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Please Stop Saying — “God Told Me”
Delivered by Grace ^ | 09/07/2017 | by Josh Buice

Posted on 09/07/2017 12:34:17 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

It happened again recently. I was listening to a sermon online and the preacher said, “God told me.” Apparently everyone in the congregation enjoyed it from the response I heard, but I immediately turned it off. This type of communication is becoming more prevalent in Christian circles. It’s showing up in conversations because people are hearing it from the pulpit and reading it in books they purchased from the local Christian bookstore. Perhaps it sounds spiritual or is emotionally stirring to the congregation.

Although the “God told me” method of communicating makes for interesting, suspenseful, and entertaining stories, what people need most is to hear from God. I would like to make a simple request. Please stop saying “God told me” unless the phrase is immediately followed up with a text of Scripture. Have you considered the connection between the “God told me” language and the sufficiency of Scripture? What connection does the “God told me” phrase have with the third of the Ten Commandments?

The “God Told Me” Language Violates the Sufficiency of Scripture

If God spoke to Moses from a burning bush (Ex. 3:4-6), to Samuel in the dark of night (1 Sam. 3:1-9), to Elijah in a cave (1 Kings 19:9), to John the Baptist and others at Jesus’ baptism (Mark 1:9-11), and to Saul (subsequently Paul) and his traveling companions on the road leading to Damascus (Acts 9:4-7)—why would God not speak to us today? That’s a fair question, but it might surprise you to know that God does still speak to us today. He does so through His sufficient and authoritative Word.

In chapter 1 and paragraph 6 of the 2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith (1689), we find these words:

The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelation of the Spirit, or traditions of men.

During the days of the Old Testament, God was communicating to prophets in order to write Holy Scripture and to prepare the way for Jesus’ birth. All of the audible communication of God has direct connection to the redemptive plan of God to save sinners. God’s direct communication with His people was not centered on what to eat for breakfast, the need to give money to a random person at a bus stop, or to go join a group of college students at a morning workout.

During the days of the New Testament, and the early church period, God’s audible voice, although rare, was connected to the redemptive plan of God in Jesus Christ. Once the Bible was completed, there was no longer any need for God to speak to people audibly or to provide direct (divine) communication. God has communicated everything necessary for faith and life, worship and service, in His sufficient Word. To use the “God told me” language violates the sufficiency of Scripture. Simply put, it needs to stop.

It’s strange that many churches that once stood courageously for the inerrancy of Scripture in the past frequently employ the “God told me” language in their pulpit today. We don’t allow Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses to play the “God told me” divine revelation card, and we shouldn’t allow Baptists or Presbyterians or Methodists or mainstream evangelicals to have a free pass on this crucial issue.

The “God told me” language majors on our stories rather than God’s story. We need more of God and less of us in our singing and preaching today. If people are genuinely hungry to hear from God, we must direct them to God’s Word. To raise children on “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so” and to emphasize the authority of God’s Word is a good thing. But, when those same children arrive in the worship service on the Lord’s Day and hear a preacher waxing eloquent about how God talked directly to him in the early hours of the morning — that’s severely inconsistent. John MacArthur writes:

Preoccupied with mystical encounters and emotional ecstasies, [many] seek ongoing revelation from heaven – meaning that, for them, the Bible alone is simply not enough. [With them], biblical revelation must be supplemented with personal “words from God,” supposed impressions from the Holy Spirit, and other subjective religious experiences. That kind of thinking is an outright rejection of the authority and sufficiency of Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16–17). It is a recipe for far-reaching theological disaster. [1]

The “God Told Me” Language Uses God’s Name in Vain

Although some people unintentionally use the “God told me” vocabulary without understanding the implications, in other cases, certain people and preachers use the phrase as a means of claiming that they actually heard directly from God. This intentional use of God’s name is a clear violation of the third commandment (Deut. 5:11).

