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My Take: If you hear God speak audibly, you (usually) aren’t crazy
A woman prays in church. Many Christians say they can audibly hear the voice of God.
December 29th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: If you hear God speak audibly, you (usually) aren’t crazy

Editor's Note: Tanya Marie (“T.M.”) Luhrmann is a psychological anthropologist and the Watkins University professor in the department of anthropology at Stanford University in Stanford, California. She is the author of "When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God."

By T.M. Luhrmann, Special to CNN

(CNN)—In the Bible, God spoke directly to Abraham. He spoke directly to Moses. He spoke directly to Job. But to your neighbor down the street?

Most people reading the ancient scriptures understand these accounts of hearing God’s voice as miracles that really did happen but no longer take place today, or maybe as folkloric flourishes to ancient stories. Even Christians who believe that miracles can be an everyday affair can hesitate when someone tells them they heard God speak audibly. There’s an old joke: When you talk to God, we call it prayer, but when God talks to you, we call it schizophrenia.

Except that usually it’s not.

Hearing a voice when alone, or seeing something no one else can see, is pretty common. At least one in 10 people will say they’ve had such an experience if you ask them bluntly. About four in 10 say they have unusual perceptual experiences between sleep and awareness if you interview them about their sleeping habits.

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And if you ask them in a way that allows them to admit they made a mistake, the rate climbs even higher. By contrast, schizophrenia, the most debilitating of all mental disorders, is pretty rare. Only about one in 100 people can be diagnosed with the disorder.

Moreover, the patterns are quite distinct. People with schizophrenia who hear voices hear them frequently. They often hear them throughout the day, sometimes like a rain of sound, or a relentless hammer. They hear not only sentences, but paragraphs: words upon words upon words. What the voices say is horrid—insults, sneers and contemptuous jibes. “Dirty. You’re dirty.” “Stupid slut.” “You should’ve gone under the bus, not into it.”

That was not what Abraham, Moses and Job experienced, even when God was at his most fierce.

For the last 10 years, I have been doing anthropological and psychological research among experientially oriented evangelicals, the sort of people who seek a personal relationship with God and who expect that God will talk back. For most of them, most of the time, God talks back in a quiet voice they hear inside their minds, or through images that come to mind during prayer. But many of them also reported sensory experiences of God. They say God touched their shoulder, or that he spoke up from the back seat and said, in a way they heard with their ears, that he loved them. Indeed, in 1999, Gallup reported that 23% of all Americans had heard a voice or seen a vision in response to prayer.

These experiences were brief: at the most, a few words or short sentences. They were rare. Those who reported them reported no more than a few of them, if that. These experiences were not distressing, although they were often disconcerting and always startling. On the contrary, these experiences often made people feel more intimate with God, and more deeply loved.

In fact, my research has found that these unusual sensory experiences are more common among those who pray in a way that uses the imagination—for example, when prayer involves talking to God in your mind. The unusual sensory experiences were not, in general, associated with mental illness (we checked).

They were more common among those who felt comfortable getting caught up in their imaginations. They were also more common among those who prayed for longer periods. Prayer involves paying attention to words and images in the mind, and giving them significance. There is something about the skilled practice of paying attention to the mind in this way that shifts—just a little bit—the way we judge what is real.

Yet even many of these Christians, who wanted so badly to have a back-and-forth relationship with God, were a little hesitant to talk about hearing God speak with their ears. For all the biblical examples of hearing God speak audibly, they doubt. Augustine reports that when he was in extremis, sobbing at the foot of that fig tree, he heard a voice say, “Take it and read.” He picked up the scripture and converted. When the Christians I know heard God speak audibly, it often flitted across their minds that they were crazy.

In his new book, "Hallucinations," the noted neurologist Oliver Sacks tells his own story about a hallucinatory experience that changed his life. He took a hearty dose of methamphetamines as a young doctor, and settled down with a 19th century book on migraines. He loved the book, with its detailed observation and its humanity. He wanted more. As he was casting around in his mind for someone who could write more that he could read, a loud internal voice told him “You silly bugger” that it was he. So he began to write. He never took drugs again.

Now, Sacks does not recommend that anyone take drugs like that. He thinks that what he did was dangerous and he thinks he was lucky to have survived.

What interests me, however, is that he allowed himself to trust the voice because the voice was good. There’s a distinction between voices associated with psychiatric illness (often bad) and those (often good) that are found in the so-called normal population. There’s another distinction between those who choose to listen to a voice, if the advice it gives is good, and those who do not. When people like Sacks hear a voice that gives them good advice, the experience can transform them.

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This is important, because often, when voices are discussed in the media or around the kitchen table, the voices are treated unequivocally as symptoms of madness. And of course, voice-hearing is associated with psychiatric illness.

But not all the time. In fact, not most of the time.

About a third of the people I interviewed carefully at the church where I did research reported an unusual sensory experience they associated with God. While they found these experiences startling, they also found them deeply reassuring.

Science cannot tell us whether God generated the voice that Abraham or Augustine heard. But it can tell us that many of these events are normal, part of the fabric of human perception. History tells us that those experiences enable people to choose paths they should choose, but for various reasons they hesitate to choose.

When the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. sat at his kitchen table, in the winter of 1956, terrified by the fear of what might happen to him and his family during the Montgomery bus boycott, he said he heard the voice of Jesus promising, “I will be with you.” He went forward.

