Yesterday I was on the SHRM bulletin board, an online forum for HR professionals. On the off topic section a discussion was going on about the Duggar family. A homeschool family that has a “reality” show on the TLC channel the chronicles the life of an extremely large family. Recently the Duggars brought home their 19th child from the hospital and the discussion on the bb was about the largeness of the family. Some believe that since this family supports itself and doesn’t take government funding – good for them. Others could care less one way or the other. Others supported the Duggars as they appeared to be rearing their children in a caring and loving home. There was another groups of people that felt how could they have so many children, it was irresponsible of them, there was no way the parents could provide enough attention to all those kids, how could you force the older children to care for the younger children, and on and on it went.
After a short while, several people brought up the issue of the Duggar’s faith and that they thought the Duggars had so many children because they believed it was God’s will. Some said that it was not faith but selfishness, and that it wasn’t God’s will for a woman to give birth to so many children. “They had mistake their lack of restraint with God’s will.” Well it was an interesting conversation to say the least.
One individual brought up the issue that they took this to their spiritual advisor, and elderly priest and he apparently said, “How would they (the Duggars) know God’s will?” And he was “appalled at the Duggars having 19 children and contemplating another.” Another agreed that you can’t know God’s will.
Well the discussion went on and on, to last count, 134 posted. When I got home from work last night I noticed a little book that my daughter Ashley had recently read called, Found: God’s Will by John MacArthur. It was a short read so I read it last night. It is amazing how God places in front of you just the right things you need, when you need them. After reading the short 60 page booklet, I posted the following on the forum bulletin board:
“I support the Duggars 100%. Is having 19 children for our family? No. God has only given us 5 and we are blessed above measure. Close friends have 14 children. With 4 of their children married, at this time all 13 (1 died of cancer at age 17) seem well adjusted and contribute to society. I say all that to say large families can be very successful.
About knowing God’s will.
1. God wants us to know his will.
2. God’s will is not elusive.
3. Knowing God’s will is not as difficult as many would believe.
The problem is most people don’t know God’s will or can’t “see” God’s will because they don’t know God any more than at a very superficial level. I highly suspect the Duggars have a deeper relationship with God than just a head knowledge.
All this can be found by reading the Scriptures. It is there in black and white.”
To which an individual replied late last night (in full):
“The Duggars believe in having as many children as possible. That’s their religious belief. It is what they want to do. Donn, you and I have discussed this in the past. Certainty is not faith.
The idea that God speaks to people directly is an interesting one, but NOT believing that doesn’t indicate one “doesn’t know God.” It is equally possible that being willing to accept the mystery of God requires a stronger faith than decreeing you can discern His will from “the scriptures.”
The scriptures are not — for many people — literal. For the vast majority of theologians, they are not.
I recognize the Duggars can do whatever they want. I just don’t consider it God’s will. They are doing what they want, and I think it is irresponsible. If you think I’m arrogant, you should read what you’ve posted from a perspective other than your own.”
Now it is getting interesting and I see a huge open door that as a Christian I felt I must walk through. The following is my response in full:
“To say that this is not faith is to say one knows the Duggars’ thoughts, their heart and their relationship with God. Neither you nor I (nor your priest) can truly know these things otherwise we would be equal to God.
While I do not believe God uses an audible voice to speak with us, He does speak to His children primarily through His Word. He doesn’t leave His children guessing at His will. The Bible is clear that if someone does not “hear” and do the will of God than their relationship with God should be in question. As a parent it is my job to instruct and teach and even discipline my children. If someone is not “hearing” the instruction, teaching and even being disciplined when needed from the Lord, then they must question whether they are truly a child of God. God chastises His children.
Ephesians is one of a number of books in the Bible to read regarding God’s will. Ephesians 5:17 says, “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” In essence, we are being told we are UNWISE not to understand the will of the Lord. So no, it doesn’t take more faith to not know the will of the Lord.
Does God come down and say, “Go thou to that school.” No, but there are ways Christians can know if going to “that school” is God’s will.
I will agree that someone just stating that they know the will of the Lord doesn’t mean that they always do, although there are some very easy things to know about God’s will that are very cut and dry in the Scriptures. There is a progression of our Christian life to get to know the deeper things in God’s will. The more we know God, the more we know His will and the more OUR will will be His will.
Regarding whether the Scriptures are literal or not, knowledge of the Scriptures will help someone determine what is literal and what is not it truly is not rocket science. Unfortunately, many “theologians” don’t want to believe certain things to be true so they try to explain away portions that may be convicting or what they just don’t understand. God reveals Himself to those who seek after Him. For others, they won’t understand because the Bible says their eyes are blinded.
Some may call all of this arrogance, I’m sorry that you feel way. What better way to know God’s will then to use God’s Word.
I guess we will have to agree to disagree.
BTW, I have great little book that is 60 pages long and can be read in less than an hour that takes someone through the Scriptures on knowing God’s will. If interested, send me an email. Schnarrx7@verizon.net”
After posting this response, I have had two so far request the book which I will gladly send out to them tomorrow.
I posted all this, not to try boast about myself or to imply how great of a Christian I am as I am the least of all men, but I share this with you today as an example of how depraved and how messed up our world is today. As a society, as a nation, we go about our lives not having a clue about what God’s will is or means. Even as Christians, we “seek and seek” God’s will but we seem lost.
Can I say that I know God’s will all the time? No. But I am reminded through this discussion that to know God’s will, I have to know God. And each day that I fail to build my relationship with Him, I move further from knowing His will.