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Scrawly
08-10-2014, 06:22 PM
I don't really know how to compose this post because I only have a vague idea of what I want to say. Basically I feel like I have come to a point where I am not really interested in hearing people talk or preach about God. Now, just to be clear, I do attend a Bible study and I do go with joy and anticipation of hearing Holy Spirit inspired wisdom and I also enjoy reading the Bible and prayer. However, at the end of the day I don't really feel like God is actively engaging much. There is a lot coming from our side but not much coming from His side, if you know what I mean. Yes, yes, I do look to the cross and see God coming in the person of Christ and I do believe and cherish that, but after reading the Scriptures and seeing how God interacts with others and the acts he performed, well, it just gets hard when we don't get any of that. Yes, yes, I do also believe in the inner workings of the Holy Spirit and I do see the transformations He brings about, but is continuously talking to God and talking about God and subjectively experiencing what may or may not be God is as far as we should expect things to go in this life?

KingsGambit
08-10-2014, 06:32 PM
I hate to be this blunt... but I don't really like the part where it looks like you're kind of denigrating the personal experience of another user of this site.

Scrawly
08-10-2014, 06:36 PM
Fixed it. You're right that was unnecessary.

Cow Poke
08-10-2014, 07:52 PM
I hate to be this blunt... but I don't really like the part where it looks like you're kind of denigrating the personal experience of another user of this site.

It's me, isn't it? :sad:

foudroyant
08-10-2014, 08:58 PM
Basically I feel like I have come to a point where I am not really interested in hearing people talk or preach about God.

Couldn't this be just a phase?
Perhaps refresh yourself with something - a small break, light exercise, more sleep, etc (?)

selfreasoning4all
08-10-2014, 09:14 PM
I don't really know how to compose this post because I only have a vague idea of what I want to say. Basically I feel like I have come to a point where I am not really interested in hearing people talk or preach about God. Now, just to be clear, I do attend a Bible study and I do go with joy and anticipation of hearing Holy Spirit inspired wisdom and I also enjoy reading the Bible and prayer. However, at the end of the day I don't really feel like God is actively engaging much. There is a lot coming from our side but not much coming from His side, if you know what I mean. Yes, yes, I do look to the cross and see God coming in the person of Christ and I do believe and cherish that, but after reading the Scriptures and seeing how God interacts with others and the acts he performed, well, it just gets hard when we don't get any of that. Yes, yes, I do also believe in the inner workings of the Holy Spirit and I do see the transformations He brings about, but is continuously talking to God and talking about God and subjectively experiencing what may or may not be God is as far as we should expect things to go in this life?

Jesus walked with God, and he was tortured to death... many of the first century Christians got to see miracles, and they were also tortured to death.

So, maybe seeing the power of God is not such a good idea.

:lolo: No post here.

tabibito
08-10-2014, 09:33 PM
I don't really know how to compose this post because I only have a vague idea of what I want to say. Basically I feel like I have come to a point where I am not really interested in hearing people talk or preach about God. Now, just to be clear, I do attend a Bible study and I do go with joy and anticipation of hearing Holy Spirit inspired wisdom and I also enjoy reading the Bible and prayer. However, at the end of the day I don't really feel like God is actively engaging much. There is a lot coming from our side but not much coming from His side, if you know what I mean. Yes, yes, I do look to the cross and see God coming in the person of Christ and I do believe and cherish that, but after reading the Scriptures and seeing how God interacts with others and the acts he performed, well, it just gets hard when we don't get any of that. Yes, yes, I do also believe in the inner workings of the Holy Spirit and I do see the transformations He brings about, Maybe saying a specific kind of prayer just before you leave home and again immediately before the study would help: Rivers of Babylon style - Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight this night. Let my words and thoughts be only of you and of the things that you would have me say and do. Be with us, and guide our thoughts and speech into proper understanding, guide our actions that they demonstrate only your praise. Keep in mind that the Holy Spirit usually doesn't do a whole lot without an active invitation.

And - be prepared to wait ... Interesting things don't always happen on the spot.
Studies should also be based on a prayerful and responsive plan. A formula style programme won't allow the kind of interaction you want. If God wants the focus to be on "the parable of the two sons", there's little point in following the formula's requirement for the "parable of the tares".


but is continuously talking to God and talking about God and subjectively experiencing what may or may not be God is as far as we should expect things to go in this life? No. And SelfReasoning4All's comment is kind of to the point. I'm tossing up whether I should steal it.

