Wednesday, June 27, 2012

On Divine Revelation

I remember when I was a charismatic Christian believer that I would get what at the time I thought were Gods personal divine "revelations" to me. I compare these moments to what I now refer to as eureka moments; you know, those aha! moments we all seem to get from time to time. It usually happens when we ponder a problem for some time and eventually or apparently in a moment when we are not thinking about it the answer magically seems to appear out of nowhere. All of a sudden we get it, or not.

As a charismatic I believed that knowledge was not just something you acquired mentally but if it was correct and came from a divine source you also "felt" it in your "spirit." This to me in those days was confirmation of the Holy Spirit that what I had just received had come to me directly from the big cheese himself: God! The Spirit to me was not just an idea he was the third person of the holy trinity in which I believed in wholeheartedly.

16 I shall ask the Father, and he will give you another Paraclete to be with you for ever,17 the Spirit of truth whom the world can never accept since it neither sees nor knows him; but you know him, because he is with you, he is in you. John 14:16-17 (NJB) Note: Paraclete is another word for comforter and usually refers to the Holy Spirit.

It was because of my interpretation of scriptures like this and others like it that I believed that the Spirit resided in me and would lead me to all truth. Upon re-reading the text for this post though I came to realize that this was not meant to be a promise to all future generations of Christians but rather to the disciples of Christ in his time. This was a private conversation he was having with his disciples and the promises within it were meant for them! I believed that when I cast out demons and people fell over like dominoes that it was God's power on full display and that I was on the right track. God was confirming his works through  my ministry and the subsequent testimonies of those that attended my sermons.

What atheist or even former believers who have never been charismatics don't seem to understand is that charismatics don't just require objective evidence to believe in something. The reason for this is that they are immersed in the world of super naturalism and for the them that world is just as real or even more real than the world as viewed from a naturalistic point of view. That is why you can't reason with a theist for the most part, much less a charismatic!

Charismatics are very much about "feeling" things in their mind/spirit and those feelings serve as evidence to them that God is real. They don't take things into consideration like indoctrination and their mental predisposition to believe based on that indoctrination. I was astounded when I embraced atheism and began to research explanations for my own subjective experiences. I found many parallels in what I did in researching hypnosis!

The so called divine revelation that charismatics claim to experience is nothing more than a product of their own mind. In hypnosis you have to implant suggestions into a patient or subjects subconscious mind in order to help them. Well, when you think about it, that part is already taken care of for you since you already have a room full of indoctrinated miracle mongers and subjective experiences of the divine. Most charismatics I knew went to service to worship God, but most of all they said that they wanted to feel the presence of the Lord or see the manifestations of the Holy Spirit and the demonstration of its power through signs and apparent wonders.

I've heard them comment that a particular preacher or evangelist at a service was lacking the anointing of  God because they did not "feel" anything. When he preached or ministered to them they felt nothing! I've had people tell me that when they heard me preaching and speaking about the word of God that they felt the Spirit in the form of chills running up and down their spine or electrical currents coursing through their bodies! I felt that myself when I ministered and preached but I realize now that that was not the Holy Ghost! It was a subjective experience which my indoctrinated mind  was predisposed to receive and believe, and most importantly interpret as divine in origin.


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