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Monday, April 9, 2018
God Told Me To Tell You...
"God told me," "God has revealed to me," "God has shown me," "God is now causing, " "God will now do this...," or "God demands that we...," and all the other "God speaks to me," concepts one can come up with? Far too often and it is a lie.
God tells a lot of people to do a lot of things evidently. Women have drown their children because "God told me to." Men have killed others, either as individuals or in whole groups because "God told me to." Ministers , falsely so called, in the Churches of God have with great authority announced what God is going to do or what God has revealed to them and now I pass it on to you only to make fools of themselves, again, with a false report. Traditionally they salvage their butts with "God is giving us more time" but I think that is just an excuse for mucking up.
I never heard a Church of God Prophet or Apostle say "God has shown me.... , however, I don't buy it and I am not going to pass it on to you because it is just rubbish." Rather, how often that voice just happens to agree 100% with how the receiver is thinking on that topic as well. How convenient. I guarantee you that David C Pack has never passed on what God wants or has revealed to him without Dave first thinking it all up on his own. That's how it really works.
Why can't we understand that when we talk to God, that's called prayer and relatively harmless. But that when God talks to us, we might be dealing with a whole new ball game here and some red lights might need to start flashing. How often do members of churches, sit "weakly" and listen to their pastor recall how God has told him this or that and no one even considers what the man is really saying. And they certainly don't seem to take exception to it. I find the ministry of Dave Pack's Restored Church of God to be the most either gullible or most kiss ass one can be in this regard. They have plenty of proof that Dave Pack is blowing smoke and yet they act impressed and compliant to their Dave-illogical beliefs
Thomas Paine, in The Age of Reason, made some interesting observations about the obligation those who do not hear the voice of God directly have to obey the words of the one who says God did talk to THEM personally.
"No one will deny or dispute the power of the Almighty to make such a communication, if he pleases. But admitting, for the sake of a case, that something has been revealed to a certain person, and not revealed to any other person, it is revelation to that person only. When he tells it to a second person, a second to a third, a third to a fourth, and so on, it ceases to be a revelation to all those persons. It is revelation to the first person only, and hearsay to every other, and consequently they are not obliged to believe it.
It is a contradiction in terms and ideas, to call anything a revelation that comes to us at second-hand, either verbally or in writing. Revelation is necessarily limited to the first communication -- after this, it is only an account of something which that person says was a revelation made to him; and though he may find himself obliged to believe it, it cannot be incumbent on me to believe it in the same manner; for it was not a revelation made to me, and I have only his word for it that it was made to him.
When Moses told the children of Israel that he received the two tables of the commandments from the hands of God, they were not obliged to believe him, because they had no other authority for it than his telling them so; and I have no other authority for it than some historian telling me so. The commandments carry no internal evidence of divinity with them; they contain some good moral precepts, such as any man qualified to be a lawgiver, or a legislator, could produce himself, without having recourse to supernatural intervention."
As teen and certainly as a minister I knew this tale that the Apostle Paul wove and always found myself asking, "was that so?" I found it hard to believe it really happened then and I know now it never really happened literally. Yet Paul insisted...
1I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to gain, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord.
…2I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of it I do not know, but God knows. 3And I know that this man — whether in the body or out of it I do not know, but God knows — 4was caught up into Paradise. The things he heard were too sacred for words, things that man is not permitted to tell.…
ll Corinthians 12:2-4
Of course, Paul was talking about himself . But why bother telling us this happened when you can't reveal what happened or what you saw? I always thought he just wanted to sound important or called and special so he makes up this "God showed me" story to give himself credentials and credibility of some kind.
It's a familiar ruse. I grew up myself near Hill Cumorah, the place where Joseph Smith found the Golden Plates of Mormonism.
"According to Latter Day Saint belief, the golden plates (also called the gold plates or in some 19th-century literature, the golden bible) are the source from which Joseph Smith said he translated the Book of Mormon, a sacred text of the faith. Some witnesses described the plates as weighing from 30 to 60 pounds (14 to 27 kg), being golden in color and being composed of thin metallic pages engraved on both sides and bound with three D-shaped rings.
Smith said he found the plates on September 22, 1823, at a Hill, near his home in Manchester, New York, after the angel Moroni directed him to a buried stone box. Smith said the angel at first prevented him from taking the plates but instructed him to return to the same location in a year. In September 1827, on his fourth annual attempt to retrieve the plates, Smith returned home with a heavy object wrapped in a frock, which he then put in a box. Though he allowed others to heft the box, he said that the angel had forbidden him to show the plates to anyone until they had been translated from their original "reformed Egyptian" language. Smith dictated the text of the Book of Mormon over the next several years, claiming that it was a translation of the plates. He did so by using a seer stone, which he placed in the bottom of a hat and then placed the hat over his face to view the words written within the stone. Smith published the translation in 1830 as the Book of Mormon.
Smith eventually obtained testimonies from eleven men, known as the Book of Mormon witnesses, who said they had seen the plates. After the translation was complete, Smith said he returned the plates to the angel Moroni. Therefore, the plates cannot be examined. Latter Day Saints believe the account of the golden plates as a matter of faith, and critics often assert that either Smith manufactured the plates himself or that the Book of Mormon witnesses based their testimony on visions rather than physical experience."
The Golden Plates
I'm going to guess Joseph Smith was a liar.
Plainly put, if you didn't hear it from God, you don't have to believe it! How simple. How much misery could be saved if we could look those in the eye who say God speaks to them and say, "well, I'm glad for you, but don't expect me to give up my job, money, home, family, my vote or my life because God told you to tell me to....Because if he can take the time to have a direct chat with you about these, he can take a few extra minutes and come over to see me too." This way there won't be any room for doubt and I can make up my own mind as to whether that was really God or not. I'd tend to vote no.
Just because Dave Pack announces that now we all hold everything in common because that is what God wants, doesn't mean we have to do it. Just because God tells his man of faith and power it's time to flee to Petra...well I hope you get the point.
While we might kid about those through whom God channels his will to us, without verification, it's not all that funny when things go wrong with misdirected religious organizations and self appointed Apostles, Watchers and Prophets. We do have our Jonestown, Heaven's Gate and Waco to haunt us. But it is almost a habit of mind for those that follow others in their religious perspectives to agree with everything they say or do simply because they are told it the context of "God told me," or "God wants us to.." and never think a critical thought asking if that really be so.
Remember what the scripture says..."In the last days, narcissists and schizophrenics shall wax worse and worse and shall deceive many...and if they say, "lo hath God told me this or that, believe it not, give not of thine shekels nor offer up thine children on hearsay and much speculation as if it were from God. For it prolly be not of God and thou shalt save thine self and all thy household with thee..."