God’s Voice

February 10, 2009

As an ex Christian, allow me to explain the concept of hearing “The voice of God”.

We often hear people say “God warned me and I did not listen” or “God told me she was a good person” or even “God told me to stay away from that place”. There are countless examples of people claiming to “hear” God speak. However, upon investigation one might ask them the simple question: “What does God’s voice sound like?” resulting in a puzzled look from the person claiming to hear God speak. For all the non-believers out there, allow me to try and provide some more insight. Christians do not “hear” the voice of God, they feel it. Sure, some may claim to hear an audible voice, but, as any good pastor will tell you, this is a bonus and not the expectation. Of course, there are many people in mental institutions who claim to hear audible voices and so the fact remains that hearing an audible voice does not mean it came from any god. For most Christians though, God speaks with a “feeling”. There is a saying: “The soft still voice of the Holy Spirit that screams at you”. You most often hear Christians say things like “I feel God is saying…”

As a former Christian, I still “hear” the “Voice of God”. I have however discovered its real name. It is called gut feel. There is no difference. Sure, some people would claim there is a difference, but one needs to consider their motives, their beliefs and their investment in the belief that they are privileged enough to hear God speak. My gut feel and my previous experience of “The Voice Of God (TM)” is the same thing, just different names. People sometimes experience a gut feel, about a person, a place, a situation, an idea and many other things. In the same way Christians live with the belief that God speaks to them by a “feeling”, about persons, places, situations ideas and many other things. This “voice in the back of your head” is also often called the subconscious.

Considering this situation one needs to look at the implications of this. Atheists experience “gut feel”, but they are not ruled by it. It may act as an initial assumption until the situation can be assessed in greater detail. Do not judge a book by its cover, but if the cover is horrendous, the gut feel might just tell you that a horrendous book may be expected. Yet, this is not always so. Many times we judge an initial situation, realise our error and change our perceptions about it. This is a good thing. The problem arises when a gut feel is idolised as the Voice of the Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth (TM). Disobeying the Voice of God is a sin. It is therefore a sin to question a gut feel. In all fairness, Christians will tell you that you need to judge the “Voice of God” that you hear against the Bible, just to make sure. The claim is that the “Voice of God” will never violate Biblical principles. Should the voice you hear/feel violate some part of the Bible, it is automatically assumed that it is an evil spirit tempting the person or just the person making stuff up. In plain words, if you hear “God’s Voice”, and it sounds in line with the teachings of the Bible, then it is the Voice of God (TM). If the voice is not in accordance with the Bible, it is an evil, lying spirit and should be rebuked, then ignored.

Major mayhem sometimes breaks out when Christians hear the Voice of God differently. “God told me he will live” vs. “God told me his time is up”. On a large scale new denominations can form because of the conflict regarding God’s plan and what people hear/feel it is. This is an even bigger problem with fuzzy areas in Biblical doctrine, because some people “hear” God say A, and another bunch is convinced God says B. It is an unfortunate fact that the Side A people will often tell the Side B people that they are deceived by a lying spirit, and vice versa. Take baptism for instance. Millions of Christians are sure God says they should baptise children while millions more feel God is saying it should only be adults. When God told George Bush to invade Iraq, one no longer has to wonder about the source. Let’s face it. Millions of other Christians were convinced he was wrong and heard God in a different way, altogether.

Is this perhaps one of religion’s most dangerous sides? In a world where people worship their gut feel as God, a God that commands all obedience, the danger of enforcing one’s gut feel on other people is enormous. Christians often walk up to people because “God told me to minister to that person”. This is annoying and not dangerous, but when people think God commanded them to invade other countries, it really does become a major problem. Why? Because people die. Soldiers die, woman die, children die and many that does not die suffers in horrible ways. The crusades were full of people that “heard” God tell them to go on a crusade and kill unbelievers. In fact, obeying the gut feel, or, the Voice of God, is encouraged as part of the “personal” relationship with God. This is ironic, because it might just be a “personal” relationship with your gut feel, coupled with your desires and some indoctrination. Reasoning with emotion is a futile enterprise and a gut feel may very well be an emotional response. Thus, what some people think they “hear” God say can be a very real threat to other people and as history has taught us, it has been the cause of much suffering and carnage.