Jedidiah
08-10-2014, 10:18 PM
I don't really know how to compose this post because I only have a vague idea of what I want to say. Basically I feel like I have come to a point where I am not really interested in hearing people talk or preach about God. Now, just to be clear, I do attend a Bible study and I do go with joy and anticipation of hearing Holy Spirit inspired wisdom and I also enjoy reading the Bible and prayer. However, at the end of the day I don't really feel like God is actively engaging much. There is a lot coming from our side but not much coming from His side, if you know what I mean. Yes, yes, I do look to the cross and see God coming in the person of Christ and I do believe and cherish that, but after reading the Scriptures and seeing how God interacts with others and the acts he performed, well, it just gets hard when we don't get any of that. Yes, yes, I do also believe in the inner workings of the Holy Spirit and I do see the transformations He brings about, but is continuously talking to God and talking about God and subjectively experiencing what may or may not be God is as far as we should expect things to go in this life?

I can sort of understand where you are coming from. I think about God and the relationship I have through Jesus, but I do not expect any special "engagement" from God. He is working all the time and that is good enough for me. The Bible speaks to us, the world provides for us - at God's hand. What more do I need? I am not all that interested in a lot of advice type speeches even though they may be perfectly Biblical. I love the sermons I hear at Church, and that is good for me. God carries me and I don't need to "feel engaged."

I don't know if this is of any help. I hope so, if not simply disregard.

LostSheep
08-11-2014, 06:23 AM
I can sort of understand where you are coming from. I think about God and the relationship I have through Jesus, but I do not expect any special "engagement" from God. He is working all the time and that is good enough for me. The Bible speaks to us, the world provides for us - at God's hand. What more do I need? I am not all that interested in a lot of advice type speeches even though they may be perfectly Biblical. I love the sermons I hear at Church, and that is good for me. God carries me and I don't need to "feel engaged."

I don't know if this is of any help. I hope so, if not simply disregard.

Need an Amen button

seanD
08-11-2014, 07:50 AM
I don't really know how to compose this post because I only have a vague idea of what I want to say. Basically I feel like I have come to a point where I am not really interested in hearing people talk or preach about God. Now, just to be clear, I do attend a Bible study and I do go with joy and anticipation of hearing Holy Spirit inspired wisdom and I also enjoy reading the Bible and prayer. However, at the end of the day I don't really feel like God is actively engaging much. There is a lot coming from our side but not much coming from His side, if you know what I mean. Yes, yes, I do look to the cross and see God coming in the person of Christ and I do believe and cherish that, but after reading the Scriptures and seeing how God interacts with others and the acts he performed, well, it just gets hard when we don't get any of that. Yes, yes, I do also believe in the inner workings of the Holy Spirit and I do see the transformations He brings about, but is continuously talking to God and talking about God and subjectively experiencing what may or may not be God is as far as we should expect things to go in this life?

We live in an extremely unbelieving modern generation (including on the Christian side). Like cause and effect, I think this is the unfortunate result. The gospels make it clear in a few places that skepticism breeds lack of spiritual activity.

Cow Poke
08-11-2014, 08:05 AM
I think you need outflow.

There is a pond near our Church that we jokingly call "scum pond". It has inlets for rainwater, but no outlets. The water just pools there and stagnates, and sometimes the scum on top is so thick it looks like you could walk on it.

Too many times, Christians think in terms of "reading the Bible, attending bible studies or small groups, going to Church".. which, in many cases, is "inflow".

When I have dealt with Christians expressing thoughts like your OP, I encourage them to engage in "outflow" -- "giving" -- serving, sharing, doing. Most recently, one of our ladies was expressing such sentiments and we got her involved in our Nursing Home Ministry, where we have "Church Services" at each one of our six local nursing homes once a month -- each month we do two of the six nursing homes at 2:30 and 3:30 in the afternoon. She went with us ONE TIME and and absolutely loved it, and she has been a very valuable asset to our Church in helping in this area. Now she never misses. More importantly, she sees God working through her.

Same thing with an older man and our jail ministry -- he said Sunday Morning, "I love our Church, but I'd rather be in jail this morning". MOST Sundays, he's at one of our area county jails doing Church services or visiting the prisoners.

Littlejoe
08-11-2014, 09:33 AM
I think you need outflow.

There is a pond near our Church that we jokingly call "scum pond". It has inlets for rainwater, but no outlets. The water just pools there and stagnates, and sometimes the scum on top is so thick it looks like you could walk on it.

Too many times, Christians think in terms of "reading the Bible, attending bible studies or small groups, going to Church".. which, in many cases, is "inflow".

