Well I don't meditate....pour my heart out to God.
I have no idea how you came around to this answer or what your point is. You asked how I would expect your presumptive meditational breakthrough to affect your life. What's this got to do with it?
What about me calling my mom and asking her why she believed in Jesus Christ?
What about it? You
are the claimant. The burden of proof is yours
. It is up to you
to establish the veracity of your conclusions. I do not have to explain it away. Otherwise any idiot can make any crazy-but-impossible-to-disprove claim and have to be taken seriously. For more on that, see Russel's Teapot, though as a former atheist you should be both eminently familiar with it and ashamed of yourself for resorting to "prove me wrong" tactics.
As for your mom, I can think of two things off the top of my head to dismiss it. First, it is possible you heard the story before and simply forgot. Memory is an unreliable thing. Second, assuming she is your biological mother, it is possible you both share some genetic predisposition to a similar neurological glitch. I'm not claiming that was it. I'm just saying, there is enough reasonable doubt (not to mention paucity of evidence) to reject your claims.
What about all the causally related, biblically congruent events that have happened in my life over the past 1.5 years?
I need you to explain what you mean by "causally related, biblically congruent". I know what each of those words mean, but when you put them together in that order, I have no idea what you are saying.
What about the amazing connection I feel when I pray to the God of the Bible? What about the tears that flow down my face every time I worship God at my Christian church?
I call that working yourself up into a frenzy. You think followers of your particular cult are the only ones who "feel" things? I referenced Sufis already. They are just one non-xian mystical group. Hindus, Buddhists, Native Americans. They all "feel" things. Heck, even the fricken mormons claim to hear a "quiet voice". It is not unique to you or your group. It appears to be part and parcel of having a sufficiently highly developed brain. And this type of experience has been replicated in labs, without any invocation of deities or spooks or hobgoblins.
So, if you want me to buy what you're selling, you need to bring a lot more to the table.
What about the complete 180 that has occurred
that's your own brain at work.
... only possible via the Holy Spirit?
I don't see how it's only possible with the holy spirit. You've not established that as a fact. It is just an emotionally fraught opinion.
Anyone that knows me knows that I don't fake anything.
Hold on there, slim. No one said you faked it. I certainly haven't. I think you probably had the experiences you claim you had. I just think your explanation for them is wrong. You are leaping from an experience to jesus H, and I do not find that connection to be obvious or warranted.
I'm very skeptical. There is no question that the God of the Bible is changing my heart, desires and mind through the Holy Spirit.
The latter sentence negates the former.
It's all a product of God's unmerited favor.
yeah. That must be it. You are special. All the rest of us here, on the other hand, are totally shit outta luck.
The difference is you can't mistake the tangible Holy Spirit living inside of you...
Okay. Let's analyze this rationally. How do you know this? How do you know it is the HS as opposed to a drug in your coffee or some other kind of supernatural effect?
And if you have the Holy Spirit inside of you, you have no reason to manipulate the Bible,
Of course, if you only think
you have the HS inside you and actually don't , you may manipulate the bible and think you're not.
a person relationship with God
Can you describe this? I've had conversations with many xians who talk about a relationship with god. I inquire what they mean by that and it always ends up that it's not actually a relationship like any other relationship they have. It is a "relationship", in quotes. That is because it is not a relationship at all. It is defined by them talking to a god whom they believe exists and then interpreting mundane goings on around them as coded messages from said deity. Or they get feelings, which they are sure come from him. Mormons actually claim to hear a "still, quiet" voice, which, not coincidentally, sounds exactly like their own.
So, this relationship you claim to have - describe it for me.
The street light example isn't causally related to anything. It doesn't happen to line up with the Word of God. What I'm describing is much more powerful and amazing.
I have no idea what you mean. What do you mean the street lights are not causally related to anything? Everything is causally related to something. And what powerful, amazing phenomenon are you talking about? Nothing is more powerful or amazing than the Force.
I think you should consider reading my testimony again.
No. You've not said anything to make my point invalid. I stand by what I said. I am not impressed. You've not connected the dots.
Just bc I was raised that way doesn't mean that Jesus isn't the one and only true God.
True. But come on, you find god and it just so happens to be the god you were raised believing? And as was pointed out by others here, how is it that people in india, pakistan, china, and all those other heathen nations don't have the same kind of experiences and conclude "it must be jesus H"?
The only people who turn to jesus H christ are the ones who've already heard of jesus H christ.
It's hard to have a genuine Devine experience point you in a direction of fasle divinity as is the case in all other religions and Gods.
I hope you realize how stupid that statement is. It really is beneath me to explain it.
I'm not in a cult.
Says the cultist. Do you think Catholics think they're in a cult? Mormons? Of course not. And yet, you think they are anyway.
I reject your checklist. Dickie Packham is obviously a twit. His checklist is self serving and he, as far as I could find, is not an expert in anything, except perhaps speaking German. You need to do better than that.
Here, start with wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult
It's not perfect, but at least it has references to legitimate people.
It's not bigotry to disagree with someones lifestyle or beliefs.
I didn't say it was. But you do not just disagree with them. You arrogantly look down on them. If you did not, you would not be calling them a cult. Own up to your bigotry, Justin. Bigotry makes baby jesus cry. Why are you making baby jesus cry?
Catholism is one of the most damaging things in this world.
I don't disagree. I'm not defending the RCC. However, I find it hypocritical in the extreme for you to be throwing stones. It is no more damaging than evangelical xianity and probably less so than the charismatics. You know. The loons who speak in tongues, handle snakes and writhe around on the floor.
The Bible was always meant to be the authority.
That would be incorrect.
Their authority is based on apostolic succession. Not the bible.
The bible exists only because it was assembled
by early church leaders through a process of negotiation, popular vote and horse trading, so to speak. The books that make up the bible were decided by...the church. Without them, you wouldn't even know what belongs in the bible.
And the bible does not itself say it is the authority. Sola Scriptura is not biblical. However you slice it, you rely on the authority of the Roman Catholic Church. Without it, the bible is totally subjective.
It was written by men who were inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit. It's 100% true.
Ipse dixit. And those allegedly inspired men were certainly not whatever new-to-the-game cult you represent.
The catholic church is the opposite of the experts at bring you or teaching anyone about God.
I would agree. However, my position is if there is a god, no one knows anything about it. Thus, the people who wrote the bible are as reliable as my garbage man, progably less so, given their level of knowledge. Your plumber is as much an expert on god as you, a theologian or a priest. You, however, have no grounds to complain about them. Your arguments are hypocrisy.
I do not worship the Bible as that would be idolatry. I worship the one and only Living God through His Son Jesus Christ.
No, no. You fetishize the bible. It is an idol to you. All your "congruent with the bible" talk is no different than bowing down to Mammon. That too makes baby jesus cry.