Archive for the 'Supernatural' Category

A Supernatural 2016 Election?

I’ve been really busy and so I’ve been having a hard time lately with this blog. For the most part, that’s because I really only ever wanted to talk about positive things, and not get down in the negative gutter about Christian issues. Even though I occasionally rag on Darwin Speak, I do it to uplift people so that they won’t let anyone tear God down.

But lately the only stuff in the news deals with the ugliest presidential election I’ve ever seen. This has been weighing on me, so I’m going to post this one negative blog and be done with it.

The other day, Donald Trump was at a rally where he asked all “Conservative Christians” to raise their hands. Apparently, he thinks all “Conservative Christians” are for him, because when some didn’t raise their hands, he said, “Well, I suppose we can let them stay,” or something like that. In the story about this meeting, the reporter also talked about Trump’s support by “Evangelical Christians.” All these labels got me thinking about a few basic notions.

I’ve posted this first notion many, many times, so it shouldn’t be a surprise; I’m sick of the term “Conservative Christians.” If Jesus were here, he would undoubtedly show people that he is extremely conservative on some things, and extremely liberal on others. People who identify as “Conservative Christians” only, are thus missing exactly half the message. “Conservative Christians,” to me, are probably better defined as “Political Christians,” and I would never want to be called that. Political Christians use the Bible only when it suits their interests. They pick choose, and in no way did Jesus ever say, “You can use whatever suits you – feel free to disregard some of my teachings if they don’t line up with your world.”

This next notion, though, is new to this blog, which deals with what it means to be an “Evangelical Christian.” To me, if you’re an Evangelical Christian, then you believe in the Bible and all it teaches, and you feel you have a responsibility to help others understand the good news presented in it. That much is clear. But if you believe in the Bible and all it teaches, you must be able to see that the Republican nominee for president is about as far away from the Bible and what it teaches – about as far away from Jesus as a model – as someone can possibly be. In a previous blog, I already wrote that one of the central tenants of Donald Trump’s existence is his belief in doing unto others as or before they do unto you, which is, by the way, a central tenet of Satanism. And since I wrote that blog, I’ve seen one thing after another that makes me think that he could care less about any person other than himself. Certainly not his neighbor, and certainly not God. In short, there’s virtually nothing that this nominee does that in any way looks or feels like something Jesus would do (by the way, I wrote this draft about a week ago – before the amazingly vulgar things reported yesterday). The Bible talks about recognizing certain people by their fruits, and by fruits it doesn’t mean money, or structures, or any other natural world things. It means by their spiritual fruits. Unfortunately, in the case of Mr. Trump, the fruit tree is incredibly barren, maybe even dead. Yes, God loves Donald Trump, and yes, Evangelical Christians should attempt to reach him and minister to him. But for goodness sake, they should never vote for him.

Now this last notion is based on the fact that this blog is designed for Christians, and, in particular, Christians who are charismatic and open to the supernatural in their lives. If you aren’t, then I can guarantee that you’ll simply find what I have to say silly. But here goes. In supernatural and charismatic circles, I’m what’s called a prophet in the church, which only means that I’m really good at sensing good and evil in people and situations around me. And folks, let me tell you that the Republican nominee for president of the United States is operating mostly – if not entirely – out of evil. Some say he has a demon, which is probably true since most demons are incredibly dumb and often tip their hands, which makes them easier to spot. No, I don’t think he’s the antichrist, because the antichrist is supposed to be pretty smart.

But here’s the bigger deal, supernaturally speaking. We all know that God runs everything, and so if this nominee – a person who continually, day after day, does about a million things that would normally disqualify any other candidate for doing only one – actually wins this election, you will most definitely know that it’s a supernatural event. And if it’s that much of a big-deal, supernatural event, then watch out because that means that God wanted him in there for a reason. I believe we’re getting quite close to what we all call the End Times, and electing a president who is more capable than most of triggering events leading to those End Times is something that actually makes a bit of sense in an otherwise crazy, nonsensical election.

Oh, and because someone once questioned my street cred, politically speaking, I should tell you that my family is and was incredibly political. My grandfather was Republican Party Chairman for Kansas and ran around with Alf Landon, who was the Republican nominee for President in 1936. My dad was the state’s youngest party chairman ever, and gave a nominating speech at the Republican National Convention in 1968. I grew up attending conventions, party meetings, and various political campaign events. I worked on countless campaigns before I knew any better, and a presidential campaign when I did know better. My brother worked on two. I’ve been registered as a Republican since I was 18, even though I don’t always vote that way and I vote so less and less every year.

I say all this merely to note that in the natural world I suppose I’m a Republican. In the supernatural world, though, I’m a follower of Jesus, which means I’m neither Republican nor Democrat. I’m a follower of Jesus. I suppose most would call that a Christian, and maybe even an Evangelical or Charismatic Christian, but I’m definitely not “conservative” or a “liberal” Christian. And in any event, I can’t possibly vote for Donald Trump.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psychics and the Bible

psychic

I was reading a magazine on a plane when I saw an article in which a Colorado county boasted that it had “not one, not two, but three psychic and healing centers,” which offer classes for the “spiritually attuned.”  According to the article, the classes allow students to examine “chakras, past lives, and aura layers . . . metaphysical spiritual tools . . . and the ‘child spirits’ interested in the person.”

