In this CNN piece, If You Hear God Speak Audibly, You (Usually) Aren’t Crazy, author Tanya Luhrmann writes that talking to God, and hearing answers, is common in people who pray. She doesn’t affirm whether or not God actually speaks to people (thank god), only that the people who claim to hear God arent’ crazy.
I have to ask this: If you believe that God DOES talk to you, then don’t you feel a little bad that he didn’t answer the prayers of all those parents of kids who had cancer? What kind of God talks to you about your life, but allows an entire race of people to be killed, an entire country to be victimized, or a school to be terrorized? Who was praying when they were murdered? Why didn’t God talk to them and warn them? ”It wasnt’ their time,” ”it’s not for us to know” or “they went to a better place” are not good answers.
So, yes, if you believe God talks to you, you are nuts.
I’m reading the book Religion and the Decline of Magic for the second time. If you have any desire to learn about the history of religion, add this one to your list. It is a fascinating look at the role of magic in Christianity. At one time, magic was a solution to all the questions and fears people had. Then in the 16th and 17th centuries, there came along doubters-not in magic or God–but in the church’s ability to act as an intermediary in performing miracles, rituals and rites that should have been only in God’s power. The priests were usurping God’s magical powers. The Protestants stripped away the magic from the church and the priests, but they did not rid religion of magic: they merely transferred it to the invisible, omnipotent hands of God. Man still needed a solution for why the world was as it was, why good and bad events happened to people.
This is where the line of reasoning, “It’s God’s will” and “God has a plan for us” took hold. The Protestants reasoned God wants us to suffer now so that we can enjoy the afterlife. Suffering was even seen as good because God was paying attention. The person who had no ills or suffering worried that God had abandoned them.
I’m on the road, blogging from the bumpy passenger seat in the dark. I will post more later.