Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Beware The Pharisees, Not Every Miracle Is Given

This past Sunday I turned on the TV and decided to take in one of the many televangelists that take the airways each Sunday. Being a stranger to early morning TV, I decided to check out Reinhard Bonnke’s program. Like most televangelists, Bonnke shows up on the screen and encourages people to call his toll free 24/7 prayer line. With the number scrolling along the bottom of the screen he tells people if they’ve been asking for a miracle they are to call and receive their miracle today.

This may be true. You could call his prayer lines, talk with the person on the other end, pray for a miracle and receive it. But there’s a danger in this line of thinking. Not everyone who asked Jesus for a miracle received one. Consider Mark 8:11-12

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had arrived, they came and started to argue with him. Testing him, they demanded that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority. When he heard this, he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why do these people keep demanding a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, I will not give this generation any such sign.”

If you read Mark 8:1-10, you’ll see that Jesus just fed 4000 people with a few loaves of bread and a couple fish. Jesus performed miracles prior to this mass feeding that confirmed his claims and authority as the Son of God. After witnessing these miracles the Pharisees still had unbelief in validity of Christ’s claims. They do not need another miracle; they have plenty of evidences to decide whether or not there is any integrity in Jesus being the Son of God. So he tells them no and walks off with his disciples.

Jesus then warns his disciples about the Pharisees. This is because the Pharisees belief in God was so futile. They demand strict obedience to Jewish law yet when they are under fire, will abandon God entirely. So am I saying that Reinhard Bonnke is a Pharisee, false prophet, or someone who can’t be trusted with the Gospel of Christ? I honestly don’t know my only exposure to him is a half hour TV program one Sunday morning… but that’s the impression I get. So I’m more likely to say yes, but I am a human who isn’t perfect and could be wrong. Reinhard Bonnke as a pharisaical false prophet is a decision all your own.


  1. I think the greatest enemy NA's face within the Christian community is the consumerism of church. To be honest, that's what most false profits are after - selling spirituality and religion as a commodity to which profits themselves.

    It becomes a front however which has two sides; the first being those who sell the product (the false prophets and "Bonnke's" out there who are selling a whole lot of bunk!); and the people who are consuming it while fostering a cultural mentality which influences social opinion.

    We need to fight both fronts Tim Bits both internally and in the community. Faith does not begin in the church; it begins in the hearts and minds of those seeking after truth, redemption, meaning, and purpose. If we can foster conversations in our community around those themes and away from ideological expectations of church/Christians we can begin to have an amazing transformative connectivity with others - One which might lead us to calling ourselves a "church"!

  2. agreed erik!

    this can be easier said then done though. i've encountered this line of thinking before and when dealing with a hard core bonnke fan or the like, its similar to whistling in the wind. they cant hear what you are trying to say. the challange then becomes how we can gently do this while keeping their cheek bones and you knucles intact?