Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.

2/15/2006

Hearing God's Voice

Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson is featured on the cover of the February 18 issue of World, a Christian magazine. The article says in part,
At the heart of some of his disputes with other Christians is a theological difference. All evangelicals believe that God answers prayer (although often not as we in our fallenness might choose) and speaks to us through the Bible. Mr. Robertson, like some other charismatics, believes that God speaks to him directly "all the time": For example, "The Lord spoke to me last year. Israel is entering into the most dangerous time in its history as a nation."

World Magazine's current issueMr. Robertson explains, "It's not conceited. We ask for leading . . . God did speak to me directly concerning this university, and it was real simple. He said, 'I want you to buy the land and build a school for My glory.'. . . This is the heritage of every Christian believer. If some people haven't had that blessing, I'm sorry, but I have. . . . You read Jeremiah. He said, 'The word of the Lord came to me.'. . . You read the Torah, 'the word of the Lord came to Moses,' 'The Lord said to Moses, tell the people.' The Lord spoke to Joshua. The Lord spoke to David."
The full text of the article is online here.

As one who has felt led by God to seminary, to start King of Peace Church, to create The Preschool, etc. I can't dismiss Robertson's assertion that God still speaks to the faithful. But how does God speak to us?

The traditional Anglican answer is that God does still speak to us and we come to hear God's voice in community. We discern God's will together knowing that God will not send The Answer to one person alone, but will also confirm the message in other ways. As I often put it, "God speaks in stereo." hearing God's VoiceSo in determining whether God is leading us (rather than me doing the leading alone) we trust a community of the faithful, which through scripture and the traditions of the church is broader than those who are alive today. And we pray for the Holy Spirit to guide us as we discern what is God's will and what is our own will. It's not easy and can be messy in fact, but I do believe that it is a faithful way to ensure that we are hearing God's voice and not our own inner monologue.

Back in the interview linked above, Pat Robertson admits that he now listens to other voices to prevent having to take back the strongest of his rhetoric. The article states,
Mr. Robertson said he was taking precautions to avoid more eruptions: Before broadcasts "I didn't use to review the news. Now prior to the air we go over the news stories. . . . I now have a former news producer from Good Morning America. I'm going to have an earpiece in my ear . . . he's going to be whispering in my ear . . . he's going to be in the control room, as the news comes up [he'll say], 'why don't you say this, why don't you suggest this, let's discuss this.'"
Now Robertson has someone speaking to him during his broadcast to help him discern what he should say. Not exactly the Anglican ideal of communal discernment, but it's closer.

How do you hear and discern God speaking to you?

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church

1 Comments:

  • At 2/15/2006 11:11 AM, Blogger St Michael's Episcopal Church said…

    Nicely done. Is God's call consistent with scripture, tradition, and reason? Certainly starting a church in an area where there is no Episcopal Church and starting a preschool is consistent as the Church has always gone to places where it previously did not exist and has long promoted education (and in fact has been the repository of education in parts of history). I have to filter my inner monologue with the question, "Who will benefit?" If I seem to be the one who will benefit the most, a red flag is raised. If the community benefits and the call I hear is consistent with my ordination vows and the Great Commission, I still bounce it around with those I feel are wise. The Holy Spirit calls each of us, but I'm not sure I believe that the Holy Spirit calls us to contradiction with the larger Body. The great definitions of our faith were articulated by the great councils and not individuals. Despite my inner struggle with the issue of sexuality in the church, and the proclamations of God's call on both sides of the issue, I must go back (in order to be consistent) and look at what the larger Body says.

     

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