O Me of Little Faith

O Me of Little Faith


Have You Had These Religious Experiences?

posted by Jason Boyett

“Have you had the following religious experience?” That’s the question asked by the 2008 Baylor Religion Survey, authored by Dr. Rodney Stark and others, in an extensive look at the “depth and complexity” of America’s religious landscape. The survey’s findings are revealed in the book What
Americans Really Believe
, by Rodney Stark.

And to be honest, the statistics really surprise me. But maybe they shouldn’t. The surveyors spoke to 1,648 adults chosen randomly from across the country. When asked the question about having certain religious experiences, this is how many Americans answered YES:

I heard the voice of God speaking to me: 20%
I
felt called by God to do something:
44%
I was protected
from harm by a guardian angel:
55%
I witnessed a
miraculous, physical healing:
23%
I received a miraculous,
physical healing:
16%
I spoke or prayed in tongues: 8%

Whoa. This is why, around certain religious people, I feel like a spiritual weakling. Because I can barely identify with these experiences. Let’s break it down:

• I heard the voice of God speaking to me.

One in five people say this? That’s unbelievable. Like, the audible voice of God? I have to be perfectly honest: I’ve been a Christian for three decades, but I have never heard anything close to what I’d feel comfortable identifying as the voice of God. In fact, if you tell me you’ve heard the audible voice of God, the first thing I think is probably not “You must have just had a profound religious experience.” No, it’s much less charitable than that. Call me a cynic or a skeptic, but my tendency is to take a step away from people who talk openly about hearing voices — God or otherwise. Maybe I’m just a jerk.

I felt called by God to do something.
This is the only one I can come anywhere close to acknowledging. Maybe. But it’s the “I felt” part that makes me hesitate. The Bible is clear that Christians are called to a number of things. Loving others. Serving others. We are called to freedom and peace. So I may be called by God, biblically, toward certain behaviors and certain directions.

But “feeling” called by God? If I feel a certain way, I’m more likely to attribute that to my conscience — a conscience infused, over the years, with exposure to the Bible and the teachings of Jesus. So if I feel, deep inside, that I need to do something specific, is it because God is calling me or because that’s what I know I should do? I know a lot of Christians will disagree with me vehemently on this, but it seems way too self-assured and super-spiritual to identify the promptings of my conscience with the direct activity of God in my life. I can’t speak of God with such certainty.

• I was protected
from harm by a guardian angel.

Wow. Do half of all Americans mean this literally, that a specific angel assigned to them has protected them from something? That’s amazing to me. But the survey also reveals that 61% of Americans adults believe “absolutely” that angels exist, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.

For the record, I just can’t say definitively that I was protected by a guardian angel at some point in my life. I have had a couple of experiences where I was very lucky not to have been injured, but I hesitate to say it was because an angel protected me. Here’s why: If an angel is responsible for my well-being, isn’t that same angel also responsible when I do get harmed? Logically, if the same survey people got injured, wouldn’t that 55%
have
to also say “I was injured when a guardian angel failed to protect me”?
Somehow I doubt they’d say that. But my brain is wired toward logical consistency. If I’m not also willing to blame angels for sickness, injury, or misfortune, then it’s hard for me to credit angels for good fortune — whether I believe in them or not. 

I witnessed/received a
miraculous, physical healing. 
  
Again, these answers go way beyond what I’d be willing to say with any certainty. Despite my immersion in church culture, the only “miraculous” healings I’ve heard of are the kinds where people had back problems and now they don’t, or someone’s cancer “miraculously” went into remission, or someone announces that God healed them from a chemical imbalance in their
brain. All stuff that either 1) you can’t document medically; or 2) you can totally explain medically.

I’m not discounting that people have been healed in unexplained ways. What I’m saying is that, personally, I’ve never seen anything that truly can’t be explained, like an amputated limb that grows back. But one in five people say they’ve seen a miraculous, physical healing.
One in seven have had it happen to them. Not me.

I spoke or prayed in tongues.
I grew up Southern Baptist, so we were suspicious of tongues-speakers anyway. But in my late teenage years — which I wrote about in chapter 5 of my book — I actively pursued the charismatic gifts. I wanted to speak in tongues. I prayed for it, hard. I wanted it more than just about anything else.

