Tom, evangelical Christian:
All of the millions upon millions of born again believers over the last 2,000 years who have had experiential knowledge of the risen Lord Jesus Christ, and who have had their lives radically and forever changed, have it wrong according to Gary. Let us remember that the proud, learned pharisees knew best too. Satan, the great deceiver, is an expert at blinding people to the simple truth of the gospel. Gary and all those like him are desperately in need of our prayers as their stoney hearts refuse to believe.
Sadly, I too once believed that my intense feelings about Jesus and my personal experiences of faith were proof that Christianity is the one, true Faith. But then I met the internet.
Are Christians the only religious people who experience intense emotions, such a peace and comfort, from their faith? Are Christians the only religious people who believe that their faith has profoundly changed their lives? Are Christians the only religious people who have dramatic personal experiences that confirm, to them, the validity of their faith? Within 10 minutes of doing a google search “testimonials by ____________”, I came across hundreds of testimonials from people of many different religions, all speaking in equally fervent, devout, glowing terms about their god and their religion as Christians speak of theirs. The problem is, many of these religions are exclusive. You can’t be a good Muslim and a good Christian at the same time. So, someone’s feelings, intuition, and personal experiences are NOT evidence of the validity of their religion and their god or gods. In fact, since all these religions are based on unprovable supernatural claims, they most likely are all wrong:
The teachings of Gurudeva (Hinduism) have profoundly helped me manage my life and my spirituality. Thank you Gurudeva and Sadguru, Ganesa, Muruga and Siva.
Tamil Nadu, India
The spirit hit me so strong that I didn’t care if I was the only blubbering fool in a theater of about 100 people. I knew that the (Mormon) church was true and that I had to be baptized. Following the video there was a silence as we walked back to our seats. My friend knew and only waited for me to say it. We sat down and I looked at him and said “I want to be baptized.” Following much excited talk I called the missionary that was going to baptize me in the first place and told him the great news. The date was set and I was to go to Pittsburgh the next weekend and be baptized on August 23rd, 2003.
From that point forward my life has been blessed so immeasurably that I can’t imagine where I would be today without it.
By the grace of Allah, six months have passed since I made Shahada. Reflecting on what had changed in my life in those days, I notice “the change of consciousness”. Before embracing Islam, the criteria of my life had been myself in every aspect. However, one day, I realized the danger of human criteria, which means that people may have different criteria of good or bad, or right or wrong if freedom of choice is given to each person.
Once I came across Islam and studied it, I came to know that Allah exists in the centre of my life. Keeping the Qur’an, the words of Allah as the principles of my life, constantly being conscious of Allah, and concerning myself always whether I follow the right path of Allah- these efforts have greatly changed my consciousness.
Next to the change of consciousness, I experienced “the change of view”, that ‘how to see’ matters. Afterwards I remained always aware of Allah, He taught me many things which I had never noticed, Alhamdulillah. What is true happiness? What is true richness? What is true kindness? What is true strength? In the past I had thought religion as something vague without any clear answer. Nevertheless, I realized Islam provides me answers in the Qur’an like solving a formula of mathematics. Allah has opened the closed eyes of my heart, Alhamdulillah.
And there are hundreds if not thousands more testimonials from every religion on the internet. Feelings, intuition, and personal experiences are NOT proof of a religion’s validity. You need evidence for your supernatural claims. Without evidence your supernatural claims are just superstitions.
And no, Tom. There are no evil goblins controlling my brain. Nor are there witches, warlocks, devils, or demons (goblins). There is no Boogeyman, Tom. These are evil tales told to children and gullible adults to keep them in fear of those in power, in our case, Christian Churchmen.