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Why is God So Silent in My Life?

Mr. Patton,

I have been a believer for quite sometime – since I was eight. It’s a miracle, however, that I believe at all. I grew up in a Oneness Pentecostal home that was very legalistic and rigid. Since then I have changed a great deal in regard to my beliefs. I very much believe in the Trinity, justification by faith, etc. So you could say I’m pretty much orthodox now. But with all that said, I have been having a bit of trouble with my faith. I’m kinda having a hard time believing in God or praying to him because I just don’t see the point in it anymore because I feel like he doesn’t answer. In fact I feel as if it pointless because he isn’t here – right here, spatially – to speak with me. I dunno I just feel like with all that I have happening in my life a face to face relationship – a person to person to person conversation – is what I need from him. And I can’t have that. I mean it is as if God is a distant uncle to whom I send letters (prayers), and he sends a postcard. Is it enough to just say that God has spoken through his word so he doesn’t need to speak now? I don’t feel like it. Why couldn’t Jesus have just stayed here, albeit in a ubiquitous form? That way I could talk to him. I know he is the Father’s representative to man and for man so why not stay here where he can be physically accessible?

__________________________________

My friend,

Thanks so much for writing and for your honesty. Your thoughts, it might comfort you to know, are not uncommon. The problem you speak of is called the “hiddenness of God” in theological circles. Why is God so hidden? It is hard to know exactly why, but the fact of his hiddenness is something the Bible speaks to very clearly. In Acts 1 the angels say, “Why do you stare into heaven. . . He will come back just as you have seen him go.” In other words, you will not “see” him again until he comes back. Christ told his disciples in the upper room before his death that it is “better for you if I go because I will send the Comforter.” I often think “it is NOT better for you to go because I cannot see or hear the Holy Spirit.”

I believe that naked belief (i.e., without empirical experience) is what God calls on us to have right now. We do have to “limp” through this life without having seen God or Jesus, yet believe in him. I don’t have any perfectly sound theological reason why God is not more empirically evident in our lives (though I will give some thoughts below). My more charismatic friends would disagree, as you probably know. However, I have called and called to God to show himself to me. In my darkest times (and against my better theological judgement), I have groped for a sign of his presence, love, even his very existence! Angels, Jesus, a sound, or some type of miracle would be sufficient. I remember two years ago when I was going through my depression. I stayed up all night crying, sitting in my car in the garage yelling at God, asking him to just do something – anything! The silence at that time was deafening. It was painful. It hurt my feelings at a very deep level that the all-powerful God would not perform the simplest of tasks. I thought, “God, if you are so great and love me so much why are you so silent? Why now? Why when I am this depressed? Just do something!”

But I think the empirical silence of God is normative for the Christian life. Philip Yancey says that we have to work with “rumors of another world.” In fact, ironically, if God were not empirically silent, the Bible would be in error. Peter says, “And though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls” (1 Pet 1:8-9; emphasis mine). You see, Peter here assumes that those in his day – even those so close to the life and death of Christ – have not seen Christ (or God or the Holy Spirit). Peter’s point would be moot if he did not mean to include all other forms of experiencing God empirically. The fact is that when Christ ascended into heaven, that was the last we have seen or heard from him in such a way. The door to the “other side” was shut.

If Peter’s statement was not enough, the Apostle Paul also says that the Christian life is a life following after the unseen: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18). He goes on by telling us that we “live by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). Christ even told Thomas, who needed to see him before he believed, ”Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29; emphasis mine). The “those who have not seen” are us, and we are many. John could not be more clear here: “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen (1 John 4:20, emphasis mine). John does not say, “whom he has probably not seen.” He works under the assumption that everyone reading his letter has not seen God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and (if I can be so bold) the “other side.” Finally, the author of Hebrews defines faith as something hoped for which is not seen: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb 11:1; emphasis mine). The very definition of our faith is that we have conviction about truths that cannot be empirically verified. This does not mean that faith is irrational. It just means that we should not expect to have it verified through our senses.

I am not saying that I have not seen God work in my life. I certainly have. However, my thinking and interpretation of his “movements” is possessed by my belief that he is moving in my life in non-dramatic ways. I see him in everything. I see him even in this email you sent to me. I believe that it is a “God thing.” Why? Because I am convinced of the central truths of Christianity and the reliability of the Bible. I feed off of this (even though I would rather have a periodic conversation with Christ face to face). We work with what we got: trusting God knows what he is doing.

