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Author Topic:   Christian conversion experience: descriptions/analysis/links: input invited
Gilgamesh
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 199 (213699)
06-02-2005 11:15 PM


Hello all,

Been a while since I have posted!

I am assisting with the research and compilation of a book about one of Australia's most prominant and influential fundamentalist Christian churches. One topic that will be discussed in detail, is the conversion process. I have studied these processes and submitted myself to them over the last 10 or so years.

I have not been able to find a great deal of analysis of the Christian conversion process on the web, except for one or two articles such as:

http://www.ctyme.com/bwash/bwash.htm

I am looking to find more. Please provide me with any links that you might have.

I have personally developed a detailed rationalisation of the conversion process (and am completely immune to it) and have summarised my thoughts in posts on this forum, quoted some time ago.

I would appreciate input from ex-believers as to:

- The type conversion experience they were exposed to
- The effect it had upon them at the time
- How they now rationalise it, post-belief

I also welcome the analysis of those who have never believed.

And, I also welcome Christians to give their account of their own conversion experiences. Please refrain from proselytizing in this thread.

For starters, I am familiar with (and have submitted to) the following types of Christian conversion experiences:

- Full immersion baptism
- Reciting of doctrine in front of congregation, with requisite declaration of faith
- "Touch" conversion (where recipient is required to fall backwards)

the above with or without accompanying glossolalia (speaking in tonges).

I will provide my own analysis of these conversion processes later in this thread.

Please provide me with your input! Thanks!

( I don't really know which forum this should be directed to: probably faith and belief)

This message has been edited by Gilgamesh, 06-02-2005 11:43 PM


Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by arachnophilia, posted 06-06-2005 2:24 AM Gilgamesh has responded
 Message 6 by lfen, posted 06-06-2005 3:00 AM Gilgamesh has responded
 Message 8 by lfen, posted 06-06-2005 3:37 AM Gilgamesh has responded
 Message 9 by Faith, posted 06-06-2005 3:55 AM Gilgamesh has responded
 Message 48 by Phat, posted 06-08-2005 3:13 AM Gilgamesh has responded
 Message 83 by riVeRraT, posted 06-10-2005 7:03 AM Gilgamesh has not yet responded
 Message 89 by valerieelliott, posted 06-15-2005 12:30 AM Gilgamesh has responded
 Message 97 by Entomologista, posted 06-16-2005 3:36 PM Gilgamesh has not yet responded
 Message 185 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 07-01-2005 11:38 PM Gilgamesh has not yet responded
 Message 197 by Faith, posted 07-16-2005 6:30 PM Gilgamesh has not yet responded

  
Gilgamesh
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 199 (214560)
06-05-2005 7:48 PM


Admin?
Any reason why this hasn't been released from Proposed new Topics. Is that the reason it has gone no-where or is it just a poor topic?!

  
Gilgamesh
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 199 (214599)
06-06-2005 2:55 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by arachnophilia
06-06-2005 2:24 AM


Re: fear
Hello arachnophilia,

I appreciate your response.

i'm not really willing to share the particulars and details of my conversion.

Bummer. I respect your choice.

fear and doubt are probably the most common factors that play into a conversion. fear of eternal punishment, from doubting their previous convictions (athiest of whathaveyou). i think that this probably plays some role in every christian's conversion.

I believe fear of damnation may be just one of the factors that drives someone towards a religion, but I personally don't think a fear of damnation is a critical issue at the time of conversion/enlightenment. At the time of conversion fear is a factor in that most conversion experiences are conducted in front of the congregation and sometimes in a vulnerable state (semi-dressed and immensed in water for baptisms).

Thanks for your own appraisal of the "shoving" over technique. It accords perfectly with my own experiences.

Have you come across any good links/studies on this process?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by arachnophilia, posted 06-06-2005 2:24 AM arachnophilia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by arachnophilia, posted 06-06-2005 3:11 AM Gilgamesh has responded
 Message 11 by Faith, posted 06-06-2005 4:32 AM Gilgamesh has not yet responded

  
Gilgamesh
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 199 (214855)
06-06-2005 8:56 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by lfen
06-06-2005 3:00 AM


Hello Ifen,

I am addressing the Christian "Born Again" experience. I will try to define it a little better below.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by lfen, posted 06-06-2005 3:00 AM lfen has not yet responded

  
Gilgamesh
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 199 (214862)
06-06-2005 9:33 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by arachnophilia
06-06-2005 3:11 AM


Re: fear
Hello arachnophilia,

perhaps we're speaking of different things. i mean the actual intellectual conversion, the idea of being "born again" in some churches. when the person actually accepts the belief. not when they go through a ritualization of that to demonstrate it to others.