Voices may form part of human suffering. They also may inspire human greatness.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of TM Luhrmann.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • God

soundoff (7,767 Responses)
  1. The truth is:

    Insanity is believing the voices in your hear are real
    Religion is believing the voices in other peoples head are real

    December 31, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • dale

      it's insane to look at the whole universe, and not know why we are here. the implicate design of life and universe by itself is proof enough that this must be creation.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Boruch N. Hoffinger

      Dear 'The Truth Is:'
      'Insanity' is a legal, not medical term.
      Was your comment a joke or a serious insight?
      Go study.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      dale, look up "non sequitur."

      Stuff looks nifty; therefore, invisible, magical unicorn farted it all into existence-–is not a logical argument.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  2. Dr. Micah Stromley

    Apart from the fact that auditory hallucinations are the #1 clinical sign of schizophrenia and/or psychosis, yeah, it is completely normal if you hear god speak audibly. Also, it gives you a good defense when you later drown your children in the bathtub, lock your followers inside and set fire to your compound, or go on a mass shooting spree in a crowded movie theater, mall or school.

    December 31, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      thank you Doctor.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • lol??

      The Joker was on the gubmint payroll like a lot of other wackos.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • lol??

      "FORT HOOD – Lieutenant General Donald Campbell Jr., the Commander of Fort Hood said Wednesday accused gunman Major Nidal Hasan still has his rank and is still drawing a paycheck from the military while he awaits court martial set for March 5, 2012.

      Hasan's confinement and medical expenses are also being paid by the military, and he is moved on post once or twice a week for treatment and occasionally to see his legal defense team."...........All content © Copyright 2000 – 2012 WorldNow and KXXV. All Rights Reserved.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:45 am |
  3. lol??

    It's a shame, but those working in that branch of "science" all have a price, too. I saw a special on Utube about the kennedy assassination where the claim was the texas oilmen paid a shrink a million bucks to not speak about keeping LBJ's voices silent. It was a two fer one special for the oilmen and unca sugar got the great society to keep the progressive atheists happy.

    December 31, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • If horses had Gods .. Their Gods would be horses

      It's to bad that the religion industry doesn't even attempt to hide it has a price.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  4. chris

    *facepalm*

    December 31, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  5. blonde

    it's called your conscience and hearing what you want to hear. Why do you think people follow the "good" voices easily? if they "heard" something negative or disagreeing, they'd simply "nope, next."
    Self preservation and satisfaction guide the voices in your head.

    December 31, 2012 at 11:21 am |
  6. The Jackdaw

    Smell my finger.

    December 31, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  7. If horses had Gods .. Their Gods would be horses

    Not one example of "audible" testing. Only people "claiming" an audible experience. This article only serves to give more credibility to religion being purely psychological .. Which we all know is the truth no matter how badly someone wants religion to be more than just in their mind.

    December 31, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Russ

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59YN8_lg6-U&feature=player_embedded

      December 31, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • If Nabateans had Gods .. Their Gods would be blocks of stone

      No one knows for a fact that it's all psychological. You go too far.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • If horses had Gods .. Their Gods would be horses

      "..serves to give more credibility .." The word "fact" does not appear. I suggest you are trying too hard.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Mike

      Nice try. What 'truth" isn't a "fact"?

      December 31, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Chuckie

      Is the criterion for a phenomenon being judged "normal" the fact that many people report observing it? Many people report observing UFOs; does this meet the criteria for evidence of the existence of UFOs? No, I didn't think so. It may be that it is normal for untrained and credulous observers to jump to conclusions. How about mirages? Mirages are normal for travelers in extremely parched and hot deserts, but the images they see are optical illusions, i.e., mirages. The fact that many people report an auditory communication from God is not evidence that the communications are really from God and not delusions. OK, let’s call them benign delusions and not the sign of insanity. For a happening to be considered scientifically verified it must be repeatable by independent observers under the same conditions that existed when it occured . It is not easy to verify voices in someone's head.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Chuckie

      In short, facts are truths that have discovered and verified scientifically. There are many truths that we have yet to discover and there are many things proposed as truths that have yet to be verified. What is true makes the world go around, regardless of whether we have discovered and verified them or not. However, if not discovered or verified they can't be added to our collection of knowledge that is used to explain or predict events.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  8. Al

    One way to hear God's voice is to go for a very long walk in the desert without water. You can also try LSD.

    December 31, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • The Jackdaw

      If you try LSD in the desert you BECOME God! That's what Jesus did.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  9. The Jackdaw

    God called collect. I refused the charges. What a jacka$$.

    December 31, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • lewtwo

      I hear that is very common during the holidays.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  10. Third Eagle of the Apocalypse

    If you hear your god speak audibly, you are by definition crazy.

    December 31, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • The Jackdaw

      I can hear him speak inaudibly. I am, therefore, not crazy.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  11. tcc

    One, if nothing else, these discussions always prove that – atheist and theist alike – people seem to have no problem being completely rude, sarcastic and disrespectful across the internet. Quite a sign of our times, more than anything else, I think.

    Two, here's how EVERY religious argument goes: "I believe in God, God makes the world, He answers our prayers, He made the hurricane, the rainbow, the good, the bad, HE is my savior," etc... "Ok," says the atheist, "prove it." The theist replies, "We can't understand HIM, he is too great." And the argument ends.

    Here's the problem: whether you believe God, any god, at any one point in history, ACTUALLY DID appear, or speak to a human being, the bottom line is, his proliferation is carried out BY HUMANS. To take the bail out position and say, "humans can't grasp God," is a COMPLETE contradiction and barricade. I could assert absolutely ANYTHING, and then just simply say, "well, you can't understand it," any time I'm asked to support it. The blatant truth is, there are FAR more moments and situations and verifiable facts that are PROVEN, that fly in the face of the concept of any "loving god." I mean, look no further, than some crackjob shooting 20 innocent toddlers and six of the adults who were committed to turning them into (hopefully) productive, loving people of this world. To this, of course, the theist responds, "but it must be part of God's plan, which we can never fully understand." Ok, whatever...