However, I do believe that the silence of God serves a definite purpose. God’s silence, ironically, may serve to keep us productive in this life. It may keep us from (and I am getting dramatic here) committing suicide. Let me illustrate (as I have done before) by referencing my favorite show Justice League! It was an episode where Flash went so fast that he actually began to die and cross over to the “other side.” The molecules in his body were completely unstable and he was stuck between this world and the next. When prodded to come back, Flash had a hard time. He said, “But it is so beautiful over here.” Watch it here:

You see, the lines were blurred between this life and the next and Flash wanted to go to the next. He could not concentrate on this world any longer due to his exposure to the next. In other words, he wanted to die due to his empirical experience on the “other side.” He needed to have an experiential breach between this life and the next in order to remain here and accomplish his mission (gettin’ them bad guys). When “rumors of another world” turns into “experience of the other world,” we lose sight of this world.

I don’t think this story is too far from reality. You and I also need an experiential (empirical) breach from the “other side.” We need not to see Jesus. We need not to talk to Jesus. We need not to hear Jesus.

Let’s look at the example of the Disciples of Christ. The Disciples, understandably, did not want Jesus to die. When he spoke of his death, they were so bold as to desire to die with him. When Thomas – doubting Thomas, of all people! – thought Jesus was going to die, he said to the other disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him” (John 11:16). I love it! A call for death in the name of the Lord! What a simple faith this expresses. Peter was no different when he said “Lord, with You I am ready to go both to prison and to death!”(Lk. 22:33). All who were with Jesus had empirical evidence of the “other side” in the person of Christ and they were not willing to let that go, even to death. In Acts 1:6, they still had hope that Christ had blurred the lines permanently: “Is it at this time you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” But they had to watch as Christ was taken into the sky, never to be seen again until his second coming (Acts 1:9-11). The point is that the disciples would have gladly gone on a suicide mission with Christ if it meant a continuation of their exposure to the “other side” in the person of Christ.

You and I would do the same. Were God to show himself in the ways we so often think he should – were he to do things the way we would do them – we would probably never be able to accomplish our mission. We would continually be wanting to die in order to cross over. We would be like Flash, having empirical involvement in the world to come, but still having one foot in the current world. However, unlike Flash (who had Superman and Wonder Woman pulling him back!), we most definitely would cross over. Why wouldn’t we? The mysterious would be unmysterious. The lines between this life and the next would be so blurred that we would not hesitate to take that extra step of death, even by our own hand. At the very least, if God were to talk to us face to face, we would never get enough.

While I don’t claim to have all the answers as to why God does not allow us to experience him in such empirical ways, I suspect there is some truth to what I have said here. It is odd to say, but God’s silence may actually preserve his mission for us. The ability to be stable here in this life is actually facilitated by God’s (empirical) silence. I am not saying this is the only reason God is silent, but it does make sense.

Most importantly, while we should not expect to see God with our eyes nor hear him with our ears, God is not ignoring us. His presence is evident and he is not silent. He just moves in very unconventional ways!

Keep the faith my brother. If Christ rose from the grave, then we will one day see him face to face. Until then we must fight the good fight and run the race with our eyes set on the future.

 

41 Responses to “Why is God So Silent in My Life?”

  1. He moves in just the same way you would expect Him to move if He didn’t exist. It is amazing that any of us have faith when He is so silent on a personal level. We even create “experiences” so that we can convince ourselves that He exists and is involved in our lives. What me pessemistic…

  2. As I read this post and those verses, I was reminded of our focus on Jesus (which is good), but we expect something from Him when He is in heaven. Yes, our relationship is with Him, and our faith is “in Christ”, but perhaps the questions we need to ask are in two categories:

    1) What are we doing to enhance/build our relationship with Him (Read the Bible looking for Him, not as a text on theology; prayer and fasting; looking for him in the poor of this world (where He said He was); etc). Maybe His silence is more a result of our lack of reciprocation in a relationship which He has initiated so much. Maybe the ball is in our court, not His.

