Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Win for the Wiccans

Good news for the Wiccans of the world – after a 10-year battle, the Department of Veterans Affairs has approved the Wiccan pentacle as an emblem allowed on government-issued headstones and in national cemeteries.

Several veterans’ widows brought a lawsuit against the VA through the ACLU after traditional requests to recognize the emblem were denied. Initial claims by the VA that no new requests were being approved due to a procedure evaluation were found to be false, as symbols for 6 other religions were approved between the time of the Wiccans’ initial request and the lawsuit. I find this strange - if it’s okay to memorialize someone as a follower of Seicho-No-Ie or Eckiankar, (both of which are approved non-traditional religions,) why not as a Wiccan?

There is considerable conjecture that our President’s personal feelings regarding Wiccans were the primary influence in the VA’s actions. You never know what’s true and what’s just propaganda, but regardless, it’s fairly clear that discrimination did occur.

I believe our government plays a dangerous game when it gives preference to some religions over others. I have read all the way to the end of my Bible, and I know that someday, like it or not, the “moral majority” will not exist, and Christians will be the ones wondering why we’re not being given equal rights. If we don’t treat other religions fairly now, how can we even hope for them to treat us fairly in the future?

I am so tired of people posturing about how this nation was founded on Christian values, but then trying to circumvent basic American rights such as Freedom of Speech and Separation of Church and State when upholding them is not convenient for their particular cause. Americans are free to believe in whatever god they choose, and the government shouldn’t be deciding who gets to display that belief and who doesn’t. If I don’t want to see a Wiccan pentacle on a tombstone, then I have the freedom not to look at it.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Can Two Wrongs Make A Right?

Divorce isn’t something I ever thought much about. My parents and my husband’s parents are still married, and I am nowhere close to divorce myself. It’s one of those sticky topics that I always chose not to examine especially closely, but now that I have several friends facing this tragedy, I find I can’t stop thinking about it.

Somewhere along the way, I developed the idea that divorce was flat out wrong – a sin no matter how you sliced it. It’s a concept of Christian culture that I guess I just accepted without really studying it. After all, it had never touched me before. But now that I’ve done a little research, I have gone from being sure about the subject to being thoroughly confused.

Starting with the Old Testament – Deuteronomy 24:1-4 outlines the Mosaic law on divorce. To sum up, it says that if a man gets tired of his wife and divorces her, and then she takes a second husband who also ends up divorcing her, she can’t go back to the original husband because she’s been defiled and it would be detestable to God. No mention of the original divorce being any kind of sin, and no discussion on whether or not the woman can take a different 3rd husband.

When Jesus came along, the Pharisees tried to bait him by asking if divorce was permissible, to see if he would contradict the law of Moses. Jesus told them that Moses allowed them to divorce because their hearts were hard, and said in Mark 10:11-12, “A man who divorces his wife and marries someone else is unfaithful to his wife. A woman who divorces her husband and marries again is also unfaithful.” Okay – so this passage seems to say that remarrying means committing the sin of adultery. But what if you get divorced and then stay single? Is that still a sin?

Paul sort of addresses that issue in I Corinthians 7:18 when he says, “To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.” Why doesn’t he stop after telling people not to separate? If you divorce but don’t get remarried, are you sin-free? Or if you separate but never get an official divorce, is that okay?

The Bible isn’t as clear cut on divorce as I was always lead to believe. So are my friends who have separated from their husbands doing the right thing? There’s one thing the Bible does make PERFECTLY clear - it’s not my place to judge.

If God didn’t spell out every detail surrounding divorce, maybe that means it’s not a black and white issue after all - His will may be different for different people. Romans 2:15-16 says, “People who are guided by the Spirit can make all kinds of judgments, but they cannot be judged by others. The Scriptures ask, ‘Has anyone ever known the thoughts of the Lord or given him advice?’ But we understand what Christ is thinking.”

I have no right to tell others what God’s will is for their lives. How could I be so arrogant as to believe that God would tell me what He wanted my friends to do instead of telling them? Maybe their real sin was disobeying God and marrying the wrong person, and divorce is a step back to His path for them. Maybe sometimes two wrongs do make a right. I don’t know, because IT’S NOT MY JOB TO JUDGE!

