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. Yuck

    I love you mom..

    August 27, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
  2. Dyslexic doG

    I was walking in the mountains last weekend and a bush burst into flames but it was not consumed. A voice came out of the bush and said "there is no god and religion is foolishness". I shrugged my shoulders and thought "OK ... I suppose a voice from a burning bush can't be wrong." So take note everyone. cheers!

    August 20, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • dorianmattar


      3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars....

      Wait, isn't the sun the light? Hum.. strange, very strange!

      The bible is for children!

      August 20, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
      • Warrior63

        I'm so glad those of you who laugh and mock people who believe are not going to be in Heaven. You sure don't deserve it!!

        September 11, 2013 at 2:36 am |
        • dorianmattar

          and you are? LMAO

          You are delusional.

          Let me let you into a secrete...

          When that brain dies, you can't feel, see, hear, taste, or even know that you don't know.

          Without the brain, we are NOTHING.

          When we die, the brain dies, and that's the end of it.

          There is no heaven, or 72 virgins, or any of it.

          It's like Santa Clause, it doesn't exist.

          This is a great read that explains very well.


          BTW, we don't mock you, we just can't help see how silly it all is, and how dangerous at the same time.

          It's almost like watching children playing with guns, except that children are children.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:55 am |
        • Alan

          @Warrior63: Well then the Apostle Paul won't go to Heaven because he hated Christians and didn't believe in God before he saw the light on the road to Damascus. You need to read your Bible before spouting out this right-wing blasphemy. They're more dangerous than atheists who, like Paul, at least have a chance for God to prove them wrong.

          September 11, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • dorianmattar


      August 20, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      That same bush said for everybody here to send me all their money. Sorry. Gotta do what the bush wants. I wish there was some other way.

      August 20, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
  3. Zombie God

    23% of all Americans had heard a voice or seen a vision in response to prayer.
    Now add the other forms of mental illness....we have a sick society

    August 20, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
  4. Choir Loft

    April 30, 1789 Dedication of the nation in the capital of New York City.

    "The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disegards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven iself hath ordained."
    – George Washington


    and that's me, hollering from the choir loft...

    August 20, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • dorianmattar

      Your god has no right to judge anyone. He is a jealous, deceitful, vengeful, murderous, and useless god.

      He can go f-himself.

      August 20, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
      • Choir Loft

        God has the right to judge by the simple fact that He has the might to do so.
        The wise man makes peace with One stronger than himself.
        The fool raves on.

        and that's just me, hollering from the choir loft...

        August 20, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
        • dorianmattar

          That's odd, you think your god is mighty...

          Hum, last I checked he couldn't cure a simple bacterial infection.

          Do you have any proof of his might?

          He looks so weak, I can't even see him...

          August 20, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          if god exists, he might be mighty. He isn't mighty enough to leave any kind of verifyable trace, and the stories in the bible that claim he did this and that are clearly false, so which god do you mean?

          August 20, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
      • Warrior63

        I'm so gald you will experience the wrath of God, Vengence in Mine sayth the Lord. Why on earth would God heal someone as sinful as you?

        September 11, 2013 at 2:40 am |
        • dorianmattar

          WOW just as expected, a vengeful god.

          He is vengeful because humans are vengeful and humans created god in their own image – Not the other way around.

          We don't need healing from a god that can't heal. Go talk to the THOUSANDS of Christian children dying in hospitals of all types of deceases.

          With that type of god, who needs enemies?

          I'll stick with science, thank you very much, at least I know I won't die of chickenpox. lol


          September 11, 2013 at 2:51 am |
    • Marie

      Amen! Also, quit casting your pearls before swine (the comment below) They will not heed your or my words, the best and most loving thing we can do is pray for them. Then if they do not heed, God will judge them, whether they think He has the right or not. That is the most beautiful thing about God, it doesnt matter what we think – He is God 🙂 God bless you *hugs*

      September 5, 2013 at 7:00 am |
      • Marie

        I see they placed my comment below so change that to (comments above)

        September 5, 2013 at 7:02 am |
        • dorianmattar

          The most beautiful thing about your god is that he can judge people? WOW Screwed up thinking as expected from a religious person.

          September 5, 2013 at 11:28 am |
  5. Marie

    So thankful the Bible is my moral compass now...and I no longer lean on my own understanding and destroy my life and my soul in the process.

    August 18, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
    • dorianmattar

      OK, so if the bible is your compass...

      ... go kill children, stone people for working on Sundays, kill fortune tellers and kill everyone that doesn't believe you.