For whatever the reason, some people feel compelled to us God’s name as a stamp of approval on their stories, their decision to move churches, their decision to go into the ministry, or their decision to take a job transfer. Either way, it’s not true. It’s intellectually dishonest. We as evangelicals must not allow people to continually get away with using this language. We certainly shouldn’t celebrate it. Hear the word of Charles Spurgeon from a sermon he preached titled, “The Paraclete,” October 6, 1872:

Take care never to impute the vain imaginings of your fancy to Him [the Holy Spirit]. I have seen the Spirit of God shamefully dishonored by persons – I hope they were insane – who have said that they have had this and that revealed to them. There has not for some years passed over my head a single week in which I have not been pestered with the revelations of hypocrites or maniacs. Semi-lunatics are very fond of coming with messages from the Lord to me, and it may spare them some trouble if I tell them once for all that I will have none of their stupid messages… Never dream that events are revealed to you by heaven, or you may come to be like those idiots who dare impute their blatant follies to the Holy Ghost. If you feel your tongue itch to talk nonsense, trace it to the devil, not to the Spirit of God. Whatever is to be revealed by the Spirit to any of us is in the Word of God already – He adds nothing to the Bible, and never will. Let persons who have revelations of this, that, and the other, go to bed and wake up in their senses. I only wish they would follow the advice and no longer insult the Holy Ghost by laying their nonsense at His door. [2]

It is through the Word of God that we hear God proclaim to us the reality of sin (Rom. 3). From the Scriptures, we hear God declare good news that makes us wise unto salvation (2 Tim. 3:14-15). God speaks from His Word to correct us and warn us of error (2 Tim. 3:16-17). As we continue to hear God speak through His Word, we grow into spiritual maturity and experience the ongoing renewal of our minds (Rom. 12:1-2). God speaks today, but we must not cling to extrabiblical revelations. Such words are empty and impotent sayings that are more closely associated with mysticism than Christianity.

Important questions to ask when someone uses the “God told me” language:

  1. If the “God told me” language is used in the context of a sermon preached by one of your pastors (or a guest preacher), rather than attacking him online, setup a private meeting to discuss the matter in person. Show respect and ask for specifics to be sure you are not misunderstanding.
  2. Is this direct communication from God necessary if we already have the completed canon of Scripture (all 66 books)?
  3. Is the person using the “God told me” language in order to manipulate you in some way?
  4. Is the person seeking to validate their poor life decision by attaching God’s name to it?
  5. Is the “God told me” language being employed in the context of asking for money?
  6. Is the person using the name of God to aspire to an office in the local church?
  7. Is the “God told me” language in direct contradiction to any doctrine or truth revealed in Scripture?

An appeal to those who preach and teach the Bible:

  1. Remember Paul’s words to Timothy—Preach the Word (2 Tim. 4:1-5). We should preach the Word and not our stories.
  2. According to Ecclesiastes 12:14, one day we will give an account of every secret thing and every careless word that proceeds from our mouths (Matt. 12:36).
  3. It is our duty to maximize God and minimize ourselves in the pulpit. If people leave church services remembering your riveting story about God talking to you instead of remembering God’s Word, you’ve done the people a great disservice.
  4. Your “God told me” language makes others who obviously don’t hear Him speak in an audible voice (everyone in the congregation) feel sub-par in their Christian life. It also serves as a means of puffing up your spiritual level to an elite status above the normal Christian. This shouldn’t be the goal in preaching.
  5. If God didn’t actually speak to you in audible voice, please stop using the phrase, “God told me” when you’re telling stories in your sermons.
  6. Brother pastor, if you have someone speak in your pulpit who uses that type of language, it’s your responsibility to correct it with your people. Their spiritual maturity and development depends upon you being faithful in this area.

Don’t immediately classify a friend as a lunatic or a heretic if they use the “God told me” language in their communication. However, when you hear people talking in this manner, it should serve as a big red flag. Exercise wisdom and gentleness when confronting this error among friends or church members, but in the case of calling out false teachers, mark them so that others will not be led astray.

  1. John MacArthur, Strange Fire, (Nashville, Nelson Books, 2013), 218.
  2. Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “The Paraclete,” October 6, 1872 [Sermon].

TOPICS: Moral Issues; Prayer; Theology
KEYWORDS: god; revelation; scripture
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1 posted on 09/07/2017 12:34:17 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

How do you argue with God?

What do you say when someone says, God told me to do it?”

I have the same reaction to a man’s “God told me to do it,” as I do to the man who says, “The devil made me do it.” Way down deep something tells me that, whether God or devil, it was the man’s own desires that had a lot to do with it.

I certainly don’t want to second guess God. But neither do I want to give the first guess to a blinded believer. Am I fighting God if I question the man’s claim? Must I get behind him and his project simply and solely because he says God told him to do it? Is his claim my last court of appeal?

