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  1. #11
    Senior Member TopherRed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superunknown View Post
    I've wondered (and this is an aside, irrespective of yourself) the legitimacy of someone adopting faith on grounds of spiritual healing.


    Not just adopting, but leading. Hm.


    Good luck in your endeavors.
    Thanks superunknown,

    Faith healing has been a point of interest for me for awhile. I come from a conservative background and have drifted charismatic over the years; I've seen a few things that could be interpreted as supernatural. My most powerful accounts about healing, however, are second hand information. They come from people who have just had an experience with it and with all my power of Ni, I can see that they, at least, believe what they just had an experience with.

    There's also been a rash of healing recently at the church I attend;

    Story #1- There was one girl who claimed a knee regrew in her hands (apparently the person she was praying over had lost their knee due to an accident of some kind)...on witnessing her reaction and studying her facial and body expressions carefully as she talked about it, I can tell you that she believes what she was saying.

    Story #2- There was also another girl who supposedly received healing for a carpal tunnel injury; I can tell you that she was quite emotional and started crying when healing was declared over her by our speaker. The following week, however, when the normal pastor checked up on this, she told him the truth--that it still hurt her. The young pastor (not me, to be clear) who called her out in front of everyone during his sermon completely glossed over her answer because he didn't know how to handle a healing that "reverted". Upon further reflection with my friend AJ (INTP), we surmised that if she was truly healed to begin with, that it might have been a faith issue, either on the person declaring the healing or on the girl receiving it; in such instances, actually investigating this is painful to the people involved and is fairly difficult.

    Story #3- I was actually granted healing for a back injury. The fact is, I wasn't in any pain and the guy declaring it was constantly asking if that felt better. For the record, my spine was/is probably still deviated. If he corrected that, then I'm grateful, but again, the pain focus when there was none was offputting. The healing for the second and this story came from the same guy. As I study what happened that night with more and more objectivity, I believe he may have been a well-spoken fraud, but I acknowledge my admitted lack of information in that regard. I'll go more in depth about him in a little while.

    Story #4- There was somebody who apparently "got up and walked" from their wheelchair and no longer needed it (like a strengthening of the legs). This is possibly the same as the first story, but from a different perspective.

    The Man Leading via Prophecy and Healing in Stories 2 & 3- He was a guest speaker who came to our church on that platform. He also had what he wryly joked was a cult--a year-long school of prophecy and faith healing that, according to the picture on the brochure, was targeted at an early 20s crowd like ours (I'm 28 this month, but most of the crowd was younger). Whenever something like that is targeted towards younger people, that makes me suspicious. Beyond that I've yet to debrief anyone any further. I will say to his credit that he spoke everything very well, but that doesn't necessarily speak toward whether he was for real or a con.

    Faith Leaders- I would say you will know their legitimacy by the outcome of what they do. The bible says to test the spirits--this is part of what that means. I do believe that there are many fakes who lead out of embarrassment because somebody who was "healed" and wasn't actually healed and they don't say anything because they will be accused of having a lack of faith. There is a lot of room for fraud here, on the surface...

    My Conclusions- But if you dig deeper, no matter what it is, the truth reveals itself. We had possibly fraudulent and real healing occurring at my church in the same time frame. Stories like #1 and #4...these were stories that I gathered from being around behind the scenes and actually being there as people described what happened to them or what happened to others because of their prayers/declarations; because of my careful observation of their witness and others like it, I do believe faith healing is real and does happen...they could be whomever the Holy Spirit decides to work through at the time who have the faith, or they could be people the Spirit chooses to work through in the same way on a regular basis.

    As for the merits of "healing from the pulpit" or being a "charismatic" leader (with a ministry based in the supernatural); I'm suspicious, but it definitely has biblical precedent. Check their outcomes. Be behind the scenes so you won't just get the "official" and possibly "coordinated" stories. If the Spirit works through somebody like this on a regular basis, check their humility ("fraud guy" was humble too, so this is just one of many ways), but most importantly, make sure your investigation includes being close to the aftermath of the action so you get the real stories of what people went through and not some scripted bull.