I've spent over 10 years trying to identify a intellectual path to belief, and have failed to find it. It is my experience that there is no such path and that conversion (whether it be a born again process or a slow evolution of thought) is an emotional process. A degree of intellectualisation occurs after conversion, or what I call "backrationalisation", only to the extent that is necessary for psychological comfort. Compartmentalisation is then used to ensure that the emotional need is not compromised by rational analysis. Many Christian faiths have processes/rules/tenets that assist with this process.

You can witness the concept of compartmentalisation and the conflict between intellect and emotional need when you read through many of the debates on this forum. The obsfucation and evasion demonstrated by some of the educated Creationists when logically cornered is evidence of the internal conflict.

The conversion experience that I talk of transcends intellect. It is an emotional process that often manifests in a truly moving experience for the subject. It is then capitalised on by the church to put the experience in the context of their particular religious interpretation. It is very necessary to follow the conversion up with exposure to thought reinforcement techniques in order to maintain what is a very transitory experience. That's what fellowshipping is all about!

I only consider the conversion as "ritual" in the context of when it is re-run over existing converts or when children born into the church submit to it when they come of age. The conversion experience is a critical tool for many Australian churches and is fundamental in the success some of these churches have demonstrated over the last few decades.

To use one example of an Australian church (not the subject of the book): it was taught with Biblical authority that the Holy Spirit could only be obtained through full immersion baptism, and be evidenced by speaking in tongues. A potential convert would be prepped with the appropriate Biblical verses, manipulated into the requisite mindset, and then submitted to the baptism in front of the entire congregation. This would frequently produce an "experience" for the recipient, often with accompanying glossolalia (speaking in tongues) and other emotive responses. That the 2000 year old Bible predicted this process is emphasised as proof of the validity of that particular faith and the convertee is open to being fed the doctrines of the church. This was (particularly in the 80s) an astoundingly successful conversion process, despite it easily being rationalised. How many people plucked from he streets, particularly the emotionally vulnerable that churches love to prey on, are equipped to rationalise and resist this process? Very few.

One of the objectives of the author of the book is to detail the conversion process and the mechanisms behind it, in order to equip potential convertees with the necessary mindset to make a rational analysis about the process. It may also assist those who have converted to understand the process and de-power it's mysticism.

I have personally always claimed that if I can prep a potential convertee for 30 minutes prior to the conversion experience, they would not convert. I have not been proven wrong: but in all honesty churches don't often give me the chance!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by arachnophilia, posted 06-06-2005 3:11 AM arachnophilia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by GDR, posted 06-06-2005 10:45 PM Gilgamesh has responded
 Message 61 by arachnophilia, posted 06-08-2005 7:49 PM Gilgamesh has responded

  
Gilgamesh
Inactive Member


Message 16 of 199 (214865)
06-06-2005 9:44 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by lfen
06-06-2005 3:37 AM


Hello Ifen,

The first is that understanding uncoversion (loss of faith) experiences might help elucidate conversion experiences.

Agree. Faith can fail through a strong emotional experience (perhaps a "crisis of faith") that can work as a de-conversion experience. Faith also often fails when submitted to intellectual scrutiny, minus all of the thought control and re-inforcement techniques. This process can be a slower evolution as described by many ex-believers in this forum.

I don't believe that I can develop a de-conversion experience to undo the original conversion experience, short of submitting the subject to a major life crisis! Detailing and rationalising the very real-world physchological process that is the conversion experience will help convertees identify the process and become immune. It will also assist converts trying to shed the yoke. Otherwise a steady intellectual analysis of faith and it's tenets is the most realistic path from faith or path from fundamentalism, and forums like this play an invaluable role in that regard.

The second is William James THE VARIETIES OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE which is available on the net is a good discussion of this.

It's at the top of my list, although I am aware that it is 100 years old and that I will invaribaly disagree with William's conclusions.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by lfen, posted 06-06-2005 3:37 AM lfen has not yet responded

  
Gilgamesh
Inactive Member


Message 19 of 199 (214874)
06-06-2005 10:37 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Faith
06-06-2005 3:55 AM


Hello Faith,

Dick Sutphen at your link doesn't seem to have a clue which is legitimate and which isn't, he lumps all kinds of phenomena together

I agree with this assessment.

