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god in a boxWhen you read the NT you see the demonstration and description of miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit. Right away on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) the people are speaking in tongues. Not long after we see the dead raised, lame healed, and people transported. It is a powerful outbreaking of the Holy Spirit in an arresting way.

When you read these things (and their corresponding descriptions, instructions, and warnings) a Christian must ask if these so-called miraculous gifts are operative today (i.e. the gifts of tongues, healing, & prophecy). Do we today see the same types of things happening as we did in the early chapters of Acts?

As a pastor I have been asked this question more times than I can count, particularly by people who are visiting and considering joining the church. My answer in short is “no”. I do not believe that the gifts of tongues and healing are present today as we saw in the early church. Much of what today gets passed off as tongues and healing are not what the Bible shows, namely known languages spoken and understood; and people being instantaneously (and fully) healed with a word or a touch. I tell them that my position (cessationist) is based upon observation: I see a tapering off of the miraculous gifts (tongues and healing) in the NT with the close of the Apostolic era and I do not see them consistently displayed in church history. Therefore, I don’t believe they are normative in the life of the church today. (note: prophecy is defined in different ways, but I would say that God is not giving new revelation today either. If you want to take prophecy as preaching, admonishing or exhorting-that’s fine.)

Don’t Put God in a Box

What is the response to this? “Don’t put God in a box.”

What they are saying with this is that my view that these miraculous gifts have ceased means that I only believe that God can work in this way or that way. In other words, God can’t do this and he doesn’t do that. They would say that I have, theologically speaking, accomplished the staggering if not strange feat of confining God’s activity in the world. As they go on they typically say something like, “God can do whatever he wants to do. If he wants to miraculously work in a village in Africa this way—he can. If he wants to communicate with me in a dream—he can. If he wants to miraculously heal someone—he can.”

How Do We See God Working?

Now we see the issue clearly. It is not so much the gifts as the activity of God. We also see something of the reflex of 21st Century, particularly Western Evangelicalism. The thought is that the evidence of God working in the world is the miraculous. God shows up and we all know it. We know God is working when tragedy is averted, disease is healed, life is spared, and the occurrence of personal experiences that cannot be explained.

But, what if God’s work is far more than this? What if his activity in the world is not limited to our perception of the miraculous? What if God’s activity in the world is less like Superman—rushing in to ‘save the day’ and then rushing out before he is spotted—and more like Atlas—holding the weight of the world on his shoulders? What if God is not actor in the story of our life but that we are in his story? What if God is the writer, director, producer, main character, and set designer?

The doctrine of Providence helps us here. Providence is God’s infinite power that upholds and governs all things that come to pass. As the Heidelberg Catechism says,

“God’s providence is his almighty and ever present power, whereby as with his hand, he still upholds heaven and earth and all creatures and so governs them so that: leaf and blade, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, food and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, indeed all things, come to us not by change but by his fatherly hand.”

The main things you need to know about this is that God is not disconnected from what is happening in the world today. God is upholding, governing, and ordering all things as with his very hand.

“Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.” (Psalm 135:6)

“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” (Hebrews 1:3)

“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,” (Ephesians 1:11)

“But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Matthew 10:30)

What do You Mean by a “God Thing”?

Those who believe that I have put God “in a box” seem to believe that God only shows up when something miraculous happens. But those in the Reformed tradition would see in God’s providence that he is actively involved in everything. We don’t use words like “That was a God-thing” because everything is a “God-thing” —he upholds, governs, and orders all things as with his very hand. This includes things like miracles and seemingly unexplainable events where God may directly intervene or even used secondary means.

So who is putting God in a box after all? On the one hand you have people who see God only in the so-called miraculous events of life and on the other you have people who see God working in all things. If I’m putting God in a box then it is a pretty big box, and it’s labeled “Divine Providence”. Whereas others, perhaps unwittingly, put God in a much smaller box, and it’s labeled “The Miraculous”. Do you really want to do that?


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41 thoughts on “Don’t Put God in a Box”

  1. Chuckt says:

    I haven’t really made my mind on spiritual gifts because it is a debate but if God was still speaking to people today and if there were apostles today, the consequences we would have would be extra books or extra revelation to the Bible and that becomes a problem.

    1. Erik Raymond says:

      Most who hold a view that prophecy continues do not put it on the same level as Scripture. You are right to say it would be a problem.

