Thursday, January 4, 2007

New Year...New Revelation?

Have you heard? Pat Robertson is claiming that God told him the U.S. is going to experience a massive terrorist attack in 2007. God also told Robertson that in 2006 the U.S. coastline would be hit by a “tsunami-like storm.” Maybe I missed it, but I didn't hear of a tsunami wiping out Florida. Granted, it does take news awhile to reach Brooksburg.
The media scoffs at Robertson for his predictions. But if these were just predictions, they would be okay. Robertson, on the other hand, claims these to be words from the Lord! That jumps from the category of prediction to prophecy. There are a whole host of things wrong with this. Let me just point out two.
First, in Scripture, when God foretells a terrible event (like a massive terrorist attack) He gives the reason why the event will take place. Our Lord always interprets His actions. For instance, when the Lord says that He will punish Judah in Amos 2:4-5, He tells them the reason: “because they have rejected the law of the Lord” (v. 4). When the Lord sent Nahum to preach judgment to Nineveh, He gives the reason (Nahum 3:19): “For upon whom has not come your unceasing evil?”
Compare that with Pat Robertson’s “prophecy.” God’s Word is always specific/Robertson tiptoes around the details. God’s Word always tells why the judgment/Robertson doesn't mention why this attack would happen. Though he does seem to suggest it might have something to do with the American government's mixed relationship with the Israeli government. I don't want to get into all that, but the current nation of Israel (founded in 1948) is not the biblical nation of Israel.
Here’s the main problem with Robertson’s claims of conversation with God: It ruins the doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture. God has already revealed everything we need to know for faith and practice... everything. It's found in His Word, the Bible. We need no new prophecies or revelations. But it's not just charismatics who do this. We, too, need to be careful how we word things. We often go about saying, "God told me to..." or "God said ___ to me." Well, what we mean is that the Holy Spirit led us to do something or that we felt convicted in a certain area. God is not privately revealing more to us than what we already have in Scripture.
So many Christians today (especially our charismatic brothers...notice I say brothers) are wanting a "fresh word" or "new revelation" from God. But why? It's because we want something new. The latest fad, the newest trend. But the Word of God has already been revealed. We need no more than what is found on the pages of Genesis to Revelation. We do not need new, fresh words... we need those ancient words, those precious words of old. They, and not the fresh predictions of a T.V. preacher, will prepare us for 2007 - and ultimately for all eternity.

3 comments:

Jarod said...

Josh, I think you are right. The Holy Spirit is there to remind us of what God has already said in His word. The Holy Spirit comforts us by illuminating our hearts and minds to the word of God. He may reveal something specific for us to do but it will always be aligned with what God has already commanded us to do. It would be wise for us to make studying God's word our new year's resolution this year. If God's word is not hidden in our hearts then He has nothing to illuminate or reveal to us. This year, let us treasure God's word in our hearts and meditate on it day and night so when the Holy Spirit does speak to us He has something to say.

Josh Culbertson said...

That last line of your comment, Jarod, is great. I'll have to quote you in a sermon sometime!

ruthc said...

Josh, I enjoy reading all your articles. May God continue to bless you and Diana in your ministry. "Amen!" to "New Year...New Revelation?"
Ruth