In a nutshell, the Great Awakening was a God-originated revival, while the basic problem with the "revivalists" is that they are trying to force something that only God can do. Many of these groups are sincere and genuinely Christian however, though criticizable from some points of view as in error, while others are no doubt frauds, and some televangelists have even been exposed as frauds. Sorting all this out would take some care.

IMO those groups using compelling conversion experiences, theatrics, demonstrations of "spirittual gifts" are some of the most influential and fastest growing. These features give them the ability to rapidly facilitate an emotional conversion, and then pour anti-intellectual doctrine down the throats of the converts.

I'm generalising, but those churches that do not use such process tend to be more liberal, more rational (ie, not rejecting science) and have less political sway and ambition. An effective and powerful conversion experience can have a very intelligent and sensible fellow swallowing doctrinal nonsense quickly and easily. IMO this phenomena needs to be studied anaylsed and de-powered.

You are saying that although you don't believe in the teachings of Christianity you went through these rituals? You actually recited doctrine and declared faith although you had no faith? Did you experience the falling backwards?

In order to understand one must experience the process personally. I have undergone many different conversion process, in some cases multiple times. I declared what I was aksed to declare. I did not fall if I did not want to fall. I understand the context of these experiences the pressure and compulsions involved, and the sensations that can be experienced.

"CONVERSION"
I'm not grasping your definition of "conversion" or why you associate it so consistently with the word "experience."

Coversion experience, conversion process, enlightenment process, being born again: the manufactured scenario wherein a convertee is made susceptible to an emotional experience (manifesting in a multitude of ways) that is rationalised as an experience of "God" and which facilitates conversion into a particular faith.

That is, it is an interior thing, not something external.

Most defintely, I agree. It is very subjective. It doesn't really matter what the convertee actually experiences, although they will be strongly encourage to perform, feel, and respond in a certain way, the experience is rationalised by the church as an experience of God. The experience is very personal, very variable, very subjective. And arguably very physchological and very much residing in the chemistry of the brain.

It may or may not be a dramatic event. There may or may not be an identifiable experience involved.

Agree. In many cases rhe convertee behaves in the common and anticipated way. Often nothing happens or the convertee has an experince at a later time, maybe when alone. As usual there is no positive outcome that is not explained in terms of God and no negative experience that is not explained in terms of a defficiency of the individual.

Sometimes when people are brought up in church there is no particular moment they can point to when they were converted though they can look back and appreciate that at one point they couldn't say they truly believed but at a later point they could say they did -- they simply seemed to grow into it over time.

I am least addressing these individuals. They are a depressing category unto themselves. Sometimes they still have an experience when exposed to the standard conversion process, in line with the church's expectations. A conversion process, other than for ritual, is generally not necessary because faith has been fed to them from birth: tragically they have never had any other mindset. These people can still be uncoverted though and it also assists to de-mystify the conversion process they have witnessed others undergoing for the span of their lives.

to a heroin addict who is sleeping in a dumpster when a Christian tract wafting on the wind lands on his face and he's instantly saved/converted/born again.

These un-documentable and unverifiable anecdotes oft float around various churches. Some have basis in fact; often mythically embellished over time. In this case it refers to one of the most vulnerable convert profiles: the drug addict.

Thanks for all of your other notes and thoughts. I will address the conversion experience applicable to the church in question, but I am also analysing alternate processes to get a full understanding of the phenomena.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Faith, posted 06-06-2005 3:55 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by Faith, posted 06-06-2005 11:38 PM Gilgamesh has responded
 Message 24 by Faith, posted 06-07-2005 12:40 AM Gilgamesh has responded

  
Gilgamesh
Inactive Member


Message 22 of 199 (214884)
06-06-2005 11:51 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by GDR
06-06-2005 10:45 PM


Re: fear
Hello GDR,

Thanks for your input.

Whether one can convert to Christianity through an intellectual or emotional conversion is outside the scope of this thread. I know I addressed the issue too! but I'll leave it be.

If you did undergo a conversion experience, I would love to hear about it.


This message is a reply to:
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Gilgamesh
Inactive Member


Message 23 of 199 (214885)
06-07-2005 12:00 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by Faith
06-06-2005 11:38 PM


Faith wrote,

I have to inform you, I guess, that it was a tongue-in-cheek description by my pastor, his own parody of this kind of story, since you seem to have missed the joke

It's exceedingly hard to tell with you guys.

