Thursday, May 03, 2012

How much can I trust my experiences?

I talked a bit in my posting yesterday about near-death experiences that there is a danger when we take our view of theology from our experiences or other people's experiences rather than from the Bible.  It is the Bible, not our experiences that should be the basis of our faith and practice.  With that said, how much can we trust our experiences?  Obviously, to put any weight on a mystical type of experience it has to be in total agreement with the Word of God.  But do all of our experiences truly come from God?  I don’t think so.

In some case, our experiences may be a result of medication or trauma, which is natural but not necessarily supernatural.  For example, my wife has never done well coming out of anesthesia after a surgery.  I remember the first time I was with her during one of these times.  We weren’t married yet.  When she first awoke after her surgery she asked for me.  I was elated!  She didn’t ask for her mom or her dad – she asked for me!  She then told me that she wrote me a poem during her surgery.  Puzzled, I asked her what the poem was.  She then recited these words of poetic inspiration:

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Garbage stinks
And so do you!

I’m telling you, that wasn’t from God!  One time when coming out of surgery she saw two life-sized carrots walking down the hospital hallway holding hands!  Now, based on that experience of hers I am not ready to say that all carrots go to heaven when they die.  Her experience was obviously from the medication she was on – not a message from God.

We also need to keep in mind that Satan is a deceiver.  How does he do this?  The Bible calls him an “angel of light.”  In other words he masquerades as something good – something from God – when really it isn’t at all.  Think of it this way.  If I were going to make some counterfeit bills in order to buy things here in Gaylord, Michigan, I would not make those bills pink with my picture on the front of them.  Those bills would not have a chance!  I would make them look as close to the original as possible.  That’s what Satan often does.  I know we don’t like to think about this, and I am certainly not saying that this is always the case, but it is possible that some of our experiences could have a Satanic or a demonic origin in order to deceive us.

The bottom line, like I said in my posting yesterday, is that we can’t be 100% sure that our experiences are from God.  But we can always be sure that the Bible is from God – His inspired Word preserved accurately for us today.  That’s why it is the Bible, not simply our experiences, that is to be the basis for our faith and practice.

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