I came across a very sad article on the American Atheists website (incidentally, it’s full of sad articles) about a former Word-Faith Charismatic preacher who became disillusioned and eventually completely rejected Christianity and God. I found it interesting, however, because it gives an inside look into how someone can trick themselves into believing all sorts of things are happening when they really aren’t. It also exposes the danger of abusing God’s Word; holding God to promises that He has not made to you. When you eisegete passages, assuming every word applies directly to you—as long as it’s not negative of course—it’s only a matter of time before you come up against a wall.
He recounts some of his experiences,
I heard God audibly and I became so bold that I would throw people out of wheel chairs. I would lay people down who had back injuries flat on their stomachs and run on their backs believing that I was carried along by the wind of God (Mal 4:2 The Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings). For this was the demonstration of the Holy Ghost and power (1Cor 2:4)! And my language and message were not set forth in persuasive, enticing and plausible words of wisdom, but they were in demonstration of the Holy Spirit and power, proof by the Spirit and power of God that was operating in me and stirring the most holy emotions in the minds of my listeners and thus persuading them. Read More…
Update: Well it appears this actually came out in 2009. So I guess I’m late to the party as usual, but I still think it’s worth checking out.
Happy Wednesday! I’ve got something special for you today.
One of my favorite things to do when I want to relax is to watch videos on vimeo. There are so many great videos there. Many are wrought with deep meaning. The best border on the sublime. It’s like Youtube without the cats.
Actually, I went to film school, and though my interest in making films has faded a bit, I still have a lot of affinity for the medium, especially when it’s not wasted on making shallow garbage.
So I was poking around on Vimeo yesterday and came across this trailer for this “Bookumentry” (I know, right?). If you are into art and philosophy I think you will dig it.
This gave me the warm fuzzies.
Jefferson Bethke the guy who made the Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus video responded to Kevin DeYoung’s critique. He proved himself to be a humble man of character with a very teachable spirit. We need more men like him among this rising generation of Christian leaders. Respect.
Here’s part of their email conversation,
I just wanted to say I really appreciate your article man. It hit me hard. I’ll even be honest and say I agree 100%. God has been working with me in the last 6 months on loving Jesus AND loving his church. For the first few years of walking with Jesus (started in ’08) I had a warped/poor paradigm of the church and it didn’t build up, unify, or glorify His wife (the Bride). If I can be brutally honest I didn’t think this video would get much over a couple thousand views maybe, and because of that, my points/theology wasn’t as air-tight as I would’ve liked. If I redid the video tomorrow, I’d keep the overall message, but would articulate, elaborate, and expand on the parts where my words and delivery were chosen poorly… My prayer is my generation would represent Christ faithfully and not swing to the other spectrum….thankful for your words and more importantly thankful for your tone and fatherly like grace on me as my elder. Humbled. Blessed. Thankful for painful growth. Blessings.
Grace and Peace,
This my friends is what we call Christian brotherhood.
“Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9
Update: Bethke has since responded to Kevin DeYoung’s critique.
This week my Facebook newsfeed was booked solid with this guy’s face. It’s a 4 minute spoken-word poem by a fella named Jefferson Bethke titled “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus”. After about the zillionth repost of this thing I finally watched it. I’m sure you’ve probably seen it by now, but if not you should go take a look before reading on. It’s gone viral—at the time of my writing YouTube had it listed at just shy of 7 million plays.
I really dig Jefferson’s passion, his strong affirmation of the gospel, and his rejection of self-righteousness. BAM, nailed it! There is so much to be praised in this poem, and I do praise it, but I did feel a little irked by a couple things in the video. It took some time to sort through exactly why I felt that way… Read More…
I’ve said before that I believe a misunderstanding of faith is behind much confusion concerning Christianity, both from those who don’t know Christ and those on the inside. Here are two articles I saw this week that deal with the topic of faith vs. reason.
The first is from Stand to Reason:
First, we don’t know about Christianity by faith. Everyone knows about the claims of Christianity and the Bible in the same ways other things are known. Faith isn’t a way of knowing. It’s trusting in what we have come to know to be true. Faith is laying hold personally of what is true in the Bible. Knowledge is the first step and it’s no different than coming to know about anything else. So it can be discussed between those who have faith and those who don’t because they’re both operating in the same way to evaluate truth claims. Faith comes after knowing.
Read more: Faith isn’t Knowing
The second is from Pyromaniacs:
even among Christians who are not anti-intellectual jellyfish, I’ve met some who very reverently think that some of our beliefs simply are not rational. They’re mysterious, they have to be held by faith, not reason.
To this I’d just begin by noting that the opposite of faith is not reason; it is sight (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:7).
But are some of our faith-tenets irrational? Two that I hear cited specifically are the Trinity, and the Virgin Birth.
Read More: Is Christianity Rational?
Just wanted to check-in and tell you that yes, I am still alive. These last few weeks have been busy, but fear not, there will be new content coming this week and much more in the future as I am planning out a schedule to blog with more frequency.
So stay tuned! If you aren’t subscribed, I recommend that you do so without delay.
Meanwhile, here’s a Spurgeon quote that I saw over at Challies this morning about the issue of God’s sovereignty and our responsibility:
“That God predestines, and yet that man is responsible, are two facts that few can see clearly. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory, but they are not. The fault is in our weak judgment. Two truths cannot be contradictory to each other. If, then, I find taught in one part of the Bible that everything is fore-ordained, that is true; and I find that in another Scripture, that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true; and it is only my folly that leads me to imagine that these two truths can ever contradict each other. I do not believe they can ever be welded into one upon any earthly anvil, but they certainly shall be one in eternity. They are two lines that so nearly parallel, that the human mind which pursues them farthest will never discover that they converge, but they do converge, and they will meet somewhere in eternity, close to the throne of God, whence all truth doth spring.”