    Theists need to own up to the fact that they BELIEVE. That's an important word: you don't "recognize facts," you BELIEVE. My personal opinion, theists believe out of sheer denial, denial that a corporeal life on earth may just be, in the end, meaningless – we live, we die, game over. I think that many people simply need more, they need to know there is some "prize" at the end, because let's face it, a whole lot of life is certainly not globally meaningful, often simply inane and sometimes completely thankless. With that, there needs to be "exclusivity," because, well, not just ANYONE should be able to get that prize, so a slew of constructs are put around it, in order to deem who is "qualified." Face it, theists, it is all HUMAN-CONSTRUCTED, and therefore, humans ought to be able to understand it. At this point, we have hit the insurmountable contradiction that is, the religious argument.

    And, in my higher education, I was taught that, when you hit a conflict that cannot be resolved, it means your original hypothesis was flawed. QED. Signed – the atheists. You're welcome.

    December 31, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • D

      All very good, valid points.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • dale

      Eminem bashed himself at the end of 8 mile in a rap battle to silence the opposition and it worked. That was a movie, this is real life. Didn't work, sorry.

      Atheists have failed countless times to disprove the Bible. You can't. You feel by making up flaws in the Bible, you somehow proved Chrisianity is a sham. The methods usually displayed by the opposition involves taking verses at face value while ignoring other parts of the Bible that fully explain the verse in question, or just complete deception on the atheists' part. Countless arguments I've had with atheists always end up with the atheist failing to respond back.
      The argument you wrote out, is that with a 5 year old Christian??

      December 31, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Dan

      I have been reading the religion pages at CNN for some time now and what I have noticed is that the believers do, in fact, say they believe and admit that they cannot prove God's existence. It is those who do not believe who demand proof, yet can offer none for their stance. It is they who have to own up to the fact that they merely BELIEVE.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • poppa doc

      You mean like evolution? The groundless theory that has failed the test of evidence so many times and just keeps burping over to the next "Missing Link"? Requires more faith that a god.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • dale

      The Holy Bible IS God. To prove the WHOLE Bible to you would take such an extensive amount of time. For the sake of time, instead of reading the whole Bible to you, it's much easier to drum up the flaws you think the Bible displays, and work with that. It's no cowards way out. Atheists are all about logic. How about have some logic while we go through your 'mistakes' with the Bible step by step. Or I can just find an Atheist paper, and discredit one by one. Which may I add are found all over the internet.....

      December 31, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • ThomasamohT

      @dale Noah's arc measured 300 cubits long 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits tall. a cubit is about as long as your forearm to the tip of your fingers just over 20 inches. So the ark was about 500 feet long, 83 feet wide, and 50 feet tall. Can you explain how you fit 2 of every creature in that? You couldn't fit one of every creature in it.

      Now can you disprove the magic spaghetti monster that came to me in a dream and told me to build a trans dimensional portal out of pizza boxes.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Dan, the burden of proof is upon the person making the positive claim. If you claim to have a spaceship, and can't prove it, I can say, "No you don't" without offering any proof because you have not given me anything to disprove.

      Same with god. Until you give the atheist something to disprove, he does not have to "prove" the statement "there is no god" because there's nothing there to disprove. Get it?

      December 31, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  12. The Mockingjay

    http://youtu.be/slTa15a3mp0

    December 31, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Butthead

      Huh huh huh . . some lunatic in a suit ... huhhuh huh huh

      December 31, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  13. TheSchmaltz

    This tells me we should be treating schizophrenia as a spectrum disorder like autism. There are apparently a lot of high-functioning mild schizophrenics out there. Just because the voices aren't constant and aren't saying bad things doesn't mean they're a good thing.

    December 31, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  14. Doc Vestibule

    Lots of things talk in the Bible. Incendiary foliage, donkeys, snakes – there are even rocks that scream if you don't praise Jesus.
    Then there's mention of unicorns (Isaiah 34:7), half man half goat beasts (Isaiah 13:21 and 34:14), flaming snakes (Numbers 21:6), seven headed dragons (Revelation 12:3) and serpents that can kill just by looking at you (Jeremiah 8:17).

    Seems legit.

    December 31, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Chad

      think you got every single one wrong...

      December 31, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Third Eagle of the Apocalypse

      Chad… read your bible, he isn’t wrong.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • End Religion

      Don't forget the singing bush!
      Wait... that was Three Amigos.... sorry.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • End Religion

      http://youtu.be/7yNV-GXoeCM

      December 31, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Chad

      the voice came from the bush, the bush wasnt talking.. 🙂

      Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” 4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” Exodus 3

      December 31, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Chad

      Three Amigos! one of my favorite movies 🙂

      however, in that case, the bush was singing, different than God speaking thru the bush

      December 31, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Chad
      Really?
      Moses didn't speak with a burning bush?
      No talking snakes in the garden of Eden?
      Donkey is in Number 22:28 – And the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto you, that you have smitten me these three times?
      Screaming rocks are from Luke 19:40 – “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

      Isiah 34:7 – And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.
      Isiah 13:21 – But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there.
      Numbers 21:6 – And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
      Revelation 12:3 – And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

      So what exactly did I get wrong?

