Jump to content

G_D Is Still Speaking


minsocal
 Share

Recommended Posts

As I believe religion is a human construct, I think God was never speaking to us at all but we were claiming to speak for God.

Once we move above experience, ineffable experience and beyond description and observation and into interpretation and meaning it is all construct. That is how we became G-d (or not). God is a construct but to say that G-d never spoke to us and that we are merely claiming to speak for for G-d misses, the point, I think. The evolution of G-d didn't start yesterday and the construct of G-d is deep in our experience. The construct of G-d, in a profound way, has become G-d. Not in some silly false Wizard of OZ maneuver, but a way in which we experience the universe. As Jesse Bering said aphoristically, "We invented God and God returned the favor." The answer is not to found in deciding whether we invented G-d first or G-d spoke first. The speaking and [G-d} co-evolved.

 

To the extent that our construct allows us to listen God speaks, and conversely, the extent to which our construct makes us deaf, then G-d ceases to speak. Following Paul Smith we may speak about G-d, to G-d, and as G-d. We can speak as G-d if we are authentically moved. 10s of thousands years of evolution give us the ground on which to do it. Collectively the value of what you say will be evaluated by the community who operates within the construct of G-d.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is G_d still speaking to us ... or ... through us?

 

Speaking from an individual perspective i would respond that G_d is always speaking both to us and through us. In a sense, all of creation speaks howbeit, not necessarily in vocal words of language.

 

Yet in what i have subjectively experienced of what i call true reality, it seems to me that G_d does not speak. This is because there is nothing to say nor a subject or object to carry on a conversation. There is only silence, completeness, awareness, and profound peace that words cannot do justice.

 

Joseph

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

To the extent that our construct allows us to listen God speaks, and conversely, the extent to which our construct makes us deaf, then G-d ceases to speak. Following Paul Smith we may speak about G-d, to G-d, and as G-d. We can speak as G-d if we are authentically moved. 10s of thousands years of evolution give us the ground on which to do it. Collectively the value of what you say will be evaluated by the community who operates within the construct of G-d.

if God was ever speaking to us, then surely God would have found a less manipulative way to speak to us other than through ancient manuscripts that can be easily tampered with and have vague interpretations? Just looking at Christianity, there are over 35,000 denominations of Christianity in existence. They all claim to speak for God but they all say radically different things. Some of them say to correctly follow God you have to believe Jesus is God in the flesh. Others say Jesus was a human being or a divine being created by God but who isn't equal with God. Some Christians say you have to be baptized through submersion in order to be saved. Others say you can get saved by being sprinkled with water and others say baptism isn't required and you can just pray for Jesus to come into your heart and still others say everyone goes to heaven when they die. Some Christians say being gay is a sin and you go to hell just for thinking gay thoughts but others think homosexuality is compatible with Christianity. Some allow women to have leadership roles in their churches while others forbid women from being preachers. Some think abortion is a sin while others think it's permissible. Some believe in speaking in tongues and that demon possession is a real force in the world. Some claim God told them to kill their babies while others claim that God speaks to them in the bathroom to tell them what food they should get at Mcdonald's and Bush claimed God told him to invade Iraq. This isn't even including all the ancient "heretics" like the Gnostics, Marcionites, the Ebionites, and their own splintered denominations that all also claimed to speak on God's behalf. So if God was ever speaking to us, how do we know who to listen to and when God is speaking to us?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So if God was ever speaking to us, how do we know who to listen to and when God is speaking to us?

 

Good question.... It seems to me if one has to ask, " who do we listen to and when God is speaking to us? " , then the problem perhaps may be not who and when but rather why am i not hearing or 'seeing' for myself.

 

Just something i have had to ask myself.

Joseph

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ask your teachers and parents.

Read the sacred texts.

Silence.

Talk with your friends.

Listen to your heart.

 

That's what I said in Sunday School when I did a lesson on "How do you know that the voice in your head is God speaking?"

 

Following James Fowler's Stages of Faith or other such acknowledge where one is, on the journey.

 

Simply

 

Or just follow the "Charter for Compassion."