      If you can't judge the bible or any book on wether it actually is a valid moral code, you are IMMORAL as you have NO MORALS.

      You have just admitted that you have no moral compass.

      You are morally bankrupt.

      Good job.

      August 18, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
      • frespech

        It is quite clear from your post that you have not spent enough time and research into the Bibles teachings to be questioning anyones faith or moral compass. However it is never to late to start.

        August 23, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          It's not at all clear. Obviously some research was done. The bible makes all kinds of statements about stoning, killing, etc. So that contradicts your statement.

          August 23, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
        • dorianmattar

          I've spent enough time reading the bible and I wonder if you have.

          How is it that you find it moral for god to drawn everyone including every child and animal species on the planet. Oh, right, he saved one family, my bad.

          If that the type of person you are, then YOU are IMMORAL and I suggest you visit a doctor.

          Hey, it's never to late to start.

          August 25, 2013 at 2:29 am |
    • Choir Loft

      Stay your course. Keep the faith. Christ will never let you down.
      The Bible says that in the last days scoffers will multiply. The day has come and so have they.
      What else do you expect fools to say?
      and that's just me, hollering from the choir loft...

      August 20, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
  6. Paul

    Any chance these people were fasting at the time?

    August 17, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
    • dorianmattar

      yes, and eating mushrooms! lol

      Joke aside, back in those days, people used to eat exotic mushrooms, so there's no wonder why there where hallucinations.

      August 18, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
  7. myrtle may

    Some of these comments are frankly hysterical. I'm surprised that so many people can hear God over the cacophony of disagreement. Between our complaining & our whining, I visualize God sitting in heaven with an ice pack on His head & when the prayers start rolling in He turns off the "call waiting". LOL.

    August 16, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
  8. the dude

    If you hear a non existent being speaking to you are you crazy?

    Short answer –> YES!!!

    August 6, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  9. Steve Finnell


    Without extra-Biblical writings, the so-called Christian denominations would fall like a house of cards in a hurricane.

    The question is would you be able to remain in your denomination if you based your religious doctrines on the Bible alone? Is the foundation and the building of your faith located in the Scriptures alone or is it in creed books, statements of faith, or other extra-Biblical writings?

    2 Peter3:15-16 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they also do the rest of the Scriptures,to their own destruction.

    The apostle Peter said the letters Paul wrote were Scriptures. Peter never said Paul copied the man-made creeds of the scribes and Pharisees nor any other extra-Biblical writings.

    2 Timothy 3:14-15 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known thesacred writings which are able to give you wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

    Extra-Biblical writings are not sacred writings.Where did Timothy get the information to practice his faith and make him wise to salvation? He got it from the words of the apostles, the apostles words were sacred writings (Scriptures). Paul did not say, one word about learning salvation from man-made creed books nor any other extra-Biblical writings.

    1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.

    When Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy delivered the word of God to the Thessalonians, they did not hand them man-made creed books nor teach them from other extra-Biblical writings.

    Ephesians 3:1-5 For this reason I Paul...3. that by revelation there was made know to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. 4 By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;

    The apostle Paul said the mystery of Christ hasnow been revealed. It was not revealed in the second century nor the twenty first century. There are no more apostles and prophets. Insights into the mystery of of Christ was made know to Paul by revelation, as it was to the rest of the apostles and prophets.They did not learn the mystery of Christ from catechisms nor other man-made extra-Biblical books.

    1 Galatians 1:11-12 For I would have you know brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

    Can men study books written by the early church fathers; and then say, we did not receive it from man? When preachers attain their doctrine from creed books and other extra-Biblical writings; can they say we did not receive it from man? The apostle Paul did not attend seminary and study extra-Biblical dogma.

    1 Peter 1:20-21 But know this first of all. that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation. 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

    You can only quote true prophecy by quoting the Bible.

    John 16:5-15 ...13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth...

    The Holy Spirit guided the apostles into all truth. The apostles had all the truth. All the truth is found in the Bible and the Bible alone.

    The early church fathers were not guided into all truth by the Holy Spirit.

    The writers of church catechisms were not guided into all truth by the Holy Spirit.

    The writers of Bible commentaries were not guided into all truth by the Holy Spirit.

    The writers of denominational creed books were not guided into all truth by the Holy Spirit.

    The writers of EXTRA-BIBLICAL writings were not and are not guided into all truth by the Holy Spirit.