When I have dealt with Christians expressing thoughts like your OP, I encourage them to engage in "outflow" -- "giving" -- serving, sharing, doing. Most recently, one of our ladies was expressing such sentiments and we got her involved in our Nursing Home Ministry, where we have "Church Services" at each one of our six local nursing homes once a month -- each month we do two of the six nursing homes at 2:30 and 3:30 in the afternoon. She went with us ONE TIME and and absolutely loved it, and she has been a very valuable asset to our Church in helping in this area. Now she never misses. More importantly, she sees God working through her.

Same thing with an older man and our jail ministry -- he said Sunday Morning, "I love our Church, but I'd rather be in jail this morning". MOST Sundays, he's at one of our area county jails doing Church services or visiting the prisoners.

Amen button! :thumb:

Stop looking for God to engage you...go ye therefore...

Cow Poke
08-11-2014, 10:50 AM
Amen button! :thumb:

Stop looking for God to engage you...go ye therefore...

Yeah

Scrawly
08-11-2014, 02:53 PM
Very, very good points. I actually tell myself much of what was written in the responses, but its good to read it from others. Each post was definitely on point. Now, I am not looking to really counter any of the sentiments expressed because I am trying to create room for explorative thoughts more than a defensive posture. So, with that said, I would like to touch upon where Jesus states that those who believe in Him will do what He was doing and even greater than these - I do believe He has in mind literal miracles, among other things such as gospel spreading. There is another verse that speaks of spiritual gifts, one of which is the "working of miracles"/"deeds of power". Where are these miraculous happenings in our Churches?

Finally, I would just like to state that our relationship with Christ is of course the end all be all, yet should we never expect the risen Christ to audibly talk with us? Or create some comforting miracles for His children when they are going through dark valley's? Shouldn't our relationship with Christ be far more exciting and tangible in ways than it is for so many? Like I said, I do experience subjective comforts and encouragement through the Scriptures, but comfort can easily be attributed to other things and have similar feelings manufactured. Should we not therefore experience more of the supernatural in our lives that is unmistakably of God?

Thoughtful Monk
08-11-2014, 04:09 PM
Finally, I would just like to state that our relationship with Christ is of course the end all be all, yet should we never expect the risen Christ to audibly talk with us? Or create some comforting miracles for His children when they are going through dark valley's? Shouldn't our relationship with Christ be far more exciting and tangible in ways than it is for so many? Like I said, I do experience subjective comforts and encouragement through the Scriptures, but comfort can easily be attributed to other things and have similar feelings manufactured. Should we not therefore experience more of the supernatural in our lives that is unmistakably of God?

Yes, our relationship with God is the end of all and that is what we should strive for. Just try to remember, we are all individuals and God will interact with each of us individually. There is no "normal" relationship with God. There are things God will do but each believer gets different degrees. I hope I'm being clear on this.

I struggle with how frequently a follower should hear the audible voice of God or experience a miracle. Those who have said to me they heard the audible voice and have a credible witness to me, the experience is a once maybe twice in a lifetime event. I suppose it could be more frequent but I've never met anyone who had that. The same seems to go with miracles although that depends on how you define a miracle. For what its worth, my definition is its a definitive working by God that changes people's lives.

We live in one of the most material ages the world has seen. So there is a relentless effort to explain everything away as material process rather than the spiritual and material interacting. I think we can experience more supernatural in our lives - its just takes more effort today to separate from the relentless materialism in the world.

May God bless you on your seeking. :pray:

Thoughtful Monk
08-11-2014, 04:12 PM
:thumb:
I can sort of understand where you are coming from. I think about God and the relationship I have through Jesus, but I do not expect any special "engagement" from God. He is working all the time and that is good enough for me. The Bible speaks to us, the world provides for us - at God's hand. What more do I need? I am not all that interested in a lot of advice type speeches even though they may be perfectly Biblical. I love the sermons I hear at Church, and that is good for me. God carries me and I don't need to "feel engaged."

I don't know if this is of any help. I hope so, if not simply disregard.

:thumb:

seanD
08-11-2014, 07:31 PM
Very, very good points. I actually tell myself much of what was written in the responses, but its good to read it from others. Each post was definitely on point. Now, I am not looking to really counter any of the sentiments expressed because I am trying to create room for explorative thoughts more than a defensive posture. So, with that said, I would like to touch upon where Jesus states that those who believe in Him will do what He was doing and even greater than these - I do believe He has in mind literal miracles, among other things such as gospel spreading. There is another verse that speaks of spiritual gifts, one of which is the "working of miracles"/"deeds of power". Where are these miraculous happenings in our Churches?

