January 14, 2015

Beware the horrible “but”-monster

by Dan Phillips

We live in a day of brazen-enough unbelief. It is as if the Christ-haunted today need to prove to their mommies what bad little boys they are, sounding out increasingly billowy boasts and denials and declamations of godlessness, complete with snazzy little samplers of depravity.

But such baldfaced rejection has never been the greatest threat to Christ’s church. I mean, if-only, right? If only heretics all wore T-shirts reading “I DENY FUNDAMENTAL TRUTHS” or “HELLBOUND APOSTATE.” I suppose still some naïve souls would, in the name of a very wrongheaded understanding of “grace,” entertain such. But it would make matters simpler for others. (“Look—he’s wearing the T-shirt! How am I being ‘judgmental’?”)

 

tee shirt

No, the gravest danger to God’s people has always been the smiling subversive, the best-buddy bogus blowhard, the accommodating apostate, the helpful heretic. He wouldn’t touch a flat-out denial with a list of 10 Commandments Promises Whatevers. Like the Government, he’s “here to help.”

So this person would affirm many truths…wait, scratch that. He would affirm words that have been historically used to express many truths, many precious truths. And our Christian hearts yearn to accept these affirmations at face-value, share a group hug, and go our ways rejoicing. And so we do, until we’ve been burned, or have tried to help nourish the burnt back to health and happiness. Then we get more wary.

He embraces the words, but in this post-postmodern day, too often we have to keep listening to learn what he really means by that verbal, formal embrace.

To my mind, the central issue simultaneously affirmed and trashed today is the sufficiency of Scripture, the belief that (A) the Canon is full, and (B) the Bible contains everything for which we need a word from God. Not 95%, not even 99%, but everything.

My point in this little essay is not to flesh out that truth Biblically; that is something that we will spend some time in during the Sufficient Fire Conference here in Houston in a couple of weeks. (If you haven’t registered, do: seats are limited, and registrations are running out.) My point is simply to highlight that the most damaging threats (A) are within the church, (B) formally affirm either a “closed Canon” or “the sufficiency of Scripture” (or both), and then (C) in practice and redefinition eviscerate the truth, leaving Scripture drained of its God-given authority and Christians enslaved to forces and vagaries emanating either from their own glands or the mouths of their anointed leaders.

This is where the “But”-Monster rears his hideous grimacing head. Paul says, both retrospectively and proleptically, that Scripture is able both to lead us to saving wisdom, and fully to equip us to know and serve God (2 Timothy 3:15-17). The “But”-Monster may not argue with that statement, formally. But he reveals himself in such words as…

  • “Of course I believe the Canon is closed. But God still speaks to His children!”
  • “Of course I believe the Scripture is sufficient. But if you aren’t listening for fresh revelations, you’re a Deist!”
  • “Of course I believe the Canon is closed. But once upon a time, as I was practicing ‘listening prayer’…”
  • “Of course I believe the Scripture is sufficient. But my cousin’s hair-dresser’s sister heard a guest on a TV show tell a story where…”
  • “Of course I believe the Canon is closed. But the letter kills – the Spirit gives life!”
  • “Of course I believe Scripture is sufficient. But people need more than lectures and information-downloads today.”
  • “Of course I believe the Canon is closed. But Pastor D’Zastre was waiting on God in stillness in the mountains after a 400-day fast, and God told him…”
  • “Of course I believe the Scripture is sufficient. But we worship a Person, not a book!”

It is a measure of our times that, even among us, probably at least one item on that list singed someone’s assumptions. That is, however, a measure of the degree to which – if you’ll pardon one last enumeration – we have lost (A) our appreciation of what Scripture itself claims to do, and (B) our robust confidence in and enjoyment of the full benefits of Scripture.

snakeThis is, I say, the chief doctrine under fire today. That fact is reflected in weak and wandering preaching, unfocused worship, fad-driven/consumer-driven church movements, wrongheaded counseling, and a cottage-industry of books and speakers who regularly claim direct revelation without being admonished by their denominations or supporters, let alone excommunicated.

