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Old 12-27-2004, 10:53 AM   #16
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Right on, nb!
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Old 12-27-2004, 02:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by coemgen

8. My wife gave birth to our second son Dec. 18. As with our first son and all other children (including us) it was nothing short of miraculous. Miracles aren't always huge things, although those still happen too. A miracle is simply a sighting of God's continuous work.
Wow, thats a great way to explain it. I would definitely agree with that. I just say I don't know because I think when people ask about miracles, they are talking about a water to wine kinda thing, not the miracles that occur in the small unnoticed ways. Again, great way of stating that and congratulations on the baby!!

Take care,

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Old 12-27-2004, 10:59 PM   #18
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Personally, I feel that many miracles have happened in my favor, and in others every bit as much as me. My birth was a miracle. I had parents who were loving enough to allow that to happen. My mother did not have a miscarriage, and that's a miracle in itself. Surviving my depression stage was a miracle as well. Most of all, finally coming to peace with God instead of continually hating myself for whatever reasons I had, was probably the miracle I am most thankful for.

I think it's a miracle that we live in an environment where we don't have to worry too often about dying of heat or cold, and a world composed of mountains, plains, the sun, the stars, the moon, palm trees, beaches, green grass, the whole thing. To me, it's evidence we have always had that miracles exist, and it all started with our creation.
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Old 12-28-2004, 07:29 AM   #19
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I think miracles have happened to me, too. My mother had three miscarriages between my older brother's birth and my birth. Somehow, God decided I was going to be born, grow, survive pneumococcal pneumonia with the help of penicillin, and overcome other obstacles.
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Old 12-28-2004, 02:24 PM   #20
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I've seen a few things happen in my life that I'd consider miraculous. My family, within the past few years, has had quite a few crazy experiences, both health-related and travel-related and whatnot, and yet we've always been lucky enough to emerge from them all okay, and something positive has always come out of those bad events. We like to believe that's the result of our grandmother watching over us as sort of a guardian angel-she'd always worry about our safety when she was alive, and we think she's still worrying about us now and making sure we're okay .

Congrats to those of you who've had happy events happen in your lives recently, by the way .

Angela
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Old 12-28-2004, 02:49 PM   #21
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Moonlit, verte76 and macphisto — thanks for sharing your inspiring stories. God has clearly worked in each of your lives too. I got goose bumps reading your stories. And Carrie, thanks for the congrats! I think you're right, many miracles go unnoticed or overlooked. When you think about it, our very existence is a miracle. It wasn't up to us and on one hand, it wasn't up to our parents either (although they had to...you know). The whole way we were "knit in our mothers womb" as the Bible says is a miracle.
Before our sons, Brendan and Aidan, were born, they were just there in the womb. Then, when it was time for delivery, they both, as most babies do, turn upside down and face up, to come into the world. How does a baby know to do that? How do a man and a woman have sex and then about 20-some days later, there's another heart beating inside the woman?!?! Then we all had a tube that was attached to a placenta, which provided us our nutrients while in the womb. Was that just accidently there for us? It's mind-blowing and it has a higher sense of love written all over it.
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Old 12-28-2004, 09:31 PM   #22
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Re: Supernatural Beings... how do they work?

Quote:
Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
Angels, demons, good, evil, God, Satan, Heaven, Hell... how do they work?
In our current world, you would get so many responses to this one question that you could write a 1000-page book.

Not only are there religious differences, but cultural and, most importantly, personal. Decades ago, perhaps there was a more unified belief in a given religion or sect, but now, people's personal views of God, Satan, etc. take on different aspects. Many people, for example, do believe in God and a heaven, but not a hell or the devil. Or they'll accept a hell of our own making (i.e., our own internal torment). Then, of course, there are those who believe in the traditional views of each as well as those who don't believe in God at all, but do believe in ghosts. So this is a very loaded question.

As such, I will only give my personal views on your questions.

Quote:
1. Does God test us?
I believe everything is pre-destined. Does this mean we have no choice? Quite the opposite - we have plenty of choice. However, each decision we make leads us down a given predestined path. That is, once we make a given choice, an event will occur. Does God test us? No - but I do think he gives us choices and we do what we want with them.

