Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Healing Miracle

The common cold was more like the consistent cold coming upon me every three months or so year after year. That is until New Years of 2006, when something unexpected came about. A few days prior to Christmas vacation the office I work in was partially flooded due to some plumbing problems overflowing from the floor above. Damp moldy air greeted my sensitive sinuses for two days before we closed up for Christmas. Consequently, another cold took root and I quickly loaded up on the over-the-counter remedies. The cold persisted as my husband and I drove out of state for a New Years conference. I had packed all my cold medicines and made sure to dose up every four hours. However, despite all my attempts to keep my cold under control it quickly flared into a nasty sinus infection and upper respiratory infection. I could barely sleep at night. A scant five minutes didn’t pass without my repetitive coughing which frequently triggered an asthmatic coughing episode. My husband was ready to leave the conference and take me home to a doctor. I protested as I did not want to cut our trip short, nor did I enjoy the thought of seeing a doctor.


My husband decided to seek out the help of one of the ministry leaders at the conference concerning my sickness and my repetitive cold problem. He explained that he was tired of seeing my struggle and wanted victory over this sickness. Several leaders gathered to pray for me. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was willing to try anything that would keep me from going home to a doctor. Although we revealed no details of the circumstances leading up to this cold, one of the ministers spoke what was revealed to him prophetically. He told me that I had breathed in something poisonous to me, like a mold. Then they prayed for me and I felt such peace. I felt the presence of God rest upon me and my lungs began to tingle as the pressure of congestion lifted. This was not a euphoric feeling, but a substantial physical experience. My sinuses cleared and I breathed deeply without coughing. I was instantly, supernaturally healed by the power of God working through Christians who knew how to use the power they carried. I continued to feel the sweet peaceful presence of God for a while after the healing. What’s more, I did not get another cold for a record eleven months. Even after that, my colds have been at a normal level only having had two minor colds and one bout with the Flu since that healing two years ago. The consistent onset of colds that plagued me for years was broken that New Years Day by the miraculous power of God.


I experienced God in a tangible supernatural way that day. As an apologist, people often ask me how I can believe in an invisible God. I can give all kinds of evidence for the truth of Scripture and the reality of the Christian worldview, but while such things are very important, the experiences I have had that affirm to my soul that God loves me seals the deal. True faith grows in those moments—a faith not based on hoping really hard that God is real, but a faith that is truly the substance of things hoped for.


28 comments:

Anonymous said...

How would you answer people who claim that they've felt the same experiential "evidence" as you, but for other gods? How do you know that you've felt something supernatural? How do you know that you experienced god?

Karla said...

Good question. There is a counterfeit supernatural empowered by the demonic and it is very deceptive. I say counterfeit, because it is not from God, it's twisted, distorted and for the gain of the forces of darkness. It can appear to be good on the surface, at first, but soon reveals it's true nature of a dark power and experiences that are not of God. They trap people in bondage. Whereas God's power frees people from bondage and draws people to Him not away from Him to religion and the occult and other spiritual things that are not about Him.

I know that I felt something supernatural because nothing natural has ever made me feel in that way except God who is supernatural and I know it was God because I know what God's presence feels like for I had encountered Him before in like physical experiences. I have also had stronger experiences with feeling His presence since then.

Anonymous said...

Karla,
"There is a counterfeit supernatural empowered by the demonic and it is very deceptive. I say counterfeit, because it is not from God, it's twisted, distorted and for the gain of the forces of darkness."

How do you know that it is counterfeit and not your's? Implicit in your statement is the assumption that your feelings are somehow real and from god while the feelings of others are necessarily not so. What assurances do you have that this is so, however?

Also, supernatural means something that defies nature or is outside of the natural, or extra-universe. Where does this demonic force come from if it is outside of this universe? Is it a counterpart to god?

"Whereas God's power frees people from bondage and draws people to Him not away from Him to religion and the occult and other spiritual things that are not about Him."

How do you know any of this is true? How do you know that the demonic forces are not fooling you and the real god is one that another religion worships?

"I know that I felt something supernatural because nothing natural has ever made me feel in that way except God who is supernatural and I know it was God because I know what God's presence feels like for I had encountered Him before in like physical experiences."

This is circular logic. You know it was god because you've felt god before, and you know that was god because? We can continue to go back to your first experience and ask, and you can no longer rely on saying, "Well, I had felt god before." How do you know that it was god that time?

Karla said...

“How do you know that it is counterfeit and not your's? Implicit in your statement is the assumption that your feelings are somehow real and from god while the feelings of others are necessarily not so. What assurances do you have that this is so, however?”
The fruits of the experience are the evidence for the source. Meaning if a supernatural experience draws you to God it is from God if it draws you to religion, bondage, sin, the demonic it is not from God. Also when you already have God dwelling in you supernaturally through Christ as I do you have a greater ability to discern between what is God and what is not. Jesus often said that sheep know the voice of the Shepard and He is the Good Shepard and when you know Him you know what is from Him and what is not.

”Also, supernatural means something that defies nature or is outside of the natural, or extra-universe. Where does this demonic force come from if it is outside of this universe? Is it a counterpart to god?”
No the demonic is not a counterpart of God. Satan, the leader of the demons, is a fallen angel and the demons are also fallen angels of a different level of power and authority. They were created as good and served God in heaven, but like humans they apparently had the freedom to turn away from the love of God and serve themselves and they chose to do that and as a result were cast to the earth and they have destructive power on earth for a time and one day they will be cast into the Lake of Fire.


”How do you know any of this is true? How do you know that the demonic forces are not fooling you and the real god is one that another religion worships?”
I know God and I trust Him and I have seen that His Word is true and that He does not deceive me. I have friends who have encountered demonic forces and their experience was not a pleasant one. I once heard a missionary say he was in a foreign country and the witchdoctor came running up to him and told him that the spirits inside of him were afraid of the Spirit inside of the missionary and that He wanted the Spirit that is inside of the missionary and not these lesser spirits. Once a person who has only known a counterfeit experiences the real they know the difference. And a person who knows the real can see the difference in those who have the counterfeit.


