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Old 11-12-2002, 10:15 PM   #1
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Crossing Over and John Edwards

First off, if none of you think this thread belongs here, please move it to somewhere more suitable. I wasn't sure if this is a TGIS, fym or Lem Stand thread.

I dont even know how well known John Edwards is, I assume he is known in America as he is American, but do any of you watch the show Crossing Over? He is a medium who provides a link to those who have passed away and those of us still here. I started watching his show just yesterday and watched another today, and like all psychics, I still have an element of doubt to his authenticity. But still, I now have a whole bunch of questions I am curious to see what others think about this whole thing. Firstly I guess, does anyone think death is the end of the road? Or is there somewhere else we go after this? Can we exist while not in body but in spirit?

Is contact with those still living possible? Can they see us, can we see/feel/sense them?

Does religion come into play for you? Ie, do you think that what faith we have matters, or that all of us regardless of how we practice religion end up the same way in the end? I'm not talking about heaven and hell really either, more that everyone will have a spirit and and that no one really 'ends' their existance once their heart stops beating.

The 4th bunch of questions I guess is what is your general thoughts on psychics? Do you think we all have an element of ability to see beyond only the physical around us and we can develop that? What of john Edwards specifically? I'm fairly sure the world is full of frauds who play on emotions for material gain, and probably even those who mislead themselves into thinking they have an ability when they may not....But you reckon there are genuine ones out there?

I'd love to hear what any of you think about this.
Apologies too if this has been discussed previously in here, I tend to only drop in every now and then so I'm not too familiar with the topics you cover.

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Old 11-12-2002, 10:40 PM   #2
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I am generally familiar with John Edwards' show "Crossing Over". I believe it is shown on the SciFi channel here.

To answer your questions (from a Christian perspective):

1. Is death the end of the road? No. There is an afterlife. When I die I will be immediately in the presence of God.

2. Is contact with the living still possible? I would have to say no. The best description of heaven I can give is being in the presence of God in continuous worship. It will be a joy beyond what we can imagine. As such, we will not “miss” those still on earth. I have no reason to believe that we can hear or be heard by those who have already died.

3. Does religion come into play? Absolutely! When I want to answer a question, I go to my source of Truth.

4. Do you think what faith matters, or do all roads lead to heaven? Jesus says He is the only way to God. This actually makes Christianity fairly unique as most people prefer to believe otherwise. Everyone will continue on after death, but for some it will mean an eternal separation from God (the weeping and gnashing of teeth stuff). You rarely hear this message today as it is unpopular.

5. Psychics. Only God can see past, present, and future at once. The rest charge $3.95 a minute.

I would be happy to elaborate or follow-up on anything where I was unclear.

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Old 11-14-2002, 12:58 PM   #3
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NBC's Dateline (I think that's who it was...could have been ABC's 20/20) did a feature recently on the recent popularity of people like John Edwards (I can't remember if they featured him in particular). They brought in a guy who was a psychic/medium and a bunch of people for him to work with. He had one woman in tears and everyone amazed. Then he told them all that he was not a psychic, and had no "spritual" powers. It's just a matter of knowing the right way to phrase things and what questions to ask.

I'm sure that Mr. Edwards is no different.
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Old 11-16-2002, 04:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spiral_Staircase
It's just a matter of knowing the right way to phrase things and what questions to ask.
I would tend to agree with this, as I tend to be fairly good at this game as well. Would I say that such a talent is "psychic"? No, but I would say that someone can do this is a master at intuition, which is a separate phenomenon that has more to do with psychology than anything else.

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Old 11-17-2002, 11:26 PM   #5
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I don't know who John Edwards is. Having said that, my take on psychics who are 'in contact with the dead' is, quite frankly, that they are in contact with demons instead. Is this hard to swallow? Well, being a Christian, I believe in the realm of demons & angels only. Ghosts don't exist for me. And every person, I think, has what is called a 'familiar' i.e a demon that is assigned to you. When a psychic does his thing, he is actually communicating with the dead person's familiar and this is how he knows all the details of that person.

Oh yeah, this may be tangential, but I'd like to recommend http://www.angasm.org . here is an excerpt on his thoughts about the 'arrogance/exclusive' nature of Christianity (I'm sharing this cos of what nbcrusader said about the afterlife).

