This is a topic that has come up quite a bit the past few weeks, and it is something I would like to continue discussing. After Nancy raised the question at our discussion yesterday, it became pretty clear to me that I have some pretty strong feelings about this and some pretty big questions, so I was hoping to get some more ideas bouncing around as I'm not sure how I am feeling is best.
On Sunday I mentioned that we didn't "hear from God" about starting this cohort. What I didn't say is that we did spend a very long time considering it and about two weeks praying about it quite a bit before we posted on the blog. Then in December when we were discussing meeting more often and being more intentional we did a very similar thing. Neither time would I say that we heard a clear answer from God. Rather, based on our experiences, our limited knowledge of Columbus, and our best guess as to what God wants us to do for this community we acted. So, we didn't hear directly from God, nor did we find the mandatory verses to back up what we were doing, but we decided to take a chance under God's grace.
I do have to admit that I have big problems with people that say the have heard from God. Largely this is because so many people claim this and then make horrible decisions. This has been happening throughout history and will likely continue to happen. This has caused me to not trust anyone that says they have heard from God, but I'm not sure that is the proper response and only leads to a life with little faith.
Perhaps the idea of "hearing" from God is what troubles me? Is there a better word or a better way to describe how God communicates directly with individuals? Also, I can think of hundreds of examples where people have heard from God and it ended very badly, but very few that ended well. Can anyone think of some good examples?