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Is Belief in the Holy Spirit Logical and Reasonable?

Who is the Holy Spirit? | CBN.com

Christian: 

I do believe that many Christians would indeed seriously listen to scholars of other religions, but the first problem is that no other religion provides the objective historicity that you describe. Additionally, a big point of difference between Christians and atheists is our perception of the world. Christians do not believe in an exclusively physical world, and therefore our faith in the Holy Spirit is both logical and reasonable.

God does not exist within the limits of space, time and matter (otherwise He would not be God) and therefore we have no problems believing that He can exist within us. God created each of us with the ability to have relationships, and He is able to have a relationship with us too! And the ‘feelings’ that you describe are not physical or tangible or even explainable, but you are absolutely right that feelings are not an indicator of truth – the Bible outlines this by saying, “the heart is deceitful above all things”.

Gary, at the end of the day, of course we all have our own biases, but please don’t let the bias of Christians stop you from investigating and finding the truth.

Gary:  

If I told you that the spirit of my deceased grandfather lives within me, giving me secret insight, wisdom, peace, and comfort—would you consider my belief logical and reasonable?

Memes R Us Group

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Police Unions: The Source of the Problem?

Should workers support police unions? – Struggle – La Lucha

Where do we start to bring about social justice and equality for every person in the United States?

Outlawing certain police use-of-force methods such as choke holds is a good start but fails to address one important issue: the massive power of police unions.  For example, are you aware that in some cities in our country the local police union has insisted that their contract with the city include clauses which stipulate that all complaints and disciplinary actions against “bad apples” in the department be completely erased from the record after only two or three years?  That means that a bad cop could have a long history of civil rights abuses but the public will never know about it as long as he commits his crimes once every couple of years!

I believe that the only way police conduct is going to be reformed in this country is for police unions to be abolished or dramatically restricted. In their place should be a national formula for police compensation, with a base pay much, much higher than current salaries (start at 100K?) and very generous benefits (which will hopefully increase the availability of good candidates for police forces), and with that higher pay, a higher standard of expected conduct.  In addition, every police department in the nation should be required to have a significant minority representation. I personally would favor requiring every police department to be at least 51% minority, at least for the next 20 years.

I support the overwhelming majority of police officers who are good people, risk their lives to protect us, and serve the greater good, but police unions too often protect the few bad apples. We need real, structural change to policing in this country.   A few superficial changes is not going to solve the problem.

Norman Rockwell The Runaway police officer print of the image 0

This is how every child in America should view a police officer.  Unfortunately, for too many children of color, the policeman is a symbol of oppression and tyranny.  That must change.

 

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Evangelical Bible Scholar: If You Perceive the Presence of Jesus Within You, Your Scholarship on the Resurrection is Hopelessly Biased

Would any Christian take seriously the research of a Hindu scholar who claims to be objective regarding the historicity of Hindu miracles purportedly performed by an ancient Hindu prophet and miracle worker, if that same scholar also professes that he perceives the presence of that very Hindu prophet living within him?

So why should anyone take seriously the scholarship of evangelical Christian scholars who claim that their research is objective regarding the alleged miracle of Jesus of Nazareth—his bodily resurrection—while at the same time claiming that they perceive the presence of Jesus living within them?

It may be true that all historical scholars have biases, but the overwhelming majority do not claim that they perceive the presence of a ghost (spirit) living somewhere in their bodies who gives them supernatural guidance and wisdom.

Evangelical scholars should be honest:  Admit that they perceive Jesus living somewhere within them and admit that this perception completely disqualifies their scholarship regarding the alleged historicity of Jesus’ bodily resurrection.

 

 

 

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Christian Senses God’s Presence Through a “Sixth” Sense

The Sixth Sense poster.png

Christian:  When you mention five senses, I’ll assume you reference the five physical senses humans were created with. And while I can assure you I see, hear, smell, taste, and feel/touch God (in different ways, be that an invoked memory, a “heart hug” as I call them, etc.), I was referring to a developed sense of intuition. Often referred to as the “sixth human sense”, intuition is developed in different ways for different people. For example, if I see and smell smoke, then my intuition tells me there’s a fire source nearby. In the same way, if my other “physical” senses invoke a thought, feeling, remembrance (e.g. a scripture verse I hold dear), then my developed sixth sense intuitively leads me, in my faith, to feel, hear, or sense God near me. Hearing God doesn’t always mean God calls out from heaven with a “J.D., today I want you to do this.” Rather, I sense God in others, in my surroundings, and yes, in my soul. I hope this helps clarify. God’s blessings sir; and I’ll be praying for your understanding.

 

 

 

 

 

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Evangelical Claims He Senses God’s Presence. Which of our Five Senses Detects the Presence of a Spirit?

Sensing God's Presence - He's So Worth It Ministries

Gary, commenting on a Christian blog:

Growing up fundamentalist/evangelical, I was told that as a born-again Christian God would “speak to me”, “move me”, and “lead me” so that I would know and could follow his will. I listened to others talk about how God spoke to them, moved them, and led them to do this and to do that…but He never did the same for me. I finally came to the conclusion that there must be something wrong with me because God had decided he didn’t want to talk to me. So I left the Church.

