By Mc Pickard
Now that you've gone to service, said your prayers and gave God a few Franklins - it's time for a sermon from the other side of the aisle.
The other day, I was at the K-Mart in Oconomowoc, on a little visual research expedition. As I was strolling through the book section, How to Hear from God: Learn His Voice and Make Right Decisions by that church lady from the 700 Club caught my attention. I quickly scanned the back. The book promises to teach you how to hear God's voice in every daily action so you can do "His Divine Will." All for $19.31!
For whatever reason, this goofiness interests me. I did a quick Google and this subject is almost a genre unto itself.
The believer is duped into thinking that a non-stop circle jerk of sanctimonious, self-affirming, ego-stroking is somehow a Bat-Phone to God. This site not only features a downloadable lecture, but "4 Main Keys" to secure direct communication with God. This belief is predicated on one of the later prophets in the book of Habakkuk. A lesser known book of the OT, yet it does contain plenty of violence of that capricious blood thirsty God we've come to love and adore. The Wiki entry states that this book is "The starting point of the concept of faith" which later NT writers grounded their emotional rhetoric and appeals of faith against the Greek tradition of materialist based reason. Paul for example.
As an aside, I did this drawing to illustrate the relationship between my own inner voice, Satan, and God. I measured the decibel levels of each.
What did you expect? Data? Verification?
Anyway, the author states that after praying, fasting, studying the Bible for one year, his previous roadblock of not hearing God's voice had been removed. He claims that "God set me aside" on this year long exercise. If your paying attention, this was before he could not hear Gods voice. Yet, somehow this born-again, Bible-believing Christian receives a directive to do so?
Unfortunately, the author gives no concrete way to confirm that in fact the voices in your head are not yours. Also, he gives no qualitative way to distinguish if the voice in your head is Satan and not God. You think that would be important, the Devil is known to be a trickster. Each step is self-brainwashing. In Key #4 you are to journal, but to "write in faith for long periods of time" and before you do, you should have adequately "submitted to solid, spiritual leadership." The shorthand, if you already believe, you already believe.
Books like this merely reaffirm the self-delusion that one can have a personal relationship with an immaterial, invisible entity that resides somewhere out there and beyond human comprehension. The believer is duped into thinking that a non-stop circle jerk of sanctimonious, self-affirming, ego-stroking is somehow a Bat Phone to God – piece-mailing advice at every trivial decision.
This variety of religious instruction does have consequences. From mothers who drown their children, to anti-abortionists who murder doctors and bomb clinics - we find that God has also a penchant for violence when he's not busy deciding plaids or stripes.
In my deconversion, hearing God's voice was an issue. I never heard God, only the familiar intonation of my own inner-voice. I never wanted to pretend or lie that this was anything but the case. In discussion with my Christian friends, they tell me they do, in fact, hear God's voice.
I have to stop and question the sanity of my friends. Can I blame them? They are victims. We have a history and a society of these flim-flammers, speaking from alleged authority, that this self-induced schizophrenia is real and not imaginary.
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)