Satan’s first recorded target in snaring the soul of the first man was the word of God that he, Adam, had. “Ah, so you have a word from God?” Satan in effect smiled. “But—” In what followed, Satan insinuated – rats, one more enumeration – (A) What Adam and Eve had from God was insufficient, (B) What Adam and Eve had from God was unreliable, and therefore (C) What Adam and Eve had from God was not fully binding on their consciences.

This ploy worked so well for our adversary then. It worked so well for him in the ages that followed.

Why would we imagine that he’d leave his best lure in the tackle-box today?

Final appeal: thanks to my gracious hosts at this terrific blog for letting me put in a guest-word. I hope we can see all or many of you at the Sufficient Fire Conference later this month. We hope to strike a robust and powerful blow for the sufficiency of the Word of God.

Dan Phillips

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Dan pastors Copperfield Bible Church in Houston. He is the author of The World Tilting Gospel, and God's Wisdom in Proverbs.
  • Scott Welch

    “He would affirm words that have been historically used to express many truths, many precious truths.”

    I like it. I like it a lot. It’s exposing Mr. I-Want-To-Go-Deeper’s slight of hand, that he subtlety shifted the conversation hi advantage. He denies the truth, yet still wants to wear the orthodox badge.

    • Dan Phillips

      …or at least (say) so long as he’s teaching at that institution.

      But once he leaves — or is put out — the trashing begins in earnest, as he endears himself to his new friends.

  • wiseopinion

    I call these people the “But-ters” of life…when talking about anything really…I hear “I know, I know..but. “Well, that is all well and good for you..but” I understand what you are saying…but.” “I hear what you are saying and it makes sense…but.” or “But God wouldn’t want that to happen!” “But that is not what I learned at my church (or college or work).” “But don’t you think you are being a bit too simplistic or naive about the sufficiency of the Bible?”…..Yep, the But-ters…a part of our life that should never frustrate us, but challenge us to: But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. – 1 Peter 3:15-16

  • Johnny

    One I struggle with is from my Presbyterian friends, of a conservative orthodox flavor, who would essentially teach a kind of “Of course I believe the Canon is closed, but one must be ‘called’ to the ministry before considering seminary/ministry/etc.’ What exactly is that calling and is it a kind of ‘fresh revelation’? Is it just a strong emotional urge or drive, and are they right in assuming a call is necessary before pursuing ministry?

    • Dan Phillips

      As one hath somewhere said: http://bit.ly/SJJLnP.

      • Johnny

        That was helpful, thanks.

      • Carl Cunningham

        The post Dan linked to is excellent. I would only add, I have heard some Presbyterians formally refer to their entry to ministry as including a call, but meaning something very specific. I’m not Presbyterian so this (A) is not a defense, but mere observation and (B) may or may not be what your friends mean.

        “mikeb” from the same post commented, differentiating between the desire to be an elder (“internal call”, ie. 1 Tim 3.1) and examination by others. Here’s his explanation of the latter:

        Other elders are supposed to search out potential elders by measuring them according to the requirements mentioned in 1 Tim 3 and Titus (also cf. Acts 16:1-3). Call it what you like, but traditionally this has been labeled an “external call.”

        Thank you for this latest essay, Dan.

  • Great post Dan! This was well thought out and insightful. Seems to me that this is the difference between giving “lip-service” to the sufficiency of God’s Word and actually believing in it!

  • Karen

    Could there be a difference in believing that the cannon is closed in the case of doctrine, but that God still providently leads and guides a believer? For example, in the life of George Muller we see people being prompted or led by the Spirit to give a very specific amount as answer to prayer. They didn’t receive new knowledge in a doctrine sort of way, but they were guided and led by the Holy Spirit in a specific way. Do cessationists say that all kinds of leading by the Holy Spirit is done?

    • Do cessationists say that all kinds of leading by the Holy Spirit is done?

