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January 23, 2006

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"While I know your made up denomination aspires to be little o orthodox,"

Seraphim, this seems to be rather demeaning.

"While I know your made up denomination aspires to be little o orthodox,"

Seraphim, this seems to be rather demeaning.

his denomination is not made up? They are Charasmatic Episcopal, but they are not part of any Anglican or Episcopal Tradition...

They make claims to Orthodoxy and ties to the 'correct' churches but are not RC or EO... Sorry. I'll try to just, hmm... behave.

LYB

Seraphim

"Where was God? Where were my prayers? Her 'guardian angels?'... So I don't want to hear that 'Signs and Wonders' are the norm for the 'Christian'. Cause then I have to ask (and I've asked Him) where was He? Why?
"

Seraphim, the question of why God allows pain and suffering -- especially the "undeserved" variety continues to puzzle me. Why did my 1-1/2 yr. old son have to die so horribly? And why at my own hands? (I backed over him in our driveway on the way to worship team rehearsal) Why did God choose to heal my wife of an extremely rare blood disease 7 years before, but not answer my prayers of protection for my little one?

Theodicy is certainly one of the most difficult subjects to get our minds around. I deeply grieve over the trajedy you and your family have suffered. Maybe we'll get a chance to talk about this in person sometime. In the meantime, may the Lord truly be near to you.

Christ above you. Christ below you. Christ besides you; on your left and your right. Christ within you, Christ without you; lowly and meek yet all-powerful.

Blessings, my friend.

Chris

Chris another after thought... in my defense (ah, but a follow of Christ has no 'rights' and no defense...)

to so 'blithly' state that if a 'Church' is not eucharistic or pentecostal charasmatic they are not 'authentic' church... while not demeaning is certainly arrogent.

Also, the subject (as you'll see if you continue reading) of signs and wonders is admittedly raw for me. But from here out I'll make serious attempts not to antagonize anyone.

I'shalom

LYB

Seraphim

Christ above you. Christ below you. Christ besides you; on your left and your right. Christ within you, Christ without you; lowly and meek yet all-powerful.

Blessings, my friend.

Amen & Amen. I look forward to the day we can sit down face to face.

Thank you for Christ-ifying this.

LYB

Seraphim

Seraphim,

My heart is torn for you and your family. What I thought you had said in
good humor, playing the good debator, was actually said in pain and I
apologies for that missight on my part.

I am learning first hand myself the kind of pain a child can cause to
parents myself with a sister who is stealing from my family to support her drug habit among other things. It is difficult to separate yourself from the choices they make. You wonder if you could have done anything different/better. And there is rarely a joyfull moment that isn't shadowed by the pain felt for that child. I don't know you really, but I understand your pain.

"So I don't want to hear that 'Signs and Wonders' are the norm for the 'Christian'. Cause then I have to ask (and I've asked Him) where was He? Why?"

It stikes me that you would blame God for the choice your son made, as if God made him do it. Or is it that God did not protect your girl? That God should have made it physically impossible for your son to do anything wicked towards her.

I also notice that your comment infers that God cannot work in this world (is that not what signs and wonders are -God working in his creation in large and small ways) because of sin. Or if he does then he must be a biased or fickle God.

And it makes me ask... can't sign and wonders be just as much a part of our christian journey as sin? Why let sin poison us so much that we refuse to see the goodness of God at work.

But as you said, the problem is the pain. And learning to let God heal
that is a long and hard process.

Seraphim,

I'm sorry for the hurt in your life. I've had similar questions posed to me. One, a young college student, refused to believe in God and she spoke about how when she was a little girl she was being molested by her "Church going" dad. She prayed to God every night to make him stop. He didn't. I can't answer why God allowed that to happen.

I can't say why Christians in the United States can freely worship God, while our brothers and sisters in the Middle East, China and other places are tortured and risk death if they try to exercise their rights. I mean God should step in and save his servants, right?

The scriptures tell us in this world we will have troubles. We have to pick up our cross and follow Jesus.

