Can I trust God for what he says?
What if it doesn’t make sense? What if God’s word goes against everything I understand? Can I still trust him?
What if God’s word makes me look foolish to others? Can I still trust him?
Am I close enough to God to hear him over the roar of life?
Do I hear him over the council of friends?
Do I hear him over my own prejudices? What if the answer is not what I want to hear?
Why do I read God’s word?
When was the last time I let it criticize me?
What did I change?
How long did the change last?
How has it helped me to serve others?
How has it helped me to serve God?
5 replies on “Questions”
If you actually hear God’s voice, you need psychological help. People who do “God’s will” as they hear it, have created much suffering, particularly so because, when the order comes from God, there are no moral restraints on behavior. I know you think you know “God’s will,” but so did the WTC terrorists. It’s arrogant to believe you know or can interpret “God’s will.” Better to just follow the basics, “Do unto others.”
What irony that you advocate following a mandate literally spoken by God in support of your argument that it’s insane to listen to God’s voice. It’s also a logical fallacy to argue that because one religion causes pain, all religions must be false.
Really, I find it probative, not to mention irritating that you put words in my mouth. Re-read my post, I said nothing about all religions being false. I might add, your conclusion is typical of those who believe they have the “truth” and that any who disagree with them should be vilified, which supports the gravamen of my post. And, BTW, with the exception of a couple of comments to Moses and a few others, God hasn’t done any “speaking” in quite some time. At the very least, you must admit that, even among the faithful, there are disputes about the meaning of the Bible.
Finally, all religions cause or have caused much pain. Some also do much good. In any event, those who “know” what God wants have often proven to be dangerous, precisely because those who do “God’s Will” do not question the morality of their actions and so are unrestrained by the simple, and universal adjuration to “do unto others.”
Will Rodgers said it best, “It ain’t what you know that will hurt you (and the world). It’s what you know that ain’t so.”
Thank you for your comments. I had to re-read my post to see if I had actually mentioned hearing God’s voice. Thankfully, I had not used it in this post. I have used it in the past, but always in the metaphoric sense. I expect that that is the case with most other who use the term, “hear God’s voice” — they are indicating that they have reached an understanding rather than hearing an audible voice.
Your points are correct in that we cannot rely on our own subjective nature to know anything about God. But we have something better than that — God’s word has been objectively written down! Moses wrote down the words that God had spoken to him (BTW, it was more than a few comments — it was 5 books!), as did several of the other Old Testament prophets to whom God had spoken. We also have the written accounts in the New Testament from those who had learned directly from Jesus himself.
As you mentioned above, Jesus did mention to “do to others”. But when asked what is the most important commandment, his reply was to love God with all that we have. He then added that the second commandment was to love others.
So to be clear, when I mention God’s Word above, we need to follow his written word, not our own thoughts or feelings. We can then have the confidence in knowing that, when our thoughts collide with God’s Word, it is ourselves who need to change.
James – your statement was explicit: those that “hear” God’s will cause suffering, like the 9/11 jihadists. In sharing your imperative for how you believe we should live, you quote Jesus Christ. Regarding whether and when God last spoke, we’ll have to agree to disagree on that point. Christ was God and to quote him is to quote God, which was my noted point of irony. I didn’t think that noting such irony was “vilification” and apologize if I made you feel villainous.
The “universal adjuration of do unto others”? That’s a Christian moral imperative not found in the foundational teachings of Islam, Hindu or Buddhism. The Romans, statists, national socialists, fascists and communists all in turn criticized Christians for what they believed to be this point of “weak” moral teaching.