God why does your voice sound like our own thoughts when we have a conversation with you?
God it makes it hard for people to have a conversation with you when your voice sounds a lot like their own thoughts. Why do you do that??
You already know the answers Mark.
You do. You’ve struggled with the same problem and demanded I explain it to you. Often. It’s a regular issue for you, just as it is for everyone else, so we’ve spoken of it often.
Ok true. But I thought you wanted to have a conversation about this, in writing, so others could read it and be helped by it.
Many will what?
Be helped by it. It’s conversation-with-God 101. Everyone needs to know it. My voice sounds like your own thoughts at first because it’s meant to. Like a car is meant to start when you turn the key.
Really God? It’s very satisfying when a car starts at the first turn of the key, but very frustrating when having a conversation with you and realising that your answers might not be your answers after all because they sound like my own thoughts.
Yes. But there’s a reason for that, an important God-designed reason that is even more satisfying once you understand it. It’s like solving a mystery Mark, because it is a mystery this talking back and forth with me. A mystery that was designed to intrigue you in a way that compels you to solve it. It’s not hard but it is.
Yes well let’s not get into that God. You say stuff like that with so much meaning…
Intrigue Mark. So much intrigue.
Ok you say stuff like that, “It’s hard, but it’s not”, with so much ‘intrigue’ behind it…
And meaning too Mark. I just wanted you to realise that I make statements like that, “It’s hard but it’s not”, because yes they contain deep meaning, but I also wanted you to see they are laced with intrigue to entice you to solve and understand them. I gave you a brain and I love it when you use it, in conversation with me, to solve life’s eternal, yet right-now mysteries.
Man God! I hope people can understand this. I can because I’m the one interpreting what you’re saying, but I’m not so sure anyone else will know what on earth you’re talking about.
Why are you able to understand it?
Because as I type the words I hear you speak, I’m also reading them as they hit the screen. And I recognise them, they’re my own words for what you’ve said. I’m the interpreter in this conversation, so I’m using my own way of speaking to interpret your voice.
Why do you use your own way of speaking when interpreting my voice?
Two reasons God. The first it’s the one I’m familiar with, every interpreter does that, if someone is interpreting a foreign speaker, no matter how much they try to interpret in a more universal language, their own ways of speaking come through.
Yes, what’s the other reason?
Well because I hate the silly ‘Christianese’ language that us Christians seem to have developed, it makes you sound distant and imperious and us pompous and just plain weird. And because I hate it I’m determined to interpret your voice in everyday language, the way I speak to anyone else. I can’t stand the horrible “Thus sayeth the Lords” and “The Lord would say unto this people”…
Why horrible Mark?
I don’t know God, it just makes my skin crawl. I suppose that’s not very spiritual of me to think like that, but it makes us Christians sound like a bunch of blimmen loonies – I mean what’s wrong with us, are we so removed from the real world that we have to speak this special language?? And frankly it makes you sound so distant too God.
Mark here’s the thing. Two things. I have made myself servant to you humans, it’s not a chore, I love it, I make myself a servant so that you can decide if you hear my voice and if you want to hear it; a servant so that you can dig up my voice and interpret it, or leave it sitting on the table.
Part of that dynamic, of allowing you to decide whether you’ll listen to my voice or not, of allowing you the right to interpret it rather than forcing you to listen to it; part of that is you get to interpret my voice in any language you want. So when you Christians decide to use your imperious prophetic sounding language – “The Lord would say unto you this day…” I allow that. I’m your servant. I submit my voice to your interpretation and if you want to speak it in your special Christian language then you can. It’s not my first choice, but I fit with it because it’s your choice.
That’s two things God, it sounded like about fifteen?!?
Actually it was just one. Here’s the second, I’ll fit with whatever language you want to interpret my voice in. I’m your servant remember. That’s a hard concept for you Christians to get your head around. But if you ask me what sort of language to interpret my voice in, then I’ll tell you to do it in the language of the people.
If you’re not sure about that then look at my life. My whole life from birth to death was lived in the language of the people. I was born, like so many, an illegitimate child. Actually in worse conditions than most. I died a death no more glamorous than anyone else’s, in fact worst that most. My very life was lived in ‘your language’. I got down to your level. And when I spoke to humans I spoke the way they spoke, not imperious, just the way they spoke.
If you speak in imperious Christianese you can still speak my words. That’s your choice, but you create distance between me and the people I am speaking to. You make me sound high and away and not like them – hard to fathom, impossible to get to know on a true friendship basis. But I am exactly like them. I’m a man. I made myself a man in order to prove my love for you.
And Mark before you point it out, this conversation hasn’t been about your original question – ‘why does my voice sound like your thoughts when we have a conversation?’
Well God in a funny sort of way I’m thinking it has.
Aaah, now you’re beginning to get good at this. Tell me why you think it has.
Well because you’re talking all about how in a conversation with you it’s us interpreting your voice.
And when we interpret your voice we do it in our own words.
And that means your words, as they arrive in our minds, because you speak to our thoughts, your words sound… well they sound like our thoughts?
When a man interprets a foreign speaker, he is familiar with that foreign language, but doesn’t speak it every day.
And so Mark?
Well it means his own words spoken in interpretation are clearer to him than the words the foreigner spoke. His own words are clearer because they are not only the interpretation, but they are his own words.
Hah! That’s what you’re saying isn’t it!! When I interpret your voice, your words sound like mine because having heard your words in my mind I’m articulating them into my own written words, or speaking them out loud in my own spoken words?!?
Yes. And there’s another important reason I speak in a way that sounds like your own voice.
So that you can become used to it, familiar with it, and not have to take any notice of it if you don’t want.
Don’t sound so surprised Mark, we’ve gone over this principle together many times.
Ok true, but it does still sound very unlike the God that Religion has taught us about.
Yes that god is not me Mark. That god is the one the bible calls “The accuser”. That god demands all kinds of obedience and servitude, in the name of love. That god punished his son in your place because he needed a victim for his anger at sin. That’s not love, that’s menace and domination Mark. It’s time you all saw through it. You want revival? Forget about it while you’re trying to foist an angry vindictive behaviour-focused God on the world. It won’t work with this generation, they know more about me than you do quite often. And they know that I’m not that angry grumpy god that Religion teaches you about.
Alright, so why do you want us to be able to be familiar with, used to, not have to take any notice of your voice?
You know that too Mark. You tell me.
Ok because it means we only respond to your voice if we want to. We don’t end up forced to have a conversation with you like we would if you spoke in a loud thundering audible voice. If you did that we’d all be flat on our faces. There’d be no point God.
Why would there be no point Mark? The god who accuses you says that if you are compelled to relationship, if you feel the pressure from him to pray and read your bibles and rid your lives of sin that you’ll be able to avoid hell and enter everlasting life. What is it that makes his lie so devastating? Why is there no point in being compelled to conversation with me?
Because you’re not trying to save us from hell, you’re trying to have a relationship with us. A friendship. You can’t have a relationship by force. That god, the god of religion is the god of force and domination. He wants us on our knees for hours pouring out our hearts, you want us having a conversation, a friendship, a back and forth conversation where we enjoy you, and you us. And if there’s anything that needs sorting out, fixing up, that’ll sort of just happen as part of the process – your Holy Spirit will help with that.
Quite right. Good conversation Mark. Well worthwhile.
My marriage came crashing down and me with it. The devastation began sinking in and me with it. Nothing I knew was the same anymore. It was horrible and I was terrified. I threw my pride to the wind and screamed (literally) to God.