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Gail

What makes God real to you?

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Gail

Very few humans have claimed to see God, or experienced Him with the senses. What makes Him a reality to you?

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Robert

Gail, this is a difficult question....

I could give you many reasons, but I guess one of the most basic reasons that I believe God is real is when I see a moon rise on a clear, cool night.  Such an event reminds me of what both Paul wrote in Romans 1:20 and David in Psalm 19:1

300px-Harvest_moon.jpg

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rudywoofs (Pam)

Off topic:  (As I gaze into my crystal ball, I predict that a couple of posts that are going to get hidden.  Remember, this is the "Original Thoughts" section...)

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Geoarrge

I'm not sure what to say.  I believe there's plenty of circumstantial evidence but on a personal level I can't say I've experienced anything that left an impression.

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Aubrey

I think a lot of people have experienced God with their senses but a) were unable to recognize it as the Hand of God, b ) were able to recognize it as the Hand of God, but let doubt settle in and "reasoned" the experience away as coincidence, or c) recognized it and chose to share, but faced ridicule and rejection from others so much so they stopped sharing for fear of being labeled insane. 

And yep, I fall into one of those 3 categories. ;)

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Jessie-Jess

God was real to me since my early childhood, because the supernatural was real to me. I witnessed strange things occurring and came to the realization very early in life that we are not alone in this world. These strange events in my childhood were almost (if not) all from the dark side, and not God's doing, but seeing them convinced me that other similar stories were true, and hearing those stories along with witnessing what I did lead me to conclude, when the idea of God was presented to me, that He must be real. That, and my very first memory (that I can remember being my first, though I wonder sometimes if it really was), also convince me that the Bible is true about death, and if about death, than about other things. Said memory and believing that the Bible is correct about death, also lead me to conclude that these supernatural things I was seeing were not spirits of the dead, but some other life form that was with us.  Since then, God has showed me His love and miracles and mercies in many ways. I believe even more than I have been able to see myself, including miracles and other stories about God in the Bible and similar stories and testimonies of miracles from other people who have lived since the last book of the Bible was written, though God has answered my prayers and prayers of my friends as well, and I have seen people's hearts change. I find it difficult not to believe in God, and in creation, because I love art and am a bit of an artist/writer/designer myself. These things around us are too beautiful, and our minds are too complex, and so is science, for us to simply have exploded into existence without reason nor purpose, or to have developed from some small, unreasoning blob. There are more reasons, too, including the work that He has done in my life, on my own character, giving me victory over so many problems, and giving me a peace that is beyond understanding. How can I fully and adequately express my reasons for believing in God, or the evidence I have? These are some of the most obvious things, but there are more. I suppose we could simplify it by saying, "I simply do. It's easier for me to believe that He exists, and that He created all us and nature, than it is to believe that He doesn't exist, and that we ended up here some other way."

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debbym

in that same line Jessie, i met a gentlemen who believed that God was real after he witnessed inmates coming from their cells that were so insane they were not allowed to be touched, and had to shackle themselves before they could leave their cell for any reason, both arms and legs.  he identified this horrible insanity as evil and his response was to turn to God.

i think this has to do with why evil is permitted to touch our lives... often to stimulate us to turn to God..

it is about being led to we feel our need... i think one of the conditions of receiving anything from God is that we must have a sense of the reality of our need.... and then we experience the reality of our need being met by a God... in a very real way.

really real... lol

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Gregory Matthews

Subjectively, I believe that God is active in my life.

Not subject to a scientific observation, but, it is where I am.

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fccool

God is real as a concept, but not as a table or an apple or a car.   Whether God exists or not, it can only be conceptual to us, and thus wouldn't be something that we could discuss as "real" in terms of the reality that we experience.   It's sort of like one character in a game asking another "what makes programmer real to you".   Well, there's nothing inherent in the game that would make the game-creator real to these characters.  They exist in a sub-set of reality which is a lot "less real" that that of the creator.   It is "real" from their perspective, but it's a fiction when it comes to examining it from perspective of the creator.

Thus, I really think that religion tends to miss the point of "god-relationship"... which would be conceptually impossible.   Ours is a reality of narrative stories, and that's how we perceive the world... by means of a story-like narratives.   God can only be real as a narrative that moves us in certain direction.  It's not a ghost that pops up and gives you money and moves your brain cells so that you can "hear".  