”This is circular logic. You know it was god because you've felt god before, and you know that was god because? We can continue to go back to your first experience and ask, and you can no longer rely on saying, "Well, I had felt god before." How do you know that it was god that time?”
I have known God since I was a small child without having felt His presence in the way I am describing. He leads me in all truth by His Spirit. I can sense the difference between a spiritual experience of darkness and one from God.

Anonymous said...

Karla,
"The fruits of the experience are the evidence for the source."

Wait, so if it feels good then it's evidence for what you want it to be evidence for?

"Meaning if a supernatural experience draws you to God it is from God if it draws you to religion, bondage, sin, the demonic it is not from God."

How do you know this is the case? How do you know that the demons aren't tricking you and that god never communicates with you at all?

"Also when you already have God dwelling in you supernaturally through Christ as I do you have a greater ability to discern between what is God and what is not."

But, you don't know that it is god. It could be that once you have Satan dwelling in you supernaturally that you have a diminished capacity for telling Satan from god.

"No the demonic is not a counterpart of God. Satan, the leader of the demons, is a fallen angel and the demons are also fallen angels of a different level of power and authority. They were created as good and served God in heaven, but like humans they apparently had the freedom to turn away from the love of God and serve themselves and they chose to do that and as a result were cast to the earth and they have destructive power on earth for a time and one day they will be cast into the Lake of Fire."

So, god created them separately from the universe? Why? And, why does god allow them to drag humans down?

"I know God and I trust Him and I have seen that His Word is true and that He does not deceive me."

This is basically you telling me that you know it is god simply because you know. This doesn't answer the question, it's simply a re-assertion of what was questioned.

"I have friends who have encountered demonic forces and their experience was not a pleasant one."

How do you know those aren't from god? How do you know that only good experiences come from god? How do you know that god doesn't give people bad experiences as well as good? How do you know that demons don't trick you by giving good and bad experiences?

"And a person who knows the real can see the difference in those who have the counterfeit."

How do you know this is true?

"I have known God since I was a small child without having felt His presence in the way I am describing. He leads me in all truth by His Spirit. I can sense the difference between a spiritual experience of darkness and one from God."

This doesn't answer the question. I've asked you how you know it was god and you replied previously that it was because you've felt it before. OK, so I asked you how you knew it was god the previous times, and you're basically telling me that you simply know it was god. This doesn't answer the question of how you know.

Karla said...

"Wait, so if it feels good then it's evidence for what you want it to be evidence for?"

That's not what I said. I said if it comes from God it points to God and not to something that brings us harm, bondage, sin, religion, etc.

"How do you know this is the case? How do you know that the demons aren't tricking you and that god never communicates with you at all?"

Demons wouldn't trick me to believe in God they don't want me to believe in God. Also if God didn't exist neither would they for their existence is evidence of the supernatural.

"But, you don't know that it is god. It could be that once you have Satan dwelling in you supernaturally that you have a diminished capacity for telling Satan from god."

See the last two answers above. Also you are speaking of supernatural source of what I experienced which suggest accepting there is a supernatural realm which would suggest a God who created it all. You aren't asking me how I know it was supernatural you are asking me how I know the supernatural source was God versus a demonic force and that presupposes the existence of both. Are you now accepting a supernatural world exist?

"So, god created them separately from the universe? Why? And, why does god allow them to drag humans down?"

God didn't create supernaturally evil beings. He created supernatural angelic beings with freedom. Some of them rebelled against Him as they were free to do
and that produced their demonic nature.

_____________

I am not arguing that my experience was from God simply because it was a good experience. I am arguing that it was from God because I was full of love and praise for Him upon it happening and that I know God and my spirit witnessed with His Spirit that it was indeed Him. To argue that I may have been deceived and it was really a demonic supernatural experience is to accept very worldview you are denying. You have ceased to argue that it was not a supernatural event, and begun to argue that it may have been one, but that it wasn't one from God. Even if it wasn't from God it is evidence of the supernatural which is supportive of the Christian worldview. I know it was God, but regardless it was supernatural. People don't just instantly gain relief from such an illness. It wasn't the power of suggestion. I felt something happen to me, I didn't think myself healed.

Anonymous said...

Karla,
"That's not what I said. I said if it comes from God it points to God and not to something that brings us harm, bondage, sin, religion, etc."

This is tautological and meaningless. If your experience comes from god it points to god? This does nothing to explain anything.

"Demons wouldn't trick me to believe in God they don't want me to believe in God."

Maybe that's all a trick to get you to believe in Yahweh instead of Allah, the one true god? What assurances do you have that this is not the case?

"Also if God didn't exist neither would they for their existence is evidence of the supernatural."

How do you know that? Maybe they exist and god doesn't. You can't know that. They are supernatural according to you, so how can you know whether they can exist independently of god? In fact, for all you know, the demons created the universe with their supernatural powers.

"Also you are speaking of supernatural source of what I experienced which suggest accepting there is a supernatural realm which would suggest a God who created it all."

I'm simply pointing out that you are begging the question, and quite a lot. You are making pronouncements that god talks to you and you know this and that about god, but you really don't, do you? You can't say for sure that god talks to you at all and not some demon tricking you. You don't even know that these demons or god exist at all. And, see above for me as well. Having supernatural demons does not necessitate having a god to create them. If that were the case, then I would cry foul of your conclusion that god need not be created.

"You aren't asking me how I know it was supernatural you are asking me how I know the supernatural source was God versus a demonic force and that presupposes the existence of both. Are you now accepting a supernatural world exist?"

Not at all. I'm pointing out the holes in your arguments. So, for the sake of argument, if we were to assume that something supernatural were happening, how can you tell whether it is god or some demon?

"God didn't create supernaturally evil beings."

But, he allows them to persist and attack humans.

