A Burning, but Frustratingly Silent, Bush

I have been slowly slogging through a truly terrible book called “Experiencing God” by the Blackabys and working on a review. The twisted logic used to justify getting revelation through subjective experiences makes me want to throw my Kindle against the wall.

For example, they use the example of Moses’ life stating,“The experience of Moses beautifully portrays how God works in a person’s life.”Unfortunately, by “a person” they mean every Christian. God specifically called Moses, spoke verbally to Moses often, and knew him “face to face” (Deut 34:10). And, very importantly, Moses foreshadowed the coming of Jesus (Deut 18:15). The life of Moses should point us to Jesus. But, to the Blackabys, the life of Moses should point us to the mirror.

If that was not bad enough, they make the leap that because God spoke to Moses, he will also “speak” to you. They do not want you to recognize that they are equivocating on the meaning of the word “speak”. For Moses, it was actual, audible words. Remember the burning bush? “God called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’” (Exod 3:4). You, on the other hand, are supposed to see the signs in your life and magically decipher what God is speaking to you. They even have a cool diagram showing how this works. It seems so scientific, but it is nonsense.

So, in your life, if you see a burning bush, you will not hear God with your ears like Moses did. But according to the Blackabys, God is trying to communicate with you (just doing a very poor job of it, apparently). What is God trying to tell you through that burning bush? That you should call the fire department? That using fireworks in the forest in July is a bad idea? Perhaps, you should call up your old high school flame? Maybe God wants you to quit your job and become a missionary to the indigenous Bushmen in Namibia? Or was that in the Australian bush? Or Bush, Louisiana? It is so confusing!

Believe me, I understand the desire to get a clear direction from God as to what to do next in your life. I often want that too, but that is not how he has chosen to work in the world. If you want to be a missionary to Namibia and are qualified, go be one. If you want to call up that old high school flame, but you are currently married, then certainly that is not God’s will for your life – don’t do that! You do not need new revelation to know that is wrong. But, by all means call the fire department before that fire spreads. And next year, go watch the professionals set off the fireworks; even though God will not be speaking to you using bright, colorful lights in the sky. Most importantly, look to the Bible where God continues to speak clearly and unambiguously.

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