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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %DIVINE HOLY SACRED WORD REVELATION COMMAND MYSTERY+961216 %TRANSCENDENT CALLING VOCATION MISSION VOICE ANGEL 961216 How are we to recognize an authentic call from God? People often regard mysterious apparitions which transcend human understanding as likely to be calls from God---just because they are mysterious and beyond human understanding. After all---that which is holy, sacred, numinous and divine is bound to transcend human reason and logic. By the above logic it would seem reasonable to believe that the more mysterious, strange, unfamiliar, and beyond human understanding an apparition is to us---the more likely it is to be authentically of God. Similarly those people who say that they have been visited by such apparitions would reasonably be regarded as most blessed and holy; and so most worthy of trust and support. This leaves us with a serious problem. The suggested criteria will lead us to trust crazy people more than sane people. The suggested criteria offers no way to tell the difference between crazy and/or collusive people who are out of touch with reality, on the one hand; and true people of integrity who transcend the crazy and/or collusive aspects of our imperfect world, on the other hand. It is clear that we cannot identify authentic calls from God by how mysterious and beyond human understanding they are. That fact that a "call" does not make sense in human terms, is no proof that it is a call from God. Even if some calls from God might not make sense in human terms, it does not follow that all calls which do not make sense in human terms are thereby to be regarded as calls from God. Just because all whole dogs have four legs, it does not follow that all animals which have four legs are dogs. If you accept such logic---then beware of "dogs" which weigh hundreds of pounds, have a lot of long golden hair about the head, and roar very loudly---but never bark. Often people who claim to have received calls from God behave in ways which reveal their preoccupation with issues of conformity and control. Such preoccupations are inconsistent with the focus of the God of Love, Reconciliation, Healing and Liberation. When the God of Love, Reconciliation, Healing and Liberation calls---the calls do not focus upon conformity, controls, and coercion. The calls may seem mysterious and senseless to people who are trapped in playing collusive games of mutual self deception---for the calls are are calls to enjoy true security known as the freedom to be safely vulnerable in open and honest relationships. God's calls ask for the violation of all the tacit rules of colluders' games of mutual self deception---which conceal and defend systematic patterns of dishonesty. Such calls from God are terrifying! To colluders they make no sense. Not making sense is not, however, the essential attribute of true calls from God. True calls from God lead people to seek personal and communal integrity in union with the God of integrity; God is one, integral. God is not fractional or fractious. God is the God of Peace, not of War. God is the God of Love, Healing, Reconciliation and Integration; not of hate, disease, alienation, and disintegration. When we are tempted to treat a mysterious call as a call from God just because it "transcends" our provincial reasoning---we need to think very carefully about whether the call is characterized by integrity, coherence, and love. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================