Where do we go to find this in the Scripture? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
If you’re the average evangelical in America, you hear this kind of talk in the church a lot. If you feel led to be on this committee or to do this job in the church, then please apply. When the offering comes by, give as you feel led. If you feel led, please join us on this mission trip. We could go on.
So if we are good evangelicals, we want to see what the Bible says about a topic. So, let’s go to all the passages where this shows up.
Well, that’s odd.
Surely they’re here somewhere…..
Oh, wait. They’re not.
Why do I speak against this? I do because I think there can be a serious danger here. We live in a culture where more and more the emotions lead the way and then the rationality follows. Naturally, both sides of us are fallen, but ultimately, the danger is that the subjective determines the objective. What goes on internally is supreme and the outer world must conform.
Kind of like the whole transgender movement.
This also leads to several contradictions. If God is leading me to apply for a position, where surely He wants me to have it, so why do I even need an interview? Go ahead and give it. Oh? It has to be verified that God is leading someone? How will that be done? Who are we to deny what someone feels God is telling them to do?
Also as evangelicals who claim that Scripture is our supreme authority, we get to explicit IGNORE what Scripture has to say on these matters. Let’s look at giving for example. We have 2 Corinthians 8-9 that give us all instructions on how we are to give. Nowhere in there does Paul tell us to base it on feeling led. If anything, he commands us instead to be cheerful when we give. While there is nothing explicitly saying 10%, I am of the opinion that 10% is a good baseline for giving.
Let’s consider a church office also. In 1 Tim. 3, we have a list of requirements for someone who desires to be an overseer. Note that Paul says nothing about subjective emotion there, but simply asks if someone wants to be one and even says that that person desires a good thing. He then lists the requirements. He does this in other places to such as in Titus 2 when he talks about being an elder and about other teaching roles in the church.
There is also the problem here that we have too often treated experience from God as if it was normative and then when someone doesn’t have this experience which they think everyone around them is having, then they either think they are a deficient Christian and/or unloved by God, or they think that Christianity is just false. Rarely will they go back and say “What does Scripture say?” Neither of those alternatives is a good one.
When it comes to daily decision making also, we have some guidelines for that. It’s a book called Proverbs. it teaches us how to make wise decisions and the criteria to use to make those decisions. I don’t think anyone denies that our world could use some more wisdom today.
If you are an evangelical and you say Scripture is your authority, then let it be here as well. I am not saying God cannot speak to people today, but if you are claiming God is speaking to you in some way, that requires some serious backing. The Old Testament people would be willing to face death for such a claim. Today, we take it way too lightly.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)