Is that you God?Published 12:00pm Friday, September 20, 2013
There are some today, as in years past, who claim God speaks directly to them. It must be something quite extraordinary for, in the claim, exists a certain favoritism, an exclusionary communication to a few, between humanity and God. What is suggested is an inside knowledge, not available to those seemingly less worthy, to whom God does not communicate so directly.
In the early years of the Christian Church, there were many who professed “secret knowledge,” extolling distinct permutations on the message of the Christ and the Good News of the Gospels. Called “Gnostics,” among their so-called enlightened insights, they denied the forever and always nature of Jesus Christ and purported He was created to come into this world. They also believed God was talking to them and their direction was such to pervert the very nature of the Church, against what Jesus Christ had proscribed.
It has not progressed, very much, in two millennia. A popular TV minister once said, “God spoke to me as I slept, and told me to tell you an important message. God told me to tell you, ‘If you choose to do so, you may lay hands upon another person, while saying ‘I you give my sins,’ and the sins would go into that person.” He went on, “If there was no person to give your sins too, then any pet would do.” Perhaps, it was just a case of indigestion, at worst it was a complete manipulation of God’s message, trust and truth. In any case, it was clearly not God speaking to the preacher.
Many Christians earnestly believe God speaks to them and most do not claim some actual dialog with their Creator. They relate it is the quiet knowledge of the presence of God within themselves, rather than a dialog which thunders and rages. Certainly, God can let us know His power, with a good emotional “thwack!” However, in our human-ness, we are always open to the vagaries of our natures and the natures of those around us, and we are also open to the darkness of the Evil One. Yet, in our interactions, with God, who is really speaking to us?
In any junior high school chemistry class, the students are taught about determining the alkali, or acid, nature of the basic elements. In their testing, they use sensitive litmus paper to readily determine this nature. If they were to ignore, or avoid, this simple test, they imperil themselves and those around them, by producing a volatile chemical, or noxious fumes.
For we Christians, our “Litmus Test” is the written scripture contained in the Holy Bible. The great difficulty in believing we are speaking, in any sense with our Creator, is believing we can take our own egos out of the equation. Our egos are always present and in the way with our fellow man, and there is no egocentric ‘inside knowledge” which can improve our connection with God. It is here we find the crux of our dilemma, for we, as God’s creations, often find ourselves as prideful egocentric’s, rather than Christocentric supplicants.
Being centered in Christ, instead of being centered within ourselves, opens us up to the true message of Christ Jesus. In Holy Scripture, and only there, is His message of faith, hope and charity. His is the message of the compassion Jesus Christ gives to us and expects, of us, towards our human brethren. His Sacrifice is the true message, and is the bedrock foundation of what is sought from us. In our world, we are given the message to honor God and not ourselves, not only in our words, but also in our thoughts and deeds. This is God truly speaking to us.