A reverend who introduced Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist during a breakfast with other pastors Monday said the Lord came to him in a dream two years ago and told him Crist would be the state's next governor.At a meeting with other pastors, Dozier introduced Crist this way:
The Lord Jesus spoke to me and he said 'There's something I want you to know,'" said Dozier, pastor of the Worldwide Christian Center in Pompano Beach. "'Charlie Crist will be the next governor of the state of Florida.'"
"I introduce to you, as the Lord Jesus has said, the next governor of the state of Florida, Charlie Crist," Dozier said.WOW! Why should we even bother holding an election down there? How did Crist respond?
Crist's first words were, "Well, as they say, the praise doesn't get any higher."
"It's the most amazing thing anyone's every told me," Crist said. "It's beyond overwhelming, but the reverend has a very strong faith in his heart and he's a good man. I'm very grateful for his help and his support and his belief."
And what of his opponent:
Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who is opposing Crist in the primary, wouldn't comment on the remarks after the event.And why should he? What could he possibly say to a statement like that? Of course, Gallagher and two other candidates were there. They were all running for the same office and it appears that at least Gallagher shares Crist's moral values and Christian beliefs.
This brings up a more important issue. More and more, people are talking like this, invoking God as a source for all sorts of things. Recently, Pat Robertson said that God "told him" that tsunamis will hit the northwest coast of the United States sometime this year.
God told him that in January but Robertson didn't tell anyone until a few weeks ago. When did God get so "fuzzy in the details"? God told Jonah "Forty days and Nineveh is destroyed."
Sometimes, it is not so blatant. When Johnny Hunt nominated Ronnie Floyd for the presidency of the Southern Baptist Convention, he opened with this statement: “With strong conviction in my heart under God’s Holy Spirit-led leadership, I will nominate Dr. Ronnie W. Floyd…”
Now, this is obviously Hunt's personal conviction but, as another has said, the wording here is subtly implying that to disagree with this nomination is to disagree with the Holy Spirit. What if another pastor, also a believer indwelt by the same Spirit, is "led by the Spirit" to nominate another? Does the Holy Spirit give contradictory "suggestions"?
Later, Hunt said Floyd "called me last Wednesday and informed me that he will humbly accept this nomination due to God speaking to him dramatically through Acts 16:6-10. He never sought it one moment, but was drafted supernaturally to let me nominate him to be our next president."
In the same way, what if another pastor, also a believer indwelt by the same Spirit, is "spoke to dramatically" by this passage to run himself or to nominate another?
The author of this passage had one thing in mind - to tell the readers of the events of Paul's life. That is all that can be inferred from this passage. Interpretation is easy. This passage deals with Paul's unsuccessful attempts to enter Bithynia. Instead, we read that Paul had a vision of man from Macedonia saying "Come over to Macedonia and help us." In verse ten, we see that "After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them."
I'm sure that's how Floyd would interpret this passage. However, application is more difficult. Some passages are easy to apply - "steal no longer." This passage is different. It is "descriptive," not "prescriptive." I'm do not think that this passage speaks to the nomination to SBC presidency.
We all get "feelings" but there is just NO WAY to know if that "peace" comes from the Lord or from your own personal desires or maybe from eating a Hershey bar with all those released endorphins running rampant through your system.
Here are three good books that will help you escape the pagan ideas of "iscovering" God's will:
- Bruce Waltke - "Finding the Will of God: A Pagan Notion?"
- Garry Friesen - "Decision Making and the Will of God : A Biblical Alternative to the Traditional View"
- Haddon Robinson - "Decision Making By the Book: How to Choose Wisely in an Age of Options"
However, the issue that needs to be addressed is the assumption that we can speak for God about anything based on a subjective feeling of "peace" that we can't adequately define. If it is the "peace that passes all understanding," who are we to say we understand it?
We do it all the time, myself included.
I, for one, will attempt to better edit my "theological language."