Praying At & Speaking Into (1)
Round Table Christians Part III
My favourite book of all time is Lord of the Rings and, apart from The Mission, my favourite film(s) would be the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I don't think its purely escapism that lets us believe in orcs and sentient trees, there is something in us that knows there are forces out there that we do not understand. When I think of the giant redwoods and marvel at the wonder of the oceans I am engaged with nature in a primal union that lies outside of my knowledge. As a Christian I believe that there are spiritual forces abroad and that there is a battle between good and evil just as the Fellowship of the Ring were pitted against Saruman, Sauron and their evil armies. I also believe that I am called to fight with spiritual weaponse6.12 in order to defeat the works of darkness.
Unfortunately many Christians fancy themselves as Frodo or Aragorn and actively seek out Ring Wreathes to do battle with. They search the bible for weapons that they can arm themselves with, warriors they can model themselves on and strategies of war. They read the bible as if it were a book of spells with hidden meanings behind every verse. Because they are (rightly) told that the Holy Spirit will reveal all truthj16.13 they are convinced that if they dedicate themselves to its study then God will reveal truths that are hidden to everyone else. Then, once they are convinced that the bible says what they believe, you cannot question what they say because you are then questioning the word of God. Now they have a biblical framework they set to building a world view where every situation confirms their belief and any counter explanation is simply worldly.
A whole language is built around their understanding with strange phrases which give them a sense of identity and fellowship but which sound religious, cultish and wacky to everyone else. Unfortunatley, if something is repeated often enough it can worm its way into the vernacular. I find myself uttering phrases like "I'm so not going out". Maybe I want to be current or it just has a cozey feel to it. In a modern church setting where people pray from the hip they say things like "I just want pray for...". The 'just' is redundant but many people put it in unconsciously because its the way they've heard other people pray. Habit and familiarity is one thing, ignorance is something else.
I will continue this in another post but, for now, I will leave you with a quote from VOICE OF FREEDOM.
There is something mysterious and powerful about our words when we say them. It is the way that God has designed the power of the Gospel to work. He wants us to speak to our situation; yes, to turn the negative situations around through the Word of God. Paul said God ordained deliverance through the mystery of preaching. God has made every born again Christian at least to be the preacher of his own destiny. When we speak positive words to our situations, we are not talking about using empty, vain, unproductive words. The way a lawyer goes before a judge with well chosen words; the way children go before their parents with words that will invoke parental sympathy; so we are to choose and use words that will work for our deliverance.
It may not sound too wacky but the reasoning is fatally flawed and the seeds of wackiness are there as I hope to make clear.
- Ephesians 6.12: ...our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against ... the powers of this dark world...
- John 16.13: But when he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.