Quote:
2. Do supernatural forces allow tragedies to happen?
No. The earth is "alive". Our Sun has explosions. Moons orbiting Jupiter have volcanic eruptions. And our Earth will have its quakes, hurricanes, blizzards, tornadoes, floods, etc. These are all part of nature. Sadly, people will die as a result of our "living planet". As for more local personal tragedies (cancer, accidental deaths, financial ruin, etc.), some of this deals with the "choice" issue I discussed above and some is just part of life. Deaths happen - we cannot stop it. One might argue that if God or a supernatural being designed this planet and us, then He (it, they) do allow tragedies to happen. But then, perhaps what we interpret as a tragedy is not seen as such by God or a supernatural force.

Quote:
3. Do supernatural forces speak through us?
No, we speak for ourselves. I think our choices (discussed above) dictate our lives. However, I do feel we can be influenced by good or bad deeds performed by others. I also believe we can feel a certain "grace" or "evil", and those may be from our personal spiritual guardians or tempters, but we have the choice to use or ignore either.

Quote:
4. Is anyone still demon-possessed?
I never felt anyone ever was demon-possessed.

Quote:
5. Does predestination exist?
Yes, see my above comments. It exists, but is highly dependent on our choices. For example, we choose to have that one extra beer at a bar. But that one extra beer then triggers a series of events that would not have happened had we skipped that beer. The extra beer could lead to a DUI. However, that extra beer might have meant we avoided getting into a 5-car accident that occurred. Each decision leads to another path and another decision. Think about how many decisions you make each day (what time to get up, what to wear, what to eat, to exercise or not, to work or not, etc.) and think of how each decision leads you down a different path. IMO, each of these paths lead to a certain destiny, one that was predetermined. All of those paths are connected as they form our life. So while predestiny exists, it is highly dependent on our choices.

Quote:
6. Do we control our own thoughts?
Yes. But again, we can be influenced - but we always have a choice.

Quote:
7. Is good and evil hereditary?
No - it is part of society. A child raised in an unloving, uncaring environment may lead an "evil" life as an adult.

Of course, one has to consider - perhaps that child was MEANT to live an evil life as an adult. That evil person was meant to do what he did - through his series of choices - because ultimately we are all connected. And as such, is anyone really evil then?

What I just wrote is an interesting concept, and one that even I'm not sure I accept completely. Because I do feel that we have choices to avoid "evil" as we all inherently know what "evil" is (no society has to dictate that to us). However, if we are all interconnected, perhaps that "evil" person was there for a very specific reason - one we might not understand.

Still, as I wrote, I'm not sure I fully accept that notion. As I believe in choices, I say that no good or evil is hereditary.

Quote:
8. How do miracles work in modern society?
Miracles happen constantly. When I was very young and a new driver, I had a slight accident. I drove down a ditch. I had two small children in the car. I had difficulty getting out of the ditch and the children were crying. I looked up and down the road and saw no one. I thought to myself, "What I really need is a person with a pick-up truck and a chain rope that can help pull me out." No sooner did I think this than exactly that appeared!! The person helped me, asked for nothing in return and then "disappeared". I saw the person drive off, but I then didn't see the truck anywhere on the road! Miracle or just my poor eyesight and good fortune? Was this my guardian angel, or just a kind stranger who drove away quickly? And even if it's the latter, did that person just happen to be at the right place at the right time because of a higher power - a "predestiny" on bout of our paths?

Miracles don't always have to be on a grand scale. The tradedy in Asia is now being followed by many miracles. And miracles don't have to be "magical". They just need to be powerful and unexpected - and those occur daily.

Quote:
9. Is it wrong to be angry?
That's like asking "is it wrong to be happy or sad or horny or confused". It's a human emotion and we will feel it from time to time. How we act upon it is something else.

Quote:
10. How does prayer work?
I believe in God. And as such, I believe God hears all prayers and answers them. Sometimes the answer is "no". As was stated in the silly comedy, "Bruce Almighty", since when do humans really know what we want? We all want things to go our way - but they won't or can't. We think being rich or beautiful or talented will help us, but will it? Perhaps our "poor, ugly, unskilled" selves are far more meaningful to those around us than any famous actor or rock star.

