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Monday, January 17, 2011

More Reasons Why We Don't Experience The Miraculous

We Charismatics and Pentecostals are Weird.

Now hold on, before you start throwing things, I am one and certainly am referring to myself as much as anyone. But just culturally speaking, the accepted norms, behaviors and beliefs of many Charismatic and Pentecostal persons and churches are alien, if not very weird to many — uncomfortably weird.

Even when you are praying with them, and they start binding and loosing, speaking words over someone, tearing down strongholds, speaking in tongues, prophesying where you are not sure if they are talking to God, the devil, you or whoever etc. -- the average non-Pentecostal, let alone non-Christian gets really freaked out. And then when you arrive in a worship setting and they sing 1 song for 20-40 minutes with people waving banners, dancing awkwardly in the Spirit, with super emotional shouting preaching, people running around the building supposedly motivated by the Spirit, or people are laid out on the floor slain in the Spirit, uh .... it's weird. They see Todd Bentley, Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship and Benny Hinn and those movements seem almost cartoonish.

Hear me now: I'm not saying it's not all Spirit led. TACF, Hinn and Bentley have seen thousands through their influence legitimately come to know Jesus and be healed. But I am saying that for the average non-Pentecostal it is so far outside the norm of experience that it is surreal and seemingly spooky. And when the people who are major proponents of God's miraculous powers are spooky and bizarre, it causes non-pentecostals to question the authenticity of the miracles. The baby gets thrown out with the bath water -- the baby being signs and wonders, the bathwater being the spooky culture of pentecostals.

I know of good Bible believing, born-again Christian people who didn't want any of the renewal movement in their church. It was NOT because they didn't want the Spirit but because they didn't want all the weirdness that came with the movement.

One reason we don't experience more of the miraculous is that the primary proponents within Chistendom have a huge marketing problem. Miracles are shunned because the miracle workers and their contexts are just too far outside of normal.


This is the doctrine that says that after the completion of the canon of Scripture, after we had the complete Old and New Testament, there would no longer be any need for the miraculous and divine revelation outside of what we have in the Bible.

Though I believe this doctrine is waning and soon to become extinct (see my post here), there are still a good many Christians who either believe it or are functional cessationists -- i.e. they live as if they believe it.

This relates back to my previous post about Mark 6 faith and miracles.

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