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God literally SPOKE to my friend??!!

(21 Posts)
Flowertots Thu 09-Aug-07 02:19:02

Am being 100% seriously as I REALLY want to understand this. Friend of mine is very young and is a born-again Christian and is part of the Evangelical Church (I think). She is always referring to how God literally SPOKE to her and told her to do things (sometimes after 10 hours of prayers).

She's trying to help some woman who's dying of cancer and been trying to make her convert. This crusade has taken over her life and she's left her job, totally isolated herself etc. Personally, I think she's having a breakdown or something.

VeniVidiVickiQV Thu 09-Aug-07 02:28:34

I think you have some very bizarre friends, flowertots......

Flowertots Thu 09-Aug-07 02:31:10

Vicki-I know

I'm the ultimate misfit magnet!!!

VeniVidiVickiQV Thu 09-Aug-07 02:35:08

From religious nuts to sweary fishwives....where are you meeting these people???

Flowertots Thu 09-Aug-07 02:38:16

Believe it or not, they just cling to me as I walk through the streets of Essex....then again, maybe not so surprising!!! lol

Roseylea Thu 09-Aug-07 13:02:24

Okay, here's my take on it. I may get shouted down...aaaaaaagh I've just read this through; it's a bit long. I do apologise!

We christians tend to believe that God does intervene in our lives, in all sorts of ways. Sometimes when we pray, we really need a bit of wisdom so that we know how to handle situations, or a better sense of perspective, or sometimes we want God to do a miracle (like in the case of someone with terminal cancer). And speaking for myself, when I pray I do expect God to listen and answer, even though He is under no obligation to give me whatever I ask for. i could tell you loads of stories of the ways in which I believe God has answered prayer in my life. Of course if you don't believe in God you could say that these were co-incidences, so obviously the way in which you interpret "answers to prayer" depends on your perspective, i.e. your beliefs.

So there have been times when I have prayed and things have "come to me", snippets of wisdom that are way beyond the level of my normal thoughts. Sometimes I have thought of someone and felt moved to pray for them, then phoned them to say hi and seen that at just that time they were really low or in need.

One of the most striking examples in my life of "God speaking" is that I went to a christian camping week a year ago - dh stayed home to look after the dc and during that week I really felt that God was leading me towards exploring becoming a CofE vicar (as to how I felt God leading me, that's another long story!) Anyway I didn't tell anyone about this and when I got home I said to dh "This week I feel like God has given me some real direction for the future" and dh replied "Yes, I know, you're going to be a vicar" We have been married for over 10 years and have never even mentioned becming a vicar until this point When I asked dh how he knew, he just said "Well, it's obvious, isn't it?" But the thing is, it wasn't obvious at all. He didn't say "God told me" but I think God must have had something to do with it!

Sometimes people can get a bit fixated on "hearing God speak" or praying for miracles to the point that if they don't see the miracle, they no longer believe in God, and IMO that's sad. IMO it's perfectly valid for christians to pray genuinely (i.e. fully expecting God to intervene) but there has to be that thing that Jesus taught his people to pray - "Your will be done" (i.e. not what we want, but what God wants).

And life has to go on as well - as well as praying, christians are taught to live their everyday, noraml lives in such a way to reflect Jesus (by being kind, loving, etc etc). And to expect that often God answers prayers through other people, or even through us. IME withdrawing from life's demands and only ever praying does indicate an inability to cope with life. (which may be like your friend; I don't know as I don't know her).

UnquietDad Thu 09-Aug-07 13:06:38

I often hear Christians saying "God is saying such-and-such" or "I feel God is trelling me to..."

Some friends of ours sold up their house in a nice suburb and moved to an, er interesting area of town, because God was giving them "signals" to do so... They got a house twice the size, of course, but I don't think having drug-dealing neighbours and feral knife-wielding kids on the street really makes up for this - maybe that's just me being fussy.

Oh, and they've got their kids into the local church school, OF COURSE, so they can have their moral high-ground cake and eat it...

PandaG Thu 09-Aug-07 13:12:29

Agree with everything Rosey has said (except the being called to be a vicar bit - I'm not!)

I believe that God does speak to me, through the Bible, through sermons, through other people, through normal everyday stuff, but also He can speak to me directly, this could be things just coing into my mind, or it could even be an audible voice..

But, I would worry for someone like your friend if they had completely isolated herself, and is not getting on with everyday life. I know some people are called to this (monks/nuns etc.) but I would wonder if someone like your friend was escaping from life rather than living it.