"He created supernatural angelic beings with freedom. Some of them rebelled against Him as they were free to do
and that produced their demonic nature."

I would think that a supernatural being would have infinite knowledge, just like god. So, they should know that god was the infinite good, right? So, why would they rebel from the infinite good if they were not evil to begin with? This explanation leaves a lot to be desired.

"I am not arguing that my experience was from God simply because it was a good experience."

OK, then you can't argue that bad experiences are necessarily not from god.

"I am arguing that it was from God because I was full of love and praise for Him upon it happening and that I know God and my spirit witnessed with His Spirit that it was indeed Him."

Again, you're claiming you know it was god simply because you know it was god. Your own confirmation bias to be "full of love and praise for him" readily explains that, and it sounds like you simply jump to the god conclusion whenever something happens that makes you feel a certain way.

"To argue that I may have been deceived and it was really a demonic supernatural experience is to accept very worldview you are denying."

No, it's not. It's shorthand for me saying that if it really is a supernatural experience, it might not be the one you think it is. It's just the same as when I argue that if god exists, then he is not just/good/etc, I'm not implicitly arguing that god exists.

"Even if it wasn't from God it is evidence of the supernatural which is supportive of the Christian worldview."

Anything supernatural is supportive of the Xian worldview? Even the existence of Allah? Would that support the Xian worldview?

"I know it was God, but regardless it was supernatural."

If you'll recall, I asked you how you know it was supernatural, to which you replied that it was because you didn't know how it could be natural (god of the gaps fallacy) and that you simply knew it was from god. Follow up questions have yielded no fruit since then.

"People don't just instantly gain relief from such an illness."

Ever heard of the placebo effect?

"It wasn't the power of suggestion."

How do you know that?

Mike said...

Karla, thank the Lord for healing miracles. I praise him everytime I hear these types of testimonies! Where would we all be without the Lord?

I've witnessed, in over 2 decades of serving him in several ministry related missions, countless miracles of healing where people got liberated from the bondages that they were in and stayed that way. Its an awesome testament to a living, loving God!

I was sharing Christ with a man several years ago who was homeless. He was a Vietnam vet, who was down on his luck. While living on the streets, he was attacked by thugs and beaten pretty badly, almost to death. Once the ER stablized him, he was sent for follow ups to the Veteran's hospital for his remaining care and was promptly put on medication to soothe his troubles. Seems this is many times the medical profession's approach.

When I met him, he was experiencing up to 10 seizures a day and was on 17 different medications, one of which was morphine, to manage his symptoms, he was in his mid 50's and was in a very hopeless state.

I prayed for him 'in the name of Jesus Christ' and he was healed. On the surface there was no obvious effect, other than what he claimed was a peace and a hope that flooded his soul, but the work was done, and on his ensuing visit to the VA hospital, was put on a program to get him off the drugs, because he no longer needed them. Never had another seizure.

We worked with him for a few years to help him get back on his feet, it wasn't easy. Through him, I met several hundred other homeless over the course of 3 or so years and was able to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with many of them as well. Many of them commited to Christ and we witnessed incredible miracles in many of their lives.

We overcome this world, and some of it's ridiculous notions by testifying of the 'truth', which is not a logical idea, but a person named 'Jesus'. You and I have both, it appears, witnessed many miracles 'in his name'. One of the reasons we serve him is because he is real, and it works.

When I go to minister to those that are broken, sick, etc., I know that in the name of "Jesus" my prayers will work and will be answered - he has never let me down on that one.

God bless, and keep up the good fight of faith sister. God is going to use this blog in a mighty way. While it may appear that some are trying to dominate the discussion with their many falsehoods, over the course of time, many will read all of this and will come to a greater knowledge of Jesus and will be blessed. That is the way he works things out... MM

Karla said...

Thank you for sharing that testimony Mike.

Anonymous said...

Mike,
"While it may appear that some are trying to dominate the discussion with their many falsehoods..."

Mike, I assume this is pointed at me, so I would appreciate it if you could point out those falsehoods (lies) that I am allegedly using to "dominate the discussion." Calling someone a liar is a serious charge and one that you need to support.

Karla said...

”This is tautological and meaningless. If your experience comes from god it points to god? This does nothing to explain anything.”

Okay, let me try again. When Satan or his demons do something they don’t do it in a way that points you to Jesus, but away from Jesus. It would not serve their purpose to point a person to truth, but away from truth. When God does something that action confirms Him and does not lead you away from Him. When a supernatural encounter is demonic it provokes fear, depression, anxiety, selfishness, or other self-serving purposes.


”Maybe that's all a trick to get you to believe in Yahweh instead of Allah, the one true god? What assurances do you have that this is not the case?”

Like I said demons would deceive one into accepting religion instead of Jesus. They will point away from Jesus to religion, or other anti-Jesus mentalities. Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, are religions. Christianity can even become merely a religion when people don’t know Christ and try to live by Christian rules to get to God instead of coming to God through Christ.


”How do you know that? Maybe they exist and god doesn't. You can't know that. They are supernatural according to you, so how can you know whether they can exist independently of god? In fact, for all you know, the demons created the universe with their supernatural powers.”

You are not making sense. If there is a supernatural world at work beyond the natural, then one is accepting things science hasn’t proven. If you are accepting the supernatural world as existing there is a lot more to look into regarding how it came to be, how it all works, and why it’s there. You would be acknowledging the limitations of science and realizing that there is a greater world to explore. If there are angels and demons and a supernatural reality then your worldview will need an overhaul.

Why can’t I know that God exist? I have encountered Him. I know Him. I live a life with Him. I have seen Him work supernaturally in my life and through my life affecting others with healing. I couldn’t be more certain. I’m not delusional. I’m not lying. I’m not hoping really hard and saying things are because I want them to be that way.


”I'm simply pointing out that you are begging the question, and quite a lot. You are making pronouncements that god talks to you and you know this and that about god, but you really don't, do you?”