      No no no, contrarily so! 🙂 Once we have been given (gifted!) the Spirit through regeneration of heart and mind we are newly constrained to the leading of the Spirit of God. We are beholden to a newness in our “hearing” and a responding to His “voice”, and these specifically begin and end within Scripture.. Heb. 4:12 comes to mind (ha 😉

      (To no-one in-particular): You got an impression? a random or otherwise nagging thought to do something you wouldn’t have normally done? If it isn’t sinful just do it! You feel a brother/sister is about to make a terrible mistake? Go to them in love and show from the scripture your concerns. Work it out without the gnostic language (“I got a word from God” or “special prompting” etc etc) You felt strongly about skipping a trip and the plane/car/bus whatever crashed? Praise God! But don’t assume a new (or expanded) unbiblical doctrine because of these things. They are just one of many thousands of means of grace that God is doing in your life (indeed in the Life of the Church!) that He may have allowed you to see one of more fully.

      The bible has plenty to say to us about God’s voice for the post apostolic church, and how we may listen to it today and it aint the way it was. It really bothers me when I hear someone say “well God spoke audibly then and we don’t find in scripture where He stopped so He must also do it today…” Obviously God can do whatever He wishes, but the way He spoke to men as we read in scripture is not the normative function of the church today.

      sorry..hopping down now..

      Great post, Dan!

    • Dan Phillips

      It’s a good question (and Suzanne gave you a good answer as well), Karen. To answer well would take a long post or a book. Let me just drop an idea or two. Maybe three:

      1. This is why we’re in trouble. Someone tells a story, and says “Explain that.” We can’t. So we generally just sweep everything mysterious and strange under the “Holy Spirit” rug. And, ta-daaa, a new doctrine is born.

      2. The idea that the Holy Spirit “leads” us by giving us feelings and odd thoughts is, as far as I know, completely without explicit Biblical support. We made it up, in other words.

      3. I totally believe in the Holy Spirit’s leading — the way the Bible describes it. He leads by speaking to me through the Word (Heb. 3:7ff.), and by leading me to conform to it (Rom. 8:12-14; Gal. 5:16-26)..

      Does that help?

      • Tim Bates

        Dan and Suzanne,
        These were both very helpful and constructive comments. I think because of how our culture is shifting/collapsing into mysticism it’s making it very difficult to differentiate between unknowns and direct revelation (in their minds).

        This is a topic where, because of how Christianity has collapsed into mysticism, we need to be very precise with our language. Both of your comments helped me clarify my understanding.

        And thanks to Karen for asking such a specific question!

        • Joseph Watkins

          Tim, Dan and Suzanne,
          Thanks for not adding to or taking away from sound doctrine. Thanks for the truth!

      • Karen

        Yes, that kind of helps. I kind of get what you are saying about the Holy Spirit not leading us through feelings, because they can’t always be trusted. On the other hand, I think that God can stir up our hearts in a way that might be kind of like a feeling–like a prompting to pray for someone or to talk to someone or give money for a specific purpose. I think that it’s part of the Holy Spirit’s involvement with our lives. But I think that’s different than getting new doctrine. It’s more of God putting something on our hearts about how we can live out our understanding of the bible. I don’t think that God leading us to answer someone else’s prayer is new doctrine, it’s just part of His sovereignty.

        • Ken

          I agree with the no new doctrine and complete bible. Yet the bible does describe activities of the Holy Spirit in the church and arguing these are not for today is to say, is it not, the bible is too big. Doesn’t this undermine the authority of scripture?
          The bible alone tells us the Christian sex ethic. Yet in churches, including sound reformed and other evangelical churches there are reports of child abuse and other immorality, sometimes spread over years. Why is this so rarely spotted? Is it the fear that a ‘word of knowledge’ that would ‘reveal’ this would be adding to scripture, for example? By no means! On the contrary, this upholds scripture in that what God says he may do in scripture he may still do in practice.

          • Dan Phillips

            So: No new doctrine and complete Bible…BUT we need more.

            Did you read the whole post?

