“I hear the voice of God!”
Those words have only ever been uttered by prophets or madman. In their own time, every prophet was considered a madman. For every actual prophet, there are countless madmen. For every authentic scripture, there are countless apocrypha. Every believer is but a drop in the sea of skepticism. The whole of Israel chose to worship the Golden Idol while Moses communed with God Himself. Christians were thrown to the lions because their belief in Jesus Christ did not allow them to acknowledge the divinity of Cæsar. Muhammad fought a bloody war with the infidels of Mecca, before his conquest of Arabia, transforming it with the word of Allah: the Quran.
Prophets, of course, can and do, but can a madman put pen to paper and write down the words he heard, the visions he saw, and the dreams he dreamt?
I was raised a devout Roman Catholic. I was an altar-boy. I took Communion every Sunday. I studied the Bible. I said the rosary.
When I was seventeen, I began to hear demonic voices speaking in horrible dead languages. I saw demonic eyes, burning red, staring at me from the shadows. Arms groped at me from the darkness. I truly believed that I was in desperate need of an exorcist. So, like a dutiful Catholic that I was, I went to Confession, I confessed my sins, and I told the priest what I heard, what I saw and what I felt. Instead of proclaiming me demon possessed and preparing me for exorcism, he instructed me to see a psychiatrist. I was caught in a spiritual conundrum, would I rather be demon possessed or would I rather be crazy? I chose demon possession. I allowed myself to be tormented by my hallucinations rather that acknowledge that I could possibly have a mental illness. I was eventually diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and put on powerful anti-psychotic medication. Over months and years of extensive psychotherapy, the demons vanished from my life. The hallucinations subsided for the most part.
While I spent most of my adult life as a self-confessed atheist, my heart never left the Catholic faith. I continued to be a Catholic Apologist and a defender of the faith to the last. My friends called me the most Catholic Atheist they had ever met. As an atheist, I could easily dismiss my hallucinations as just that: hallucinations.
I eventually rediscovered my faith in God and his only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. My faith was then immediately put to the test. I began hearing the voices of God, Paul, and Luke (amongst many) and saw a vision of Jesus the Christ standing before me on the stairs leading to my bedroom. He told me things that I was supposed to do for Him. I heard the voice of God audibly and saw his messengers: three “beings of pure light”. God said that I was needed to write “The Next Testament of Jesus Christ” as the third book in The Holy Trilogy Bible, for the canon was never meant to be closed; that the age of Prophets and prophecy would come again because of the formation of the state of Israel. I was to be that prophet.
I, of course, dismissed all of this as nothing more than a Catholic paranoid schizophrenic’s rather imaginative hallucinations.
Yet, I heard the voice of God, I saw visions, and dreamt dreams, I foresaw prophecy, not prophecy fulfilled in some unknowable future, but prophecy fulfilled millennia ago.
All this I was forced to dismiss as hallucinations. It troubled me to no end. My psychotherapist was of a particular religious faith and I could not confess to him my hallucinating the voice of God nor the writing of “The Next Testament of Jesus Christ”. I had to suffer this torment in silence.
As a Catholic, I was deeply concerned that Satan may be the one tormenting me, trying to drive me to write blasphemy. The demonic voices and visions of my teenage years, I could not, even to his day, truly dismiss as hallucinations because these voices and visions drove me from my faith for over two decades. And now, after years of being an atheist, I had my faith restored, but I could not shake the feeling that Satan was again trying to drive me from my faith through these voices and visions. These visions I saw and the dreams I dreamt, were for the most part, not particularly Christian. They told a story that was darker and considerably more violent than any in the Holy Bible. Because of this, I refused write “The Next Testament”. I would not be an instrument of Satan, a very real and physical threat to my Immortal Soul. This book would never be written by my hand.
But the weight of my psychosis has been brought to bare as a heavy cross on my shoulders.
Can a paranoid schizophrenic actually hear the voice of God?