Finally, I would just like to state that our relationship with Christ is of course the end all be all, yet should we never expect the risen Christ to audibly talk with us? Or create some comforting miracles for His children when they are going through dark valley's? Shouldn't our relationship with Christ be far more exciting and tangible in ways than it is for so many? Like I said, I do experience subjective comforts and encouragement through the Scriptures, but comfort can easily be attributed to other things and have similar feelings manufactured. Should we not therefore experience more of the supernatural in our lives that is unmistakably of God?

Post #10. It's inexplicable that the ancient world was full of supernatural activity, miracles and spirits interacting with the natural world. The only two explanations is that either all that stuff was just fiction, or our skeptical and materialistic world has smothered such activity.

Obsidian
08-12-2014, 07:33 AM
I don't think he meant literal miracles. He meant the spreading of the gospel farther than he did

phat8594
08-12-2014, 12:00 PM
Very, very good points. I actually tell myself much of what was written in the responses, but its good to read it from others. Each post was definitely on point. Now, I am not looking to really counter any of the sentiments expressed because I am trying to create room for explorative thoughts more than a defensive posture. So, with that said, I would like to touch upon where Jesus states that those who believe in Him will do what He was doing and even greater than these - I do believe He has in mind literal miracles, among other things such as gospel spreading. There is another verse that speaks of spiritual gifts, one of which is the "working of miracles"/"deeds of power". Where are these miraculous happenings in our Churches?

Finally, I would just like to state that our relationship with Christ is of course the end all be all, yet should we never expect the risen Christ to audibly talk with us? Or create some comforting miracles for His children when they are going through dark valley's? Shouldn't our relationship with Christ be far more exciting and tangible in ways than it is for so many? Like I said, I do experience subjective comforts and encouragement through the Scriptures, but comfort can easily be attributed to other things and have similar feelings manufactured. Should we not therefore experience more of the supernatural in our lives that is unmistakably of God?

Yes. We should want more, and pursue more of God. To be completely and utterly wrapped up in all that He is to want to pursue Him and know Him more and in a more intimate way.

As for miracles, they still happen (although they seem to be more scant in America / the western world than they are everywhere else). I have seen them, I have experienced them. However, it seems that much of the western world is secular, and it has influenced the church. It seems don't recognize the spiritual as a reality - but rather as a mere thought experiment - or as something weirdos believe in. And yet, the spiritual has such a profound effect on the 'material' world...the two are intrinsically tied together.

Also, I thought it was interesting what John Wesley said about miracles:


I was fully convinced of what I had long suspected... that the grand reason why the miraculous gifts were so soon withdrawn, was not only that faith and holiness were well nigh lost; but that dry, formal, orthodox men began even then to ridicule whatever gifts they had not themselves, and to decry them all as either madness or imposture."

I for one, tend to agree.

phat8594
08-12-2014, 12:04 PM
Post #10. It's inexplicable that the ancient world was full of supernatural activity, miracles and spirits interacting with the natural world. The only two explanations is that either all that stuff was just fiction, or our skeptical and materialistic world has smothered such activity.

Or that our current western society denies such activity. It's funny what happens when you go to another country (non-westernized). They are completely aware of the spiritual realm. It seems that in America, even Christians deny that the miraculous happens or that the spiritual forces in the world have far greater impacts on the 'natural' world than people realize.

Truthseeker
08-12-2014, 12:30 PM
God is indeed supernatural; superhuman also. But the adjective supernatural applied to an event adds nothing more than "God did that." Actually it is worse, it seems to belittle God's involvement. Also let me point out that we can perform acts that appear to violate the laws of nature. For example, we can hold a book in the air, preventing the book's fall to the ground as per the Law of Gravitation. Of course we don't think of that as supernatural, but the point is, GOD DID THAT!

Excuse me for making what may seem rather like a minor complaint.

phat8594
08-12-2014, 01:04 PM
God is indeed supernatural; superhuman also. But the adjective supernatural applied to an event adds nothing more than "God did that." Actually it is worse, it seems to belittle God's involvement. Also let me point out that we can perform acts that appear to violate the laws of nature. For example, we can hold a book in the air, preventing the book's fall to the ground as per the Law of Gravitation. Of course we don't think of that as supernatural, but the point is, GOD DID THAT!

Excuse me for making what may seem rather like a minor complaint.

Not quite sure what you are saying here.

Surely, when most people say 'supernatural' they are speaking of things that go beyond 'natural' means or the order of things. For example, when a blind person sees or a lame person walks, or someone is raised from the dead or when a blind man destroys a Philistine temple with his hands -- this is not on the same level as holding a book up.