UnquietDad Thu 09-Aug-07 13:17:06

With my friends it seemed to be that they'd decided they were going to move to this area, and then a few days later a house was advertised in the paper on the very road they wanted. It was obviously a sign from God. Despite the fact that the property paper is out every week and has, at a rough estimate, about two or three thousand houses in on a good week.

It's like when you see a new word in the paper and then it keep scropping up everywhere for a few days afterwards. Totally normal. Nothing supernatural about it at all.

I think you'll find those who want to "hear" messages from God will do so.

filthymindedvixen Thu 09-Aug-07 13:20:38

I don't want to be intentiaonally offensive or flippant. But if anyone else, other than a m/c, white, C-of-E stalwart said God spoke to them, mental health services would be involved...

startouchedtrinity Thu 09-Aug-07 20:56:38

Your friend thinks she is trying to save the lady who is dying from going to hell by getting her to convert. That is why this has become so important to her, she literally wants to save her soul.

I used to be a Christian, I'm not now. I believe in something bigger than me but that I will find it inside myself. I think maybe you rfriend is hearling what her subconscious is telling her.

IME being a Christain can make you feel low if you believe you aren't meeting your duty in some way.

Acinonyx Fri 10-Aug-07 20:07:01

I think maybe your friend is delusional and I don't think it's at all uncommon. Not much you can do about it though. Just be thankful she's not running for PM or US president.

Intensive prayer is like intense meditation which can become (or be a product of) a form of disociation leading to (or being driven by) delusions. Jill (so shoot me...)

UnquietDad Fri 10-Aug-07 22:35:00

Look who's back... and about time!

startouchedtrinity Fri 10-Aug-07 22:59:17

I thought chi and all that was a load of balls until I was attuned for Reiki. God knows how it works - all I know is dd1 needed nurofen two or three nights' a week b/c her joint pains were so bad, now she doesn't need it any more. She's only five.

Weirdly I can feel energy off people now, which before I didn't think existed. It is bizaare. The person who taught me has taught a pshychologist who was there solely to prove it was a load of rubbish. He now uses it to get rid of his own migraine, although it drives him nusts that he can't explain it.

Give it a go, UQD!

startouchedtrinity Fri 10-Aug-07 22:59:51

at typos.

madamez Fri 10-Aug-07 23:06:51

Auditory hallucinations are not uncommon, and not necessarily a problem - and if a person believes that supernatural entities are behind the voices yet is able to slot that into a belief framework that enables them to go about their daily business comfortable enough, then it's still not a problem.
However, it sounds like your friend has got a problem. Obsessional behaviour and withdrawing from the world are signs of some mental health disorder or other, and she needs professional help. Which might actually come best from someone who is both a qualified and competent mental health professional and either subscribes to the christian belief system or knows enough about it to frame the help in convincindly christian terminology (and I admit that I have only a supposition rather than actual evidence that any such person exists, let alone that there's one round your way).

UnquietDad Fri 10-Aug-07 23:10:23

I'm never quite sure what people want when they say "give it a go". My Christan friends have tried it over and over and I've been to their church maybe three times just to be polite. It left me cold.

If I decided to try out every crystal-healing, chi, aura, indigo, reiki, psychic, homeopathic, woo idea people put to me I'd never get anything done! Isn't it enough to know that none of them have ever been proven in clinical trials to do anything??

BBBee Fri 10-Aug-07 23:11:11

I pity the poor woman that your friend is trying to convert - for her sake your friend needs some perspective.

startouchedtrinity Fri 10-Aug-07 23:13:21

Flowertots, you are in Essex, aren't you? There is a Christian counselling place in Brentwood. NOT the weird lot who tried to take over the local Tory Party (the Peniel Chruch - avoid them like mad). Can't think of the name of it but it is on the road between Brentwood and Ongar. Otherwise do a google as there is an umbrella organisation for Christian counsellors.

The Anglican church, for all its failings, has good spiritual advisors too, but it is finding the right person to talk to, they don't organise themselves well. The other possibility might be to get her to spend time at somewhere like Worth Abbey where the monks are remarkably sane.

Flowertots Mon 13-Aug-07 11:41:43

Unfortunately she's now stopped talking to me and her Church Minister. The woman in question has died and I'm not sure if she managed to convert her or not before she died. My "friend" is now sorting out her will and funeral arrangements which I thought was very odd as she's not even family. Am steering clear as the whole situation is becoming more and more bizarre!!!

startouchedtrinity Mon 13-Aug-07 20:41:01

Oh dear, this doesn't sound good. I hate to say it but steering clear is probably all you can do.

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