“Imagine that I cart a pig into your living room and tell you that it can talk. You might say, “Oh, really? Show me.” I then wave my wand and the pig starts talking. You might respond, “That’s amazing!” You are not likely to say, “Ah, but that’s just one pig. Show me a few more and then I might believe you.” —V. S. Ramachandran
The point of this quote is that if you experience one pig talking you are unlikely to need more proof that it happened. No amount of non-talking pig proof would convince you that the pig you heard didn’t talk. Your experience trumps all.
People often have “God experiences” in life that they swear happened to them. They saw visions of dead people, mystical experiences of healing, direction-giving or seeing the future.
No amount of Biblical evidence will convince them it didn’t happen, it did and you can’t take that away. Soon experience is trumped over Biblical consistency. There is no longer a unified basis of conversation.
Sometimes it even works the other way. Scripture says in order to be a true believer you have to hate your family, money, self-promotion, etc. “Well, I never did that and I’m saved.”
Because our experience doesn’t back up what Jesus says we assume Jesus didn’t mean what He said.
Making experience trump the Bible is a sure way to get yourself off the strait and narrow. Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. He is more than willing to use signs and wonders, dreams, experiences or lack thereof to get you to trust your life events over Scripture.
If Scripture is indeed our sole authority for life and practice, let’s make it that. I’m not against experiences; I’m against making experiences the final authority when experiences can be deceiving when God’s Word never is.