Why Do I Have a Problem With This?

First, watch this report from the 700 Club:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5S38LpMgu0 

I found myself in what has come to be a familiar stance these days: part hopeful, part joyful, and part cringing.  Why do I have such a problem with this? 

Is it that it includes what seems to be yet another “miraculous” delivery from homosexuality?  Will that miraculous delivery still be miraculous a year from now?  If this is total delivery, what does it mean to “not have desire for other men like I used to.”  Is there a desire there, just different?  Is this a real experience or is this another Ted Haggard three-weeks-and-I’m-straight sort of conversion?

Is it that it seems to be a movement long on emotion but short on scripture, relying on “prophecies and dreams”?  I mean if they think this highway is part of scriptural prophecy, how do they get this as a literal highway in America based on a reading of Isaiah 35?  Do you see anything like that here:

Isaiah 35

The Ransomed Shall Return

 1 The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;
    the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;
2it shall blossom abundantly
   and rejoice with joy and singing.
 The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
   the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
 They shall see the glory of the LORD,
   the majesty of our God.

 3 Strengthen the weak hands,
   and make firm the feeble knees.
4Say to those who have an anxious heart,
   “Be strong; fear not!
 Behold, your God
   will come with vengeance,
with the recompense of God.
   He will come and save you.”

 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
   and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
   and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
 For waters break forth in the wilderness,
   and streams in the desert;
7 the burning sand shall become a pool,
   and the thirsty ground springs of water;
in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,
   the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

 8 And a highway shall be there,
   and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
 the unclean shall not pass over it.
   It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
   even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.
9No lion shall be there,
   nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
   but the redeemed shall walk there.
10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return
   and come to Zion with singing;
 everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
   they shall obtain gladness and joy,
   and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

In my heart, I want this to be real.  But I also want it to be lasting and profitable and the only way to really do that is to rely on the Word over fleeting emotion; on the other hand, there are problems when one focuses on the Word so heavily other experiences and emotions are ignored.

There is an experience I went through around 15 years of age that has affected me my entire life.  Every time I have questioned God’s love for me or whether or not He’s finally had it with me, I remember this experience as a touchstone:

I have had problems with depression my entire life.  One Saturday night, I was in the pit of despair.  I was sharing a room with our exchange student at the time, so I became a master at crying quietly.  I remember being lonely and feeling that I was making connections with no one and no one wanted to connect with me.  I cried from the depths of my soul, all I could think was “No one cares…no one cares…no one cares…no one cares….”

The next morning after the Pastor had preached his sermon, he called three people up to the altar for prayer.  I was one of them.  As he laid his hands on me for prayer, he invited others to come up and pray for me.  Suddenly, one woman behind me spoke in a VERY loud voice and said:

“I have seen the nights where you have cried no one cares, and I tell you I care.  I will show you I care if you turn your heart toward Me.”

Needless to say, that experience changed my life.  An emotional experience?  Most definitely.  It’s stuck with me all these years.  But turning my heart towards Him involves being in the Word.  That is how you hear God speaking to you, Holy Spirit directed encounters at church notwithstanding.  Are these people getting the second part?  Training in the Word?  Knowing how to stand strong and lean heavy on God when times get rough and temptations threaten to get the best of them?

Man, I hope so.  I hope this is a legitimate movement of God and that God is blessing this effort.  I’d like to see a followup report on the fruit of this effort.

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~ by WriterRand on November 30, 2007.

6 Responses to “Why Do I Have a Problem With This?”

  1. Why do you have a problem with this? It is because the number “35” like all the other chapter and verse addresses in the Bible are not from God. While chapter and verse number divisions are handy so that we can have a common way to tell each other to go to “such and such” place in the Bible, they’re not inspired. Therefore, if the number divisions are not God-breathed (“theopneustos” 2 Tim. 3:17) how can they be a prophetic reference to some stupid freeway in the USA? So what is Isaiah 35 referring to? Or better said, WHO does Isaiah 35 refer to? JESUS CHRIST! The “highway” is the King James Version translation for the Hebrew word “meselol” which simply is translated “way” in other translations and it refers to the way to God, not a literal road. This same word is used in Isaiah 40 which is a prophesy of John the Baptist clearing the way for in Jesus’ ministry (Mark 1:3) According to this whacko interpretation of the Bible, are we now supposed to find highway 40 and go “clear the highway”?

