Last night while at my girlfriend’s church and reading the notes from The Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible (because I was not really enjoying the service), I was also listening to the sermon. The pastor was sharing wild thoughts about calling on angels for help, and giving stories of seeing angels and witnessing supernatural manifestations. My cynicism would usually kick in at this point with objections raised. Instead, I felt humbled in spirit by the notion that both the pastor and myself speculate – and we both do so wildly at times. I recognised cynicism as a form of pride, and felt the pain of contrition for my past attitude. I found a new criterion of judgment for what I receive, which includes such questions as ‘Is this helpful or harmful?’, ‘Does this encourage spiritual growth?’. The helpful/harmful criteria is particularly useful as much of what I disagree with is harmless, though it may not be helpful. When I turn the lens on myself, my speculations do not fair much better. Now, as has been characteristic in my experience within pentecostal circles, the pastor mocks critics of his views. Given that I’ve done my own fair share of mocking, I can’t judge, but I’d love to see a bit more lovin’ from the pulpit.


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