The ultimate Christian trump card

“God told me”.

Carey Nieuwhof talks about this ‘trump card’ today at his blog.  And I couldn’t agree more.

He states the fact that when most people play their trump card, it really has nothing to do with any time of theological thing (like salvation, the cross, etc.) and almost always has to do with their own opinion… things like church programs, vision, direction, etc.

I like what he says:

Most of the time when leaders trot out “God told me”, they’re actually seeking to add divine weight to something that truthfully, is either their opinion or their (maybe sincere) attempt to apply what they’ve learned to the situation they’re facing.

Carey continues:

So why not just call it that?

It’s our opinion.

It’s my conviction.

It’s our belief.

It’s my understanding.

It’s my decision.

I think people would just respect you more. Because that’s what it is, isn’t it?

And if church people wonder whether you actually heard from God when you claim to be speaking for him, I promise you unchurched people – especially the millennial generation – don’t find it credible.

So… have you used the ultimate Christian ‘trump card’ recently, or at any time in your ministry?

Why did you do it?

Did God really speak to you?

And did your proclamation come true?  And did it help your leadership?

I’d love to hear your experience.

Read more from Carey here…





  • steve miller January 16, 2013 Reply

    I find when God tells me something to tell someone else it usually is both difficult for the hearer to hear and me the speaker to say. If it is a trump card, God plays it first against my obstinate will. It isn’t backing up something I would say anyways, it is an act of obedience to say what God wants me to do and often without His divine nudging I would stay quiet and try to maintain silent and comfortable. I hope to someday get to a point of maturity where I don’t struggle against saying the difficult things God lays on my heart.

  • kjc January 16, 2013 Reply

    The Bible says the Holy Ghost has a voice, we should be lead by that voice, Can God tell some body some thing ? Sure I think so.

  • Pastor Ian January 17, 2013 Reply

    I hear that ALL the time. Who can argue with it? My experience is people that tell me that are trying to do something that has no biblical foundation to it. It’s simply Christian-speak for doing what they want to do.

  • Andy January 17, 2013 Reply

    I’ve heard it over the years come from lay people who don’t like the “new direction” of the church or have been involved with some conflict that they won’t resolve. It is usually expressed in this way,”God is moving us to another church because…(insert excuse)” When everyone knows that they are leaving because they are upset or angry about something.

    I agree that pastors/leaders use this trump card too, but it is also being used by lay people. Maybe the two go hand in hand. Could it be that layity use it because they have seen and heard pastors play the trump card for so long they believe it is a legitimate play?

  • pietrosquared January 17, 2013 Reply

    And… when I do NOT use this trump card, Christian friends seem to think I’m less spiritual. Can’t win for losin’…

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