Continuing Discussion from Demon Possession in 2016


(Henry Stoddard) #1

Continuing the discussion from Demon Possession in 2016:

[quote=“Henry, post:55, topic:4581, full:true”]
@Find_My_Way

I believe that Satan and his followers have been bound to some extent. In the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus talks about the strong man whose house could not be taken until he was bound. Jesus is referring to Satan and the evil ones. The question is: When will these spiritual beings be bound? If I were an amillennialist, I would say at Jesus’ first coming. If I were a postmillennialist, Satan is being bound more and more as the Gospel is spreading through the world. Premillennialists, whether they be historic premillennialists or dispensationalists, would say at the Second Coming of Christ when the millennial reign of Jesus begins. Historic Premillennialists also say that Satan is bound to some extent now. I believe that Christians cannot be possessed because we are the temples of the Holy Spirit; however, what about unsaved people? They do not have God’s Spirit within them; therefore, I must conclude that demon possession is still possible. Look at the Son of Sam in the 1970’s, the Boston Strangler, or Jack the Ripper. There was something demonic about these people. I must say that anyone who does not believe in miracles lacks something in faith. Why does our fellow companion keep coming back to miracles? I have seen too much in my time not to believe in these. Is this person trying to test the faith of others? Is there something driving him to do this? Is it his logic or is there something else driving him to return to this matter ? I wonder. I know there are modern miracles. I have seen them. Thomas, why do you keep taking about this subject? Isn’t there not something else more interesting? What is making you have so much doubt? You always come back to the same subject. Perhaps I am wrong, but I believe you want to cause doubt in others. It will not work with me. Also, let’s think about the Austrian gentleman you keep mentioning. Don’t you think there was something different about him? I have known people that knew him. They think I am right. Could it have been that he was demon possessed? Think about it!

Find_My_Way: This was meant for you. Would you like to respond? It was really not meant for Christy. What is your response, Thomas? By the way, is Thomas your real name or does it refer to Doubting Thomas in the Gospel of John?
[/quote] Who are you really, Doubting Thomas? Who are you really?


(Henry Stoddard) #2

@Find_My_Way
I feel that the Demon conversation should come to an end. Why should we give Thomas the pleasure of seeing discontentment? In my opinion, that is all he wants to do. I am right, aren’t I whoever you really are? You want to keep us talking for nothing. My suggestion to everyone is to respond to him no more. That is what I am going to do. I have better things to do. Ta Ta


#3

Probably so. Yet, the exchange did provide a good opportunity to expose the “logic” being used by the deniers. I think readers who come upon that thread will be able to see some clear contrasts in the arguments.


(Thomas) #4

All these labels… I would suggest that one would do well to abandon labels and denomination and follow the argument wherever it leads to become as close to reality as is possible in our understandings. Labels such as the ones above just oppose Jesus Christ’s prayer for the Church. Did He not want unity? And instead you are all separating yourselves and fighting over interpretations like Dogs. I do not succumb to any of this labelling nonsense and I oppose it bitterly.

Still possible? Of course! But does it actually happen? NO! Show me evidence that it does.
The people you mention simply enjoyed killing or were suffering from severe brain damage/mental illness.

How about a desire to know how things really are? To live in reality and not ever be led astray by or believe in something that isn’t actually a reality? I assure you THAT is my only agenda. You claim to have seen miracles? I have seen none. I have read many claims but they all fail the basic smell test. If it smells like garbage, it probably is…
The fact you think I am some faith tester or something you must rise against only proves that you are NOT my target audience. I am after intelligent and rational discourse with people who are able to think critically and discern truth from fantasy. I am after people able to question their beliefs in order to see if they truly hold up to scrutiny. Why do you suppose I am asking my questions on Biologos and not just walking into my local Church building? The answer is simply because there is a chance of finding the people I seek here, while there is no chance of finding anything but blind sheep in my local Church building.

It is definitely referring to that same Thomas. Yes. I have my doubts. That is only to be expected from a rational, intelligent Human Being regarding several Thousand year old stories including physics-breaking events. Especially when nothing of the sort can be seen Today. If you have evidence to remove my doubt, by all means present it! If not, please stop resorting to labelling me a spiritually sick troll.

Am I trying to sow seeds of doubt? YOU BETCHYA! But I am not doing it to be vindictive or a troll.


#5

Help me to understand what you are saying. It sounds like you are saying, “I haven’t seen any miracles. Therefore, nobody has seen any miracles.” That is called the Argument from Personal Incredulity fallacy.