    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG. Google search>>>steve finnell a christian view

    August 1, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Dean Van Brunt

      Steve Finnell, you seem to be most offended by anything in the history of the church with the exception of the Holy Scriptures. This leads me to believe also that you are also against all denominations and also against all dictrines of the Christian Church. Your position, if I have understood it correctly then is anti-clerical, anti-doctrinal, anti-intellectual, anti-seminary: Pro-bible School, Anti-Creed, Anti-sacramental version of Christianity.

      August 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • dorianmattar

      I just think you need a doctor.

      August 20, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
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    July 28, 2013 at 1:31 pm |

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      July 30, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
  12. Julie

    I do believe all of us at some point and time and many times are given the opportunity to hear God – by that, I mean one might hear God's Word and they are thinking about what is said and it rings true but their heart hardens and they don't allow the Word to take root – if they did, they would understand God's Word IS true – no one could ever change my belief in Jesus Christ – the same yesterday, today and forever. The Word says also we shall have tribulation in this world but He has overcome the world – there will be a day of reckoning and the term gnashing of teeth I believe will be those who had the chance to believe and passed it up and when they find out He is real and coming for His church (believers) they will remember those times they said no – very terrible to find out it was all true

    July 26, 2013 at 1:31 am |
  13. louruiz

    Religion, doing its best to normalize crazy since man created god.

    July 22, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Choir Loft

      Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.
      Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet.
      Napoleon Bonaparte

      August 20, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
  14. Charles Ashe

    God is real! If you will ask him, he will answer. Be quiet, Be still and you will hear his voice.

    July 22, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • jc

      All of you hearing god need help, so keep it between you and your therapist

      July 29, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • dorianmattar

      What you hear is your brain granting you WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR!

      Why don't you ask yourself a simple question.

      Why would god necessitate you to be quiet and still? Why can't he just appear and talk to you like he should, instead of making himself a voice that might look like borderline insanity to many people?

      Why the ridiculous mystery?

      Imagine that you talked to your child like that?

      Imagine you never let your children meet you, and you would communicate by implanting a speaker in their ear, but that no one could detect that speaker, and that your kid would just hear this crazy voice saying things that are barely understandable and at random?

      Would people think your child was crazy? YES.

      Now why would you do that to your child?

      July 29, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
      • Eric

        I totally agree with you. Great example by comparison by the way... I just want to add that I do believe God speaks to us but he does it throught his written word the Bible. We pray to him and we seek our answers in the Bible.

        July 31, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
        • charles

          Why bother praying to your imaginary friend, Go to your bible and get your answers there.

          August 4, 2013 at 9:37 pm |

    • I think advocating schizophrenia as a sign from "god" is disrespectful to people who have the disorder, quite honestly. Please don't stone your kids when they want to get a summer job and have the Sunday shift. Though I suppose you might hear "god" that he will bring them back to life after you obey his command for you to show your devotion. Has it crossed your mind that you are living your life in servitude to a psychopath who sent bears to kill children for making fun of a prophet? I question the character of you believers, truly.

      July 30, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
      • Charles Ashe

        In response to the guy who commented on Charles comment. You ought to be ashamed of making a rude comment about our Heavenly Father. He created you and me, and he loves everyone. Seek him with all of your heart and mind and you will know what we are talking about. I love him, get to know him. You will say the same. Until then honor him and respect him he's more than worthy and he hears every word you say.

        July 31, 2013 at 1:43 am |
        • dorianmattar

          Charles with all due respect, I don't respect criminals and your god or heavenly father as you call him, drowned every CHILD on the planet. Is this correct or not?

          Why would I trust someone that kills children? I don't.

          So NO I will never try to communicate with him or Hitler, which are basically the same garbage.

          Except Hitler was real, your god is not.

          July 31, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
        • jesus

          who are you to tell someone they should be ashamed? you should be ashamed as a grown man you let yourself be brainwaswhed.

          July 31, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
        • charles

          I guess the doctor misinformed me. He told me that it was my mother and father that created me. If you don't believe that, you most believe otherwise.which means that you believe that all mothers gave birth to children without the need of a human male. Virgin Gloria, virgin Nancy, etc. etc.

          August 4, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
        • Choir Loft

          Fools tread where angels fear to go.

          They will have their reward – I wouldn't wish it on a mad dog, but if they want it let them burn.
          and that's just me, hollering from the choir loft...

          August 20, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
        • dorianmattar

          Choir Loft, that's the kind of thinking religion produces, ignorant and malicious.

          Go see a doctor, maybe there is a pill for what you have.

          Hell is just a fantasy for the gullible.

          Grow up.

