Should our own experiences with miracles be used as evidence for God's existence?

Monday Musings for May 25, 2020

Good morning, Musers,

Steve Martin played the character, Navin R. Johnson, in The Jerk. Navin was a white boy who was adopted into an African-American sharecropper’s family. Blues music was usually playing in the house, but try as he might, Navin could not find the beat. While listening to the radio late one evening, some “elevator music” came on... and his feet started to move — although differently — because it wasn’t a beat he was used to hearing. On that night, Navin found his tribe.

(Watch the above-mentioned clip at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6AlQgq9MRE)

Imagine being a teenager growing up in a charismatic church — one with all the charismatic excesses that make us evangelicals cringe — and despite attending conferences and things like “tongues camp” — you never spoke in tongues (... your impression was that they were phony gibberish) ... and you suspected that the “healings” going on around you were not real... yet you still hung-in with God.

Yours would be a story of survival! Yours would be a story of faith! Yours would be a story of biblical fidelity! ... and I share such a story with you today.

A teenager — who has grown up amid all these charismatic excesses — is worried that offering up dubious healings as proof that God exists won’t get the job done. This is an incredible insight for someone still in a youth group — let alone that youth group! — and he’s keen to have me weigh-in on the impact that such a strategy would have on soul-winning.

This teen has been a frequent visitor at Got Questions Ministries (a sister ministry) ... a fact I find incredible. Here’s a guy looking for biblical answers to the problems he is seeing in the charismatic culture. He is not — like so many others in his type of church — waiting for “a word from God” ... in an age where we have the whole word of God translated into 698 languages and portions of it into as many as 3,384.

Occasionally, a child who is approaching his majority finds himself in a place where he would be better off without his parents. The problem is, parents have legal custody by default. But a judge can change that. A judge can emancipate a child... declaring him to be a legal adult. After that, he still can’t rent a car... but at least he can act as his own agent and improve his chances of success.

Today’s seeker is one of those. He’s like Navin Johnson — innocent and earnest...  and putting up with music he doesn’t quite “get.” Yet — despite years of exposure to things like tongues, healings, prophecies and demon-casting — he finds his foot tapping to the tune of biblical sufficiency... and I find this marvelous!

He needs to attend a church where the Bible is not merely revered like a talisman... while people wait around for a “real” word from God. He needs to be in a church where the Bible is preached and taught as the centerpiece of God’s revelation. That’s typical of an evangelical church.

I recommended that this teen asks his parents to spiritually emancipate him — to let him go and follow the Spirit that is speaking to him. Please pray. I might have overstepped — but I couldn’t help myself. We are his tribe.

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