If you think you “feel” or hear god speak to you then I would encourage you not to blindly follow the “voice”. For one, you do not possess magical powers that allow you special communication with god that other people do not have. Please don’t ever forget this.

I should also point out that many preachers exploit the gut feel concept. Preaching on how God wants you to give money to the church or ministry and then asking you to listen to the voice of god, listen if it tells you to make a contribution. Now, people generally want to do good things and if they are convinced that giving god some of their money is a good thing and a desire of god, then they will act on it. The gut feel to give is an emotional response to the pleas/threats of the pastor/priest. If people can be convinced that the emotional response, the “gut feel” is the voice of God then they will act the way the sermon preacher manipulated them.

Advertisements

14 Responses to “God’s Voice”

  1. Amused Skeptic said

    And to this insight, I can only say: Amen! I’ve always been *amused* at how seemingly intelligent people can act on what they “hear” their imaginary friend in the sky tells them to do, and have often responded in a seemingly serious fashion by asking what his voice sounds like… Great post!

  2. Renier said

    Thank you for the kind words.
    What did the people answer to your question about what his voice sounds like? This should be funny, please share.

  3. heinzd said

    yes renier
    but remember that your “gut feel” is often the subconcious sum total of all your thoughts around a subject and saves time to come to an important decision. Imagine the chess player who wins frequently by following his “gut feel” while being deeply immersed in his game but can never humanly consider all possibilities in any chess game. Or when you see an accomplshed artist producing a beautiful likeness in a portrait seemingly flowing from his hand. Both the chess player and the artist will tell you that they experience something like shortcuts in the “brain circuitry” that are normaly blocked by too much rationalising!

  4. Renier said

    Hi heinzd.

    Agreed to a certain extent considering it is all the result of the brain, not of a god. It is also inferior when compared to rigorous testing and controls, as is found in the objective scientific method.

  5. Art Zimmer said

    Very interesting! *I wonder how you Renier would see scripture that speaks often about the “voice of God?” We read for instance, “For if they escaped not who refused Him that SPOKE on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn (evidently you turned) away from Him that SPEAKS from heaven; Whose VOICE then shook the earth…..but also heaven.” (Hebrews 12:25,26). Note God’s VOICE often reference throughout Scripture. In fact, our best account of the origin of all things, the Bible tells us that “the worlds were made by the WORD of God.” (Hebrews 11:3). In Genesis 1 also it informs us that “God SAID…..and it was so.” We cannot avoid the fact that God DOES speak, in the past and now. Often throughout the Bible we read that God SPOKE to so many individuals. In Psalm 68 the term, “the VOICE of God” is used. Jesus in John 1 is called “the WORD,” as again in Revelation 19:13 Jesus is called “THE WORD OF GOD.”

    What do you, and any who share your questioning views about hearing from God, make of the amazing spiritual revivals throughout history, such as the “Great Awakening” in the early 1900’s in America, in Wales and Scotland? Have you heard
    Duncan Campbell give the stirring account of how God SPOKE to so many when His Spirit visited Lewis, Scotland? People, totally godless in every way were suddenly arrested inside them and as quickly as they could sought places to pray and repent. Do you not think this was the VOICE of God SPEAKING to them? If not, you would be hard pressed to find another valid explanation.

    I do agree, there is a lot of phoniness about, now as in the past. That is why we need to be discerning, and, as you indicated some do, we must see that such “voices from God” are in total harmony with the WORD OF GOD in the Bible.

    It is a sad day when a people no longer “HEARS FROM GOD,” from the Bible, or from His Spirit Who “seeks and saves that which is lost.”

    Art

  6. Art Zimmer said

    One more word about hearing from God. The very fact that we now know from the entire Bible and fulfilled prophecies and recorded testimonies, that God DOES speak to people of all time, should tell us something more. If God speaks, He of necessity must have built into humans the capacity to HEAR His voice. We read for instance, “Today, if you HEAR His voice, harden not your hearts.” The bible also speaks of becoming “dull of hearing.” (Hebrews 5). There is such a thing as being tuned in. This principle holds in every area of existence. Why not agree that this also works in the realm of the Spirit? It is a mercy that God DOES speak to us; it is our greatest piece of wisdom to listen!
    Art

  7. Renier said

    Hi Art, Thank you for taking the time to consider the topic and reply. I will read through it and compose a little response soon.

