How to Hear the Voice of Jesus

The world bombards us with so much information and distraction that sometimes it’s hard to hear the voice of Jesus. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could actually hear His voice and separate it from the torrent of media noise coming our way? The sound of Jesus’ voice often seems faint compared to all the news we hear about wars and pandemics, inflation and economic collapse, crimes, natural disasters and political crises. All these things are coming at us through an almost endless variety of technologies and it seems like we are awash in an ocean of news, entertainment and information. It would do most of us a lot of good if we learned how to hear the voice of Jesus instead of all the noise and distraction the world sends our way.

Theological Noise

There’s another kind of noise that also makes it hard to hear the sound of Jesus’ voice. It’s helpful to think of the ancient dogmas coming our way from the church fathers as a kind of “theological noise” that can also drown out Jesus’ voice. I like to watch nature shows on TV and am amazed by the way a mother seal or seagull finds her own offspring in a noisy colony full of hungry shrieking babies. Somehow or another she hears the sound of her own baby and that baby hears and recognizes her voice! It’s just a miracle… and it’s a miracle too that we can even hear the voice of Jesus over the all the theological noise  surrounding us.

The Sound of Jesus’ Voice

Jesus meant it when He said, “My sheep hear my voice…” (John 10:27) Above the noise of the world and church traditions there remains the sound of Jesus’ voice and it’s still possible to hear it if you dare. He speaks to us plainly and forcefully and today we can hear His voice in the words of scripture. The words of Jesus continue to echo through the centuries and hallways of history and His sheep still hear them today. Scripture is the sound of Jesus’ voice and His sheep delight to hear Him. His words cut through the proud religious traditions of men now just like they did when He walked in Israel. His voice also cuts through all the philosophical nonsense that forms the heart of trinitarian dogma and His words are “sharper than any two edged sword…” (Hebrews 4:12)

The Voice of Tradition

Our most sacred tradition (the trinity) declares that God is three co-equal persons who share the same divine substance. This is the united voice of the church fathers and councils and it still shouts loudly in Christendom today.  Modern theologians and scholars simply echo the ancient thoughts and words of the church fathers and for the most part their voices are the only voices allowed in our churches. It is fair to say that their voice is the voice of tradition, but the voice of tradition is not the voice of Jesus.

The Voice of Jesus

No one ever heard the voice of Jesus say that God is three persons or anything remotely like it. His words are simple, straightforward and clear.  He taught that the most important thing, the first and greatest commandment of all is this: “Hear O Israel! The LORD our God is One LORD.” (Mark 12:29) This is the main thing! Don’t ever forget it…. no matter what you hear from creeds, councils, church fathers, traditions or the denominations that want you to listen to their voice. “The LORD our God is One LORD.”  “For us (Christians) there is one God, the Father and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (I Timothy 2:5)

There Are So Many Voices in the World

“There are, it may be, so many voices in the world and none of them is without significance.” (I Corinthians 14:10) All we have to do is figure out what those voices signify and which voice we should listen to. Should we listen to the words and voice of the church fathers in the triune creeds they imposed on the Body of Christ?  Or should we listen to the words and voice of Jesus Christ recorded in scripture? Who should we listen to?  We think that’s a good question to think about. What do you think? It makes sense to us to listen to Jesus.

Copyright 2023 by Bob Shutes

PS: It took this old retired pastor almost 50 years of study and searching to find a clear and Biblical alternative to the trinity. I confess to being a little slow. Ultimately I arrived at the immensely satisfying and solidly Biblical understanding of God and Christ we speak of on this website and that some call Biblical Unitarian. I hope it doesn’t take you that long! If this teaching brings you peace and blessing please spread the word and share a link to www.wonderfultheology.com with someone else soon! (they might not have 50 years left). God Bless.

Consider the Lilies

Jesus Christ the lily of the valley

God’s Creations Are Beautiful and Perfect

Consider what God creates and you’ll see that, “He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). When the world was created “God saw everything He had made and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). “Consider the lilies of the field… even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these” (Matthew 6:29). We are surrounded by an incredible amount of beauty that was bestowed upon us by the marvelous hand of God. We are blessed with sunrises and sunsets, blue skies and rainbows, birdsong and butterfly. The scents and colors of flowers, still waters in the moonlight and a night sky ablaze with stars… these things all belong to us! We look around us at God’s creation and see perfection. Incredible, beautiful and amazing perfection… because that’s how God does things.

Man’s Creations Are Flawed

When you consider what man creates it’s a different story altogether. We build concrete cities and highways lined with billboards. Instead of “dressing and keeping” this garden earth we have polluted and scarred it. Most of man’s creations are flawed, deeply flawed. We make weapons of war. Humanity has created a world marked by violence and crime, pollution, corruption, wars and greed. God knows we cause a lot of trouble and our fallen natures are the cause of untold misery and suffering. Look around at what mankind has created and you’ll see far more ugliness than beauty. That’s how humanity does things.

Scripture is Beautiful

When it comes to spiritual things we see the same pattern. God conveys beautiful truths in the revelation we call the Bible. Scripture speaks of God poetically and in strikingly powerful language. We know God as the Ancient of Days and the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity. Our Father is the Alpha and Omega, Creator, Physician, Healer, Shepherd, Redeemer and Judge. He is Yahweh, the God of Israel and His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ is our Messiah and Savior. The revelation of God and His Son in scripture is a work of divine artistry… beautiful, eternal and perfect! Scripture is beautiful because that’s how God does things.

Creeds Are Ugly

If you consider the “official” creeds of the church it’s easy to see how just ugly these man-breathed writings are in comparison to the lofty beauty of scripture. The heavens (and scripture) declare the glory of God and fill us with hope. Creeds are as dry and lifeless as a software training manual and filled to the brim with human pride and threat. (The Athanasian Creed is a great example of this.) Part of the ugliness of creeds is all the violence and division they have caused within the Body of Christ. Sadly, that’s just how humanity does things.

Filthy Rags of Human Pride

Please remember this, “All our righteousness is as filthy rags.” The things men create (creeds) that pretend to be as authoritative as God’s Word are just filthy rags too and they will not save you. Reciting the creeds faithfully every Sunday won’t do you any good. People who heard Jesus speak said “No man ever spake like this man!” His words are Spirit and they are Life and only His words can give us beauty for ashes. All you will get from the trinitarian dogma of the creeds is ashes in exchange for the filthy rags of human pride and philosophy.

Let Beauty Be Your Inheritance

Let beauty be your inheritance and choose scripture instead of creeds. We know and believe that “God has made everything beautiful in its time” and someday He will “beautify the meek with salvation.” (Psalms 149:4) There is coming a time when everything will be made new and beautiful and when that happens we don’t think there will be a creed in sight.

Copyright 2022 by Bob Shutes