Are You Hearing Voices?

Recently, I was watching Pat Robertson.  I’ve often heard him say, “The Lord told me that…..”   There was never doubt that he had just gotten off the speakerphone with Jesus.

But, this time he said very carefully, “I had the impression that the Lord was speaking to me….”  I was so surprised to hear the disclaimer, “impression…” that I forgot to listen to whatever it was Pat thought he had heard.

I think it would be a healthy thing if all the big Christian evangelists and personalities would stop saying they hear directly from Jesus and God.  It seems to me it has the potential to persuade mentally ill people to believe that they, too, may be hearing from Jesus and are being instructed to do horrific things.

While it is not exactly the same thing, the rather common practice of saying one has reached a “prayful decision” carries the implication that while praying, one heard instructions.  Some of us are old enough to remember the resignation of President Nixon.  

Afterwards, the Federal Government began building a criminal case against Nixon.  Suddenly, President Ford announced that he had pardoned Nixon.  I remember most clearly that Ford then said, “I reached the decision after much prayer.”

Psychiatrists sometimes ask patients if they hear voices talking to them when no one is there.  For some reason, we think it is OK if the voice is that of Jesus.

It would be better if politicans and preachers did not hear voices.

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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22 Responses to Are You Hearing Voices?

  1. Avatar of Kay Syvrud Kay Syvrud says:

    Hearing direct messages from God is long gone. There are many Old Testament “theophanies” of “the Angel of the Lord” (a pre-incarnate Christ)…or of God Almighty (Moses had many encounters and so did Abraham)
    With the completion of the scriptural canon we have all we need to know without hearing voices or saying the “Lord spoke to me..”
    The Lord still speaks but it is in His Word.

  2. Wanna B Sure says:

    Interesting subject. Robertson and like minded neo-evangelicals is not a new concept. There was a group immediately following the initial reformation . They were a constant thorn in the side of the first Reformers. They had several names; The Schwarmeri,(the swarm), the Zwickau Prophets, and others. In general they were a large part of the excesses released due to the Reformation. One of their most obvious charachteristics is the belief that they could receive “private revelation”, apart from Scripture. Thomas Muntzer was heavily involved with them. It has been shown that they were a proto form of the Anabaptists, and apolalyptcism was a feature that stands out. So, to make a long story short, There is a strong strain related from them to the present form of the ‘New Evangelicals’. They also had a strong affinity for dabling in politics ,(to gain from taking church property, and controling areas of land. In the large, they were involved with the Peasants War. Anything sound familiar with today? The relationship is clear.

    • PK says:

      Interesting.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        PK ;Yes, it is interesting. I did a research paper on this period years ago before the internet. Now, it is easy. I forgot that they also had another name and that was “the enthusists”. You can almost do a paper just using an outline and footnotes these days

        • PK says:

          Yeah the internet is great. Do you know much about progressive Christianity? I didn’t realize that it’s not even Christianity until recently. I was shocked to hear their theology. What do you think about it?

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            PK 3:33 AM “Progressive Christianity”– I wrote some posts a while back that are still up about the Emerging Church. These included some discussion of John Shelby Spong and Jay Bakker, both prominent names in what is called both Progressive Christianity and the Emerging Church. It’s the future Christianity, not the past. It’s the future, or so it seems, because it reflects the way the majority of young people today think, group action, environmentalism, diversity and so on.

  3. Avatar of seaofstories seaofstories says:

    If you’re looking for a dramatization of this theme I’d recommend ‘The Rainmaker’ the one with Bert Lancaster not Matt Damon (two different stories). For a commedic tilt check out ‘The Music Man.’

  4. Wanna B Sure says:

    PK ; Yes, I’m familiar with it. Along with it, there are other related distortions of authentic Christianity. Namely, the “Social Gospel”, “Liberation Theology”, etc. The heart of all of these is Man’s desires, and designs. (don’t I feel good about what I’m doing?) Liberation Theology for example has a connection with Marxism. This has been an element in South America. The cunningly deceptive thing about these mentioned, is that they use Christian terms and words, with selective Bible verses to support the premise, rather than using Scripture to reveal the Gospel. (reading into the word, rather than reading out of , ((eisegesis vx. exegesis)). I would like to take the liberty to recomend the book CHRISTLESS CHRISTIANITY by Horton. This explains the trend involved. Sounds like Christianity, but it isn’t. The farther one gets away from Orthodoxy, the more distorted it becomes, and the more discernment is needed. Knowlege is needed, and honest comparative theology is a good start. There are no short-cuts to maintain doctrinal and theology integrity.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      PS ; I forgot to mention the distortions of “prosperity theology”, “name it, and claim it”, et al.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        I can understand why an Atheist would consider progressive Christianity a step forward, and the future, as it is one step closer to Atheism.