But the examples you have given, as I have said, are NOT of conversions. You haven't yet said one thing to show me that you know what conversion is. You seem to be enthralled by the signs-and-wonders effects promoted in the charismatic churches, which do not represent Christianity as a whole, but they are not conversions.

Not conversions by your understanding/interpretation. Where you have someone who does not profess a belief in God, and would not consider himself a Christian, undergoes a process wherein 30 minutes later they claim to have experienced God and now believe in Jesus; I call that a conversion.

In general, I do not have an issue with Christianity as a whole. I have issue with Christian fundmentalist cults that have a negative impact on their adherents, deny science and rational thought and seek to have their religious beliefs enforced on others. The more dramatic and emotive the conversion process, the more receptive the convertee is to swallowing cultist bunk.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Faith, posted 06-06-2005 11:38 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by Faith, posted 06-07-2005 12:58 AM Gilgamesh has responded

  
Gilgamesh
Inactive Member


Message 37 of 199 (215150)
06-07-2005 8:01 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Faith
06-07-2005 12:40 AM


Hello Faith

But what you have described aren't conversions. I agree that the theatrics and other phenomena of the charismatic movement can produce false conversions and in fact they draw people to a false idea of Jesus Christ.

I elaborated why I define them as conversions above and you have addressed it in your post below.

You are coming very close to commiting the "No True Scottsman" fallacy. You guys can argue all you like about who is and who isn't a true Christian, and I'll just stick with this:

"Professing belief in Jesus as Christ or following the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus"

As I said, I have no issue with liberal Christians who cause no harm to their adherents, embrace science and rational thought, and do not seek to impose their beliefs on others through politics. There are several on this forum, and I aspire to obtain their admirable beliefs.

The study I am assisting with will not seek to dissuade all Christians of all their beliefs: just to de-power a particular influential, cult-like fundamentalist church. Surely then, our objectives on this sort of issue may be the same?

Perhaps your "de-powering" might separate false conversions from true, although on the other hand you may merely interfere with a new believer's mind in a very cruel way, simply forcing your own indoctrination on someone who has just barely begun to believe in Jesus Christ and isn't grounded in the Bible yet.

I wonder if you are actually concerned about the impact the book might have upon your own particular interpretation of Christinity. If your faith is legitimate, if you faith is based on a rational, intellectual process and not on merely emotive appeals or conversion processes, then what would you have to be concerned about?

Causing someone a lifetime of emotional turmoil, causing severe financial harm, separating someone from their friends and family, applying politically incorrect and sexiest/racist doctrines, indoctrinating children in fundamentalism from birth, having hypocritically different standards of behaviour for church elders, not having to account for how church funds are distributed, denying critical and rational free thought, sexually abusing children: all these are much crueler than encouraging a convertee to examine their faith.

Again, if your particular faith is grounded on "Truth" and none of the above, then we are fighting the same cause, even though I may not have yet seen such truth in your cause.

Back to the first hand, when I was a new believer (completely from reading books, without any contact with a church or with Christians) I would have laughed at you, having spent most of my life to that point already indoctrinated in all the anti-religious views you could possibly dream up -- but I was in my forties, and would have had the luxury of seeing through your beliefs and intentions, which a younger person might not.

Well then you have supposedly found my Holy Grail: an intellectual path to faith and I have no issue with your beliefs. But after having studied your writings on this forum for a long time, I severely doubt that you have such a Grail.

Conversion is believing, and since you didn't believe even for a moment you don't know what you are talking about

I don't think either of us can read the mind of others. As to whether they are legitimately "Professing belief in Jesus as Christ", I suspect that we both have to take their word on it.

If at all points you maintained the investigator's perspective you have NO idea about any of this. At best you may be able to judge that certain communications could put pressure on people, but anybody should be able to judge that much from a description of the process. The idea that you with your investigator's POV intact "experienced" anything that is truly definitive of it is ludicrous.

Now you profess to be able to read my mind. Just because I interpreted the scenario differently to you: wherein you may beleive the you had an experience of God, and I merely identified my mind playing tricks on me. The actual sensations may have been identical: and I have experienced many different sensations. One of us interpreted the scenario wrong. My arguments as to why it wasn't me are well outside the scope of this thread.

But as I've said, baptism, declaring one's faith to the congregation, or falling over backwards, are NOT conversions, OR conversion "experiences" or anything of the sort. There may be emotional accompaniments to any of it, especially if there HAS been a real conversion prior to the public declaration of it, as knowing that you belong to Christ and have been received into His church is deeply moving.

