On another blog site it was questioned whether "God was able to speak" to the individual. I used to believe so, but have made my commitment to doubt it, because of the horrendous atrocities I have seen and experienced in such a claim!
How can those that "have a personal relationship to God" be distracted from what they deem to be "true"? It is subjectivism to the extreme. But, it is personalization of myth making and meaning forming "identity". These are hard places to break apart, as they are embedded within the person himself/herself.
People do irrational things when such belief is held. I sold all my possessions, and went to a mission organization. I broke up with my boyfriend who I'd dated for 4 years. I threw away a silver bracelet that was given to me as a gift which held much meaning. I used such scriptures as "loving god before father and mother, etc." to defend my irrational behavior. I was sold out to "Christ". I had surrendered all! But, my experience is not a "lone ranger" one, many have done such things in the name of "faith".
I just heard on the news that a mother had killed her child by performing an exorcism. She had given the child some "concoction" that she thought would alleviate the child from his "demons"! The child's body was found a week later! These are not uncommon occurances, because "faith" makes one believe beyond reason. The Oklahoma bombing, the Texas military post murders, and many others are driven by strongly formed beliefs about "hearing god"! It doesn't matter whether it is a Christian community, Muslim community, Jehovah's witness community", or what, all religious communities are formed and framed by claims and rationale that frame one's "world".
Whenever such beliefs are affirmed in a community, they become self-affirming and self-fulfilling "prophecies" about reality and life itself. One cannot "see" life in any other way. Those that are so conditioned are in "cults" or in "cultish thinking". Life is only viewed in one dimensional form, or ways. It is the ONLY right way to view things.
So whenever you talk about "spirit" my antenae goes up. And the questions start. One cannot live on faith alone.
Gen Eds LC1: World Language and Culture Overview
5 hours ago