93. pissed and happy (caution, potty mouth)
(FYI, this has nothing to do with the Apples/Oranges thing…orange you glad about that?)
I am really fucking pissed, but I’m really crazy-happy at the same time, and it’s all over the same thing. Blake (aka Clone A) let me borrow two CDs of this guy, Greg Koukl. The CDs are from a talk he gave called, “Decision Making and the Will of God.”
I’m happy because FINALLY after years of frustration and confusion and heartache and guilt (and I could go on), a fellow Christian has confirmed something that I’ve been sensing and thinking for a long time, but have generally been too afraid to mention (although I have written about it here – see blog 87 and blog 60) – that this “hearing from God” business is not something to be found in the Bible, at least not in the way that it’s spoken about in most churches.
I’m happy about that because I never felt comfortable, I never understood, I could never relate to all the talk of “hearing from God” – God told me, I was led by the Spirit to…, I prayed and God gave me confirmation, God opened/closed a door. I’d hear all of these phrases tossed about like candy at a parade, but it never made sense to me. And finally in the last few years, I began to suspect that something was amiss – that the problem wasn’t my lack of faith or discipline, it was a problem of church culture.
But I felt alone in this thinking…until I got to listen to this CD. Koukl opens his talk with some of the very frustrations I mentioned in my blogs – and I was so relieved, so glad, so comforted by that. And it’s not just that Koukl blasts these ideas about hearing from God, he backs up his ideas with scripture – something that the people who advocate hearing from God often fail to do.
And now I feel like a giant weight had been lifted from my shoulders and I’m finally able to breathe free and I’m able to stretch my arms and my legs.
But I’m also pissed because the weight that’s finally been cast off was put there by shitty, sloppy theology. I’ve wasted so much of my life waiting to hear from God. A lot of the frustrations I felt in the last few blogs (about Apples and Oranges) came out of mistaken ideas about knowing God’s will for my life. A lot of the frustrations I’ve felt about a lot of things in my life have come out of this same misconception. And that pisses me off because it was fed to me by the very people whom God has trusted with my well being – his church leaders.
And it pisses me off that there are far more Christians still out there living with the same confusion and frustration that I used to feel. And it pisses me off that they don’t get to have a say in church because this “hearing from God” business is as ubiquitous as it is untrue.
But I’m only half-way through the message series, and it’s past 1AM and I’m dozing off between paragraphs.
I’ll write more soon as these new ideas sink in.
Stay tuned, because boy do I have a bone to pick with contemporary church culture….