"I feel strongly both ways" could be my life statement.
It seems that I'm constantly seeing the need for balance, continually seeing the wisdom on both sides of many issues. I'm constantly noticing that things are rarely ever extremely cut and dried, black and white.
Because of this very thing I decided to check a book entitled God Talk, Cautions for those who hear God's voice by Ruth A. Tucker out from the library. If you know me at all you know that I believe that God does talk to His people. I wrote that whole thing back in March about Why would someone think God doesn't talk to us today . I know that God does talk to us.
Sometimes I'm really uncomfortable with some of what some Christians say God told them.
Just like you, I've seen some who claim to be Christians use the old "God says" to manipulate others. Or what about when people say that God told them things that seem wrong to me? The classic example that many of us have heard, or perhaps even experienced ourselves, is the young man telling a young woman that "God told him they are to wed" only the young woman has received no such revelation.
A kind of similar phenomenon is the whole "answered prayer" thing. I tend to be uncomfortable when someone who lives where I do, southern California, tells me that they prayed for it not to rain and bless God, He answered their prayer. But what about that fact that we need rain and most likely many southern Californians are praying for rain? Or worse yet, the person who jubilantly tells you that they prayed their team would win, and God answered their prayers by making them win. I always find myself wondering if anyone on the opposing team was praying that they'd win?
Another thing, I'm not sure exactly how to say this, but I find it quite odd/interesting how the God many people say they hear speak, seems to espouse the exact same opinions as their own. Sometimes the interactive personalized spirituality that I see among many Christians, seems to fail to recognize our human bent toward subjectivity and self-absorption.
So yes I know God speaks, but I also know God is silent.
It's the silent part that caused me to pick up Tucker's book. She makes a statement in her introduction that captivated my interest:
"Much has been written on the silence of God, but most often with a sigh of resignation - as though the silence is something that we endure. Here I maintain that silence is better than speaking if for no other reason than the fact that silence is far less open to misinterpretation and disagreement than is the spoken word. When God is silent, no one can claim to be God's spokesperson and interpret for God. We too must be silent, and that's not all bad."
As I'm reading this book it's apparent that Tucker is a Dispensationalist. Specifically, she seems to believe in that part of dispensation theology that thinks God works in specific ways only during specific times. So she would, and actually does, say
"the talkative God of today is a second-rate version of the tirnitarian God, who as the Father spoke in times past, who as the Son incarnate lived among us, and who as Spirit inspired and illumines the Scriptures, the silent Word of God"
Seems to me she thinks the only way God speaks to us today is by the Holy Spirit illuminating God's written Word, the Holy Scriptures.
While I can't exactly agree with that, I think she makes some very interesting points. And I would sincerely be very interested in hearing your thoughts on what she has to say. Specifically, do you think that the "talkative" God of today is a second rate version of God? Why or why not? Do you think that we're better off silent sometimes?
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