This article was originally posted at my site. Only some of my articles are posted on SBC Voices. If you would like access to all of my articles, you can follow my feed here. You can also connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
Deuteronomy 18:10-11: There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead,
This is a pandemic problem in evangelical churches. How many times have you heard someone say, “God told me,” “God lead me,” “God laid it on my heart,” etc? One would think that these individuals heard the audible voice of God; but no, they base their statements on their feelings: a liver quiver, a gut assumption, butterflies, etc. The problem is that there is nowhere in the Bible where God spoke to anyone through their feelings… not one example. So, whenever these Christians make these statements, they have no authority or example in Scripture to prove that God is speaking to them. They thus are playing the psychic. Although they would never go to a psychic, they simply run to the mirror, assuming that they have some ability to hear God’s voice through their feelings. These people would be against “looking into a crystal ball,” and yet, they have no problem “looking into how they feel” for various answers in life. Just as a psychic assumes his or her feelings tell the truth, Christians that believe God speaks through their feelings, assume that their feelings tell the truth as well. Thus, it is a sin to believe that God speaks through your feelings because you’re adding to the Bible; and it is a sin to claim that God is speaking to you when you have no authority to make such a claim. If you are committing this sin, you are practicing divination; and thus, you are a diviner (Deut. 18:10-11).
In order to encourage these Christians to dress like Christians instead of like psychics, we must tell them that…
1. They have NO authority to claim that God speaks to them, if He has never spoken in that way in His inerrant Word. If you believe that God speaks through how you feel, the only argument you have is that you feel God speaks through how you feel. This is an argument from silence, a logical fallacy; and since no one can feel your feelings, you have no accountability. It’s extremely dangerous!
2. Since they do not know if God is speaking or not unless they hear an audible voice (and even then the Devil appears as an angel of light), they must trust in His already revealed Word. God shouldn’t have to repeat Himself for you to be obedient.
3. They are terribly inconsistent in what decisions they choose to wait on God to answer. No Christian prays about every single decision they make on earth, and they definitely don’t wait for God to speak to them before they make all the decisions they must make in a given day. They instead only pray about what they deem are “big decisions.” The problem is that if God has given you enough Scripture and wisdom to make “small” decisions, then He has given you enough revelation and wisdom to make big decisions as well.
4. By them waiting for God to give them more revelation, they speak negative volumes about the revelation He has already provided: His sufficient Word. Christians who believe that there is more revelation coming, often ignore the revelation that they have already been given: 1) the Great Commission, 2) using their spiritual gifts to edify their brothers and sisters, etc. Furthermore, almost all cults were started by people who claimed God was speaking to them beyond the Bible.
5. The real reason you desire God to speak to you about the “big decisions” in your life is because you don’t want to face the consequences of making the wrong decisions? Don’t you desire to know the future more than you desire to trust God through the difficult times in life? Are your motives not selfish? Are you not willing to suffer for the glory of God? If God always tells you the right decision to make, then why should you trust Him?
6. If you are honest with yourself, how many times in your Christian life have you been sure that God told you to do something, and it didn’t work out? Do you realize what you communicate about God whenever you claim that He told you something, and it doesn’t come to fruition? You communicate that God is a liar!
7. If you are waiting on God to speak whenever He has not told you to wait, then you are a legalist. You must find in Scripture where God has told you, not only to pray, but also to wait on Him to audibly answer. You won’t find the Scripture reference because you are adding to God’s Word.
8. Because you are adding to God’s Word, you are placing yourself in bondage. You are limiting your Christian freedom. Biblically, if you are faced with a decision, and neither choice violates the Scriptures, your conscience, or is unwise, you are free in Christ to do whatever you want. I realize that this doesn’t sound godly in contemporary evangelicalism, but it is biblical!
9. In every act in the Christian life, whether at salvation or in sanctification, God gets to the heart through the mind. Knowledge comes before feelings and emotions. Whenever you are saved, you repent because you know that you have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Feelings of sorrow often accompany such knowledge; however, the knowledge comes first. We must assume as well then that if God is going to speak to us beyond the Bible (which He doesn’t), that He’s going to get to our hearts through our heads.
10. If you respond to anything in worship without knowledge involved, you are merely responding to your emotions, not to God. It always worries me whenever a pastor says, “Since God is moving so much during the singing, I’m not going to preach today because I do not want to quench the Spirit.” Where in the world does the Bible give a pastor authority not to preach the Word? Also, how can the Word of God ever quench the Spirit? Before the foundation of the world, God determined to move through His preached Word. If the pastor is faithful to the text, it is impossible to quench the Spirit by preaching the Word! So, what about all these people coming to the altar during the singing or the interpretive movement? Well, either they were convicted by previous knowledge, or they were convicted by the truth in the lyrics of the songs, or they are merely responding to the warm and fuzzy feelings that are being produced in them by the interpretive movement they are seeing or the music they are hearing. You know what really quenches the Spirit: people that respond to their emotions while ignoring the Word of God. When you talk to someone at the altar, or after worship, and you ask them why they came up; and they say, “I don’t know, I just felt like I needed to.” You’d better probe a little more, making sure that they are responding to knowledge, not to the bean burrito they ate before worship.
What are your thoughts about this issue? Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not?