      1. Chuckt says:

        At what point do they start claiming they have a right to pen scripture? If they call themselves apostles and if they claim revelation from God then what is next? After defending the faith on many message boards, I see the claim of writing scripture to be the next step and the end times are supposed to be times of deception. There are a lot of arguments put forth that prophets don’t have to be 100% right by charismatics and they make a lot of claims which are excuses to do what they do and they try to back it up with scripture. And in this day and age, who is going to speak against them because in places like Ireland, talking against certain groups is hate speech and some of these megachurches are run like corporations and they have lawyers who will take everything you have so why doesn’t anyone speak out against some or the largest ministries in the country? It is because the pastors are afraid of the lawyers. So who would stop the wolves so to speak?

        I’ve called several counter cult ministries and know what they won’t do and I know one that is out of business because of lawsuits and they won’t do anything if it doesn’t make them money.

  2. Dan Sudfeld says:

    Excellent, Erik. Thank you for thinking that issue through and for sharing it. When people come into our church, and ask me if “I teach on the Holy Spirit,” I know by now that this is the exact kind of thing they are asking about.

    1. Erik Raymond says:

      Yes and sadly so. Think about the joy of the Holy Spirit in pointing to and showcasing the glory of Christ! (Jn. 16:14)

  3. Martin says:

    CLUTCHING THE BOX

    I keep God in a box
    a cube imprisoning the mystery of all He could be
    six-sided theo-neanderthal thought
    an equal to the skull confining me

    I cannot bear a rogue god
    nor the uncertainty of his free will
    I cannot unravel his parables of truth
    that tumble from my brow’s baffled sill

    Truth garbed in intimacy
    kneels before my hard-edged ear
    whispering poems of heavenly flight
    the words falling limp to everything I fear

    I cannot bear a rogue god
    nor his unpredictable ways
    thus, I clutch with arrogance
    the corners that hold him fast

    1. Jim Swindle says:

      That’s an excellent poem. I think it might sometimes describe both sides in this debate.

  4. Shelli Rehmert says:

    My sentiments exactly! I often tell people that God is at work constantly, throughout our moments, days and lives! The fact that our bodies function, that we put thousands of vehicles on the road and don’t have more casualties than we do, that the seasons come and go, etc. He is always present and always at work! Having had 5 children, some of my greatest times of worship were in witnessing the sonograms and marveling at the miracle of life. Even in suffering, He is not absent but working and orchestrating all the circumstances in ways that we miss if we are only seeking the miraculous. . He is much, much greater than our human minds can comprehend and He is limited by nothing. No box could ever contain Him for His vastness is infinite.

  5. Jeff says:

    Erik,

    I’m not sure this article fairly represents the many Reformed continuationists out there who would heartily agree with you that God sovereignly upholds and governs all things for His glory (Providence) AND would also say that God can and does work “subjectively” in moments of time that we might particularly recognize as His specific, even miraculous, working. I don’t think it has to be an either/or thing, and it isn’t one for any healthy Reformed continuationist. And, let’s be clear that Reformed continuationsts are saying as loudly as anyone that prophecy as they see it in the NT and available today is definitely NOT on par with Scripture/OT Prophecy, which is God’s infallible word. I’m afraid your article reinforces a false dichotomy and continues the fiction among many cessationists who have not been personally exposed to good, healthy expressions of Reformed continuationism they we are as silly as the TBN people, when that’s just not true. In practice, healthy Reformed charismatics are as Bible-saturated and Bible-driven (and expositional!) as anyone can be, and yet are also open to the “active presence” of the Holy Spirit for the encouragement and building up of the church and the empowerment we need for mission and ministry – knowing that any expression or experience thereof is and must be understood and guided by Scripture.

    1. Amen. Couldn’t have said it any better, Jeff.

    2. Kim says:

      AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!

    3. Matt says:

      I agree, if we stop looking at these issues from man to God and start from God to man I believe we humble ourselves rather than exalting our free will over God’s sovereignty . There are many healings and prophecies that I have seen take place on the mission field yet I do not trumpet those things I herald Christ and His cross. The gifts are great but the Giver is way better.

    4. Phil H says:

      I agree wholeheartedly Jeff and, like the others before me, think you have said it very well.

    5. Erik Raymond says:

      Jeff, thanks for the comment. The post is more about God working in the world than the charismatic debate. Though, the discussion of gifts regularly ushers in the real issue.