I have been truly disgusted by the “Christians” who have had the gall to judge my friends under the guise of proclaiming God’s will. Why is it that people who have been nothing more than casual acquaintances suddenly think it’s okay to call them up and tell them what horrible sinners they are and what they should do to fix their lives? Whatever happened to those without sin being the only ones authorized to cast stones?

To help my friends, I just need to pray that they will have the discernment and strength to follow the will of the Lord, WHATEVER it may be. You never know how God will work in people’s lives, and I truly believe he can use ANYTHING to bring his children closer to him. Even divorce.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Umm.. I know prayer is powerful, but...

A few weeks ago, a new couple joined our Home Group. We are always glad to welcome new people, but it’s a little nerve wracking too. We have been blessed with awesome couples so far who have meshed together wonderfully, but I am always looking out for the wack-jobs around the corner. For a brief moment, I thought I’d found them.

The evening had gone really well, and it seemed that the new couple was feeling right at home. I was about to mentally declare success, but then we started sharing prayer requests.

The new guy is looking at the floor with his hands clasped in front of him, and he solemnly says, “I just want my Mom back.”

Period. No further explanation, no eye contact. His comment hangs in utter silence, because we all think she is DEAD!!!!

My mind is racing – I don’t think he’s joking, but surely he doesn’t expect his mom to come back from the grave! I want to be a compassionate leader, but at the same time, I am thinking “Oh Lord – there’s a nut job in my living room! Help!”

We must have all had dumbfounded looks on our faces, because as soon as he looked up he quickly explained that his mom was stuck in the Los Angeles airport due to inclement weather, and she was having no luck getting a flight home.

Phew! The entire group busted out laughing as we explained our confusion and great relief. One girl said she had been just about to start explaining to him that his mom was “in a better place.” Pithy I know, but at least she had thought of something to say – I had no clue!

My husband and I were reminded again that adding new people, though it may be difficult, is the best way to keep a group fresh. And in case you’re wondering, his Mom did finally make it home.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

They Said WHAT?

One of the special joys of being an HR Manager is that every employee who’s a little “off” ends up in your office at one point or another. Employees have told me some crazy things over the years, so I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorites:

“You don’t have children? What – you don’t like kids? Baby Hater! I knew there was evil in this place!” – said by a woman who quit on her first day. Apparently she felt she needed a better reason than that she just didn’t like the job.

“Satan is using you to ruin my life! You're a tool of the devil!” – said by a man I was terminating for goofing off instead of working.

“I need some time off because my mother was kidnapped by Colombian guerrillas. Sure…

“You should stop trying so hard to help people. Nobody cares when you’re nice to them, and it doesn’t make a difference. You’re wasting your time.”

That one was said recently, and it has been weighing fairly heavily on my mind. Am I wasting my time? Because that guy was right – I try extremely hard to make things better for my employees, but they don’t really seem to care. If I do something fantastic for people, they remain silent. But if I have to do something they don’t like, you’d better believe I hear about it!

The guy who made the comment was actually trying to be kind. He felt sorry for me because I continue to carry what he sees as false hope. And I have to say that sometimes, I am very tempted to follow his advice. It would be so much easier to turn myself off, slip into complacency, and stop caring so I don’t keep getting disappointed. But I just can’t do it.

Colossians 3:23 says, “Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” As low as I get sometimes, I am always eventually reminded that I am really working for God, and His approval is all I should need.

I hope things at my job get better, but regardless, I will keep working doggedly and taking on more responsibility, even though I know there won’t be more compensation. I will continue to throw myself out there to be unappreciated and abused. I guess most people will think I’m nuts, but maybe someone will be curious enough to ask why I keep pounding away. And then maybe I’ll get to tell them about my Lord, who makes it all worthwhile.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Wild and Crazy Gal!

Recently I came across an article on eDiets.com that really grabbed my attention - “How Wild Women Stay Thin” by Dr. Matthew Anderson.

When I think “Wild Women,” I think of young Hollywood – Paris Hilton, Tara Reid, Lindsey Lohan, and the like. I always assumed they stayed thin through a strict regiment of binging and purging, made palatable through a steady stream of alcohol. But apparently, attitude is the key.

According to the article, “A life too focused on domestic duties and expectations can drain a woman of her instinctual wildness, passion, and creativity. Too many women control their wildness with comfort food, and thus create extra pounds instead of aliveness.”