It never happened.

—————

What’s the purpose of my personal commentary on these stats? Is it for me to point out that people who answer yes to these questions about religious experiences are crazy?

No. Not at all. It’s to say that my religious experiences don’t match up. I don’t fit in with these believers. It is hard for me to identify with them. The only religious experience I could honestly have owned up to is the second one about God’s calling — and then only with disclaimers and footnotes.

The problem is semantics and certainty. I just have trouble talking about God that way. I’m not willing to speak of God’s activity in and around my life with such concrete, this-is-how-it-is terms.

But some people don’t share my hang-ups. These are the people who answered YES in this survey. As a Christian, these are supposed to be my people. But I’m not like them.

I live and worship in a world where people hear from God, are protected by angels, and get healed. This doesn’t happen to me. Am I a spiritual weakling?

—————

Thanks to fellow Beliefnet blogger Scot McKnight for alerting me to Stark’s book and the survey.

For what it’s worth, this survey has been pretty
controversial. For one thing, it found that more than 90% of
the American people believe in God; the Council
for Secular Humanism disputes these findings
, citing Harris polls
that indicate up to 20% of Americans are skeptical about God…only they’re reluctant to identify themselves as atheists because of the
negative backlash they expect to receive. But we’ll save that controversy for another blog post.



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Sarah The Youth

posted June 2, 2010 at 8:39 am


Hmmm…that’s intresting. I do believe that God has given us gardian angels, but sometimes he holds them back to bring us closer to Him or test our faith. However, I can’t say that I have specifically felt like there was an angel protecting me.



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Mr. Big

posted June 2, 2010 at 8:44 am


I too am very surprised by these numbers. Your comments come straight from my brain. I’ve also been a Christian for over 3 decades and would answer no to all of these. If all the questions began with “Maybe I possibly could have” I would be more likely to answer yes to a couple. How lucky those 20% who have heard God’s voice are. I would love something….anything to hang my hat on and say I was sure about any of it.
I can remember one time when I was about 8, in the backseat as my parents drove through the graveyard. I thought I saw an angel sitting on a tombstone. Nobody else saw it, but I can still remember the image. That’s about as close as I get.
Thanks for the info, even though it somewhat makes me feel like I’m missing the party.



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Kristian

posted June 2, 2010 at 10:40 am


• I felt called by God to do something:
Loving and serving others, freedom, peace, charity – would it be unreasonable to assume that “calls” to these are just part of human nature? I do all of the above, and feel very strongly about them (as I do with social issues in general). As do most other atheists I know. Some of whom are known blasphemers. In no way are these traits unique to Christianity (and quite interestingly, it has been my experience that tackling social issues and awareness is vehemently opposed by many Christians).
• I was protected from harm by a guardian angel:
I’ve personally had some close calls where I survived unharmed. And I’ve had some close calls where I didn’t survive unharmed. I would assume that if we built a complete database of close calls, Christians wouldn’t rate any higher than atheists, Muslims or Scientologists. The database would probably also suggest that these saves/misses would line up perfectly well within statistical probability. So, what’s the point of a guardian angel if they don’t make any statistical difference?
• I witnessed a miraculous, physical healing:
I’ve witnessed some “miraculous” healings, ie. healings that were unexpected and statistically unlikely. These happened to 1. A vocal atheist and vehement opponent of all things religious; 2. A former Christian turned agnostic, and; 3. A pagan. No limbs grew back, but these individuals beat the bad odds. None of them changed their beliefs afterwards.
• I received a miraculous, physical healing
As a newborn, I had a major surgery with odds at about 1:100. Some would claim it was miraculous. Some prayer was involved, but not towards the Christian God.
• I spoke or prayed in tongues
After about 24 beers, I’ve done this. I have no recollection, but my friends witnessed it.



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Skeptichristian

posted June 2, 2010 at 11:21 am


Jason’s point about physical healings is a good one. Where is all the documentation about these supposed healings? If God brings healing in order to draw attention to himself or reveal his glory, like the Bible says, why does he always do it in ambiguous ways (like cancer in remission or a case of “beating the odds”)? Why not use something dramatic and verifiable like a regrown limb?
When Christians pray for healing, they give God credit when the person gets better. But if the person doesn’t get healed, they explain it away as “not God’s will” or “God must have a reason” or something like that. I think it’s weird that we give God credit only for positive outcomes and explain away negative ones. Like Jason said, that’s logical inconsistency…but no one ever seems to acknowledge this.