  8. Renier said

    Art wrote: “I wonder how you Renier would see scripture that speaks often about the “voice of God?” We read for instance, “For if they escaped not who refused Him that SPOKE on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn (evidently you turned) away from Him that SPEAKS from heaven; Whose VOICE then shook the earth…..but also heaven.” (Hebrews 12:25,26). ”
    -I see scripture as a collection of things that people wrote, not a god. I do not deny that people claim that God speaks, but I think it is bronze age superstition. Scriptures, like the Bible and the Quran claims that God spoke, but this does not mean it is so. Think about it. If you read old Greek “scriptures” such as the Iliad, and it mentions that Zeus thought this or Zeus said that, do you believe it and think it is true? No. And for those very same reasons you would doubt claims such as “Zeus said”, well, I extend those reasons towards the Bible and other scriptures too. I do not see any difference.

    Art wrote: “Note God’s VOICE often reference throughout Scripture. In fact, our best account of the origin of all things, the Bible tells us that “the worlds were made by the WORD of God.” (Hebrews 11:3).”
    -First off, your claim of “fact” is not right. The best account we have on the origin of things is scientific and called the Big Bang Theory. It is not a fact that the worlds were made by God. If you do claim it as fact, you will need to supply evidence. Things written in the Bible is not considered evidence just as things written in other scriptures are not considered evidence.

    Art wrote: “In Genesis 1 also it informs us that “God SAID…..and it was so.” We cannot avoid the fact that God DOES speak, in the past and now. ”
    -Once again, no. It is not a fact that God speaks. It is not even a fact that He exists. Yes, it is written in the bible that God exists and that he speaks, perhaps with divine vocal cords, but this does not make it a fact.

    Art wrote: “”Often throughout the Bible we read that God SPOKE to so many individuals. In Psalm 68 the term, “the VOICE of God” is used. Jesus in John 1 is called “the WORD,” as again in Revelation 19:13 Jesus is called “THE WORD OF GOD.”
    -Agreed there are many claims by different people in the Bible about hearing God speak. Yet, there are many claims by mental patients that they too can hear God speak. It is even possible that Biblical authors claiming to hear God speak would have been mental patients today.

    Art wrote: “What do you, and any who share your questioning views about hearing from God, make of the amazing spiritual revivals throughout history, such as the “Great Awakening” in the early 1900′s in America, in Wales and Scotland?”
    -We are social creatures, and we know how easy humans reinforce each other with a delusion.

    Art wrote: “Have you heard
    Duncan Campbell give the stirring account of how God SPOKE to so many when His Spirit visited Lewis, Scotland? People, totally godless in every way were suddenly arrested inside them and as quickly as they could sought places to pray and repent. Do you not think this was the VOICE of God SPEAKING to them? If not, you would be hard pressed to find another valid explanation.”
    -Exaggeration and delusion are just as valid as explanations and perhaps even more so. We know delusions exists, that people exaggerate and can be made to believe things that are false. We do not “know” that a god exists, even less that it communicates to humans. Also Art, people lie.

    Art wrote: “”I do agree, there is a lot of phoniness about, now as in the past. That is why we need to be discerning, and, as you indicated some do, we must see that such “voices from God” are in total harmony with the WORD OF GOD in the Bible.
    -God in the past, according to the Bible, commanded that people who are homosexual should be killed. If a person today thinks he/she hears God say that he/she should go out and kill homosexuals, would that be a good thing, considering that what the person heard is in line with the Bible?

    Art wrote:”It is a sad day when a people no longer “HEARS FROM GOD,” from the Bible, or from His Spirit Who “seeks and saves that which is lost.”
    -I do not think it is sad. The less people claim to be God’s chosen spokesman (TM) on Earth, the better.

    Art wrote: “”One more word about hearing from God. The very fact that we now know from the entire Bible and fulfilled prophecies and recorded testimonies, that God DOES speak to people of all time, should tell us something more.”
    -No Art, it is not a fact. The only fact here is that people *claim* to hear God speak. This does not make it real. People claim nonsense all the time that are false.if I was to claim a Roman consul 9Ceaser) who died more than 2000 years ago speaks to me, you would consider me a tad whack, right? Yet somehow, if the dead person is a Jew and not a Roman, and died 2000 years ago, it all makes sense to you?

