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Miracle-driven conversions to NON-Christianity

Discussion in 'Christianity and World Religion' started by cloudyday2, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    I read a testimony about a woman who prayed very earnestly to God for a sign that might restore her childhood faith in Christianity. The next day she had an unlikely meeting with a man who asked her if she knew Jesus and then led her to rededicate her life.

    Those kinds of stories are common in Christian testimonies. One argument against Christianity is that it isn't special. So those kinds of stories should also be common in NON-Christian testimonies. From a NON-Christian perspective, either these stories are psychological or these stories are driven by a God that does NOT favor Christianity over other religions. Either way, these stories should be common in other religions (unless there is a cultural difference that affects the psychology).

    So is anybody aware of websites that have testimonies of miracle-driven conversions to NON-Christian religions? Are these as common as they are in Christianity? Are they different in character?
     
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  2. Stancet

    Stancet Member

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    Every testimony is special, but I can understand why this one raises questions in your head. Christianity is more than just emotionalism, because emotions are fleeting.

    This is a book I heard of once called Mega-Shift. This is a collection of testimonies about real-world miracles happening here in the twentieth century. https://www.amazon.com/Megashift-Ja...TF8&qid=1511575473&sr=8-1&keywords=Mega+Shift

    But I've read some of your posts CloudyDay, and you have a willingness to learn and a desire for some finite truth. Miracles by themselves probably won't provide the answers you are looking for. My own testimony includes miracles I can't explain apart from God but falling in love with God was the thing that finally drew me to Him.

    (I'd better be careful because I'll be eating my own words soon)

    Anyways, I hope you are curious about the book, and please tell me what you think of it.
     
  3. awitch

    awitch Retired from Christian Forums

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    I would argue that such a meeting is not unlikely.
     
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  4. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    I've got it on my Amazon list. At least it has some nice illustrations that should make it more appealing to read. I have some books that I just never get around to reading, because they are a little too intimidating. LOL
     
  5. Dirk1540

    Dirk1540 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'd bet money that my Amazon cart costs more than yours, I'd probably have to skip a few mortgage payments to totally checkout lol
     
  6. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    It's the circumstances. She prayed all night apparently for a sign after having led a very secular life. The next day she was among a group of very irreligious friends but one of them approached her mostly out-of-the-blue about whether she knew Jesus.

    Whether this type of testimony results from confirmation bias or God, if Christianity is only one of many paths then it should be reported as frequently in NON-Christian religions. (Of course there might be cultural differences that affect the psychology too. For example, maybe Christians expect this type of thing, so they imagine it more frequently.)
     
  7. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    It's the timing involved. Pretty much the same thing happened to me once.

    In any case, an example of a Christian conversion to Hinduism is Michael Sudduth. Religious experience involving Krishna and all. He's got a full letter on the subject here: Michael Sudduth Converts to Vaishnava Vedanta!
     
  8. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    I can think of three cases similar to this in Buddhism.

    The first case was my housemate in college. He was raised as a Christian, but he became interested in Buddhism. I believe he was visiting a museum, and he said that a stranger approached him out-of-the-blue and said something like "I see you are interested in Zen". (BTW He never became a Buddhist. He regained his faith in Christianity by marrying a Christian.)

    The second case was person on another forum. She said that she had a job for the US government somewhere in Europe with a classified email address. She was interested in meditation and such. Out-of-the-blue a person from the Falun Gong cult sent an email to her address at work encouraging her to join or something. According to her this person should never have known her email address because it was for her classified job.

    The third case was another person on a forum. I believe he was an artist working at somebody's house. He was interested in Buddhism, but he didn't tell anybody. Out-of-the-blue the owner of the house started telling him about Buddhism and was apparently very advanced in the practice and knowledge.

    FWIW
     
  9. Dirk1540

    Dirk1540 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Don't mean to change the subject but I've definitely noticed, IMO far more than it being coincidence, that I think of something and within seconds somebody mentions it. It's not an incredible amount of times, but it seems beyond coincidence. I actually thought about a zebra one day at work and someone said zebra within 5 seconds, that was probably the craziest one because I spent all day saying to myself "It's been like 12 years since I've heard the word zebra said out loud!!" Lol.
     
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  10. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    I was taking a long walk a couple of years ago, and I noticed a dime on the sidewalk. It was like the dime was spiritually highlighted to get my attention. I wasn't certain if I was "supposed" to pick up the dime or NOT pick up the dime. I went back and forth and finally left it there, because I don't usually pick up money off the sidewalk anyway. ... Near the end of my walk, a guy at a bus stop said something like "do you have a dime?" Normally when people ask for money they ask for "some change". A dime can't even buy a pack of gum nowadays. It seemed very odd to me. Also the guy looked like a normal person instead of a homeless person. Weird IMO
     
  11. Dirk1540

    Dirk1540 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It's tiny glitches in the matrix of reality lol. Hey did you ever study Quantum Mechanics? Actually to be more precise have you by any chance bought that Quantum Mechanics course from the Great Courses? I never looked into it at all, I was thinking of grabbing the course but not sure if it would go over my head. No matter how favorable the reviews are there's always that one reviewer who seems to scare you away by saying that they understand the subject well yet still had a hard time following it lol. But maybe it's just the case that you'll always get your haters.

