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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Questions and Answers 113 - 117


Psychic Abilities

Question 113: Do you believe psychics have real abilities?

Answers: It depends what you mean by "real abilities." I think a better way to ask the question, and what I think your implying, is whether or not psychics can predict the future. Let's be clear on one thing: many psychics are frauds. However, there are psychics out there who truly believe they have the ability to predict the future. It seems to me that what they do is follow their intuition, but they believe they have more accurate and sensitive intuitions than an average person, which is an ability they believe can be harnessed by anyone with some training, sort of like what they call a sixth sense. When they are wrong about something, they simply shrug it off as a misinterpretation of their intuition. Most psychics would not call this intuition, as they like to speak of it in spiritual terms, but I believe what they are speaking about is intuition. There could possibly be a demonic element as well, where a demon may suggest to them something they know will be true, and in this way deceiving both the psychic and the one getting their reading. This is true for mediums as well. I once knew a former professional psychic who converted to Christianity who explained to me that she now believed that when she was a psychic that it was a mixture of both intuition and demonic. When I was younger I myself was tempted with something that could be described as psychic ability when I was able to predict things that were virtually impossible to predict, but I quickly dispelled it and interpreted it as a demonic temptation.


Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Questions and Answers 108 - 112


Contradictions in the Gospels

Question 108: In the Gospels we have eye-witness accounts, yet there are contradictions in the accounts, such as in the accounts of the Resurrection of Christ. How do you explain this and does not this prove the Gospel accounts are untrustworthy?

Answer: In 1912 the Titanic sank. According to eye-witness accounts of the time, some said the Titanic sank in one piece, while others said the ship broke in half before it sank. We know now that the Titanic broke in half, then sank. Does this contradiction from the eye-witnesses mean that the Titanic never existed? Or that the Titanic never sank? Or that the eye-witnesses were lying and were untrustworthy? To all these questions, the answer is no, of course not. The reason this is so is because the eye-witnesses saw the sinking of the Titanic from different perspectives and vantage points. If you saw the Titanic sink from the front or back, or perhaps from a far distance, then you probably saw the Titanic sink as one piece from your perspective and vantage point, but if you saw it sink from the side, then you saw it break in half. Similarly in the Gospels, you have different eye-witness accounts written from different perspectives and vantage points, with apparent contradictions. For example, in one Gospel it says the Myrrhbearing women encountered two angels at the empty tomb of Christ, while another Gospel says there was one angel. This is an apparent contradiction, but it is in fact not a contradiction but a difference. In one Gospel account it says there are two angels, but only one angel is recorded to speak, but in the other Gospel account it only records the one angel speaking. The account which speaks of the one angel never says that there was only one angel, but it just stresses the fact that one angel spoke, and there could very well have been two angels, but it was not necessary to record there were two angels, whereas the other account wanted to be clear that there were in fact two angels. Yet we must also remember, none of the Myrrhbearers wrote a Gospel, so the Gospel writers were not recording something they saw or witnessed, but they are interpreting the oral account they heard, and so one emphasized one thing while the other emphasized something else about the same thing. Similar things can be explained with all the other apparent contradictions in the Gospels. What I would be more worried about is if all the accounts were in total agreement from perspective and vantage point, cause then they would be accused of conspiring and colluding.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Questions and Answers 103 - 107


The Difference between the Old and New Atheists

Question 103: How would you describe the difference between the old atheists and the new atheists?

Answer: The fundamental difference between the two, in a very simplistic way, is that the New Atheists believe religion and faith are in the way of human progress, especially the progress offered through science, and they attack religion of all sorts with the anger of a fundamentalist. The Old Atheists on the other hand wanted something more than what the religions of the world offered. Let us take Nietzsche for example. He believed that religion had moved beyond the concept of a God. He felt that the concept of a God inevitably undermined his religious insight, so he rejected all gods. Of course, he fully admits that gods might come in handy in the future. Essentially his main issue was with what he referred to as 'Christian monotono theism': the understanding of God which has become so prevalent that it makes spirituality stagnant rather than allowing us to fully embrace the ever-changing nature of existence.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Questions and Answers 98 - 102


The Miracle of the Snakes of Kefallonia

Question 98: Do you know why there is a decline in the number of snakes that are appearing in Kefallonia during the Dormition Fast?

Answer: I've been asked this a lot. Just so it is clear, snakes appear in two churches in Kefallonia during the Dormition Fast, both dedicated to the Dormition of the Theotokos. Nonetheless, there is indeed a decline in the number of snakes that appear. There are probably a few reasons for this. When I was there in 1991, I was told by locals how some snakes were found dead over the years, and even talked to someone who knew a guy that ran over one with a wagon, and they buried it with honors. This is at least one explanation - they are just dying off. Also, it has become very popular to attend these events, so the increase of people may play a factor too. I have also noticed there has been development and construction around the churches to accommodate the increase of people, which may be another reason the snakes do not appear as much. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next decade or two. When I heard the stories in 1991, I thought the miracle would come to an end in the matter of years, but here we are almost thirty years later and the snakes keep appearing.


Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Questions and Answers 93 - 97


Three Favorite Poetic Quotes

Question 93: I was asked in a school assignment what my three favorite poetic quotes are, and I can't think of any. Can you tell me what yours are?

Answer: You probably shouldn't use my favorite poetic quotes as being your own, nor would you probably not want to, but I'll answer your question:

1. "I was in the death struggle with self:
God and Satan fought for my soul those three long hours.
God conquered —
now I have only one doubt left —
which of the twain was God?" - Aleister Crowley

2. "And so being young and dipped in folly, I fell in love with melancholy." - Edgar Allan Poe

3. "A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men." - Willy Wonka

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