Is God speaking now only to right-wing Republicans of dubious intellect, or have too many of the rest of us gotten too intellectual to listen? When I was a child God used to speak to me all the time. In fact God said specifically for me to become a preacher, which meant simply that I had a natural affinity for a certain kind of thinking; and I was born the son of a preacher; and I had a great ability to recall word-for-word the Scriptures read on Sunday.
We are all, hopefully, called to do the thing that we are best at. If we hear and heed the call God has spoken then we find ourselves in a walk of life compatible with who we are. If we come from a family of teachers this process might be called finding our highest aptitude. If we come from a blue collar family it might be referred to as finding what we are cut out for, or what we feel comfortable doing, or enjoy.
We sometimes call it following in our mother's or father's footsteps. Or if we do it on our own it's called finding our own way. But even though I am not a right-wing Republican I must admit that getting a call from God is more complex than that. The call comes from the invisibles, indiscernible, un-manifested dimensions of the universe.
In our Christian tradition these dimensions are called heaven, and heaven is the Kingdom of God, and according to Luke 21: 17 "the kingdom of God is within you." The call from God comes from inside, okay, Sarah? Don't get too wild-eyed. It's nothing very exotic. Don't do that thing you do with your eyes.
If you are to understand God, God must speak in a language and idiom that you've been taught, unless God speaks to you "in tongues." There is nothing all that exotic about speaking "in tongues." That happens when what God says is so complex that it cannot be put into words. Words are finite and God is infinite. Speaking "in tongues" seems to result from the passion and emotional frenzy to express the infinite in the finite, so calm down Michele. It can all be explained scientifically.
If a Quantum physicist tells you, Michele, that the universe is infinite, as in Unified Field Theory, listen because the physicist can tell you things about the un-manifested, invisible, intangible, infinite, eternal dimensions of the universe that your Christian spiritual tradition cannot.
And, yes the Christian spiritual tradition can tell you how we as humans can live in face of the unknown (unknown because the truths of it are yet to be manifested). Right, Sarah, Michele, and Michael, Unified Field Theory cannot do that.
As I said my father was a Christian minister, a loving man; and so he spoke to me, out of the African American spiritual tradition, of a God of infinite love and infinite compassion, but all he had were finite words. So I would imagine that's why God speaks to me in words of love that only suggest boundless love.
With brutality forever lurking around our African American life in the South, my mother taught of God as protector. That must have been a powerful God because protection came to her husband, her self, and all five of her "dirty-faced" boys, as she used to call us. My mother was something of a spiritual elitist. Of those who she felt had lost their connection to, and faith, in a God of infinite compassion, protection, and love, Michael, she'd say "poor lost souls, lost in the wilderness of the world."
Mom, Dad, and the African American churches that Daddy pastored, never spoke to us of a God of retribution, vindictiveness, hellfire, and brimstone. So God never speaks to me of this either. In fact God had a lot of fun in his voice, and a swallow-tail coat, as in James Weldon Johnson's "The Creation."
I worry about people who have been spoken to about God in a certain way. Does God now speak to them in that same manner? As to Palin, for example, up there in the Wasilla Assembly of God church --did they speak to her of the rapture? During the rapture "all believers who have died will rise from their graves and will meet the Lord in the air, and Christians who are alive will be caught up with them, to be with the Lord forever," according to one of four cardinal doctrines of the Assemblies of God.
"... those who have rejected Christ. They will be judged for their sin and consigned to eternal punishment in a punishing lake of fire," so says the "nonnegotiable tenets of faith that all Assemblies of God churches adhere to."
To those who were spoken to in childhood about the rapture, does God now speak to them about the rapture? Could God start telling them that the rapture will occur in 2012, coinciding with the end of the world prophecies that the Ancient Mayans made over 5,000 years ago?
I used to think of this during the run up to 2008 Presidential election. Supposed Sarah Palin becomes Vice President. With John McCain as President she'd be one 72-year old heart beat away from the trigger to half the world's "nucular" weapons, as Palin calls them.
In June of 2008 Palin said that "our national leaders,are sending [our military] out on a task that is from God." Did God tell her that? Listening to her TV interview with Charlie Gibson she engaged in dangerous saber rattling toward Russia, I started thinking of self-fulfilling prophecies. A self-fulfilling prophecy is something that is not true when you say it but your belief in it changes your behavior to make it true. look into Sarah Palin's eyes I do wonder what God is saying to her, even if only in a subliminal whisper.
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