This doesn't take away from the fact that God can and does work through the natural -- but the supernatural is when God's work goes above, around or counter to the natural (thus supernatural)

seanD
08-12-2014, 03:01 PM
Or that our current western society denies such activity. It's funny what happens when you go to another country (non-westernized). They are completely aware of the spiritual realm. It seems that in America, even Christians deny that the miraculous happens or that the spiritual forces in the world have far greater impacts on the 'natural' world than people realize.

That was my point. Denial is a result of a skeptical and materialistic orientated generation. I should have added naturalistic to that list. This worldview takes hold of us both on a conscious and subconscious level. The way we're educated is the worst culprit, but it permeates our society, even churches. The more you try and become supernaturally orientated, the more friction you'll receive, even, and especially, from other Christians (as you just experienced).

Scrawly
08-12-2014, 04:26 PM
Post #10. It's inexplicable that the ancient world was full of supernatural activity, miracles and spirits interacting with the natural world. The only two explanations is that either all that stuff was just fiction, or our skeptical and materialistic world has smothered such activity.

Didn't the demonic realm, for example, manifest to a far greater degree during Christ's ministry on earth and the birth of the church than anytime recorded in the OT?

Scrawly
08-12-2014, 04:30 PM
I don't think he meant literal miracles. He meant the spreading of the gospel farther than he did

Well, as stated, I think Jesus included the gospel but miracles were definitely in view because Jesus had just finished mentioning His miracles as proof of His divinity and Messiahship. It could be argued that Jesus was speaking specifically to the Apostle's but the verse literally says "..He who believes in me..", so that interpretation seems strained.

seanD
08-12-2014, 04:45 PM
Didn't the demonic realm, for example, manifest to a far greater degree during Christ's ministry on earth and the birth of the church than anytime recorded in the OT?

I don't think it manifested any more or less than the heavenly realm. I think the demonic realm works the same... when there's no faith or belief in this realm, there are limitations to its manifestation in the natural. This is why demonic activity is more prevalent to and around people that are more receptive of it (i.e. ouija broads, cult activity, etc.). The demonic realm is even more of an anathema to us sophisticated westerners than the heavenly realm, and I believe the denial in the existence of this realm is something Satan wouldn't have any other way, in spite of the limitations it has on his ability to interact with the natural realm. The denial of this realm is far more beneficial to Satan.

Scrawly
08-12-2014, 04:52 PM
Yes. We should want more, and pursue more of God. To be completely and utterly wrapped up in all that He is to want to pursue Him and know Him more and in a more intimate way.

As for miracles, they still happen (although they seem to be more scant in America / the western world than they are everywhere else). I have seen them, I have experienced them. However, it seems that much of the western world is secular, and it has influenced the church. It seems don't recognize the spiritual as a reality - but rather as a mere thought experiment - or as something weirdos believe in. And yet, the spiritual has such a profound effect on the 'material' world...the two are intrinsically tied together.

Also, I thought it was interesting what John Wesley said about miracles:



I for one, tend to agree.

I think we might have covered this before, but can I ask you again specifically what miracles you have witnessed? What were the top 3 supernatural manifestations that really struck you as supernatural?

On another note, my fear of those who denigrate modern society and push for a more miraculous life of faith goes something like this:

Not-so-miracle-minded Christian: Cancer is such a terrible disease that is ravaging humanity we must find a cure.

Miracle-minded Christian: Indeed, but as you know our great Lord and God is the Great Physician and He surely can cure cancer

Not-so-miracle-minded Christian: Yes, that's true, but I think God wants us to be practical and solve natural problems with natural solutions, after all, this is essentially the mentality that erected hospitals, scientific advancements, and technology

Miracle-minded Christian: Well, those things can and do inhibit the workings of our Great God because we are taking things into our own hands instead of getting on our knees and crying out to our Father and asking for divine intervention. If we would stop trying to control everything and futilely attempt to create heaven on earth and instead take all that time and energy and invest it into prayer, well, we would see our God work wonders as He did in times of old!

Not-so-miracle-minded Christian: ...Yikes, I would hate to see what our society would look like if everyone held to your worldview...Look, I believe God can work miracles but it doesn't seem to be his main modus operandi. I think God wants us to use our God-given human ingenuity to make this world a better place.

Miracle-minded Christian No, you are being influenced by secularism. There is absolutely nothing in Scripture that supports your liberal view of things.

How would you respond here?

