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There lives more faith in honest doubt, believe
me, than in half the creeds.
- Tennyson

Arguments Concerning God
Talking with Individuals
Updated: 04/27/2020

One can ask this question: Why would God bother to talk with individuals when these people are not listening to the profound message given by the words and life of Jesus?

During his life on earth, Jesus said nothing about the myriad aspects of life with which we are faced. Nothing about how to be a better wife or husband, better parent, better boss or worker. Nothing about how to be a better citizen, political or religious leader. He said nothing about science, cosmology, creationism versus evolution, nothing about health, diet or hygiene, nothing about abortion ethics, civic principles or the lessons of history, etc., ad nauseam. See: What Jesus Didn't Say Anything About, What Jesus Did NOT Instruct Us to Do, What Jesus Didn't Teach Us to Know. His message was not about COPING with the challenges and vicissitudes of life but was about something even better, TRIUMPHING over the human condition!

And, of course, he said NOTHING about God talking with us!

Voices in the head

A multitude of people hear voices in their head. These voices are for the most part very troublesome. Sometimes the voice tells the person to do outlandish, savage things like kill their mother or their uncle. Often the voice urges the individual to do something rash, like do something that would kill themselves. The tenor of the communicational content ranges from the very bad, through the neutral, to the good. Of course, evidently most everyone is predisposed to think that God would talk with them, and when the messages are good this conclusion is almost inescapable for many. When the urgings or messages are bad or dangerous, most Christians are predisposed to think that the evil one planted the suggestion in their mind, or even about devil possession as the cause.

Sometimes the voice gives information that turns out to be right. Often there are people that get messages for others such as friends, relatives, and neighbors. These messages are indistinguishable from psychic insights, and yet a true believer just "knows" they are from God. But why would God communicate such a message through another person and not directly? This added link of communication introduces some very undesirable possibilities ranging from confusion to chicanery. Personally, I could never take seriously a message from God that came through another person!

Exorcism and Deliverance Ministry

There is a contingent of most every Christian sect or denomination that is involved in what is euphemistically called "deliverance ministry", in other words, exorcism or something comparable. When the "deliverance ministers" pay attention to a person with troubling voices or messages and troubled behavior, and cast out the demons with prayer and commands in the name of Jesus, they generally get good results, temporarily. They don't ever talk about the recidivism rate. The funny thing is that a psychologist administering a psychotropic drug also gets good results. Knocks the demons right down! Temporarily. Amazing how the voice of God or demons is so susceptible to being neutralized by a chemical!

Insult or Compliment?

Another question that can be asked is why would any self-respecting person admit that God talks with them unless it is to inflate their own ego? Too many times in the New Testament when God talks with individuals it is akin to an unflattering implication. The most egregious case is that of Peter refusing to talk with the Gentile Greeks who came to consult with him about Jesus. Can we not see that Peter is being incredibly obtuse and dense? During his ministry, Jesus not only talked with publicans and prostitutes but he hung out with them! He talked with revolutionaries, Samaritans, Romans and Greeks, and he healed  people from each of these groups. One of his final proclamations was that now his converts could "go and make disciples in every nation", every "kindred, tongue and people".

With all this on top of Jesus' exhortations to "pull up their tethering stake" and not cling to their old religion, Peter is now not even willing to talk with some Greeks and share information about Jesus?! Incredible! Ostensibly God had to give him a special vision to shake him loose even to the degree that he was willing to share information about Jesus and his message! Pathetic! In this context God taling to you in a dream or vision can't be considered as a compliment!

Also Peter went right out and violated Jesus advice on letting your words be "yea" or "nay" or not casting pearls before swine, and got tossed into prison and had to be rescued. Any talking with this man by God, whether done while Jesus was around or later didn't seem to have done much good for Peter. The final travesty perpetrated by this ebullient ignorant fisherman prone to misunderstanding is that he became the leader of the band, something that laid the foundation for him to be considered to be the first Pope, and to become Christendom's most popular and familiar disciple. You would almost think that Jesus said, "The worst shall be the first."

No, the overall result is that all of this so-called God talking has done little or nothing more than distract the attention away from the ultimate issues and away from an adequate understanding of Jesus and his message. Why would God support such an ineffective approach? It's all so underwhelming, to say the least!

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