Prayers are still powerful, even if we don't get what we want, as they allow us to think. We can meditate and reflect upon what we really need in life. We can focus our energies - and this in turn can help us succeed. In other words, this meditation allows us to discover answers. Also, I do believe that at times God also says "yes".

Hope this helpls!
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Old 12-29-2004, 04:16 AM   #23
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Re: Re: Supernatural Beings... how do they work?

1. Does God test us? I would have to say "No". To say that God tests us is to say that God allows tragedies to happen. I don't believe God allows tragedies to happen.

2. Do supernatural forces allow tragedies to happen? No.

3. Do supernatural forces speak through us? I'm not sure.
I tend to agree with coemgen on this one.

Quote:
I think God can use others to get across something. He did that with the writers of the books of the Bible. I would argue he's doing it with Bono and many others out there. He can use everyone of us — even you reading this!

4. Is anyone still demon-possessed? No.

5. Does predestination exist? I agree with Moonlight Angel here..

Quote:
I think in some ways, yeah, it does. I believe this world is a mix of fate and choice.
6. Do we control our own thoughts? Yes, and I loved nbc's response..

Quote:
Yes, unless you believe in aliens
7. Is good and evil hereditary? No, we are in control of our deeds.

8. How do miracles work in modern society? I think they work however we want them to work. You can decide that something that has happened to you is a miracle and appreciate it and be thankful for it - or you can brush things aside and not notice.

9. Is it wrong to be angry? No, but as pax pointed out - too much anger isn't healthy and should be worked through.

10. How does prayer work?

I liked doctorwho's response on this.

Quote:
I believe in God. And as such, I believe God hears all prayers and answers them. Sometimes the answer is "no". As was stated in the silly comedy, "Bruce Almighty", since when do humans really know what we want? We all want things to go our way - but they won't or can't. We think being rich or beautiful or talented will help us, but will it? Perhaps our "poor, ugly, unskilled" selves are far more meaningful to those around us than any famous actor or rock star.

Prayers are still powerful, even if we don't get what we want, as they allow us to think. We can meditate and reflect upon what we really need in life. We can focus our energies - and this in turn can help us succeed. In other words, this meditation allows us to discover answers. Also, I do believe that at times God also says "yes".
I also believe that prayer for others is helpful as we send good vibes and love. I think the receipient of the prayer feels better feels better just knowing that others are thinking of them.
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Old 12-29-2004, 02:34 PM   #24
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Re: Re: Re: Supernatural Beings... how do they work?

Quote:
Originally posted by BostonAnne
I also believe that prayer for others is helpful as we send good vibes and love. I think the receipient of the prayer feels better feels better just knowing that others are thinking of them.
And I agree with you here . Also, you're welcome, coemgen .

Doctorwho, that's a freaky story about your miracle ! Whoa...*Starts humming "Twilight Zone" theme*

That exact thing didn't happen to me, but that kinda reminds me of something that happened to my family once. We'd gotten stranded by the side of a road, and we were waiting around for help, and all of a sudden a lady stopped by and offered to give us a lift to the nearest town, and then a tow truck would come out and take our car into that town to get fixed. She drove us out to the town, dropped us off near a hotel so we'd have a place to stay while we waited for our car to be fixed, and she didn't ask for anything in return. And she took us there even though it was completely out of the way of where she was planning on going that day. It's really, really nice to know there's still people out there who are that generous. And my family's said that should we ever see somebody stranded who needs help, we're going to do the same thing to them. It's small things like that that make this world worth living in, I think.

Angela
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Old 12-30-2004, 01:25 AM   #25
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Re: Re: Supernatural Beings... how do they work?