          • Ken

            I read the whole post twice. My point is not to argue against the sufficiency of scripture. I don’t believe in adding to it.
            My disagreement is about what is contained in scripture and whether it applies today. We have all been shocked at the extent of what has gone on in the RCC church, though perhaps not surprised, yet recently I have been astounded at what is going on in some evangelical churches. I really wonder just how long this kind of thing can go on before evangelicals ask God for the discernment or knowledge or whatever you want to call it to ‘see’ this kind of thing. Why won’t they ask? We don’t need it because we have the bible?
            It is not that scripture is lacking, it is our failure to ask for what is promised within it. Sadly I have had some experience of this, it’s not just theory; and it bothers me that evangelicals will once again assert something I agree with about the bible, whilst remaining blind to terrible things going on in their/our midst when they needn’t. Sound reformed and evangelical, but ‘sound’ asleep in this regard!!

          • Dan Phillips

            This is different from what you said previously, and is fundamentally simple to answer. We’ve been pointing it out at Pyro for years in some areas, and others have done as well in others. It’s this:
            * Our problem is not that we don’t have enough revelation from God
            * Our problem is that we do not study, believe, and apply the revelation that we have.

            I’d add this: for my part, I’d feel horribly embarrassed to hear myself asking God for MORE revelation, in the knowledge of how we’ve responded to the revelation we already have.

          • Ken

            I don’t want to overfill the comments, but …

            No-one wants to be Benny Hinn. No-one if sensible wants to go down the Blackaby road. Allow me to illustrate what I am getting at using scripture. The Spirit told Phillip to join the Ethiopian Eunuch. His gospel message was based soley on the bible, but the specific instruction where to go, especially the timing, came from the Spirit. I’m arguing this can happen today. The ‘prompting of the Spirit’ – the word prompting is not in the bible, but then neither is the word providence.

            Why won’t classic evangelicals ask God to fill them with the Spirit and desire spiritual gifts? Words of knowledge, so instances such as I was recently told by friends in England of a bible teacher who had an ongoing adulterous affair for at least a decade would be exposed. What about the kind of prophecy that could also expose this kind of thing, getting the perpetrator on his knees and ‘declare God is really among you’?

            Why the fear this has to lead to being a Blackaby? Such gifts are tools for building the church. We don’t have to have them, and they are sovereignly distributed, but by not asking (or thinking as so many classic evangelicals do that because we have the Word for something, we have the thing itself) we are missing out on one more means of dealing with what is actually going on in congregations that the pastors or elders are overlooking.

            To the extent I have had personal experience of this, it has usually been a combination of the prompting of the Spirit, subsequent observation followed by dealing with the issue revealed using the bible as the word of God. But on one or two occasions it has simply been the Spirit. The Spirit making sure we can obey God’s command not to be deceived, or, to be more positive about it, on a few occasions bringing a specific word of comfort or encouragement.

            I am not a “gifts” expert, most of what I have done in churches over the years has not been related to this, but I have seen and heard enough to be convinced that what the NT writers say to us about this is still the word of God, not historical narrative. It’s every bit as much for today as the doctine of marriage or role of women in ministry passages!

          • Dan Phillips

            At last.

            Yes, that’s exactly the sort of thing that fascinates and increasingly distracts people who believe that the Bible is sufficient and the Canon is closed, but

            That’s exactly what I am saying holds no interest whatever to the person who believes and is content with what Scripture specifically teaches the normal Christian life is, and who believes that the Scripture is sufficient…with no “buts.”

            This blog has many posts that could help you, Pyromaniacs has many posts that could help you. Hope you’ll take the time to avail yourself of them, learn, and focus on what God specifically, expressly, and repeatedly says to focus on.

  • pearlbaker

    “Pastor D’Zastre” 🙂 Dan, do you also put this statement in the same category…”I know the Canon is closed/I know Scripture is sufficient, BUT I am not saying that God is limited in any way, we should never put God in a box.”? I hear this a lot and I do not disagree with that on its surface, however (long word for “but”), it is usually used in a context that makes it sound like an apology or a “soft but.” All this waffling around with the truth of God puts me in mind of Matthew 5:37 “But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes ‘ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.”

