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Date Posted: 16:41:45 12/05/04 Sun
Author: Chris
Subject: Re: Discerning voices and mental illness
In reply to: Caitlin 's message, "Discerning voices and mental illness" on 14:55:32 12/05/04 Sun

Caitlin, thanks for writing here. You didn't tell us from which UBF chapter you come and whether you are in or out. If you are in, please leave UBF immediately. It is not a healthy environment, particularly if you are suffering from mental illness. Instead, please look for a healthy, ordinary evangelical Christian church in your neighbourhood. Plus, you should get professional counseling. If it is a good church, it should be able to find a good counselor for you who will operate in accordance with Biblical standards.

Second, don't be ashamed. A large percentage of all people suffer or have suffered, at least during a certain period of life, from mental illness. But you should immediately do something about it, looking for professional help. Again, if you have mental problems, don't go to UBF, it will only enlarge your mental problems and confuse you even more. I can already see some signs that they confused you.

Third, concerning voices from God. Pentecostal/charismatic churches tend to believe that you constantly should listen to God's voice speaking in some supernatural, direct way to you. They tell you that you always have only one decision, that there is only one will of God for all decisions of your life, so you need to constantly search for this will and listen to voices who would tell you exactly that will and then obey exactly what that voice tells you. Don't you think such an image of God is really unworthy of our father God who loves us as his children? It would mean that we would be like robots on a remote control, doing exactly what our master tells us, without own creativity, without own responsibility, without own life. Even worse, God would be like a master controlling a robot, but with a broken remote control, so that the robot does not receive clear signals. And whenever the robot responds to a wrong signal, the blame would be on the robot. No, really, it would be disgraceful for God if it would be like that.

But because we have such a wrong image of God, often imposed to us by false Bible teachers, we try by all means to hear such a supernatural voice who tells us what to do. In UBF, this voice is replaced by the command of your shepherd. He tells you what to do, and you obey. But it is basically the same. It stems from a wrong concept of God.

I would not exclude that God sometimes speaks spupernaturally to us, or gives us visions in dreams. But this is the rare exception. It is not normal Christian life.

Instead, normal Christian life is sanctification of our own spirit, who is in connection with the Holy Spirit, but usually not in a way we can directly observe. Usually, you only see from a retrospective how the Holy Spirit helped you.

So, don't be bent on listening to voices and impulses, particularly not now. Instead, think rationally and do what you think is best from a Biblical view and from what your gut feelings and conscience says (all these have to be in line).

Most of all, don't be afraid of God in the sense that he would punish you if you listened to an inner voice, and it was not his voice, or if you did not listen to an inner voice, and it was his voice. Just come to him in prayer and tell him you are confused and you will simply do what you think is the best. As long as it does not contradict the Bible and your conscience, God would never punish you, particularly not if you are in such a state of confusion. God is your father. He leaves you freedom. He loves you. He is not controlling as UBF leaders are.

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

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