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Author Topic: I feel blessed
pooka
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I soooo thought I was going to run out of gas today and I prayed a lot about it. "Lord, please help me not to suffer the logical consequences of my procrastination and figurative myopia." But I made it to the Royal Farms and I probably had .3 gallons left. I mean, it may not seem like a big miracle, except that my husband and I are both coming down with colds again and I think if I'd called him and told him I'd run out of gas in downtown Baltimore (albeit the shi shi gentrified part of downtown) he would have been even more miserable than he is currently.

I can ponder on why I didn't just stop and buy gas on my way in this morning. I guess I was quite convinced that it was better to miss half the morning on account of running out of gas than to be 7 minutes late because I was filling the tank. Also, downtown is one of those time vortexes where if you are 3 minutes behind, it turns into 10 minutes because of the number of cars that get ahead of you. I dawdled around the office an extra 10 minutes in the hopes the rush would settled down a bit and I could spend less time at red lights. Well, yeah. I was dumb. But I'm still grateful it worked out.

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BandoCommando
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Been there, done that!

"PLEASE let me make it!"

Glad you made it through okay!

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Tatiana
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That's awesome, Pooka! Yay for protection from the logical consequences of foolish actions! [Smile]

So next time, what will you do?

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MightyCow
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You should pray for a full tank of gas [Wink]
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pooka
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Next time I'll get the gas the night before. I just have to get one of those time turning goodies.
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King of Men
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Honestly, I would hope that any gods that exist might have slightly more important things to attend to.
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Scott R
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If God hadn't watched out for pooka, she would have been killed in an automobile accident, as a semi-truck full of toys smashed into her disabled car.

...meaning that she never would have gotten the opportunity to say a kind word to a down-and-out blues musician on the corner...

...meaning he never would have gotten the gumption to get his guitar out of hock, and play one last gig at the local blues joint...

...and the waitress there would never have fallen in love with him, or married him...

...and the child they adopted from India would never have had the education he needed to become a doctor and...

...the AIDS virus would have continued to ravage the third world...

But for God's care.

:shrug:

Do what's right, and pray for help when you need it, though all you might get is just inner peace or personal strength.

Leave "important" to God.

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BandoCommando
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Assuming your God of choice is omniscient and omnipotent, He can do it all, little or big.
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BandoCommando
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What Scott said is good, too.
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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by BandoCommando:
Assuming your God of choice is omniscient and omnipotent, He can do it all, little or big.

I understand that. The point being, it's not being done, is it? How many cancer victims are there out there praying daily for relief?

As for the AIDS scenario: An omnipotent god does not need to work through so many butterfly steps; if it wants AIDS stopped, it'll just stop it. Or if it absolutely insists on working through humans, you can hardly be arguing that pooka is its only opportunity to do so. The point is, you can weave these scenarios about anybody, with or without prayers; but pooka is apparently asserting that her prayer was the decisive factor. And if that's true, then there are certainly lots of other prayers going un-answered, which can have just as good a butterfly effect.

For that matter, substituting <an evil power> for your god, you can just as easily make up bad effects: If <Loki> had not kept her car moving, a butterfly would have avoided going under her much-delayed car; it would not have flapped its wings; the deadly storm of 2011 would not have ravaged the East Coast, killing tens of thousands.

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brojack17
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You should have kept going to see how far to the left of "E" you could have gone.

One of my favorite Seinfeld's.

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rivka
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It was so peaceful in the religious threads for a while. *sigh*

Seriously, KoM. You have every right to make these sorts of posts in debate-type threads. But why do you think it is helpful or appropriate to make them in this kind of thread?

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Scott R
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KoM:

It's not the omnipotence of God that I'm concerned with, but the idea that we can decide better than He what is "important."

