Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Because God Told Me...

I do not know of a more proverbial “spade card” to play in the realm of Christianity than to say “because God told me”. I will be posting two weeks on this subject and hope to pull some interesting perspective. I do not know the etymology of this particular phrase or how it evolved as it is used today, but my guess would be that it came about at the height of the charismatic movement or by some preacher who wanted to relocate his church (tongue in cheek of course).

Now, let me state that the Word of God is alive and relevant. I do not have to make it relevant, it is because the human heart never changes without a supernatural work of God and the Word of God speaks to the heart. But, being brought up in church I have noticed how flippantly we use the phrase, “God told me to…..” when in truth, some times what the individual claims God has told them is far from Scriptural.  I have heard everything from

“God has told me it’s okay for me to leave my family"
 “God has told me leave this church and go to ___________”

when at times the place God is “sending” them is not teaching the Word of God or even worse, has no concept of the gospel whatsoever. I have heard pastors tell their congregations that “God has told me we need to build this or relocate.”  The problem?  When I attribute or claim a command from God which is not clearly defined in Scripture, I set myself up as the authority. Then if you oppose what “God said,” guess whose side you are on?

Let me be clear:  there is no doubt that God speaks to us through His word, there is no doubt that when kept in context we can say with conviction that God’s Word spoke to us and we would be correct. There is also no doubt that the Holy Spirit works in our lives to lead us and prompt us in certain areas, but those “leadings and promptings” certainly must be seen through the lens of the Word of God. But, if I believe that “God told me to buy the new car” or “to tell the Preacher he should preach on this” or “to tell this girl she should date me” then I must conclude that each instance I hear of this is as authoritative as the Great Commission,  after all God supposedly would have commanded both.  I came across a blog by Dr. Bill Curtis and, he too is arguing against “God Told Me Theology” and wrote this:

Weak hermeneutics + flawed concept of biblical revelation = dangerous "God told me" theology

Today, everyone wants to “hear” from God, and almost daily there is a new claim of “special revelation.” I would submit, however, that there are few things more dangerous to the mission of the church than “God told me” theology. There are several potential dangers:

1. “God told me” theology rejects the theological position that the biblical canon is closed, with its claim that God has already told us everything we need for life and godliness in the Bible.

2. “God told me” theology embraces the reality that believers have access to “special revelation” from God that equals/trumps the revelation of scripture.

3. “God told me” theology places subjective, personal experience in a position of authority over the objective truth of scripture.

4. “God told me” theology minimizes the role of scripture in personal experience and the need for the faithful interpretation of scripture.

"God told me” theology cannot be repudiated on the basis of scripture, because “special revelation” places itself above scripture.

Again, there is so much God has told us in His Word that we can say for certain He has told us, we must conclude that much of the time people use the term “God told me” is when they want to do something and want you to keep quite about it. In conclusion we are fallible, I misunderstand my wife a lot of times, with my heart that is selfish for me to claim that God is giving me special revelation is not only reckless, it can lead to dangerous heresy. If you want to know what God says, it really pretty easy…open the Word of God and read it for yourself and as a believer know that the Holy Spirit is your teacher. I know this because God told me, but He also told you in His Word.