Scrawly
08-12-2014, 05:01 PM
I don't think it manifested any more or less than the heavenly realm. I think the demonic realm works the same... when there's no faith or belief in this realm, there are limitations to its manifestation in the natural. This is why demonic activity is more prevalent to and around people that are more receptive of it (i.e. ouija broads, cult activity, etc.). The demonic realm is even more of an anathema to us sophisticated westerners than the heavenly realm, and I believe the denial in the existence of this realm is something Satan wouldn't have any other way, in spite of the limitations it has on his ability to interact with the natural realm. The denial of this realm is far more beneficial to Satan.

Can you quote me a verse from the OT regarding demons that parallels what we find in the NT?

Scrawly
08-12-2014, 05:12 PM
Yes, our relationship with God is the end of all and that is what we should strive for. Just try to remember, we are all individuals and God will interact with each of us individually. There is no "normal" relationship with God. There are things God will do but each believer gets different degrees. I hope I'm being clear on this.

I struggle with how frequently a follower should hear the audible voice of God or experience a miracle. Those who have said to me they heard the audible voice and have a credible witness to me, the experience is a once maybe twice in a lifetime event. I suppose it could be more frequent but I've never met anyone who had that. The same seems to go with miracles although that depends on how you define a miracle. For what its worth, my definition is its a definitive working by God that changes people's lives.

We live in one of the most material ages the world has seen. So there is a relentless effort to explain everything away as material process rather than the spiritual and material interacting. I think we can experience more supernatural in our lives - its just takes more effort today to separate from the relentless materialism in the world.

May God bless you on your seeking. :pray:

I too have spoken with a woman, a science teacher - nice lady, head on straight etc. and she told me she heard the audible voice of God. She stated it was not a still, small voice but a powerful voice. I forgot what He told her, if it was in fact God. Anyhow, I'm interested in what your audible God-hearers heard Him say. Do tell.

seanD
08-12-2014, 06:22 PM
Can you quote me a verse from the OT regarding demons that parallels what we find in the NT?

I think you're confusing type of demonic activity than actual demonic activity as portrayed in these two places. There's as much corporeal demonic activity in the OT as the NT, only on a much bigger overall scale in the OT. In the NT we find possessed individuals, whereas in the OT, we find entities in control of whole empires and engaging in altercations with God's angels, such as in Daniel; Satan able to control the Chaldeans, such as in Job; Supernatural entities (essentially bad entities) able to impregnate human women. Paul briefly touched on this in Ephesians 6:12 (which of course, Christians don't really believe or they try and explain away by assuming Paul is talking about human rulers), but nowhere in the NT is it illustrated on a grander scale than the OT.

Obsidian
08-12-2014, 06:54 PM
Well, as stated, I think Jesus included the gospel but miracles were definitely in view because Jesus had just finished mentioning His miracles as proof of His divinity and Messiahship.

He was simply saying that the kingdom-building which average Christians would do was a greater thing than the miracles he performed. Is that hard to accept? I don't see why it would be.

Scrawly
08-12-2014, 07:16 PM
He was simply saying that the kingdom-building which average Christians would do was a greater thing than the miracles he performed. Is that hard to accept? I don't see why it would be.

"Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father." (Jn. 14:11-12).

I can agree that gospel preaching/kingdom spreading is a "greater work" that the disciples will perform, however, you left out the bolded, which I think clearly has miracles in view. The notes at net.bible.org comment on the above verses:

"Miraculous deeds/works is most likely a reference to the miraculous signs Jesus had performed, which he viewed as a manifestation of the mighty acts of God. Those he performed in the presence of the disciples served as a basis for faith (although a secondary basis to their personal relationship to him; see the following verse). In the context of a proof or basis for belief, Jesus is referring to the miraculous deeds (signs) he has performed in the presence of the disciples."

phat8594
08-13-2014, 02:06 PM
I think we might have covered this before, but can I ask you again specifically what miracles you have witnessed? What were the top 3 supernatural manifestations that really struck you as supernatural?

On another note, my fear of those who denigrate modern society and push for a more miraculous life of faith goes something like this:

Not-so-miracle-minded Christian: Cancer is such a terrible disease that is ravaging humanity we must find a cure.

Miracle-minded Christian: Indeed, but as you know our great Lord and God is the Great Physician and He surely can cure cancer

Not-so-miracle-minded Christian: Yes, that's true, but I think God wants us to be practical and solve natural problems with natural solutions, after all, this is essentially the mentality that erected hospitals, scientific advancements, and technology

Miracle-minded Christian: Well, those things can and do inhibit the workings of our Great God because we are taking things into our own hands instead of getting on our knees and crying out to our Father and asking for divine intervention. If we would stop trying to control everything and futilely attempt to create heaven on earth and instead take all that time and energy and invest it into prayer, well, we would see our God work wonders as He did in times of old!