      December 31, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Chad

      @Doc Vestibule "Moses didn't speak with a burning bush?"
      @Chad "no, see above, God spoke out of the bush"

      =====
      @Doc Vestibule "No talking snakes in the garden of Eden?"
      @Chad "no.. the serpent communicated with Eve, this is prior to the fall where the serpent was cursed to crawl on it's belly. We dont know what physical form the serpent had prior to the curse.

      You will crawl on your belly
      and you will eat dust
      all the days of your life.
      Genesis 3

      =====
      Donkey: Now, note below that two things are opened. The donkeys mouth and Balaam's eyes.
      Obviously what is being described is not giving the donkey vocal cords, and prying open the the sealed shut eyelids of Balaam, what is described is a spiritual opening, an awareness, an understanding that didnt exist prior.

      Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?” 29 Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.” 30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?” “No,” he said. 31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn.

      =====
      @Doc "Screaming rocks are from Luke 19:40 – “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”"
      @Chad "clearly metaphor..

      ======
      @Doc "Isiah 34:7 – And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness."
      @Chad "that is from King James, and is a mistranslation. NIV translates it as:
      And the wild oxen will fall with them,
      the bull calves and the great bulls.
      Their land will be drenched with blood,
      and the dust will be soaked with fat.

      the word translated in the King James as "unicorns" is Strong's H7214 – rĕ'em, which refers to wild bulls

      December 31, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      And here we see examples of standard believer counter-arguments.
      1) It's a translation error.
      2) It's a metaphor

      Except that Christianity is split into hundreds of sects, each with their own interpretations of the Gospel.
      Some will say it is metaphor, others that the Bible is to be taken literally.
      I don't know whether Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, oriental Orthodox, As.syrian, Byzantine, Lutheran, Anglican, Presbyterian, Anabaptism, Brethren, Methodist, Pietism, Apostolic, Pentocostal, Charismatic, African Initiated, United, Quakers, Couthcotti.tism, Millerism, British-Isrealism, Latter Day Saints, Mennonite, 7th day Adventism, Kelleyism, Co.oneyism, Shakers, Methernitha, Strigolniki, Yehowism, Christadelphians, Christian Science, doukhobors, Iglesia ni Cristo, Makuya, Molokans, Subbotniks, Ebionism, Martinism, Rosicrucians, Rastafarianism, Santo Daime, or Umbanda is the REAL interpretation of your God's words, but I'm sure that Chad's interpretation is truly the only way to understand the Good Book.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Dan

      1) The word "unicorn" is only in the KJV translation of the Bible. It is not in the original Hebrew. It was used because the translators did not know the Hebrew word or the animal associated with it.and took it for some mythical beast.

      2) Anyone who has every read the Book of Revelations or the prophets of the OT can tell you, even at a cursory glance, that the visions describe are not literal - otherwise, John would not have needed the visions and their meanings made known to him by the angel. The same is true for the prophets of the OT, who often needed their visions explained to them by the Angel of the Lord.

      People like you rarely are willing to admit that we Christians understand that the visions are not meant to be literal, as that would spoil your fun.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Dan

      PS...Even Biblical literals, who believe in a literal creation, etc., know better than to describe the eschatological portions of the Bible in literal terms.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Dan
      The great difficulty is in determining what is to be taken as allegory and what is to be taken literally.
      That is the stuff of Holy Wars.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • End Religion

      Dan, it's either literal or open to interpretation. If open, then it is open to any and all and therefore worthless as "the word of god." Maybe it makes nice fiction, or odd poetry, but a god has no need to speak via symbolism.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • mama k

      Here's a better explanation for Revelation. The idiot was high on mushrooms, myrrh, or ate some bad food not long after he bought into the myth of the day.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Chad

      @End Religion "it's either literal or open to interpretation. If open, then it is open to any and all and therefore worthless as "the word of god.""
      @Chad "everyone speaks in metaphor at times, to claim that all metaphor is worthless is simply utter nonsense.

      @End Religion, what investigation have you done that leads you to the conclusion that the God of Israel is not real?
      why can no one answer this question? (and, remember, "oh, I can answer it, but I just dont want to" is not an answer..

      December 31, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Chad

      @mama k "What investigation have you done that leads you to the conclusion that the God of Israel is not real?"

      December 31, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • mama k

      Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't answer the street apologeticist. Here's your answer, Chad:

      Chad. No one wants to play your stupid little game where you:

      1. Pretend to want to understand others.
      2. Make wild leaps of faith (attempting to dress them up as rational logic) to try to justify your belief.
      3. Try to (similar to #2) apply wild leaps of assumption to what others might believe – twisting their words; in other words – putting words in the mouths of whomever you are "debating" in attempts to tailor both sides of the argument to the same ridiculous restrictions held by your stupid beliefs.
      4. Often ignoring questions and only responding with new questions.

      And it gets worse, but I'm sure others that know you here are well aware of what I'm saying, so you can forget asking me anything about this – or about anything for that matter. I notice there is a word that others use frequently to describe you, Chad. It seems to follow you around like stink on a skunk: disingenuous. I would have to agree.

      But be clear on this – there is nothing devastating about your stupid question. I actually have discussed that matter at length with many in my life – occasionally even here in the BB. Some of us just have learned not to feed trolls, Chad.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Chad

      @mama k, As much as I would LOVE to be confused with Chad Williams, former Navy Seal and published author, I must confess I am not he.

      now, to the question: @Mama k What investigation have you done that leads you to the conclusion that the God of Israel is not real?

      ("That isnt a hard question, I have tons of reason, I just dont want to tell you" is just a dodge, dont you think?)

