Monday, May 3, 2010
#149-Using Prayer and "the Will of God" to yell at fellow church members
Note: The next week or so should be quite fun on SAL, complete with posts on holy magic hair (something I have a deep affinity for), and Holy Ghost bumper cars (see if you can figure that one out). And if all goes all, even a brief discourse on the apostolic affection for the constitution/founding fathers.
Preface 1: The author of this post does not deny that prayers of intervention and prophesy do occur in church. My guess is this kind of prayer occurs much more commonly than that this post is writing about.
Preface 2: If you have never had anything close to the occurrence that is discussed in this post, consider yourself very blessed and pursue with all diligence to help out your church all the more so, because your church is a very very good church.
But as to the topic at hand, let us descend into the abyss...
Confrontation within church is a very sensitive subject. I do not know if the difficulty is due to it being a church matter, or more probable that confrontation is just a very difficult/touchy matter for adults because our ego's have built up fortified walls that cannot stand "call outs or critiques." In this regard, childhood is a much better stage for disputes are many, but resolutions are just as numerous and just as quick. Instead of letting things build up, we hash them out as kids.
So that said, a very common way to "duke it out" is through prayer at the altar. Most often it comes from a spiritual superior on the altar hierarchy chart (click here for further description.)
The spiritual authority, who usually has a beef with the inferior saint, but does not desire straight confrontation, will position themselves at the altar call to be near the offender. The authority then lies in wait, waiting for a posture of "conviction" from the offender (bowed head, teary eyes).
At such a point, the attack is on....
The authority glides with the prowess of a stealthy cheetah...
On the attack, the authority speaks with a "prayerful voice" that is not their own as if to ensure that if you were wondering whether it was the authority speaking or God, the odd, deep, and slow speaking ensures indeed that it is Jehovah speaking.
The attacker unleashes a gamete of eloquent critiques of the inferior's behavior and actions.
Of which the inferior has no say in the debacle but rather must bow their head submissively either choosing to accept the criticisms (and thus the only end is to end up broken down in tears), or to reject the criticisms by being respectful but unresponsive.
Ironically the information that is relayed by the authority as evidence for the prayerful intervention is only information that is known by fleshly speculation, gossip, and well-known facts making their round. None of the information can be said to come clearly from a supernatural revelation.
And long-story short the authority is doing all the confronting "in the name of God." And thus the authority's voice is the prosector, judge, and jury on the matters being discussed, because quite simply God's opinion is that of the authority.
No argument. No questioning. No Conflict. And more than likely, the inferior receives no offer of friendship or advice past that of what is given at the altar.
Point being, in such situations, the occurrences are very very sad and quite frankly, scary. And it is inevitable to happen here and there considering how tightly nit our church communities are, and how we allow God to speak in our lives through different avenues (His Word, through personal prayer, and through critiques from authority).
But this should not cause us to hide away from our pentecostal heritage on seeking God's will in our life. Rather all the more so it should cause us to seek God's true voice all the more so. Discernment is a very tricky game, because it falls into human hands, and humans make mistakes. But also, being made in the image of God, we as humans are capable of much good in extending God's Word as a service to our fellow brethren.
In essence, we as sons and daughters of God who minister to each other have a very big responsibilty. We are like mailmen who deliver messages from God to the hearer. Sometimes we can actually discern what those messages are and relay them and it will bear fruit. Other times, we may observe things in our flesh and want God to intervene on the matter, so we deliver a message from God that was in actuality written by ourselves. Lord Help us!
Also, this post has been co-authored and testified through personal experience by one of my dear brothers in Christ, James K. Stair (the K is for "Knightly").