    2) Maybe we need to be in greater communion with the Holy Spirit (Pray without ceasing). If our life is about being led by the Spirit (Romans 8), perhaps our focus on Jesus and God is taking us away from what and how it means to be led by the Spirit – we kinda forget about His role (He is the Comforter – John 17; He sheds God’s love in our hearts – Romans 5), not in a charismatic sense, but in a relational sense.

  3. Hello C Michael Patton.

    The only thing I do not like about your comments is that you did not keep going! You gave a perspective that I had not really considered. No wonder the Lord did not answer my prayers as I had expected! Becuase if He had, I assure I would not be writing these comments. 15 year of recovering from a bad business decision with my brothers, financial setback, lawsuits, accute ailments, victim of scams, theft, desertion, casued me at one point to despair of life itself. I have been a Christain for over 34 years. I have been in ministry nearly as long. I prayed to the Lord to please let me come home to Him, becasue I did not think I could take anymore – no I did not want to take anymore. Iwanted God so badly to speak to me. Many in the denomination I came up in said they had heard the Lord’s voice. I have never once in 34 years a heard an audible voice come out of nowhere- never. I could not understand why God would speak to some and not others. The only answer I ever got from the Lord after crying out to Him for many hours was “my grace is sufficient for you, power is perfected in weakness”. My next prayer was Lord is there anything else, you told me that the last 5 times I prayed. I finally gave up and just accepted His written word. I no longer seek to hear his voice, becasue He in fact speaks to me out of His Word the Bible. I am not saying because this is the Chritian thing t say, but because, I realzed God was not going to speak audibly to me no matter how many times I begged Him to do so. As one writer said we have something more certain than even an audible voice, the inerrant written word of God. Thanks for those comments, they really blessed me greatly!

    One other thing, going through what I did and continue to endure, has made me more empathetic with others, especially fellow believers. It’s amazing to me how we think less of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who are really going through tough times. It makes me think about the passage in Hebrews where it says something like ” we do not have a high priest who has not been touched with feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like us”. Thanks again Michael for those Comments.

  4. Theodore A. Jones December 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    RE: “I see him in everything. I see him even in this email you have sent to me.” CMP 12/21/2011

    Every man speaks/writes from the abundance of what is in his heart. The Hindu has the exact same prespective of god as CMP. Theologically this idea is expressed as panenthesim. Therefore every statement of CMP oral or written needs to considered as untrue. God’s Spirit witnesses to only the the mind of the man who has actually been born again of God first, and this new type of man does not see god in everything as the Hindu would and does.

  5. Theo,

    Pantheism is the belief that God is ontologically (his very being) in everything. What I have expressed is that God is actively present in everything.

    I appreciate that you are being careful. Here is a blog post I wrote on pantheism in relation to Christianity. It is called “Did I just breath in some God?” :)

    http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2011/02/did-i-just-breathe-in-some-god/

    However, we do need to see God providential presence working in everything.

  6. Not sure of the chronology, but would Paul’s experience of being caught up to the third heaven (2 Cor) and his desire to depart and be with Christ (Phil.) be related?

    Seems he “crossed over” and struggled to stay here.

  7. Bill, I think it very much is. I also think it is important to see that Paul sees this as a very unique experience, supposing that others have not experienced the same thing.

  8. Theo,

    Here is a verse that speaks to the issue:

    Eph 4:4-6
    There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

    The phrase “in all” (en pasin) speaks to his active presence in all things (i.e. his involvement), not his ontological presence.

  9. Your graciousness CMP is exemplary. If this was my blog I don’t think Mr Jones would get past his second keystroke :(

    (John from DU)

  10. Michael,

    Awesome man.
    I think Philippians 1:21-27 would tie in really well with your conclusions. And I do think maturity plays a big part in this process. I don’t mean “maturity” in a condescending way, or implying that to have seasons is evidence of an immature Christian; rather, it is true that as we grow spiritually we realize our finite minds are just that—finite. And we realize the more we know, the more deep we can actually go. We cannot exhaust God; we will never be able to. I think that helps, to realize that. I also have dealt in my own life with the desire for God to answer, and I know you spoke briefly about God’s workings being in everything, but I think we mustn’t take that for granted (not that you were). When I meditate on the realities of my existence, that I woke up this morning, that I took a first breath; those realities are impactful on my purposes and reliance on God. Reason is something big for me also, it reminds me of moral objections existing because God exists and Has purposed this earth and all His creation.
    (Almost) Last but not least, however cliché it may be, I think Christians need to get outside and dive into nature. This is just general advice for everyone who might dwell on the empirical silence of God, when I am deep in God’s creation it is hard to not be overcome by His immanence—especially if I am alone. Food for thought.
    Lastly, it begs to question the age ole question of whether or not a tree that falls in the woods, and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound? That’s my existential bit for the evening.