I do. See above response.

“You can't say for sure that god talks to you at all and not some demon tricking you.”
I can. That’s like saying when my husband calls me on the phone I can’t say for sure I was talking to him and not an imposter. I know my husband voice. If he walks up behind me in a grocery store and touches my back, I know it’s him without looking. When you have relationship with someone you know the difference between the one you know and someone else. I’ve seen mother’s know her baby’s cry in a crowded room of children without looking. This is natural to know the difference.

“You don't even know that these demons or god exist at all.”

I have many a trusted friend who has seen demons and others who have seen angels. So yes, I do know. I do absolutely know that God exist, as well. If He doesn’t I’m a demented lunatic and you shouldn’t waste your time talking to me because I’m some kind of weird freak of nature who is hearing voices who has had an unnatural healing and can testify to seeing many others healed that I know.

“Having supernatural demons does not necessitate having a god to create them. If that were the case, then I would cry foul of your conclusion that god need not be created.”

Supernatural beings have different levels of being and power. An angel is created. But someone uncreated would have to create the lesser beings. There can only be one all powerful God. For if there was more than one, none of them would be all powerful and they would all then be finite that would necessitate the need for a creator and then that Creator would be God. Life does not come from non-life. It has to be created by a self-evident, uncreated source and that would be God.



”I would think that a supernatural being would have infinite knowledge, just like god. So, they should know that god was the infinite good, right? So, why would they rebel from the infinite good if they were not evil to begin with? This explanation leaves a lot to be desired.”

Because they had the freedom to and they got prideful and thought they were greater than God


”Ever heard of the placebo effect?”

I told you I did not believe I was going to walk away instantly healed, nor was I expecting it. I felt horrible and all I wanted to do was go to bed. I did not expect to be healed. I had never experienced a healing like that prior to that occurrence.

Anonymous said...

Karla,
"Okay, let me try again. When Satan or his demons do something they don’t do it in a way that points you to Jesus, but away from Jesus. It would not serve their purpose to point a person to truth, but away from truth. When God does something that action confirms Him and does not lead you away from Him. When a supernatural encounter is demonic it provokes fear, depression, anxiety, selfishness, or other self-serving purposes."

Respectfully, you're simply saying the same thing. You know a feeling comes from god if it leads you to god and that a feeling comes from Satan or a demon if it doesn't lead you to god. This is a tautology. It's like defining a word by using the word you are attempting to define. Implicit in this is the assumption that you know ahead of time what is the actual direction towards god/Jesus, and you know what direction it is because god told you which direction it is. This is also circular.

"Like I said demons would deceive one into accepting religion instead of Jesus."

The point to my question was that if Allah is the one true god, then demons might point you toward Jesus instead of Allah. In that case, you would go going away from the one true god, all the while you would think that you were headed in the right direction. How do you know this isn't so?

Oh, and I got news for ya, Xianity is a religion.

"They will point away from Jesus to religion, or other anti-Jesus mentalities."

Here you are assuming your conclusions. You assume that Jesus is real, that Jesus is god, etc. and so therefore anything that leads you to your assumption is true by default. You need to examine those underlying assumptions though in order to answer the question.

"You are not making sense. If there is a supernatural world at work beyond the natural, then one is accepting things science hasn’t proven. If you are accepting the supernatural world as existing there is a lot more to look into regarding how it came to be, how it all works, and why it’s there. You would be acknowledging the limitations of science and realizing that there is a greater world to explore. If there are angels and demons and a supernatural reality then your worldview will need an overhaul."

You are dodging the obvious point that I'm making. If the supernatural exists and if these demons exist and are supernaturaly, it is not logically necessary that god also exist or that god created them or that they owe their creation to god. The entity that you call "god" could very well be a demon that is messing with you.

"Why can’t I know that God exist? I have encountered Him."

So you claim, but there are many, many different possible explanations here that you can't rule out. One is that it was not god, but a demon that was messing with you. Another is that it was solely a natural phenomena that you experienced and mis-attributed to god. Those are just two examples. On what basis are you eliminating those competing ideas?

"I have seen Him work supernaturally in my life and through my life affecting others with healing. I couldn’t be more certain. I’m not delusional. I’m not lying. I’m not hoping really hard and saying things are because I want them to be that way."

First of all, I'm not accusing you of lying. I think you are quite sincere in your beliefs. I just want to get that on the table right now.

The main point remains; how do you know that it was god and not something else. How can you trust your experiences and how do you eliminate all other potential explanations?

"I can. That’s like saying when my husband calls me on the phone I can’t say for sure I was talking to him and not an imposter."

Yeah, and if the person you have a relationship with was an imposter from the start, what then? What if all this time you thought you were talking to god that you were really talking to a demon? What then? How would you know? And, do you really think a supernatural entity couldn't fool you? Even if you were talking to god at some point, don't you think an entity with supernatural powers could fool you and your senses? Besides, you can't even prove it was supernatural.

"I have many a trusted friend who has seen demons and others who have seen angels. So yes, I do know."

Lots of people claim to have seen UFOs, so I guess that proves they are real too, right? People can see lots of things that aren't really there. It's part of how the brain works. The brain fills in gaps sometimes in our visual cortex based on what it thinks should be there. For instance, you can fold a flat piece of paper in a way such that a dinosaur's head seems to follow you as you move around the room. Does this mean you are seeing the paper move?

"So yes, I do know. I do absolutely know that God exist, as well."

So, because some friend of yours has seen demons and angels that somehow proves you've seen god? Is that really what you want to hang your hat on?

"If He doesn’t I’m a demented lunatic and you shouldn’t waste your time talking to me because I’m some kind of weird freak of nature who is hearing voices who has had an unnatural healing and can testify to seeing many others healed that I know."

I'm sure you are a perfectly rational being in most other respects, it's just that you happen to share a delusion (no disrespect intended) that many other people share based on childhood indoctrination and fear of the unknown/death.

"Supernatural beings have different levels of being and power."

