellent questions and you shouldn’t just flip them in my direction as if you actually have good answers for them but revisit my comments in just this light, I am well aware that epistemology determines ontology and this is exactly the error I think you’re making, assuming that your attributions about reality are correct because they’re yours. There’s the breakdown in your thinking. Your attributions are yours, and not a reflection of reality as you try to present them. That’s why I asked you HOW do you know what you think you know? And you showed that you don’t know any such thing as you claim to know. You conflate your attribution with knowledge and this will lead you away from knowledge and towards credulity and gullibility every time.

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      1. madblog Post author

        “There’s the breakdown in your thinking. Your attributions are yours, and not a reflection of reality as you try to present them.”

        You presume to tell me what my attributions should be, and go on to tell me what reality really is. Explain to me how you can know either of these things in the case of my experience.

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  9. madblog Post author

    The quality of the knowledge or communication is also relevant. Many people have received knowledge they did not previously posses, or messages which were wildly unlike anything they’d have thought on their own.
    Is brain impairment the only option for believing you’ve heard from God?

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    1. tildeb

      Many people have received knowledge they did not previously posses, or messages which were wildly unlike anything they’d have thought on their own.

      You’re doing it again. You are agreeing that the attribution other people claim is likely true. This sentence of your is missing a very important and qualifying word: SAY.

      Many people SAY they have received knowledge they did not previously posses, or messages which were wildly unlike anything they’d have thought on their own.

      So the right question to ask is how do they know this? If true, it’s quite remarkable because it indicates some kind of reception of directed information from a source independent of these mysterious many people. Upon investigation and there have been many – we find these claims being made all the time and not once, not ever, when properly studied does it produce any compelling evidence for this astounding claim you simply accept as true (because your method of equating attribution to be knowledge really DOES lead you to vastly increased credulity and gullibility as you demonstrate here or you be far more skeptical and critical of the claim rather than a uncritical promoter of it). In fact, all of those ‘many people’ who claim to have received knowledge in this way that has been studied haven’t. You shouldn’t just wave this finding away but consider its import on the quality and truth value of your own uncritical claims.

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  10. madblog Post author

    tildeb, this is what I actually said:

    The answer came from outside of me and made itself known in my mind.

    I was not confused. You assumed audible voices and ran with it quite of your own accord. I did not tell you that I “heard a voice.” When people say that God spoke to them, they are not necessarily claiming to have heard an audible voice. Do you know another way to express that someone communicated words to someone?

    Let’s cut to the chase. There are people in the world who believe they share a completely real relationship with an incorporeal spirit we call God. There are other people who do not believe that this God really exists. They therefore believe that the first people do not really posses the relationships with God.
    The people who have relationships with God sometimes talk to each other about their relationships with God.
    The people who don’t believe in this God, and don’t believe the relationships are real, make it their business to convince the believing people that they cannot really be sharing a relationship with God because he doesn’t exist.

    The people who do not believe in the relationships take responsibility for not only their own beliefs and knowledge, but also for the beliefs and knowledge of the believers.They take it upon themselves to dictate what others do and do not know, what others may and may not believe.
    In their subjective opinions.

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    1. tildeb

      Substitute for ‘God’ with ‘Star Trek’ and you’ll begin to see why the object of veneration and relationship exists in the minds of those who project the object to be a real ‘thing’ when none of this indicates it is so. The difference is that I have yet to meet a Trekkie who actually believes the characters really will exist in the 24th century. But I’ve met lots of religious folk who actually believe the characters of the OT really did exist. Exchanging a conversation with Spock these days is not a good indication that Spock exists as an independent entity with whom you are having a healthy relationship . It is, however, a much more acceptable indication of some malfunction of mental health than talking with some version of the polymorphic Christian god.

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      1. madblog Post author

        Do you not see that your whole position here is based on the fact of your pre-supposition, your fundamental belief that there can be no God, and therefore …a whole host of conclusions. Including: I can not be experiencing a relationship or a conversation with God, no one likewise can possibly be doing same, we are all delusional or stupid, most of the world throughout human history has been delusional or stupid.

        What if you are wrong about the existence of God? Does not your position become incorrect and all your evidence become worthless?

        Predetermining the conclusion of the meaning of empirical evidence is very bad science, and very futile thinking.

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        1. tildeb

          Predetermining the conclusion of the meaning of empirical evidence is very bad science, and very futile thinking.

          Meaning of empirical evidence?

          I presume no such thing. As far as I can tell, reality is indifferent to me and everyone and everything else in it so to presume ‘meaning’ from empirical evidence – what does 40 miles per hour mean other than a comparative rate of distance over time ? – is an assumption I simply cannot justify without arrogance and hubris. That’s probably why science as a method of inquiry into reality has no place for such a subjective, dependent, personal and imported notion of ‘meaning’ that has no means to be justified other than units used to describe a comparison. Science that tries to include ‘meaning’ beyond that is not science but just another over-reach, another imposition, another incursion, by metaphysics into concerns it has no business opining.

