Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Our Roman Catholic friends have interesting ideas here.

This articles asks, HOW CAN THE CHURCH REVIVE?  Imagine the scene. A little boy has seemingly just died and is placed by a distraught mother before a bishop, who lays healing hands upon him. The boy remains limp -- but during Mass, a few minutes later, revives.

The author says, now there is the glaring need to return to the Church's incredible charisms -- the charisms granted by Jesus, (read more by clicking on title above.)

Yes, I agree. I just hate the word incredible, though, which literally means not believable.

I've blogged about my friend Bob Turner who was healed of CP in a home group meeting. The Great Commission of Matthew refers back to Matthew 10. The GC of Mark spells it out. "Signs will follow those who believe." "Until the end of the age/world/cosmos."

Then what happened? The Dark Ages. Laodicea--today? Maybe. The world, the flesh and the devil? Fer sher. Other than that, it's a mystery to me. I long to see God being God as the First Century church must have. I've seen a few things but not enough to satisfy me.

Jesus said when He came back, would He find faith on the earth? Do I have enough faith? Am I blind and too blind to know it? This passage appeared on my Facebook page today, and I didn't see it until after posting this blog. What a coincidence???

Today's Bible Verse
You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. - Revelation 3:17-18 - NIV

You probably know that passage refers to what we were just discussing--the powerless Laodicean Church.

Is most of the Western Church too busy trying to do good things and not enough into just being in Christ?

He goes on,  the charisms that can be released by the Eucharist, the deliverance that can come from Confession, from exorcism, from the Rosary....

We differ there. Salvation, yes, obviously. Confession, yes, exorcism, sometimes. I've mentioned on FaceBook the Southern Baptist missionary who told me he was surprised he had to use exorcism, saying, If you had told me that in seminary, I wouldn't have believed it.

The article mentions the charisms that will draw disaffected Catholics back into the fold -- and eventually, evangelicals and Protestants, once they see testimony to power.

Well, Evangelicals and Protestants have shown me that power. It's here. I was instantaneously healed of a damaged nerve in the arm in a Presbyterian healing seminar. And instantaneously healed of tension headaches in a healing crusade. Weeks went by, then five-plus years--no more tension headaches.

He mentions seeing a leg grow out. Yes, I saw that in a living room full of believers. And more. These things can happen where people pray and believe. Sometimes. Sometimes not.

But the point is, it didn't end with the last apostle. We're in agreement there. Here's Biblical proof that it's for today, until the Second Coming, after which we won't need healings, yay:

Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I Corinthians 1:7,8 (After the Resurrection, obviously. So, a future event.)

What has changed in the human condition over 2000 years? Nothing. We still need the gifts in order to be strong to the end.

We've all known situations where we need a message of knowledge and a message of wisdom from the Holy Spirit. We've all wanted to see a loved one or ourselves healed. We've all experienced these needs--not to mention the boldness to witness.

He concludes, When clergy have a deep prayer life, miracles result and problems are solved. It is the heart, not the head, that will revive us, and the solution to many current and seemingly insurmountable woes (falling attendance, abuse, modernism, aridity) is so simple: imitate Jesus.

Mmm, yes, but so many clergy do have a deep prayer life. And they're in the Word, they're on missions, they're in the community spreading the Gospel. They're wonderful, deep, sincere, spiritual people full of love of the Lord, love of people, and full of the Word of God.

But they're up against the Laodicean, I believe, trend today of not emphasizing this minor detail:

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil for God was with Him.  Acts 10:38, my life verse.

If we are to imitate Jesus as the author suggests--and it's a fine suggestion--we must be (continually) filled and anointed with the Holy Spirit. 

Yes, we receive Him with salvation. And He promises never to leave us or forsake us.

But we quench Him and grieve Him.

We need to make Him feel welcome, I guess, by obedience and confession of our shortcomings before a holy and perfect and compassionate and just God.

And maybe by inviting Him to fill us again?

If God in the flesh needed to be filled and anointed with the Holy Spirit, can we need any less?

Habakkuk 3:2 LORD, I have heard of your fame. I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.

"Holy Spirit, Come and Fill this Place" by CeCe Winans


Anonymous said...

God does what and how He chooses and sometimes our perspective of things are just that. i had a group of believers in my home to pray over a dear young man with brain cancer who had lost the ability to speak more than a yes or no and barely walk with a cane. yes we prayed for healing and didnt get that as our young friend died 6 months later. BUT...after the prayers and laying on of hands he was immediately able to speak in sentences and walk w/out his cane for his remaining 6 months on this earth. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Margo Carmichael said...

That's so interesting. I've also heard of cancer patients becoming totally pain-free, but still dying. It's all God, it's not us at all.

Patricia PacJac Carroll said...

MArgo, love your blog. It is so you! and that is a good thing.

Margo Carmichael said...

Patty, you are so sweet. Thank you.