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Memarie Lane

posted June 2, 2010 at 11:30 am


I received a miraculous healing. I was severely burned over 75% of my body, and as I was prayed over my skin returned to normal. I have only one small mark on my elbow as a reminder.



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Felicity

posted June 2, 2010 at 11:54 am


I agree that semantics play a big role in this survey. Most of the Christians I know would not translate the first question to mean an audible voice. “Hearing the voice of God” is just a way of saying one believes God is trying to communicate a particular message – it could be through another person, the Bible, an impression in the mind, or any number of signs.
I used to think God called me to do very specific things. That’s changed a lot. Now I feel like God calls all of us to certain things (more like moral standards and relational guidelines) and the details are flexible. I do believe in an active God, but I think His plans for me are more general than specific.
I agree with Jason on the guardian angels thing. It just doesn’t add up.
Miraculous healings? I’ve never seen anything unexplainable. Also, when my twin daughters were born prematurely, my perspective on praying for healing rearranged dramatically. We prayed with equal amounts of faith for both girls and one of them died anyway. It was tough. I still pray for people to be healed, but I can see that it really isn’t as dependent upon my fervor or faith as I thought it was.
Tongues. Yes, I do that. It happened for me when I was 13. At the time it was something my church culture placed high value on and I didn’t want to be left out. I’m in a different church now and we don’t employ it as often, or at all, really. It is a private thing for me now and probably the one part of my faith that I have the most doubts about. I don’t doubt the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit – I doubt the usefulness of this particular spiritual gift. And even if it is necessary at all. I know too many people who are full of faith and living fulfilling lives who don’t practice speaking in tongues.



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Kristian

posted June 2, 2010 at 12:01 pm


As for the “I heard the voice of God speaking to me” -part, while hearing voices can be a sign of schizophrenia, this is not always the case. Auditory hallucinations probably should be discussed with a psychiatrist, but I’d guess that most of these 20% claim these hallucinations just to “belong”. In subcultures where this sort of stuff is expected to happen, there would be a peer pressure to declare these symptoms whether they occurred or not.
And, while I understand that ‘taking a step away’ was a joke, even people with diagnosed schizophrenia are safe to be around in ordinary social situations. More often (14 times more often, according to a study here: http://ps.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/52/10/1358#ABS ) schizophrenics are victims of violence than its perpetrators. Sorry for the derail. Mental health related issues (and perceptions) are close to my heart =)



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allen campbell

posted June 2, 2010 at 12:04 pm


Jason, my experience has been almost exactly the same as yours, including the SBC and the tongues thing. On the tongues, someone said to me, “but did you really believe it? it doesn’t sound like you did.” my reply was, “how can I will myself to believe something that I don’t believe?” Their reply was, silence. Now I’m a pastor in the ELCA Lutheran church. Martin Luther would say, “be careful about listening to voices in your head, it might be the devil.” Luther believed in a personal devil, me, not so much.



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Jason Boyett

posted June 2, 2010 at 12:15 pm


@Kristian:
The “taking a step away” was an easy joke. Probably too easy and too thoughtless for people who suffer from serious medical issues. My apologies.



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Fred

posted June 2, 2010 at 12:15 pm


I’ve never heard God speak to me in an audible voice, and many of the times I thought he was speaking it turned out to be something else, like my imagination or the pizza I had for dinner. Sometimes I have felt promptings to do or say something that I think came from God.
I was in a near car accident years ago, and the only explanation I can come up with for not getting hit by the other car and my family and I dying is an angel, although I didn’t see one.



