My boss is a second generation Pastor. His Dad was the Pastor of the Church for many years and even though the son swore he would never become a minister, the call on his life was too strong - he has now been senior minister for ten years.
When he was growing up, he lived in the Church Manse (the house owned by the Church for Pastors to live in). It was as standard a three bedroom brick house as you could find, in a beautiful location, almost overlooking the bays of Port Hacking. He was a normal kid who enjoyed soccer, surfing and music. There was nothing strange or paranormal in his life.
One night in 1982 his Dad was in the centre of Sydney for a meeting. He had left the boys at home because they were old enough to look after themselves but at sixteen, my boss was still a young man and he intended to be home before it got too late.
During the meeting in the city, the Father felt an incredibly overwhelming feeling he needed to go home and that something was wrong.
He sensed in his spirit that God was showing him something, so he prayed for wisdom and discernment. He then felt the intensification of the urge to leave and go specifically home "right now". He excused himself to his somewhat bewildered colleagues and drove the 25km home as fast as he could.
When he arrived, he found his youngest son terrified in his room. A black, hooded figure without features but with a clear form appeared in his room at the time the Father felt he needed to leave. It terrorised the son with it's presence and dissappeared as soon as the Pastors car skidded into the driveway.
He took his son into the kitchen, asked Jesus Christ to bless, protect and consecrate the house and debriefed what had been seen.
The son had heard about demons, but that night their reality was tangible. But so too was the power of God, who the father believed communicated with him at the exact time he needed to go home to minister to his son.
LETS DEBRIEF: It's hard to imagine a coincidence occurring in the manner this situation unfolded. I understand and value skepticism, but the stories of the last two weeks force us to comprehend there is a driving force behind premonitions, feelings that need to be responded to, that later on prove to be lifesaving, protective or just a plain answer to a real and immediate need.
WHAT DO WE THINK (CCAPSG): I think both Marks story with the shark as an unbeliever at the time and Bretts story of a Pastors son show that God cares enough about people to interact specifically with us in certain times of danger. Both of these people have gone on to have amazing ministries and life changing testimonies that have impacted thousands. But remember, Mark did not get warned supernaturally when he got hit by a boat propeller years later and this caused brain injury, disability and huge financial loss. But he says in hospital God told him to 'get out of bed and repent of your life' at a time when he could not speak or read. He dragged himself onto the floor, gave his life to Christ and asked for forgiveness. Guess what - he could read and speak. He became a Christian out of that experience and says with absolute certainty that the accident was the best thing, not the worst thing, that ever happened to him. Isn't that what makes Christianity so counter cultural - it goes against the grain of everything you'd expect in that situation in terms of attitude and outcomes. And also, isn't that why many people think Christians are wacko's - how could anyone be happy about that and how could you not blame God for your problems.
WHAT COULD MANY CHRISTIANS THINK: How come I have not had that experience of God when something bad happened or;
I had an exeperience just like that, I'd love to share it.
WHAT COULD THE SCEPTIC THINK: Ok, if God is real then why doesn't God do that in all situations, to prevent all death, injury and fear? Or;
How can you prove it is from God and not an inbuilt human or psychic ability?
It's just a coincidence, you are starting from a false premise and matching the situation and the result together.
Stop encouraging false positives.
I want this forum to be healthy enough to put forward our view and then look at how a sceptic would see the situation, and examine the outcome in a way that I wanted answered when I was an unbeliever who had not experienced things first hand or as a Christian who has not experienced any supernatural phenomenon.
I'm opening it up for discussion - jump in.