    Art wrote:””Why not agree that this also works in the realm of the Spirit?”
    -I doubt the existence of spirit, spirits, ghosts. I have found no evidence to suggest that such things exist.

    Hope that helps. We can of course try and find out if God speaks to you Art, a positive result that would convince even me. Ask God what is my favorite tree and post the answer here. If you get it right, then I will need to do some serious “soul searching”. But I am sure you will fail this request. Perhaps an excuse such as “Do not tempt God”. It is not tempting, it is asking information. Or perhaps the time is not right. Or perhaps God does not want to tell you for some mystical reason. Consider this request and consider why God never appears to know anything that humans cannot know. Or more plausible, my article above still stands, that it is humans believing falsehoods and making stuff up.

    • Joshua Firestone said

      Renier,

      I am a Jew who found what Art Zimmer said about God and the Bible to be highly offensive, and came from an agnostic Jewish skeptical science based background. Actually, Art Zimmer challenged me to pray to Jesus years ago. And to prove all Christians wrong and shut them up, I did, 99.99% sure it was a bunch of hokey religion. I told Art I would not look at the Bible for evidence because I did not trust the source. I told Art just because someone says the Bible is written by God doesn’t mean it is so, or that it is trustworthy. What happened when I made my first prayer to Jesus will come later because it is relevant to the discussions we are having.

      Behind all your arguments I hear the question, “what is true and how can we know it?” These are essential life questions. Your answer seems to be in essence, “whatever the scientific method of man can prove, is probably true. Subjectivity must be questioned, especially when it is shown to be false, corrupting, or conflicting with reality. And I certainly agree with the 2nd half of your philosophy. Nor do I discount the validity and power of using the scientific method as a way of learning about a great many things.

      Yet there is a question I ask you Renier. Do you believe in truth? That there are absolute standards out there of right and wrong/valid and not valid, crazy and sane etc? If you didn’t, then all you have said would be subjective/just another person’s opinion in a world that can sometimes be painful or confusing! In your answers, you are measuring right and wrong so somehow you must have a way to gage reality. And your conclusion is that whatever that reality is, there is no God that speaks to man.

      How do you know that? Does science even venture into that area to say “there is no God or that He does not speak?” May I suggest that science dares not officially go there because we as man, have not explored yet all there is to know. We have not seen all the vast galaxies, nor the multi dimensions of space. We do not even know the human mind nor all about the Earth! So to say that every time someone “hears God’s voice” it is their own gut, or their delusions and can’t be God, is not scientific and may be a bit presumptious. How are you basing your decision? Have you been able as a science based person to test all the things unknown? None of us have. ( I know this argument can work both ways!)

      However, I can agree that if you see things that are contradictory, such as someone saying, “God told me I will have a baby next year,” and it doesn’t happen, then sure, I agree with you, we can test that and debunk the notion that person was hearing God’s voice. And yes, that does unfortunately happen in the Christian world.” Yet let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Ha ha ha.

      What about those people Art mentions, in “Christian Revivals” that suddenly believe God spoke to them, and their broken lives get radically changed, and whole communities that were corrupted get rebuilt. Do you really think that one believing in a delusion makes them better? Did not even our skeptical father of psychology, Sigmund Freud believe that when one has delusions they are suffering from either neurosis or psychosis? Implied strongly is that believing in a delusion actually makes things worse and corrupts. Implied also is that truth is good, important, and linked to sanity.

      So all those people who “find Jesus” and get off drugs, stop beating their wives, lead productive lives, and love the unloveable, read the bible and follow it, hear God’s voice…. How do you explain their transformation? Are you going to call it good nuerosis, I.e. They were needy and wanted something to believe in, they think they hear the voice of God and just magically pull up their broken selfish battered lives and become transformed people, transforming others as they learn to love, relate, and grow? Since when have we believed the power of lies to be so strong? We don’t, otherwise we would never trust our scientists to explore truth/reality. Truth matters because we generally believe it best reflects reality and puts us on stable ground. Even athiests believe that deep down, otherwise why be betrayed when someone says God speaks but it doesn’t come true?

