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.
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 penguin 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 do you think we should listen to? To us it just makes sense to listen to Jesus and ignore all the noise of human traditions.
Copyright 2023 by Bob Shutes