          August 20, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
        • Charles Ashe

          I challenge you to read a nonfiction book named A Divine Revelation of Hell by Mary Baxter from front to back. Don't be deceived. Also, read the scriptures in the Holy Bible. I know God is an all knowing and all hearing God. He speaks, take time to listen.

          August 20, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
        • dorianmattar


          Where do you get is nonfiction? Did you actually have all the claims tested in a CONTROLLED environment by trained professionals? Or did you just BELIEVE it because the BOOK SAYS SO?

          You know when you go to a fiction movie and you walk out of the theater but you still feel like you can fly like super man...

          Well, the same applies.

          August 20, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
        • Choir Loft

          You get what you ask for, Dorian.

          I just wish you'd ask for a cooler climate – spiritually speaking. In the end its not up to anyone but you.
          What do you want? All or nothing? That's what hell really is – nothing.

          If nothing is what you want, then nothing is what you'll get.

          Try to be a little more ambitious in life. It's better to be a winner than a loser.

          and that's just me, hollering from the choir loft...

          August 20, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Is Charles Ashe the best Poe ever? It's possible.

          If not, Charles, do due diligence on the research, sir. Your god theory is silly for entire truck loads of reasons.

          August 20, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
        • dorianmattar

          Choir Loft,

          If we got what we wanted, we wouldn't have children born with cancer.

          I wish it was up to me, but it's not. You can be born a genius or you can be born without arms. It's nothing more than the draw of a card.

          For you to say that I need to be ambitious by thinking that there is a heaven waiting for me, and that if I don't I'll be a looser, is just absurd.

          Do you want to go back to the dark ages when humans believed that the earth was the center of everything because the bible mentions that god stopped the day by stopping the sun in the sky? The church burned scientists alive for going against that.

          Is that what you want? Do you want a civilization based on LIES or TRUTH?

          That IS what is up to us, to stand up for the FACTS, not whatever people wish they were.

          Einstein was an atheist, do you think he was a looser?


          August 21, 2013 at 12:04 am |
    • Eric

      Well said Charles. That voice we true worshipers of God hear is our well trained conscious based on the teachings of his true word in Bible. Which then give us the answers we look for.

      July 31, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
      • charles

        The bible tells me that a man survived in the belly of a whale. It also tells me that Noah saved Polar bears, Penguins, and Kangaroos.

        August 4, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
    • Choir Loft

      Well said Charles. Be quiet, be still and you will hear the voice of God.

      On the other hand, we've got a nest of fools who can't shut up long enough to allow the echo of their own voice to subside. They hear only their own language and couldn't hear the Almighty if He used a loudspeaker.

      But a few of them will take notice when He slaps them up side the head to get their attention. God has more than one way of speaking from the throne of heaven.

      God is able to pluck His own geese. The question is – whoose geese are these?

      and that's just me, hollering from the choir loft...

      August 20, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
      • dorianmattar

        We don't have to hear the echo of our voices, to know how fake your god is, all we have to do is listen to the thousands children in hospitals all around the world dying of deceases created by faulty genes.

        Your useless god does only one thing well and that's divide humans.

        You are nothing but a fear mongrel with no intellect whatsoever to back any of your childish claims.

        August 20, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
        • Mario

          I really get a good laugh from people like this who try to discredit the faith of those who CHOOSE to believe in God and in a divine creator. I can sense the anger and the bitterness fuming from within them. Why don't they just leave us alone and move to country where they don't believe in God, and meanwhile they can stand in line for toilet paper while they are there. It is true that there is suffering everywhere in the world, but I grant you, that there are more God fearing people out here trying to provide solutions to the problems. I am better person today because I trust in the Living God, or else I should get me a cannon and go after all those white hooded clad clansmen that burned crosses in the field behind our house and set fire on some relatives of mine. Yeah there are kids suffering, I got two with kidney disease and they are grown now and doing well. Instead of walking around all angry at the world, it is much wiser to think positive and have hope that in the end justice will prevail for all Gods creation.

          August 20, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
        • dorianmattar

          Well Mario,

          It is YOUR people that go house to house trying to convert others.

          It is YOUR people that take science to court trying to get archaic creationism into schools.

          It is YOUR people that post banners of HATE in our freeways.

          It is YOUR people who are indoctrinating children in at an age where they can't think for themselves.

          It is YOUR people who have burned people alive when the evidence goes against their believes.

          So why don't you look at yourself before making an ass of yourself.

          Stand in line for toilet paper? OMFG! You are one ignorant baboon! LMAO

          The more impoverished a society is the more religious they are, and the more civilized the less religious they become.