    • Jane McCrory Hildebrand

      Pearl, I often respond with, God does work outside the box, but never outside the Book. 🙂

      • Joseph Watkins

        Jane

    • Dan Phillips

      Yes, Pearl. And Jane gave a good answer. I might add, “Given the nature of the human heart, I’m more afraid of making up and worshiping a false god.” I’d also ask for clarification; sometimes people say “put God in a box,” but mean “take the Bible too seriously.”

      • pearlbaker

        Yes, thanks to both Dan and Jane for your responses. It really does come down to knowing and understanding the Word of God (which might take more time and diligent study than some “but-ters” may have put into it, as evidenced by their equivocal statements) and having the conviction and courage to stand by it without worrying about the opinion of man. It is never our view, it is God’s Word which matters. Martin Luther said, “You should diligently learn the Word of God and by no means imagine that you know it”. I may have gone slightly off the subject with this line of thought, but I do think it ties in because before we can speak about God, what we think God is like or what He would or would not do, we must first know Him, from knowing His Word and communing with Him. It is J.I. Packer’s conviction, in Knowing God, that the trouble with the church today is an ignorance of God, of His nature, His character and His ways, which we know are higher than our ways. Isaiah 55;8.

        • Joseph Watkins
          • pearlbaker

            Very kind of you Joseph, praise God for his gracious kindness in stooping down to impart any portion of His wisdom to any of us.

  • Randy Littmann

    Going back to my high school English courses, the word ‘but’ negates everything in the sentence prior to its occurance. I have mentioned this when debating these types of topics with people and it’s really interesting to see them try to rework their sentences.

  • Brad

    Trying to understand the arguments here.

    Is there a problem with saying something like, “The Lord is teaching me how to love my wife” or “He is showing me what it means to serve Him” etc.

    Often, as I am reading the Bible I get pictures in my head of what the text is talking about or what it looks like in my life to obey the text. Other times when I am working out or driving in my car, the same things happen. Would it be appropriate for me to say that God is speaking to me in those situations?

    • Greg Pickle

      The way I would express that, which seems to be the biblical pattern, is to say this:

      “God has already spoken in his word; I am listening to that speech by reading/hearing his word; and now I am using *wisdom* in taking that already-spoken word and applying it to my particular life circumstances through faith and obedience.” In other words, specific applications aren’t fresh speech from God; they are wise, Spirit-empowered obedience to finalized speech in the Bible.

      To put it another way, if I’m reading a textbook on math, and as I learn about at certain math principle that is helpful with a problem I’ve been having, that problem is going to come to mind, but the author of the book is not “speaking to me”, and the principle did not have to address my exact situation directly, but his words are still directly helpful because my situation fits the principle.

      The difference with God’s word is that it is “living and active”, but that doesn’t mean more of it gets revealed in the process of it doing its action. We just come to understand better how to implement it (and in the process, we understand more of Scripture itself too).

      Does that help?

      • Joseph Watkins
      • Brad

        Thanks Greg! To be honest, I have struggled with your illustration. It seems like you are saying that God has spoken but he doesn’t speak today. He is like an author who wrote a book many years ago and hasn’t said anything since. He is a watchmaker who created a watch, wound it up, let it tick, and then disappeared.

        I can see how God’s revelation in the Bible is unique and not happening today. But I can’t quite make the leap to saying that he isn’t active today in other ways too.

        For me the bottom line application is this: My wife has been sick and in the hospital the last two days. At the same time, community and family have been serving and loving us in unbelievable ways. Sometimes they have prayed, sometimes they have quoted Scripture, and sometimes they have just taken care of the kids.

        I think I m ok with saying, “God is loving us and speaking to us and comforting us” even if it is not directly through the Bible.

        Looking forward to hearing your push back! And I’m not in it to win an argument or anything. Just trying to get closer to God and his truth.