It kind of hit me that I should probably answer some of my own questions, so here it goes:

Quote:
Originally posted by doctorwho

1. Does God test us?

I believe everything is pre-destined. Does this mean we have no choice? Quite the opposite - we have plenty of choice. However, each decision we make leads us down a given predestined path. That is, once we make a given choice, an event will occur. Does God test us? No - but I do think he gives us choices and we do what we want with them.
Oddly enough (insert drumroll)... I agree to this answer for the most part. I think that you make your own choices, but there is a path for whichever choice you make. I might counter your answer "no" with something pretty extraordinary, if not, downright coincidential. My brother told a youth group that he wanted to be tested, and nobody really expected that kind of willingness (for lack of better words) to come out of him. About two weeks later, he got into a serious car wreck and it costed hundreds of dollars for repairs. Fortunately (and miraculously), nobody was hurt. On his next youth group meeting, he shared the experience. I don't remember every detail - and wish I had - but we all reminded him that he "wanted God to test him." Either it's a bizzare coincidence, or God really did test him.

Quote:
Originally posted by doctorwho
2. Do supernatural forces allow tragedies to happen?

No. The earth is "alive". Our Sun has explosions. Moons orbiting Jupiter have volcanic eruptions. And our Earth will have its quakes, hurricanes, blizzards, tornadoes, floods, etc. These are all part of nature. Sadly, people will die as a result of our "living planet". As for more local personal tragedies (cancer, accidental deaths, financial ruin, etc.), some of this deals with the "choice" issue I discussed above and some is just part of life. Deaths happen - we cannot stop it. One might argue that if God or a supernatural being designed this planet and us, then He (it, they) do allow tragedies to happen. But then, perhaps what we interpret as a tragedy is not seen as such by God or a supernatural force.
I would say that a lot of tragedies happen because mankind is careless, but some may be chosen to experience a loss or some other type of tragedy in their lives. As you presented in the previous question, there is a path for everything that happens.

Quote:
Originally posted by doctorwho

3. Do supernatural forces speak through us?

No, we speak for ourselves. I think our choices (discussed above) dictate our lives. However, I do feel we can be influenced by good or bad deeds performed by others. I also believe we can feel a certain "grace" or "evil", and those may be from our personal spiritual guardians or tempters, but we have the choice to use or ignore either.
I actually disagree, in a biblical fashion. I think when someone has a piece of mind that is incredibly uplifting, I think it could be super-human (pardon my choice of words, I don't know how else I would say it). I think when people verbally judge others, they allow the devil to speak through them. As Jesus put it, "Let your 'yes' be a 'yes' and your 'no' a 'no'. Anything after that comes from the evil one."

Quote:
Originally posted by doctorwho

4. Is anyone still demon-possessed?

I never felt anyone ever was demon-possessed.
I think it's very possible. In biblical times, evil forces were at an all-time high, especially when Jesus was alive on earth. I don't know how else I would explain the demon posessed woman in the synogogue that Jesus healed on the Sabbath. I think it was the devil's way of putting Jesus between a rock and a hard place. Consequentially, the religious teachers of the law hated him for things such as this. I think that Osama bin Laden could be demon-possessed. I think that people who follow violence in the name of God are probably demon-possessed. I think some that suffer schizophrenia (AND NO, it's not really their fault!) could be as well.

There was a program on The Discovery Channel a while ago about this guy who was anything but normal. Every time he walked into a room, it rained. It freaked people out, including himself. He believed that he was demon-possessed, and I don't know how else to explain the rain either. When psychologists talked to him, rain would come by. Extremely strange, but yes. I do believe that people are still demon-possessed.

Quote:
Originally posted by doctorwho
5. Does predestination exist?

Yes, see my above comments. It exists, but is highly dependent on our choices. For example, we choose to have that one extra beer at a bar. But that one extra beer then triggers a series of events that would not have happened had we skipped that beer. The extra beer could lead to a DUI. However, that extra beer might have meant we avoided getting into a 5-car accident that occurred. Each decision leads to another path and another decision. Think about how many decisions you make each day (what time to get up, what to wear, what to eat, to exercise or not, to work or not, etc.) and think of how each decision leads you down a different path. IMO, each of these paths lead to a certain destiny, one that was predetermined. All of those paths are connected as they form our life. So while predestiny exists, it is highly dependent on our choices.

6. Do we control our own thoughts?

Yes. But again, we can be influenced - but we always have a choice.


Quote:
7. Is good and evil hereditary?

No - it is part of society. A child raised in an unloving, uncaring environment may lead an "evil" life as an adult.