          Religion flourishes in ignorance, and I can certainly use you as a prime example.

          There are as many Islamic followers as they are Chrisitans, so your argument is NULL. You don't have a leg to stand on and your kind are desperately seeking ways of stopping the exodus from religion all over the world.

          Your argument that only religious people help people is ridiculous. Bill Gates is an atheist philanthropist and there are many organizations that are NONE RELIGIOUS helping people all over the world. But more importantly, they DON"T ask for faith in return for food! We give without asking!

          Your argument about burning crosses is even more ridiculous, the TOP MINDS on this planet are ATHEIST! The dumbest fools are in corners preaching your gospel. You should join them, as you are absolutely ready for it.

          I am VERY SORRY about your kids, but may I remind you that their problems are a DIRECT result of their "creator" or genetics, and that if it wasn't for SCIENTIST, whom are mostly ATHEIST, they would probably be DEAD.

          Justice is to be had HERE and NOW, not in some afterlife.

          I'm certainly getting a laugh at your remarks.

          August 20, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
        • Min. Mario V. Price

          What clan rally did you just come from? Well well well, don't you have something constructive to do, that's better than trying to shout someone down? I got no problems with atheist, I went to school with some of the brightest minds on the planet who where atheist and they treated me better than some of my so called christian friends. While in the army I slept in foxholes holding an M-16 with my atheist best army buddy who always bought the bear. So don't try and lecture me, I am veteran of the US Army, and you never have seen fear util you see on the face of a godless person when they are being shot at, so there you go. I was the platoon leader and it was my character as a christian, that made all my men to the company commander wanting to to follow me into battle. If you want to I can fax you some of the letters. Atheist are not bad people, bad people come in all types and ways, all smart people are not Atheist, so there is no argument here. You don't remember the sixties like I do, when the soviets where so anti God, they used to have long lines of people just to get toilet paper. Go there now, they had to change because christians kept fighting for human rights as we do today. Focus on the positive Dorian, there are lot of things to cry and complain about if you want to see them, but its not the fault of believers of Christ. There is never going to be perfection o this planet or in the world in my lifetime and I am 53 now. So I choose to live life with not a lot of anger about religion. I got other things to worry about. LIke why are so many young black african americans getting killed for any and every reason. I take care of foster kids too, and the last 4 kids where white kids that were abused by their meth smoking parents. It is a damn shame that we here arguing about something neither of us can prove, (the existence of God). While we should be discussing how to make some of these problems go away by collaborating and working toward positive solutions. But nooooo, you want to argue about God. I suggest that you, find a cause if you don't have one. If you need one, email me off line and we can discuss your very bright and positive future helping solve all the ills of society. 1mvp2u@gmail.com.'

          August 20, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
        • dorianmattar


          Like I mentioned, my beef is with the fact that religion wants to indoctrinate and control everything. I am for the COMPLETE separation of church and state.

          As far as Russia is concerned, there is nobody else to blame but their dictators, who did not want religion OR ANYTHING else to hamper their climb. You make it sound as if atheism had something to do with their decline, which it did NOT. The majority of the countries with highest standards of living are mostly Atheist. So I'm not sure what your argument is.

          As far as your comment about fearful and godless army, I can't help but ask, where the russians fearful as they destroyed the German army? I think NOT.

          As far as being a christian in the army, I can show you the chaos that is being caused by commanders who are christians and are forcing atheist to become christians or face the consequences. Look it up.

          I am appreciative of your valor in combat and for all the good things that you do, but that has nothing to do with the issues that are brought on by religion.

          I also can't understand why everyone here is claiming to be innocent and blaming atheists for speaking out, when this article provokes it.

          I have plenty of things to do, but find the time to fight religion whenever I can.

          911 changed everything for me.

          Religion is a decease, nothing but a virus of FEAR.

          August 20, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
        • dorianmattar

          I haven't read this yet, but this is what I'm talking about...


          August 20, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
        • Charles Ashe

          In response to Mario, well stated.

