There is a very interesting discussion going on over at Pyromaniacs (an excellent blog; I sure hope you're reading it!) that is well worth your time. The comments, especially, are very interesting, but I'm not at all certain that some of us may not be talking at cross purposes.
Now, this is going to take some work on your part, and I urge you to read - carefully - the prefatory posts. The first one, Thinking Like a Slave, makes the point that
...whether we're talking about church attendance, or doctrine, or marriage, or any other area of Christian living. When we respond to Divine commandments with a "But" or a series of excuses, we echo the Serpent, and treat God as our peer — or our inferior.
This is not thinking like a slave. And make no mistake: if we are not slaves of God, then we are slaves of sin (Romans 6:15-23). But we are slaves!
So here's where the rubber meets the road: what do you do when faced with a clear commandment, with clear teaching of Scripture, that crosses your will?
Scripture clearly teaches that we are to be obedient to our Lord and Master - we are to be slaves to righteousness, slaves to our God and Savior.
No arguments there! When I have an argument with God, He's always right. When I want to disobey one of His commands, I am wrong and sinful. I say this to emphasise my desire to know and apply God's Word correctly, and also to affirm that I believe that Scripture is God's Word and completely authoritative, with no superior avenue of knowledge for what we need to know as Christians. I completely agree with Dan on that.
The next three posts by Dan that he cites are a series - one, two, three - and I confess that I'm having a bit of trouble digesting them myself (maybe, if you read them over, you can help me un-muddy my brain!) What Dan seems to be saying in these posts is that God speaks to us today ONLY through Scripture - which seems to me to completely negate any postion of the "fellowship" aspect of our relationship with Christ.
All right, then; you have the background (if you've done your reading!).
In the first post I linked, Dan gives a list of questions, and then asks, "To which one of these questions can you not even begin to give a clear, plain, simple, definitive, directly-Biblical answer?" The general consensus in the comments (including mine) is #11 - "How do I tell which feelings are God's way of nudging me to do something, or God "talking" to me, and which are just my flesh, my imagination, or something else?"
I think I'm going to step back a bit from my agreement that #11 is THE question, because I do believe there is a Biblical answer, and it is an answer that does not negate or dismiss our feelings at all - which is what I think Dan and those in complete agreement with him are at least strongly implying.
Now, I am not saying - at all! - that anything we might "feel in our spirit" (or however you chose to formulate the sentiment) can supercede Srcipture. The heart, after all, is desperately wicked and deceitful, and we are all contaminated by sin. So, when you get that "nudge" or "vibe" or whatever, you'd better test the spirits and make certain that these subliminals and emotions do, in fact, line up with Scripture. If they don't, then they are not of God and should be soundly rejected, and we should diligently immerse ourselves in God's Word and in prayer so that we may seek His aid in renewing our minds and bringing ourselves under His authority.
But Dan - and I may be reading him wrong! - appears to reject any of the touchy-feely (and gadzooks, I do dislike that, but it's the best phrase I have at the moment) part of our relationship with God. What about
- "The Spirit bears witness with our spirit..." (Romans 8:16)
- "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you" (Ps 32:8)
- "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths." (Prov. 3:5-6)
- "Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it,' Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left. (Is 30:21)
All of these - yes, absolutely! - are through Scripture... But the way Dan presents it looks very cold and non-relational to me. Perhaps it is because I'm female and am more emotionally/relationally inclined (although that's a pretty broad sterotype, and on important matters such as this, I know I have to use my head equally!), but I cannot reconcile that view with what the Bible tells me about God being our loving Father who leads us, nurtures us, diciplines us, and has made us His children.
Now, Dan does make the point that some people use their feelings and hunches as an excuse to say, "God told me this, that or the other thing," and I concur that that is an unScriptural way of going about things. If I read, for instance, Romans 12:2 ("And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."), I have warrant to say, "God told me that I need to be more diligent in my study of His Word so that it gets down deep in my spirit and conforms me to the image of His Son." That's a Biblical "God told me" moment, in my opinion.
However, we cannot just spit out "God told me" and have no Scriptural foundation for our statement. We also have to be very careful when we use a phrase llike that, because some people use it like the prophets used "Thus sayeth the Lord" - and God is not adding to His revealed Word in this day and age.
So, in the main, I believe I agree with Dan; it's just that I think he's neglected a very real part of the relationship we have with God as His children. Relationships are not just based on propositional truth - cold, unfeeling facts and figures - they also have a emotional dimension. God gave us emotions and feelings and the need to have intimate relationship, particularly with Him. When these are all subjected to the test and authority of His written Word, I do not see how it is unbiblical to have them and use them appropriately.
So... Have I made a hash of things and completely misunderstood what he's saying?