I have instinctual wildness? Really? Because I’m pretty sure my natural instincts are to do the exact OPPOSITE of wild. I have no desire to drive too fast, drink too much, remove my clothing in public, or do anything else that would get me in the next Girls Gone Wild video. But if I can magically get to a size 2, I really want to find and release this wildness. Fortunately, Dr. Anderson provides some guidelines:

1. “Acknowledge and accept the fact that instinctual, healthy wildness is an essential part of your being.”

Okay – here goes: I’m wild, and it’s healthy!!! Whoopee!!!!

2. “Get a journal and begin to list and describe how your wildness could be expressed. This exercise will help you moderate the anxiety that may initially arise when you approach these energies in yourself. Remember, your wildness is not inherently dangerous, but you may experience some discomfort and you begin to get to know it.”

Discomfort is right – does this tip sound a little sketchy, or is it just me? Exactly what is “inner wildness” again?

3. Read some book about running with wolves.

I thought it was dancing…whatever.

4. “Start every day with the following question: How can I express my wildness today?”

I have to express it EVERY DAY? I’m not sure being wild is going to jive with being a young professional. Well, maybe I could wear brown shoes with black pants or sign an important document with a purple pen. Would that cut it?

Time to face the facts – wild is just not my style. I love my life and I have a lot of fun… in a calm, laid-back, unassuming kind of way. I guess I will have to stick to diet and exercise and leave the dancing on tables to Miss Lohan. Here’s to the Un-Wild Women!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Please DON'T Pray for Me!

If someone says they’ll pray for you, that’s a good thing…right?

I don’t know about the rest of the world, but in the South, that seemingly innocuous phrase could mean you’re in trouble. The Bible tells Christians not to engage in idle chatter about other people, aka gossip. That’s a real bummer, because for some reason, discussing another person for no constructive reason is very enjoyable, especially if that person is involved in an embarrassing situation or has engaged in some sort of scandalous behavior. How to overcome this moral dilemma? Enter prayer.

Sometimes, when people say they’ll pray for you, what they really mean is that they’ll call their friends and have a gritty, trashy, down and dirty discussion about your situation. They will rehash every detail and speculate on the horrible things you must have done to bring such tragedy upon yourself. Though their true motive is to build themselves up by tearing you down, they will convince themselves that the only reason they’re talking about you is to figure out how to “pray” for you. During this prayer-research session, they’ll throw in a “Bless her Heart” every once in awhile, and might say something like “I just pray he’ll come to his senses” to try to make it legit. But rarely does an actual prayer take place.

I think that most Christians would agree that these kinds of prayer/gossip sessions are wrong, and choose not to initiate them. But if someone starts gossiping to us, it’s much easier just to go along to avoid confrontation and keep the peace. We think we’ll let the other person do most of the talking, and convince ourselves we can forget about what was said. Plus, if we ask someone to stop gossiping, we virtually guarantee we’ll be that person’s next hot topic. And who would want that?

Despite the risk, I think Christians should be willing to Just Say No when it comes to participating in denigrating talk, especially under the guise of prayer. Gossip does nothing but cause dissension within a body of believers, and it destroys credibility with the outside world. And to call it prayer cheapens the awesome gift of individual communication with God. Personally, I have never been physically beaten, but I have been absolutely crushed by cruel words from other so-called Christians.

I am sure that someone who has read this blog is now thinking about who they can call to “pray” for me. Well, I give you official permission to say anything nasty about me you want – just don’t call it prayer.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Jesus Junk

Remember the New Kids on the Block? Back in the late 80’s/early 90’s, they stormed the teenybopper scene with bubble-gum classics such as “Hangin’ Tough” and the heartfelt ballad, “Please Don’t Go Girl.” They were a pre-fab music group with little talent and no substance, but they were brilliantly marketed to a willing teenage audience and became wildly successful. Pre-pubescent girls (and I guess some boys too) clamored for NKOTB merchandise and bought it off the shelves as fast as it was produced. Who cared if the t-shirt disintegrated after the first wash or if the Little Joe doll’s head popped off as soon as you got him out of the box? If it had to do with the New Kids, their “disciples” couldn’t wait to buy it.


