My testimony

Me being Baptised into the Adventist Church

Me being Baptised into the Adventist Church

I had an experience when I was a teenager, which I assigned to the presence of the Holy Spirit. It was more likely that it was the presence of a very talented Presbyterian speaker, and a crowd of like minded people, but who can be sure.

As an adult, I felt I experienced the Holy Spirit again, while being exposed to Seventh Day Adventism. This is still quite strong in my memory, and came largely from the anger generated when exposed to their clear proof that God existed, and that most of Christianity was being misled as per Biblical prophecy. This strategy seems to be quite common among Charismatic evangelical groups, and Latter Day Saints. (Just as a note, I don’t consider Mormons and Adventists Charismatic.) It was undeniable, the evidence was all there, they had to be correct, God is great.

The problem with this is that when I dug, and dug, and dug, I realised, that the arguments that hold Christianity, not just Adventism together, are often based, if not simply on incorrect reasoning, but on outright lies. I will get into the blatant lies of Craig, Habermas, Strobel, Finlay and the rest of the bunch in later posts. The reason I call them lies is because these people know better, they know what they are saying is false, or their degrees are worth nothing.

The point is, all the emotions that were God sent to bring me into Adventism were there to bring me out, praise be to God. I felt the same level and type of anger at the dishonesty which millions have been deceived by one finding out that the Adventist church was lying in the way they blamed others. As the anger slowly subsided, I felt the same sense of relaxation and relief as I had when the Holy Spirit filled me while going into religion as when coming out.

Obviously I owe a huge dept of gratitude to God for revealing by his presence that he doesn’t actually exist, it wasn’t His presence I felt, but simply ordinary human emotions brought about by natural, easy to explain factors.

Joining the church did a lot for me, for one, it really made me think about that which is right and wrong, how should we make moral decisions, and is morality reasonably stable, or simply something relative to the mind and upbringing of the person involved. Having found clear “God given” ways to do this, I realised that no deity ever recorded could live up to any half decent moral code.

I heard church leaders telling children things that are known to be false. Not because they were lying, but because someone of the likes of Walter Veith or Doug Bachelor had told them something and they hadn’t bothered to check. This goes a long way to debunking a common defence of the resurrection. I ignored it, for over 2 years, and became a baptised member and lay preacher. I wanted to believe, I’d still like to believe in a benevolent deity, but the one depicted in the Bible, isn’t that.

Now, we can do some intellectual gymnastics and try to make out that only the parts of the Bible that paint God in a good light are true, but this wouldn’t actually be honest to ourselves. This was something that I realised while searching, there isn’t a consistent way to reason through the Bible, it really just comes down to preference.

I’m doing this now, simply because I wish to focus, in the next post on the existence of God, on the Argument from Personal experience, which I feel, we have very good reasons to reject based on, a) the inconsistency on God being able to send them same message to different people, and b) things we know to be true about the world.

Of course, you could show that there’s nothing anyone could ever say to provide evidence against what you believe by blaming the devil. But the less people acknowledge the possibility they could be wrong, the less chance they have of convincing sceptics. So it is up to you how you take this.

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4 thoughts on “My testimony”

  1. “clear proof that God existed”

    While I imagine that there are some LDS missionaries that attempt to provide such proofs, the majority of them fall apart as the LDS view of God is incompatible with the “proof”; which proof usually is some play on existence existing. What we do have is the Book of Mormon, and the promise that if someone reads the Book of Mormon, ponders it, and prays about it they will receive a witness from God about it.

    Or you could be referring to me, which I wouldn’t take me as a representative sample of Mormons given that I enjoy debating religion online in the first place.

    ” most of Christianity was being misled as per Biblical prophecy.”

    Yeah, this is one of the basic points needed for there to be a restoration, and is certainly true, but also greatly misunderstood both within Mormonism and outside of it.

    “Mormons … Charismatic”

    Prior to the rise of the Charismatic movement in the rest of Christianity it seems that Mormonism was highly Charismatic and that got de-emphasized to the point of nearly not existing when the Christian Charismatic movement got going (along with some other factors). The gifts of the spirit were originally one of the selling points of Mormonism but when others started talking of the gifts of the spirit, we sort of dropped most of that, and focused on making the church more respectable towards the mainline protestants, partially out of trying to get Utah statehood and the senators seated. There is more to the story than that, but we aren’t charismatic primarily due to a marketing move and not revelation from God.

    I am not really familiar with any of the guys listed, I have hung around atheists enough to have seen Craig’s name and arguments.

    The Bible is flawed; Mormons have the Book of Mormon, which if true, puts a lot of context to what is in the Bible.

    1. I was being polite not including you as Charismatic.

      And the book of mormon is as unverifiable as the Bible, so you can say “if it’s true,” but we have no reasons to believe it is.

      1. Well, there is the testimony of the witnesses to deal with but even accepting that doesn’t prove it to be true. The best that those testimonies or any studies into anything else about the book can suggest is that it may be true. Even if the plates were had and the Nephites positively identified and it determined that the translation was roughly correct that would still not prove the Book to be “true” in a useful sense of being “from God and correct such that the Bible should be viewed in relation to the Book of Mormon and one should follow it”.

        We have correct translations of the Popal Vuh for instance and we know who the Maya were but that doesn’t lead people to believe the Popal Vuh to be true, and if someone (like me) thinks the Popal Vuh to have some truth in it that is for reasons completely unrelated to the history and archeology.

        Which is why Moroni 10:3-5 is always referenced.

      2. I’m not sure referencing a passage in a disputed book can help that disputed book. It’s easy to say, “well, if you pray and you’re sincere, then…” Because it leaves the same kind of loophole any faith healer leaves.

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