    In Short... I believe healing is real. I believe there are many frauds. I believe that it may be possible for a person to lead on a miraculous platform, but I also believe you should "test the spirits" and investigate carefully.
    Love is the point.

  2. #12
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    Faith Healing and Suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by TopherRed View Post
    Thanks superunknown,

    Faith healing has been a point of interest for me for awhile. I come from a conservative background and have drifted charismatic over the years; I've seen a few things that could be interpreted as supernatural. My most powerful accounts about healing, however, are second hand information. They come from people who have just had an experience with it and with all my power of Ni, I can see that they, at least, believe what they just had an experience with.

    There's also been a rash of healing recently at the church I attend;

    Story #1- There was one girl who claimed a knee regrew in her hands (apparently the person she was praying over had lost their knee due to an accident of some kind)...on witnessing her reaction and studying her facial and body expressions carefully as she talked about it, I can tell you that she believes what she was saying.

    Story #2- There was also another girl who supposedly received healing for a carpal tunnel injury; I can tell you that she was quite emotional and started crying when healing was declared over her by our speaker. The following week, however, when the normal pastor checked up on this, she told him the truth--that it still hurt her. The young pastor (not me, to be clear) who called her out in front of everyone during his sermon completely glossed over her answer because he didn't know how to handle a healing that "reverted". Upon further reflection with my friend AJ (INTP), we surmised that if she was truly healed to begin with, that it might have been a faith issue, either on the person declaring the healing or on the girl receiving it; in such instances, actually investigating this is painful to the people involved and is fairly difficult.

    Story #3- I was actually granted healing for a back injury. The fact is, I wasn't in any pain and the guy declaring it was constantly asking if that felt better. For the record, my spine was/is probably still deviated. If he corrected that, then I'm grateful, but again, the pain focus when there was none was offputting. The healing for the second and this story came from the same guy. As I study what happened that night with more and more objectivity, I believe he may have been a well-spoken fraud, but I acknowledge my admitted lack of information in that regard. I'll go more in depth about him in a little while.

    Story #4- There was somebody who apparently "got up and walked" from their wheelchair and no longer needed it (like a strengthening of the legs). This is possibly the same as the first story, but from a different perspective.

    The Man Leading via Prophecy and Healing in Stories 2 & 3- He was a guest speaker who came to our church on that platform. He also had what he wryly joked was a cult--a year-long school of prophecy and faith healing that, according to the picture on the brochure, was targeted at an early 20s crowd like ours (I'm 28 this month, but most of the crowd was younger). Whenever something like that is targeted towards younger people, that makes me suspicious. Beyond that I've yet to debrief anyone any further. I will say to his credit that he spoke everything very well, but that doesn't necessarily speak toward whether he was for real or a con.

    Faith Leaders- I would say you will know their legitimacy by the outcome of what they do. The bible says to test the spirits--this is part of what that means. I do believe that there are many fakes who lead out of embarrassment because somebody who was "healed" and wasn't actually healed and they don't say anything because they will be accused of having a lack of faith. There is a lot of room for fraud here, on the surface...

    My Conclusions- But if you dig deeper, no matter what it is, the truth reveals itself. We had possibly fraudulent and real healing occurring at my church in the same time frame. Stories like #1 and #4...these were stories that I gathered from being around behind the scenes and actually being there as people described what happened to them or what happened to others because of their prayers/declarations; because of my careful observation of their witness and others like it, I do believe faith healing is real and does happen...they could be whomever the Holy Spirit decides to work through at the time who have the faith, or they could be people the Spirit chooses to work through in the same way on a regular basis.