A man who flatly says, “God told me to do it,” may be absolutely right. However, the possibility is there that he could be absolutely wrong. He could be “using” God to con me into cooperation. Or, to be more charitable, he could be seeking reinforcement for his conviction because of an uncertainty that nags at him in his own heart. So, by emphatically stating that “God told me to do it,” he “signs” God’s signature to his own idea, and puts me in a position of challenging God!

2 posted on 09/07/2017 12:36:13 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Jeez, you wanna put televangelists out of work?

3 posted on 09/07/2017 12:38:14 PM PDT by sparklite2 (I'm less interested in the rights I have than the liberties I can take.)
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To: SeekAndFind

So you are trying to say that God never speaks to us except through His word? Is there scripture to show that God has stopped speaking to us?

4 posted on 09/07/2017 12:40:34 PM PDT by Craftmore
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To: SeekAndFind


5 posted on 09/07/2017 12:41:20 PM PDT by Roman_War_Criminal (Americans are modern day Amorites ripe for destruction)
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To: SeekAndFind

I talked to Him this morning and He told me that Josh Bruce is a bonehead.

6 posted on 09/07/2017 12:44:54 PM PDT by humblegunner
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To: Craftmore

It gets a little dicey though. When i was a kid, the deacons told the preacher that God told them it was time for our church to find a new preacher.
He said God told him the exact opposite. So there they were, in a Mexican standoff.

7 posted on 09/07/2017 12:45:06 PM PDT by DesertRhino (Dog is man's best friend, and moslems hate dogs. Add that up.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I was in a southern gospel band here in central KY for about two years. We played at a lot of those small churches, mostly baptist.

I heard so much unmitigated crap coming from those “lay-prachers” that I had finally had it one day and challenged what he was saying, though very discretely.

The problem is that this was the culture of the rest of the band - listening to preachers yell for a half hour without really focusing on any partucular message, with one of the elders occasionally yelling, “preach it, brother.”

So I was fired from the band. They only kept me in as long as they did because I’m a pretty good bass player and they nicknamed me “The Professor” because I seemed to know a lot of stuff they didn’t know. They already knew I was challenged by a lot of what I was hearing and they knew I was about to blow. And none of them would even listen to what I was trying to say. Not one. i.e. they were part of that culture.

It’s sad that a person can say almost anything from a pulpit and people will just believe it because, well, it’s coming from “God’s house”.


8 posted on 09/07/2017 12:45:25 PM PDT by robroys woman
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To: SeekAndFind
YouTube: "Percy Sutton [Malcom X's Lawyer] Says Barack Obama Knows And Was Financed By The Racist Radical Muslim And Saudi Advisor Dr. Khalid Al-Mansour, Part II"

From a special edition of Hannity's America, October 5, 2008
Episode title: "Obama & Friends: History of Radicalism"
YouTube: "Another Obama Mentor [Khalid Abdullah Tariq al-Mansour] Caught Ranting Against Whitey":

Image result for Khalid  al-Mansour

whatever you do to [white people], they deserve it, God wants you to do it and that’s when you cut out the nose, cut out the ears, take flesh out of their body, don’t worry because God wants you to do it.

9 posted on 09/07/2017 12:47:59 PM PDT by ETL (See my FR Home page for a closer look at today's Communist/Anarchist protest groups)
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To: SeekAndFind

I hope this isn’t a caucus thread, and if it is, please accept my apologies and delete my post.

But I feel exactly the same way. Hillary Clinton is now saying God told her to do [fill in the blank]. I’m a Catholic, and our heretic Marxist atheist pope is now saying God told him to [fill in the blank].

10 posted on 09/07/2017 12:49:57 PM PDT by livius
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How many black nationalists were in Obama’s background?
How many black nationalists were in Obama’s administration?

11 posted on 09/07/2017 12:52:18 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (Did Barack Obama denounce Communism and dictatorships when he visited Cuba as a puppet of the State?)
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Quote from James Cone:

"Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal".

--African American Religious Thought: An Anthology (Paperback)
by Cornel West (Editor), Eddie S. Glaude Jr. (Editor)

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

SEAN HANNITY: But Reverend Jeremiah Wright is not backing down and has not for years and in his strong stance on the teaching of black liberation theology is nothing new. He had the same things to say last spring when he appeared on "Hannity & Colmes:"

WRIGHT: If you're not going to talk about theology in context, if you're not going to talk about liberation theology that came out of the '60s, systematized black liberation theology that started with Jim Cone in 1968 and the writings of Cone and the writings of Dwight Hopkins and the writings of womynist theologians and Asian theologians and Hispanic theologians, then you can't talk about the black value system.

