Mark Dever, pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D. C., the successor to Dr. Carl F. H. Henry, founder of 9Marks Ministries, and speaker at bi-annual “Together for the Gospel” conferences, has written a great post on “The Bondage of Guidance,” in which he bursts the bubble of those who don’t realize that waiting for God’s “still, small voice” to direct all of your decision making, is really a form of mysticism which can undermine the sufficiency of Scripture. Many have heard this practice prescribed from pulpits for so long, that even those who confess faith inthe sufficiency of Scripture are among its chief proponents and practitioners.
Subjectivism reigns among modern American Christians. Otherwise orthodox believers who grew up being taught the memory verse, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105, KJV), even having grown up singing these words with Amy Grant, yea, and even the generations prior to ours, regularly turn from the objective divine guidance recorded for them in the Bible, praying for wisdom and acting on their “sanctified common sense,” and wait with Elijah to mystically hear God speak directly to them in the “still, small voice” to guide them in their daily decision-making process.
Nothing will do our systems better than to give them a good flushing out with some Bible-based objectivism. Read Dever’s post (linked above), and then go over to the blog of my buddy, Gage Browning’s church, Grace Community Presbyterian Church and read the helpful discussion of this same post in their post, “What To Do, What To Do . . . “
But first, here’s an excerpt from Dever’s sage counsel on seeking guidance from God’s will:
I do believe that God’s Spirit will sometimes lead us subjectively. So, for instance, I am choosing to spend my life here on Capitol Hill because my wife & I sensed in 1993 that that is what God wanted us to do. However, I realized then (and now) that I could be wrong about that supposition. Scripture is NEVER wrong.
There is also some interesting and relevant discussion about the general tendency of American Christianity toward gnostic-like mysticism in yesterday’s episode of the White Horse Inn to which I have linked in the sidebar. About twenty-one minutes into the program, host Michael Horton quotes the provocative words of a critic of American Christianity which we discount to our own discredit:
‘Whatever the stated doctrinal positions that stated American Evangelicalism shares with historic Christianity, Mormons and Southern Baptists call themselves Christians, but, like most Americans, they’re closer to ancient gnostics than to early Christians.