Thursday, August 30, 2012

So I went to a church revival.

I don't know if I've mentioned it much but I'm going to our local "megachurch" with my daughter since about Christmas, and they have a big revival each summer.

I had never been to a revival before and have always attended churches with NO faith healing, NO tongues, and really no very demonstrative habits.  In fact, with my background I am more comfortable with the Quaker tradition of just sitting in the silence than with people falling down in the aisles.  In my family of origin we attend church but do not discuss it, do not pray other than perfunctory grace, don't discuss politics at all, don't hug, and never say I love you.  **not demonstrative**  Just explaining so you can grasp the culture shock this kind of thing is for me.

First was music, then a little lecture by Rev. Hagin about .. um... Matthew 9:20 I think.  The woman who touched the hem of Jesus's robe and was healed and he said that "by her faith" she was healed.  Then he asked who was in need of healing and people lined up and he basically just touched each of them and said "be healed" or "by the power of Jesus" or something.  Ushers made a safety line behind the people being touched in case they fell down, which a lot of people did.  My ex husband went down to be healed.  (I may not have ever mentioned the tumor in his skull?  It's not a brain tumor, it's on an auditory nerve, but it is currently inoperable so that causes some issues.)  I took video.  Pt 1 was the very last bit of the sermon. Pt 2 is the actual healing part.    Yes I'm an idiot and didn't flip the camera to landscape.

Then after that he asked if anyone felt healed, or felt a little better, and told some stories of past healings... just a lot of anecdotes.  Then he prayed over some hankies, etc, that people brought with them.  Then he asked for anyone who wanted to be saved, or to be filled with the spirit, or to recommit themselves to come forward and he prayed over them (us, because I went down too), and then that group exited out the side.  In that group a girl gave her testimony and gave a prayer  for everyone to say with her to accept Jesus and asking to be filled with the spirit, etc.

This is when it started to get weird for me, because then they started talking about how speaking in tongues was THE evidence of being filled with the spirit and there was a lot of pressure for those present to speak in tongues.  Which I do not do.  They really kept at it for a while.  It was really interesting to listen to and I thought a lot about the concepts of language and the value of articulating a thought versus just letting go and babbling, etc, but in the end my WASPy self just can't do that. In the end they told me that I have already received the gift, now I just have to yield to it.  So that's food for thought.  And they gave me some stuff to read later.

Do you believe in speaking in tongues or in faith healing?  Or do you think it's all snake oil?

In any event, I wore a new dress from Dress Barn and an old drapey vest from Dots.  (U.S., not Canadian Dots, which judging by Sheila's finds I am missing out!)  The pattern under the waist seam is a bit asymmetrical but the vest does a good job of covering it up.  It felt like a bit much cleavage so later I ran to Kmart and got a cream tank for underneath.


  1. Well...speaking and tongues and healing are some of the gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:

    7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[b] 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. (NIV)

    So I can't discount it. However, there has been such a blatant abuse of the gifts of tongues and healing (and interpretation of tongues and prophecy...) that it is really hard to discern the truth from the snake oil. I am especially suspicious of the gift of healing - and will remain suspicious until a long-term study of those healed by faith is published...

    The thing is...who is to say a doctor isn't blessed with the gift of healing? Why do we have to assume it's the slap on the forehead and the falling back, quivering, into the arms of an usher.

    God, in my experience, does His best work in the quiet contemplation of prayer. The most compelling testimony I've read involves a long-term commitment to faith and the willingness to "let go and let God".

    Sorry for the ramble...

  2. Ima just gonna make two comments.

    1. I believe in healing by faith, but not so much in Faith Healers.

    2. I believe in speaking in tongues, but if you compare the instances of speaking in tongues in the NT, to the random babbling that passes for speaking in tongues in modern times, I am not so sure they are one and the same.

    This is just my take on these things, at this particular point in time, as my position on things like this is in a continuous state of evolution, and may or may not be accurate.

  3. Where to start? Do I believe in tongues? yes. Do I believe in faith healing? yes
    Is it abused in today's churches? yes
    Does that mean we should say that it is all fake? No.
    Should we use discernment? Yes!!

    As far as snake oil...some of it is. My mom was healed by God from cancer. She was given a year to live...She is now 27 years older. The cancer disappeared after she was prayed over. I have seen my dog's eye healed (he was blind...i prayed for him and his eye sight returned). I know that seems crazy but I have experienced it myself. How about falling out or being slain in the spirit? Once (before I thought it was real) I went up for prayer. This situation happened. I remember the preacher saying he was not going to pray for anyone until he had catchers behind everyone. I had my eyes closed. I felt someone touch me on the head and I fell. I wasn't tripped. I didn't lock my knees out. I could no longer stand. Later on while eating dinner a friend of mine was talking about how everyone that had a catcher fell at the same time. The preacher never touched anyone. No visible person touch any of us. THis you can not stage.

    Later I grew as a Christian and began doing my own studies. Tongues is only one of the evidences of being filled with the Holy Spirit. I was always told that you had to speak in tongues in order to be filled...THis is a LIE!! I've also been told that if tongues were spoken there had to be an interpretation...Not true either. THe gift of tongues is personal and should be used to edify not confuse. Some folks think that tongues has to be a human language. THis is not true either. Paul said that "I speak with the tongues of men and angels."

    I have also seen God's spirit prostituted and mocked and marketed. I have issues with this. THere is so much about GOd that I do not understand and I will never understand and that is ok.

    Tongues are a divisive topic within the church and it shouldn't be. I have learned that if a believer doesn't believe in tongues it is b/c they have been taught not to believe in them or they fail to understand tongues. Is tongues for everyone? Maybe...maybe not. I personally think that God will give the gift to anyone that seeks it but this gift isn't always given on our time or schedule.

  4. Thank you guys for sharing. I really agree with you in that I am not willing to discount it totally but I don't think that it is as common as people want to present it as.

    If it is that common and that critical how come in 6 months I have never heard it from the pulpit?


Thanks for visiting!