      1. Jeff says:

        Erik, thanks for your reply. You make a great point. Your article is not about the charismatic debate per se, but instead about how God works in the world and how people see, interpret, and expect one kind of activity versus another. We can easily become unbalanced and unhealthy in the way we put Him in a box – in particular coming to see the miraculous as His normative way of working and by extension miss that He’s always at work in everything (Providence). I hope and believe that healthy Reformed continuationists (not all are healthy, or very Reformed!) represent a healthy expression of not putting Him in either box, or at least letting Him be in both boxes, in a biblically-balanced way. Great post! Thank you!

        1. Erik Raymond says:

          Thanks Jeff. I could also say that there are many Reformed Continuationists (Storms, Grudem, etc) who have a very robust view of God’s providence. I continue to learn from them and others in this regard.

  6. Brett Vermillion says:

    I think I understand your viewpoint and agree with the observation of charismatic practice. On the other hand, it seems like a bit of a strawman as if there are only 2 choices available. Even though Charismatics may focus on talking about God in the big things and reach for, maybe even embellish the stories of miracles at times, I would imagine if you ask them if God is present in the small things, most would affirm He is, and very few would say He is not. That would leave a very small percentage in this category of not believing God is in the small things.

    Additionally those who are reformed and continuationist have a theology that clearly affirms God’s sovereignty and providence in all things. From their perspective it may indeed appear as if someone who does not affirm God’s active “miraculous” power at work is “putting Him in a box”.

    Blessings.
    Brett

  7. Dear Erik,

    Thank you for your remarkable views. I have a question especially on healing. When I was 16 I had a serious case of tonsillitis. You see, I was poor. I could not afford to go to the hospital. In America or Canada you have a great health care system, but in Zimbabwe we don’t. My uncle visited me. He is also poor, but he believed in Jesus. He does not hold any position in his church, yet he laid his hands on me and prayed. I went to the bathroom and spat two slimy gobules. I was healed. All my life I had a problem with tonsillitis, but that was the last. My question is was it the devil who healed me or it was just a freak of nature? Surely, from your theology God couldn’t do that.

    A decade ago, I met an old lady. She was illiterate, but one day she got fed up and prayed. That night she had a dream, a man teaching her how to read. The next morning she opened her Bible and began reading. If you want proof regarding this miracle I will be happy to give you contact details of the people who witnessed it. I only met her when she was already reading. May be the devil taught her to read the Bible.

    Here’s my position. God still heals miraculously. I grew up seeing a chair moving during dinner without anyone touching it, picture frame being adjusted on the wall without anyone touching, I saw with my own eyes someone spitting a frog after biting someone during a healing session. I was not saved, but I knew the works were of the devil because they placed people in spiritual bondage. With the position most Western Evangelicals have on miracles it appears is more powerful than their god.

    You guys in America have alternatives. You do not need to pray for healing, you have good health care system. You do not need miracles, the government offers great welfare systems. The only reason of God, is for mental consent in most cases. But for me as an African, I need God in everything. I need to pray for healing, I do not waste time trying to know the names of the diseases.

    May be we are uneducated, may be we haven’t studied extensively the Bible, may be it’s because we haven’t been through the halls of top seminaries, but the reality is if your god is powerless to heal, then we don’t need him in Africa the one we have is already better. He heals, he restores, he delivers and he saved us.

    If you doubt the stories I gave you feel free to contact me. I will be happy to send you phone numbers, home addresses and in some cases emails of people who can support my claims.

    1. SJ Jong says:

      Dear Edmond,

      I believe God speaks to each person in a unique “language”–it could be written or spoken words, a vision, or an event. God chooses the “language” based on the background of each “listener”. To the young child Samuel, who had Eli’s guidance, God spoke audibly to emphasize His presence (1 Sam. 3:1). To Babylonian kings who did not know or fear Him, God spoke through strange visions that no one could interpret without help from God Himself (Dan. 2, 4, 5). To a respected intellectual, He spoke bluntly and with abstract language (John 3:1-21). To an ordinary woman who was frustrated with service, He spoke patiently and gently (Luke 10:41-42).

      All of these times, why did God speak to humanity? The answer: to draw people to Himself. To remind people of His power, justice, sovereignty, and salvation.

