Life, the universe, and everything.

Friday, April 12, 2013

American TV Evangelists...

Picture the scene...

A slim, wax skinned middle aged man is wearing an extremely dapper (and expensive) suit. The band behind him have been playing the same melodic hypnotizing music for the last few hours (surely they must be bored by now!)  He is whirring his arms around, sweat pouring down his face... "Power, power power" he shouts, as people all over the auditorium are collapsing in heaps.

  Numerous people come up on stage to attest for healings of a range of awful diseases and injuries.  The preacher asks everyone the same questions... "So tell us exactly what happened... you felt a warm feeling in your back/neck/stomach/..... and now it is ok? Do something you couldn't do"....

What is it about this that just doesn't sit right with me?  Don't get me wrong, this is not a slander of every single televised meeting or healing ministry, or every single American preacher... not at all.

But why does the scene I describe annoy me so much?

I truly believe in a healing God- indeed, I have experienced this first hand!

I truly believe that God does give us power through the Holy Spirit.

I have also had my own experience of being prayed for, and feeling so overcome with the power of God that I have fallen to the floor.

So why am I so incensed?

I think its because of the following reasons:

1- The idea that a certain "atmosphere" is needed for the Holy Spirit to work.  Some of the best worship times I have enjoyed has been with a slightly out of tune guitar in the front room of my friend's house... and the Holy Spirit moved hugely in an amazing way.

2- The idea that a person can "control" the Holy Spirit by breathing out over people and making them collapse to the floor.  I can't see see that in the Bible.

3- They have so much money some of them!!!!!!!!!!! So greedy.

4- Healing is by faith, and is simple.  You pray for someone to get better, and God does the hard work.  There is no need, in my opinion, to invest a "seed" (usually money!) that some preachers ask for.  There is no need to see a dapper man in a suit.  Just do what the Bible says- ask the church leaders to pray for you.

Finally, I think the biggest thing that irritates me is the way it makes non Christians respond.  When I talk to people about my faith, and tell them that I go to church and that we enjoy moving in the Holy Spirit, the majority of them automatically think of the falling over, sweaty, shouty, spooky music too often seen in some churches.

My favourite phrase- Naturally supernatural. John Mumford explains it much better than I do:  Basically, lets enjoy healing, prophecy, words of knowledge, etc... but it should be normal, everyday, and not weird.

To conclude: Do I think preachers as described above are "false teachers?" (See 2 Peter for some harsh words on this!).  Well, I don't feel I know enough about them or their ministry to make a harsh judgement.  I do think, however, that there is no need to hype God up, and if they are doing this then there is something decidedly dodgy. God is so far beyond all we can hope or imagine, that if we are needing to hype Him up, something must be wrong with our walk with Him!

Any thoughts....