The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-18-2005, 01:44 PM
whole bean whole bean is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
"Speak it into existence" -- what does that mean?

I was watching the glorious trainwreck that is Fox's Trading Spouses featuring Magaret Perrin (a.k.a. the "God Warrior"), wherein I heard her use the above referenced phrase, but much of the context was removed, so I don't know what she meant. My web search brought up some fluffy religious sites (something about an a experiment with two glasses of water, one was yelled, the other spoken to in soothing tones, then both were frozen -- the scolded water froze jagged, the pampered water smooth -- yeah, whatever.) So can anyone help me out. My secretary tells me this is pentacostal lingo, but she couldn't really elaborate.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 11-18-2005, 01:46 PM
whole bean whole bean is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Mods, I meant for this to go in GQ. Please move if you don't mind, and I appologize
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-18-2005, 03:04 PM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: New England
Posts: 33,053
I'm not a practitioner myself, but did she mean "speak faith into existence"?

Here is the story about glasses of water. Looks to me like a fine job for Mythbusters.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-18-2005, 03:20 PM
Homebrew Homebrew is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
"And God said..."

Pentecostals, typically, are literalists and believe the Genesis account of creation is historically accurate. Therefore, God spoke the universe into existence.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-18-2005, 04:13 PM
whole bean whole bean is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves
I'm not a practitioner myself, but did she mean "speak faith into existence"?

Here is the story about glasses of water. Looks to me like a fine job for Mythbusters.
Right that's the story I was talking about, but it doesn't really help. I guess Homebrew has circled in on the idea, I am just wondering if they carry this over to more mundane things -- like physical well being -- I speak myself into good health -- or wealth, or the conversion of others?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-18-2005, 04:33 PM
HeyHomie HeyHomie is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Springfield, IL
Posts: 8,298
Some (pentecostal) Christians believe that if you need something, you say into the air what you need, and if you have enough faith, you'll have it.

You need a car? Speak it into existence. Go out to your driveway and say, "Driveway, you're going to have a car sitting on you by this time next week."

That's the idea, anyway.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-18-2005, 05:47 PM
whole bean whole bean is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyHomie
Some (pentecostal) Christians believe that if you need something, you say into the air what you need, and if you have enough faith, you'll have it.

You need a car? Speak it into existence. Go out to your driveway and say, "Driveway, you're going to have a car sitting on you by this time next week."

That's the idea, anyway.
thanks
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-18-2005, 06:17 PM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: England
Posts: 51,914
I used to go to a church where this was quite a popular idea, rearing its head in a number of different forms, but chiefly:

-material prosperity; you could 'speak' your finances into shape, by asserting that you were rich.
-physical wellbeing; you could 'speak' yourself healthy, by asserting that disease has no dominion over you.

Didn't actually seem to make much difference, at least not much positive difference - in notable cases it made things worse because rather than seeking the counsel of a financial advisor or doctor, you just soldier on bravely denying that there's even a problem (you don't dare admit there's a problem, because that will cause the problem to spring into existence).
Until it all goes horribly wrong, then your peers can smugly announce that your downfall was due to lack of faith or some private (and most likely sexual) sin, or that, as you collapsed to the ground in a high fever, you muttered "Oh God, I feel terrible!" and thus 'spoke' your illness into existence - you'd have been perfectly OK, you see, if you just kept on speaking yourself well...

A related phenomenon is 'Believing God For...' (...things God may not have actually explicitly promised), as in "I'm going to Believe God For the money for that skiing holiday I want".
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-18-2005, 07:21 PM
Derleth Derleth is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Out of curiosity, are these people the same ones who tend to believe magic to be satanic?
__________________
"Ridicule is the only weapon that can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them."
If you don't stop to analyze the snot spray, you are missing that which is best in life. - Miller
I'm not sure why this is, but I actually find this idea grosser than cannibalism. - Excalibre, after reading one of my surefire million-seller business plans.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-18-2005, 07:28 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
It surprises me that this would be a popular idea in such conservative Christian circles. It seems very non-Christian and "New-Agey" to me...I'd bet that if it were observed in a different (non-church) context by the very people who apparently engage in it, it would be denoted as being "of Satan".
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-18-2005, 07:36 PM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: England
Posts: 51,914
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayjay
It surprises me that this would be a popular idea in such conservative Christian circles. It seems very non-Christian and "New-Agey" to me...I'd bet that if it were observed in a different (non-church) context by the very people who apparently engage in it, it would be denoted as being "of Satan".
This is indeed the case; the same people espousing the idea can be found denouncing it in other contexts, such as Christian Science, but that may not be as significant as it seems; these are very often people who will denounce or at least frown upon anything that is more than slightly different from their particular manner of faith.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-18-2005, 08:08 PM
Tevildo Tevildo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
"Who says God exists and is all-powerful? Last night, I spent twenty minutes on my knees praying for him to fix the gearbox on my Austin 1100, and did he? Did he arse! If anything, he's made it worse. I can't even get it into second gear now."