      When I prayed to Jesus to prove Art wrong. It was to shut up all Christians, and their ideas I thought were false, wrongheaded, narrowminded, destructive, obsolete ect. What even helped me consider to pray was that the group of teenagers at Art’s house (I was 23) were different than any teenagers I had ever seen or studied! They were more real, more centered, and not the religious repressed delusional people I expected. And they were definitely different than the non-Christian kids that were often so confused and hooked on drugs and sex with their free living ideas that weren’t working for them! However, I knew these Christian kids weren’t putting on an act, but I also didn’t know if what they had was just a result of culture, a good upbringing, or if they were really tapping into something amazing above!

      the last thing I ever ever thought would happen, given my agnostic scientific background (and now a stack of degrees in psychology) is that God would actually speak to me. And that Jesus is God.

      One day I prayed to know if God is real, if Jesus is God, and if so, to reveal Himself to me in a way I could understand. The next day, I gave it all up as hogwash, but good for the Christians. It was only after I had completely dismissed Christianity that God’s voice spoke and said the words, “I am with you.” And I was so stunned and filled with a physical presence of love surrounding the room and now in me, that I had to ask, “who are you?” And the voice (not audible,nor my reading voice, but far more than any gut I had) said, “Jesus.” Now admittedly, there was subjective feeling here. I felt a physical presence, I heard a voice in a way I have never had before. The room felt different. And I was in the house of a fundamentalist Christian! But there had to be further proof to test my “subjective experience” with objective life reality, right?

      When a few days later I prayed for my chronic Asthma to disappear ( I was using oral spray medication every day 4x a day to control it)
      I got up the next morning after the prayer to take my inhaler and I heard/felt/experienced a voice that said, “test me.” I did, and my asthma was gone, I am off medication and living a breathing free life.

      However, as a person who majored in psychology, I noticed that belief alone didn’t cure me. For all the doctors I believed in years before as a kid, could do nothing, yet I believed in their white coats and curative powers. Why didn’t my belief in them heal me like a placebo effect? Maybe it was because they(although well meaning) didn’t have the power to cure me? Yet a prayer to Jesus, my second prayer in my life to Him, actually got the job done! And my skeptical family who took me to all those doctors and hospitals, were amazed. I knew I was on to something big, and that God does speak. And I started reading that Bible. Why? Because what happened to me was affecting my life. And I just couldn’t explain it as the mental delusion of a young man who wanted to believe.” I already saw people who were different and I wanted to test it more. That was 20 years ago.

      I am now what you might call a fundamental born again Bible believing Christian who is also a Jew( can’t erase my history!) Ha ha ha try that on for size!

      The last thing I want to believe in is a lie. Why, because a lie is only as strong as its weakest link. A lie will eventually be discovered as a fraud. A lie won’t really deliver me from my asthma, change my life, or make this world a better place. Only real power, real truth, and something that delivers will come through. God does speak. And while people can be misled, that doesn’t change what is true. And by the way, my opinion doesn’t matter if it goes against truth, only truth matters. That is why I respect science, even if the scientific method may not be the only way to discover truth. Thanks for letting me share. This is probably the first blog I have ever participated in.

      I appreciate this forum. Here is what I really like about you Renier. Even though you may disagree with Christians, I have noticed that you have been very thorough in answering what people write without discrediting the person. I have seen so many blogs where people on both sides of the spectrum, just hurl invectives or insults, instead of dealing with the real issues. Thank you.

      P.S. I may have Art post this on the blog, I am having trouble with my computer.

  9. Renier said

    Hi Joshua.

    Thank you for your post. I will read through it and reply during the course of tomorrow.

  10. Renier said

    Joshua wrote: “Do you believe in truth? That there are absolute standards out there of right and wrong/valid and not valid, crazy and sane etc? If you didn’t, then all you have said would be subjective/just another person’s opinion in a world that can sometimes be painful or confusing! In your answers, you are measuring right and wrong so somehow you must have a way to gage reality. ”
    -I don’t think “believe” in truth is a valid concept. Some things are true, some things are not. My belief in something does make it true, nor does my disbelief make it false. As for your reference to moral questions, yes, of course they are subjective. There is no absolute moral authority. Morality is an outcome of complex social behavior, as we see in humans for instance.