      This brings me to the stories you mentioned. I believe God spoke to your family and neighbors through the language of miracles. To the lady who used to be illiterate, He used a language that doesn’t require literacy: a miracle, to show His mercy and power to the lady and all who witnessed her transformation.
      Now, once the lady began to read, she became capable of closely examining the word of God. She, like so many of us in America, could learn God’s revelation in great detail, greater than what she can experience through a miraculous change. I’ve heard it said that this may be the reason we don’t see many miracles in communities with easy access to the Bible (I say this with the most respect for your home community—if I sound condescending, I didn’t mean to, and I sincerely apologize) while more miracles still happen in places where healings and other supernatural events “speak” more effectively than texts do.
      As for your question, “Was the miracle from the devil?” Let me ask you this: After the miracles happened, how did people respond to God? Did they forget God and glorify someone/something else, or did they rejoice in God and worship Him? I’d imagine you and your uncle praised God for healing you. Now, would the devil perform a miracle that leads people to glorify God?

      Here’s a post I’ve read, with more thoughts on miracles from God vs. miracles from the devil: http://www.christianwalks.org/churchgodpro/which_miracles_are_of_god.shtml

      Thanks for sharing your story. What a testament to God’s compassion and might!
      Regards,
      SJ

  8. Paul G says:

    Many thanks for your article Pastor Raymond.

    I would generally be in agreement with you. I have one question. Are the tongues in the Bible always known languages? Certainly that would appear to be what they are in Acts. The “tongues of angels” in 1 Cor 13 could be hypothetical. But what do you do with 1 Cor 14:2 “For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit.”.

    1. Erik Raymond says:

      It would seem that the reference is to the practice of not having an interpreter and so as a result not having edification (lacking understanding). This could be reflective of the way in which the Corinthians were wrongly using the gifts.

  9. Daniel says:

    Surely all things are under the Divine Providence of God. Christ is before all things and before Him all things hold together. I affirm this whole heartedly and rejoice that nothing happens outside of his will. What a great hope this is!

    I hope however, that such a doctrine never becomes sufficient reason for inaction or lack of urgency. Yes, all things are God things. However there has to be some distinction between God’s broad providence over all things and His intimate life giving power that redeems hearts and sets captives free. If there is no distinction, than I fear that our prayers are in danger of becoming a general: “God, just keep doing your will. Amen.” Making no distinction between God things (broad) and God things (special) may tempt us to lives in danger of inaction as–well, God is in control and I cannot do anything–so I will not do anything.

    I hope that our great belief in the Providence of God does not stop us from praying for miracles. May we never stop pleading for God to work intimately in hearts; that he turn hearts of stone to hearts of flesh (this is the greatest miracle). Begging souls to be saved from hell. Imploring God that he revive us and build his church. All things are God things, but we need so much more of His intimate power and presence in our land–and I think that is an important distinction.

  10. Bill says:

    You have cleared-up some ideas I’ve had. I find much of what I hear or read a jumble of thoughts that I have tried to fit together like a puzzle, but the parts keep overlapping. Since God created us, and EVERYTHING, it is reasonable for me to believe that He performs what we call miracles everyday. But, he did it before we knew we needed it. He performed it in the very beginning. So, you might say our “miracle” has been waiting for us to arrive. I’m know that my knowledge or understanding is not complete. I wonder if I can control my ego enough to allow myself to continue to grow. Thanks for your thoughtful article and thanks to the person who forwarded it to me.

  11. Jeremy Edgar says:

    My issue with the “God in a box” comments, when referencing many issues, is that God often chooses to put himself in a box, so-to-speak. He chooses to work certain ways and not others. To acknowledge that is not the same as putting God in a box, or limiting him in any way, but rather letting God define himself. For instance, would Old Testament Israel be putting God in a box by only allowing a Levite to be a priest? Or would a New Testament Christian be putting God in a box by preaching faith alone in Christ alone as the path to salvation? Of course not, because we are simply allowing God to define how we are to know him and worship him. Far too often I hear the accusation of “putting God in a box” when Christians are simply going with what God has revealed. This of course may not always be the case but quite often I find that it is.

    1. Erik Raymond says:

      Great questions. I’ve heard folks say the same thing. God putting himself in something of a box.