How do you know that?

"An angel is created."

How do you know that?

"But someone uncreated would have to create the lesser beings."

How do you know that, and how do you know the uncreated being is god and not some malevolent being?

"There can only be one all powerful God."

This may not be so. It could very well be that two omnipotent beings exist that simply don't interfere with one another.

"For if there was more than one, none of them would be all powerful and they would all then be finite that would necessitate the need for a creator and then that Creator would be God."

This is not correct. There could indeed by multiple "gods." These gods may not be all powerful, but they may be timeless and infinite and supernatural and have the ability to create universes.

"Life does not come from non-life."

This is also false as has been demonstrated by some very famous chemistry experiments by Miller and Urey.

"It has to be created by a self-evident, uncreated source and that would be God."

There's no logical need for it to only be a singular entity that has the power to create life or for that entity to be good.

"Because they had the freedom to and they got prideful and thought they were greater than God"

This raises the question as to why god's creations all seem to turn on him and why he would make the same mistake twice, but nevertheless - this doesn't make much sense to me. If they are supernatural and have supernatural abilities and intelligence, you'd think they would understand that god is perfect and unsurpassable. So, why would they do something so stupid?

"I told you I did not believe I was going to walk away instantly healed, nor was I expecting it. I felt horrible and all I wanted to do was go to bed. I did not expect to be healed. I had never experienced a healing like that prior to that occurrence."

It's the power of suggestion. You were certainly open to it, your protestations aside. This is how the placebo effect works as well as hypnotism. Once you have a willing participant that believes something, you can exploit that to cause the believer to do things, like feel like they are healed (which the placebo effect studies have shown can have an amazing effect on the body).

Karla said...

How do you live with such skepticism? You seem to doubt everything you yourself hasn't seen or experienced and then I think you would even doubt your own eyes and experiences if you did encounter the supernatural world. With that kind of skepticism, I'm not sure I could ever give you the answers that would satisfy you. If you have no firm foundation for which to know truth you must accept constant un-knowability of everything including your own ability to think and know anything at all.

Again why persist in asking any questions at all if you will never be open to considering the answers before dismissing them as unknowable?

I honestly don't know how to help you see the truth of what I am saying in light of your extreme skepticism.

Mike said...

So would the power of suggestion or the placebo effect be the answer to emptying the hospitals of the sick and the dying? Wouldn't it make sense that if this is possible for one; for one to believe himself/herself well, through hypnosis, belief, or whatever - then wouldn't it make sense that it would work for everybody?

You casually dismiss Karla's experience - I would argue that a person with an experience is in a stronger position than one with a casual argument.

I would also propose - to launch off of what Karla said - that there have been so many people actually healed in the "Name of Jesus Christ" over the years that the preponderance of the 'evidence' is significantly stacked against you on this one - but you just refuse to believe it, soooo, where do you go from here?

I prayed for a guy who the doctors said needed to have his legs cut off due to diabetes. The next day the doctors said they were healed and didn't cut them off - guy was ecstatic and accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior.

I went to cast out a demon from a guy in Iowa, he curled up like a snake - movements that should be impossible for the human body to do - the demon came out, he got his mind and his life back - he accepted Jesus.

I friend of mine had a bad case of malaria - wanted to go to church, but was too weak, she got up anyways when the Lord told her to go - she walked 10 miles in the African heat, on the way she was totally healed, and led the worship service that day.

I could go on and on and on - these all happened in front of many witnesses - in his name the blind receive sight, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and those possesed by demons are set free. It doesn't 'EVER' happen in the name of allah, buddha or any other god, because all power in Heaven and Earth have been given to him, in his name these things happen - the kingdom of darkness will bow...

So, if you won't believe our words, believe for the sake of the tangible results, the miracles, that consistently happen in the Earth in his name. Otherwise, there really is nothing that any of us can do for you. This is not emotion, its real, its evident, its unrefutable when you look at the scale and volume with which this happens on a regular basis... MM

Karla said...

Thanks Mike!

Anonymous said...

Karla,
"How do you live with such skepticism? You seem to doubt everything you yourself hasn't seen or experienced and then I think you would even doubt your own eyes and experiences if you did encounter the supernatural world."

Everyone has to have some level of skepticism in order to survive. If someone walks up to you and offers you a million dollars if you give him $100 dollars cash right now, you'd be skeptical of it, would you not? Certain things (extraordinary claims) require evidence, and the existence of supernatural gods and other things fall into this category. Just as I would not expect you to simply believe me if I told you that there is an ice cream parlor on the far side of the smallest moon of Jupiter without my presenting some evidence to back it up, you should not simply expect me to believe in your god.

In regard to our senses, we also have to be careful with them as they are not always reliable. If they were reliable, then the sun really would travel around the Earth. This is why science is important. It allows us a way of studying the world in an unbiased way that tries to get rid of all our preconceptions, etc.

"With that kind of skepticism, I'm not sure I could ever give you the answers that would satisfy you."

All it takes is some reason, logic, rationality, and evidence.

"Again why persist in asking any questions at all if you will never be open to considering the answers before dismissing them as unknowable?"

Ah, but I am open to answers, you're just not providing any reason to believe your answers. I'm more than willing to admit that a god might exist, but I would like some evidence for this god, and sorry, but your personal experiences don't count - especially when you can't confirm that they corroborate what you say they are. IOW, you claim that god talks to you, but you can't be sure that it is god, and you can't prove it to me or even yourself. So, why should I believe that this is what is happening?

"I honestly don't know how to help you see the truth of what I am saying in light of your extreme skepticism."

You could start by figuring out how YOU know it is truth. And, I don't mean by using tautologies, circular reasoning, and assumptions. How do you know that something supernatural is happening to you, how do you know it is god and not something else, etc?

Anonymous said...

Mike,
"So would the power of suggestion or the placebo effect be the answer to emptying the hospitals of the sick and the dying?"

