Look, I’m no Moses. I have neither seen the burning bush in the wilderness nor climbed down from the mountain after seeing God face-to-face. I have, however, heard God speak–many times, in fact.
I have seen people roll their eyes, or raise their brows when during conversation I say something like, “…and the Lord told me…” I suspect that many Christians have never actually heard the Lord speak. The reason, however, is not that He hasn’t spoken to them–He has spoken and they simply do not know how to hear Him.
I didn’t come to Jesus a virgin. Instead, I came to Jesus with far more sexual experience a girl of 16 should have. I also came to Jesus, however, somehow knowing that He didn’t care about any of that. He saw me as a virgin. It was a new day.
So, I suppose on some level, I expected the church to talk about this fact, too. I expected to hear rousing sermons on the gift of sex, ordained by God, pleasing to Him when experienced between man and wife. I expected to hear exactly what it was I was now waiting for, having once had sex, only to give it up in pursuit of Christ.
But, those messages from the church never came. Different ones did, however.
I think a youth pastor once talked about what not to do–how to not let things go too far with your boyfriend–so as to remain a virgin. You know, since virginity was the prize and all. Virginity, it seemed, was what all young Christian people were to aspire to.
Yesterday, I promised that I would tackle the issue of prophecy. Is it for today? If so, how? Many of you had a lot of good questions, some of which had consistent themes. I’ll try to address as many of those questions as I can, but remember, this is just a blog post. Any remaining questions you have, I’ve started a thread on my Facebook page to discuss this very topic–feel free to comment here or there.
As Robert Staniford pointed out in the comments yesterday, Paul exhorted the church in 1 Thessalonians 5:
Do not quench the Spirit;do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;
Sadly, though, much of the American church has done exactly this, despising prophecy today. They’ve thrown out the baby with the bathwater, so to speak. Of course, there are instances of false prophesy. That’s why Paul encourages the church to carefully examine the words. Further, he tells us to “hold fast” to the good.
I was trying to remember if I had ever heard the word “prophetic” preached from the pulpit during my first fews years of being a believer. Looking back, I don’t think I had.
I attended a church, as young Christian, that was a bit charismatic (if there is such a thing). Some people spoke in tongues and some people had “words from the Lord.” But no one was walking around calling themselves prophets or their “words from the Lord” prophetic.
Fast forward 8 years and I was attending a Bible church where the pastor admitted from the pulpit that he sorta, kinda, maybe believed in prophecy, but that this congregation would never participate in such things.
Fast forward another few years and I found myself in a wholly prophetic church, where it was not only preached but practiced– A church where hearing from God was the norm, not the other way around.
Having spent a few years in a prophetic community and being a part of one currently, the idea of prophecy has been demystified for me. God has so clearly brought instruction, clarity, and understanding to the idea of prophecy.
I understand (sorta) why people find that word to be so scary. Prophecy.
There is no other word in scripture I can think of that makes people–all people–quite so uncomfortable. It doesn’t matter what your denomination might be, church background, theology, if you’re male or female–almost everyone gets squirmy when the word “prophecy” is thrown around.
It sounds like the end times. Armageddon. Fortune telling. Mysticism. The Unknown.
I’ve felt a pull to write about this topic. To offer the same sort of demystification that was offered to me. So, starting with tomorrow’s post, I’m going to try as best I can in a blog post, to help bring light to a seemingly scary topic for many Christians.
Meaning, I’d like to hear your questions first. Your questions will help shape tomorrow’s post. So, have at it! Ask me anything. Here’s a few questions to get you thinking…
What do you know or have experienced in terms of the prophetic? What would you like to know? Do you find the topic a bit unsettling?
And for fun…what do YOU think is the scariest word in the Bible?
I know I don’t talk politics much here on Modern Reject. Truth be told, I am a political junkie and I have to temper myself, otherwise this blog would become a veritable political buffet.
All that to say, sometimes something so juicy, controversial, titilating and downright hilarious ensues that it begs to be discussed.
So, if you don’t follow politics or have been asleep for the last day, here’s a quick video of what went down Wednesday (yesterday) at the Democratic National Convention:
After watching the video, you will see that the yeas and nays were basically equal. Some have argued that the nays were a bit louder and more boisterous at the end. Then we see poor Antonio Villaraigosa, the Convention Chairman, bang the gavel and push through a proposal to include “God” (and Jerusalem as the capital of Israel) into the Democratic party platform despite the obvious opposition to such language.
The takeaways are many. Political blogs and news sources are having a hay day with this one–Republicans and Democrats alike. The religious and irreligious are also foaming at the mouth.
I, for one, just want to hear what you think. I’m not here to play politics or to try and persuade anyone one way or the other. But one of the proverbial questions this whole debacle has raised is whether or not the separation of church and state is American?
More than that, is there room for God in politics? Do you think God should be included in either of the political party platforms? If God was removed from politics (as desired by those who voted nay at the DNC) what do you think would be the result?
Let’s discuss. Let’s debate. Let’s be kind, respectful, and have fun.
I heard a pastor tell the story once of his brief, albeit, passionate addiction to…video games. That’s right. Everyday, around lunch time, he would escape from his church office and find his way to the local mall.
There, while munching on greasy fries, he would empty his pockets of quarters into his favorite arcade game. He would sometimes spend hours shooting down digital planes before realizing that his lunch hour was long over.
No one knew what this young pastor was off doing, but he felt a strange and powerful pull to keep showing up and dopping in quarters.
After a few weeks of this, the Lord told him that this practice had become an unwelcome distraction and thus, a sin. It sounds silly. I mean, video games, really? But, this hobby had become a bit of an idol and the pastor knew it.
One of the biggest lies told, and re-told by the Church is that in order to serve, individuals must be special in some way. We are told we need a seminary degree, or a counseling degree, or 18 years of experience, or a spouse, or any other number of prerequisites.
We are made to feel inadequate or inferior. We are often told that unless we are preaching from the pulpit, leading worship, or heading up a ministry, we have very little to offer.
Many churches are super-star factories, where people file in just to catch a glimpse of the rock star pastor or worship leader on stage. They then get back in their cars, drive home, and call it a day. This is not church.
More than that, this is not who or what God had in mind for each individual believer. Every one of us has a purpose, a plan, a gift, and role in and for the body.
But, do you know how special (sorry for using the word ‘special,’ it just seems to fit) you really are in the Church? Do you understand the need the Church has for YOU? Here is a list of questions to consider in determining whether or not you are being made to feel needed and necessary in your own church body…Continue reading Church without You
Before becoming a Christian, I thought of God as a kind of grand puppeteer. I mean, I didn’t tend to think He was an evil puppet master, but I certainly didn’t think God was intimate, personal, or present.
I imagined Him sitting on His throne in the clouds, judging us from above, interjecting His hand when He decided to do so, but also withdrawing His presence when He willed.
He was a sort of detached heavenly being and Jesus was just a really nice guy who tried to make things better.
Have most young women today ever heard of the word “modesty?” Truly? If you were to stop the average 12 or 13 year-old girl on the street and ask her for a definition of the word “modesty,” what do you think she would say?
I’ll tell you. She’d say, “Huh?”
Looking back, I realize that before even becoming a Christian, I had a certain level of modesty about me. When friends chose to wear more provocative or sexy clothing, I declined. I never really felt comfortable in bikinis and often tried to cover myself.
But, now I know that modesty extends so far beyond what we wear. Modesty isn’t solely about mini-skirts and push-up bras. It is a state of being, a quality one holds. Modesty encompasses more than we assume, but even much of what we assume is wrong.Continue reading Are You a Modest Christian?