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…
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?