I have been visiting exchristian.net since the past month and I find it very interesting. Are there former ministers who have been to bible school or have studied theology intensively? Is there anyone here from South India? Especially someone who a pentecostal?
I am currently a pentecostal from South India (Kerala) but since last year I have been very critical of Christianity. Reading the bible and really thinking about it, the whole thing brings forward may too many holes for christianity (Firefox shows up a typo when I type christianity with a lower case C-hmmm-supernatural) to be a one stop shop for truth. I have slowly started to move away from christian beliefs and have been inching my way to atheism. And in most areas I have started to find answers that gives me some clarification.
However there is one aspect that stumps me and I have not been able to find any solid articles regarding it. It's about prophecies. And by prophecies I mean the ability of some pastors to know secrets of a particular person. We have quite
a lot of that in India. Predicting the future is nothing big, cause I have read about self fulfilling prophecies and such. But the following has me researching online frantically but not finding anything yet. There's quite a lot of 'supernatural' prophecy phenomenon and miracles (mostly unverified and quite a lot of them involves just doctors doing their job) in South India.
1. I recently had an interesting conversation with my sister and she told me about a pastor who visited her college and revealed things about her that he couldn't possibly have known ever. He did this again with her friends who weren't christians that turned out to be true. These are things their friends didn't know but he was able to reveal it to the person privately and sort of 'call them to action'.
2. She again tells me of a couple of students from a college prayer group who meet with a pastor they never knew when they went to a church. The pastor tells them that there is one student in the prayer group who cries out at night. It turns out that a student was going through quite a lot of personal problems and he used to cry at night after prayers. This student accepted christ eventually and was worried about his brothers who weren't saved. He prayed quite a lot and one day saw a vision of a large book and he sees the names of his brothers in the book. The next day he gets a call from his brother and the brother tells him that he accepted Christ last night (the night the student saw that vision). This is what the student told my sister and I have no way of verifying whether he exaggerated or just plain lied.
3. A girl was pondering over questions of God's existence over several months almost tiring herself out. One morning she goes to church with my sister and friends and the preacher speaks exactly 'what she needed to hear'. After the service, the preacher comes over to the group and suddenly points at her and says 'today's message was directed to you'. No one had told him anything about her.(Incidentally, this pastor's father is thought of as a false prophet by quite a number of people that I know personally)
4. I personally have had prophecies told about me. Most of them were predictions of my future which I could point out as self fulfilling and I could argue against it.
These are unverified but these are testimonies from my sister who has no reason to lie because she herself is a bit of skeptic although not as much as me. She does believe the 'holy spirit' reveals things but I definitely can't believe that unless it's verifiable. And plus there's just too many holes in christianity to reconcile it with this apparently supernatural phenomenon. I do think this is an area that needs some serious scientific research. If it's being done already please point me to articles regarding this.
Is it the unknown power of the mind? Would anyone here know anything in-depth about this? Have you gone through this experience?
Do you think the youth is vulnerable enough for people to look into their minds easily?
Please point me to articles that you think will help me with this question.