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Geoff

posted June 2, 2010 at 1:42 pm


Hello, atheist boy here again ;)
There’s a couple of really interesting things here…
Firstly, miracles – people beating 1000-1 odds and the like. I’m going to get a bit sciency here, please bear with me. There’s a concept that’s taken fairly seriously in modern physics even though it’s a little bit sci-fi and there’s no solid evidence either way, and it’s called Multiverse theory. You’ve probably heard of it and it’s exactly what it sounds like, lots and lots of parallel versions of our universe. In essence, every possible version of events is played out in its own universe. The idea originally stems from Young’s Double Slit experiment if you’re interested.
So if somebody is put in a situation where there’s a 1000-1 chance of surviving then there’s 999 universes where they die and 1 universe where they survive. The fact that they can tell you about their miraculous survival implies that we are (by definition) in the universe where they did.
I’ve got some personal experience of something like that, I’m a rock climber and mountaineer amongst other things and I’ve had a couple of falls that I shouldn’t, by rights, have survived. But here I am, telling you about it. And atheist or not, I can tell you it leaves a fairly profound impression to have a near brush like that.
The other interesting idea is that of schizophrenia and religious experience being mixed up. As Kristian says, schizophrenia is often a very manageable condition, and there are many cases of people with this type of disorder managing it themselves in various ways – a *few* medical studies have even suggested that the link between marijuana and schizophrenia may even be due to people using it to self medicate. Unlikely, but possible in my view. So are a percentage of people with strong religious leaning actually using the formal structures and support networks of organised religion as a way of dealing with a mental disorder? It certainly has strong parallels with more official ways of dealing with it.



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Tess Mallory

posted June 2, 2010 at 5:53 pm


Hey Jason! Interesting subject and questions. I have to throw this out to you — when people say they’ve heard the voice of God speaking to them, I’m not so sure they mean the “audible” voice of God. I mean like Moses and the Burning Bush audible.
I believe I’ve heard the voice of God, which I attribute to a still, clear, calm voice that speaks to me in moments when I least expect it and gives me profound thoughts or answers that I can’t, in good conscience, take credit for. When I “hear” this voice, it is a true spiritual experience, and while some people might think I’m sort of crazy (I don’t deny it) this is a real experience, a connection with God for me. I can’t prove it, of course. No one can ever prove they’ve heard from God. But I believe that I have.
I think part of this whole idea depends on if you believe that God does speak to us as individuals or just through the Bible. The latter is a very Southern Baptist belief, and as someone who spent fifteen years in SB, I understand the concept. But as someone who has moved away from those boxed-in types concepts, I now think differently. For one reason, because I’ve experienced it, but also because the Bible speaks all through it about people hearing from God, so if I believe the Bible, even partially, I think it’s reasonable to expect God to drop into my brain from time to time with some amazing insight for me that I really need to hear.
I’m gonna suggest that maybe you have “heard” (not audibly) his voice, but attribute it to your own voice. And maybe I’ve done the opposite. But it really is different than just my own usual brain meanderings.
I’m not sure what I think about the guardian angel thing, because I have to say your logic makes sense. At the same time, perhaps certain catastrophes are meant for me to avoid, and it’s the angel’s job to save me in that particular instance. But that gets into predestination and all that.
I agree with you about emotion being something to be wary of when dealing with being “called” by God. When I was fifteen I thought God was calling me to witness to the Hopi Indians. I suspect this was because me and my best friend were interested in the Hopi Indians and had just gotten saved and were very excited about doing something to “go and tell”. At the same time, how can we totally eradicate emotion from being called to something by God? The fact that God would choose us for a mission (if indeed He did) would have to evoke emotion. The Bible is full of emotion toward God, so I’m not sure this is a deal breaker when it comes to determining if a person has been “called”. But I get your point.
I have attributed healing to God, but I’ve never seen a physical healing like someone who is crippled from birth standing up and suddenly walking after being prayed for. I’ve seen people who should have died get better after being prayed for by a ton of people. (Which brings up the question, Does it take a ton of people for a prayer to be answered?) A friend of ours was in the hospital for months due to a surgeon’s mistake and almost died several times. I truly “felt” a spiritual “presence” in his room when I went to the hospital to see him. And what’s interesting is he was pretty much an agnostic. He survived when he should have died. I can promise his survival wasn’t because of the quality of care he was receiving.
I have never received a miraculous healing in the true sense of this question, however, ten years ago, I kept “feeling” a nagging in the back of my brain that I should get a mammogram. I hadn’t had one in eight years. I didn’t feel any lumps in my breasts, but my right breast just “felt” weird. I still can’t explain that. The “nagging” became so bad I finally scheduled a mammogram. The mammogram showed some “suspicious cells”. My doctor told me that these showed up frequently in mammograms and 90% of the time were nothing. But he suggested a biopsy. He assured me he expected it to come back clean. Four days before Christmas my husband and I went to the doc to get the news. Our daughters were in the waiting room so we could all go to lunch after we got the good news that I was fine. But I wasn’t fine. I had breast cancer. The cancer was so tiny it couldn’t have been felt and was barely noticeable on the mammogram. But I had been “nagged” into getting the test. Because it was so early I was spared the trauma of a mastectomy and chemo. I had a lumpectomy and radiation, which was bad enough, trust me. But the point is it was caught early and ten years later I am still cancer free. Was the “nagging” my own brain or the voice of God? I believe it was God telling me to get this checked. So I guess this goes back to question number one — have I “heard” the voice of God. Yep, and He saved my life–without a guardian angel. Unless the angel was the one doing the nagging. :)
I have lots of thoughts about speaking in tongues, but this is too long already. Thanks for giving me the chance to share this! I enjoy your blog so much!
hugs!



