On Feb. 13 this year, the hosts of the ABC daytime TV show The View discussed Vice President Mike Pence.
The discussion was based on the opinion of a former White House staffer. She had suggested that Pence is extreme because he thinks Jesus talks to him.
This led to The View co-host Joy Behar’s controversial comments. Behar joked, “It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you. That’s called mental illness, if I’m not correct, hearing voices.”
Behar has since apologized to Pence personally and publically. But her comments do raise a good question. What does the Bible say about hearing from God?
From the very beginning of the world, God communicated to humanity. He spoke to Adam in the Garden of Eden and gave him specific responsibilities (Genesis 2:16).
Throughout history God has used various means of communication. His ultimate message is Jesus Christ. Hebrews 1:1-2 says, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.”
This ultimate message is recorded in the Scripture for us. The claim of the Bible is that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16). God breathed out the words and men of God recorded them. For this reason the Bible can accurately be called the Word of God.
God’s words in the Old and New Testaments are sufficient for us today. These words make us “wise unto salvation” and “thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:15, 17). There is no reason to seek an additional message from God. We need to hear what we have already been given.
What about hearing voices? Listen to them only if they are voices of people reading and explaining God’s Word. That’s the foundation for true Christian faith as the Bible says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
Don’t be satisfied with just listening. Pay attention, consider, and respond to what you hear. True Christians are marked by continual pattern of hearing and following Jesus. He said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). If you are not hearing Jesus words you may not really be one of His sheep.
On Feb. 19, a few days after the controversial remarks, Pence defended his views on Twitter. He said, “I do try to start every day reading the Bible. My wife and I try to have a prayer together before I leave the house every morning….”
If that’s what he means by hearing Jesus talk to him, I am glad. You too should hear from God by reading His Word each day.
Pastor Stephen Howard is from Morrow Bible Church.