  2. I love having you here, Rik. I love that. I love getting an intelligent response back whenever I start wondering aloud about things. Thanks for your faithfulness and quick knowledge here.

    I long for this to be real, but my stomach hurts because it feels so manufactured. I think I trust my stomach more than my head sometimes.

  3. Yes, as Rik said, it is dangerous and actually superstitious to read too much into the chapter and verse divisions.

    However, God is sovereign. He can work the miracle of deliverance from homosexuality instantaneously if He wants to. I think that is exceptionally rare and certainly not my experience. I would still recommend to anyone who claims that miraculous experience to take the same path as anyone else fighting SSA. We all need to pray, know and apply scripture, and share in Christian fellowship with accountability.

    If I personally knew that guy I would actively, regularly encourage him to continue to move forward in his walk with God. I would expect him to succeed, not fail. We should never have the attitude of sitting back waiting for the guy to fail so we can say, “see, I told you so!”

    Emotional experience is definitely important in sanctification. I cannot persuade a drug addict to stop by mere logic. It takes a repeated display of sacrificial love and a vivid portrayal of the beauty and desirability of the alternative – God Himself! People need to both know and feel the beauty of the True God before they can drop their idols.

  4. Call me a skeptic, but perhaps I was just raised in calmer Christian traditions that just don’t put much stake in prophecy or miraculous, instant healing. I’m not saying God is above that, but seriously… From a logical perspective, the story of the gay man in the video would make one assume that that’s how God deals with all SSA strugglers. And I think all of us here knows how that is not the case.

    By the way, exactly how to you know someone has been “Baptized in the Holy Ghost” just by looking? This might be the Reformed in me talking (in fact, I’m sure it is) but you can’t be assured of salvation from a one-time event. I really hope the best for the gay man in the video. But as a realist I also try to see the fallout that could happen.

    Will his new church expect him to have no more struggles with homosexuality due to his “cure”? Will they expect him to start dating women? Will he be expected to cut off all ties with his friends from his previous life? What about his fiance? Surely that kind of bond cannot be totally broken after one night. Nor should it be. Now that I have a boyfriend, I know that there is a lot about gay relationships that is not, in fact, inherently sinful. To me, it’s only the sex that’s wrong, and I’m glad that the man in question finally saw that.

    At least with the “normal” SSA experience, there is a process invovled. Getting instantly healed of homosexuality (if that really happened, which like I said, I’m a skeptic) makes things even more complicated.

  5. You know, I’ve always been one to think that with God “all things are possible”. However, I too find it so hard to believe reports such as this. Like Jay, I wasn’t exactly raised on the faith of miraculous healings, but I don’t want to say that it can’t happen. I tend to think that if a person has problems and they turn to God, God’s going to want them to work out and through their problems for Him. There’s learning to that. It can build faith, and it can draw you closer to other Christians and to God. But on top of that, I do find it hard to believe that a person can be instantly healed and not have severe battles ahead of them. What are they going to have to give up, and in doing that, will they struggle any? Will there be a temptation to ever backslide into perhaps a more comfortable lifestyle of sin? These are things I find hard to believe any convert can successfully go around.

    A true healing does need to be one with God as it’s foundation. Has God really worked in the heart of the person for change, or is this just a temporary change in emotions? Has the individual learned God’s word and applied it to their life, or are they simply doing and saying and believing in what they’re told?

    Personally, I’m skeptical of the whole thing. But then again, that’s probably mostly due to my own experiences and that of a great many others. Like I said before, I believe with God all things are possible. Even this, I suppose.

  6. I “stumbled” upon your blog, what a blessing!! Please pray for my ex-husband-former Pastor/missionary (his name is Guy) he was duped into believing the lie of the enemy and has totally twisted scripture to suit his desires. I know God can restore, he has really sunk to depths that have astonished me, yet God knows his name and nothing is impossible with Him!
    Laura

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