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Jason Boyett

posted June 2, 2010 at 6:02 pm


For what it’s worth, Tess and Fred, the authors of the study (who designed the questions and interpreted the answers) seem to treat that first stat as audibly hearing the voice of God in their commentary on the results. This is on p. 40 of the book.
I agree that people might interpret that phrase differently, but an audible voice seems to be what the survey had in mind.



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Kyle

posted June 2, 2010 at 7:46 pm


I wish Stark would have done a breakdown of people based on specific beliefs. I wonder what percentages for specifically active, evangelicals would look like. Evangelicals are often steretyped as superstitious, but the data says otherwise.
For instance, the Pew Forum did a survey on supernatural beliefs awhile back and found that the younger and less religious you are, the more likely you are to believe in things like the “evil eye,” “spiritual energy,” etc.
Take these numbers:
10% of weekly attending evangelicals believe in “spiritual energy”
22% of attending occasionally evangelicals
25% of attend less often Catholics
30% of non-religious
You see the same progression with things like astrology (8% evangelical, 25% non-religious). The same is true according to their survey of ghosts and fortune tellers, with non-religious believing almost twice as much as weekly attending evangelicals.



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Kyle

posted June 2, 2010 at 7:53 pm


By the way, the last comment isn’t aimed at our non-religious friends nor our evangelical friends. I would simply be interested in a breakdown as I found it interesting that in the Pew survey on these “new age” supernatural beliefs, self-proclaimed atheists and weekly attending evangelicals were pretty similar. Outside of physical healings and speaking in tongues which would obviously be higher in Pentecostal circles, I wonder how the percentages would line up between Joe Blow atheist and Joe Blow…say…Presbyterian. I would hypothesize that they would be pretty similar.



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Kyle

posted June 2, 2010 at 9:29 pm


By the way, it should be noted that there is little doubt that Stark only used specific surveys to argue his points about the lack of rise in American self-proclaimed atheists, as the article you cite argues. The ironic thing? The article written in response which is cited above is by Gregory Paul, an artist who helps scientist render models of dinosaurs, who (along with Phil Zuckerman) has been widely criticized for ignoring and abusing data in their past analysis of worldwide atheism. Here’s a writeup by George Gallup that takes Paul to task for poor research, vague categories and overall unscientific research: http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=18-10-061-r – basically, Paul and Stark on the topic of atheism appear to be two sides of the same coin.
The numbers on religious experiences are straight from Gallup are uninterpreted though, so the need for skepticism on these findings should be less than the interpreted analysis of Paul/Stark on the other data.



