CAN ORDINARY CHRISTIANS DETERMINE THE WILL OF GOD?

Neal Griffin

The word, "ordinary", does not do justice to anyone who is a Christian. Christians are not ordinary. They are a select minority a chosen few. They have been elevated to a divine and everlasting status in the Almighty God's own family. They are citizens in a kingdom of which the poorest is richer than any earthling can visualize. So, I use the term advisedly. I use it merely to distinguish those in the pews from those in the administrative offices of the institutionalized, denominated, religious organizations.

Though not an identifiable section in all of their creeds, it is a fact that one must turn to the church rulers for interpretation if he or she seeks to know God's will. If you doubt this, can you imagine a Catholic soliciting a Bible interpretation from a Baptist or from a member of the Church of Christ? Or vice versa? Or yet, can you picture any one of these church members trying to understand the Bible on his or her own without consulting anyone at all? This would be almost inconceivable in today's religious world. The church rulers and cult leaders, for all practical purposes, have interposed themselves between God and His seekers. If one is to know God he or she must go through one of these intermediaries. Is it any wonder that the inspired writer wrote, "Be not many of ye teachers"? Teachers with swollen egos and out-of-control tongues will be severely judged, according to James chapter three.

This inclination to turn to religious officials is caused by a lack of confidence coupled with a carnal nature that demands a physical manifestation of anything that is to be believed. To be believed, it must be accessible to the senses. In one of the great Russian novels, when asked if he believed in Jesus, the Russian replied, "I believe only in that which I can see, smell, or touch". It was this same unbelieving disposition that caused the Israelites to demand of Aaron, "Come make us gods who will go before us"; and of Samuel, "Appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have". This doubting disposition strikes at the very heart of John chapter four. The worship in spirit and in truth, to which Jesus referred, does not have a tangible object. It is worship in spirit a worship that has a Spirit as its object. And, before one can worship in such a fashion, he or she must be spiritual. Today's religious rulers and cult leaders, however, have provided carnal man, even as Aaron did, with tangible objects. Very visible and tangible, in the religious society of our day, are ornate cathedrals, dandy pulpit ministers, and in some cases, literal icons and idols. The very visible television evangelists, pulpit ministers, and cult leaders stand ever ready to explain the mind of God to unwary seekers. Members are lulled into placing their spiritual hope in institutionalized organizations. These organizations may be in the form of church denominations, sects, movements, or in many cases, cults. The ultimate effect of all of them is the same, and that is that the members are freed from the responsibility of having to determine what is God's will as it relates to them individually. They are led to believe that the particular sect or cult, of which they are members, has divine access to heaven, and as members of such, they will be transported to heaven. This is a shade removed from the truth!

This is the "zombie" mind-set that led the followers of Jim Jones to the cyanide tub. This is the same mentality that characterized the Branch Davidians. It is a blind willingness to place one's faith in the hands of another. We, in the final moment, will be judged on an individual basis. Justification is a very individual matter. Judgment will be based on the deeds that we have done, and not on the conduct of some cult, movement, institution, or organization.

Sincere believers can understand God's truths without a "faith doctor". Sincere believers can know God's will without a Jim Jones, without a Reverend Moon, without a David Koresh, and/or without a pulpit minister of any kind.

The key to the mystery of God's Word is clearly revealed in Romans chapter twelve, verses one and two, and it does not require a pulpit minister to translate. It clearly states that, "YOU can determine what God wants". Please read it for yourself. Let it sink in! It is the inspired Word of God. It is too simple to be misunderstood.

Please, think on these things. I believe them to be true to the Word.