Divine Revelation or God Told Me…..

I spent twelve years living in Greece and while I encountered many cultural differences that made life interesting one thing that NEVER happened to me was someone telling me “God told me” or “God told me to tell you”.

Divine revelation is a beautiful thing isn’t it?

I’m of the belief that God can do whatever He likes so I usually listen without trying to laugh because you never know, right?

My usual audible response to the “God told me to tell you” is to ask them “why doesn’t He just tell me himself rather than tell you”?

It’s reasonable, right?

Their response is always the same; “It’s because you aren’t listening”.

Hmmmmm. Now that is like a punch in the gut isn’t it?

So, it’s all about testing time for me (1John 4:1). As the text says plainly not all spirits are actually from God no matter what people think or say.

I had one guy always telling me “God told me” and how he “knew” things about, for example, my time in Greece that he couldn’t possibly know because “God told him”.

He never got around to actually telling me so not only did this fella have “divine revelation” but he and God were actually gossiping about me?

His “god” sounds more like Allah than the God of the Bible.

So one day I’m talking with this fella about the Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters and I speculated he might be suffering from appendicitis. He immediately informed me that he “knew that” because “the Lord told me”.

Turns out Waiters was suffering from food poisoning. So either “god didn’t know” or “god lied”. No matter which is of no matter to me because nothing is hidden from the God of the Bible (Hebrews 4:16).

Whether these folks think they are speaking for God or not the moment they claim they received their instructions directly from God Himself, and the instruction, revelation or secret or whatever they’ve conjured up in their mind turns out false they become false prophets.

 Jeremiah 23:16

This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.

And there you go. No diagnosis of their mental state necessary. No name calling or calling him out by name on a blog. Stop listening and keep it moving.

Pray too.

We didn’t talk about any of this on this weeks Calvin’s Corner. We did talk about “Deflate Gate”, “Sinners Prayers”, “Altar Calls” and whether either tradition is harmful or whatever. We also talked about the father of such traditions Charles Finney. I’ll leave the player below or you can download the program via the link underneath the player.

[audio http://media.blubrry.com/calvinscorner/archive.org/download/CalvinsCorner20/CalvinsCorner20.mp3]

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The Saddest Altar Call I’ve Ever Seen!

failcity1

Anyone who has ever watched a Billy Graham Crusade has witnessed what is commonly referred to as an “altar call”. You know what I’m talking about, right? That endless stream of people walking/running or whatever to the front of the podium supposedly to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.

That’s what an altar call is. Billy Graham wasn’t the one that invented it; Anglican ministers were the ones who did that. Charles Finney is the one that made the altar call famous.

The other night I saw a minister utilize the “altar call” and a couple of people responded to his call to accept Jesus yet no one was waiting there to pray with the respondent

The minister brought enough people with him to listen to him preach pray with respondents yet no one stepped forward to do so.

Usually there is someone waiting for the respondent supposedly to “pray with them and welcome them to the Kingdom”.

Sometimes people go forward to have someone pray with them for a very special need and again there is usually someone there to actually pray with them.

In this case the minister stood off to the side smiling while whispering to one of the other guys who led the show   service but neither of them made any attempt to pray with either person.

Did I forget to mention an “altar call” can’t be found in the Good Book?

I’ve been guilty of this before and I’m sure some of you have either called for one or have taken part in one. That doesn’t make it right does it?

Praying with people publicly is biblical (James 5:14-15). If that was the reason for calling folks up there in the first place that would have been a good thing.

Having folks make a public profession of faith is also biblical (Romans 10:9). Neither of the two fellas coming forward made any type of public anything nor were they asked to.

They walked up their alone, knelt down alone, prayed alone and walked back to their seats alone.

Like I said it was a very sad altar call.

I don’t want to get into motives here but some have actually used the “altar call” as a sort of census or way to count how many folks got “saved” while they preached.

I can’t say that was the case here but I can’t say it wasn’t either.

Did I mention these altar calls aren’t in the Good Book?

I want to be generous and say the minister had the very best intentions when they asked folks to come forward. I’d like to say there may have been some mis-communication between the lead minister and his associate.

I also want a yacht but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

The saddest part of all this is the message it sent. Christianity is meant to be done in community not in a vacuum.

No one from that community embraced either of those two fellas. They didn’t acknowledge them, shake their hand, nothing.

I didn’t pray with them either. That makes me just as culpable as they are.

Like I said it was the saddest altar call I ever saw.

Something that made me happy this week was recording Calvin’s Corner with my friend Pastor Michael Newnham. This week Michaels Minnesota Vikings beat my New York Jets in the first ever Calvin’s Corner Bowl, we talked about how we as Christians should respond to former Baltimore Raven Running Back Ray Rice, feuding over Eschatology and much more. I’ll leave the player below or you can use the link just above the player to download the program to your portable listening device.

DOWNLOAD THE MP3

[audio http://media.blubrry.com/calvinscorner/archive.org/download/CalvinsCorner13/CalvinsCorner13.mp3]