Thursday, May 10, 2012

What is God Really Saying?

Back in the second century B.C.E., Jewish sages decided that the days of God communicating with men was over.  Everything was only a memory: the prophets commanded to speak to the masses; the kings told what to do; the revelations; and the still small voice in the wilderness.

Boy, were they wrong.

That’s not just because Christianity and Islam followed over the next 700 years.  No, they simply had no idea God would be talking to so many people today.

God hates heavy metal music, one sign posted on Facebook reported.  He’s also not fond of gay marriages, according to Ledyard, New York town clerk Rose Belforti (right) after refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses.   “God doesn't want me to do this, so I can't do what God doesn't want me to do, just like I can't steal, or any of the other things that God doesn't want me to do." God doesn’t like President Obama, according to television evangelist Pat Robertson.

God told Fox News personality Glenn Beck to quit.   “As I stood there, the Lord whispered to me, ‘If you do not leave now, you will lose your soul,’” Beck said. “It was the easiest decision I’ve ever made.”

Rep. Michelle Bachmann (left) wasn’t sure what to do about same-sex marriage while in the Minnesota legislature.  “I said Lord, what would you have me do in the Minnesota state senate? And just through prayer, I knew that I was to introduce the marriage amendment in Minnesota,” she said.  The rest of the legislature apparently wasn’t party to the conversation and turned down her bill, which would have blocked gay marriages.

The Green Bay Packers’ Randall Cobb said he got divine guidance before a 108-yard kickoff return in 2011: "I was just trusting in God. He told me to bring it out. I'm not supposed to bring that out. Some things are logical, and some things are just the power of God."

Boxing star Manny Pacquiao "recently dreamt that God told him to retire but there's nothing definite about his retirement either this year or next year,” according to his business manager, Eric Pineda.

Even the non-famous hear from God.  Gary Schmitt, 46, a member of the school board in Troy, Illinois, told officials that “God told him” to take his own father’s life.  So, Schmitt complied.  A car thief in Lexington, Kentucky told police that God wanted him to steal a Dodge Charger.  Apparently, he didn’t get information about getting away with the car.

There are many more examples:

·         A man who said he killed his young son because God told him to save the boy from the antichrist.  A New Zealand man who chopped off the heads of two women and shot a man following God’s direction. 
      A woman asking for advice after a man approached her in church and told her God chose her to be his wife.  Presumably, the same tact was used in the polygamist sects to convince little girls to become wives.
·         A Texas pastor who paddled eight women because God told him to.

God has turned into Chatty Cathy these days.  He wasn’t exactly silent years ago either.

For example, He isn’t fond of children making fun of bald men.  In a biblical story, the prophet Elisha (left) is teased by some small boys who “came out of the city and jeered at him.  "Go up, baldhead," they shouted, "Go up, baldhead!" The prophet turned and saw them, and he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty two of the children to pieces.” (2 Kings 2:23-24)

Among many other things He definitely doesn’t like are: astrology (Deut 18:10); the thoughts of the wicked (Prov: 15:26); vain sacrifices (Is: 1:13); divorce (Malachi 2:14-16).  Sacred pillars are a real no-no.  "You shall not set up a sacred pillar, which the LORD your God hates" (Deut. 16:22).  Forget holidays: "I hate, I despise, your feast days" (Amos 5:21).

Failure to live up to such standards can really cause a problem: Persons who practice things that God says are bad will "not inherit God's kingdom."(Galatians: 5: 19-21) 

Amid all the chatter, there's another line that makes infinitely more sense :  “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

With all the conversation going on, it’s no wonder something this eloquent has gotten lost.

Long-time religious historian Bill Lazarus regularly writes about religion and religious history.  He also speaks at various religious organizations throughout Florida.  You can reach him at  He is the author of the famed Unauthorized Biography of Nostradamus; The Last Testament of Simon Peter; The Gospel Truth: Where Did the Gospel Writers Get Their Information; Noel: The Lore and Tradition of Christmas Carols; and Dummies Guide to Comparative Religion.  His books are available on, Kindle, bookstores and via various publishers.  He can also be followed on Twitter.

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