        • Greg Pickle

          I see what you’re saying. My caution on that kind of thing is that we shouldn’t call something “speech” that isn’t actual speech. As a figurative expression you might say in response to a musical performance, “That really spoke to me” (though I don’t care for the term). But when it gets into the realm of whether God is speaking it’s really crucial to make sure we are clear on what he is doing. You can see how it can get super-confusing if we don’t stick to literal terminology.

          So when it comes to what God is doing today you have really three kinds of things that we know of biblically:

          1) His providential working in which he controls all things (Ephesians 1:11, Romans 8:28)

          2) His work by his Spirit through believers as they do his work according to faith and obedience to the already revealed word.

          3) His speech in the Bible that is completely finished but still “speaking” today.

          This last one is really helpful when we’re tempted to think that because God spoke long ago it doesn’t have significance now, and to then seek something additional.

          Three times in the book of Hebrews he speaks of the Holy Spirit as *currently* speaking. And if you look at what is referred to as the Spirit’s currently “saying” something, in every case he is referring to what? Scripture. Hebrews 3:7 refers to Psalm 95; Hebrews 10:15 refers to Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 9:8 refers to the giving of the Tabernacle and priestly system under the Mosaic Covenant.

          Now, I realize that is not a comprehensive argument that God doesn’t speak apart from his word today. There are other posts in other places for that. But hopefully it helps you see that saying God hasn’t spoken anything new to man in over 1900 years doesn’t take away at all from his involvement or even the complete relevance and activity of his written word to this very moment.

          Thanks for the interaction, hope this discussion hopes you with your desire to get closer to God and the truth!

    • Dan Phillips

      Greg gave you a good answer, Brad. The Lord does teach us – through His word. 2 Timothy 2:7 would be our model here: Jesus illuminates us as we study the Word.

    • Jane McCrory Hildebrand

      Sadly, there is so much abuse today with people claiming that God is speaking to them, that I think it is best to avoid using that term altogether.

      Now that does not mean that God is not actively involved with us, as Jesus did say that the Holy Spirit would teach us and remind us of everything He had said. This is the wonderful gift we have in Christ, to be reminded of His Word when faced with decisions or situations in order that we can proceed in a way that would honor Him. I can’t count the times He’s guided my actions and my mouth by bringing a verse to mind that convicted or encouraged me.

      However, rather than saying that God spoke to me in that moment and possibly weirding people out, I use those moments to point people back to how precious the Bible is in directing our lives.

  • So awesome to see a Dan Phillips Cripplegate post. The Cripplegate looks good on you, Dan. 😉

    • Dan Phillips

      Thanks for being gracious hosts, and not too picky about who you let in.
      (c;

      • Lyndon Unger

        “not too picky about who you let in”

        My ears were burning.

        Also, now that Dan is on here, is this blog going to become PyroGate?

        Sounds like an imminent evangelical scandal!

    • pearlbaker

      Glad you posted this Mike, so many of us enjoy (is that the same as ‘are provoked by’?) the Pyromaniac blog. I think it was a concern that it would not go on without Phil at the helm, but never fear, Dan is here! For any who have not had the pleasure…teampyro.blogspot.com/

      • As much as I’d like to, I can’t take credit for that, Pearl. I’m pretty sure Jesse’s the one who brokered this deal.

        • Dan Phillips

          Heh. I’m a “brokered deal.”
          (c;

          • I see it as a really good free-agent signing. 😀

        • pearlbaker

          Oh, we have Jesse to thank? I will be sure to do that!

  • Should you become a regular guest contributor, consider a custom banner to go with your posts. I’m thinking, “Let’s meet at the Cripplegate and set the world on fire.” Get the Pyro creative department on it, post haste!

    “BUT” seriously… oh wait, poor use of words. LET’S get serious, Excellent article Dan! 🙂 One of the lines in your post reminded me of a sermon I heard when I started a new church search. This one pastor rhetorically asked, “How does God speak to us today?” The answer was, “99%, He speaks to us through His Word [points to his Bible]” The other 1% was all of the nonsense you mentioned in your post, and frequently through your blog and Twitter feed. And this was not a charismatic church either, with what appeared to be an otherwise solid doctrinal statement.