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JoeMo

Like Jessie-Jess, I believe God is real because of things I have seen or personally experienced.  I have "seen" people be healed of horrible things like lameness, blindness, and deafness.  I have taken part in the spontaneous healing (aka "miracle") of a man with crushed  vertebrae and herniated discs in his neck - hearing bones pop and watching muscles move.  God has "spoken" to me (not audibly; but "in my head"); and what He told me came to be.  When I was stressing about being unemployed a few years back, God sent a literal sparrow to me that sat on my head and sang to show me that "his eyes are on the sparrow".  God is real to me because I believe He has interacted with me; and experience is hard to deny (or maybe I'm a French Fry short of a Happy Meal).

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Geoarrge

I don't like coming to the conclusions that I reach after eleven years of frustration and disappointment, but I'm not going to lie about it and say the experience has brought me closer to God.  It hasn't. It's been demoralizing and destructive. I wish otherwise, but what I'd like doesn't matter. So I avoid thinking about it as much as I can.

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fccool

I think the issue really about what people consider "real", and there's no clear distinction in our "mind experience" as to what we consider real and what we consider not real.

Hence, a lot of religions actually bank on making no distinction between a reality and a concept of reality.

God, the way 99% of the people claim to experience God, exists entirely in people's imagination.   I'm not saying whether God really exists or not, but that's how people tend to experience God.   They read the Bible, they equivocate some events to God doing.   So, if they get something they wished for in a prayer... that's God acting, etc.   They put a mind image to the Biblical narrative.    But all of these are imaginary experiences.   That's not how we experience real relationships with people.

Religion tends to blur the line in a since between imaginary and real to the point where people can't tell the difference.   So, things like "Let the Holy Spirit lead you" is an imaginary concept that people cast on some real events.

Another distinction that is blurred is the fact that we do have a multi-functional mind.   Our brain functions on conscious and unconscious level.   Thus there are constant signals that our nervous system sends us that warn or demand certain things.   There are always some information being processed and ends up surfacing as a conscious thought.

For example, we may sit and think that we are hungry, and that's not a decision that we've made.   It's a combination signal that we get from our subconscious mind and the "nervous sensors" of the stomach, or other sensors in our body.    All of that is a part of the "human mind".  

But, it's very easy to label the subconscious experiences... the ones that one part of our selves talking to other... as some sort of the "divine" in a sense of urge to do something, to say something, or to avoid something.     These tend to surface when body is in a "trance state"... when subconscious "autopilot" system takes over the conscious one.  

Thus many of the "God" type of experiences actually derive from failure to understand that there's more to "me" than what I immediately perceive.

Coming back to the OP,  there's virtually no education coming from the pulpit about the honest reality of this subject matter, primarily because a vast majority of "religious experience" relies on conflating subconscious with "Holy Spirit" or God-speak, and imaginary concepts with reality.

Again, I'm not against the honest discussion about the nature of reality and possibility of God, etc, but much of what I hear from the pulpit is structured around a rather dishonest (perhaps unintentionally) methods of failing to define reality vs concepts of reality, and subconscious self vs some supernatural influence.

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fccool

I think it should be noted that numbers like 99% are not literal, but figurative rhetorical way of saying "overwhelming majority".   I would say that overwhelming majority does experience God as imaginary... meaning as a concept in their mind and not as some physical manifestation of God that they react to.  I'd happily post some research done on this topic, but it has no place in this section.

As far as how many churches I've been to.. more then I recall.   Again, it's a sweeping generalization, I admit... BUT I listened to the radio quite a bit and I graduated from the University where we've had high-profile Christian speakers and pastors lecturing on daily bases.   Phrases like "Walking with God", "Relationship with God", "Holy Spirit Working through you" are a good example of what I'm talking about.

I haven't heard a single pastor saying "Hey, God is only conceptual unknown for humans.   You can't know what God is really like other than conceptually.   You can't have a relationship with a book or a concept.   Your heart is a blood-pumping organ, and you can't invite Jesus there. "   I'm sure there are, but it's generally NOT the predominant view of how people experience God, hence 99% number. 

As far as the dishonesty,  I think it's a general casting of our collective cultural mold that simply isn't ready to examine the reality under certain metaphors that we habitually repeat.  I don't think it's an issue that's unique to religion.  Religion is merely one human function where it becomes more concentrated.

