I have a three-year-old son who’s learned the authority that comes with citing a higher power. “Can I watch a show? Mommy said yes. Can I have candies? Mommy said yes. Can we go for a walk? Mommy said yes.” He tacks the magic words onto the end of his own ideas and hopes no one will ask, “Did Mommy really say that?”

We tend to handle the words of God the same way. Ripping them out of context, distorting them beyond recognition, or simply fabricating His endorsement for our own fears, whims, and prejudices.

Hath God said?

In Scripture, these are the first words attributed to the Devil. I’ve heard countless warnings against asking this question. Because it was used by the Serpent to tempt Eve, they say it’s dangerous for us to ask too.

But I’ve found that it’s been one of the most important questions on my journey of following Jesus.

Did God Say

Hath God said?

In a world of “God says it. I believe it. That settles it.”, it is essential that we return to ask “But did God really say that?”

Things aren’t as simple now as they were when the whole world was a garden.

Now we have preachers and Twitter accounts and church signs and they all claim to be the mouthpiece of the Almighty. Like those big black billboards that popped up everywhere a few years ago:

Have you read my #1 best seller? (There will be a test.) -God

Big Bang Theory, you’ve got to be kidding. -God

You think it’s hot here? -God

My way is the highway. -God

Keep using my name in vain, I’ll make rush hour longer. -God

One nation under me. -God

The real Supreme Court meets up here. -God

billboard

Though attributed to God, these signs mostly just leave me scratching my head confused. As often as not, the “God” behind them seems to be a strange, insecure egomaniac attempting to have a relationship with humanity by coercing, begging, and taunting us.

I feel that way about a lot of stuff that people claim God says, so I find myself opening the pages of the Bible (or at least the Bible app on my phone) to see what He actually said.

We’ve come a long way from the Garden. The good news is God has already revealed Himself to us, not through billboards but through Jesus.

Hath God said?

It’s a question I’ve been asking every day these past few years. Not to justify sin or to discredit God, but to find the truth. (He knows the difference.)

And often I find Him saying, “You have heard it said, but I say unto you…”

What about you? Have you been discouraged from asking “Hath God said…?” If you were allowed to, what would you question?

[ image: urbanartcore ]