Thursday, August 21, 2014

Christians Feeling The Spirit in Face of Atheism

I have been actively engaging a few friends of mine who are repeatedly yelling about the lack of proof for the existence of God.

What has been fun is to see all those Christians who attack Mormons as irrational because they base their testimony upon spiritual experiences, now have to use their own version of spiritual experiences as their ultimate proof.

Let's face it, all Christians remain Christians because they feel better being a Christian.  They leave because they don't feel the Spirit.  This is true of Mormons and non-Mormon Christians.

But when non-LDS Christians try to engage Mormons, they attack the "burning in the bosom" as self-delusional wishful thinking by Mormons.  Something Mormons "hide behind".

I have gone to Christian book stores for many years, and you could always find books on receiving answers to prayer, spiritual experiences, personal revelation and the like.  But critics of LDS beliefs conveniently ignore those members of their own faith traditions.  Instead, they try to substitute historical or scholarly information, as if you could study your way into knowing Christianity was the only true faith.

That is an exercise in self-authentication.

Only through experiencing the Holy Spirit can you realize that ultimate truth is not a set of hypotheses which you can ever completely test.  It is not something which can be studied and arrived at without divine assistance.  Jesus is truth, because God alone can know all things, and therefore can know all truth.  He can confirm our faith.

I have been blessed with a few spiritual experiences which have provided actual proof to me of the life after this life.  I was informed of the passing of a relative in a dream, told my family of the message, and then got the phone call 20-minutes later that it had happened.  The message was delivered by three of my deceased relatives, and a voice spoke to me, audibly but in my mind while sleeping.

I don't know the truth of all things.  But I know their is a God who knows the past, present and future, and there is a life after this life.  That is enough to know that atheism is false.

I was accused of suffering from cognitive dissonance the other day because I accept science yet have faith.  But the basic premise of cognitive dissonance is that you have two philosophies which take you in opposing directions, and therefore require you to irrationally avoid information which conflicts with one of the beliefs, and you eventually become so uncomfortable with the dissonance, you eventually reject the view which makes you uncomfortable.

I can tell you I am perfectly at ease with faith/supernatural existence of God, and science.  I don't believe there is a God or a life after this one, I know there is.  So my discomfort, were I to have one, would actually be striving to get the theoretical world of science more in line with ultimate truth, that there is a God.

Because I know God cannot be found in a telescope or a Petri dish, the lack of scientific proof for God is about as important to me as calculus is to a dog.  Because the world cannot understand it does not make it untrue.


Anonymous said...

Oh, so true!

Ahhh, the Mormon critics and the hypocrisy.

I had a Spiritual experience that I still can not share. It was a tragedy. I will say that I had a voice speak to me as if someone were standing in front of me. Then I literally felt someone hug me and I felt like I was on fire, a good fire. And it was 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon and I was surrounded by dozens of people, so I know it was not a dream nor was I delusional. I had never felt such peace even though I was going through a traumatic experience.

Anonymous said...

Why is it the Mormon critics can claim God called them to "the ministry", or God spoke to them, or God called them to witness to Mormons, and so forth. You get the picture.
But, according to critics, Mormons can not have spiritual experiences. It is the Devil that is speaking to Mormons.
Good grief, the critics are the ones with cognitive dissonance.
On an anti Mormon site, the owner asks people to pray about getting an affirmative answer to send money in to support their work to attack Mormons. Yet the same site says a person should not pray about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.

Bob said...

I was listening to a critic on the radio, and he had just got done attacking the issue of Mormons hiding behind their testimony, when he too asked that people pray about putting their ministry into those listeners regular giving cycle. Like, why pray if it is a big delusion, right? But it's a good delusion when it is theirs.
Thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bob. Love this site.

If you do not mind sharing, I would like to know your thoughts on the topic of gay marriage in the LDS church.
On a anti site, someone who always writes for this anti site claims to have an informat that works in the Church Office Building. This informant said the church is considering recognizing same sex civil unions and allowing these same sex civil unions to have full fellowship in the church; not be exed, can take Sacrament, etc. just like a heterosexual couple. This informant also says the church will eventually allow same sex Temple sealings/ marriages. The church is going to slowly and quietly start allowing same sex unions so as to not alarm everyone.
So do you think the church will allow same sex Temple marriages?
Thanks. Sorry to go off topic, but I would need a revelation to accept homosexual Temple marriages.
No I am not a homophobe, and I do not have a problem with homosexuals being married. My spouse has a homosexual cousin.

Bob said...


I have no idea what the Church might do in the future. However, doctrinally I think nothing short of a revelation reworking a huge portion of LDS theology would make it possible for same sex temple marriages to occur. We are told gender is an eternal attribute, and that male and female are required to achieve exaltation. I struggle with how eternal parents will find a proxy to provide spirit bodies in the heavens. Could be done, I guess, in some bizarro change in doctrine.

The issue of recognizing and fellowshipping same sex couples is different to some degree. If nothing else is amiss in their lives except their gender attraction, and they go to the trouble of seeking out legal marriage, who knows? That may work. As you may know, we don't allow couples to be baptized who are living together "in sin".
The answer to the nature vs. nurture question of why people are gay, and the fact there is no evidence for nature at this point, makes this difficult. I don't doubt that some people are in their heart attracted to the same gender. Whatever the circumstances that created that, it cannot be undone in many cases. Jesus described those who are made a eunuch under different circumstances. Matt 19:12. In a sense, to be same gender attracted is to be a eunuch.

If someone chooses to marry and live an otherwise "chaste" life, though they experience same gender attraction, maybe a case can be made for that in the Church. Being same gender attracted is difficult to live, and they suffer in many ways. It may in fact be Christlike to suffer them to try to live in the fellowship of the saints without the sense of condemnation. We don't allow certain classes of people into the temple and yet allow them to take the sacrament. Men without the priesthood, baptized children not yet 12, etc. They are doing the best they can. It is not intended to be patronizing, just accommodating as much as our doctrine would allow.
My issue with same gender attraction is not with the people who engage in it, but in its impact on children in those environments. Same gender parents cannot be sealed because they cannot create offspring now or in the eternities. It denies children access to their birth parents. It creates wrong role modeling for relationships, and research shows they have higher rates of personal gender identity confusion. Which is not to say same gender parents cannot be loving and caring and involved. But they inherently separate children from their natural family. So I don't want to speak for the Church, but I could see allowing full fellowship but restricting access to temple ordinances, specifically sealings.