Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Gifts of the Spirit

Some of you might be wondering if this blog is changing direction, I really don’t know but you could be. Let me assure you it is not. This blog has been about the same thing the whole way through: My spiritual journey and the questions I ask and the problems I have. This new direction on the same journey is me asking is the leading of the Holy Spirit real and useful? What does it look like and what would it look like? Will I speak in tongues and make a complete fool of myself and appear to be a fraud? Will I just gain direction in my life? Perhaps what I will find out is that the whole experiment was useless and nothing came from it. I don’t know, you don’t know but I am hoping me you, my <10 readers, will find out.

So I was thinking what are the gifts of the spirit again, I really cannot remember. I think there is prophecy and praying/speaking in tongues, the others I cannot remember. Up on looking up the possible gifts I could expect, if this whole thing pans out, there are nine. They are located in 1 Corinthians Ch. 12: 

1) Word of Wisdom
2) Word of Knowledge
3) Faith
4) Gifts of Healing
5) Working of Miracles
6) Prophecy
7) Discerning of Spirits
8) Divers (or different) kinds of Tongues
9) Interpretation of (different) Tongues

I think I know what some of them are but I have never seen a convincing case of any of them. I have been going to a Pentecostal church of one sort or another majority of my life. I have heard tongues but I have never been convinced about them (read my post on tongues to find out more). I was wanting to write a post on prophecy called: ”Prophecy: The Most Useless Gift” I think that sums up my attitude on that point. I still may write it as a part of my experiment series of posts.

I do know what some of the others are due to my very Pentecostal background. Word of wisdom is getting an insight about a person and giving them good advice without prior knowledge of the problem. That in my opinion would be an awesome gift to have. I always wanted to be a wise guru or something. Wisdom is actually one of top five qualities I ask for when I pray.

Word of knowledge is similar. It is getting information about a person or a situation without prior knowledge. Like if your dog got hit by a car and I came up to you just hours after not having heard about it and said to you: “I am sorry that your dog died.” that would be an example of word of knowledge.

Faith, hmm, I mean I know what faith is but I am not sure what it means as a gift of the spirit. This confuses me.

The gift of healing is the biggest Christian fool-them-and-take-their-money industry in my opinion. I have never encountered a person who had the ability to heal others. If those people who hold big crusades claim to have it why are they holding big crusades and raking in the money instead going to the children’s cancer ward and touching and healing children until they get kicked out for it?

Working of miracles, I don’t know. I have seen what I deem to be miracles in my own life but none of them were worked by anyone. I have never seen anyone work a miracle. I have always just seen things happen like running out of money and not knowing where the food/money came from, well usually I knew exactly where it came from but it always came. Thank our friends, thank God or thank random chance.

Prophecy, never seen it. I mean I have seen people “prophesy” but it was in distinguishable from them making stuff up. I will continue to be skeptical of this until I hear a specific prophecy and it come true specifically. Not a vague Nostradamus like mess and then try to cobble it to mean a hundred different things it could fit due to its vagueness.

Discerning of spirits basically means the ability to see demons. Like the old monk in The Brothers Karamazov by Tolstoy you see demonic influences everywhere. It could also be paranoia or schizophrenia but I really should not judge.

Divers tongues, well, I suppose that maybe speaking/praying in tongues but from what I have heard they are not diverse at all and all sound the same, not at all like what the Bible describes in Acts. My father says that he has heard non-Italian speaking Finns speak perfect Italian during services and say real coherent things that were relevant, but I have no personal experience with this sort of speaking/ praying in tongues.

Interpretation of tongues is the yin to the speaking in tongues yang. It is the supernatural interpretation of the speaking. I have heard it many times, I do not get it.

So, I am praying to receive some of these gifts now. Maybe I will receive them and then understand them. Never had a single one of them, or seen others have them in a way I could believe that they would be real, so I have no idea if they are real or not and how they feel and work. Let’s see what happens. I believe in God, it is his people that I don’t believe.

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