Of course, one has to consider - perhaps that child was MEANT to live an evil life as an adult. That evil person was meant to do what he did - through his series of choices - because ultimately we are all connected. And as such, is anyone really evil then?

What I just wrote is an interesting concept, and one that even I'm not sure I accept completely. Because I do feel that we have choices to avoid "evil" as we all inherently know what "evil" is (no society has to dictate that to us). However, if we are all interconnected, perhaps that "evil" person was there for a very specific reason - one we might not understand.

Still, as I wrote, I'm not sure I fully accept that notion. As I believe in choices, I say that no good or evil is hereditary.


Quote:
8. How do miracles work in modern society?

Miracles happen constantly. When I was very young and a new driver, I had a slight accident. I drove down a ditch. I had two small children in the car. I had difficulty getting out of the ditch and the children were crying. I looked up and down the road and saw no one. I thought to myself, "What I really need is a person with a pick-up truck and a chain rope that can help pull me out." No sooner did I think this than exactly that appeared!! The person helped me, asked for nothing in return and then "disappeared". I saw the person drive off, but I then didn't see the truck anywhere on the road! Miracle or just my poor eyesight and good fortune? Was this my guardian angel, or just a kind stranger who drove away quickly? And even if it's the latter, did that person just happen to be at the right place at the right time because of a higher power - a "predestiny" on bout of our paths?

Miracles don't always have to be on a grand scale. The tradedy in Asia is now being followed by many miracles. And miracles don't have to be "magical". They just need to be powerful and unexpected - and those occur daily.
I agree with all of the above.

Quote:
Originally posted by doctorwho

9. Is it wrong to be angry?

That's like asking "is it wrong to be happy or sad or horny or confused". It's a human emotion and we will feel it from time to time. How we act upon it is something else.
Great way to put that one,


Quote:
Originally posted by doctorwho
10. How does prayer work?

I believe in God. And as such, I believe God hears all prayers and answers them. Sometimes the answer is "no". As was stated in the silly comedy, "Bruce Almighty", since when do humans really know what we want? We all want things to go our way - but they won't or can't. We think being rich or beautiful or talented will help us, but will it? Perhaps our "poor, ugly, unskilled" selves are far more meaningful to those around us than any famous actor or rock star.

Prayers are still powerful, even if we don't get what we want, as they allow us to think. We can meditate and reflect upon what we really need in life. We can focus our energies - and this in turn can help us succeed. In other words, this meditation allows us to discover answers. Also, I do believe that at times God also says "yes".
I like the Bruce Almighty example. I enjoyed the part in the film where tons of people all won the lottery, and got all the stupid things they asked for. I think prayer makes a difference, and I've seen them work. When people pray, it should remind them that God is listening, and that God has a way out of whatever it is they're going through. I also think that prayer shouldn't be done just when things aren't going so well. I think there are a lot of people we know and don't know that we should pray for.

Quote:
Originally posted by doctorwho
Hope this helpls!
It does, and thanks to everyone who has offered their input so far.
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Old 01-01-2005, 07:45 AM   #26
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Does predestination exist?

I don't beleive in that or fate. I believe we all have free will like some have mentioned and that that allows us to make choices in our lives such as to serve God or not or something along those lines. Not to argue this fact but if fate (I think that's mostly a synonym for predestination) was true, it would almost be like we were all doomed. If every action we did was planned out (say me posting this thread even) what would be the point in religion at all? If you belong to a religion, then God wanted you to. If you don't, meaning that has already been mapped out by God that you wouldn't, that would be like Him rejecting you and I believe that God is a loving God and that He wouldn't do that unless He first saw how you chose to live your life or something.
Hope that made sense!
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Old 01-01-2005, 11:07 PM   #27
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I believe that some things are "meant to be", but I definately believe in free will. A loving god would not punish those who doubt if doubt was not an option. I don't believe we exist like robots. I think that it takes a lot of sin to take you away from God.

I think belief is a decision one makes out of free will. What happens to them over the course of their lifetime may be another thing. There are events that take place in our lives that are beyond our control, and we have to trust that God has a way out of it.
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