    Joshua wrote: “And your conclusion is that whatever that reality is, there is no God that speaks to man.”
    -No. My conclusion that there is no God is simply based on the total lack of evidence for such a god.

    Joshua wrote: “How do you know that? Does science even venture into that area to say “there is no God or that He does not speak?”
    -It seems you know full well that one cannot prove a negative. In science we cannot prove there is no god because we simply cannot look everywhere. Yet, such a god would be easy to prove, using the scientific method. All it would take is for him to interact into this physical world so that we can measure it in a controlled environment. To expand on this, while science cannot disprove God it does disprove a lot of the old myths we find in the scriptures. The universe is about 14.7 billion years old, not 6000. Man evolved from older extinct animals/proto humans etc. This goes a long way to say the Bible is wrong about origins and other things too. Archeology has also cast serious doubt on many claims in the Bible. some stories in the bible are simply so far fetched that one has to wonder why people think it is true. For instance, the Bible says dead people rose op when Jesus died on the cross. Massive amounts of zombies and somehow the romans never wrote a word about it. The census that caused Jesus to be birthed in Bethlehem did not happen at that time, and people were not required to go to their place of birth to be counted. Roman records disagree with Biblical claims.

    Joshua wrote: “We do not even know the human mind nor all about the Earth! So to say that every time someone “hears God’s voice” it is their own gut, or their delusions and can’t be God, is not scientific and may be a bit presumptious. How are you basing your decision? ”
    -Occam has a razor. A person hears a voice. Two explanations are put forth. The one is that the almighty creator of heaven and Earth, some mysterious spirit entity pops in to say hallo, or that a person is imagining things. Granted that for the person imagining things it appears to be real. I’m sorry buddy, but unless God actually tells you something that humans do not know, such a a cheap cure for every cancer, I am going to keep thinking you are delusional when you claim God speaks to you. And I don’t mean this as an insult. As I mentioned to Art, there are many people is mental institutions who claim to hear God speak to them. Other religions makes the same claims. Mohammad also said God spoke to him.

    Joshua wrote: “What about those people Art mentions, in “Christian Revivals” that suddenly believe God spoke to them, and their broken lives get radically changed, and whole communities that were corrupted get rebuilt.”
    -I already explained that groups of people can be deluded, and their delusions re-enforce each other to total conviction. Mass hysteria, social cohesion, charismatic leader and tada, revival.

    Joshua wrote: “Do you really think that one believing in a delusion makes them better? ”
    -Of course it can. When people believe something they generally act on such a belief. We see it often, and not just in religion.

    Joshua wrote: “Did not even our skeptical father of psychology, Sigmund Freud believe that when one has delusions they are suffering from either neurosis or psychosis?”
    -How we classify such behavior is still a human construct. The black and white attempts to classify human behavior is often difficult due to all the gray.

    Joshua wrote: “Implied strongly is that believing in a delusion actually makes things worse and corrupts. ”
    -No. Think about it. You claim that the affect faith has is evidence that such a faith is underlaid by a deeper reality where you insert God. Yet, Buddhists also testify that they underwent life changing experiences though their doctrine is in stark contrast with yours. Revivals, lives being changed and people being happy about it is not just a Christian experience. Wiccans claim the same. Muslims, Hindus… not just Christians. Yet those faiths are mutually exclusive.

    Joshua wrote: “So all those people who “find Jesus” and get off drugs, stop beating their wives, lead productive lives, and love the unloveable, read the bible and follow it, hear God’s voice…. How do you explain their transformation? ”
    – Not just Christians. Your attempt to hijack such behavior to the exclusive domain of your God is already debunked.

    Joshua wrote: “Are you going to call it good nuerosis, I.e. They were needy and wanted something to believe in, they think they hear the voice of God and just magically pull up their broken selfish battered lives and become transformed people, transforming others as they learn to love, relate, and grow?”
    -Yes, minus the magic part. People can change and often do. I used to be a Christian, so I know about these Holy Spirit type of revivals and mass repenting. I also know most of them buzz on a high with “God” for a while and then simply slip away never to be seen again. People more often than not go back to their old lives once the hype with “Jesus” has worn off. All across the world Church attendance is on a decline.

