The strange irony to me, is that in this slice of Christianity that denies ongoing revelation persists a contradictory mystical view of divining God's will. Phrases like "God told/spoke to/led me" are often paired with presumptuous directives and spiritually abusive manipulation from the pulpit. ("I was going to preach X sermon, but a few minutes ago God told me I needed to preach Y instead." [And oh, by the way, Y has pretty much nothing to do with the pretense of a text that I'm about to read to you."]) This sort of thing makes me think of the comment I've heard Dave Doran and Tim Jordan make: One day some of you preachers are going to stand before God and hear him ask you, "Why did you tell people I said that? What made you think that? I never said any such thing."
But spiritual abusiveness isn't the only problem, because the pattern of mystical revelation that's modeled in the pulpit teaches people how to make decisions in their lives outside the church building. The simple fact is that this sort of terminology, used by people in positions where they're perceived to be exercising responsible leadership, can impede discipleship and sanctification.
The popular language of "calling" to ministry can be among this harmful terminology. As missionary martyr Jim Eliot observed:
Our young men are going into the professional fields because they don't 'feel called' to the mission field. We don't need a call; we need a kick in the pants.How many young men in America attended Bible college never pursued pastoral ministry because they never had the experience their idols described? How many finished seminary and never seriously considered international church planting because they never got the mystical buzz they were taught to expect?
J.D. Greear, no radical knee-jerk cessationist himself, has a nice little two-part series, "The Confusing Language of 'Calling' " at the Resurgence blog (part 1, part 2). I wholeheartedly commend it to you, and I like the way he echoes Eliot's words:
I say this because we have so many people sitting around waiting on a warm, fuzzy, and goose-bump-inducing vision from God before they embark on some ministry. Maybe we've invented the whole language of calling to mask the fact that most Christians don't want to live missionally.