    As for the merits of "healing from the pulpit" or being a "charismatic" leader (with a ministry based in the supernatural); I'm suspicious, but it definitely has biblical precedent. Check their outcomes. Be behind the scenes so you won't just get the "official" and possibly "coordinated" stories. If the Spirit works through somebody like this on a regular basis, check their humility ("fraud guy" was humble too, so this is just one of many ways), but most importantly, make sure your investigation includes being close to the aftermath of the action so you get the real stories of what people went through and not some scripted bull.

    In Short... I believe healing is real. I believe there are many frauds. I believe that it may be possible for a person to lead on a miraculous platform, but I also believe you should "test the spirits" and investigate carefully.
    Faith Healing is a form of trance induction.

    And in a trance our critical mind goes to sleep and we become suggestible.

    So before we induce a trance in anyone, we should advise them what suggestions we will make, and get their permission first.

  3. #13
    Senior Member TopherRed's Avatar
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    So you believe in the body's ability to spontaneously heal itself under hypnosis? :-)
    Love is the point.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopherRed View Post
    So you believe in the body's ability to spontaneously heal itself under hypnosis? :-)
    Suggestion is surprisingly effective.

    However it is effective within limited areas, such as mild anxiety or mild depression, however suggestion is of limited use in healing a broken leg.

    However religion uses suggestion to instill belief in the supernatural.

    This is why religions favour religious schools because children are uniquely suggestible.

  5. #15
    Senior Member TopherRed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    Suggestion is surprisingly effective.

    However it is effective within limited areas, such as mild anxiety or mild depression, however suggestion is of limited use in healing a broken leg.

    However religion uses suggestion to instill belief in the supernatural.

    This is why religions favour religious schools because children are uniquely suggestible.
    We agree on all points not implied.

    I don't like Christian elementary and high schools. They have a tendency of producing children who think of themselves in an elitist minority, are afraid of non-Christians, will continue to isolate themselves from non-Christians after their schooling is over due to that fear--they essentially create children who end up practicing everything but love toward others, even each other. As part of the profile, their parents typically leave the teaching about God to the school and the church Sunday morning because they themselves only want to be Christian on the surface and don't really care to teach their kids about anything beyond that (i.e. God is not the center, but merely a component of their lives).

    I do attend a Christian college. There is lots of elitism there, but there is no other way to be accepted as a Christian pastor, but to go to a school like this and receive training. Most of the elitism I see comes from those private school kids who have been privileged their entire lives and then come into the college setting. Fortunately, there is such a large secular population at my school that they are isolated into a few select corners of leadership where most of the real Christians give them the side-eye.

    As far as teaching kids when they're young about God, the implicit suggestion there is that they are brainwashed and thereby never have a chance to choose God for themselves. This is simply not true. As an adult, myself and just about everyone I know who has ever lived outside of their parent's influence...they've all had to make the choice as adults. Some have chosen against Him...some have chosen for Him, all have made a choice for themselves.
    Love is the point.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopherRed
    I don't like Christian elementary and high schools. They have a tendency of producing children who think of themselves in an elitist minority, are afraid of non-Christians, will continue to isolate themselves from non-Christians after their schooling is over due to that fear--they essentially create children who end up practicing everything but love toward others, even each other.
    Ain't that the truth. I went to Catholic school for a few years, and I have to say that in my experience, Catholic school produces quite a number of atheists and agnostics. And, yes, some devout Catholics. But far less than one would likely assume - rebellion is part of being an adolescent, after all, regardless of religion. On the other hand, it sure as heck does produce a lot of snobs!

    I suspect that private schooling in general produces elitism... but I think it's mostly socioeconomic, and religiously-affiliated private school is no exception. I suspect people who go to religious private school happen to attach religion to that elitism, making it just another tactic in their toolbox for segregating social classes and evidencing their superiority. That said, I'm actually glad I had the religious background - I like the idea of learning belief systems as part of school. But maybe they should be taught as a standard class in regular school or offered as electives instead of being integrated as part of the school structure...