 

 

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Stan

@Robert

@CoAspen

If you posted here, and can not see it, it could be because the post is Hidden..  why was it Hidden? Remember please in Original thoughts, there is NO QUOTING.

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Geoarrge

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect God to actually do something once in a while that's distinguishable from the product of our own imaginations. 

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bluebelle

I've pretty much seen God work in my life (prayers answered, situations that I thought were unsolvable went in another direction that I hadn't considered before, my growth as a Christian) so for me,  I guess the proof is "empirical". It's just easier for me to believe because, although I haven't heard the still small voice, circumstances in my life changed and still changes in such a way that couldn't be assessed as" naturally developing", if that makes sense.

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8thdaypriest

I've kept a journal for some 38 years now - since I went through a dramatic conversion experience.  I wrote in my journal about some 23  "miracles".  Those miracles definitely strengthened my belief in a supernatural force.  Seven times - during those 38 years, I "heard" a "voice" say things to me.  Once it seemed audible.  My husband "heard" the "voice" once (audibly) and once (in his mind).  All of those miracles were not sufficient to teach me well founded doctrine.  No.  For that I had to search the Scriptures - intently.  I'm still searching them. 

The amazing complexity of biological systems - also leads me to believe in a Designer. 

The accurate prophecies concerning Jesus, written hundreds or thousands of years before their fulfillment  - lead me to believe in Him. 

And yes - I agree - the completely insane actions of those under the control of the Evil One, convince me there is a force for Evil, fighting against the Force for good in this world.  The WAR has become more and more evident. 

I will share just one miracle story.  In June of 2005 we had monsoon rains just like this year (2016) here in East Texas.  We live up a long winding country road.  It's about 3/4 of a mile from our house to where our road meets the road going into town.  At that junction there is a large culvert running under our road.  It is a large one now.  It used to be a much smaller one.  That night as it rained and rained, we didn't realize the culvert had plugged up with brush and debris, til the road completely washed out.  Left was a big gash across, 10 foot wide and about 8 foot deep, with the small culvert laying in the bottom.  I will attach a picture to this post if I can. 

My husband used to play racquet-ball at the Y, and he would leave our house about 4am.  He was so used to our road, that he would drive it kinda fast - though I always worried about him hitting a deer with his little Chevy pickup.  This is country, and there were no lights along the road.  Back then there were only a couple of houses, back off the road.  So the only lights were his headlights.  As he drove down the winding road, he suddenly saw deer - I mean a big herd of them - running alongside of him.  He slowed way down to let them pass.  But instead of passing, they just stayed right with him.  He was now going only 5 miles an hour - really creeping along.  He was irritated, thinking he wouldn't have as much time to play his raquet-ball.  The deer gathered in front of his pickup.  They wouldn't move.  They just stood there.  Finally he got out of his pickup - in the rain.  Then the deer dispersed.  Then he saw "something"?? in the road.  The road didn't look right in his headlights.  What he saw about stopped his heart.  The road was completely washed out, with angry water rushing through the crater.  He came home and called the Sheriff and any neighbors we new.  We were trapped for 2 days - cause that was the only outlet to the main road, and any off-road soil was too boggy to risk driving on. 

I am absolutely convinced that the LORD's angels herded those deer, to save my husband. 

I've gotta go search for those pictures.  They're in a digital file somewhere on my husband's computer.  I loaded a picture of our property back then, just so you can see how country it is.

DSC00242.JPG

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8thdaypriest

I am quite sure (knowing how my hubby drives) that he would have been killed that day.  And there would be no ProphecyViewpoint website. 

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JoeMo

That story is definitely a "miracle" story.  People can come up with any alternative story they want, but their alternative would be more coincidental than the miracle.

About 5 years ago on Christmas Eve, my wife had been so sick she wanted to die.  We went to bed and I laid hands on her and prayed for her healing until she was a sleep and breathing easy.  I then prayed that God would give her a sign that He was with her and would heal her.  The next morning (Christmas), she got up around dawn to let the dogs out to potty.  Their was a bald eagle standing on our back porch, wings fully spread, looking in our window.  When my wife opened the door, the eagle just backed off and watched her for a few minutes; then calmly walked off the porch into the back yard and flew away.  My wife took that as the "sign" we were praying for.  In the 18 yeard we have lived here, that was the only time we have seen a bald eagle; and he was on our porch looking in the window.  We remembered the verses in Isaiah talking about mounting up on eagles' wings.  Coincidence?

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