          August 21, 2013 at 10:30 am |
  15. Teryn James Hinrichs

    God and Jesus Christ talk to me every single day for the past 8 months. Its audible and visual. I see God clear as life, Jesus clear as you would talk to someone face to face. We talk every single day and its is real. I just want to find my Brothers and Sisters that are here. I am living in the Spirit Flesh. He whom I highly speak of, of my God has told me who I am in Heaven. He told me that it is completely the truth and that my life has the same exact mission as our Lord Jesus Christ. He has told me that Jesus is my blood Cousin and that he is excited to show me and lead me through this life of my servantfulness and my love of life to change the world. He has told me that I have a HUGE reason of why I am gifted to live fully through the Spirit Flesh and that I am sent here from God. They have shown me so many things day in and day out of how and why I am here. I am stunned that this is who I truly am, that it is hard to believe at sometimes because of the man that we are all against knows who I am and is constantly messing with me. This is in dear need to be taken serious. If there is any Brothers and Sisters that are here living through the Spirit Flesh, we have to met and I have to tell you in person to explain this all. God has told me that I am the War Maiden of Heaven. That I am the Commander and Chief of our Battalion of are Brothers and Sisters. He told me I have so many missions that need to be succeeded and to be heard in person by my Brothers and Sisters and so we can finally met again. This may sound weird to you all but its Real. I told him that its hard to believe that this is who I truly am. He told me its real and He said if you want proof, im going to have to find a professional polygraph operator ( lie detection operator) and see with my own eyes that its not a joke. Take cat scans. To take whatever test it is to see if its real. He told me without adoubt that it is the truth. He just want to tell me that if I really want to go to the extension of doing things that the answers will be in front of me, of it being the truth and it all being real. As a willing Servant of God, a Grandchild of him, a disiciple of him and with the knowing I can trust in the good graciousness of our King himself and in our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ I stand straight and militant with our Family. Call me so we can talk more and so I can explain more of who I am and where my about is my Brothers and Sisters. THERE IS NOTHING TO FEAR. 713-677-9760

    July 19, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • charles

      When Captain Kirk communicates with aliens, they understand English. I guess your heavenly friend and your Jesus also understands English.

      August 4, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
  16. Devout Atheist

    The long and short of it is yes, if you have an imaginary friend (or in this case god) that talks to you or worse tells you to do stuff, you are clinically insane.

    I don't feel the need to cater to the religiously naive and uneducated by acting like there's a difference especially when these same religious folk would surely deem a person of an opposing religion/view that heard voices crazy. That's the hypocrisy in religion.

    July 19, 2013 at 12:05 am |
    • mario price

      I dont get it. Why is everyone who is athiest always calling believers uneducated? I have 3 real college degrees including engineering and MBA, have studied religion and was on my way to be an army chaplain. Its my education that makes realize how great God is. Look around at all the order in the world. The laws of science, math, and even pshycologhy, show the necessity of superior intelligence to harmonize all of this with nature. Mankin has every right to search and to believe in God as athiest have a right not too. Just make the world better before you die should be our main focus. Leave the world better than when you found it. Cause we all will die and aint no coming back.

      July 22, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
      • dorianmattar

        Wait, your education moves you to believe in god? Where did you go to school, a church? Evolution PROVES that Adam and Eve are an ignorant man's view of the world as it was in the dark ages.

        Genesis is a JOKE with NOT ONE SINGLE thing in the proper order.

        Yes, please look around you and gaze at a worm eating it's pray alive from the inside out! Seriously, did you sleep thru college or are you scared of the dark? It's one or the other.

        If you are going to marvel at the great things and call them a work of a god, you MUST also include EVERY SINGLE HIDEOUS creation, from VOLCANOES to VIRUSES as your gods creation as well.


        You may call yourself educated, and you MIGHT have a degree as stated on your comment, but it seem you didn't learn much.

        I must include, that if it wasn't for Religion, we would be advanced at least 200 years, as the Church kept the books of both Copernicus and Galileo ILLEGAL for 200 years!

        Image where we would be NOW!

        You want us to make the world a better place? THEN GET OUT OF OUR WAY!

        July 22, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
        • mario price

          Why are you so hostile dude? The bible is mans recording od gods word. It is not the only word of god. Any theologian will tell you that. Ghe scriptures are a referrnce and a guide to truth . Things that are violent or ugly serve a purpose in creation as all things do. I bet you think that blonde headed blue eyed white people are the only beautiful things on earth. But mot so. You are blind because you want everything to make sense to your limited mind. I learned physics and it humbled me. I teach advanced biology and it astonishes me abd makes me joyous! Creation is awesome when look at it with humility.

          July 22, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
      • dorianmattar

        Hostile? I say it as it is. Why wouldn't I be someone aggravated by all religions when all they do is LIE and slow the progress of humanity?

        The bible is NOT the recording of a god! The bible is nothing more than a bunch of letters written by unknown writers with primitive knowledge of their surroundings.