    Joshua wrote:”The next day, I gave it all up as hogwash, but good for the Christians. It was only after I had completely dismissed Christianity that God’s voice spoke and said the words, “I am with you.” And I was so stunned and filled with a physical presence of love surrounding the room and now in me, that I had to ask, “who are you?”
    -You claim to be learned in the field of psychology. Surely you know such experiences are experienced by many people, and it does not always have a Christian theme. And a feeling of well being, did God spike your dopamine levels and perhaps even your vasopresin levels to make you feel good? Is a brain chemistry spike not a valid explanation?

    Joshua wrote:””When a few days later I prayed for my chronic Asthma to disappear ( I was using oral spray medication every day 4x a day to control it) I got up the next morning after the prayer to take my inhaler and I heard/felt/experienced a voice that said, “test me.” I did, and my asthma was gone, I am off medication and living a breathing free life.
    – If God ever chose to take away my Asthma, I would decline and ask him to rather heal a child with cancer. It often perplexes me that people claim God helped them find their car keys, heal their wart, clear their asthma while millions of children suffer from pain, disease, rape, torture, neglect, hunger and thirst. What an evil God to spend his rare gifts on his vassals while there are helpless children much more deserving and in much greater need, with no hope, no family, no medicine to help with asthma.

    Joshua:”The last thing I want to believe in is a lie.”
    -You do come across as a sincere person. Remember, that as we search for truth, for what is real and what is not, we have to be most skeptical about our beliefs. Knowledge and belief is not the same, and Christians often confuse their belief with knowledge. I have found that the best way to search for truth in this world is to get rid of falsehoods.

    Joshua wrote:”I appreciate this forum. Here is what I really like about you Renier. Even though you may disagree with Christians, I have noticed that you have been very thorough in answering what people write without discrediting the person. I have seen so many blogs where people on both sides of the spectrum, just hurl invectives or insults, instead of dealing with the real issues. Thank you.”
    -Oh, I can get pretty snarky sometimes, but I try to be civil as long as I see people engage with intellectual honesty. Thanks for sharing your perception with us Joshua.

  11. Art Zimmer said

    Very beautiful photography! What splendid views our Creator gave us in this otherwise difficult world! “BY FAITH WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE WORLDS WERE FRAMED BY THE WORD OF GOD!”

    Art, Kodiak, Alaska

  12. Art Zimmer said

    Hello Renier,
    I just read through your response/s to Josh’s comments. I appreciate your taking the time and effort to reply to him as you did. However, I did NOT find your comments that thorough (maybe for lack of space or time??), not that convincing. About the “revivals” of history, and changed lives as Josh and I had referred to, you simply compare them to those who embrace other and conflicting religions. What about the actually changed lives they live after their encounters with the Living God? They DO continue. I have continued now (and “growing in grace”) for 64 years, and Josh since 1991, August. Frequently he has reminded me that if I hadn’t led him to Christ, he would quite possibly not be alive now, or that he would never have known the worthwhile life he is enjoying, as well as contributing in so many others’ lives, like the street people he has been working successfully with for the past 3 years in his area.

    I believe, Renier, you are running from God. He is ever so patient, but He is capable of giving you lots of space and time. James in the Bible speaks of Him as having “long patience, waiting for the precious fruit of the earth” (using the imagery of a farmer). I myself lived through a season of the deepest doubt and agnosticism for several years, though a christian. I doubted everything including God’s existence, but strangely never my salvation.Finally, some years later after this inner conflict had somewhat subsided, it came up again quite acutely. We were at a Bible summer camp, but I seemed in a world all my own, but deeply enaged in praying this thing through. I affirmed Jesus as God, and the Bible to be the word of God, several times over. All of a sudden it was as though a storm abruptly ended into a total calm. I later wrote some poetry about this. Let me know if you ever wish to read it.
    That was a number of years back. Life has since been much more peaceful, but full of so many intriguing and profitable things both in my life, and much more in that of others. I love people.
    Art

  13. Renier said

    Hi Art.

    I presume God did not deem to speak to you about the simple tree request yet?

    While I do not doubt that your religious experience has been very real for you, I doubt the accuracy of your conclusions. We can clear this up though. What tree is my favorite tree?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: