Revelations

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Revelations in Religion

Moses and the Burning Bush (Exodus 3):

Moses had killed someone so he seeked refuge in a cave where God revealed himself. There was a bush in the centre of the cave which set alight, however when Moses touched it, it did not burn him. God then started talking to him, explaining Moses' 'mission' which was to free the Isralites.

Damascus Road Experience (Acts 9:1-22):

Saul was a Jewish, Christian hater who killed many Christians. He was travelling to Damascus when Jesus asked him to stop killing Christians and then took away his sight. When Saul reached Damascus, Ananias, a disciple, confirmed Saul's experience and restored his vision, after he promised to stop persecuting Christians. Saul then became the devoted Christian, St. Paul.

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Special Revelations

Direct revelation from God. Usually has a profound effect upon the person or people involved. It isn't available to everyone.

Examples: God's call, visions, dreams, miracles, St. Paul.

Strengths:

More personal

Gain more confidence as a person.

Feels more powerful as it is more believable to the individual.

Weaknesses:

Hard to prove to others (subjective) - no witnesses.

Could have been a hallucination.

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General Revelations

Indirect - available to everyone, yet not all choose to see it.

Examples: holy books, nature, life and works of others.

Strengths:

Can keep going back to it.

Likely to be more witnesses.

Can be interpretted and adapted to modern culture.

Weaknesses:

Less personal.

Less powerful.

Doesn't always fill someone with confidence.

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The Impact and Power of Revelations

Power:

Providing proof of God's existence and belief.

Helping to start a religion.

Guiding people through God's wishes (e.g. Moses).

Impact:

To help give them a sense of worth and purpose.

Give them direction in life.

Make them a more confident individual.

Change how they behave.

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Reality vs. Illusion

Reality:

1. If it confirms revelations from the past.

2. Change of religion (St. Paul).

3. Athiest to Thiest.

4. Change in behaviour.

Illusion:

1. They are so desperate to have one that it happens (wishful thinking).

2. Hallucinations (as a result of drugs or alcohol).

3. There can be different, conflicting revelations between and within religions.

4. The person may suffer from a physical or mental illness.

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Alternative Explanations to Revelations

1. As a result of wishful thinking.

2. Ordinary events are misinterpreted as revelations.

3. Fraudulent revelations.

4. Conscience as a result of the way you were brought up.

5. Revelation as the result of a type of epilepsy (e.g. Ellen G. White).

Ellen G. White (1827-1915) was a Christian whose revelation led to the founding of the church of the Seventh Day Adventist.

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Key Words

Benevolent - goodness, being all-loving.

Omnipotent - almighty, unlimited power.

Omniscient - all-knowing, knows everything.

Eternal - live forever.

Supremacy - supreme power or authority.

Immanent - the idea that God is present in and involved with all life on Earth and in the universe.

Transcendent - the idea that God is beyond and outside life on Earth and the universe.

Reality - the quality or state of being actual or true.

Illusion - an erroneous perception of reality.

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