Not everyone is capable of being hypnotized. Ever wonder why hypnotists always seek volunteers from the crowd? It's because they need people who are open and willing.

"Wouldn't it make sense that if this is possible for one; for one to believe himself/herself well, through hypnosis, belief, or whatever - then wouldn't it make sense that it would work for everybody?"

No, for the reason I stated above and also because not all bodies have the same abilities, nor are all sicknesses the same.

"You casually dismiss Karla's experience - I would argue that a person with an experience is in a stronger position than one with a casual argument."

Only if that experience can be verified to be what the experiencer says it is. If I presented you with someone who's claimed to speak to Allah during prayer, would you be so willing to accept that as evidence of the existence of Allah?

"I would also propose - to launch off of what Karla said - that there have been so many people actually healed in the "Name of Jesus Christ" over the years that the preponderance of the 'evidence' is significantly stacked against you on this one - but you just refuse to believe it, soooo, where do you go from here?"

Again, you assert this, but you don't actually back it up. You are aware that double blind studies done on the effects of prayer and faith healing show no effect beyond chance and placebo, right? In fact, in one study, people being prayed for got worse.

"I could go on and on and on - these all happened in front of many witnesses - in his name the blind receive sight, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and those possesed by demons are set free."

Then why are these things never performed in a scientific setting where they can be studied and verified? In fact, all efforts to do so have been abject failures.

"It doesn't 'EVER' happen in the name of allah, buddha or any other god, because all power in Heaven and Earth have been given to him, in his name these things happen - the kingdom of darkness will bow..."

Oh give me a break. Of course other religions tout that they have healing abilities. Are you really that ignorant of world religions? Every religion has miracles and those often include miraculous healings.

"So, if you won't believe our words, believe for the sake of the tangible results, the miracles, that consistently happen in the Earth in his name."

And in the names of all the other gods that people claim do the same thing?

"This is not emotion, its real, its evident, its unrefutable when you look at the scale and volume with which this happens on a regular basis..."

In a way, you are right. I can't refute second-hand tales of miracles whether they come from you or a follower of any other religion. So, how would you refute their miracles? How do you know that your miracles are genuine and their's aren't?

And, let's see if you can answer the questions that are plaguing Karla right now. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that something supernatural is happening. How do you know that it isn't some devil misleading you? Perhaps Allah is the one true god and this devil is healing people so that they will be misled into believing in Yahweh, thus sealing their fate in the torment of hell for not believing in Yahweh. That would be quite a devious trick, would it not? How can you rule it out?

Mike said...

I can rule out Allah being the one true God very easily, look at the fruit. Those who follow him (and I do believe he is real, just not as powerful as Jesus) walk in religious pretense, may hear voices, I get that, but none the less, they bear poison fruit. No love, no patience, no kindness, etc. You know a tree by its fruit.

Scientists by and large seem to avoid the necessary effort to attend such places where these types of miracles happen, don't know why, maybe they are scared at what they will find...

I defer to Karla's explanation, which I too believe - I've seen healing come from witch doctors in Haiti and central America - the fruit, what is left behind exposes the spirit that did the work. The Lord Jesus leaves true freedom, liberty, love, and lasting healing, etc. The others are temporary and false and leave behind torment, fear, etc. Again, look at the fruit.

I do appreciate you at least admitting that the spirit world, supernatural world, whatever we call it - that it exists and that people get healed all the time in various parts of the world by various deities - good start.

I agree with your assessment of hypnosis, etc. You 'have to believe in order to experience it', that my friend is the the power of belief.

As for scientific proof, I leave you with the example of the simple rainbow. Science and Mathematicians have solved the how it works, but not the why. There were no rainbows in recorded history prior to Noah's account of the great flood. Selah... MM

Karla said...

Mike, I have to tweak that a bit. There is no Islamic Allah if Christianity is true. Allah is the arabic name for God, but the God of Islam is not a picture of the real God. Islam has no word for a God of love and offers no personal relationship with God. God is not a Father. He is a dictator to be obeyed. He offers no free redemption through Christ. No hope of salvation. No love. No fatherliness. No relationship.

Anonymous said...

Mike,
"I can rule out Allah being the one true God very easily, look at the fruit. Those who follow him (and I do believe he is real, just not as powerful as Jesus) walk in religious pretense, may hear voices, I get that, but none the less, they bear poison fruit. No love, no patience, no kindness, etc. You know a tree by its fruit."

So, you believe Allah exists?

Anyway, how can you know what fruit is the correct fruit? Your confirmation bias is showing as is your circular reasoning. You can't know what fruit is the true fruit. Try again.

"Scientists by and large seem to avoid the necessary effort to attend such places where these types of miracles happen, don't know why, maybe they are scared at what they will find..."

That's a load of BS. James Randi had a challenge open to anyone to show any evidence of the supernatural that went unclaimed for decades. Scientists have set up numerous studies to look at the effects of prayer and faith healing. Are you really ignorant of these things?

"The Lord Jesus leaves true freedom, liberty, love, and lasting healing, etc. The others are temporary and false and leave behind torment, fear, etc. Again, look at the fruit."

And, it's just as circular when you invoke it. How do you know what god's fruit looks like? Basically, you're saying this:

Mike: I know that it is god talking to me.
Me: How do you know it comes from god?
Mike: Because it bears the fruit that I expect.
Me: How do you know what fruit to expect?
Mike: Because I know it comes from god.
Me: How do you know it comes from god?
Repeat ad nauseum.

"I do appreciate you at least admitting that the spirit world, supernatural world, whatever we call it - that it exists and that people get healed all the time in various parts of the world by various deities - good start."

I've done no such thing. First you call me a liar and now you are putting words in my mouth. How moral of you.

"I agree with your assessment of hypnosis, etc. You 'have to believe in order to experience it', that my friend is the the power of belief."

The ability to delude yourself? Sure.