 

Take Care

 

Dutch

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My parents are homophobic fundamentalists so asking them probably won't do me much good. My friends have as diverse opinions about religion as there denominations in the world so I'm back to where I started and I'm skeptical of making claims about God based on gut feelings. But I agree with Karen Armstrong when she said in her book The Bible A Biography that there's too much god talk in society and not enough listening.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

if God was ever speaking to us, then surely God would have found a less manipulative way to speak to us other than through ancient manuscripts that can be easily tampered with and have vague interpretations? Just looking at Christianity, there are over 35,000 denominations of Christianity in existence. They all claim to speak for God but they all say radically different things. Some of them say to correctly follow God you have to believe Jesus is God in the flesh. Others say Jesus was a human being or a divine being created by God but who isn't equal with God. Some Christians say you have to be baptized through submersion in order to be saved. Others say you can get saved by being sprinkled with water and others say baptism isn't required and you can just pray for Jesus to come into your heart and still others say everyone goes to heaven when they die. Some Christians say being gay is a sin and you go to hell just for thinking gay thoughts but others think homosexuality is compatible with Christianity. Some allow women to have leadership roles in their churches while others forbid women from being preachers. Some think abortion is a sin while others think it's permissible. Some believe in speaking in tongues and that demon possession is a real force in the world. Some claim God told them to kill their babies while others claim that God speaks to them in the bathroom to tell them what food they should get at Mcdonald's and Bush claimed God told him to invade Iraq. This isn't even including all the ancient "heretics" like the Gnostics, Marcionites, the Ebionites, and their own splintered denominations that all also claimed to speak on God's behalf. So if God was ever speaking to us, how do we know who to listen to and when God is speaking to us?

 

 

We can know which Christian is correct by studying the Bible. I believe that the Bible is clear enough so that we can discern which Christian is correct.

 

With all of the New Testament manuscripts that are in existence, New Testament scholars are able to reconstruct the original New Testament documents with a high degree of confidence. Compared with the all of the words in the New Testament, not that many words are in doubt. Most of the textual variants have to do with spelling, word order, style, and the like.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With all of the New Testament manuscripts that are in existence, New Testament scholars are able to reconstruct the original New Testament documents with a high degree of confidence. Compared with the all of the words in the New Testament, not that many words are in doubt. Most of the textual variants have to do with spelling, word order, style, and the like.

 

In fact, there are wide differences of opinion among scholars as to which passages are attributable to Jesus and which are later additions or modifications. As an example, the Jesus Seminar actually conducts votes of their fellows as to the authenticity of each passage. There are very few red verses (+75%) and many black (-25%). There are also a number of pink (probably attributable to Jesus) and grey (maybe).

 

Of course, authenticity to Jesus might not matter to some people.

 

George

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We can know which Christian is correct by studying the Bible. I believe that the Bible is clear enough so that we can discern which Christian is correct.

Then why are there 35,000 denominations of Christianity in existence? Which Christians are the correct ones? Is it the Baptists, the Catholics, the Episcopalians, the Unitarians, the Jehovah's Witnesses?

 

With all of the New Testament manuscripts that are in existence, New Testament scholars are able to reconstruct the original New Testament documents with a high degree of confidence. Compared with the all of the words in the New Testament, not that many words are in doubt. Most of the textual variants have to do with spelling, word order, style, and the like.

According to bible scholar Bart D Ehrman, there's more changes in the manuscripts of the NT than there are words and these changes are much more than just word order and spelling errors. For example, the entire last half of Mark chapter 16 is missing in all the earliest manuscripts of the gospels. I think it's pretty important that the earliest manuscripts of the earliest gospel don't have the resurrection of Jesus in it, don't you? Unless you think the resurrection isn't important. Edited by Neon Genesis
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would like to add a P.S. to my previous comments. In spite of the questionable authenticity of many specific passages in the Gospels, there is a clear theme that comes through. And, this is what I think Joseph was hinting at in another thread about over analyzing and that Steve summarized nicely.

 

George

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To All,

Just a quick note concerning the issue of the Bible integrity which may be getting off the OP topic.

 

So it will not go too far.in this thread let me suggest....... The Bible accuracy has been debated many times on this forum in times past with the result being that those, however few here, that believe in the Bible's complete accuracy as God;s word to us maintain their view in spite of any supposed or presented evidence or opinion opposing that view making it a pointless debate that in the past has only lead to words or poor behavior that edified no one nor changed any minds.

 

One of those long threads debated concerning the Bible and what it is can be found HERE.

JosephM (as Moderator).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest billmc

For me, the question isn't so much whether or not God is still speaking, but, rather, are we, as God's icons or images, still moving?

