God Sent a Message to an Agnostic
Both of my parents came from religious families. When they married each other they had to decide about religion. For various reasons they decided to bring the children up as agnostics.
For those who are not sure of meanings of these words, an atheist says "There is no God". An Agnostic says "I do not know if there is a God".
A theist says "There is a God" - and then usually goes on to explain how God has declared that their particular religion is right. A pantheist says there are Gods.
I was an agnostic. I had read up on some religions and decided they were not right for me (and presumably not for God either).
I had seen a form of therapy that was incredibly good for removing the dyslexic condition. I was living in a joint household. The son of the other couple was severely dyslexic. His father, a teacher, worked with him every night. The child had no sight vocabulary at all. He would sound out common words like "to" and "and" several times a night - not recognising these words from minutes before.
His mother heard about Tomatis therapy. She took the boy to Paris for treatment. After the first 8 days of treatment they came home. The father reported that the boy now read two whole sentences under his breath, and then read them out loud. His problems with bullying at school stopped immediately.
After the second bout of treatment, we were watching a video in French, with English subtitles. I nudged the mother because I noticed the boy was reading out the subtitles as they flashed up.
Tomatis therapy was not available in England, and we wanted to set up a treatment centre in or near our village in Yorkshire. We costed the project, and we needed £42,000.
Give the Lord a Channel
The boy's mother was a theist.
She said that if it was the Lord's will that we set up the treatment centre, the Lord would send us the £42,000. I thought I would give the Lord a channel or mechanism by which to send the money, and so I started doing the Football Pools.
For American readers, the Football Pools are a weekly gamble based on predicting the results of about 60 football matches taking place each weekend. If you guess right you can win millions for a tiny stake.
I thought that by giving the Lord a channel by which to send the money I was making it easier for the Lord.
The Lord sends a message
In the fourth week the Lord helped me to win. The Lord sent me £4.20, exactly one ten thousandth of the amount we needed.
The fact that The Lord had got the £4.20 right was statistically an impossible coincidence, so it was a message. I think the Lord was saying that ours was not an unworthy request, as otherwise the Lord would have ignored it. However, the Lord was not prepared to send us the funding.
There was also a subliminal message that if the Lord wanted to help he did not need the Football Pools to do it - I was rebuked. And the Lord had used my channel to send the message, just to be clear!
I did not previously believe or disbelieve in God. Fortunately God thought enough of our project to send the message.
So where does this leave me? In the face of this very small miracle, saying that God does not exist, or that I do not know if there is a God, is irrational. I am now a theist.
So now I have to decide which religion to follow - or do I?. Provided I lead my life in a good fashion -which I was doing anyway- the Lord ought to be pleased with me. I saw and see no reason to hunt round the various religions.
I had always been amused by a religious group called "the Strict and Particular Baptists", because of the implication that there must be "Relaxed and Backsliding Baptists" from whom they were differentiating themselves. We had fighting going on in Northern Ireland along religious lines, and some of that spilled into Scotland and Liverpool particularly.The Middle East has religious issues. As a political asylum lawyer I had seen what people do to each other in the name of God. I could not believe that God wanted me to go and kill good people because they were the wrong religion.
So I am a theist, but I am relaxed about it as I believe God is.
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