HANNITY: But I'm a — reverend

WRIGHT: Do you know liberation theology, sir?,2933,354158,00.html

12 posted on 09/07/2017 12:52:33 PM PDT by ETL (See my FR Home page for a closer look at today's Communist/Anarchist protest groups)
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To: SeekAndFind

There was a time when ‘God told me’ I wasn’t done doing something when I thought I was. So I kept on. It wasn’t nearly as simple as it sounds.

13 posted on 09/07/2017 12:53:32 PM PDT by real saxophonist ( YouTube + Twitter + Facebook =
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To: SeekAndFind

I can see his point and agree strongly. Whenever I hear someone say “God told me” I pretty much know that what’s coming next will disagree with Scripture, as in, this person got some special “word” from God allowing them to engage in what the rest of us call sin.

14 posted on 09/07/2017 12:56:19 PM PDT by cyclotic (Trump tweets are the only news source you can trust.)
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To: Craftmore
So you are trying to say that God never speaks to us except through His word?

I won't say that. I will say this: If you claim "God told me X, Y and Z" I am not required to believe you, unless it's a direct quote from Scripture.

15 posted on 09/07/2017 12:58:37 PM PDT by NorthMountain (The Democrats ... have lost their grip on reality -DJT)
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To: SeekAndFind

Revelation 22:18
For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book.

16 posted on 09/07/2017 12:59:04 PM PDT by txrefugee (.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Funny you should post this. I have been having some real concerns about people, mostly those connected with prophesy, who repeatedly say this phrase. Here’s the very serious problem.

First, it conspicuously sets the preacher in the position that God exclusively talks to him, or at least gives that person special information that others are not privy to. This suggests the preacher is on another plain and is to be viewed as such. This is a pride issue, attracting attention to the supposed messenger rather than the message.

Second, it tacitly tells listeners that they cannot hear from God the way THIS preacher hears from God. While all gifts are certainly different, God can and will speak to everyone who calls upon His name.

I am disturbed by seeing this trend more and more.

17 posted on 09/07/2017 1:01:17 PM PDT by Obadiah
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To: Obadiah

“This suggests the preacher is on another plain and is to be viewed as such.”

Really. If a preacher tells you God is talking specifically to him, run like the wind. Cult...

18 posted on 09/07/2017 1:04:12 PM PDT by MayflowerMadam
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I remember watching that interview with Obama’s spiritual mentor, the “Reverend” Wright. I remember thinking at the time “why is he bringing up this Cone theology? He’s just saying from the get-go that his own theology is BS.”

19 posted on 09/07/2017 1:04:45 PM PDT by Sans-Culotte (Time to get the US out of the UN and the UN out of the US!)
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To: Sans-Culotte
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Obama's Church: Gospel of Hate
Kathy Shaidle,
Monday, April 07, 2008

In March of 2007, FOX News host Sean Hannity had engaged Obama’s pastor in a heated interview about his Church’s teachings. For many viewers, the ensuing shouting match was their first exposure to "Black Liberation Theology"...

Like the pro-communist Liberation Theology that swept Central America in the 1980s and was repeatedly condemned by Pope John Paul II, Black Liberation Theology combines warmed-over 1960s vintage Marxism with carefully distorted biblical passages. However, in contrast to traditional Marxism, it emphasizes race rather than class. The Christian notion of "salvation" in the afterlife is superseded by "liberation" on earth, courtesy of the establishment of a socialist utopia.

Catholics for Marx [Liberation Theology]
By Fr. Robert Sirico | Thursday, June 03, 2004

In the days when the Superpowers were locked in a Cold War, Latin America seethed with revolution, and millions lived behind an iron curtain, a group of theologians concocted a novel idea within the history of Christianity. They proposed to combine the teachings of Jesus with the teachings of Marx as a way of justifying violent revolution to overthrow the economics of capitalism.

The Gospels were re-rendered not as doctrine impacting on the human soul but rather as windows into the historical dialectic of class struggle. These "liberation theologians" saw every biblical criticism of the rich as a mandate to expropriate the expropriating owners of capital, and every expression of compassion for the poor as a call for an uprising by the proletarian class of peasants and workers.

20 posted on 09/07/2017 1:08:46 PM PDT by ETL (See my FR Home page for a closer look at today's Communist/Anarchist protest groups)
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