Friday, May 30, 2008
Christian Decision Making - Final Principles
Now that I have discussed what's wrong with the Evangelical-Dualistic approach to decision making, I want to lay out some principles that I think are much more in touch with the reality which God has made.
1) Most of the time God doesn't give a rat's ass about which choice you make. Believe it or not, God does not have an opinion about most of the decisions that you make in your life. I'm sorry, but you are not the center of the universe. This does not mean that God doesn't love you immensely nor that God is not in control but he's not your butler either. But nowhere in scripture can you support the ideal that God is a micro-manager nor do we live in a fatalistic universe.
God created you (me, everyone) and this wonderful world. He created our minds our bodies. Our taste, desires and dreams have developed through our experiences and most of the time these are amoral in themselves . . . neither good or bad. But God, who loves us, wants us to enjoy what he's made. God looks at this wonderful world He's made and turns us loose and says, "Enjoy it baby!"
Of course I am not saying that we are free to sin (and sin is to be defined narrowly here, not every little imperfection that "may not please God" like spitting, miss-pronouncing words . . . yada, yada, yada is sin. Evangelicalism has a yoke of "sin" that is unbearable for any mortal. Things like, "Don't offend another Christian. Don't be a bad witiness." Here is how you can look at God's simple requiements:
Micah 6: 8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
2) God is not a cruel mystic. In other words, God doesn't hide "his will," leaving us to search for it like a bloodhound with a bad cold, and if we make one mistake in finding it, a terrible disaster will fall on us (for the choice that we made). Relax. If it is not blatant sin (okay, you can't choose to go visit a prostitute . . . God does care about sinful choices), then don't get a knot in your shorts about it. Sure your business may fail . . . so what. Enjoy the journey!
3) Be Honest About Motives. When all things are said and done, we all end up doing what we want to do anyway. There's no need to spiritualize everything just for the sake of cover. If you have always dreamt of going to China, you don't have to visit an orphanage and calling it "mission trip" to justify it. Be honest. Say you are going for the fun of the adventure. All your motives ARE NOT PURE. Some of them may be.
If you wanted to be a missionary in Africa, and 30% of your motive was to tell the lost about Christ . . . then maybe 20% is for the adventure, 30% for your self-esteem to be looked up to as a great missionary and then (what does that leave . . . 20%?) 10% is to get as far away as you can from you nagging mother-in-law . . . and 10% is to see bare-breasted native women every day, then be honest about it. If 80% is to see bare-breasted native women, then maybe you shouldn't go!
4) Use the same (intellectual) decision-making processes as the non-Christian. Certainly we need to pray . . . asking God to show you your honest motives, and to reveal any sin that you need to avoid. But look at the pros and cons.
We, Christians have a great advantage over the non-Christian. Our future is not sealed by a simple poor choice. The worst thing that could happen is that we loose all our money, and we are killed. But Scripture is clear that no circumstances can change our destiny before God.
Maybe more . . . if I can think of anything that I left out.
Posted by MJ at 10:49 AM