Once again: your opinion only. Many of the conversions I witnessed were deeply moving for the persons involved. What is it that you are concerned about here? That the validity of your our conversion might be called into question? But you came into faith through reading books, did you not? Are you concerned about the future conversions of others? If they are not "true" Christian churches, then what do you care if we de-power them?

I think you misunderstood me. I was saying what Arachnophilia also said. It's interior in the sense that it is BELIEF. It is a change from unbelief to belief, a change in viewpoint, in understanding of everything. Before you believe in Christ things look different from the way they look afterward, when now all things are interpreted in light of the works of God that had previously not been appreciated.

Yea, see below. I did eleborate on why I see these experiences as being conversions.

It is a change of MIND, of VIEWPOINT, of UNDERSTANDING, and in that sense it is an INTELLECTUAL change, whatever the accompanying emotions may be.

Well I argue that it is an emotional process that transcends intellect. How else do you find a intelligent, rational person arguing Creationism and conspircay theories?

And again the proddings you are describing are strictly a charismatic thing, and again you might be right to focus on those things as psychological pressure, but in no way are those things about true conversions. The charismatic churches ARE very psychologically manipulative, and that is NOT a good thing, to say the least,

Well you should be worried too because these churches are kicking-ass in the conversion stakes. We would have a common cause in some respects except that Christianity as a whole is such a blurry, amorphous mass and jumble of contrary, supplementary, complimentary doctrines and tenets that I suspect your faith is inevitably interwined with these churches in some way. For instance I suspect that you rely or share much of their apologetics and also share their resources on Creationism.

You are right to pinpoint the folly of this kind of thinking that puts blame and guilt on the person, for a lack of enough "faith" perhaps?

Ok. Be honest then Faith. The common response from Christians is that I am an atheist because of my own shortcomings: haven't sought God, not humble enough, not enough faith (ironically), unworthy, too much "sin", too much "of this world" etc etc. Can you admit that there is a chance that I am an atheist not because any fault on my behalf, but because God does not exist? Can you admit the chance that that might be true, or will you join your brethen and throw the burden back on the unbeliever?

If you a priori rule out the possibility that faith can be both genuine and justified, your study is simply an exercise in confirming your own prejudices, and as such is false science.

Well it's not my study and wont contain my prejudices. It is also not intending to be science.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Faith, posted 06-07-2005 12:40 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by Faith, posted 06-07-2005 8:08 PM Gilgamesh has responded

  
Gilgamesh
Inactive Member


Message 43 of 199 (215226)
06-08-2005 12:59 AM
Reply to: Message 39 by Faith
06-07-2005 8:08 PM


Faith wrote

That out of ignorance and false preconceptions you might do damage to true Christians. Yes, that does appear to me to be a possibility.

True Christians, again? Well nothing in the book will assail the faith of any Christian not associated with Christian cults or fundamentalism.

You haven't shown me that you understand or respect what true Christianity is.

You or no other self professed Christian has never shown me that your God exists or that your faith is little more than an adult version of a security blanket. In many cases totally benign and certainly none of my business. But in many of it's current manifestations it is dangerous to it's adherents and humanity as a whole, and as a moral being it has become my business.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Faith, posted 06-07-2005 8:08 PM Faith has not yet responded

  
Gilgamesh
Inactive Member


Message 46 of 199 (215235)
06-08-2005 2:05 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by Faith
06-07-2005 12:58 AM


This post should preceed the previous one!
Perhaps because although he was exaggerating for the sake of humor, it's not that he meant to say such dramatic experiences are necessarily false.

And as I stated above, these un-documentable and unverifiable anecdotes of dramatic experiences oft float around various churches. Some have basis in fact; often mythically embellished over time.

So you do mean to say that you've witnessed someone claim that before BAPTISM they didn't believe but after it they did?? Baptising an unbeliever is a very wrong thing to do, but obviously they baptized you so it must happen.

Yes. In many cases they possess non-descript religious beliefs, but in some cases they are agnostic prior to the conversion experience. Sometimes after the conversion experience, once they have had the requisite prep talk from the church elders, they go along with the new faith and will profess and belief in it.

Those chruches who use this approach proclaim the process has Biblical authority. You might want to take the issue up with them.

I can see that an unbeliever who has the falling-over-backwards experience, if it's as real as many claim it is, would be awed by the supernatural power involved, and at least come to believe in the supernatural. Beyond that I'd tread very carefully in trying to understand what really happened.

