As someone who does not identify as being in the charismatic wing of the church, I scratch my head at some of what I hear. Gold dust and jewels being sprinkled by angels on worshipers is one strange sounding experience I have a hard time understanding. So I read with great interest a recent article by J. Lee Grady called Strange Fire in the House of the Lord. Writing in Charisma magazine, Grady described another oddity:
During the Lakeland Revival last year in Florida, a man from Germany took the stage and claimed that an angel walked into a restaurant while he was eating a hamburger, took his intestines out and replaced them with a gold substance. Others have testified that angels took them to heaven and operated on them. And many are claiming that angels are dropping feathers, gold dust and precious gems on worshippers.
I know God can do anything. He can make an iron axe head float, hide a coin in a fish's mouth and use a little boy's lunch to feed a multitude. Those were genuine miracles that He can still do today. But we still have to use caution here. There are counterfeits. If we promote a false miracle or a false angel in the Lord's house, we are participating in strange fire.
I know of a case where a man was caught planting fake jewels on the floor of a church. He told his friends he was "seeding the room" to lift the people's faith. I know of others who have been caught putting gold glitter on themselves in a restroom and then running back in a church service, only to claim that God was blessing them with this special favor. Where is the fear of God when Christians would actually fabricate a miracle?
One of the groups that bring us gold dust and jewels also suggests mortuary ministry. Patricia King leads Extreme Prophetic, a group that claims to have gifts of prophecies, signs and wonders. Patricia King is Todd Bentley's mentor. Bentley is the Florida minister who once drop kicked a man with cancer because Bentley said God told him to. In the You Tube video below, Ms. King introduces Extreme Prophetic staffer, Melissa Fisher, who describes their mortuary ministry. She asks, "Are you an outreach leader and you wanna kinda spice things up?"
Raising the dead has always been a mandate of the church. Jesus commissioned us to go in His name and preach the good news of the Kingdom. He then went on to explain, that includes healing the sick, casting out demons, and raising the dead. Our evangelism teams, led by Caleb Brundidge and Melissa Fisher recently grabbed hold of this and went out to practice raising the dead. Watch this video, hear Melissa share some great testimonies, and be inspired on how you can take reaching out with the gospel to a whole new level!
Also mentioned here is King associate Caleb Brundidge. Mr. Brundidge is also an associate of Richard Cohen at the International Healing Foundation, a group focused on curing homosexuality.
I think Mr. Grady's words are appropriate in this case. God is the giver of life and we believe he can do miracles. However, we elevate ourselves if we believe we can simply call on him to perform them at our invocation. Instead of promoting the gospel, this seems to distract from it and encourage people to look for more and more bizarre signs of what we say we already believe.
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About Dr. Warren Throckmorton
Warren Throckmorton, PhD is Associate Professor of Psychology and Fellow for Psychology and Public Policy at Grove City College (PA). He co-founded the Golden Rule Pledge which advocates bullying prevention in evangelical churches. His academic articles have been published by journals of the American Psychological Association and he is past president of the American Mental Health Counselors Association. He is the author with fellow Grove City College professor, Michael Coulter, of the book, Getting Jefferson Right: Fact Checking Claims About Our Third President. Over 200 newspapers have published his columns. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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