  12. christoph says:

    First, the article gives an incomplete picture about the Early church, as it described in the Book of Acts. There was much verbal proclamation. Just see the sermons reported in Acts 2 by Peter or Acts 7 by Stephen. I remember very well that Friday afternoon early December 1979 as I had to defend my doctrinal statement of faith before 12 seasoned Pastors as part of my ordination. If I would would have said that I believe in visions and dreams that God uses to speak to people in the 20th Century that group would not had recommended me for ordination with the BGCC. But now over 35 years later I fully support that concept of God using vision and dreams, especially among Muslims to bring them into God’s kingdom. I truly do not want put God in that “box” whatever it means. Just a few weeks ago I heard the story of an ISIS killer who had a vision about the Cross and later accepted Christ. All of these cases are a combination of dreams and presentation of the Gospel. There are so many stories to tell you from the “real” worlld

    1. Erik Raymond says:

      When I hear fantastic stories I say, “Yes Lord! Do it again!!” I certainly don’t root against it. I am simply saying that it is not normative (which you prove by the fact that it is so newsworthy and astounding).

  13. Alien and Stranger says:

    Cessationism is a false doctrine in my view. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to carry out the ministry that Jesus called us to. I heard John Macarthur use 1 Corinthians 13:8 to justify cessationism. For an otherwise good expositor of the Word, this was a failure in hermeneutics, of not taking context into account. When will we no longer need God’s supernatural working in our lives and ministry? Only at the end, when “perfection comes” (the new Jerusalem).
    Yes, there have been and are ongoing abuses and misuses, and that is what Paul addressed in his letter, but that doesn’t mean we should ditch the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, or be selective about allowing him to work in specific ways (only the “natural” gifts!). There is nothing contrary to the Word about speaking in tongues, speaking prophetic words to people (which of course should always be tested, as the apostle John stated in his letter), ministering healing, deliverance, etc., to the sick and those in spiritual bondage.
    It is the Holy Spirit who brings revelation of the truth of the Gospel, who Jesus Christ is and what he did for us, bringing us under conviction of sin and bringing us to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. I know, because that is how it happened with me. I take no credit for God’s saving grace worked out in my life. Faith itself is a grace gift from the Lord – I had none until the moment I gave my life to Jesus.
    We know and serve a supernatural God, so indeed cessationism is putting him in an unScriptural box and limiting how he can work in and through our lives.

    1. Erik Raymond says:

      I wouldn’t use 1 Cor 13 to prove it. Also, this article was more about God’s activity than the gifts. Perhaps an article on that topic would be good sometime. I was simply connecting how the questions come from that angle and what they ironically do.

  14. C.G. says:

    I grew up under teaching different from that presented in this article. Very recently, my family has had to deal with a terrible, unexplainable tragedy, and what’s presented in this article sure seems to hold up better in this time than the “just ask with faith and God will heal the sick and raise the dead” stuff that I’ve always heard. I’ve felt angry and even doubtful lately toward God because I wonder why God would allow this to happen. Why would he take the person most important and influential in my life from me at such a young age?Why would the Bible say that the prayer of faith will heal the sick if sometimes it doesn’t? This article made me reevaluate the way I was thinking about God and encouraged me, even though I still have a lot of unanswered questions that may never get answered.

    1. Erik Raymond says:

      Thanks for the comment here C.G. I am sorry to hear of the heartbreak. The article and the truth behind it doesn’t make that all go away; this world is filled with trouble and pain (John 16.33). Instead of answering the “Why?” question the Bible answers the “Who?” question. When we don’t know “why” we can run to “who” we know.

  15. Phil H says:

    I agree with Jeff that the two are not mutually exclusive; that is truly a false dichotomy.
    Beginning in 2007 when I truly “got it” and born again in the Holy Spirit, I experienced the dreams and visions spoken of in Acts 2 quotes from Joel 2 strongly for 9 months. Concurrent in this period I was reading the NT straight through, receiving my full education in our faith guided by the Holy Spirit.

    Similar to Paul in 2 Corinthians, I’ve been extremely reluctant to speak of these things out loud to anyone but those who are very close to me (my wife, children). Most were of a personal nature and meant for me but not all. And some were very much prophetic in the telling of future events (again primarily about my life) which I didn’t fully understand and didn’t play out until several years later.

    But because I was quickly immersed in sound teaching and doctrine, I was never fooled into thinking that I was some sort of latter day prophet or apostle and allowed to override Scripture which we are told ended with the book of Revelation.