I first saw some people exhibiting what some people called “demon possession” in my twenties. Honestly, I didn’t know what to think of it at the time but I did think that everything I saw could have been explained by various psychiatric conditions. Not for another thirty years did I personally witness for the first time (along with a close colleague) the kinds of phenomena which I’ve spent the rest of my life wondering about. Those events cannot be explained away by mental illness or mass hysteria. Among other things, physical evidence was left behind.

Now, would the physical evidence which I kept to this day be useful in convincing you or anyone else of what I saw? No. And if the same evidence had been shown to me sixty years ago, I wouldn’t have shrugged and said, “So what? How do I know that that is how the evidence came about? How do I know you saw what you say you saw? How do I know those events happened?”

You see, there are all sorts of things which a person can observe and yet not be able to convince non-observers of what transpired. Carl Sagan was so fascinated by this fact of the human experience that he wrote the Contact screenplay which became a major motion picture in which the Jody Foster character was faced with that dilemma. She knew what had happened but she knew of no way to convince anyone else. Sagan said this plot point came from a conversation he had with a close Christian friend. He forced Sagan to recognize that we all know various things to be true that we can’t “prove” to anyone who didn’t share our experience. Not everything a human knows is subject to the scientific method. That is why there will always be questions which will be explored by philosophers but not scientists.

Unfortunately, with the deterioration of liberal arts education in this country, even many PhD scientists no longer understand how theologian-philosophers developed what became modern science (which they knew as “natural philosophy”) because they recognized that a significant subset of academic inquiry can be investigated through special methodology which today is usually called the Scientific Method. They never claimed that the Scientific Method was the only way to investigate and understand reality. Unfortunately, some think that methodological naturalism is the only way to grapple with what we observe. (Some even say “Science is the only way to understand the world” and “The material is all there is.”) Most philosophers would disagree. I certainly do. There are many questions humans ask for which science provides no answers.

Are you implying that if something can’t be demonstrated for your personal observation with compelling evidence, it can automatically be dismissed? If I recall, Carl Sagan changed his position on this when his theist friend asked him the question, “Do you have compelling evidence to convince me that your mother loved you?” The Contact movie protagonist’s dilemma was created in order to frame that problem for the audience.

Absence of Evidence is NOT Evidence of Absence

For many many centuries skeptics relegated the Giant Squid to the tall tales of sailors. Indeed, whether it was called a Kraken or a Sea Serpent or even an Evil Leviathan, the lack of tangible evidence in the form of a carcass which could be carefully examined made a doubter’s stance quite understandable. The first published papers based on close examination and dissection of specimens finally appeared toward the mid-19th century. Does that mean that the Giant Squid did not exist before that time? Were skeptics correct in saying, “I’ve never seen one. I know of no one among my academic colleagues who have seen a Giant Squid. Therefore, they don’t exist.”

I could cite many similar examples. Nevertheless, they should be unnecessary for anybody who has taken a course in formal logic with a textbook which lists the classifications of arguments based upon logic fallacies.

Tell me, if you had lived in the 17th century and someone asked you about the “fantastical tales” of sailors describing the Giant Squid, how would you have gone about finding “intelligent and rational discourse with people who are able to think critically and discern truth from fantasy”?

In 1650, would you have told the many people who had personally observed giant squid that they were mentally ill and unable to distinguish fantasy from reality—simply because they were unable to provide a live adult specimen?

Indeed, no video record of a live adult Giant Squid was available anywhere in the world until 2005, if I recall correctly. Did Giant Squid’s not exist prior to 2005?

@Find_My_Way, I look forward to your answers.


#6
  1. While I certainly favor unity, I’m not sure that you and I define unity in the same way.

  2. Also, labels are simply convenient identifiers which allow us to discuss differences in doctrinal perspectives and beliefs. Labels simply organize and refer to differences which already exist. Labels don’t create those differences.

  3. The Bible uses labels to distinguish beliefs and the people who hold them. For example, Nicolaitans and their Nicolaitanism are labelled several times in the New Testament. Moreover, Jesus himself commended the Ephesians for hating the Nicolaitans and said that he hated them too:

But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
---- Revelation 2:6

The Bible doesn’t condemn labelling. The Bible condemns a lack of love and failure to be Christ-like amid our differences! (Of course, being Christ-like doesn’t mean being limp as a noodle and pretending that differences don’t matter. But I’m leaving this for another thread topic because here we are talking about “Demon Possession in 2016…”)

Through the centuries, Christ-followers have often erred in overemphasizing non-crucial differences and neglecting Biblical unity—and we’ve also erred at times in pretending that differences don’t matter and thereby creating ecumenical travesties which encouraged heresies. (Those details also I will leave for another forum thread—although I am not entirely clear just how far we can roam from the topics relevant to the central mission of Biologos. I will leave that to others to define.)