        What guide to truth might that be? Noah's Flood was real? Seriously! That is truly the perfect example of the delusional nature of religion and what it does to the human mind. You, I'm sure, are a grown human, and yet you believe in things that are PREPOSTEROUS! The above referenced event, not only did it NEVER take place, but it would be IMPOSSIBLE for it to happen. The fact that you probably believe it, shows how disturbed your mind is under the effect of religion.

        I'm not even WHITE! Why would you bring race into this conversation? You need to exercise your mind a bit more.

        You studied biology? Where in kindergarden? 99.9% of ALL biologists understand that EVOLUTION IS A FACT! You probably don't even know the meaning of a Scientific Theory.

        You are a lair and I am calling you out on it!

        July 22, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
      • nostod

        the reason for this is they actually believe in God but they hate Him. This creates big problems in a human as it cuts off his source of truth , love and healing

        July 26, 2013 at 1:52 am |
        • dorianmattar

          NO, that's not it.

          We think you are uneducated, because YOU DON"T MAKE ANY SENSE!

          Who in their right minds wouldn't hate something that threaten people with fire?

          Do you trust people that give you an ultimatum? Either follow me or burn?

          Seriously, your logic is flawed.

          July 26, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
      • jeann

        If you want to hear about someone who actually saw God and lived to tell about it – read "Proof of Heaven – A neurosurgeons journey into the Afterlife" and let me know what you think.

        August 4, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
        • dorianmattar

          Yeah, it's this simple.


          August 4, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
      • charles

        Which God are we talking about. The cavemen had all sorts of Gods. Thunder , Lightning, rain, etc. if you collected all the gods in one room, it would be one crowded room.

        August 4, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
  17. Min. Mario V. Price

    Hearing the audible voice of God is a gift to some and usually it not for personal gain but more about protection and guidance. I am minister of 27 years and have Pastored times in rural churches where I had to depend on God because people did not have money. Every Sunday I preached from the Bible and prayed for the people during which I could hear the Lords instructions on family problems, where to go get jobs, and I never asked for their money. I also work in Information Technology and God has audibly told me several times how to fix problems that saved my job. I have had several attempts on my life since the age of 5 and God has saved my life in front of witnesses to this day, still remember and have changed their life because they saw what God did to save me. I am not rich, but do have an M.B.A. and God still talks to me, although it is never about getting wealthy. At times between sleep and waking I can see visions about places I have never been, and months later, I end up there to help somebody with a problem. I have wanted to get professional help because it is frustrating to see preachers who are getting rich by lying to people about getting stuff from God, while I am always barely making financially. It is not a glamourous thing to have the voice of God in your head all the time, when I was raised in the ghetto by a very religious mother who had me praying all the time, and telling me to not worry about getting rich but to help people. I am saying all this to inform others that it is a slippery slope claiming to hear the audible voice of God and then go around bragging about it. If so many people are hearing from God, then why aren't things really changing for the better as in the days of Moses, and Abraham? They made differences to help souls of men get free from vice and avarice, and it appears to me that this is what God wants if he does indeed speak to you and me at all.

    July 18, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • dorianmattar

      So god is communicating with you all the time for the better of people?

      I wonder why god needs to have you as a middle man. Wouldn't it be more efficient to simply wish his command and get it over with? Why doesn't he simply help people instead of depending on humans who are financially or emotionally strapped in the first place.

      Sounds like a very selfish god who can't do things on his own.

      Your stories sound like nothing more than your mind trying to help you solve problems. Why is it that it's god talking to you and not simply your mind?

      For us to be certain that it is god talking to you, we would have to hear gods voice in everyones head and compare them to each other.

      But of course, this will never happen, because it's all in everyone mind and nowhere else.

      July 18, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
      • Sarah

        The reason you cant see or hear anything of the spiritual world is because you chose to cancel yourself off from it. to hide from God. That is the worse thing you can do. If you truely believed in God then you would be able to see God and all that he is. Only those who believe can see.

        July 21, 2013 at 12:52 am |
        • dorianmattar

          Let me get that straight. I have to FIRST make myself available to hallucinations so that I can then hallucinate. Yeah, great idea man.

          The reason there is such a thing as EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE is EXACTLY to avoid this!

          The HUMAN MIND is easy tricked by many factors, into not only BELIEVING but actually HEARING and even SEEING things that are actually NOT THERE!

          The last thing you want to do is FORCE yourself to fall into that trap.

          The supernatural has been proven FALSE OVER and OVER again.

          Just look at ALL THE FAKE Healers. Priests making MILLIONS of $ from gullible people that WANT TO BELIEVE!

          Thanks but NO THANKS!

          July 22, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
        • dorianmattar

          Yeah and all those that don't believe go to hell, right?

          Yeah, I'm going to stand by a monster than not only conceived such a place, but one that actually sends people to it, simply because they don't like him!

          Is that what you do on Facebook every time someone doesn't want to be your friend? BURN THEM ALIVE?

          You guys don't think much do you?

          July 22, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
      • nostod

        God contradicts the mind. The bible says mans mind is the enemy of God. In my younger years I was angry hostile selfish destructive person. As I have listened to God in the last 40 years I have lost the anger, learned patience, learned that I was put here to be a blessing to my fellow man. How could this be a bad thing? If this is a delusion you are way better off with the new me than the old me.

        God id love

        July 26, 2013 at 1:59 am |
        • dorianmattar

          People get help from many different sources. Some go to Jesus, some go to Allah, so go to women, and some go to books like myself.

          In your case, you are simply utilizing the "Nice" part of this ancient book to suite your needs.

          I can't see how you could possibly learn patients and or forgiveness form the god on this book that killed EVERY SINGLE ANIMAL and CHILD on the planet because he thought they were sinners.

          Animals and children sinners? WOW!

          You simple want to believe and therefore you do.

          It has nothing to do with the logistics, certainty or reality of these religions.

          They are all one and the same LIE.

          July 26, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Karla

      Thanks for sharing. I didn't understand what you meant about getting professional help. You seemed blessed and highly favored. I know he speaks audibly and other ways as well. There are some scriptures that talk about the way you feel. God rains on the just and unjust. Sometimes a blessing seems to have to do with timing. You have been call to the high office to do God's work that is truly a blessing. Continue to talk to the Lord he knows your every thought and emotion. Mighty man of God.

      July 24, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
      • Min. Mario Price

        The above message is for Min. Price

        July 24, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • charles

      You don't need God, YOU ARE GOD.

      August 4, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
  18. Min. Mario V. Price

    Hearing the audible voice of God is a gift to some and usually it not for personal gain but more about protection and guidance. I am minister of 27 years and have Pastored times in rural churches where I had to depend on God because people did not have money. Every Sunday I preached from the Bible and prayed for the people during which I could hear the Lords instructions on family problems, where to go get jobs, and I never asked for their money. I also work in Information Technology and God has audibly told me several times how to fix problems that saved my job. I have had several attempts on my life since the age of 5 and God has saved my life in front of witnesses to this day, still remember and have changed their life because they saw what God did to save me. I am not rich, but do have an M.B.A. and God still talks to me, although it is never about getting wealthy. At times between sleep and waking I can see visions about places I have never been, and months later, I end up there to help somebody with a problem. I have wanted to get professional help because it is frustrating to see preachers who are getting rich by lying to people about getting stuff from God, while I am always barely making financially. It is not a glamourous thing to have the voice of God in your head all the time, when I was raised in the ghetto by a very religious mother who had me praying all the time, and telling me to not worry about getting rich but to help people. I am saying all this to inform others that it is a slippery slope claiming to hear the audible voice of God and then go around bragging about it. If so many people are hearing from God, then why aren't things really changing for the better as in the days of Moses, and Abraham? They made differences to help souls of men get free from vice and avrice, and it appears to me that this is what God wants if he does indeed speak to you and me at all.

    July 18, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • Alan

      "But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you." (Matthew 6:6)

      August 31, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
  19. john

    to every person that hears god in their head or speak to him personally listen to this song the fray how to save a life im your scapegoat you may not know what it means but your gods perception will know what a scapegoat is you can listen to this to if you get a chance cold play fix you if you deserve you life back i hope you the best my name is john field believe me there's worst things on this earth then you dont believe me tell your perception to ask god by the way there's more then just one god theres god of us "god" god of the universe god of god of the universe god of the multiverse and last but the best god yet of course god of life...... im an example thats y i know so many so... who knows you might get to meet a new god maybe he even like you who knows but if one of them gives you your life back please at least go to church and worship them for me my email is fishing4thehuge1@gmail.com if you need anything Hope you the best life possible none of us are perfect but we try.

    July 10, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
  20. Davis

    Short and simple God Jesus good angels but only the ones appointed also fallen angels and the God of this world.I hear it all great love great suffering but the holy spirit doctors of this world say schizaphrania but Ill trust GOD not man. Im truthful bye

    July 10, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
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About this blog

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.