"God told me" - a Distortion of True Spirituality

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Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

It's funny how folks can claim to be cessationists and dispensationalists, and yet they depict God is some kind of Chatty Cathy, telling them everything from which car to buy to who their kids should marry, a la Eleazar.

I don't believe it is inconsistent to acknowledge our God-given conscience and intuition, combined with experience, working in concord with the Word as revealed to our understanding by the Holy Spirit. But that is not what many people mean when they claim that God told them something.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Yes, but Susan, then you loose your personal authoritative near infallibility in decision making.

I have long argued this mystical "Christianity" is dangerous to the church. I used to think it was simply a worldy development in the church of the present, or near-present, post-modern culture that rejects authority outside of one's self. Having read more about Finney in the last year or so, I am becoming increasingly convinced this is nothing more than one of the natural extensions of the emotionalism he championed, alive and well in the American church.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
Yes, but Susan, then you loose your personal authoritative near infallibility in decision making.

Could you re-word this? I haven't had breakfast yet, and am apparently not operating on all thrusters.

Alex Guggenheim's picture

I suspect that within IFB circles one of the greatest contributors to this misunderstanding about divine communication came from the book by Jack Hyles, http://jackhyles.net/meet_hs.shtml ]Meet the Holy Spirit . While it may not have been read by all who subscribe to this form of special divine communication, its impact upon Pastors and their congregations as well as IFB Bible Colleges and its faculty, staff and students has been felt 3 or 4 times removed from the source.

Here is a quote from the book:

Quote:
Now for an illustration. Before I go to the Father, I ask the Holy Spirit what I need. Let's suppose, for example, I go to the Holy Spirit and say, "Holy Spirit, I would like to have a cashmere coat with a mink collar. What do You think?" The Holy Spirit says, "Now I do think you need a new coat, but you could sure get along without a cashmere coat and you certainly don't need a mink collar." So the Holy Spirit leads me to ask for a coat. I then ask the Holy Spirit, "I would like a mink hat." The Holy Spirit reminds me that I perhaps could use a hat, but mink would be too extravagant. I then suggest to the Holy Spirit that He and I go to the Father and ask for a new $500 suit of clothes. The Holy Spirit reminds me that I do need a new suit, but not a $500 suit.

rogercarlson's picture

Thanks for the quote Alex....that is utterly shocking and amazing.

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Susan R wrote:
Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
Yes, but Susan, then you loose your personal authoritative near infallibility in decision making.

Could you re-word this? I haven't had breakfast yet, and am apparently not operating on all thrusters.

Sorry, just (over?) emphasizing the common mindset of those who believe they are hearing directly from God. Once they are convinced they have received a message from God, there is no reasoning with them. They simply assume those questioning their conclusions/positions lack the spiritual maturity to see clearly.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Mike Durning's picture

Jim,

You should post part 1 for a seperate thread. I would love to discuss it. It's not that he's wrong, per se. I just would love to discuss his identification of the nature of the problem, which I believe is inescapable in the form in which he presents it.

Mike D

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
Susan R wrote:
Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
Yes, but Susan, then you loose your personal authoritative near infallibility in decision making.

Could you re-word this? I haven't had breakfast yet, and am apparently not operating on all thrusters.

Sorry, just (over?) emphasizing the common mindset of those who believe they are hearing directly from God. Once they are convinced they have received a message from God, there is no reasoning with them. They simply assume those questioning their conclusions/positions lack the spiritual maturity to see clearly.


The way you worded it I wasn't sure. It is true though- "God told me" is like the ultimate trump card. It's amazing the doctrinal pretzel knots people can make in order to have the Divine Stamp of Approval. What's unfortunate is that sometimes there is nothing wrong with a decision, but trying to make one's choices impervious to questioning with this defense is often unnecessary. It really is OK to make an everyday decision based on facts, wisdom, and experience. I don't need to inquire of the Lord what to make for breakfast, because I already know it is 'Scriptural' to eat and to make good choices about what to eat. I prepare it with gratitude and acknowledgment of the source of our provisions. I can eat it knowing it will energize me to minister to my family and others. Nothing goose-bumpy mysterious about that.

Jim's picture

Mike Durning wrote:
Jim,

You should post part 1 for a seperate thread. I would love to discuss it. It's not that he's wrong, per se. I just would love to discuss his identification of the nature of the problem, which I believe is inescapable in the form in which he presents it.

Mike D

Will do. I missed the first one because Thanksgiving week was so hectic.

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Here: http://www.sharperiron.org/filings/12-3-10/17201

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