        • PK says:

          To me their core theology seem more like Luciferianism. It incorporates spiritualism, intellectualism, pantheism and humanism. They deny Christ’s position as God and accept multiple paths to God. It’s all cloaked in Christianity. It’s a sophisticated deception, that its followers are not only unaware that they’re worshiping Lucifer(the “good” aspect of the Devil), they don’t know there’s an opposite,evil, aspect which is Satan. It doesn’t matter which side you follow, it’s still Devil worship. That’s just my initial impression on it, although i’m not an expert in their theology. One thing’s for sure is that their doctrine came strait out of the bottomless pit.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Wanna 4:04 Besides the authors I mentioned, Spong and Bakker, there is a popular take on this by Brian D. McLaren, A New Kind of Christianity. I know of churches that have study groups discussing this. The Spong book is about ten years old. I’d describe these authors as cerebral takes on orthodoxy. I’d agree with you they challenge the old ideas, but at least they address the slipping interest in orthodox approaches. While atheists like that they are not for pushing the faith into government, as are some parts of conservative Christianity, they steadfastly maintain that they feel the presense of the supernatural. Atheists do not share this in the least. In fact, there is considerable score heaped on them in some quarters.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        Spong, right, Spong. I’m more than familiar of him, and his writing. How’s he doing these days? That “New kind of Christianity” is the Christless Christianity I mentioned. A heterodox feel good subjectivite (redundant) system of thought. Based on the ME (your word). Nothing new here. See pietism, and where it came out of.

        • PK says:

          I was commenting on the “thoughtsonfaith” blog for the last week. I didn’t get into anything, as you would say, overly moderate. Just the basics and I quoted some scripture. And she seemed very irritated and told me she doesn’t believe that the Bible is the literal word of God and how we couldn’t have a conversation of quality. And so i asked her what she thought about Jesus and the Bible. She told me Jesus was a radical that was executed for political reasons and didn’t intent to create a new religion. She’s not concerned at all with His return and that there are many ways to God. She said we can’t believe the gospels because they’re all a little different. So i explained that they show different aspects of Christ, King, Servant, Man and God. Now i’ve been completely blocked from her blog and she’s erased our entire conversation. I couldn’t believe it.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            PK; not surprising. These types are the ones who keep talking loudly about diversity, tolerance, and how everyone should be non-judgemental. When in reality, and practice they are the most intolerant, and judgemental, and they usually do it so viciously with little provocation. All one has to do is disagree, and even gently at that. I have not had much success in having an objective dialoge with one of them. They will not listen, or even consider suggested reading material, and constantly try to over-speak anyone that disagrees with them. But we try.

  5. entech says:

    If you hear voice(s) and act upon them you would usually get a padded cell and a lifetime of free medication. If you can convince enough people that they are real and divine then you get respect and tax exemptions. Strange old world.
    David

  6. Avatar of Kay Syvrud Kay Syvrud says:

    I agree with PK in his comment that begans with “to me their core theology…..”
    Right on PK

    Buff.Gal

  7. PK says:

    Wanna B- Exactly, all her blogs are about accepting the “others”. Apparently the others she’s talking about are those who agree with her. What a hypocrite. The thing that gets me is that she deleted our entire exchange. Can’t have an opposing viewpoint on her blog i guess. One problem she has with the Bible is she believes that God would never hurt or kill a human, that God is for humanity not against it. She just doesn’t understand the whole premise of the Bible. I tried to explain God gave us 10 simple rules to follow, and the consequence of not doing so is death. And God came to this earth as a man to die in our place. To me that shows God is for humanity not against it. It’s simple. How could someone be so deceived to call herself a Christian and not have a clue to what it’s all about?

  8. Wanna B Sure says:

    PK I don’t know who you are talking about.

  9. PK says:

    kristi mcloughlin who has the “thoughtsonfaith” blog in areavoices.

  10. Wanna B Sure says:

    Found it. Existentialism !! There are several subdivisions. Pick your flavor. Sounds a little like Soren Keirkegaard run amuck.

  11. PK says:

    Yes, nice observation. She is very worldly. I find her post “Pausing” rather strange. She doesn’t view God as an external source, but has a pantheistic worldview.

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