      December 31, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      No, Chad, it isn't a hard question. It's extremely easy and simple, and there are thousands of adequate responses for the sensible person. The problem is that you aren't sensible, and you'll dismiss any answer that you don't like, and lie about it not being an answer. The fact that you're too stupid to realize you're reasoning is flawed does not mean that you're correct and that nobody is rebutting your stupidity more than adequately.

      The most that any person can hope for in a "debate" with you is nausea. Your behavior is the most disgusting I've ever seen, anywhere, period, and you do your god and your belief system the greatest service possible by showing what stupid, blind, acceptance will turn someone into. Nobody who debates you here wants to have what you have-–a diseased rationale.

      Thank you for your continued service in showing what your belief does to a mind: destroys it.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Really

      Chad
      You haven't provided the street apologetics definitionn of "real', is it the same as the rational wotld's definition?

      December 31, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      An example of your fvckwad behavior, Chad, is you taking issue with the "burning bush" scripture.

      "No, no!!" you rave, "It's not that god spoke WITH a burning bush!! No! He spoke OUT OF a burning bush!! Golly, you anti-theists can't get it right!!"

      Chad, why would anyone, anywhere want to follow a religious belief that produces such disgusting behavior as you exhibit?

      December 31, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • mama k

      I didn't think you actually were that published author, Chad. After you mentioned the taxi-cab fallacy, I research more on that, and also found other instances of other Chad's (for instance with FB profiles) that had interests like C.S. Lewis and apologetics in common, so no, I did not think that, but I could see where you would draw from a site like as a base for your arguments.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Really-O?

      To date, there is no empirical evidence in support of the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis.

      If I'm wrong and there is empirical evidence, perhaps Chad will share with this forum a reference to that evidence.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • mama k

      Moby: "The problem is that you aren't sensible, and you'll dismiss any answer that you don't like, and lie about it not being an answer. "

      Well not only that, but mainly, he has an agenda, and it's quite obvious that no part of that agenda includes being sincere about learning anything from anyone else. I think that's why his responders so frequently say "disingenuous". It matters not, the difficulty in answer such a question. Just being an answer will allow Chad to try to use it as a tool in his little game. But no matter how hard he tries, he can never validate these leaps he makes to support his beliefs. (Actually there's an answer right with that notion.) So Craig has these same lame five points? That's not much at all to go on.

      December 31, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Chad? chirp...chirp...chirp

      lol

      December 31, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Really

      Chad is gone like a fart in the wind but the gasbag will return. He needs time to troll through the christian apologetics sites to find more words of wisdom to cut, paste, copy and post.

      December 31, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Chad

      @Moby Schtick "An example of your bad behavior, Chad, is you taking issue with the "burning bush" scripture"
      @Chad "obviously you and the rest of the world have vastly different opinions on what bad behavior is. I merely pointed out that the bush wasnt talking as @Doc claimed initially.
      That isnt bad behavior in any way shape or form.

      ======
      @Really-O? "To date, there is no empirical evidence in support of the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch.
      @Chad "first a definition of what empirical is:

      Empirical evidence (also empirical data, sense experience, empirical knowledge, or the a posteriori) is a source of knowledge acquired by means of observation or experimentation

      evidence of God that can be verified empirically: origin of the universe, fine tuning of the universe, origin of life on earth, fossil record, empty tomb of Jesus of Nazareth, the historical accuracy of the bible.

      ========

      @Mama k What investigation have you done that leads you to the conclusion that the God of Israel is not real?

      December 31, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What investigation have you done, Chard, that leads you to believe that your god is the only real one?

      December 31, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad – "evidence of God that can be verified empirically: origin of the universe, fine tuning of the universe, origin of life on earth, fossil record, empty tomb of Jesus of Nazareth, the historical accuracy of the bible."

      Not one of those is an example of empirical evidence for the existence of the god of Israel; at best they are weak inferences. Asserting they are empirical evidence exposes you as either ignorant or dishonest (most likely both).

      December 31, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad, it is bad behavior to take refuse to engage the importance of a concept because you'd rather quibble over the preposition used that doesn't change the concept. You're a liar, and a total azzhole, as this thread, like all others you're in, will prove.

      Why don't you go ahead and explain how the existence of the universe is "empirical" evidence for your god, Chad? You know you can't, so you just assume that it does, and that's not argumentation, that's faith, and it's all you've got. I believe because I believe because I believe that what I believe is what I believe. You have no argument, Chad and your behavior is disgusting.

      December 31, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad, the "evidence" you purport are not reasons, they're conclusions. What are your REASONS for believing your god is the reason the universe exists as it does?

      December 31, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...as a preemptive strike against Chad's dishonest equivocation...

      I did not assert there is no "evidence of God that can be verified empirically" – I asserted that there is currently no empirical evidence that the god of Israel exists...and there is none. Simply a fact.

      December 31, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Moby Schtick, mama k, Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son, et al.

      This is the Achilles' heel of all of Chad's arguments –

      -- To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis. --

      This is the death knell for all of his "argument". Why bother feeding his narcissism by debating with him how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

      December 31, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Chad

      Considering only the empirical evidence associated with the origin of the universe.

      – extraordinarily low entropy state at the origin, consistent with theistic creation as nature could never have created that low entropy state (second law of thermodynamics). The low entropy state can be verifiable empirically.

      – the nature of the universe itself:
      - energy can not be created or destroyed by natural means (The law of conservation of energy)
      - energy exists
      - therefor, something super-natural must have created it.
      this is verified empirically.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Chad

      of and @Mama k What investigation have you done that leads you to the conclusion that the God of Israel is not real?