Not-so-miracle-minded Christian: ...Yikes, I would hate to see what our society would look like if everyone held to your worldview...Look, I believe God can work miracles but it doesn't seem to be his main modus operandi. I think God wants us to use our God-given human ingenuity to make this world a better place.

Miracle-minded Christian No, you are being influenced by secularism. There is absolutely nothing in Scripture that supports your liberal view of things.

How would you respond here?

I have seen multiple people healed...but I think the ones that really stuck out to me the most were the manifestations and casting out of demons. I still remember vividly the face of one person contorting in the most unnatural way, then the demon throwing the man on the ground and causing him great pain. Then witnessing the casting out was nothing short of amazing.

In another instance the girl who was having a demon cast out was actually being levitated off the ground by the demon -- I mean, I never really thought that this stuff still happens...but it does.


As for the miracle minded versus non-miracle minded, I think that comes from extremes. Surely medicine is a great thing, and the pursuit of cures for diseases, IMO, is a good thing...as is feeding of the poor, binding the broken, etc.

I mean, what would you say to someone who refused to put on a band-aid, because they wanted God to heal the cut? Wouldn't you think that person is extreme, or crazy? Medicine and miracles are not opposed to each other. They are just different means to the same end...and the end (the healing of a person) is a Godly pursuit, IMO. Plus, God has given us material things to take care of material problems. The person who doesn't use what they have been given (both natural and spiritual) to do the works of God, is clearly not being the best steward of what they have been given.

I hope that clarifies...

Scrawly
08-13-2014, 07:49 PM
I have seen multiple people healed...but I think the ones that really stuck out to me the most were the manifestations and casting out of demons. I still remember vividly the face of one person contorting in the most unnatural way, then the demon throwing the man on the ground and causing him great pain. Then witnessing the casting out was nothing short of amazing.

In another instance the girl who was having a demon cast out was actually being levitated off the ground by the demon -- I mean, I never really thought that this stuff still happens...but it does.


As for the miracle minded versus non-miracle minded, I think that comes from extremes. Surely medicine is a great thing, and the pursuit of cures for diseases, IMO, is a good thing...as is feeding of the poor, binding the broken, etc.

I mean, what would you say to someone who refused to put on a band-aid, because they wanted God to heal the cut? Wouldn't you think that person is extreme, or crazy? Medicine and miracles are not opposed to each other. They are just different means to the same end...and the end (the healing of a person) is a Godly pursuit, IMO. Plus, God has given us material things to take care of material problems. The person who doesn't use what they have been given (both natural and spiritual) to do the works of God, is clearly not being the best steward of what they have been given.

I hope that clarifies...

Wow a levitation? How high was she off the ground? Give me all the details please. Did you see anything "come out" of the demon possessed or was there just a sudden relaxation and peace that overtook the individual? Also how did the demon possessed receive an exorcism - did they come up to the Pastor or whoever and say "Um, hey, I think I may have a demon, let me explain.." or were there demonic manifestations during worship/sermon, etc.?

phat8594
08-13-2014, 08:22 PM
Wow a levitation? How high was she off the ground? Give me all the details please. Did you see anything "come out" of the demon possessed or was there just a sudden relaxation and peace that overtook the individual? Also how did the demon possessed receive an exorcism - did they come up to the Pastor or whoever and say "Um, hey, I think I may have a demon, let me explain.." or were there demonic manifestations during worship/sermon, etc.?

She was probably about a foot off the ground give or take...kinda relaxed on the ground after being exorcised -- and it was actually during a time with a visiting pastor who deals a lot with deliverance and exorcism -- all I know is that she came forward with others (there was an altar call for it) while everyone else worshipped -- so people weren't really 'sight seeing' so much, but you could definitely notice it when you looked over. I remember finding out that she had tried to kill herself the week before -- she knew she needed help, and the pastor did his thing through the ministry & enabling of the Holy Spirit. (I wasn't INTENTLY watching -- so I don't know if anything 'came out')

Now as for other people, I know people who have seen demon possession in slithering like a snake, bodily mutations, etc. (this is mostly seen in places like South / Central America, Southeast Asia) [& sometimes people have witnessed things come out, other times not]

I also remember our guide during a mission trip warn us that 'this particular type of school is common to have demon possession' and that he 'just wanted to warn us so that we don't freak out...because it really scared the last American, and the American didn't know what to do so it distracted from the gospel'. Apparently a little girl (like 5 or 6) manifested right in front of the American and started talking in a very deep man's voice. (needless to say, this was before I saw all the other stuff, and I got a little freaked out -- lets just say I was literally praying for hours before we went to those schools to present the gospel)

Thoughtful Monk
08-14-2014, 04:10 PM
I too have spoken with a woman, a science teacher - nice lady, head on straight etc. and she told me she heard the audible voice of God. She stated it was not a still, small voice but a powerful voice. I forgot what He told her, if it was in fact God. Anyhow, I'm interested in what your audible God-hearers heard Him say. Do tell.