          Looking at empirical evidence to connect, to link, effects with causes will soon demonstrate whether or not the explanatory model is accurate. That’s not a presupposition, MB. That’s good methodology. That’s why when looking at empirical evidence for your claim of an interactive causal divine agency fails to produce any such link, I am fully justified concluding that your claim about this agency is empty of knowledge value…. not because I presume as much but because you have no evidence upon which to make this link you assume is true. (Now if you prayed to Jesus to regrow amputated limbs and they grew back, we’d be having an entirely different conversation.) Without the link, however, and no means to establish your claim of connection to a causal agency you call God for the effects you claim are evidence for this agency, you’ve got nothing independent of your beliefs. And that’s my justified criticism.

          You turn this lack of knowledge, lack of a demonstrable link, lack of evidence for your claim into a fault outside of yourself belonging to anyone who raises this rather important point and who then doubts your level of confidence in your claim. But it’s a knowledge-empty claim! I think that matters.

          It’s not my fault you’ve got only your belief. And it’s not a poor reflection on me that I conclude doubt and skepticism of your knowledge-empty claims. What is futile is you doing exactly that which you criticize me for, namely, believing something is true first, and then stamping your feet that reality must comport to it or it’s someone’s fault – other than yourself, of course, because, well, your beliefs MUST be true! And should another person point out that your causal claims are empty of knowledge-value independent of you but fully equipped by your faith-based, you then insist this those nay-sayers predetermining the conclusion, which is futile thinking! No it’s not. it’s speaking truth to power allied by reality’s arbitration of the claims you make utilizing only your faith. As hard as it may be for you to accept, your beliefs do not determine reality.Reality does that job and you seem unwilling to respect that.

          If you simply phrased your beliefs to be yours alone and held because you believe them in spite of contrary evidence incompatible with how you know reality operates, then I wouldn’t bother you at all because this would be true. You’d take ownership of the claims you make about reality rather than pretend reality supports them when it doesn’t. But when you try to claim your beliefs are descriptive and reflective of the reality we share, then you’ve gone too far because you have nothing other than your belief to support that claim. Reality disagree with your beliefs and I have a rather healthy respect for reality’s arbitration of claims made about it in such matters.

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        2. madblog Post author

          I did not expect anyone who is not a believer to be interested in my post. You have inserted yourself into the conversation for subjective reasons of your own.

          Meaning: We are having this conversation because you derived a meaning from my reported experience, ie that God exists. And you object to the discussion of this opinion anywhere you can find it out.

          I do not respect different people having different realities. Reality is what it is, and Truth is Truth. You are insistent that I adopt your understanding of reality, while I am completely uninterested in whether you adopt mine. It would be a blessing for you if you did, but it’s totally your prerogative.

          You declare your reality FACT when it is really your belief. I know my reality to be true, but I understand that there will be many people who sadly have not discovered the truth, and some who will never adopt it. I do not require others to agree with me.

          You are a fraud. You do not operate by the rules you impose on me. You insist that we can only discuss empirical evidence, independent terms, etc. You did not do this.

          You read a clear statement of mine, substituted your own meaning (audible voices), and built a case. The meaning you invented was incorrect and SUBJECTIVE. You insist that I’m silly, delusional and stupid, which you know because of your great fidelity to facts and reality. Yet you don’t hesitate you distort the information here and build a case based on your personal internal narrative.
          You never deal with the post. You find a little phrase, and then expose your own obsession and build a huge case. You don’t seem to even have read the whole post, nor understood the whole of it. You go out and search for something you can attack as opposed to your crusade.

          I do not base my belief upon subjective experience but on reason, study, and evidence as well. You might have noticed, had you read, that I do not claim to have had many “experiences” with God such as this one. I reported it because it was extraordinary.

          Really, I think it’s very sad to have adopted a worldview which requires that most humans who have ever lived (including such as Isaac Newton, Pascal, Leibniz and Descartes) were idiots.

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  11. madblog Post author

    tildeb:
    I have not commented on the basis of faith, or told you ya just gotta believe to understand. I presented my experience in the post without regard to my feelings.

    I have conversed with you about knowledge.

    You have made yourself the arbiter here, demanding empiricism and the confirmation of evidence only from objective sources.

    Yet you have been an unreliable reporter of the data which was easily verifiable right in front of our eyes on this post. You were presented with my account and incorrectly understood the information.
    How can we depend on your judgment? You cannot even accurately read an unambiguous sentence, or understand its meaning?

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    1. madblog Post author

      Furthermore, you have made a very subjective choice to interpret my post in terms of only its “unverifiable” truth claims, and you’ve ignored every challenge of mine which was reason or knowledge-oriented. You will have it only as you see it, and do not see the reality.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    2. Michelle Styles

      He also claims to be a psychiatrist and yet would ignore a persons faith and even dissuade them from it while treating them? As I said If I treat a Christian who has been raped I would certain use every therapy technique available but I certainly wouldn’t overlook the power of faith and would seek to strengthen their faith (not mine theirs) and in a effect reach a point where hope and faith can play a role in a faster recovery.

      Faith is a powerful tool and when reinforced and built up that tool is very powerful indeed. Anyone who willingly tosses the hammer out of their tool box deserves the hardship but does the patient deserve to not have every tool available used?

      I question his degree.

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