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King of Men
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Until your god starts explaining its decisions in a publicly accessible form, I'm going to have to use the only decisional apparatus I have, to wit, my own brain. To do otherwise, to accept "Leader knows best" on faith, is to abdicate your responsibility as a human; if I can borrow some Mormon terminology, agency requires that you make judgements. And "I'm sure X is good, even though I don't see how" is not a judgement, it is a total cop-out. You have a moral obligation to judge each act of your chosen leader, and not say "X and Y are good, so Z must also be". That-does-not-follow.
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kmbboots
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Ah...I'm going to have to say that I don't think that God added more gas to Pooka's tank or changed her engine to make it use less gas. I don't think God works that obviously. God may have encouraged Pooka to drive more conservatively? Or maybe it was just luck.

Gratitude, though, is still a good idea.

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Puffy Treat
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:


Seriously, KoM. You have every right to make these sorts of posts in debate-type threads. But why do you think it is helpful or appropriate to make them in this kind of thread?

I recall he also thought that a thread about the murder of a young missionary was an appropriate time to crack a joke. Which was about the only time I wished these board had an "ignore" function.
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Primal Curve
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More likely her car was designed by another human with the full knowledge that people procrastinate about filling up their gas tanks. There's also the knowledge that the fuel pump needs gasoline in order to cool itself.

So, rather than try to educate people on filling up the tank every time it hits a quarter, the automotive designer decided to rig the fuel guage to show empty long before the tank actually emptied, thus ensuring needed gasoline when the driver forgets to even read the fuel guage and keeping the fuel pump running longer.

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pooka
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quote:
Honestly, I would hope that any gods that exist might have slightly more important things to attend to.
Because nothing worse than running out of gas has happened to me in my life [Wink]

Actually, I run out of gas quite often. In the two week period before my fourth child was born, I think I ran out three times due to things like parking on a downhill slope and wishing that I could see the needle of the gas gauge still overlapping the E gradation slightly.

Now on the second of those occassions, as we were walking along, my three year old chased a ball into the street and a firetruck stopped about 2 feet from him. I am also grateful that that happened. Firetrucks are pretty massful vehicles.

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baduffer
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If you had run out of gas, would it be God's fault? For many religious people when something good happens its "praise the Lord"; when something bad happens its their own fault. In school I used to hear many "I got an A on that test, praise the Lord" not too many "I failed that test, praise the Lord".

Then there is that group where when something bad happens to another (generally despised) group it is "Praise the Lord they are getting their just rewards"

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pooka
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No, God told me to fill my tank on Monday night.
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Artemisia Tridentata
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quote:
More likely her car was designed by another human with the full knowledge that people procrastinate about filling up their gas tanks. There's also the knowledge that the fuel pump needs gasoline in order to cool itself.

Yes! My Daddy never told me this. I replaced the fuel pump seven times in my first Chrysler mini-van. I argued with the dealer each time, insisting that it must be a design flaw. I also used to play a game seeing how many miles I could go on a tank of gas. I would reset the odometer with each fill up. I lost a predictable number of times. Once, having coasted into the Safeway parking lot after running dry, I asked a friend for a lift to the gas station. He said "you really didn't run out of gas did you? You will burn out the fuel pump if you do that". The eighth fuel pump lasted over 150,000 miles. Even old dogs etc.
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Phanto
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Right. Probably many lives have been saved by the simple fact that the Empty sign does not actually mean empty. There was a whole Seinfeld episode about it, actually.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by baduffer:
If you had run out of gas, would it be God's fault? For many religious people when something good happens its "praise the Lord"; when something bad happens its their own fault. In school I used to hear many "I got an A on that test, praise the Lord" not too many "I failed that test, praise the Lord".

Then there is that group where when something bad happens to another (generally despised) group it is "Praise the Lord they are getting their just rewards"

Why not, "Praise the Lord for creating me with the ability to surmount these obstacles?"

And just because nobody says, "Praise the Lord I failed," does not mean many do not go home and pray, "I failed, Lord help me to figure out what I could have done better."

That prayer has seen more answers then just about any other.

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King of Men
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Quite so. Odd how your god tends only to answer those prayers where the answer is indistuingishable from human effort.
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kmbboots
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Not odd at all. I'm pretty sure that's how it is supposed to work.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
Quite so. Odd how your god tends only to answer those prayers where the answer is indistuingishable from human effort.