      December 31, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad, that's not empirical proof of any god. We simply don't know. Big invisible sky wizard did it with magic spellz does not logically follow from, ba......ba......ba.....ba.... but there's stuff instead of nothing.......ba.....ba.....ba.....but there's stuff!!"

      Show some empirical proof instead of stupid reasoning.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad's logic:

      Major premise: The universe exists
      Minor premise: Nothing sensible but who cares? I have my unproven belief in sky wizards and magic!! Yay!
      Conclusion: Biblegod

      December 31, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad –

      No a single point in your December 31, 2012 at 4:10 pm post is empirical evidence for the god of Israel (or any other god, for that matter). You've been exposed.

      Cheers

      December 31, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...not a single point. Sorry for the typo.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Chad

      would be terrifically interesting if you could explain further 🙂

      all of those points are consistent with theistic creation, and inconsistent with random chance.

      now, please remember "no it isnt" is not a refutation 🙂

      December 31, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad, many theories and ideas can "consistent with" another idea or the view of reality. That invisible fairies push matter together is a theory that is "consistent with" the effect of gravity.

      Your reasons are merely personal conclusions; you have no sensible evidence.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Two smileys! One is left to wonder if fits of rocking, twitching, and self-talk are also underway.

      If Chad's objective is to look pathetic in a forum, I believe he's succeeded on this blog.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Once again, Chad...nothing you've posted is empirical evidence that the god of Israel exists.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • End Religion

      Let this thread serve as any future response to the thing known as Chad.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Anybody ever watch the great Derek Jacoby as Claudius in "I, Claudius'? I always picture Chard that way-all tics and spittle, punctuated by smiley faces.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son – I, Chadius...brilliant. Happy New Year.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INw9DZIFk4A

      December 31, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
  15. Third coast TX

    1Ki 19:11 "Go out and stand before me on the mountain," the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
    1Ki 19:12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.
    1Ki 19:13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"

    December 31, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • End Religion

      Bible verses are helpful when one can't think for one's self or when one doesn't wish to be held accountable for one's own actions. Blame it on your invisible sky buddy without having to do all that troublesome thinking yourself, eh?

      December 31, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Dan

      @End...Forgiveness must be predicated by an acceptance of responsibility for one's actions. I suspect you know that already, but won't admit it. It is completely about taking responsibility.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • End Religion

      Absolutely wrong. All religious people know with a wink and a nod that god doesn't exist, otherwise they would never sin to begin with. To sin is to not fear god's wrath. If you truly believed in an all-powerful deity who would punish you with eternal lava-boarding in his fiery concentration camp for picking your nose then you never would even let the thought cross your mind. But you nutters constantly sin because you know it's just a parlor game. You nutters understand with a wink and a nod that you simply ask forgiveness and it is nicely absolved, without ever actually making it "right" in the material world – that is evading true responsibility for your transgressions. What priest, who ever truly believed in a god, could molest a child?

      December 31, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  16. Doc Vestibule

    My Doctor gave me pills to make the voices stop, but I don't take them.
    Without the voices, how will I know who to kill or what to burn?

    December 31, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Chad

      What investigation have you done that leads you to the conclusion that the God of Israel is not real?

      (BTW, the reason I dont believe in Zeus, or Thor, or whatever you were going to respond with an ask me why I reject instead of actually supplying the reasons why you reject the God of Israel, is that the God of Israel is real, and that belief is mutually exclusive with a belief in other gods)

      December 31, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • End Religion

      That's the "god of ain'treal" - get it right or he'll be upset.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Really

      Chad
      Same stupid question day after day. Comes down to what your definition of realis, maybe, "actually existing as a thing or occuring in fact, not imagined or supposed." Craig's five points that you are about to post as usual are not facts, so don't bother.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Chad

      I dont understand why this question has such a devastating impact on anti-theists?

      arent you supposed to be the logical, rational ones? Yet you find it utterly impossible to calmly and rationally provide your reasons for rejecting the God of Israel? weird.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Chad
      If the One True Deity, shaper of The Universe, wishes their words to be transmitted and adhered to, they should have been a bit less ambiguous. Expecting people to select The Truth out of limitless possibilities on faith alone seems a sloppy way to run things – especially if the punishment for a wrong choice is eternal torment.

      I do not believe in the God of Abraham for the same reason I reject all gods – becuase "supernatural" is a null hypothesis.
      You have accepted the "God" proposition on faith and therefore are no longer capable of evaluating said proposition rationally. That's the great problem with faith – it requires you to abandon critical thinking in order to be able to accept dogmatic, rote answers.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Really

      Chad your question
      It doesn't it has been debated with you time and again, the fact that you have already reached a conclusion that you will never waver from makes the effort futile. The fact that you never answer the questions put to you that you have difficulty providing an answer too proves the point.
      He (Chad) is hopelessly ignorant or hopelessly disingenious. Redzoa

      December 31, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Chad

      The anti-theist "reasoning" runs like this:

      – There are no real gods
      – Christians believe in a God, the God of Israel
      – therefore, Christianity is nonsense.

      but, as you can clearly see, that entire "logic" relies on the a-priori assumption that there are no gods.

      so, my question is this: on what are you basing your assumption that there are no gods?

      remember the reason I dont believe in Zeus, or Thor, or whatever you were going to respond with an ask me why I reject instead of actually supplying the reasons why you reject the God of Israel, is that the God of Israel is real, and that belief is mutually exclusive with a belief in other gods

      December 31, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Chad

      @Really, the question was on what basis have YOU rejected the existence of the God of Israel.

      the answer can not be "chad is to stupid to realize the God of Israel isnt real".

      why did YOU reject the existence of the God of Israel.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • mama k

      Chad: "I dont understand why this question has such a devastating impact on anti-theists?"

