Do You Jesus Sprinkle? (Using God-Language for Validation)
“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.
Many Christians rag on the Roman Catholic Pope for speaking on ex cathedra. Nevertheless, how many popes do we have in our local church?
Here’s to removing some of the Jesus Sprinkles…
(Just some initial thoughts…some of the these thoughts will be refined and presented in book form later on this year…hopefully…would enjoy your feedback)Â