"As for scientific proof, I leave you with the example of the simple rainbow. Science and Mathematicians have solved the how it works, but not the why. There were no rainbows in recorded history prior to Noah's account of the great flood. Selah... MM"

Are you serious? I mean c'mon. I'm ready to call Poe's Law on you. You can't honestly think that your "argument" above is either compelling or constitutes any sort of argument.

Why a rainbow works is because natural law happens that way, just like the why for gravity or any other natural event. It's not because god felt bad about doing something horrible to humans, although even if it were because of that, that's hardly a good argument for you to make for a perfect, omni-max deity.

Mike said...

me: I know it is a fig tree.
Anonymous: How do you know it is a fig tree?
me: Look at the fruit, it is producing figs.
Anonymous: How can you prove that you should expect figs?.
me: Because they are coming from a fig tree, they must be figs.
Anonymous; How do you know it is a fig tree?
Repeat ad nauseum.

Its the simple things in life that give me so much pleasure... ;) MM

Karla - Agree with u 100%. I was referring to the spirit that is deluding the muslim people, sorry for confusion... MM

Anonymous said...

Mike,
That doesn't help your case in the least. The best your dialog does is create a tautology based on circular logic. How do you know it is a fig tree, because it gives you figs? How do you know they are figs? Because they come from a fig tree. This is tautological and circular.

Face it, you're making an a priori assumption about what a meeting with god should feel like and then through confirmation bias you have feelings that conform to what you previously decided they should feel like, and you decide that is god. But, you have no basis for knowing that that is god. You can't prove that it is supernatural to begin with, and even if you could, you have no way of knowing that it is god and not some other demon. How do you know that it is god? Why can no one answer this question without either saying, "Simply because I know" or some variant on that theme? Even Karla's response that she knows her husband because of her relationship, so she also knows god, falls short because her "relationship" with god might be completely based on a relationship with a demon that has been visiting her from the start! Plus, you can't extrapolate natural feelings for supernatural feelings. A supernatural being would most likely have power way beyond what you can imagine and would be capable of making you believe all sorts of things and even make you believe that the "fruit" the comes from it is from another source altogether, or even that they are giving you the same fruit as another being when they are not. Finally, Mike, I have a problem with how you are defining the "fruit." How do you know what the "fruit" is supposed to taste like?

Alas, why can no one here answer the simple question, "How do you know it is god?"

Anonymous said...

BTW Mike,
You called me a liar earlier in this thread. I've asked you to back it up. Anyone who is intellectually honest would either back it up or retract the comment. You have done neither. You have made a serious charge against me. Since you have a direct line to god (so you claim) perhaps you can tell me if it is all right to besmirch others the way you have with no evidence given. Is this moral behavior? Is this an example of the "fruit" you were talking about? Is it all right to besmirch others if it is done in the name of Jesus?

Karla said...

anonymous, I think that Mike wasn't inferring you to be lying, at least I hope not.

Anonymous said...

Karla,
I asked him point blank about it and he didn't even have the decency to explain himself. That's gutless and low in my opinion and shows an appalling lack of intellectual integrity and honesty. And, since he's only trying to proselytize to me, he's shooting himself in the foot by coming out and calling me a liar right off the bat - or at least saying something that can be taken that way.

Mike said...

Anonymous,

Sorry,been busy for the past couple of days...

"Mike, I assume this is pointed at me, so I would appreciate it if you could point out those falsehoods (lies) that I am allegedly using to "dominate the discussion." Calling someone a liar is a serious charge and one that you need to support."

You seem to assume a lot, for someone who won't even post in the open and talks of "gutless and low" and "appalling lack of intellectual integrity and honesty" You claim to know so much about Jesus' characteristics and readily throw them at us, but you seemingly don't even know him - don't even believe he exists. Where is the integrity in that equation - it doesn't compute. You consistently major on the minors, shift the emphasis of the discussion to those things that 'you' don't like, but away from the important issues being discussed.

You're making many of the classic mistakes that I've talked to countless people about over the years - you readily pretend to know a lot about somebody based on what you've heard, read, or whatever, but you don't know the person! So your argument is lifeless. When someone tries to tell me things about my wife, and its obvious they have no clue what they are talking about, do I really pay attention to their comments; or do I think in my mind, 'man, if you only knew my wife and how awesome she is, and shame on you for talking about her that way when you don't even know her and obviously won't put forth the effort to!'

I don't even know who you are, what your background is, why you seem so opposed to our world view, etc., and lets not forget the obvious arrogance with which you approach these discussions, I'm just trying to reflect some of that back to you... Listen, if you get offended by some of the things that I'm writing, good! I'm warring for you soul, maybe it will shake you loose from this thing that has a hold on your mind - we are taught in the Bible that some come by love, but others come by fear. So I'll keep trying... ;)

Your behavior in the blogosphere supports my expressed thesis in these blogs, which is that the Kingdom of darkness likes to stay in darkness; e.g. hidden from view, hiding in a corner somewhere throwing grenades; It doesn't like to be exposed to the light. We look for fruit in order to try and understand a little bit about what 'spirit' we are dealing with, which kingdom it is from. Your definition of love and mine are probably very different.

"This is tautological and circular", referring to my fun little parody of 'your post'! You may be right, but its still the truth...
Folks like you seem to want to fight over whether or not its really a fig or not. As evidence, in an earlier post, you ranted about how do I 'know' its a fig if it comes from a fig tree - that's pretty lame - if it comes from a fig tree, it is a fig, whether or not you 'believe' it, fig trees produce after their own kind - they don't produce apples, unless they've been genetically altered, at which point they are no longer a 'fig' tree. That is the truth!

For the record, I never called 'you' a liar - that would have to assume that you 'knew' something and 'deliberately' tried to deceive somebody into believing something that wasn't true. I purposely used general terms to encourage Karla that at times, the thing I was discussing would happen, not to get frustrated (not that she was, just trying to be encouraging) - its that simple.