      It's not devastating at all, Chad. No one wants to play your stupid little game where you:

      1. Pretend to want to understand others.
      2. Make wild leaps of faith (attempting to dress them up as rational logic) to try to justify your belief.
      3. Try to (similar to #2) apply wild leaps of assumption to what others might believe – twisting their words; in other words – putting words in the mouths of whomever you are "debating" in attempts to tailor both sides of the argument to the same ridiculous restrictions held by your stupid beliefs.
      4. Often ignoring questions and only responding with new questions.

      And it gets worse, but I'm sure others that know you here are well aware of what I'm saying, so you can forget asking me anything about this – or about anything for that matter. I notice there is a word that others use frequently to describe you, Chad. It seems to follow you around like stink on a skunk: disingenuous. I would have to agree.

      But be clear on this – there is nothing devastating about your stupid question. I actually have discussed that matter at length with many in my life – occasionally even here in the BB. Some of us just have learned not to feed trolls, Chad.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Chad
      The God of Abraham does not say that He is the ONLY God – just that He be put first before all other Gods.
      That He is jealous of other Gods is a tacit acceptance of their existence.
      And Chad – like most atheists, I am technically an agnostic in that if given incontrovertible, testable evidence I would change my mind about God's existence.
      In the meantime, I do not consider "magic" a viable explanation for anything.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Chad

      @mama k, why did YOU reject the existence of the God of Israel.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Chad

      @Doc Vestibule "The God of Abraham does not say that He is the ONLY God – just that He be put first before all other Gods.
      That He is jealous of other Gods is a tacit acceptance of their existence."
      @Chad "wrong on both accounts

      1. God has said there are no other gods
      Yahweh, He is God; there is no other besides Him." Deuteronomy 4:35
      "Yahweh, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other." Deuteronomy 4:39
      "See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me" Deuteronomy 32:39
      "Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me." Isaiah 43:10
      "'I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me." Isaiah 44:6
      "Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none." Isaiah 44:8
      "I am Yahweh, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God." Isaiah 45:5
      "Surely, God is with you, and there is none else, No other God." Isaiah 45:14

      2. God is not jealous of those other gods, He is jealous of our acknowledgement of them. He nowhere acknowledges the existence of another god.

      ======
      @Doc Vestibule "In the meantime, I do not consider "magic" a viable explanation for anything."
      @Chad "by "magic" I assume you mean "of supernatural origin".
      why do you not consider that a viable explanation for anything?

      let me guess, something like this?
      – there are no real gods
      – any supernatural act would require a god
      – therefor, all supposedly supernatural acts are false

      December 31, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • mama k

      Chad: [

      let me guess, something like this?
      – there are no real gods
      – any supernatural act would require a god
      – therefor, all supposedly supernatural acts are false ]

      Leap much, Chad? Leap for others much, Chad?

      Tell you what, stick to your own leaping and let the others make their own arguments.

      (Watch out for the serpent, Doc!)

      December 31, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Dan

      @Doc...You criticize believers for abandoning critical thinking and also for their being so many differences among believers. Wouldn't the differences be the result of people thinking about, evaluating and rejecting the "rote instruction" of their pastors? You can't have it both ways.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad is the most horrendous liar fvckwad on these boards. His behavior here and method of discussion does nothing but harm the reputation of his belief system and his god. I hope he continues to portray christianity and the christian god the way he has done to date.

      Chad, I gave you my reasons for my disbelief, and you dismissed them as "conclusions," as if thought-out reasons for belief/disbelief aren't also conclusions. Please give me an example, ANY example of a reason for belief that is not also a conclusion. Liar.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • SImran

      Why I reject the God of Israel?

      Here is why:

      http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/Part-2-Evidence-against-God-The-God-notion-de-constructed-20121203

      December 31, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Dan

      *there

      December 31, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Really

      Chad
      I posted a longer response on page 60. I reject the god of Abraham because that god wanted his creations to FEAR him in order to stay in gods good books, kind of sad and sick. Playing on mankinds FEAR of death and the unknown are what all the god scams and myths are based on. Paul new this when fudging up the NT, to get the christian scam up and running, the promise of ever lasting life can be quite compelling to the sheep.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Chad,

      All sons and daughters of God including God lives upon the insides of all cellular cosmologies living anywhere upon planetary celestial cosmologies within the grandness of the cosmos. The families of God are strewn about deeply inside the cellular chasms of each and all atomized living realms. We are the cellular constructs most highly evolved congruencies of atomized living formularies upon this terrestrial plain of celestial cosmologies. All of God and as of godliness live upon our insides and it is they who built the bio-nanotechnologies of genetically endorsed and ever re-modified megalithic monoliths living upon every celestial plains of all planetary possibilities.

      These sub-atomized intelligent beings we call God and the sons and daughters of God are all mortal beings and though they may well live out their lives inside us, they do die just like we do. Our becoming dead buildings no more capable of consuming needed things for the sons and daughters of God, they are forced to evacuate our bodies being dead in search for other celestial based living organisms to find safe harborage upon and inside of. When I am dead, my body's indwelt sons and daughters of Godly imperatives will have to seek another place in which to be safely harbored. Predestination within the sons and daughters of God does know their end times approximation that their possessed embodiments will no longer be able to support them.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • mama k

      LL: "These sub-atomized intelligent beings we call God and the sons and daughters of God are all mortal beings and though they may well live out their lives inside us, they do die just like we do. "

      Yes, LL, but I told you – don't keep that stuff inside to long – keep the lanes free – have some prunes before you go to bed if necessary.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • mama k

      ( too long )

      December 31, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Really

      Chad, the big #1
      You shall have no OTHER god's before me.
      Why not I am the only God, why acknowledge the competi tion?

