Who wants a challenge?
In the spirit of the Easter holiday (or, as my friend DB’s dad called it, “Resurrection Day”) my pastor put together a short video with his phone camera. On a regular Sunday morning, he came up to various people in the church and asked us how we know that Jesus is alive today. Some of my friends were on it. So was I – not Ryan’s fault, if I see a camera, I basically jump in front of it. We were challenged to tell the camera, in 10 to 15 seconds, how we know that Jesus is alive today. The answers ranged from philosophical, to testimonial, to just plain cute (one little girl was asked, “How do you know Jesus is alive?” Her answer? “I don’t know, I just do.” Cue everyone in church going Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.)
Then, on the heels of my last post, where I expressed some concern about three teenage girls in Arizona claiming to cast out demons, I decided that I really didn’t know anything about real exorcism – or even if it exists. Now, my pastor Jay has mentioned witnessing some kind of demonic activity in the past, although I’m not sure it was an exorcism and I don’t want to put words in his mouth. So when I say that I don’t know if it exists, what I mean is this – if Skeptical Buttface Dan were to walk up to Newfangled Christian Dan and say, “Hey, so. . . how do you know that demons are real and people need to be exorcised of them?”, and I responded, “Well, some people I trust tell me it’s the case,” Newfangled Christian Dan would get laughed at by Skeptical Buttface Dan.
So I emailed Ryan and asked for book recommendations, especially because I’ll be attending a Society of Vineyard Scholars event this weekend, but I’ll miss the session about demony type things on Thursday night because I can’t make it until Friday morning. He recommended a couple of books, and the one I picked up is “Authority to Heal” by Ken Blue. Right off the bat, I dig that the book I’m reading about people throwing up split pea soup (in theory) is first and foremost a book about healing. Although, admittedly, I was expecting something a little more awesomely dark, like the Malleus Maleficarum, but this Kindle book is okay, too!
I’m looking forward to digging a little deeper into the more blatantly spiritual side of following Jesus – not because exorcism is cool (I’m not going to open up that can of worms by temping the devil with a pissing contest) but because every single supernatural experience has the potential to grow my faith. My skepticism runs very, very deep in me. It’s part of who I am. And I hope, some day, to replace my skepticism with “discernment,” like Jay told me a couple of weeks ago. But before I can discern between the true and the false, I need to learn more about the true. That’s what I’m trying to do now.
Who wants to help me? Raise some hands, people!
I want the comments section on this post to be flooded with testimonials. I want you, the “What the Faith?!?!” readers, to tell me about supernatural occurrences that have changed your life and strengthened your faith. I’ve told a couple of stories before (like this one) but now I want to hear yours. Do you know someone who has been healed? Have you witnessed a possession and subsequent spiritual healing? Do you have stories that seem so unbelievable that you hesitate to tell them? I’d love to hear this stuff.