(Jon) #7

Have you considered trying to discern facts instead of trying to sow seeds of doubt?


(Henry Stoddard) #8

Too bad that you have your doubts. That means you have no faith. God help you. You have finally admitted it. You are trying to plant seeds of doubt in others. Jon is right. Thomas has no faith as he claimed he did. :smile: I always was a good judge of people. May God help you. Also, you are not strong enough to plant seeds of doubt in me.


(Henry Stoddard) #9

Jon,

You gave him a good response.


(Henry Stoddard) #10

I must disagree. You are simply trying to destroy the faith of others. I won’t work on me. That disturbs you. Do not deny it.


(Henry Stoddard) #11

If you admit that possession is still possible, why do you doubt it, Tommy? You contradict yourself. :laughing:


(Thomas) #12

I wont be responding to Henry any more. I find him unreasonable, to put it as politely as I can…

As for everything else here. I am seeing no real evidence for anything. Only the usual “I saw something I cannot explain” nonsense. With enough rationalising and arguing about possibilities, ANYTHING can be believed in. But that doesn’t make it so.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence? There is no evidence that Vampires exist either but that lack of evidence is a good enough reason for none of you to believe in them…

This is an absurd discussion at this point and I am leaving it. By all means, believe in Demon possession all you want… With no evidence to back it up. I’m heading off back to the real World now. Bye.

Such self importance! I don’t care about your faith or for that matter, testing it. What is your problem?


(Henry Stoddard) #14

I am so happy. :laughing:


#15

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


(Henry Stoddard) #16

I agree with you completely. Thanks for your comments.


(Thomas) #21

When everything is said and done. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I will then require photographs, video footage, names and contact details of anyone involved in a Demon possession so that I may be convinced.

To that I say: Good luck.

Until then, I have a complete lack of genuine Demon possession backing up my claim that they no longer occur Today.


#22

It’s a good thing most academics are not fooled by your bluster, @Find_My_Way. If your “logic” were the only acceptable standard, we would have been forced to conclude that the Giant Squid didn’t exist until 2005. (Yes, that was when the first video of a live Giant Squid in the wild was available to zoologists worldwide.)

Carl Sagan was sufficiently fascinated by this “proof” scenario that he wrote the Contact screenplay to explore the implications of Jody Foster’s character knowing what she had observed and experienced but lacking a lot of the usual means of convincing others. That plot point arose from atheist Sagan’s fascination with a Christian friend’s demonstration that Sagan knew all sorts of things which he could never prove to others.

In any case, I doubt if anyone is going to lose any sleep over whether or not any particular individual is “convinced” of anything, whatever it may be. As for me, I’m going to cook some dinner. (Perhaps followed by some devil’s food cake.)


(Thomas) #23

A perfectly natural creature possibly existing is VERY different to a supernatural claim of which there is no evidence.


#24

And at one time, the giant squid, the kraken, and the dragon (no believed to have been based on fossil finds of ancient protoceratops) were all considered “perfectly unnatural creatures”. How would you have determined which ones were “supernatural” claims? (Now we know that dragons had existed all along on Komodo Island and nearby lands but the fire-breathing types remain supernatural claims to this day.) Thus, your natural versus supernatural distinctions are a lot easier to make now than 200 years ago.

And do you mean a “perfectly natural creature” like behemoths and leviathans? Scholars still debate whether the behemoth is a “perfectly natural creature” or a literary creation. Some debate the leviathan likewise but there is more of a consensus that it is a mythical construct.

In any case, I don’t think we need to multiply the threads into countless sub-sub-sub-topics. They are multiplying like tribbles. Goodbye.


(Thomas) #25

The Behemoth was either an Elephant or some kind of giant, ground Sloth. The Leviathan sounds like a poetic description of a very large Crocodile.

How could they be anything else? Nothing else like the descriptions exists. If the description is describing a mythical creature that doesn’t actually exist, then why is God mentioning it? If it is, then God is wrong and the Bible is garbage.

Dinosaurs are CONFIRMED beyond ALL doubt to have not existed when Man did so they were NOT Dinosaurs.