So here’s my beef. What’s with christians saying things like, “I think God is telling me to do (insert something here) because (insert reason here).” Now, I’m not drawing issue with whether or not God is truly in control of our lives or if he allows certain things to happen to get us to do things (however, it does seem incredibly against the idea of the “non-interventionist” god…). No, the real issue here is responsibility.
By claiming to the fact that God is in fact telling you to do something, what you are really doing is removing all responsibility from your actions and putting it on an “imaginary/distant/real” (depending on perspective) entity with whom direct communication (at least to me) seems very limited to one way only.
For example. Sally is dating Stan. Sally begins to doubt that she should stay in the relationship (reasons not crucial). Instead of simply accepting her decision, she claims that God is telling her to do leave BECAUSE of the forementioned non-crucial reasons. This subtle word play now puts Stan in an awkward position. Should he argue/discuss the non-crucial reasons with Sally? Well, this is hard since God has apparently told Sally through the “reasons” and then arguing apon that would mean arguing with God. Since God is infalible, Stan is therefore unable to “win” the discussion.
This tactic is used in many other ingenius ways. George W. Bush said that God told him to strike at Al Queda in Afgahnistan so he did. He then later said that God told him to strike at Saddam in Iraq. Now, I don’t like to judge (but I do it often 😉 ) but I don’t think of GWB as a prophet of any kind. And seriously, if God wanted Dubya to strike at Iraq, don’t you think he would have hinted at where the WMD would be? Just a thought…
Conclusion for the moment: Take stock of how often you truly accept responsibility for your actions. See how many times you attribute something to someone else (ie: That’s not my mess, I heard Ebert say this movie is good, the Bible says that we should…, God exists because Jenny believes in him etc)
To summarize, examine this quote from Immanuel Kant
“Immaturity is self-imposed when its cause lies not in the lack of understanding, but in the lack of resolve and courage to use it without guidance from another.”