Starts with a story from high school where he was dating a girl who broke up with him saying, “God had told her they shouldn’t date.” He mentions how being dumped is hard enough, but to say the dumping is divinely ordained is crushing. “If you want to dump me, go ahead. Don’t make Jesus dump me too.” (29:40)
Common ways we use “God told me to…” (30:30)
To which the article’s author writes: “I’ve become convinced that this kind of behavior — slapping God’s name onto our pet causes or using God’s name as an excuse to avoid hard conversations — is not only unhelpful, it is sinful. It is a violation of the third commandment: (“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.” [Ex. 20:7]). It trivializes the gravity of God’s words and introduces confusion into how we hear from God…[and] what we do is encourage the world to come to a horrible conclusion: God has not spoken. It’s just us speaking, and saying it was God so we add extra oomph to our words.” (31:20)
“If we use the name of God to ascribe a false sense of authority to our ideas, plans, or opinions, we violate the third commandment. Take politics for example. We ought to be very sure that the Bible speaks clearly about our preferred political policy or our newest cultural hot take before we insist that every Christian must agree with us. Likewise, we must be careful not to throw around phrases like, ‘God told me to do this,’ or ‘God wants us to do that.’ I understand that some Christian traditions use this sort of language casually, without trying to claim divine authority for every decision, but we shouldn't slap the name of God on the back of our plans just because we feel strongly about our proposed ideas.” (33:00)
“Some Christians say, ‘The Lord told me to do this.’ Or worse, they say, ‘The Lord told me to tell you to do this.’ This is false prophecy! God has already said whatever he needs to say to us in his Word. Of course, there is also an inward leading of the Holy Spirit. But this is only an inward leading, and it should not be misrepresented as an authoritative word from God. When we claim absolute divine authority for our human plans and decisions, we violate the third commandment. God's name is holy, and it must not be added willy-nilly to our prudential decisions, no matter how sincere or important the decision might be.” (36:30)
Final/Pastoral Thoughts (43:30)
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