    -Zach

  11. It is my firm belief that the Holy Spirit is active and vibrant in our lives every day; constantly speaking to us, but sometimes, whether it be our day-to-day distractions, or theological confusion, we have difficulty stopping in silence to listen. I know I have, and currently have trouble with stopping to listen, and actually DOING what the Holy Spirit convicts me of, by leading us towards repentance.

  12. Someone out there knows that I am under stress. As a caregiver, a husband, a father, a homemaker and a frustrated 65 year old who is trying to maintain himself in all the mentioned catagories. No one said it would be easy. Keep my faith in the God who sees me but I know that he is. He is !

  13. How often Jesus said, “he who has ears to hear” to His audience. I think we’d all agree God continues to speak loudly “in many portions and in many ways.”

    My comment involves the word Faith. Faith, as used by the New Testament writers really means only one thing. And that is assurance. The certainty of knowing. Not in guessing, not as hoping something is true, not as reasoning something is true. It is certainty. Heb. 11:1

    Look at the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost, or Paul’s dramatic conversion outside Damascus. This results in one’s assurance that God has spoken to one’s heart – the “born again” experience.

    The Christian must examine himself (2 Cor. 13:5) However one has encountered God, whether like Paul or like Pentecost you can be assured by the Holy Spirit “that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” Heb. 11:6 As John wrote, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” Not maybe. Not guess. Not suspect. But be certain.

    This really helps one’s ears to hear.

  14. CMP,
    What do you think regarding the expression of Christianity being a “relationship”?

  15. Yes, it is a restored relationship.

  16. CMP,
    I was hoping you would expand on it more than that. :P

    Anyway, I asked because for a long time I always called it a relationship, but always felt fraudulent about it. Likewise, when I see your description of God’s silence I really wonder about how it can be seen as a relationship. (You are clear in the above that Peter assumes his readers “did not experience God empirically” though are not clear about if they experience God in any real sense in any other way.)

    A friend commented that “he knows people who knows someone who knew God”. I myself have met only one person (not even a charismatic) who lived and spoke as if they really knew God personally.

    I rejected the terminology for a time, because it seemed deceitful to me. However, I do accept it now because I do not think God is as silent as you seem to say. It seems that the relationship we have is more active as opposed to a formal title.

    However, I must also make another point. God confronted me on something the other day: there is a balance between being content with what we have and seeking more. The rebellion of Korah was based on their discontentment with their role as Levites (“Would you seek the priesthood too?” Num 16:11).

    I’m sure I could write a whole blog post about it, :P but I think I have said enough.

    If nothing else, I’d like to hear what you think regarding my complaint against the term “relationship” from your perspective.

  17. Theodore A. Jones December 21, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Mr. Patton,
    The word I used in reference to your conjecture is pan-en-thieism, ref. Wikipedia Hinduism, not pantheism.
    Pantheism means the worship of all gods, #2 “Websters New World Dictionary”, which I have not accused you of holding———yet. Your defense Eph. 4:4-6 “in all, through all and over all, is only relative the body he is the Father of. Not in all things as you assume and have stated. There is NO statement in the Bible in which Living God is resonator to any pagan system nor can there be. And there is no person in this body he has created who views any physical object as a container that has the Living God in it. For by thinking so the next step he takes is worship of the container he has falsely assumed a god is in.
    And by the way haven’t I asked you a question? What is the difference between what John the Baptist taught and what the apostles taught that is superior to John’s system?
    I think the commandment relative to the question is “Give to the one who asks you.” If you are in the body. For those who are obey him.