Viz, c. 1990
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-18-2005, 09:53 PM
Humble Servant Humble Servant is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Vaimonoinen, the poet hero of the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic, sings the world into existence.

It's obvious that our "god warrior" is a stealth Finn. First, culture; next, world domination.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-19-2005, 12:49 AM
Chotii Chotii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
I would not necessarily blame this on 'Pentacostals' - it's not typical in Foursquare churches, at least not back when I was a Christian - and most Assembly of God would eschew it. But I have seen others - Casey Treat's travesty of a church is a big example, and I went to one in Missoula for a while with the same general approach, and it was this:

"Name it and Claim it."

God wants you to be rich, and healthy, and blah blah blah. Name your desire in Jesus' name, and claim it in faith, because it's already yours.

The year was 1990. I had just come to that church in Missoula from a group in Portland Oregon that was going to jail (see: www.lifeadvocate.org) for effectively giving up everything they had, including their families, and going to jail, to try to slow down the number of abortions in Portland....in Jesus name.

The contrast could not have been more jarring. Or offensive to me. I called it "Blab it and Grab it", and mocked it savagely....in Jesus' name. I mean, Jesus didn't go around naming and claiming all kinds of riches, did he? He had the clothes on his back, the sandals on his feet, and next to nothing else, and he went around doing good for people instead of worrying what he was going to get next. I shortly became very unwelcome in the young adults' Sunday School. I doubt the pastor of the church knew what the young adult class was really about, because the church was not teaching that level of materialism, in Jesus' name or anybody else's name.

I suspect (I didn't see the television show but I've seen enough commentary on the meltdown and the woman in question) that 'Speak it into existence' is the same sort of faithcraft...uh, conjury. Sort of thing. I'm glad I didn't watch that show. It would have made me feel sick. 15 years I've been out of that stuff, and seeing that kind of depiction still makes me sick.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-19-2005, 02:02 AM
Saint Cad Saint Cad is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
This phrase could date back at least to the Greeks who used "logos" with the connotation of existence. I belive Parmenides of Elea used this idea of speaking and becoming when discussing the non-existence of non-being, although it was Hereclitus who first used the term "logos".

This concept may predate Biblical times because the Greek part of the Bible uses the idea of words => existence but so did the Hebrew section (Yahweh speaks to make the Light). Also, some ancient cultures believed that saying a person's true name allowed you to have power over them.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 11-19-2005, 03:03 AM
Chotii Chotii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Well, perhaps the phrase goes back, but I doubt seriously that Mrs. Temper-tantrum SLAGKICK DARKSIDED Godwarrior woman was using it in its classical sense.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 11-19-2005, 07:55 AM
Khadaji Khadaji is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Southern Pennsylvania
Posts: 21,601
There is a book out now called The Hidden Message In Water

Quote:
The Hidden Messages in Water is an eye-opening theory showing how water is deeply connected to people's individual and collective consciousness. Drawing from his own research, scientific researcher, healer, and popular lecturer Dr. Masaru Emoto describes the ability of water to absorb, hold, and even retransmit human feelings and emotions.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 11-19-2005, 08:15 AM
TV time TV time is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
I am somewhat surprised that George W. has not latched on to this as an example of what happened to the Weapons of Mass Distruction. I mean it falls right into the man's lap.

"So many people were praying the weapons would go away, they did. That's why we can't find them"
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 11-19-2005, 03:55 PM
Brynda Brynda is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
I have heard this idea expressed in different ways several times. I asked our hospital chaplain about it and she said it is a common belief among some people that if you want something, you "claim" it, and if you believe, it will happen. This works for negative things, too, so people with these beliefs would not ever want to talk about "what if you don't get better" or "what if you get worse", etc, because they believed that naming it would make it happen. It made it very frustrating to work with them sometimes.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 11-19-2005, 06:49 PM
samclem samclem is offline
graphite is a great moderator
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Akron, Ohio
Posts: 21,792
Quote:
Originally Posted by TV time
I am somewhat surprised that George W. has not latched on to this as an example of what happened to the Weapons of Mass Distruction. I mean it falls right into the man's lap.

"So many people were praying the weapons would go away, they did. That's why we can't find them"
Let's keep General Questions just that--questions and their answers. Politics belongs in other forums.

samclem GQ moderator
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.