A Letter From a Reader of the Journal
The following is very typical, NOT exceptional. This kind of farce if being promoted in thoBlipnds of Pentecostal and Charismatic churches, AND, there are a bunch of Baptists doing this.
One pastor in a northern state has a covey of discerners in his church, They go around looking deep into peoples' eyes with dead serious and suspicious faces. Carrying on a conversation with them is frightening since they claim to be able to see into everyone they meet and tell if they have sexual sin or it they have devils in them. Any sane saint would much rather be interrogated by the BATF then one of these most holy discerners. The pastor exalts them as very special, and he has an alleged deliverance ministry in which they sit with him and discern all sorts of sins in people which the victims never knew they had. This ends up being a Fundamentalist version of what worldly shrinks call "regression." Women discerners are used to dig filth out of men, and male discerners dig filth out of women victims. The pastor claims it is so spiritual that this sick twist does not matter. The discerners are so spiritual that they could not possibly be affected in mind and libido by the sexual dainties they are digging up. The pastor and church are Fundamental Baptists. So, the thing is NOT the exclusive stupidity of the Charismatics.
Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 13:23:04 EST
Yep, Steve, you are right again! I was in "one of those churches" for a while and we had our own "giftie." She boasted the gift of discernment, saw demons behind every door. Often said to others, "that just does not bear witness with my spirit," like she was the authority. Approached people after church and asked, "is everything okay between you and the Lord?" (Since I was living as close to the Lord as possible I replied, "as far as I know.") Accused a piano coversm, friendly man in the church of having a "familiar spirit," obviously not knowing the meaning of the term. Often pointed out those in the body in whom she discerned homosexual traits. Got people down with her gift of suspicion and ministry of exhortation.
In retrospect I have nothing but compassion for this poor woman. She had much pain. One daughter was a chronic liar, the other had a sexual obsession at age five, and as every kid in seventh grade knew (although the pastors didn't) her teenage son was headed for a life of sodomy. He eventually died of aids.
Where was the discernment? Do gifts always come with ribbons and fancy wrappings? I contend that discernment is given to those who choose not to be deceived.