Sometimes I feel like we don’t use any more sense when it comes to Christian merchandise. Just walk into your local Christian bookstore, and you can buy everything from icthus-shaped hair bows to breath mints wrapped in scripture-emblazoned paper. And of course there are the t-shirts with slogan gems such as “My Posse’s Ready for Spiritual Warfare” and “God’s Last Name is not Dammit.” But my favorite has got to be the penny with the cross shape stamped out of the middle…that costs $2. Who pays $2 for a penny? But no matter how poorly conceived, cheaply made, or just plain ridiculous a product is, the Christians to whom these products are marketed gladly buy them.

And it goes a lot deeper than merchandise. Did you record a crappy song? No major record label will touch it, but since it’s about Jesus we’ll let you make an album and play it on Christian radio. Can’t get your pathetic novel published? Turn the main character into a Christian and we’ll have it on bookstore shelves tomorrow. I think that sometimes when we see something that is “Christian” we feel we have to like it, even if it’s not very good. Somehow we subconsciously think that rejecting a Christ-related product means we’re rejecting Christ himself, and that certainly isn’t true.

I Corinthians 10:31 says, “…If you eat or drink, or if you do anything, do it all for the glory of God.” I wonder if we Christians shouldn’t start holding the people who produce merchandise and media aimed at us to this standard. How in the world can God be glorified by a t-shirt that says, “Don’t Believe in Hell? It’s Still There. You’re Still Going!”? There are some amazing Christian musicians, writers, and other artists who don’t get their due because they are so hard to find amidst the sea of crap in which they are swimming. There are many thoughtful and inspirational Christian products too that get lost among the “My Boss is a Jewish Carpenter” bumper stickers and the “Jesus Loves You” pot holders.

Although it would be easy to blame the producers of Christian merchandise for flooding the market with inferior products, it’s really not their fault. After all, they wouldn’t keep making crap if we weren’t standing in line to buy it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

DNA - The Language of God


As it turns out, the head of the Human Genome Project, Dr. Francis Collins, is a Christian! Go here to check out a commentary he wrote for CNN describing his journey to Christ and why he finds no conflict between Science and Religion. There are several comments following the piece that are interesting and thought provoking as well. Enjoy!

Monday, April 9, 2007

The Easter Bunny...Cute, or EVIL?


Well, let me start off by apologizing for my posting infrequency of late. Work has been crazy, and then we had family birthdays followed by the Easter holiday, which brings me to the subject of this blog:

My brother-in-law and his girlfriend decided to dye some Easter eggs this year, and while doing so, they got into a heated debate over a random but thought-provoking question: “Could Jesus have ever had an Easter Egg hunt?” Apparently it was a very spirited discussion, which was finally settled once they decided to ask the source of all knowledge…Google.

As it turns out, Easter is an ancient pagan holiday that got its start with one of Noah’s great-grandsons, Nimrod, and his wife, Semiramis. Nimrod became a highly influential political force and built some of the greatest cities of the era, including Babel. He rebelled against God and built a religion around himself.

When Nimrod died, Semiramis deified him as the Sun-god, and he later became known as “Baal,” worshiped prominently in the Old Testament. Sometime later when Semiramis gave birth to an illegitimate son, Tammuz, she claimed that he was supernaturally conceived and that he was the savior God had promised. Legend further claims that Tammuz was killed by a wild boar and went into the underworld, but his mother’s weeping resurrected him as the season of Spring. Does any of this sound familiar?

Over time, Semiramis became deified as the goddess of Spring and fertility. She was originally called “Ishtar,” which evolved into Eostre, Astarte, Ostera, Eastre, and finally…Easter!

Next, enter the Bunny and the eggs. The rabbit is a notoriously fertile creature, and was the symbol for the Mother Goddess. The egg was also a sacred symbol for the Babylonians, who believed a fable about a giant egg that fell from heaven and hatched Easter herself.

So if Easter is a pagan goddess and rabbits and eggs are her symbols, how did Easter become a Christian holiday? It seems that pagans were willing to give up their gods to become Christians, but not the festivities surrounding them. So to help assimilate mainstream culture, Christians simply turned the pagan fertility festivals into celebrations of the resurrection of Christ – thus, Easter as we know it was born!