    I’m no kid either. I had just turned 50 when all of this occurred and not prone to delusions. A scientist by degree, I tend to be very linear in my thinking. So why was I given so much in this area? As of now, I can only say that in these nonsensical and frankly evil times that have come upon us all so quickly, it gives me great strength with specific memories to hold fast to the Truth which is being so readily abandoned around us including (sadly) in many of our churches.

  16. “I tell them that my position (cessationist) is based upon observation…” And that is the problem with cessationism. As Reformed Christians we are supposed to base everything in our faith on a solid biblical foundation.

    “Observation” is NOT solid, and is by definition subjective. Written records of healings and miracles can be found from every generation of Christians since New Testament times. So there’s even something wrong with “observation,” which must call it all fake. Were supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit more predominant in the Apostolic era? I’d sure hope so! Did they however cease (or “taper off”) with the death of the Apostle John? Not according to the best records we have. Were the obviously supernatural gifts ever “normative?” NO. That’s why people noticed and remembered miracles, and the supernatural.

    Can good gifts of God be faked by charlatans or the devil? Of course. No continualist denies there are many frauds and deceivers out there. That doesn’t make everything fake however.

    “The whole purpose of God about everything pertaining to his own glory and to man’s salvation,
    faith, and life is either explicitly stated in the Bible or may be deduced as inevitably and
    logically following from it. Nothing is at any time to be added to the Bible, either from new
    revelations of the Spirit or from traditions of men.” (Westminster Confession of Faith: 6a)

    Cessationism is not “explicitly stated in the Bible” nor is it “deduced as inevitably and logically following from it.” In fact, cessationist doctrine, based as it is simply on “observation,” is itself an addition to the Bible. So in order to ostensivly protect the Bible from enthusiasts adding to it…cessationists must add to it.

    Sad.

    1. Erik Raymond says:

      Thanks for the comment Ralph. Can you go ahead and provide some of those “best records that we have”?

      Also, you negate observation based upon observation. As the kids say, “I see what you did right there.”

  17. While the church at large moved (through fear of instability?) into cessationist mindset, history seems to have a pretty consistent thread of the charismata (inc. glossolalia & divine healing): eg David Allen’s There Is A River (2004). And biblically there’s good argument that there was no prediction of cessation (until the lord returns), and that they were set in the church age – was it Christian unease over the spirit and itch for creeds & clergy that downplayed them? What I like is the idea that we cannot put God into a box – gods, goddesses, and concepts of God, can fit, but not God, and sometimes we must thunk outside the box of our traditions for they are not always the paradosis of God. Wayne Grudem might be poor on Bible translation but he is good on the charismata, and worth a read.

    1. Erik Raymond says:

      Are you maintaining that the contemporary charismatic movement has a historical basis in mainstream, orthodox Christianity?

  18. christoph says:

    Looked over many comments. I live in Winnipeg/Canada. In our city we have a great “Pastors Prayer Fellowship.” We meet once a month. In the past we had once a year a combined worship service in our hockey arena. May/June we have two weeks LOVE WINNIPEG. We wear the same T Shirt and do as individual churches, sometime several churches band together, to show God’s love in action and words. These churches include Pastors from Independent churches, Charismatic Churches, Pentecostal, Alliance, various Baptist & Mennonite Churches, Anglican, and United Churches(Methodists/Presbytherian). and some para church agencies. The focus is prayer for our city. We never discuss theology and how we have difference. My question is: Would anyone of you feel comfortable being part of such a fellowship, even if your view on that issue discussed here is really different?

  19. Elaine Bakle says:

    If you believe that God is all powerful, then why do so many “Christians” put the Almighty in a box where He must perform to their liking, which includes partisan interpretations of any and all Holy texts. Order and read Deathlinks on Amazon.com. ; a fictional portrayal of all things challenged by institutional religion.

  20. christoph says:

    Yes Elaine, God is all powerful. We experienced something just recently that shows in practical ways how God knows already. We’re in the process bring a team to Canada For Eastern Europe.Two of our provinces like to host that team. During a Skype session I had a “compromise” solution, divide that team into two. Now we got know that two member could come at a particular time frame. The other member could only come at a different time. God knew before

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Erik Raymond


Erik Raymond is senior pastor of Emmaus Bible Church in Omaha, Ne. He and his wife Christie have six children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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