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Cecelia Dowdy

posted June 3, 2010 at 5:38 am


I have a question, why is God’s voice audible in the Old Testament, but, apparently, not anymore? I doubt people nowadays hear an audible voice from God, yet Moses and the king in Daniel (the one who was evil and God spoke, telling him he’d be living in the field as an animal until he repented and accepted God) heard God quite clearly, as well as others.
~Cecelia Dowdy~
Christian Fiction Author



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Kyle

posted June 3, 2010 at 6:46 am


Hey Cecelia,
That’s a good question. There are a lot of people who would say that God’s audible voice is still common (something like 20% of Americans according to the research above. After all, even if half of those didn’t mean an audible voice, you are still talking about some 30 million people). Others would say that nobody has ever heard the voice of God, Moses included.
If we were talking over a cup of coffee I might ask why you say that “God’s audible voice” is in the Old Testament. I don’t disagree that there are some in the Old Testament who heard from God directly, but I know that there are many others who cried out to God and received silence in response. Consider Psalm 18:41 where the people cry out but God does not answer them, or for that matter read most of the psalms that long for God to speak to the people and he doesn’t.
Let’s not forget either that the stories of Moses and Daniel are set some thousand years apart. And the audible voice of the Lord isn’t overly active in between. Sure, there are prophets and the occasional other person who heard directly from the Lord, but usually its the exception more than the norm, and it’s almost always in correlation with a major event (Exodus, Exile, etc.).
And then there are situations like Job, where he really wants to hear God’s audible voice but in the end probably regrets it. I mean, after reading Job 38-42, I think if I were Job I might ask for a do over.
In the New Testament it’s less common than you might assume as well. There’s the baptism of Jesus and the transfiguration, but those are clearly special events. There’s Paul’s vision, but it seems to have been directed only at him…and Paul’s conversion is also kind of a big deal. There’s also plenty of times when you would expect God to speak and there is silence. For instance, Jesus on the cross? Wouldn’t you have expected God to have broken in and said something at that point? Wouldn’t it have made sense (from a pre-ressurection perspective) for God to have not been silent and stopped the whole charade?
If anything, this data makes me think that today more people claim to hear the audible voice of God than in the Bible, even in the Old Testament.



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Kristian

posted June 3, 2010 at 9:12 am


Imagining “audible voice of god” without it sounding like Morgan Freeman in my head was next to impossible, until it sounded like Samuel L. Jackson, which I thought was more fitting for the god of the old testament.



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Lauren

posted June 3, 2010 at 10:06 am


Jb-
Maybe I’m saying this out of my ignorance or youth, but I think that God speaks to people in a way that will bring them to him. Like, no you’re not going to hear God speak to you or feel “called,” because you wouldn’t respond to it. Or you wouldn’t believe it. So God speaks to you in other ways: through your kids or nature or the Bible or something less mystic.
But other people believe that God does speak to them, and they won’t pursue a certain job unless they feel called, etc.
Maybe God doesn’t speak in just one way.
(Sorry this sounded pointed; it’s something I thought about reading your book as well.)



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Frank

posted June 3, 2010 at 10:18 am


As for tongues, my experience is pretty similar. In the end, I realised me and God do not have a problem with the fact that I don’t speak in tongues. I prayed about it. God didn’t give it to me. And we’re fine about it.
It’s (some) other Christians that have the problem about me not speaking in tongues. They’re the ones that make it into a bigger issue than I think it is.



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Travis Thompson

posted June 3, 2010 at 11:48 am


This post reminds me of something my pastor said something a couple weeks ago that made me think of you Jason. He said we shouldn’t say things like “God told me…” because if God is really speaking to us it will be evident without us having to announce it and if he’s not, he won’t get blamed.



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Headless Unicorn Guy

posted June 3, 2010 at 12:07 pm


For the record, I have never had anything on your list blatantly happen to me (though I have had a few possible paranormal experiences and know of one cancer patient whose spontaneous remission could be considered a miraculous healing).
I live and worship in a world where people hear from God, are protected by angels, and get healed. This doesn’t happen to me. Am I a spiritual weakling?
1) How much of these claims might be Spiritual One-Upmanship? Especially with Can-You-Top-This figured in?
2) Then there are the Spiritual Warfare types who make me think I’ve stepped into a bad remake of (a) Star Wars prequel trilogy, (b) Ghostbusters, or (c) Call of Cthulhu…



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Headless Unicorn Guy

posted June 3, 2010 at 12:09 pm


He said we shouldn’t say things like “God told me…” because if God is really speaking to us it will be evident without us having to announce it and if he’s not, he won’t get blamed. — Travis Thompson
As I understand from Jewish sources, THAT is the primary application of the commandment “Thou shalt not take the LORD’s name in vain”; cussing (the usual Christian application) is either not mentioned or a very distant second.
Especially when “God told me…” is used to excuse or justify doing evil.