Unlike atheists, who would fundamentally disagree with me on practically all points supernatural, the people running these physic centers do believe in the supernatural, they just believe in a non-biblical version. I call it non-biblical, but that doesn’t mean that the Bible doesn’t recognize that these practices exist; indeed, in many places in the Bible people are warned not to practice the mystical, occult arts – the kind of supernatural practices that don’t always recognize God and that certainly don’t bring you closer to Him.

That warning is for good reason. When you realize that the supernatural is a real thing, then you see quite quickly that followers of Jesus practice a completely different version of it than people in psychic centers. Accordingly, you have to decide which version is correct. A psychic’s non-biblical version might have you messing around with spirit guides or inner children, fully believing that they’re good for you. But in the Biblical version, these spirits are likely demons, out to kill and destroy you. Revelation 21:8 warns that the price for those who practice the magic arts is the second death in fire. In the spiritual war, choosing the right side is a must.

God warns us throughout the Bible not to do a lot of things for our own good, like a good mother or father would warn their children in the natural world. And because He loves us, he even tells us the penalty for choosing wrong. And He’s pretty specific about the occult.

Denise’s book, 7 Spiritual Truths and the Lies that Hide Them, begins with the spiritual truth that the supernatural actually exists. Psychics know this, but by practicing the version condemned in the Bible, they’re undoubtedly – and clearly unwittingly – choosing the wrong side of the spiritual war.

Particle Physics and God

particle

I recently watched a fascinating documentary called “Particle Fever” that chronicles the search for the Higgs boson, which is sometimes called the “God Particle.”  The nickname is a bit controversial, but it shouldn’t get in the way of the substance of the documentary and the interesting all-or-nothing scenario that it set up.

You see, right now scientists explain the universe mostly by using a theory called the “Standard Model” of theoretical particle physics, which has been very good at predicting much of what experiments in physics have actually found. As described by the various scientists in the documentary, formulation of the Standard Model is the result of roughly 400 years of work, in which scientists have gradually found that the universe is something enormous yet simple, seemingly complex yet incredibly elegant and symmetrical. Indeed, symmetry (in the sense of how parts might integrate into a whole, might remain consistent and or unchanged despite any kind of transformation, and can exist independent of specific dynamics) is the kind of elegant order that begins to hint most strongly toward intelligent design, or God.

In addition, the Standard Model relies on what are called “fundamental constants,” which are numbers that determine the entire structure of the universe. Now these constants get pretty complicated, but for now just realize that everyone – from God-believing scientists to complete and total atheists – understand that these numbers are far too precise to be based on chance in just this universe. In the documentary, one scientist explained that his knowledge of this incredibly precise fine tuning naturally led him to question whether he was wrong about everything he had learned and believed on some fundamental level. What he meant was that it’s hard, if not impossible, to square this incredible precision with a Godless universe. It’s that exact.

Now if you make enough scientists question their worldviews, you’ll end up getting a new scientific theory so that they don’t have to question those worldviews anymore. And the theory that some scientists ultimately came up with to help them explain this incredible fine tuning is called the “multiverse theory.” That theory speculates that our universe is actually only one of multiple possible universes – so many, like millions or billions (the kinds of numbers evolutionists like to use) that those really precise numbers that make up our fundamental constants might still only be random. If you have a billion universes, so the theory goes, one might randomly end up like our universe – which looks so precise that it must have been created by some intelligent being, but which is really created by chance. This can get a bit complex, too, so if you want to see a more detailed write- up about the multiverse theory versus intelligent design, go here: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/multiverse-and-the-design-argument.

But for now, just realize that the Standard Model absolutely predicted something like the Higgs boson as one of its essential particles, and so the documentary that I watched showed scientists using the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva Switzerland to try to detect it. Everyone figured it was out there, but they had different theories about what it would mean to the universe and, indeed, to the future of physics. And all of that depended on not only finding the Higgs, but also learning its mass.

The reason scientists needed to know its mass was because a “light” Higgs boson is the kind of thing that would correspond to the symmetry of the Standard Model, and even helps lend credence to what’s called “supersymmetry,” in which additional particles might likely be discovered to build a complicated but even more elegant way of describing the universe. A “heavy” Higgs, on the other hand, would tend to point to various theories using the concepts of the multiverse. But here’s the rub: if, in fact, the multiverse theory were to be confirmed, it would mean that everything in our universe might be completely random, caused not by intelligence but chaos. And if that were true, then physicists could never be sure that they’d ever find answers to anything else because the answers to any number of questions in a multiverse theory might only be found in other universes, which means that we might never find them at all. In fact, most everybody in the documentary felt like a heavy Higgs might mean the end of physics altogether. