From: bivalve (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Feb 18 2003 - 14:26:57 EST
Judging by initial replies, I may not have made my point clear. I am highly skeptical of the validity of the message that I quoted because it looks very much like a widespread email scam. However, what I thought would be of interest to the list is the fact that the fellow claimed to be moved by divine inspiration. It is that part of the claim that I thought might be worth examining.
The fact that the source does not appear credible is one reason to discount the legitimacy of the purported revelation. Another problem is lack of accuracy, as I am not receiving funds for any ministry.
Although I am theologically dubious about any revelation that claims to supplement or supplant Scripture, it is not evident that the email that I quoted is claiming such a revelation. Rather, it appears to claim that he received supernatural insight into understanding or applying Scripture, namely a particular application of charity. Inspiration of this category is credible, though this particular example is not.
Another difficulty with this particular example is that it does not clearly show adherence to Biblical principles. The message suggested that he was trying to atone for ill-gotten gains by giving some to charity. However, it is not evident that he has first sought to make restitution (assuming for purposes of illustration that the story is true). It also seems unlikely, as Jay noted, that he has carefully assessed needs, especially those of his immediate neighbors, and decided that this was the best use of his philanthropy. Not that local charities must always take precedent over foreign ones, but that there are surely needy charities there, whereas the one he is purportedly seeking to fund is a figment of his imagination.
Can such principles also apply to other claims of revelation? What additional principles for assessing such claims have I overlooked?
Dr. David Campbell
University of Alabama
Biodiversity & Systematics
Dept. Biological Sciences
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0345 USA
That is Uncle Joe, taken in the masonic regalia of a Grand Exalted Periwinkle of the Mystic Order of Whelks-P.G. Wodehouse, Romance at Droitgate Spa
---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
From: "Sondra Brasile" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 13:27:22 -0500
>Point well taken.
>Since we're sharing, I had a personal revelation that has to do with the
>subject, about 3-4 years ago.
>I had just found out that my husband of 15 years was a philanderer, an
>adulterer. I was completely blindsided, I had no idea, no indication that
>for the past 6 or so years he had had numerous adulterous relationships and
>in fact was in the midst of a 6 month long "relationship" with a woman that
>I "by accident" had just found out about.
>We have 4 children and I will just say that it was the most devastating
>experience and emotions I can imagine. Mentally, emotionally, even
>physically I was devastated, I lost 19 pounds in two weeks and my usually
>low blood pressure was dangerously high, so much so that my doctor, who is
>also a friend, 'freaked out' and put me on mind numbing drugs (they were
>really bad, I elected to quit taking them after some serious side effects).
>In the midst of my suffering I questioned God, "How could you know how I
>feel?" I asked him, "you say you partook in all our human sufferings through
>Jesus Christ here on earth but Jesus never married, he never had to go
>through this torture, how can he identify with THIS suffering?" As if God
>spoke it loud and clear, in my head I heard, "This is how I feel each and
>every time you put something else before your relationship with me. This
>happens to me countless times a day and throughout history. The church is my
>'bride' and I get cheated on repeatedly, I know EXACTLY how you feel and to
>a degree you will never know".
>I remained crying, but the *reason* for my tears had changed.
>>From: "bivalve" <email@example.com>
>>Subject: personal revelations
>>Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 12:55:31 -0500
>>In considering what criteria validate a revelation, perhaps an example with
>>no personal interest for list members would be useful. Conveniently, I
>>just received one by email. Why is this credible or not credible? What
>>criteria apply? Can they be applied to other examples?
>> >Dear Brother in Christ,
>>I am ELDER MASINGA Willmba Ugochi of Demostration Ministry
>>Nigerian Inc.Worldwide,basically a prayer and
>>deliverance Ministry.I am equally a retired Managing
>>Director of Ministry of Aviation,since I recieved my
>>calling and joined my Ministry,I have been asking God
>>to purify what remains of my wealth for Evangelical
>>works and for Orphanage.
>>On the last day of a special fasting and praying
>>session in my Ministry,there was a divine revelation
>>from God that I should invest in your Ministry.My God
>>is not an author of confussion,contact me immediately
>>for further discussion. <
>> Dr. David Campbell
>> Old Seashells
>> University of Alabama
>> Biodiversity & Systematics
>> Dept. Biological Sciences
>> Box 870345
>> Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0345 USA
>>That is Uncle Joe, taken in the masonic regalia of a Grand Exalted
>>Periwinkle of the Mystic Order of Whelks-P.G. Wodehouse, Romance at
>Help STOP SPAM with the new MSN 8 and get 2 months FREE*
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