 

Whether or not we believe that God has spoken once for all in the past or gives us new revelation today, are we doing our best to be, as Jesus was, incarnations of that logos? As the apostle James put it, are we hearers only? IMO, it's not so much that God has stopped speaking (to use the anthropomorphic metaphor), but that we, as Jesus said, don't often have eyes to see and ears to hear. There are signs that many of us are waking up. I wouldn't so much call it a movement of God as a movement of godly people; people who want to make a difference in this world. It's very encouraging to see. But as Mark Twain once said, "It is not what I don't understand about Jesus that bothers me, it's what I do understand." ;)

 

I don't know if we need new revelation. But I do think that we need to better follow, as the NT puts it, the leading of the Spirit. That goes beyond listening - to action. Maybe Christianity needs fewer believers in Jesus and more followers of Jesus. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My parents are homophobic fundamentalists

My friends have as diverse opinions about religion

I'm back to where I started and I'm skeptical of making claims about God based on gut feelings.

But I agree with Karen Armstrong when she said in her book The Bible A Biography

 

Neon,

It looks to me like you have listened to other voices and your own gut/heart/mind and found a God moment in the words of Karen Armstrong. The question I struggle with is whether my past experiences have anything to do with where I am. Does an appreciation for Armstrong's thought have anything to do with your other "negative" experiences?

 

Sometimes I forget that the wheel doesn't need to be reinvented. Proof texting the Bible leads us astray when we forget some good rules for interpretation.

Interpretation in the Reformed Tradition, Shirley C. Guthrie

 

Scripture interprets itself.
When we encounter difficult passages of scripture or passages the interpretation of which is controversial, ... we must seek to understand them in light of the total message of scripture.

 

The Christological principle
. Scripture is to be interpreted in light of the central revelation of God in Jesus Christ,

 

The law of love
. I take this as a warning that no interpretation of scripture that shows hostility, contempt or indifference toward any person or group can be a right interpretation of the Word of God whose will for human life is summarized in the often repeated Biblical command to love God and our neighbors as ourselves.

 

The rule of faith
. Scripture is to be interpreted with respect for the [unviersal] church’s interpretation of it.

 

Respect for literary and historical context
. Scripture is to be interpreted in light of the various literary and the social-historical contexts in which it was written.

 

These guidelines seem valid for any text, including our lives, our thoughts, the evening news, or any teaching, ideas, dreams, plans, inspiration, visions, etc. Those that meet the criteria would be words of God to me.

 

Take Care

 

Dutch

Edited by glintofpewter
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Minsocal,

 

I would be very interested in your view on the question you framed in your OP to members here.

 

Joseph

 

Joseph,

 

My first response would have to do with the nature of the questions we are willing to ask, and the answers we are willing to accept. It would make little difference to me if G_d speaks to one person and through another. G_d is still speaking. In that sense we need to honor the reports of both and listen. A Buddhist friend made this comment to me several years ago ... before we reach enlightenment, we must listen and bring apparent opposites into consciousness where they may join and (possibly) create something greater than 'either-or'.

 

Myron

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Then why are there 35,000 denominations of Christianity in existence? Which Christians are the correct ones? Is it the Baptists, the Catholics, the Episcopalians, the Unitarians, the Jehovah's Witnesses?

 

According to bible scholar Bart D Ehrman, there's more changes in the manuscripts of the NT than there are words and these changes are much more than just word order and spelling errors. For example, the entire last half of Mark chapter 16 is missing in all the earliest manuscripts of the gospels. I think it's pretty important that the earliest manuscripts of the earliest gospel don't have the resurrection of Jesus in it, don't you? Unless you think the resurrection isn't important.

 

I don't know why there are many Christian denominations in existence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have the opposite view: it would be exceedingly strange if Christianity stayed perfectly unified over 2,000 years and several billion people.

I agree.

In the accounts of Abraham and Moses and Joseph different concepts of God are used. Denominations already. After the death of Christ we have at least the church led by Paul and the church led by James. One author said he would keep it simple and only describe six denominations in the early church. Whether you use self idolatry as the core, original, sin or a cultural evolutionary view I wouldn't expect anything else. At my best I try to see a truth in each stance taken by a denomination. I agree with Jehovah Witnesses that one should not pledge to the flag because it is idolatrous. I have learned that to not pledge can be a show of disrespect to the military. So I at least look like I am.

 

If there were pure divine message, uncorrupted by the limits of human understanding and agendas, we could, I suppose, be held accountable. But we are left to our muddling ways finding partial truths in community and conversation with others.

 

Take Care

 

Dutch

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

terms of service