Friday, March 13, 2015
Speaking for God, Part 1
There is certainly a popular trend today. That trend happens can be found plastered across not only Internet chats and comments but in person to person conversation; it’s the alarming trend of endeavoring to speak for God. Unfortunately most of what is being said “out there” runs utterly contrary to previous declarations of what God has said which alludes to a disturbing and careless mindset in the American public. We no longer appear interested in what God may actually have said (via revelation) but lean toward what we would like Him to say, or liken Him to ourselves and from that premise deduce what we think He would say. There is a horrific amount of error to be found in this thinking, and since such people base their authority solely upon their feelings or opinions it removes them from proper correction according to what God has actually said on any given topic.
Why is revelation so valuable? Is it viable in our age, and how do we know we can trust revelation as a determiner of God’s mind and thoughts? One thing becomes immediately clear: a revelation from God is absolutely necessary if we are to have any insight into God’s mind. Just as I do not know another person until they are forthcoming with details regarding their personality, pursuits, interests, hobbies, etc. so too can we not know God unless He chooses to come forth and divulge information about Himself. This information would be both affirming and negating at once. It would affirm who God is and what He thinks about various topics; likewise it would negate who God is not and reveal contrary statements about Him to be false and slanderous.
We find in the pages of the Bible a collected record of complimentary statements from God about His character, intentions toward us and declarations about His definition of both good and evil. By default, if we recognize the record of the Bible as authoritative at all we must come to an immediate understanding that the record of God’s word is not His opinion but rather statements of fact about right and wrong since God is perfect in intelligence and production. He knew above all how mankind was intended to function since He created us. It is also painfully clear that we are not presently functioning in the capacity God had created us or we could not account for the misery, suffering and death that surrounds us on a daily basis. If God created humanity “as is” that is, the way everyone is presently (serial killer, child molester, etc.) is how He intended us to be then He clearly intended man to live in an unstable estate of sorrow and ultimately death. If this is God’s mind toward us then He is not a God even worth considering since He is apparently the author and originator of evil; a malice He perpetuates on mankind every generation by raising up plenty of people all too eager to harm and kill others.
We can therefore safely rule out the “God made me this way” mantra so popularized by today’s media. The ancient king Solomon gleaned something of man’s dilemma when he wrote “Truly, this only have I found: That God made man upright, but they (mankind) have sought out many schemes,” Ecclesiastes 7:29. This single verse summarizes the account in Genesis of what became of our first parents when God made known His mind to them via direct revelation: “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day you eat of it you shall surely die,” Genesis 2:16-17. This was an objective revelation, universally applicable. It was not subject to private interpretation, as the apostle Peter warns, 2nd Peter 1:20. Yet Satan did just this when he turned God’s command entirely on its head by declaring “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil,” Genesis 3:4-5. Satan is the originator of perverting a direct declaration of the Lord into something that suits his own purposes. He is the first to willfully ignore something definitively stated by God and supplanting it with something more palatable for someone who wants to reject divine authority. It was a prevalent practice in Jesus’ day, John 8:43-44. Paul warned that it would become an epidemic in the latter days, 2nd Timothy 4:3-4.