How interesting you deign to suggest you know of every instance where God has interacted with a human being.

Could you perhaps share with us what apparatus you are using to tally when God has communicated with a human being, as well as how it reports on the specifics of each occurance?

Nobody here has suggested that God has yet to reveal something to a person that they could not already figure out on their own.

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King of Men
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So in that case, why bother to pray at all? Why not cut out the middlemen and stand on your own two feet?

Further, let me direct your attention to Matthew:

quote:
"Truly I say to YOU men, Whatever YOU may bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever YOU may loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I truly say to YOU, If two of YOU on earth agree concerning anything of importance that they should request, it will take place for them due to my Father in heaven. For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there I am in their midst." Mt 18:18-20

In answer Jesus said to them: "Truly I say to YOU, If only YOU have faith and do not doubt, not only will YOU do what I did to the fig tree, but also if YOU say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen. And all the things YOU ask in prayer, having faith, YOU will receive." Mt 21:21,22

"All the things you ask". I don't necessarily believe Matthew is relating events that actually took place, but I'll give him this: He knows how to talk straight. All the things you ask. Nothing about it being good for you. Nothing about only gifts of the spirit. Nothing about being indistinguishable from human effort. Plain talk: All the things you ask. Jesus is giving all Christians who have the faith of a mustard grain the ability to work miracles; no ifs, ands, or buts, but all the things you ask. Where are the miracles, then? Where is the healing? Where is the peace on Earth? Surely faithful Christians have prayed for these things in their thousands, and tens of thousands.
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BlackBlade
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I have personally seen healing accomplished in God's name. I have seen many miracles performed through faith in God. But perhaps you are asking for something along the lines of the flood, or Moses parting the red sea. All I can say is that if you take just about any of those miracles, only a small group of people in a small area witnessed it whereas the majority of the people in the world had no idea it happened.

What were Chinese people doing when Jesus was ressurected?


quote:

7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that aseeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

God cannot grant what is contrary to good. So you can't ask God to let say Satan come live in heaven. In addition, everything to God is right or wrong. So if it would be wrong of him to heal somebody whose time has come he will not heal them. However if it is right for you to learn that trust in God is a correct principle, he would grant your petition that he heal a family member.

As for peace, Jesus has already said it is forthcoming. Peace is certainly right, but we have already discusse why God can't just come down an dominate all we do thus coercing us to be good and peaceable.

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King of Men
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No. You are contradicting the plain words of Jesus. All the things you ask. It doesn't say anything about being good for you, or not contradicting free will. It is an unlimited, open-ended promise. No weaseling lawyer-words.

quote:
I have personally seen healing accomplished in God's name.
Splendid! Then why are these healers not in hospitals, curing cancer? Or better still, helping all those soldiers who come home from Iraq missing a limb or two? All the things you ask, remember. There's nothing in there about being limited to the flu.
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BlackBlade
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KOM: I'm not weaseling, you're taking an extremely literalist view of Matthew's words in that instance. You are not taking it in light of other things that Jesus has commanded men to do.

Heck, look at the Lord's prayer. "Thy Kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

A good Christian will always preface their requests with, "If it be thy will." They should then have full confidence that their requests will be answered if they have faith.

A Christian the moment they stop caring about God's will cease to retain God's promise of giving.

Examples,
Peter walks on the sea,
Matthew 14:28-29
"28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus."

Jesus in Gethsemane
Luke 22:42
"42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done."

Jesus did TONS of miracles, but only if so commanded by his father, hence him refusing to turn rocks into bread, or leap off the roof of the temple to test his father's power.

Members of my church's priesthood often make trips to the hospital to administer to the sick who request their coming. Many of those have miraculous experiences.

For some reason you do not agree that if God heals one sick person he does not neccesarily have to heal everyone who is sick. Or that people get sick for more then one reason.

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MightyCow
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When I was a Christian, it always upset me that there aren't any real miracles any more. Back in the day, miracles were burning bushes talking to people, walking on water, water turning to wine, blind people having their sight restored, the dead coming back to life.

Now that we have the knowledge and technology to record events - so we're less willing to believe big fish stories - and to understand the science behind other so called miracles, or to debunk attention seekers, you really don't see good quality miracles any more.

We're talking about God, an all-powerful being, and he won't actually perform any believable miracles. What's the deal?

No bible verses appear in 50 mile high letters on the moon. No healing powers for the Pope or other religious leaders. No clearly answered prayers. It's always just things which can be easily explained as coincidence or random chance.

God sure doesn't seem to be trying too hard, or care too much if people like myself and other doubters have any faith. Why give people common sense, and then ask them to believe something which contradicts logic and evidence?

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kmbboots
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And, once again, we seem to be confusing God with Gandalf.
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advice for robots
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quote:
We're talking about God, an all-powerful being, and he won't actually perform any believable miracles. What's the deal?

No bible verses appear in 50 mile high letters on the moon. No healing powers for the Pope or other religious leaders. No clearly answered prayers. It's always just things which can be easily explained as coincidence or random chance.

God sure doesn't seem to be trying too hard, or care too much if people like myself and other doubters have any faith. Why give people common sense, and then ask them to believe something which contradicts logic and evidence?

Faith, in secular terms:

Faith is picking up a guitar for the first time and not being able to play it at all, but practicing it day after day after day, believing that eventually you will be able to play it like a master. You can't see the end result, you can't prove it will be there, but you practice anyway. That's faith.

Why can't we all be guitar masters to begin with, instead of having to slog it out without clear guarantee of the results? Because what we gain along the way is just as valuable as what we're able to do at the end of the road. Now our faith is stronger in the fact that constant practice yields the results we want.

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vonk
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Gandalf's not God!?!
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ketchupqueen
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I've seen some pretty big miracles. But I've found that if you don't want to believe in miracles, it's very easy to refute the fact that they exist. So I don't try to convince people any more; the fact that I have seen them is enough.
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Belle
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quote:
Gandalf's not God!?!
No. Illuvatar is God. Gandalf is a Maiar.
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mr_porteiro_head
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Well spoken.
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vonk
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Pfft! Demigod, God, or Undergod. Same dif.

(ETA: I agknowledge that the above is an attempt to hide a severe and burning sense of shame with bluster and ego)

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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
And, once again, we seem to be confusing God with Gandalf.

Again I point you to the plain words of Matthew. Your god actually promises to be Gandalf. I'm sorry to keep harping on this, but how many ways can you interpret "All that you ask"?

quote:
A good Christian will always preface their requests with, "If it be thy will." They should then have full confidence that their requests will be answered if they have faith.
But they aren't, that's my point. Also, Matthew is not making any such restrictions.


quote:
KOM: I'm not weaseling, you're taking an extremely literalist view of Matthew's words in that instance. You are not taking it in light of other things that Jesus has commanded men to do.
Well, that's just it: Neither is Jesus, as his words are reported by Matthew. Presumably, if he meant to put restrictions on his promises, he'd say so. And in any case, if such plain, testable words as "All that you ask" require this amount of interpretation, then what use is it to believe in the much more nebulous promises of an afterlife? For all you know, Jesus actually promises a good afterlife only to people who can lick their own elbows, but unfortunately the specification was lost somewhere in the Apocrypha and so you're not considering the rest of his words in the correct light.
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King of Men
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Oh, and touching your miraculous healings: How many of those were amputations? And what percentage of the ones who weren't prayed for also recovered? Was this percentage higher or lower than in those who were prayed for?
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MightyCow
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According to the Bible, God used to perform miracles, through holy people, which were clearly miracles to all present. Why doesn't that happen any more?

I suppose a more pointed question is, why are all the "miracles" we see in the present days not really miracles at all?

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PSI Teleport
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"I'm going to have to use the only decisional apparatus I have, to wit, my own brain."

I'm assuming this is the same brain that told you to turn Pooka's happy thread into a debate thread. Got it.

