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Do You Jesus Sprinkle?

September 8, 2008

This is a blog that my friend/college professor Charles Lee wrote a few months ago.  I thought it was good enough to share.

“God is leading me…God told me…God is saying…God is transitioning me…God asked me to…I didn’t want to, but God..I was going to sing this song, but God…God did it!”

Do you ever feel like people unnecessarily inject God-language into conversations as a means of validation to justify a personal decision (big or small)? It’s almost as if many Christians are subconsciously pressured to include what I call “a little Jesus sprinkle” whenever announcing any decision that remotely sounds spiritual.

I personally feel that the use of such language handcuffs those receiving the words to some extent. If someone says that God is leading, who am I to say he isn’t? In this context, there is very little room for dialog with someone who thinks they have heard from God.

Let me begin by stating that I do believe that God “leads” and could speak audibly to those he desires to communicate with. Unfortunately, in all honesty, I have a difficult time knowing for sure how this “leading” works out in real life. It sounds so much better in a sterile environment of theological conversation. Apart from audible revelation, how certain can we be with “hearing God’s voice” (not to mention, many of us would even doubt audible revelation)?

I sometimes wonder if God-language just makes us feel better about our choice. The notion of God “having our backs” or leading us can be a great source of comfort and confidence. It also gives us a sense of authority to move forward and tell others that we are moving forward. Some of this may be healthy, but some of it sounds misleading or even manipulative.

Could it be that God does lead in the sense that he has created us with the ability to learn more about him in relationship along with the skills to think through how our relational understanding of him affects our life decisions? Could it be that God is not technically the one moving us like a pawn in our path of life? Could our relationship with him be more dynamic than that? Maybe it’s like a dance where he leads but grants us the freedom to respond willfully in partnership with him.

I know…to some this sounds like I am diminishing notions of his sovereignty (and no, I’m not an open theist…as beautiful as some of it sounds.).

Actually, my concern is not God, but our interpretation of his “leading”. Why don’t we just say “we think” he might be leading? I know it doesn’t have the same kind of bang, but I wonder if it would be more honest.”

 

What do you guys think about this?

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4 comments

  1. I remember when I was a new Christian being a total “Sprinkler” because it was what was modeled to me. I saw my leadership with God this and God that and thought His thoughts were my thoughts not understanding the difference between His voice and my own. I think that that could be what is happening sometimes. I don’t think it is something done intentionally for the most part. There are occasions where that little bit of “sprinkle” can get you out of jam though. Like when you get pulled over because your just sure God wanted you to speed on the freeway while singing along to that praise music! 🙂 I once heard a sermon from a pastor who got pulled over and just said to the officer “I was lead by the Spirit of the Lord to Praise”. He got a warning. 🙂


  2. this is an interesting topic. You hear a lot of people use a little bit of “sprinkle” at times to justify things, and honestly we can tend to get in the habit of doing it ourselves. You know I got into a discussion with Jaysen Farr today about this very thing. Does God really audibly speak to us? And if so, why do only certain people “claim” to hear Him. We were both talking about those prophetic ministries which are great, but say they hear the voice of God and many times are able to prophecy the voice of the Lord to people. I mean honestly, I have felt an urge or a sense of discernment, and have even a few times received a picture from the Lord, but to say I have heard the voice of God… So my question is, does God speak differently to different people. Or do we all have to go to class to learn how to hear from God and get direction. See I think many times that God’s “voice” is sitting in our faces most of the time; it’s in the Word, or in the voice of consul, or even simply by an open or closed door. Anyway, this is an interesting topic to think about. Great Word pastor…


  3. For me hearing Gods voice is through the word for the most part. I have never audibly heard His voice and yet there is a knowing of His will and a discernment that can be tested with scripture.

    Coming from a Catholic, then baptist before foursquare background I admit some of the old sceptical thoughts come in at times when I hear someone say “God told me … I was given this word from the Lord…” and it is something you can’t really test them on through scripture.

    When I was a baptist our pastor alway shared we shouldn’t accept anyone saying something that couldn’t be tested against scripture as being true. Part of it is discernment that tells you if it’s truely from the Lord but I still have that Bible Baptist girl in me that says “show me the money… Where is that in scripture”.

    I always think of my brothers when I think of people who claim things that seem impossible or over the top in Gods name. My brother doesn’t believe and feels that Christianity is a crutch or grand marketing scheme hoax to fool people into giving money.

    I tend to be sensitive to what things would sound like to him as a non-believer hearing them. In his eyes I am already wierd enough as a Christian so I try to refrain from using “Christianese language” and stick to the basics that he can understand. Sprinkling around non-Christians can be dangerous and drive them further away.


  4. I don’t know. I think that the message is really good, I think that it applies to most people. I like what the Michele girl comented with watching the “Jesus sprinkle” when with non believers. But honnestly… I go through seasons where I can seriously have conversations with God… and yes I agree that I think that it’s hard to believe stuff if Scripture doesn’t back it up, but… i think a lot of times I’ve heard God speak and then something will happen to confirm it. So I guess… watching your balance would be my best opinion. Like if you think you’ve heard from God, don’t get your heart completely set on it until it’s confirmed or Scripture backs it up. I’m not sure. Just my high school aged opinion ha.



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