Friday, January 07, 2005

"The Lord told me"

The following I reprint (with the author's permission)
for your serious consideration. It seems as though
I'm encountering this general "The Lord told me" sort
of philosophy more and more these days. It is, I believe,
sincerely mistaken, misguided and, therefore, not from
the Lord.

This article touches briefly on the thought and does so
by quoting Joni Eareckson Tada, a name familiar to
anyone who reads popular, contemporary Christian
literature for she is a well-known Christian writer and
speaker. The majority of Joni's body is paralyzed and
has been for decades. She has had people approach
her numerous times with a "The Lord told me . . ."
statement.
The Lord Told Me . . .

Have you heard other Christians claim direct
revelation from God? How does that make you feel?
How do you react to people who say, “The Lord told
me . . .”?

With suspicion and concern!

My answer is based on my view of the Bible as God’s
Word for today. I agree with Joni Eareckson Tada:

"We play fast and loose with the word of God these
days. In-depth Bible study and examining verses in
their context takes too much time. People seem to
prefer instant revelation and 'words of knowledge'
on the spot.

I’ve noticed how many believers say, 'The Lord told me
that thus-and-such is going to happen.' They proceed
to give God’s take on the situation . . . Actually, I hear
it all the time. 'Joni, the Lord told me you will be out
of that wheelchair in less than a year.' Their sentiments
are well meaning, but their words are . . . well,
frightening. 'The Lord told me . . .' Who am I to
question the Lord? How can I possibly engage this
brother or sister in a meaningful debate, if they claim
they are speaking ex cathedra, or 'from the throne'?
It’s a dead-end discussion. 'What has the Lord told
you?' and 'Have you received a word from the Lord?'
are phrases packed with presumption."
(More Precious Than Silver, November 26).
Joni’s response is about the subjective side. On the
objective side are the Bible’s self-claims as well as
its teaching about how God has revealed himself. For
starters,

“Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to
our ancestors through the prophets. But now in these
final days he has spoken to us through his Son.”
(Hebrews 1:1 NLT)

After much study and prayer, my conclusion is that
there is not a solid case for ongoing and personal
revelation today. I will be glad to study this with
you further.

Bob Mize
http://www.bobmize.com; bob@bobmize.com
(719) 650-2210