Friday, 23 September 2011

A provocative statement that I am working through!

I read this sentence earlier this week and it has been living with me since:

"A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument."

This was written in the context of a book about the Holy Spirit called 'Good Morning Holy Spirit' by Benny Hinn.  Now I know that that name puts different thoughts in different minds.  There is such a mixed opinion of Mr Hinn and this blog is not a statement endorsing or attacking the man.  I just thought this statement was provocative.

In one sense I fully agree with him.  When sharing my personal story, no one can say it didn't happen without any integrity (as long as I'm not making it up!)  My personal walk with Jesus and the way that I live that out and communicate it will be the rebuttal to any great argument against Him existing or being God.  People will not always see it that way, but my experience will be my experience.

I think the danger of the statement is that our experiences can become the bench mark that we live by.  The person who experiences the baptism of the Spirit will point to that and say of course it is as it is written in the book of Acts.  Likewise the person who is healed.  However the person who has not been healed or who has prayed for but never experienced the baptism can rightly say to anyone trying to present a case that their experience is of no healing and of no Holy Spirit power.  Who is right?

This can only be settled I believe when we take our experience and line it up against what scripture says.  If my experience does not line up with the flow and body of scripture then my experience cannot be the bench mark. We cannot bring the bible down to our level of experience or we cannot add to the bible because of our experience.  The Bible must interpret our experiences and be the high water mark of what we expect God to do in our lives.

As you can see this has exercised my mind and will continue to do so as I think about the way I pastor and teach and counsel and live and love and be the follower of Jesus that I long to be.  I love the gist of the statement for evangelism purposes and as long as the experience is always measured against the great plumb line of God's word.

These are just initial thoughts and I'm sure they will continue to stew!

1 comment:

dave bish said...

I imagine it also works for the man with an experience of a lack of experience vs. one with an argument...

Truly interpreted experience is going to fit with Scripture - and Scripture will either affirm or re-interpret what we've experienced.