"Then there is that group where when something bad happens to another (generally despised) group it is 'Praise the Lord they are getting their just rewards'"

These people are brought up a lot in religious debates. I'm still waiting to meet one in real life though.

"Neither is Jesus, as his words are reported by Matthew. Presumably, if he meant to put restrictions on his promises, he'd say so."

So, Jesus should quote the entire Bible before each time he gives any commandments or encouragements. I see your point.

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rollainm
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Is there a thread on this forum that has not turned into a debate?
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ketchupqueen
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quote:
Originally posted by MightyCow:
According to the Bible, God used to perform miracles, through holy people, which were clearly miracles to all present. Why doesn't that happen any more?

I suppose a more pointed question is, why are all the "miracles" we see in the present days not really miracles at all?

Many who saw the miracles that Jesus preformed, or that God performed for the Jews in the Old Testament, did not count them as miracles, or so I have always understood. While there were a very few that you would think almost anyone would view as miracles (water into wine, parting of the Red Sea, raising the dead), I know from experience that those who choose to dismiss these miracles or not believe them find ample reason to do so.

I have seen miracles that everyone present, including those not of my faith, counted as miracles. But I am sure that there are those who would dismiss them as nature taking its course, or as psychological manifestations of belief on the part of the person for whom the miracle was performed, or something else. So I don't really see much of a difference between those healings and miracles and the healings and miracles Jesus performed.

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King of Men
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quote:
I'm assuming this is the same brain that told you to turn Pooka's happy thread into a debate thread. Got it.
What's with the personal attack? If you don't want to debate, then don't. There is no need to go around implying that those of us who do want to debate something are stupid. Especially when you apparently do, in fact, want to debate, but can't come up with anything better than a snarky little ad hom.

quote:
So, Jesus should quote the entire Bible before each time he gives any commandments or encouragements. I see your point.
Some pointing out of the relevant qualifiers would be nice, yes. How about "All that you ask, if it be God's will, you shall receive?" That would make a lot of sense, no?

quote:
These people are brought up a lot in religious debates. I'm still waiting to meet one in real life though.
That's not me you're quoting, but go take a look at a fundie forum or two and check out what they think caused AIDS.
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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by ketchupqueen:
I have seen miracles that everyone present, including those not of my faith, counted as miracles. But I am sure that there are those who would dismiss them as nature taking its course, or as psychological manifestations of belief on the part of the person for whom the miracle was performed, or something else. So I don't really see much of a difference between those healings and miracles and the healings and miracles Jesus performed.

I have given you an example of a miracle I would accept as such: An amputated limb restored by prayer. No doubt there are others as well. So again, why does your god only perform the ones that can be explained in other ways? And, at that, it does so with no statistical significance. Those prayed for and those not prayed for survive at the same rates. What use your miracles, then? And one more time: All that you ask.
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JennaDean
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quote:
Some pointing out of the relevant qualifiers would be nice, yes. How about "All that you ask, if it be God's will, you shall receive?" That would make a lot of sense, no?
Ooh, I've got that one!
quote:
And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you.
3 Nephi 18:20

Of course not all Christians use that one, but I do like the qualifier. As KoM said, it makes a lot more sense.
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ketchupqueen
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KoM, when I experience a miracle, it is of use to ME.

And this is why I have learned to let it go at this point. I am not going to agree with you, and you are not going to agree with me. At least not on this.

Perhaps I will go talk about food on your other thread, that is something we can probably agree about, at least about some parts of it. [Smile]

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King of Men
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Whatever you experience in your life that's good, is clearly of use to you, yes. But in what way is it useful to explain it as a miracle? Why not just accept it as a good thing that happened? You would not consider it a miracle if you got a particularly good hand at bridge; why should important things be any different?
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ketchupqueen
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I might consider a good hand a miracle, depending on the process by which I got it.

It benefits me to praise God and recognize His hand in my life, because, among other reasons, I feel good when I do so. It may not benefit you to do the same, which is why I am not demanding you do so. But it benefits me, perhaps in a way you don't empathize with, but it benefits me.

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