Back to the original question – could Jesus have hunted Easter Eggs? I’d say he could have, but there’s no way he actually did. He would have emphatically rejected anything related to false gods or idol worship, so egg hunting would definitely have been out.

So did the Easter Bunny hop straight out of Hell? Should we head down to the PAAS egg dye factory and hold an exorcism? Nah. Easter is just another example of how society is constantly changing around us without our even noticing – yesterday’s pagan sacrament is today’s good clean family fun.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Waiting for the World to Change?

I generally like John Mayer, but his song “Waiting for the World to Change” gets under my skin. I like the music and the general vibe of the song, but the lyrics kind of bother me.

The gist of the song seems to be that because his generation (which is also my generation) has very little chance of making a change in society, we should sit back and wait until the Baby Boomers die off and our generation “rules the population.” This smacks of apathy to me, which I can’t stand.

However, I am a big believer in focusing your efforts where they have the greatest chance of making a positive change, which kind of leaves me in the middle of the road where politics are concerned. I have definite opinions on the hot issues, but I don’t get particularly passionate about any of them because it seems like wasted energy. And I don’t get into any of the news shows, because I am fully aware that at the end of the day, it’s more about ratings than “fair and balanced” journalism. I don’t get irritated about it though - I’m content to take what I see with a grain of salt and move on.

I have a friend who is always writing to her congressman, or state representative, or mayor, or WHOEVER has influence over an issue she cares about. I think it’s really cool that she gets involved, and I wish I was motivated to do the same. But because I feel that there’s little chance that my letter would make a difference, I don’t bother. At the end of the day, I am perfectly happy to exercise my right to vote every chance I get, and leave it at that.

I guess the song bothers me because I don’t want to admit that it offers a more accurate description of me than I would like. Sometimes I fancy myself to be more worldly than I actually am where politics are concerned, and I don’t want to be reminded that when it comes right down to it, I really don’t care as much as I’d like to think. I find myself putting a lot of time and energy into the people around me, and putting my concern for the world at large on the backburner.

I guess it all comes back to moderation. You can’t spend all your free time doing protest marches, but you can’t refuse to care either. Thanks to John Mayer for helping me sort all this out.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

DINKs Unite!

I have a little secret to tell you...

I don’t really like kids. At all. Babies make me extremely uncomfortable, and the idea of breast feeding repulses me. I don’t enjoy being around older children either, (except for a few notable exceptions,) and I wish restaurants had “no children” sections so I could eat in peace while rambunctious kids enjoyed themselves in a different area. I am just not one of those women who is overflowing with natural love for children.

It’s generally not a good idea to disclose this point of view if you are trying to fit into the traditional Southern church culture. When my husband and I got married and joined our first church together, I made the na├»ve mistake of telling a group of women that I didn’t like babies. I think I would have gotten a better reaction if I had told them I was the spawn of Satan! There wasn’t much of a verbal response, but their eyes and facial expressions told me there was a special place in Hell with my name on it.

I’m ashamed to say that I really let those women get to me, and for awhile I chose to skirt the issue rather than be myself. Once when a lady asked me when I was going to have children, I simply said “I can’t.” And as I knew she would, she assumed it was because of a physical limitation, and I just let her believe it. Bad of me, I know. But it wasn’t a total lie because I really can’t have kids – as long as I keep taking my special little pill.

At this point in life, I am way past hiding who I am to fit in with ANYONE, especially the church lady crowd. I know that God made me the way I am for a reason, and that children are not in His will for me right now. Someday He may zap me with a maternal instinct and tell me to have 6 kids, and that’s okay. And if He never allows me to have a child at all, I think I will be a little sad, but that will be okay too.

My husband and I have since become part of a much more progressive, though still primarily family-focused, Community church. We have even started a Home Group, (our church’s alternative to Sunday School,) for young couples without children. We’ve been dubbed the DINKs, (Double Income No Kids), and God has blessed us tremendously through the group. That’s not to say we’ve received unconditional acceptance, because the idea of excluding children from a church activity is still somewhat controversial, no matter how open-minded the church. But I know there are at least 5 couples grateful to have a place to belong.

