Summary: The Bible is the true living voice of God.

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Title: The Voice

Date: 4/12/15

Place: BLCC

Text: 2 Timothy 3.16

CT: The Bible is the True Living Voice of God.

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Those Crazy Christians

FAS: A few years ago the Journal of Science published an article titled "On Being Sane in Insane Places." It described an experiment in which eight "fake" patients with no history of mental illness went undercover and checked themselves into a few psychiatric hospitals across the United States. All of them had the same complaint: they told the medical staff that they regularly "heard voices." Apart from this fabrication they behaved normally and recounted their own (normal) past experiences and medical histories.

Nonetheless, all of them were diagnosed as schizophrenic (except one, who was diagnosed with "manic-depressive psychosis"), hospitalized for up to two months, and prescribed antipsychotic medications (which they did not swallow). Once admitted to the mental wards, they continued to speak and behave normally; they reported to the medical staff that their hallucinated voices had disappeared and that they felt fine. They even kept notes on their experiment, quite openly (this was registered in the nursing notes for one of the fake patients as "writing behavior").

This experiment, designed by David Rosenhan, a Stanford psychologist and one of the fake patients, found that the single symptom of "hearing voices" could suffice for an immediate, categorical diagnosis of mental illness even in the absence of any other symptoms or abnormalities of behavior. In other words, "hearing voices" could only have one explanation—you're crazy.

Oliver Sacks, Hallucinations (Vintage, 2012), pp. 53-54

LS: Of course mental illness is a reality, but at times smart people in our society are quick to judge that Christians who hear from God are also crazy or deluded.

I. (Hold up Bible). This is one peculiar book. The words first written in another language. Actions done in a distant era. Events recorded in a far off land. Counsel offered to a foreign people who may seem strange to us. Yes, this is a peculiar book.

Maybe it requires a peculiar or crazy person to accept its message.

If you really think about it, isn’t it a bit surprising that anyone reads it at all. It’s too old. It’s too bizarre. It talks of earth destroying floods, fires, earthquakes and people with abilities beyond the people we see every day. It is way too radical. The Bible calls for the undying devotion to a carpenter who called himself God’s Son.

Logic and reasoning says this book should not survive.

The Bible has been banned, burned, scoffed, and ridiculed. Scholars have called it foolish. Kings have made it illegal. A thousand times over it has been buried and left for dead, only to rise again. The thing is it has not only survived all this time, but has thrived. It is the most popular book in all of history. Just look at how many tuned in to watch the Bible and this new series on the book of Acts-AD. I pray it stays that way.

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