Posted in contemplative prayer, discernment, personal revelation, voices

Are we supposed to be able to hear a voice from God? If we do, how can I detect if it’s really Him?

A Pastor friend of mine posed this excerpt from a lengthy article dismembering the notion of contemplative prayer and hearing personal voices from heaven. This excerpt contains a salient part I believe is one of the best apologetics rebuttals of hearing voices that I’ve seen. The link to the full article is the clickable headline. It is by noted theologian Larry DeBruyn.

With more and more pastors attempting to legitimize that hearing personal revelation is normative, with more and more teachers teaching that there is something wrong with you if you don’t hear a voice from God… and with more and more bible teachers offering “lessons” on how to detect if a heard voice is the flesh, devil or God, discernment is needed for the everyday Christian more than ever. Therefore, please consider these things.

“Listen” by Ky, Flickr, CC by 2.0

Who Goes There?

(Pastor Larry DeBruyn) The fact that contemporary evangelicals seek “fresh” revelations from and experiences with God, even to go “out of the body,” indicates that they no longer consider Holy Scripture to be sufficient and authoritative in matters of faith and its practice (Contra 2 Timothy 3:16.). Yet if the Bible is no longer considered sufficient, hearing another voice give a revelation raises the following conundrum:

1. If a voice repeats what’s in Holy Scripture, then the word is UNNECESSARY.

2. If a voice intuition or actual speaking contradicts the Word of God, then what it says is HERESY.

3. If however, the voice supplements the Word of God, then the fresh revelation points to the Scripture’s insufficiency,

and regarding this last point Proverbs warns: “Add thou not unto his [God’s] words, lest he [God] reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” (Proverbs 30:6, KJV).

[Thus, again, such practices of adding to the Word of God are HERESY]

So the Apostle Paul warned the Colossians against the folk religion that was leading them astray from the faith:

“Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God” (Emphasis added, Colossians 2:18-19).

One of the marks of spiritual defrauders is, as Paul points out, that they take their “stand on visions they have seen.” Would it not also be a legitimate application of Paul’s words to think that spiritual defrauders might also take their stand upon voices they have heard?

FOR COMPLETE ARTICLE: Who Goes There? Encountering voices in contemplative prayer . . .