I believe it’s right for churches to put the majority of their efforts into reaching families with children, but I wonder if we’re doing ourselves a disservice by forgetting about people in the no-man’s-land between marriage and parenthood. According to an NBC news report that aired this week, 70% of married couples now wait more than 3 years to have children. So that means for the most critical early years of a marriage, the church overlooks 70% of couples at a time when they need guidance the most. Could that have something to do with the 50% divorce rate?...

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Borat Gets Saved

I finally broke down and rented Borat. Not my first choice of movie, but it’s become such an influence in pop culture, I figured it was time to understand what everyone is talking about. Anyway, the movie was almost exactly what I expected – over the top, somewhat disturbing, but overall quite funny. I say “almost” though, because I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be thought provoking…

The turning point in the movie comes when Borat hits rock-bottom, forced to sleep on the street and burn his beloved Baywatch magazine for warmth. But lucky for Borat, he wanders into a Pentecostal church and gets a whole new taste of America.

The Pentecostals are having a Sunday worship service, and it is quite a scene! People are running up and down the aisles, jumping, screaming, jabbering incoherently (otherwise known as speaking in tongues,) and one guy is doing some jiggly dancing that is sort of a cross between the MC Hammer and a seizure. The scene culminates with Borat at the front of the church, claiming his belief in the Holy Spirit. A leader, who I assume is the pastor, declares Borat healed and whacks him in the head with the heel of his hand, causing Borat to faint and fall to the ground. Fortunately, some well trained “catchers” are there to ease his landing.

I am watching this thinking, “Crazy Pentecostals – no wonder people think Christians are deranged. What the crap are you doing?” But then I realize – I am falling into the very trap I hate the most; I am judging a group of Christians solely by what I have seen in the media. I have never been to a Pentecostal church, and I have no idea WHY they do what they do. So time for a little research.

There are plenty of passages in the Bible that encourage believers to worship in a physical way, especially in Psalms. You can do your own reading, but shouting to the Lord and dancing for joy are common directives. In I Timothy 2:8, the Apostle Paul even directs us to “lift up holy hands in prayer.” Score one for the Pentecostals.

But what doesn’t seem to be clear is the EXTENT to which you are supposed to do these things. I have sung praise songs and raised my hands to the Lord, but I can promise you, I have NEVER done them quite as exuberantly as Borat’s buddies. Am I too uptight, or are Pentecostals suffering from too much of a good thing?

On to speaking in tongues. According to http://www.truthortradition.com/, “To speak in tongues is to fluently speak a language of either men or angels, a language that does not come from your mind, but by way of God’s spirit within you.” Sound wacky and bogus? Maybe not.

Speaking in tongues is considered a Spiritual Gift, and was prevalent in the early Church. Paul devotes I Corinthians 14 to the practice, even claiming to do it more than any of the other church members at that time (v. 18). In verse 39, he goes so far as to instruct the Church NOT to forbid speaking in tongues, which implies that they must have been thinking about banning it. Was Paul the first Pentecostal?

I don’t think so. If you read on, Paul says, “But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue (v. 19).” As the chapter progresses, he advocates a common sense approach to worship services, giving specific instruction for keeping things organized and cohesive. In verse 40, Paul sums up the whole chapter, “But everything must be done in a fitting and orderly way.”

I just don’t see how running up and down aisles and doing the Seizure Hammer dance in front of the whole church can be described as orderly. The idea of fainting after being “healed” (known as being “slain in the Spirit”) only became popular in the 19th century, and has no strong basis in Scripture that I can see. And some Pentecostal groups believe that if you can’t or don’t speak in tongues, you have not really received the Holy Spirit, the presence of God which dwells within a true Christian. Paul’s teachings don’t support that, and I don’t buy it.

Personally, I am often moved by the Holy Spirit. It generally happens when I am awed by something in nature, or when I am singing praise songs. The feeling is hard to explain, but I would best describe it as an overwhelming joy, followed by a great sense of peace. The God I know doesn’t need me to SAY anything – He understands what’s in my heart.

So am I going to become Pentecostal anytime soon? No way. Do I think Pentecostal practices are wrong? Absolutely NOT. I’m just not sure it’s the BEST way to influence others.

I would say to today’s Pentecostals what Paul said to the early church a long time ago: “Suppose everyone in your worship service started speaking unknown languages, and some outsiders or some unbelievers come in. Won’t they think you are crazy? (v. 23)” Yep. And some believers will too.