I stumbled onto an interesting article this morning. It was interesting because it substitutes what I have taught past the two services at Lakeview concerning the will of God.
Francis Chan is someone who I greatly admire and enjoy listening to his preaching. He is solid theologically. He has recently resigned his church and is going to do something else but that is unknown right now. The problem is with how he expressed it. And how many in the church seem to express things the same way.
Here is what he said. “Lisa and I believe God is calling us to take a step of faith. We believe we are supposed to move into a major city such as LA, San Francisco, or New York. …I’m still not completely sure of everything, but it feels great to be living by faith.”
It is the old common “I feel the Lord is leading me” or “we believe the Lord’s will for our lives is” or “the Lord spoke to me and ….”
Dan Phillips, who I enjoy as well, has several comments on the subject that I wanted to share with you.
“This is what a Biblically-minded interviewer would ask Chan. “Are you likening this move to Abram’s move from Ur?”, I would ask. To anything like an affirmative response, I would follow up with this: “So are you saying that you received an inerrant, verbal, prophetic, morally-binding revelation directly from God, apart from Scripture, telling you that you needed to walk away from your pastoral commitment abruptly and go off doing other unspecified things?”
If he means anything else, Chan is drawing from some spiritual authority other than Scripture. That is what a Biblical writer would mean, unless it were Paul speaking of the effectual call to salvation (which clearly does not fit). “God is calling us” must mean that, to a Biblically-oriented Christian.
If Chan is saying he receives direct, prophetic, inerrant revelation, he should be made to say so up-front, so that all Christians can see his orientation and respond accordingly. If he is not, he should be held accountable, encouraged to drop the spiritualized lingo, and made to say whatever the truth is. “I was bored”; “I was curious”; “My kids hate it here”; whatever. Say it, and take responsibility for the decision. Don’t try to put it off on God.”
He further adds, “There are scads of impulsive, glandular, irresponsible Christianoids trying to blame God for their immaturity, impulsiveness, and irresponsibility. These are precisely the terms they use as a pretext. It makes them look holy and spiritual, but in Biblical terms, they are not.
As I do the math, I just am not seeing the numbers indicating that God benefits by being shamed by more irresponsible, immature Christians blaming Him for their lame behavior. Just do not see it.”
I concur totally and encourage all of us to be careful that we take responsibility for our own actions and stop trying to make God responsible for them.
You can read the entire post here: http://bibchr.blogspot.com/2010/04/taking-step-of-faith-few-thoughts.html