I honestly can't remember now. The sense of the message was he asked God what church to attend and God said "a Christian church." He certainly like your friend - head on straight.

Scrawly
08-15-2014, 06:57 AM
She was probably about a foot off the ground give or take...kinda relaxed on the ground after being exorcised -- and it was actually during a time with a visiting pastor who deals a lot with deliverance and exorcism -- all I know is that she came forward with others (there was an altar call for it) while everyone else worshipped -- so people weren't really 'sight seeing' so much, but you could definitely notice it when you looked over. I remember finding out that she had tried to kill herself the week before -- she knew she needed help, and the pastor did his thing through the ministry & enabling of the Holy Spirit. (I wasn't INTENTLY watching -- so I don't know if anything 'came out')

Now as for other people, I know people who have seen demon possession in slithering like a snake, bodily mutations, etc. (this is mostly seen in places like South / Central America, Southeast Asia) [& sometimes people have witnessed things come out, other times not]

I also remember our guide during a mission trip warn us that 'this particular type of school is common to have demon possession' and that he 'just wanted to warn us so that we don't freak out...because it really scared the last American, and the American didn't know what to do so it distracted from the gospel'. Apparently a little girl (like 5 or 6) manifested right in front of the American and started talking in a very deep man's voice. (needless to say, this was before I saw all the other stuff, and I got a little freaked out -- lets just say I was literally praying for hours before we went to those schools to present the gospel)

Wow, did anyone take camera footage of the levitation? I understand it was during worship, and obviously footage could be doctored so the purpose wouldn't necessarily be to convince skeptics, but it's something that doesn't happen everyday so I imagine someone recorded it?

Obsidian
08-15-2014, 09:47 AM
Honestly I don't believe that God would be behind some of this stuff. God told someone, "A Christian church"? That's kinda lame. You don't think he could be more specific? All churches are not created equal.

phat8594
08-15-2014, 10:55 AM
Wow, did anyone take camera footage of the levitation? I understand it was during worship, and obviously footage could be doctored so the purpose wouldn't necessarily be to convince skeptics, but it's something that doesn't happen everyday so I imagine someone recorded it?

I don't know anyone that recorded it. To be honest, recording something like that is somewhat out of the spirit of the moment - the spirit of the moment being setting someone free from demonic oppression as opposed to creating a spectacle - I think once we make it a spectacle we miss the heart of God, which is bringing people freedom and joy through the power of the Holy Spirit and the work of Christ.

As for skeptics, I have found that there are some who, no matter what miracles or signs they see (or hear about), will still decide to be skeptical and not believe - no amount of proof will ever be enough. It's somewhat like the religious leaders during Jesus' day who, although witnessing signs, wonders, and miracles still refused to believe.


Here is a good set of books for those curious about miracles: http://www.amazon.com/Miracles-Credibility-Testament-Accounts-Volume/dp/0801039525/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408125284&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=craig+keehner+miracles

Scrawly
08-15-2014, 04:49 PM
I don't know anyone that recorded it. To be honest, recording something like that is somewhat out of the spirit of the moment - the spirit of the moment being setting someone free from demonic oppression as opposed to creating a spectacle - I think once we make it a spectacle we miss the heart of God, which is bringing people freedom and joy through the power of the Holy Spirit and the work of Christ.

As for skeptics, I have found that there are some who, no matter what miracles or signs they see (or hear about), will still decide to be skeptical and not believe - no amount of proof will ever be enough. It's somewhat like the religious leaders during Jesus' day who, although witnessing signs, wonders, and miracles still refused to believe.


Here is a good set of books for those curious about miracles: http://www.amazon.com/Miracles-Credibility-Testament-Accounts-Volume/dp/0801039525/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408125284&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=craig+keehner+miracles

That's too bad because I think it would be reasonable to assume not everyone that goes to church is born again, so it's a shame not even those who have yet to be born again didn't whip out a camera. Though I think even someone who is born again can see the value of recording a miraculous, supernatural event such as that and if I was there I would probably be taking out my cellphone whilst simultaneously worshipping.