6.04.2004

chasing tails

john's comment yesterday prompted me to think through some stuff in the same vein. warning! vulnerable soul searching ahead i'll be the absolute first to admit that my experiences with christians have often left me with a terrible taste in my mouth, scars, limps, whatever. i've become terribly cynical about instant fixes, Prayer of Jabez movements, Left Behind crazes, Veggie Tales groups, blessings from Toronto, prophecy schools from Marion, Ohio, and Kansas City, and so on and so forth. let's face it, i love the Lord, but his Wife is often a royal bitch. and, if i had not, like Peter, run out of options ("Lord, where would we go...?"), i would gladly be a Buddhist, ancestor-worshipper, shaman, snake handler, you name it. and this area, the one of attribution, saying that God told us X or Y and we want to share our "word" with you--this is one that i've seen misused so many times, twisted for the glory of the evangelist instead of God, that it makes me sick. john posed: So, do you think that one should treat as somehow more 'authoritative' words that someone says were spoken to him by God? Or should we afford it the same discernment we would anyone's unattributed opinion? i don't feel like i have an answer, but i have been in groups where someone has insisted God told them something and the entire group has then sort of thrown up their hands and said, in effect, "who are we to disagree with God?" it shouldn't surprise me, but it still does, when all argument, rationalization, interpretation ceases and we unquestioningly follow the "word". at this point, you're probably thinking--as i would if i had been reading this post instead of typing it-- e, you egghead, you can't simply go off of your brain the whole time. God speaks through multiple media and people, etc. granted. absolutely. i wholeheartedly agree. which is exactly why i don't know why we then forgo further discussion and just go with the "word". aren't some given gifts of "wisdom" as well as "knowledge"? if God is the author of a particular situation, and we were paying attention to God, wouldn't we all come to the same conclusion? and if there was some dissenting opinion...would that indicate that God hadn't spoken or that we hadn't heard him clearly or could it only mean that there is some sin in the dissident? < /endsoapbox >

2 Comments:

Blogger Scott Sloan said...

E, God has given us a brain, and intends for us to use it. He also has given us free will to choose a direction, path, behavior, etc. My mom and I got into this discussion last weekend. Dallas Willard's book "Hearing God" is an excellent primer for listening to God.

1 Thes. 5:20-22 (ESV)
Do not despise prophecies, [21] but test everything; hold fast what is good. [22] Abstain from every form of evil.


Acts 17:10-11 (ESV)
The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. [11] Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.


I know that this is a can of worms, but we are also given a "measure of faith" according to Romans 12:3.

6/04/2004 2:09 PM  
Blogger brad said...

"if God is the author of a particular situation, and we were paying attention to God, wouldn't we all come to the same conclusion? and if there was some dissenting opinion...would that indicate that God hadn't spoken or that we hadn't heard him clearly or could it only mean that there is some sin in the dissident?"

Wow, I love this question. I hear it in the context of your warning, though, and wonder how you want people to respond? Thanks as always for your heart, man. I'd hope that all of us relate in some part of our daily striving to what's being asked.

6/09/2004 4:48 PM  

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