  18. I came across the following extract from one of John Newton’s letters today which seemed to have something relevant to say to this subject. The language is archaic but methinks it is worth the effort to read carefully:

    Sensible comforts are desirable, and we must be sadly declined when they do not appear to us; but I believe there may be a real exercise of faith and growth in grace when our sensible feelings are faint and low. A soul may be in as thriving a state when thirsting, seeking, and mourning after the Lord, as when actually rejoicing in Him; as much in earnest when fighting in the valley, as when singing upon the mount; nay, dark seasons afford the surest and strongest manifestations of the power of faith. To hold fast the word of promise, to maintain a hatred of sin, to go on steadfastly in the path of duty, in defiance both of the frowns and the smiles of the world, when we have but little comfort, is a more certain evidence of grace, than a thousand things which we may do or forbear when our spirits are warm and lively. I have seen many who have been upon the whole but uneven walkers, though at times they have seemed to enjoy, at least have talked of, great comforts. I have seen others, for the most part, complain of much darkness and coldness, who have been remarkably humble, tender, and exemplary in their spirit and conduct. Surely were I to choose my lot, it should be with the latter.

  19. Theo,
    While I cannot answer directly for C. Michael, I can say that I do not see panentheism in his statements. I think you are reading a bit much into it. It sounds to me like C. Michael is saying something more along the lines of: Nothing escapes God’s sight. There is nowhere we can go to escape from God. Further, his statement regarding seeing God in the letter he received simply means that he could see how God could and probably was involved in the life of that person and Michael with regards to the writing of that letter. In other words, God helped to bring C. Michael and the letter writer together through the means of that letter in order to encourage the letter writer. I really do not see how any of C. Michael’s statements in this post or any other post truly reflect panentheism, and the way you have brought it up has been in a very inflamatory way, without any real evidence.

  20. I think God can be closer and more real as we grow in the faith and see things closer to the way He sees them. It is a partnership, we go through life with Him because He is the only one who knows our deepest feelings, thoughts, things we cannot express to another person even to ourselves. I am not talking of salvation here, it is a partnership how we go through this life walking with Him. I am most lonely when people whom I am closest to do not understand me and cannot share what I go through, I never feel that way about God, I think He is the only one I can really unburden myself to.

  21. Theodore A. Jones December 22, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Ruben,
    “I think God can be closer and more real as we(sic) cr. I,
    grow in the faith”; that is if your are in the Way of faith God has perfected by Jesus’ crucifixion. Not many people ever find it according to Him that is.

  22. Mr. Jones,
    Since I have seen you posting on this blog you have only been saying that it is numerically impossible for any of us to be Christians.

    First of all, I think you really miss Jesus’ point and are just overly zealous for the concept of “few”. While I think it is true many will say “Lord, Lord, did we not…?” and he will say “I never knew you.” I think your tact is out of place. You are telling us we cannot be Christians because of numeric reasons. You are not telling us the gospel or trying to tell us the truth that you feel you have, but rather you are only condemning us because of the word “few”.

    Since you keep asking: The difference between was John and the Apostles taught is that the Apostles taught about the death and bodily resurrection of Jesus. Yes, Mr. Jones, the Way of Faith which God has perfected by Jesus’ crucifixion is what we have taught and believed. The same Gospel that Jesus said would go to the ends of the world prior to his return.

    Unless you have a serious issue about the content of the gospel and the Jesus we believe, please stop condemning people on the basis of numbers.
    Aaron

  23. Theodore A. Jones December 22, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Mr. Walton,
    There are several posts I have made on this blog that show the difference of what you have been taught and believe and actually what Jesus’ has prefected by his crucifixion that you must have the faith to use or not be saved from the wrath of God. There are only a few that find out why Jesus was crucified and what God has accomplished by his crucifixion which is the fact that he states.
    It is not only the term “few find it” that condemns your assumptive of salvation. The fact that fully condems your assumptive is the false conclusion which you have believed that has lead you to erroneously assume of having gained a direct benefit from a man’s murder caused by bloodshed. Rather than the truth that the loss of his life by bloodshed became the accountable sin by an addition to the law which requires that each man must give an account directly to God that is satisfactory only to him. Your salvation is dependent upon the obedience of a law in regard to the sin of Jesus’ crucifixion i.e. offense of the cross. However the message of salvation you have been taught and believed does not explain to you that the loss of Jesus’ life by bloodshed is an accountable sin which is the only reason God is silent in all of your lives. Lives that have no connection to the Head. If you wish to stay the way that you are follow Patton, but if you actually want the Holy Spirit to witness directly to your mind follow what I have told you.

