An unguarded strength can be a danger. That is not a new thought to me. It is not particularly profound, but it came with fresh force as I read Meistersinger Elkhart today. He was a mystic. At times his developed skill in that area leads him to some very fanciful interpretations of Scripture that by any stretch of the imagination are not valid. I still find him worth reading but with caution. I find I need to do the same even with some of my favourite writers that I turn to more regularly like Henri Nouwen or Brennan Manning. Their understanding of humanness is profound but at times they lean more to that than to Christ and the Bible. I remember noticing the same In Reformed teachers in the early days of my. Christian life. Their mastery of the doctrines of grace sometimes led them to twist Scripture and cleverly avoid its clear meaning. In the past I have met experts in Revival who could not acknowledge or recognise the Spirit of God at work in their own day.
Needless to say Charismatics like me can without care become guilty of the same thing. A strong conviction to do with “Kingdom now, as in heaven so on earth” can lead to strange fire, and the abuse of the vulnerable and to behaving in an unseemly way, the exact opposite of what love looks like. Just listen to some of the most current teachers on that theme and look at some of the ministry styles and bizarre corporate behaviour it wrongly baptises as a new level of “Faith” and its self congratulation for non results rather than humble admission that declaration can be arrogant presumption, taking God’s people into the territory of the dancing and chanting prophets of Baal.
Just in case you are wondering, I see the same in me.
I guess I am asking if you are guilty of the same? God given strength of ability, gifting, calling can make us single eyed in the wrong sense, one track minded in favour of that rather than following Jesus and faithfulness to the Scriptures. The two do not necessarily coincide. We can actually become a mystic, a Bible teacher, a prophet, a church leader, someone used in a healing ministry, who is skilled to a high level, who could even give talks on our area of acknowledged skill and expertise, but we have “lost connection with the Head.” Our expertise, sadly, can become our life. When it does its ability to bring the true life of Christ to people starts to wane, though we may well continue to be applauded by a Christian community that on the whole seems to not understand the presence or the absence of true anointing and its attendant true wisdom and love that comes from God.
Again, as often, a useful question can often be, “Is it I Lord.”