The Apostles did signs and wonders on a regular basis, but most of them were executed in agonizing ways.

I think there is a lot of suffering in this life, and somehow, God uses it redemptively.

I don't know how, but I believe if you would trust God, he will work out the situation in your family redemptively as well. I've seen it happen.

I really don't even see this as a signs and wonders issue. It seems more like you are facing a challenge to your faith.

I pray that all works out well in your family. I remain firmly convinced that even though God seems to say "no". You won't get a "yes" if you don't ask. Jesus said that we have not because we ask not. I will ask. Sometimes God does miraculous things. When that happens, I rejoice. If it doesn't I accept that it is his right to make that decision and I find solace in the fact he loves me and if he says "no" it is out of his love not because he is powerless, or deaf, or hard hearted. If he says "no" he'll turn it to my good. If not in this life, then the next.

I certainly have no problem with miracles occurring, but I think we try and control/predict them far too often. Interestingly, the first truly Pentacostal-style group in history that I know of are the Montanist heretics. They based their evangelism on essentially 'power evangelism'. They also gained large numbers of converts, so I don't really think that's a litmus test.
Not to say that these people do not have true Christian faith, but I"m willing to bet it's also open to plenty of power-based abuse. Hence, test the spirits. that's my only qualifier.

thanks for compassion. i do believe that God can operate with/thru signs and wonders whenever He chooses. I believe God can heal save and deliver (althought I think Isaiah 53 is mis-appropriated as a verse for our physical healing).

i guess to me when I hear of signs and wonders it creeps me out, cause I'm used to evangelists and other etc.. seeming to preach them like they are everyone's right and that they happen daily.

i dunno. i guess i still not only have 'understanding the things i can understand' but trusting God.

I'shalom

Serpahim

By "authenticly", do you mean "in accord with God's intention & design", or are you suggesting an "ipso facto" reality?

I meant "in accord with God's intention and design".

Paul came, not with clever words, but with power - that is the gospel and I think that one of the reasons people are turned off to the IC is because it often does not really operate in this power. on the other hand the pentecostal/charismatic traditions have burned a lot of people because those movements are not tempered by a historic order and economy,imho.

Seraphim,

to set the record straight: The ICCEC has Apostolic succession through the Roman Catholic Church via the Catholic and Apostolic Church of Brazil and the orders are "valid but irregular". We are niether Anglican, nor Roman, nor Eastern Orthodox. We are a sincere effort to hold together the paradox of the historic faith with a fully charistmatic expression. As one who is very Orthodox in my persuasion I am often frustrated by my own communion. As such we do often "cross lines", perhaps because we are practicing the generous orthodoxy McLaren talks about. Perhaps it is because we live in a tension between being a prophetic church that lays hands on the sick while we pray the Rosary and use Icons. We dont fit neatly into anyones "Formula", and perhaps that is a good place to be. Maybe it will keep us humble. I'm glad that I have bishops who encourage me to lay hands on the sick and believe they will be healed (it happens), and I', glad to be in a communion that is faithful to the Scriptures. I could not be in a Communion that ordains women or does not believe in the Real Presence (at minimum). I'm glad that I am in a communion that believes in signs and wonders while it seeks to anchor that within an orthodox economy. We are still working it out, but i believe this project holds great promise.

Seraphim,
Last point, two thoughts;My heart breaks for your family. There are no pat answers, just the mystery of your suffering which can only be unlocked through meditation on His Passion. What the devil meant for evil God can turn for good, and your transformation. I wish i could spend time with you in person.
I also work with young people who have suffered similar trauma, those who have suffered "soul pain". (in fact we are getting ready to start a house for this purpose.) We have had a young man living with us for the last year who has suffered greatly and is now vastly better. He had mutliple diagnsis' of mental illness and also severe drug addiction. He has been substantially healed because the power of pentecost was combined with the order of the sacraments and traditional soul care. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water, you will need both to heal others, yourself and your family.
Wishing to be a friend
Matt+

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