Many years later I became an orthodox Lutheran and was told that God doesn’t work like that. The evangelicals are wrong. The voice they are listening to is their own. According to “true” Christianity, God speaks to Christians in only one manner: through his Word, the Bible.That gave me a lot of peace…until I found out that the “Word” is full of discrepancies, errors, and scribe alterations.

I was very sad (and angry) to find out—it is ALL nonsense.

So what about my problem of not hearing the “voice” that other evangelicals were hearing speak, move, and lead them? After deconverting completely from Christianity, I came to realize that it was THEM, not me, that had the problem. They were hearing voices. I was the sane one…who did not.

Christian commenter on that blog:

As always, a wonderful and insightful post Ms. Lori. Was pleased to see so many comments here; and will be praying for “Gary.” I loved your question of “How does God speak to you?” I wholeheartedly agree with the five points you made, and I’ll humbly add one of my own if that’s okay. God speaks to me ALONE. I mean this not as an “exclusive” statement, but that God speaks loudest when I closer to Him. In prayer, study, or meditating upon Him in nature, when I seek Him with my heart and soul, God is always gracious to draw near to me. The closer we are, the better I can hear Him. I often sense Him speaking to me when I’m engaged with others or public activities, as a prompting from the Holy Spirit. Like you, I test to ensure it aligns with His word. If it passes, I try and act swiftly. Yet, my next steps, His guidance, His comfort, His patient teaching comes when I’m alone with Him. I think that’s when I hear God speak the loudest, it’s when I invite Him to be with me. God’s blessings sweet sister.

Gary:You say that you “sense” God speaking to you? We have five senses. Which of these senses tells you that the Creator of the universe is communicating with you?

 

 

 

 

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Christian Reader Admits: Belief in Jesus is Based on Faith, Not Evidence

The Jesus Said Project – A Disciple's Guide to Jesus' Teachings ...

Christian reader:

Hi Gary, I am no scholar, no phd’s in front of my name…just an ordinary woman. Bottom line if I may is:   FAITH and BELIEVE.   If you don’t have these it’s useless. I have never, ever seen God/ Jesus, never knew them from a bar of soap, so how do I know all this about them is true in the Bible and that my pastors sermons, church friends, family and what the world of Christianity says about God/Jesus???? No one forced me to believe but it is these two simple words…FAITH and BELIEF that finally made me open my heart to GOD. So it is up to you to choose should I or should I not or else you will be searching for evidence forever, right?

Gary:

Excellent comment, Ann. That is all I ask of Christian apologists. Simply admit that you believe in the supernatural claims of Christianity due to faith (hope, wishful thinking) not due to actual evidence.

 

 

 

 

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Dear Evangelical Scholar: If you perceive the Presence of Jesus Within You, Your Belief in the Historicity of the Resurrection is Not Objective

Was There a Literal Resurrection? Mike Licona Responds ...
Evangelical Bible scholar, Michael Licona

A Roman Catholic, Episcopalian, Lutheran, or Presbyterian Christian scholar can claim his or her scholarship on the resurrection of Jesus is based purely on objective historical evidence.  The same is not true for most evangelical Bible scholars.  Why?  A central teaching of evangelical Christianity is that if one is truly “born again” (and that is the only way to be a true Christian in their belief system) one will perceive the presence of Jesus within you.  Think about that! If one can perceive the presence of Jesus within you, that is dramatic evidence that Jesus truly was resurrected from the dead 2,000 years ago!  It is very definitely evidence…but it is subjective evidence!

How can evangelical Bible scholars such as Michael Licona claim that their scholarship regarding the bodily resurrection of Jesus—a man who died 20 centuries ago—is objective and unbiased if they believe that they can perceive the presence of this being within them??

 

 

 

 

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A Challenge to Scholar Michael Licona: Do You Deny the Perceptible Presence of Jesus Within You?

I Have Jesus In My Heart - God Pictures

I sent the following email challenge to NT scholar Michael Licona today.  Last December, on Bart Ehrman’s blog, Dr. Licona and I had a discussion regarding his belief in the evangelical Christian teaching called “the testimony of the Holy Spirit” or stated another way, the evangelical Christian belief that one must “ask Jesus into your heart” to be a true Christian believer.  Does Dr. Licona believe this teaching?  His answers at that time on this issue appeared to me to be evasive.  Let’s see if he will respond and give a clear, concise answer:

Dear Dr. Licona,

I hope you and yours are well during this difficult time.

I have a challenge for you: Would you be willing to come back onto the Bart Ehrman blog and clearly state whether or not you believe in the evangelical teaching of the testimony of the Holy Spirit, specifically answering this question:

Dr. Licona: Do you perceive the presence of the spirit of Jesus within you?

Whether you believe that this belief does or does not affect your scholarship on the Resurrection is irrelevant. The relevant question is: Do you believe in the evangelical teaching of the real and perceptible presence of Jesus within you or not?

Thank you

 

 

 

 

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