    It seems like a cool course to get, how the physics becomes completely counter intuitive to normal physics. I actually started cracking up at what the professor said in the sample video..."Quantum Mechanics not only changes our view of everything, but Quantum Mechanics also changes our view of, nothing!" Hahahahahaha!
     
  12. Quid est Veritas?

    Quid est Veritas? In Memoriam to CS Lewis

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    Its called the Baader-Meinhoff Phenomenon. Some attribute it to a frequency bias, that you are just primed to pay more attention to instances of something once it was brought to your attention. Often this seems unlikely though to my mind, when the thing is really uncommon to start with, but maybe explains some instances thereof a bit.
     
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  13. Quid est Veritas?

    Quid est Veritas? In Memoriam to CS Lewis

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    If I remember correctly, there were even cults that manufactured such 'coincidences', using multiple members to ensnare a specific target by making it appear serendipitous - I think Scientology does so for high profile targets like celebrities, but can't recall the particulars.

    I am naturally sceptical, but on occasion such things appear far too perfect for me to believe it to be coincidental. My wife once verbalised doubts and immediately got a text message on a Bible study, for instance - my wife hates getting messages or being called, so her number is sacrosant and seldom given to anyone or anything.

    Mani, the prophet of Manichaeism, had a deity called the Call, that essentially awoke men as to the Light within them, via such occurrences - either explicit revelation down to quotidian coincidences - to remind them of their otherworldly origins.
     
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  14. Dirk1540

    Dirk1540 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Quid, first of all, I now know why I've always noticed that in your history when I go to my News Feed you are always in those Recreation Room threads, man those threads are addicting lol.

    I'll definitely repeat and stress that it is not even close to something that happens a LOT, but it definitely has happened many times. One time I was taking trash out at a place I worked at, a girl who worked there a couple years prior had not been mentioned in forever, why on Earth would she nobody hung out with her...I thought about her, again in under 5 seconds someone talked about her!! I'm actually a huge fan of pointing out frequency bias!! I always point it out. But how bizarre and precise the instances are it almost makes me believe that thoughts might fire out micro waves, and maybe it's extremely rare that it jogs something in someone in close proximity. This is my Sci-Fi speculation going on! The preciseness of totally off the wall topics, combined with it always happening in under 5 seconds does make me laugh and think it exceeds frequency bias, but at the same time I don't rule out frequency bias...I mean how many thoughts do you have every day about crazy random things? I supposed you will get occasional hits.
     
  15. Dirk1540

    Dirk1540 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Dude, I'm sorry but if you even attempt to take a shot at the wisdom of Tom Cruise I will lose so much intellectual respect for you!! Lol
     
  16. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    Obviously we should all be worshipping the Great Zebra in His beautifully striped brilliance.
     
  17. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    I was wondering about a different explanation. Imagine the brain as a distributed system. The introspective idle thoughts happen in one area, and the conceptualizing of sense information happens in another area. Later these the idle thoughts and the senses information are spliced together in a third area. Maybe during this splicing phase new more-conscious-level thoughts can be created and spliced into the mental movie along with the more-subconscious-level thoughts that happened in another part of the brain earlier.

    So what I'm getting at is that our conscious awareness of what we were thinking about might happen several seconds later. So the final product is a perception that we thought something before it happened, but actually these thoughts were spliced-into our conscious sequence of memory out-of-sync.

    A similar thing could explain deja vu ( Déjà vu - Wikipedia ).
     
  18. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    I bought the DVD, but I haven't watched it yet. I watch them in the evening while I'm stretching before going to sleep, and I usually don't feel like straining my brain. Right now I am watching an excellent series of lectures on the pharaohs of Egypt. The instructor is an excellent speaker IMO.

    I did take a one-term introductory class in QM when I was a sophomore and majoring in physics. It didn't make much sense at the time, and I've forgotten most of it. That was several decades ago.
     
  19. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    I wasn't very impressed by Sudduth's experiences. He seems to be highly emotional and lacking in common sense. I don't know if you have read "The Wind in the Willows"? Remember Mr. Toad? That's how Sudduth comes across when reading his testimony.

    What did you think?
     
  20. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    Well, I don't know much of anything about him besides this particular story, but it is important to note that he is a philosopher of religion and so there'd be all sorts of intellectual reasoning going on here also. He already seemed to believe that the way people experience God depends upon culture and psychology, which is an easier view to reconcile within a Hindu than a Christian framework. He doesn't say that he's realized that Krishna is real, but that he's drawn to the character of Krishna and now needs to experience God as Krishna.

    It is emotional, yes. I would not be comfortable with this level of... woolliness... in a God concept, and I am pretty woolly. But I need something concrete--it can't all be smoke and mirrors. But if he had already believed that the only difference between the various religions was experiential, being swayed to Hinduism for emotional reasons makes sense. He was already there in everything but name anyway.
     
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