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Cecelia Dowdy

posted June 5, 2010 at 8:39 am


Kyle, thanks for your response.
Frank, as far as speaking in tongues, I believe the Lord only wants the tongue speaking to occur if it edifies the church. I think someplace in Corinthians, speaking in tongues is discouraged, unless there is an interpreter who can tell the church what you’re saying? That leads me to believe the tongue-speaking is a no-no unless there is somebody there to let the church know what’s going on?



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Iona Carpenter

posted June 23, 2010 at 11:46 pm


One summer afternoon in 1973, I was walking home eating my candy which I had just purchased from a local candy store. I was 9 years old at that time. I began to wonder if there was really a God or if people just wanted something to believe in. I thought to myself, (just open your mouth and ask him if he is real). So, I did ask him. I also (said) to him, “God if you are real than I’ll know you really do exist and you are not fake”. Well, after I spoke these words, I continued on my route to my house humming and eating my candy, not expecting to get any answer from God. HOWEVER, out of nowhere came this overpowering presence which came from above my head and through my whole body and all around me. I was at first, frighted beyond fear!I franticly looked all around me wondering what was happening to me,and what is this.I leaned forward to begin to run away from this presence that was around me and in me. And at that moment, the fear suddenly left me and a peace that I can not describe took it’s place. I heard within the area of my chest cavity, not my ears (audibly), an extremly deep, slow, athoritive, and penetrating voice say to me these 3 words.” I AM GOD”. Filled with happiness, I smiled and said, “you really are real”. I was so happy at what just happened to me, I ran home as quickly as possible to tell my mother. She smiled at me and nodded, but she didn’t understand. But I was to happy to be disappointed that she did not take me seriously. I told my father too. But again I did’nt get discouraged. NO ONE will ever take this precious jewel of knowledge away from me. I’m 46 now and I thank God he answered me. I KNOW he is REAL. When I have my good days I think of him and thank him, and when I have my bad or sorrowful days, I think of him and thank him; not for the bad day or days, but I thank him for making himself known to me so that I can not say, There is NO GOD. And walk around in this world with no HOPE,STRENGTH,AND COURAGE.



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Gabriel Michael Long

posted July 27, 2011 at 5:09 am


Dear Mr.Boyett your title for this post is sadly all too true Oh Ye Of Little Faith. Though faith mountains are moved
I have heard the voice of God speaking to me
I have felt called by God to do something
I was protected from harm by a guardian angel many times
I have witnessed a miraculous, physical healing
I have received a miraculous,physical healing
& I speak or pray in tongues on an almost daily basis. With all your doubting and skeptism you sound more like an atheist than a true Christian. How can you call yourself a believer and then turn around and doubt that God can even speak to you? Your haven’t experianced any of these things sir because of your (LACK)of faith. Through Him all things are made possible and you don’t seem to realise that. Its sad how spirtualy immature a grow man can be. I myself am only 17yrs old & I can wholeheartedly say God is real and He and His angels are working in each and everyone of our lives daily. There is a spiritual war going on Mr.Boyett don’t let satan and his demons cause you to doubt. Get in touch with God read your bible & pray daily. Peace & Love be with you my brother God Bless



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Lacey

posted December 10, 2012 at 6:04 am


I am age 15 and became a christian with help from my boyfriend on the night of Saturday 8th December 2012. The following day I was sat watching a movie with my mother, and I dont remember much of it, but I threw myself of the sofa for a reason I do not know, and I dont remember what I said but my mother says i said somthing extremly religious, I then remember me saying to myself “I can fight this, I can stop whatever this is” I then dont remember what happened next, but I was then upstairs reading out word’s the Lord gave me when I prayed for him to rid of the evil that was upon me the night before, but I yelled them out six times and I then remember nothing about the rest of the night. I was wondering if anyoune can answer this question I have, Could that have been my reliogious experience?



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