  24. Mr. Jones,
    I want to respect that Michael said this is not the place for such discussion.

    However, I want to assure you that your concern for us believing a different gospel is unfounded. If I understand what you have said correctly, it is no different from what I have been taught. Nor have you observed the fact that I, among others, are saying that God is not silent in our lives.

    If you find that Michael posts something about the gospel, and you see that we are discussing a false gospel. Please post then. However, the posts you have posted on have not been on the topic of the gospel so that you could adequately assess what we believe. Please respect Michael’s request that you do not post off topic.
    Aaron

  25. Theodore A. Jones December 22, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Mr. Walton,
    I assure you that you have no idea of what I’ve said and don’t just suspect that you didn’t read what I said but I am certain of it. What!? Are you claiming that you teach people that a person MUST have the faith to obey a law which has been added to the law to save himself!!!? If that is a fact then I am surely certain that hell has frozen!

  26. Hi Michael,

    Thank you for this article. I think this topic of how do we have a relationship with God when the Bible says we don’t see Him now, is a very important one to come to grips with in one’s walk with God. There are those in extreme charismatic circles who teach that our Christian walk should be characterized by learning to “hear” God speak to us in a very specific way, a “conversation” that happens sort of in the same way that we converse with other human beings. They don’t teach that God speaks to us in an audible voice, or that He manifests Himself to us visually or physically, but rather that He impresses very specific ideas upon our Spirit that are as clear as speech. But I think that the scripture verses you pointed to show that in this life we are expected not to “walk by sight” but by faith in the unseen God, and that we are neither to expect nor seek to have encounters with God through our 5 senses.

    I think your thoughts about why God designed it to be this way are interesting and profound. As you say, if we “experienced” God in this life in the same way we experience other human beings, perhaps such experiences would become too great of a distraction from this life and the things we are called to do while on Earth. We would want to depart and be with God right now. I am reminded of Paul’s words in Romans 8:24-25, “For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Or 1 Cor 13:12, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”

    Some day we will see the Lord face to face and our experience of Him will be fuller and deeper and richer than it is now. This doesn’t mean that as we walk by faith in this life we cannot have a deep relationship with God– but we must learn how to build this relationship in a somewhat different way than we build relationship with human beings in the flesh. One would expect this to be the case, since God is not a human being and we can’t see, feel or touch Him physically. Scripture teaches that doing what is right, walking in obedience to God’s commands as we imitate Christ, in the power of the Spirit, brings into abiding relationship with God. Sometimes we desire more than this, thinking (wrongly) that some physical experience may usher us into a more powerful connection with God. But physical experiences do not seem to be the way Christ intends for us to grow in the Lord. In the Bible, the ones who experienced God in more direct encounters such as a voice or vision etc. were the exceptions, not the rule. God is real and we can have a vibrant relationship with Him, but we must pursue this relationship biblically, worshiping in spirit and in truth, learning to “see” spiritual truth through a life trained by righteousness and eyes opened by God’s truth.

  27. Mr Jones,
    I may as well repeat what you have said: “What!? Are you claiming that you teach people that a person MUST have the faith to obey a law which has been added to the law to save himself!!!?”

    What you wrote was unclear and did not sound too far different from Christ “being made sin for us”. However, since I was apparently mistaken, I really have no idea what you are talking about then.

    I do not desire to discuss the issue anymore because this is not the place to do it.
    (I will not respond to subsequent posts. And in respect for Michael, please do not post any further, unless as he and I have said, that it be the topic of the blog-post).

  28. Theodore A. Jones December 22, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Patton you obey the Lord thy God and answer the question I have asked of you. For if you refuse it is a direct and wilful disobedience of the man whom you are making the claim to have gotten very close too by just being a theologian. You keep on top of what He demands of you by what He commands.

  29. Theo,

    I don’t know what you are talking about. But you are violating the rules of this blog in a blatant way. This has happened too mama times. So please obey the rules. Next time you will be banned.

    Appreciate your fellowship bit there are too many people watching our conduct to allow such disrespect. Go out of your way to be kind, gentle, and respectful. And stay on topic.

  30. Theodore A. Jones December 22, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    But I am not disobeying a direct command of God as you are and intend to carry on in the activity.