      December 31, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Chad

      The reason that no one ever tries to claim that the God of Israel acknowledges the existence of any other gods,, is that he specifically says there arent any...

      Yahweh, He is God; there is no other besides Him." Deuteronomy 4:35
      "Yahweh, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other." Deuteronomy 4:39
      "See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me" Deuteronomy 32:39
      "Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me." Isaiah 43:10
      "'I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me." Isaiah 44:6
      "Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none." Isaiah 44:8
      "I am Yahweh, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God." Isaiah 45:5
      "Surely, God is with you, and there is none else, No other God." Isaiah 45:14

      December 31, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Chad

      @Really "I posted a longer response on page 60. I reject the god of Abraham because that god wanted his creations to FEAR him in order to stay in gods good books, kind of sad and sick."

      @Chad "so, you do realize that:
      1. that was not the original creation (see Garden of Eden)
      2. thru mankinds choice, we became estranged
      3. following that, God offers reconciliation thru the sacrifice of Jesus

      "Fear" is a smart thing for humans to have, in the sense of an awesome respect for the power of God, but be clear, no where in the bible does it say humans were created to fear God.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Chad

      remember also that merely "fearing" the Lord certainly doesnt keep you in His "good books". The bible tells us that demons fear the Lord and they certainly arent in His "good books"

      there is only one way to stay in His "good books", accept the atoning sacrifice of Jesus.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Really

      Chad
      I gave you my reason why I do not accept your delusion, then you preach to me why my reasons are not acceptable to you? How arrogant?

      December 31, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Really

      Chad
      The story of Abraham and the sacrifice of Isaac, Abe was given, the I was just pulling your leg sign because the angel of god said I see that you fear God( and will be a fine sheepie, poetic licence), tell me where I got it wrong, don't lie now.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  17. altapres

    I did experience God's awsome powerful presence for 6 hrs while I was praying the rosary in my room in december 1992.

    December 31, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • End Religion

      that wasn't prayer, that was peyote.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Seyedibar

      At the same time, someone else in the world was seeing a flying saucer in the sky. And elsewhere in the world, someone spots a bigfoot.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  18. Chantal

    Psychiatric treatment exists to help people whose conditions cause suffering to them and others. There are a lot of ways to be weird that don't count as mental illnesses. However, the "God" voice in someone's head might tell them to do something, which could be highly problematic depending on what it is. There's a fine line between it being okay and harmful. How often it happens should be taken into account- if it's a sporadic here and there thing, it's probably just a quirk. If it's frequent and accompanied by other symptoms typically associated with mental illness, I'd see a doctor.

    December 31, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  19. 1nd3p3nd3nt

    no evidence whatsoever in the article that says the voices people hear belong to god.
    might as well say they're talking to jimmeny cricket : (

    December 31, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  20. trogiah

    God speaks. In every language in every land in every time. Taking time to listen is a good way to stay in touch with Reality

    December 31, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • 1nd3p3nd3nt

      language is beneath god.
      i would like to think if such a being did exist, they wouldn't be limited by any limited verbal or written communication.

      December 31, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • LinCA

      @trogiah

      You said, "God speaks. In every language in every land in every time. Taking time to listen is a good way to stay in touch with Reality"
      Believers must really suck at listening then. They manage to disagree on pretty much everything. There are, by some count, almost 40,000 different christian denominations, cults and sects. They all believe they got it right.

      Which beliefs you hold, and which religion you follow are far more dependent on where you were born and who you were raised by, then any god talking to you. The god that talks to you is the one your parents told you would. All of the other thousands of gods never seem to get a word in.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • G. Bush

      If English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me. Comprendo?

      December 31, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Rae

      1nd3p3nd3nt–An omniscient and omnipotent "being" certainly would have no limitations–but we all do.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • TG

      Only on rare occasions did our Creator, Jehovah God, use an angel to speak to any of his people.(Gen 3:8-13; Ex 23:20-22) Rather, he spoke through his appointed representatives, such as the prophets, and it was a person you could see and actually speak with.

      Likewise today, God speaks through his people, who uses the Bible to teach others about him. These teach others to know his name as Jehovah (Ex 6:3; Ps 83:18), his purpose for the earth (Isa 45:18), of it to be transformed into a paradise (Luke 23:43) for those who are "meek" ones (Matt 5:5) so as to enjoy life "in the abundance of peace....forever."(Ps 37:11, 29)

      December 31, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Seyedibar

      the word "angel" is a mistranslation of "aggelos", a greek word meaning royal messenger. Before the 9th century, there were no angels in the bible, though there were the occassional brother, son, of follower of El. By the time they are worshipping El's son Yahweh (your Jehova), they have swapped many of these characters for a mysterious generic demigod being. But in the oldest versions of the text, they are nothing more than royal messengers of the aristocracy that the Canaanites worship as a god. Even the "Watchers" of Enoch have been mistranslated as supernatural beings. The only actual angel mentioned is the cherubim in Genesis, but there are earlier post-Sumerian accounts that do not feature the creature.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Dan

      1nd3p3nd3nt....Who says God is "limited" to that mode of communication? That's quite a leap. Just because he communicates in that way does not mean he is limited.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Dan

      Seyedibar....Is your understanding of ancient Hebrew and Greek really better than Paul's contemporaries? They understood him to be speaking of spiritual beings. I love it when moderns claim superior knowledge of a dead language to those who spoke it as natives. LOL.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.