  7. #17
    Senior Member The Great One's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopherRed View Post
    This degree would seem to give me the singular distinction of being somebody's associate pastor...if I can find them. Meanwhile, I don't want to leave my city, other than a job, I've built a good life in SacTown; I'm just afraid that's what it will take.

    I'm slowly looking into the possibility of opening up my own church, crowd-funding it, and getting it moving.

    I can't pursue my MDiv until I start getting paid. So this is my first awkward point.
    So what's the point of this thread? Is it to make an announcement or are you asking for advice?

  8. #18
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopherRed View Post
    We agree on all points not implied.

    I don't like Christian elementary and high schools. They have a tendency of producing children who think of themselves in an elitist minority, are afraid of non-Christians, will continue to isolate themselves from non-Christians after their schooling is over due to that fear--they essentially create children who end up practicing everything but love toward others, even each other. As part of the profile, their parents typically leave the teaching about God to the school and the church Sunday morning because they themselves only want to be Christian on the surface and don't really care to teach their kids about anything beyond that (i.e. God is not the center, but merely a component of their lives).

    I do attend a Christian college. There is lots of elitism there, but there is no other way to be accepted as a Christian pastor, but to go to a school like this and receive training. Most of the elitism I see comes from those private school kids who have been privileged their entire lives and then come into the college setting. Fortunately, there is such a large secular population at my school that they are isolated into a few select corners of leadership where most of the real Christians give them the side-eye.

    As far as teaching kids when they're young about God, the implicit suggestion there is that they are brainwashed and thereby never have a chance to choose God for themselves. This is simply not true. As an adult, myself and just about everyone I know who has ever lived outside of their parent's influence...they've all had to make the choice as adults. Some have chosen against Him...some have chosen for Him, all have made a choice for themselves.
    Meh. I mean, I agree with the comments about elementary, high school, and college.

    The problem with the last point you make, though, is that when you're raised in a certain environment, even if you're a thinker sort, you STILL absorb the parameters and boundaries of your environment. If you are in a controlled environment that restricts data but you're taught that you are not missing data, you're going to absorb an inaccurate framework for life. Typically you will not really be in a position to "choose" until you are finally presented with all the various possibilities, yet at that point typically in religious thought you;'ve already been conditioned to discount certain options as false, biased, or immoral based on your restrictive upbringing. And this does not go just for religion, but for all types of upbringing where information is restricted and the child is coached.

    I think modern culture is a little better than it was 30 years ago in this vein, as the Internet is easily accessible and while full of "junk" viewpoints at least allows one to become aware of the variety of belief that is out there. When I was growing up, my information flow was highly restricted, so even being a thinker, being raised in the church at that time in my region meant being a Young Earth Creationist. I didn't break out of that kind of thinking until I was finally in a position to start talking with people from various science paradigms, from other faiths, etc., and could find books addressing other views that I could take seriously. Note that I was always "open," I just wasn't given all the information I needed but thought I already had, to make the best decisions for myself.

    it gets even worse if you are not an open-minded thinker sort, and you have been structured by your upbringing to create a certain order to your lifeview that later you cannot easily reject because you structure your life on it. It's not about deciding about information at that point, it's about choosing to throw out your actual approach to the world and what makes sense to you and starting over, so to speak.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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    @Jennifer So what kind of environment do you think religious parents should create for their children? Are you saying that they shouldn't pray with their children, teach them about their faith, take them to church, etc. until they're capable of coming to a conclusion on their own?

  10. #20
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    Trance Abuse

    As I write we are conducting a Royal Commission into Institutional Child Abuse. However the Royal Commission will not be looking into trance abuse.

    Yes, trance abuse.

    Trance abuse occurs when we are put into a trance without our permission. And trance abuse occurs when, in a trance, we are given suggestions without our permission.

    Religions rely upon trance to have their doctrines accepted uncritically. And the easiest people to entrance are children.

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