I read discernment blogs and listen to some of their podcasts. They talk about some self-absorbed and self-centered speakers are abusing the bible and the Name of Jesus for money. I agree, these people should be exposed because they are fleecing and abusing the flock of the Great Sheppard Jesus Christ. Some claiming that they are modern day prophets, a gift revived to this time in history and only some people, special people, receive this gift. I also hear the discernment people criticize these people for claiming to hear direct revelations from God. They also take exception when they say that the Spirit put a particular verse inside their heart or mind for them to speak about.
And then I read some things that they write about some things they are working through and they use the same language. I was reading a blog where the blogger was talking about a reading plan as opposed to how she usually read the bible. She said she was more inspired with ideas for writing and researching topics with the usual way she read the bible. One thing she said was that she thinks of parallel verses and other verses the Spirit lays on her heart related to what she is reading. Wait a minute, how is that terminology or language any different than what people she criticized in other articles used in their nonsense? Is it somehow more orthodox for her to use that phrasing because she is more orthodox in her beliefs?
There is also an old article by Ken Silva. Pastor Silva did some great work that still is beneficial to a lot of people as he exposed a lot bad teaching from wolves. This is the link to the article: http://apprising.org/2005/10/24/the-devils-trying-to-kill-america/, and this is the section I am referring to:
In conclusion, to encourage you to spend more time in prayer with God, who loves you more purely than anyone ever could, and to illustrate the importance of prayer, I’ll share with you something that Leonard Ravenhill was on hand to witness one day. While brother Ravenhill might not be familiar to you, in his day he was one of England’s foremost outdoor evangelists. He tells the story:
One day I was at a conference with Dr. V. Raymond Edman of Wheaton College, one of the greatest Christian educators in the U.S. He told of an experience he had while he was in Ecuador as a missionary. He hadn’t been there long before he was sick and dying. He was so near death that they had already dug his grave. He had great beads of sweat on his brow and there was a death rattle in his throat. But suddenly he sat straight up in bed and said to his wife, “Please, bring me my clothes.” Nobody knew what happened.
Many years later he was retelling the story in Boston. Afterward, a little old lady with a small, dog-eared, beaten-up book, approached him and asked, “What day did you say you were dying?” What time was it in Ecuador? What time would that be in Boston?” When he answered her, her wrinkled face lit up. Pointing to her book, she said, “There it is, you see? At 2 a.m. God said to get up and pray–the Devil’s trying to kill Raymond Edman in Ecuador!” And she’d gotten up, and she’d prayed.
Christian, Jesus has heard your heart cry of near despair: Will somebody please throw me a lifeline! And I encourage you to grab on to that lifeline of prayer and to hold on for dear life. I leave you with a final point: Just like that little old lady was asleep until she heard God tell her to get up and pray, so it is with the Evangelical Christian church in the United States, too many of us also are sleeping.
But if you go to your knees you will hear the voice of the Lord say: The time has come for the Body of Christ to wake up and pray–the Devil’s trying to kill America!
And now the question becomes: Are we going to be like that dear little old lady; are we going to get up and pray?
By the definition of the discernment people, she is claiming to hear directly from God, a clear communication from Him for her to get out of bed and pray, which would seem to be a violation of extra-biblical revelation. She was not reading her bible or in prayer or even awake. She was sleeping and God told her to get out of bed and pray for Mr. Edman because he was sick. This is something the discernment people would criticize if someone like Brian Houston or Steven Furtick said it.
My point is that all those who in some type of ministry full time are there because they believe they are answering a call from God to do be involved in the ministry. And they will also say that only those are called should be pastors. At some point we must decide what language can be used and how much is God involved in this world.
It almost seems like some believe that God is almost hands-off in the workings of this world and that God has spoken through His word and that’s final, and also claim He has absolute sovereignty and can do what He wishes. I agree that the nonsense and shenanigans that is going on in Charismania is not from God or the working of the Holy Spirit. But on the other hand, how much is God involved in this world and how does the Spirit guide us?
The Spirit is living within His people. Is He just sitting there? Does He direct these discernment bloggers to write about this person or that person? If the Spirit is sanctifying us, is He doing is passively or actively? Does the Spirit prompt us to speak to a certain individual? How can we lean on God if are not certain where to go? The bible doesn’t specifically say, “John MacArthur, I am calling you to be a pastor,” but he must have had some notion that was what God was calling him to do, which would be an extra-biblical communication.
Someone recently posted a quote from R. C. Sproul about one way to live out one’s faith is to serve others, or something to that effect. Isn’t that what these seeker-driven churches teach as well? I understand they put too much emphasis on volunteering and serving and not enough on learning doctrine and bible teaching. But if we take the quote from Dr. Sproul he would seem to be in agreement with the seeker-driven model.
I guess what I am saying in a roundabout way is that we should focus on the fruits and doctrine these false teachers are teaching, and have less focus on how they are claiming to receive these teachings. In the end if it is contrary to what the Word of God teaches then it does not matter how they claim or explain how they received it. It can only come from two places if it is not from God: either from their own fetid imagination or from Satan himself. Let Christ judge them about their false claims of revelation.