    Those ‘other’ ways are always advertised as the pious approach, the “God is not in a box” method, the non-legalist approach, the diligent-study-makes-you-a-Pharisee, etc. And thank God for people like yourself, Cripplegate, etc who properly tune the believer’s ear to the right frequency. You continue to help the church see who it’s subtle yet potent enemies are and expose them – one of them being the “But” Monster. Thanks Dan.

    • Dan Phillips

      “Setting the Gate on Fire”? Hmmm.

      • pearlbaker

        Hey, the Gate’s been pretty hot…but so far has had the decorum not to actually burst into flames. 🙂 Well, maybe a little bit during Strange Fire.

  • At the risk of overstating the obvious, there are some good uses for “But.”
    “I think God speaks to His people today, but I think He speaks through His Word.”
    “I think the Packers are great but I still think Dez made the catch.”
    &tc.

    • Dan Phillips

      “I think ‘but’ can be used with ill-intent, but sometimes it’s necessary.”

      Like that? (c;

    • But Dez DID make the catch—dernit!!

      😛

    • pearlbaker

      Wow, and I thought I got off topic….go GB!

  • Lyndon Unger

    This is totally the constant issue for me. I’ve amassed a few dozen books that exhibit wholesale swallowing of this heresy. The whole “God told me…” line of thinking appears EVERYWHERE.

    Nobody even really challenges it anymore. It’s essentially a required dogma to be a Christian “celebrity” these days.

    I totally agree that the sufficiency of scripture is the main point of theological denial these days. I wish I could be in Texas in a few weeks for a certain conference!

    • Jane McCrory Hildebrand

      In my experience, I have found that those who claim to hear from God usually have the least amount of scriptural knowledge. It’s as if they place a higher value on their imaginations than the sufficiency of scripture. It’s arrogance.

      • Amy

        I have had God “speak” to me on occasion. It is through His Word. Nothing new. He reinforces what I know in my heart. He has done the same in prayer. Led me to His Word. Maybe we need to come up with a better way to say it? If use “reveal” then it sounds like something new when it’s really new to me when I study.

        • Jane McCrory Hildebrand

          Yes, I so agree! An example I’ll always remember was how I was once complaining about someone who was ungrateful for everything I had done and how they did not deserve my kindness anymore. Suddenly the verse about God being “kind to the ungrateful and the wicked” came to my mind. I remember my tears as I felt so honored to have God “speak” to me through His perfect Word and stop me in my tracks. No questions, no wondering if it was from God, it was His voice loud and clear as spoken through His Word.

  • Lyndon Unger

    You inspired an idea today. I’ll have a draft that I’ll post on here soon.

    • pearlbaker

      Lyndon, I look forward to this as I do all your posts, but pretty please no pictures, vids or quotes from Ms. Moore, unless you absolutely have to, to prove beyond a doubt how ubiquitous and egregious this heresy has become.

    • Dan Phillips

      So at Pyro, it was customary for me to post some wanna-be epic piece of literary craftsmanship… and within a comment or two, the meta would be all about Frank Turk.

      Is that Lyndon’s role here?

      #SeekingToUnderstand

      • Curt

        We love you both 🙂

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  • Duncan

    Well done.

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  • Amy

    Great post! I am always weary when a leader or even a friend says “God told me…” I always follow up with questions, if I can or I dig into the Word. I can say that many Evangelicals fancy themselves Bible scholars but lack discernment. Or, they read a book by a famous Christian author who relays their interpretation of scripture and the reader does not check for Truth. The danger I see with some of these Bible studies that are video led don’t allow follow-up and many times, discernment is nonexistent. In many circles, I have also seen a shift from Bible teaching to the trend of “just do it.” It shocked me to hear a youth pastor say “The kids are good with the Bible. They just need to go out and ‘do’.” Bible knowledge became secondary to a “love does’ mentality. It’s a huge reason why my husband and I changed churches. The Bible needs to be taught and outreach needs to happen. However, defending one’s faith is foundational when working in the mission field.

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