Quote:
is Christianity inherently arrogant? There are three main reasons why this may be so:

Christian faith is inherently exclusivist. We claim to know deep and important truth about God and about how to have a proper relationship with God. We claim further that nobody else possesses this truth. Is this not a sort of self-serving arbitrariness? Are we not claiming to be privileged with respect to others? That we possess something of great value which others lack? That we are "in the know" while others are ignorant?
Christians are taught to have compassion on the poor, the oppressed, the weak, the suffering, the afflicted. Isn't this a sort of social arrogance? It assumes people can be divided into classes: the privileged class and a weak "subhuman" class.
Christians are commanded to "minister to" others, in particular, the disadvantaged. Does this not promote a sort of paternalism, in which the disadvantaged are turned into some sort of project for the Christian to stoop to and "help out"?
It's hard to see why 1) must lead to arrogance. For, there are only a small set of attitudes we could have towards God and salvation. We can be atheist, agnostic, pluralistic, or exclusivist. Each of these attitudes is incompatible with the others, so adherents of each must unavoidably think themselves to be right and members of the other groups wrong. If you find a reason why any one perspective would be inherently arrogant, it's hard to see why you can't apply the same logic equally to the other perspectives, thus proving all the perspectives equally arrogant. I prefer to think that none of the attitudes are inherently arrogant. Alvin Plantinga treats this issue in greater detail in his article, "A Defense of Religious Exclusivism", which can be found in the 1998 Wm. B. Eerdmans volume The Analytic Theist: An Alvin Plantinga Reader, edited by James F. Sennet.
I think the problem of arrogance for the Christian comes not from the exclusivity of the religion, but rather its evangelistic nature. For the Christian evangelist not only believes 1), but she also engages in dialogue with those who do not believe 1). Further, she engages in dialogue with an expectation and hope that her target will realize his error, and will convert to Christianity. The Christian evangelist does not admit the possibility that she would, as a result of the conversation, cease to remain a Christian. This inequality inherent in evangelistic work appears to be deeply wrong-headed, presumptuous and arrogant. What can the Christian say to this?

I believe that evangelism can be conducted in a non-arrogant fashion. The Christian evangelist should realize that her job is not to convert the non-Christian through some sort of argumentation. Her duty, rather, is to present the truths of Christianity in a clear, accurate, and relevant manner so that it can be understood by others, and to provide support and encouragement for anyone moved to faith by the Gospel. Conversion is not our work: it is a work of the Holy Spirit. Our role is to make sure others know what we believe. And even as an evangelist, we can approach our conversations with an attitude of genuine interest in the non-Christian's viewpoint. Evangelism need not be one-way communication. It can and should be two-way.

I believe that contact with nonbelievers and non-Christian cultures is crucial for keeping a Christian's own faith fresh and one's own worldview/perspective healthy. It is so easy for a Christian to be completely self-absorbed within the subculture of the Institution of the church. This is extremely unhealthy, since the physical manifestation of the church is a man-made construct. It is distinct from the Church that is the spiritual, supernatural fellowship of Believers on Christ which is described by Paul as both the Body of Christ and also the Bride of Christ.

Southern Baptist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Pentecostal, Roman Catholic—I believe all of these sects (and ones I haven't mentioned) have their own perversions and distortions from Ultimate Truth. The individual believer must winnow her heart to purify and perfect her own knowledge of the truth and work out her own salvation. This winnowing process is notoriously difficult to accomplish if you only interact with other similarly-believing Christians, or if you only experience your own culture. The right way of approaching life is one of humility, knowing that you don't have all the answers. One should seek to find God's truth within the cherished traditions of all nations, tongues, tribes—and even religions. We need to have the courage and open-mindedness to enter into a genuine, honest dialogue with those who do not think the way we do.

"Genuine" and "honest" means that the dialogue cannot be conducted with an imperialist perspective of "we enlightened Christians are doing you heathen, unwashed pagans a favor by imparting to you our greater understanding and knowledge." Such a condescending attitude is not only destined to alienate the non-believer; it is also destructive for the Christian who possesses it. We must be aware that we, as Christians, are human, and like all humans, we have a sinful disposition which aims to distort the truth. God does not not entirely protect us from this distortion simply because we are Christian. We can expect no such protection within our thinking, any more than we expect to be fully protected from other effects of evil and sin in our world: suffering, injustice, disease, poverty.

This has gotten long. I will return later to address the problems posed by 2) and 3).

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Old 11-18-2002, 04:36 PM   #6
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here's an article on him....

http://www.salon.com/people/feature/...ity/print.html

Again, I really think it's a matter of skill and (as this article points out) probability, not communication with the dead.
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Old 11-18-2002, 06:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by foray
Quoting web site:

The Christian evangelist does not admit the possibility that she would, as a result of the conversation, cease to remain a Christian.
Am I reading this right? Does the author argue that salvation can be lost?
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