In order to have a rational conversation with anybody, there has to be some kind of basis for the discussion. You have to be able to start the conversation somewhere; on something that is solid, true and agreed upon by both (or all) parties. I'm afraid I don't see any evidence that you are willing to agree with anything that we've put on the table here - and honestly, there have been some awesome truths expressed here.

Here is the short answer to all your questions. 'You' will never have all the answers to the questions that you are asking without a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, the creator of all there is - he has 'ALL' the answers, and only he has them. WE don't even have all of them, but we try. Some things he will share with us, some things he won't. There are genuine mysteries that only he knows, and he won't share them with mankind. He does have the big picture and he has his reasons for the 'whys' that you are asking about. You are trying to skirt around the process (first you get to know him, then he shows you the rest), vs (give me answers to all my questions, then maybe I'll beleive in you).

Your rejection of him as Lord and King of all there is, is obvious evidence that you don't recognize your own vulnerability, your fallibility in this lifetime. You're desperately trying to hang on to your logic in hopes that it will someday give you that which you seek - all those answers to all those questions. Here is a news flash, it won't! And, over time, your pursuit of those things will either drive you mad, or you will get to the end of this lifetime, and have enormous regrets that you wasted so much time arguing about things that are meaningless in the big scheme of things.

You are so frustrated that you can't understand or obtain these answers, especially when they are right in front of your face. Isaiah well said and is quoted in Acts 28 "25 Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, 26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: 27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."

I appreciate Karla hosting these topics and discussions - but she has given you and many others a lot to think about - a lot of truth - but you keep rejecting it, soooo, what are we to do..? MM

Anonymous said...

Mike,
"You seem to assume a lot, for someone who won't even post in the open and talks of "gutless and low" and "appalling lack of intellectual integrity and honesty""

Nice apology for calling me a liar. I'm glad that you can blame the victim for your moral lackings. And, who cares what name I post under. I have no assurance that you are named "Mike." It's the arguments that matter, not the ad hominem attacks that you want to throw my way.

"You claim to know so much about Jesus' characteristics and readily throw them at us, but you seemingly don't even know him - don't even believe he exists. Where is the integrity in that equation - it doesn't compute."

It's called pointing out the inconsistencies in another's argument. You make claims about god, I show how those claims are inconsistent. I don't have to believe in god in order to do this. This is elementary level logic.

"You consistently major on the minors, shift the emphasis of the discussion to those things that 'you' don't like, but away from the important issues being discussed."

Nice bit of projection. You've consistently avoided my challenges to your position.

"You're making many of the classic mistakes that I've talked to countless people about over the years - you readily pretend to know a lot about somebody based on what you've heard, read, or whatever, but you don't know the person!"

And, you've yet to answer the question how you know that it is god.

"I don't even know who you are, what your background is, why you seem so opposed to our world view, etc., and lets not forget the obvious arrogance with which you approach these discussions, I'm just trying to reflect some of that back to you..."

That's right, you don't know who I am, yet you presume to tell me all about myself, while chastizing me for that in regards to god? Do you see the obvious contradiction going on here?

"Listen, if you get offended by some of the things that I'm writing, good!"

Yes, ad hominem attacks and accusations are the best way to have a discussion, aren't they?

"Folks like you seem to want to fight over whether or not its really a fig or not. As evidence, in an earlier post, you ranted about how do I 'know' its a fig if it comes from a fig tree - that's pretty lame - if it comes from a fig tree, it is a fig, whether or not you 'believe' it, fig trees produce after their own kind - they don't produce apples, unless they've been genetically altered, at which point they are no longer a 'fig' tree."

Nice bit of strawman argumentation, but I can't honestly believe you are serious. In order to make this comment you would have to try and misunderstand what I said.

"For the record, I never called 'you' a liar - that would have to assume that you 'knew' something and 'deliberately' tried to deceive somebody into believing something that wasn't true."

Forgive me if I don't take your not-pology at face value.

"In order to have a rational conversation with anybody, there has to be some kind of basis for the discussion. You have to be able to start the conversation somewhere; on something that is solid, true and agreed upon by both (or all) parties. I'm afraid I don't see any evidence that you are willing to agree with anything that we've put on the table here - and honestly, there have been some awesome truths expressed here."

Because you have given no reason to agree on it. I've asked countless time how you can know that god exists, how you know he's talking to you and all I've gotten from you is proselytizing. If we can't have a rational discussion it's because you won't engage in one.

"'You' will never have all the answers to the questions that you are asking without a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, the creator of all there is - he has 'ALL' the answers, and only he has them."

IOW, Jesus relies on circular logic. If you believe in Jesus then you will believe he exists.

"He does have the big picture and he has his reasons for the 'whys' that you are asking about."

How do you know that these "whys" are good?

"Your rejection of him as Lord and King of all there is, is obvious evidence that you don't recognize your own vulnerability, your fallibility in this lifetime."

Thanks for the pop psychology, but completely off the mark. My rejection of him is based on the complete lack of evidence.

"You're desperately trying to hang on to your logic in hopes that it will someday give you that which you seek - all those answers to all those questions."

So give up logic? Are you really saying that?

"Here is a news flash, it won't!"

So, one can not logically conclude that god exists. Got it, and thanks for that frank admission. You've just admitted that your belief is illogical and irrational.

"Acts 28 "25 Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, 26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: 27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.""

Funny you should post a comment by Jesus where he specifically says that he speaks in riddles in order to confuse people!

"...a lot of truth - but you keep rejecting it, soooo, what are we to do..?"

Use actual arguments with real logic and real evidence maybe? Your ad hominem attacks only serve to show how weak your position really is.

Karla said...

Anonymous, I apologize to you for not being able to help you. I have been praying for you and will continue to do so. I also apologize for anything that has offended you from myself or anyone else who has participated in this conversation.

I don't maintain this site to offend anyone, but to share the life saving truth of Christ. I am not a trained apologist. I am in self-training. And conversations like these are part of the learning process for me. I thank you for taking the time to discuss these matters.