Miracle Faith Guys

Posted: February 23, 2010 in On Being Apostolic
Tags: , , ,

Maybe it’s just me, but has anybody else ever noticed that the vaunted “miracle faith” guys are kind of limited in their operating environment?  For example:

Usually they do their thing in what’s more or less a typical Apostolic service…but probably more typical than most, really.  There will generally have been a lot of promotion to lead up to the service.  You know, with announcements like “Bro. Bubbalicious is going to be with us and he’s mightily used by God in the gifts of the Spirit.  You WON’T WANT TO MISS THIS SERVICE!  Come out and receive your MIRACLE!”  And of course, there absolutely have to be be cool posters.

Then, after creating a high level of expectation, the service itself will be emotionally charged with high-powered music and singing.  And when the atmosphere is conducive to “faith”, Bro. Bubbalicious will begin to do any number of things that will bring people to the front to be prayed for.  He’ll call’em out by person or by pain, have a prayer line, or sometimes move through the crowd.

All in all it’s quite a show, and some people are actually healed.

While I find it all a bit kitschy, cartoon-esque, and distasteful, lending itself effortlessly to parody, that doesn’t make it wrong. Overall, I think the efforts of our Apostolic miracle faith guys are likely honest and rooted in a genuine sense of calling.  Overpaid, perhaps.  And overhyped, certainly.  But honest, anyway.  So understand that I’m not talking about the fakes and charlatans that populate the charismatic/ne0-Pentecostal movement who offer things like miracle water or green prayer cloths (for finances) in return for a “love gift” or some such thing.  (Do people actually fall for that?)  I’m talking about our guys.

But I’ve noticed something about our guys…at least, the ones I’ve been in contact with.  Their most powerful moments of operation occur in carefully prepared environments among large numbers of Apostolic believers.  As far as I’m concerned, this goes a long way toward weakening the effectiveness of any resultant testimony.  It’s like a laboratory in a way; sealed, hermetic, and protected, designed to create the environment most conducive to the success of the science.

I’ve got an idea.

Arrange a meeting of all of our Apostolic faith guys in one of our major North American cities.  I don’t mean a church-type meeting either, so no posters, taglines, newspaper, radio, or (gasp) television ads…it’s just a meeting of the guys, after all.  Then, load’em all on a bus and take them to one of the city’s major hospitals.

Once there, pick a ward.  Any ward will do.  Cancer, for instance.  Or the psych ward.  Or the pediatric ward…the one where all the really sick kids are.  Just pick one ward, for God’s sake.  Only one.  Then turn’em loose.  And if these guys have one tenth of the value they’ve been promoted as having, they’ll empty the place.  But hey, I’ll settle for the healing of one in ten.  A 10% success rate in a major hospital’s cancer ward would create quite a little stir, wouldn’t it?

How come nobody’s thought of that?  Or at least, suggested it?  And no one ever will.  Not seriously, any way.  And it’s because that outside of the environment created, lab-like, for the purpose, most will produce absolutely nothing.

Jesus and His Apostles ministered to needs wherever they found them.  Most of the time, ministry occurred in very public places like the streets.  And very often among groups of people who were at best ambivalent, and sometimes even hostile.  There were no “miracle crusades” that had been hyped and promoted, complete with professional musicians creating a rock-concert atmosphere.  There were just 12 guys going out two by two, ministering to needs where they found them.

Hey.  Let’s try that. Collect all of ’em..all of our Apostolic miracle faith guys…and dress’em in blue jeans, flannel shirts, and work boots so they look like ordinary guys…and send’em out two by two with the same commission that Jesus gave His guys.

It’s not gonna happen.

After reading this, start digging around in the musty old stories of powerful people of God who ministered in old days or far away places among those most in need.  Then reply to this post with’em.

Wait…on second thought, don’t bother.  Don’t bother because I’m not interested in the stories of miracles occurring in the ministry of a village preacher in India.  I’m not interested in hearing about a deacon in Swaziland being used in amazing ways.  And my lack of interest has nothing to do with the validity of the stories or the significance of the individual ministries.

Just show me here. Right here.  At home.  In North America.  Show me the thousand dollar per night guys going incognito anywhere near street-level needs on a regular basis…and show them producing the results that are claimed for them in the prefab environments of our church services.  Show me and I’ll gladly, humbly issue a retraction.

Hey, we claim to be Apostolic.  But are we?

Comments
  1. Cameron Price says:

    I’m reminded of part of a prophecy given during the Azusa Street revival that said, “In the last days of the great pentecostal movement, there will be…an overemphasis on spiritual gifts rather than the Lordship of Christ.” I think we’ve made such celebrities of these guys that they can only operate in celebrity-style venues.

    And when someone is prayed for and doesn’t receive their healing, we do damage control for God, saying it wasn’t his will or timing. Yet when Jesus was faced with multitudes of sick folks, “he healed them all.” (Matt. 12:15, Luke 6:19).

    Do we really resemble the first century church as much as we think we do?

  2. Cameron;

    Short answer to your last question: No, we don’t. Our true apostolic development ceased long ago, and we’ve busied ourselves since perfecting our particular style of evangelicalism.

  3. You’ll notice most of the time Jesus didn’t do any miracles anywhere near a temple. (maybe deliverance from demons though) but no miracles. Your right, this is not church, its a perfect example of showing off the gift in an individual void of character and relationship. God will back up His word no matter what, by grace God still uses these guys. But a time is here in the church, where it’s no longer a one man show. God is done with that model.

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