  31. Michael,

    It sounds like Mr. Jones is saying if you don’t answer his questions you’re disobeying God. So apparently he believes he speaks directly for God, or that he is God. You get interesting comments here, Patton.

  32. Theodore A. Jones December 23, 2011 at 10:08 am

    “Give to the one who asks you and the one who wants to borrow from you do not turn him away.” is the quote and it is a command. Jordan. And yes Mr. Jones does insist that Patton obey it or make himself more of a violator of the Lord’s commandments if Patton refuses.
    There is a common denominator resident in the contemporary clergy. Disobedience of Jesus’ commands when they are backed into a corner. And the example of friar Tuck teaching little Billy Morris to call him father. All the contemporary clerics have been taught by theologians.

  33. I heard a message by Russell Kelfer of Discipleship Ministries several years ago on the silence of God. He based it on Exodus 32, when Moses was on Mt Sinai with God and he left Aaron in charge.
    Moses was gone longer than Aaron expected, and Aaron took things into his own hand with making the golden calf. We all know the results of that.
    Mr Kelfer (who went to be with the Lord in 2000) shared that the greatest mistakes we make are when the heavens appear to be silent and we take things into our own hands. When the heavens are silent is when we need to be still and wait on God because He does His greatest work when He appears not to be doing anything at all.

  34. I went through a very religious upbringing like the person who submitted this question and I, too, was a very devoted Christian throughout my youth. I equated being a believer with goodness. I found myself searching for answers, like the ones in the letter above, from my Catholic school teachers and priests, from my parents and from close Protestant friends. People may find comfort in blind faith but I only found more questions and confusion whenever I sought answers to questions like the ones brought up in the above letter. I had to finally conclude that there is no such thing as a god, or anything supernatural.I find real comfort in my abandonment of religious faith now. I now find real comfort in the love of my wife, my family and my friends and in knowing that there are people all over the world who behave with kindness, forgiveness and patience. I find comfort in knowing that my life on Earth will be my only life and that every day is a precious opportunity to experience life and the wonderous beauty that is reality. So I am writing to let the questioner know that if he/she decides that they just cannot hold onto his beliefs anymore after getting more advice from his fellow believers, then it is truly okay to just give them up. Being a non-believer is not nihilistic, as some would have you believe. It simply means that you’ve concluded that what you’ve been told to be true, mostly by well-meaning people, isn’t actually true. That’s all. Please don’t suffer with angst or feel traitorous simply because you are a rational person. Be rational. Be you. You are the only “you” there is, so be that person, truthfully and honestly. And Mr. Patton, thank you for allowing me voice a different perspective on this.

  35. I thoroughly enjoyed this article. Indeed, it has impacted me to such a degree I may speak on this come Sunday.

    The worst part of this article was reading the comments that followed, which was a dispiriting exercise indeed. Are people really so blind? Are people so faithless that they exercise no discernment or discretion before they speak? Are they so little concerned with building up the Kingdom?

    I am persuaded that some people are in prideful love with their doubt.

  36. great article

    Philip yancey’s book – Reaching for the Invisible God” really helped me personally.
    I still sometimes wonder is this silence because of my disobedience? did i grieve Him somehow ? or is He teaching me something deeper ? How do we tell the difference? i wasted so many years already and cant seem to hear or sense Him these days…scared of wasting more years. i cry out but He ‘seems’ silent.

  37. I think it difficult to comprehend the infinitely wise god with our finite minds…it is here we have the promise “all things work together for good to those who love the lord and….”

    there could be many other reasons mate
    “If you are willing to listen god ll speak to you”
    Its a line which our pastor uses often .I Know it ll be difficult for a person to understand who is seeking the lord but it could b hid.
    also god may have to break you to build you

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Silence of God? | Faithful Emphasis - December 21, 2011

    […] Why is God so Silent in My Life? | Parchment and Pen. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in […]

  2. Weekly Links (1/26/2012) « The Beacon - January 27, 2012

    […] Patton from Parchment and Pen responds to an anony­mous let­ter who feels God is so silent in his life. What he says is bib­li­cal, both truth­ful and lov­ing. And on a related note, here he […]

  3. NoelHeikkinen.com » Blog Archive » Friday Random Linkness - January 27, 2012

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