You close your eyes, get wobbly and someone pushes you over. In many cases you put on a reasonable performance and play along with the spirit of things, might writhe on the floor, laugh or cry etc. Nothing supernatural there.

Exactly the same as a Martin St James "hypnosis" shows. Some 15 odd years ago, I myself did my very best Michael Jackson dance impersonation in front of thousands of people I didn't know. Not because I had succombed to the supernatural, not because I was hypnotised, because it was fun and I was prepared to play along. Martin sent those that did not want to play along back to their seats.

Christianity as a whole in its historical traditional expression to be highly rational and in fact the very source of empirical science

Cough. You're joking, right? This is the religion that put civilised society and early Greek incarnations of science on hold for about 1500 years. The religion that early scientists has to tread carefully around in fear of their life. The same religion that in it's present fundementalist manifestations seeks to once again censor science because it has replaced creation myths with scientific theory.

but I deny evolution. Many unbelievers simply make a kneejerk equation between a denial of evolution and irrationalism. To be fair, you need to make extremely careful distinctions.

IMO there is no rational basis on which to deny evolution. 150 years worth of re-inforcement and additional evidence, thousands of scientists working across many inter-related testable fields of science vs the ever shrinking cry of the worshippers of the God of the Gaps: "we haven't seen a wolf turn into a whale, so we're still unconvinced".

I know many Christians accept evolution and the age of the earth and that Christianity need not rest upon the validity of a literal interpretation of the Bible, but Christian fundamentalism can be pulled apart on these issues. From their the rest follows, and you guys know it. That's why you are kicking and screaming so hard and using every trick in the box. Emotional conversion experiences are just one of them.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Faith, posted 06-07-2005 12:58 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by Faith, posted 06-08-2005 3:58 AM Gilgamesh has responded

  
Gilgamesh
Inactive Member


Message 50 of 199 (215249)
06-08-2005 4:05 AM


Topic!
Hello Guys,

Not that I am overly protective of my first topic in over a year, but I would prefer if this thread is not used as another opportunity to voice mythological hokey about demons and such.

My world is one void of supernatural monsters: when I am alone in my room, I am alone in my room: there are no bogey men, demons, ghosts or pixies. My world is easy to join: you just have to exorcise superstitions from your head.


Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by Faith, posted 06-08-2005 4:10 AM Gilgamesh has responded

  
Gilgamesh
Inactive Member


Message 52 of 199 (215255)
06-08-2005 4:20 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by Phat
06-08-2005 3:13 AM


Re: Quite an interesting topic!
Hello Phatboy

Gilgamesh, you may know that I was and am a born again Christian. As of late, I have backed away from church involvement and have experimented with other belief systems...one of the reasons that I like to hang out at this site!

I wasn't aware that you had moved away from organised religion. Congratulations. I sincerely hope you find something worthwhile.

I read through that website by Dick Sutphen. He seems genuine to me, and is in no way against God or spirituality. He points out that nobody can trult be immune from brainwashing techniques, however..so i wonder how you claim to be immune from such entrapments!

Simple, and here's my biggest tip for punters: understand that your own subjective analysis of something can be horribly flawed. Never accept anything dogmatically.

Sutphen is a bit paranoid for my liking.

I was "born again" and converted through a cultlike church and thought that many of the rituals were wrong...even though I was a believer.

Please elaborate on what you experienced and witnessed.

Sutphen emphasizes that most preachers are unaware of this technique and use it through copying "what works" from other preachers.

Ironic: they have formula that works, but don't understand why it works. Suits them though: everything they don't understand is assigned to the supernatural anyway. They don't understand the reasons why anecdotal evidence is useless in validating healing techniques, but they use it anyway as evidence of God's faith healing power.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by Phat, posted 06-08-2005 3:13 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 57 by Phat, posted 06-08-2005 6:41 AM Gilgamesh has responded
 Message 58 by Faith, posted 06-08-2005 1:56 PM Gilgamesh has responded

  
Gilgamesh
Inactive Member


Message 53 of 199 (215256)
06-08-2005 4:21 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by Faith
06-08-2005 4:10 AM


Re: Topic!
Faith wrote:

Jeepers, what do those of us do who started out with your unidimensional world and then discovered we were wrong?

Seek medical help.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by Faith, posted 06-08-2005 4:10 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 56 by Faith, posted 06-08-2005 5:22 AM Gilgamesh has responded

  
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