Last year, I posted the following facebook SOS call:
"Hi, help needed. My relative called me tonight and he sounded really excited (he's not someone who'd call me late at night). He said he had invited a prophet to his place next week. He told me that the prophet is 100% accurate when he prophesied over his life, career and family!
He said that this is how the prophet works, "You must raise up your hands, both hands. The higher you raise them, as an act of surrender, the more accurate the prophecy."
My relative said he'd specially reserved a place for my family to attend and he promised me that I would be impressed. My relative is the lachrymose (emotional) type and he once sworn to me that evangelist Todd Bentley was the real thing. He really wants me to go and be blessed.
But unfortunately, I am a bit hesitant after watching some of his videos. I can't find anything written positive/negative about this self-proclaimed prophet. All I scooped up is that he was a graduate of Oral Robert University. Anyone knows this prophet? Is he really 100% accurate? Is he really the real thing? Should I attend? Or should I decline and then express my concern to my relative? Cheerz out!"
After the above post, I received a few interesting responses. One of them encouraged me to go and "buffy-slay" the questionable prophet. But I declined as this is a case where my spirit is unwilling and my body is near comatose. Here is why.
I've been a Christian since 1985 at the Reinhard Bonnke's crusade. I affectionally called him my spiritual godfather.
Since then, I've been through the roller-coaster ride of charismatics chaos. You name it and I've slammed dunk it. I've shook in the spirit, slain in it, giggled and, my god, laughed with it. I've danced and bounced like spirited mexican beans with it, spoke and even screamed in tongues by it. I've sometimes interpreted tongues with strange confidence. But most of the time, I was wholly perplexed and was groping in what I would deem a glossolalia blackout.
And the list goes on. I've given all my pocket money to the church under the Avanzini's "100 fold" ministry, served with missionary zeal, and done cold turkey door-to-door evangelism. I've even argued for God (or for myself or for personal pride - take your pick) with unbelievers, pre-believers and post-believers (the latter is a group of christians disillusioned with religion).
I've naively believed in Kenneth Hagin's "name it and claim it" ballyhoo, prayed with spiritual machismo for the alive but hurting, almost dead but hoping, and the passed on whilst disbelieving; all of which wrestling for their lost souls like a sales quota to meet. And finally, I've done my fair share of demon deliverance and I once ran after a man who was allegedly possessed by the spirit of monkey god under the proud grin of my pastor.
Oh, nearly forgot, I have also had visions of heaven, hell and that "club med of a middle ground" Catholics call purgatory, I think.
If there ever were a razzie-like award for the archetype chicken-without-head Christian, I should win first prize hands down, face frown and head clown.
For many years, I was a three-miles-wide, 2-inches-deep Christian, running on empty and seeking the thrill of the belief and not the belief that truly fills. Alas, I have put the "flesh" carriage before the "spirit" horse and now I think my relative is just about running the same course.
You see, this is the "dis-ease of humanity": that is, the thrill of believing and never really believing. This is the misdirected un-ease that comes from misguided belief. It is like subscribing to a magazine but never once reading them. It is like seeking the gift and not the Giver. Former televangelist Jim Bakker, with hindsight and contrition, wrote these words from a prison cell in Rochester Minnesota, "Don't fall in love with the gift wrapping, fall in love with Jesus Christ, the Gift of eternal life." How true from a man who had in the past spent much time busy unwrapping gifts after gifts without much reflection on the love of his Giver.
Having considered the above lamentation of the soul, I have a few charismatic burnt scars of my own. Some of which have sadly turned into psychological keloid scars, still itching with pain. And that is also why I felt a little mentally jaded with the shenanigans of spiritual charlatans, quacks, and even religious dilettante.
Sigh, I guess, quite unfortunately, my beloved relative will just have to take the unavoidable path on his own and discover for himself the emptiness of religious fanaticism and cuckoo-ism.
On my part, I will try my level best, with gentleness of spirit and tact, to warn him of the hidden booby traps along the way. This is in line with this wise saying: "Teach a man to think and he will hate you. Make him think that he is thinking, and he will love you." Between hate and love, in this case, love is the better teacher. Cheerz.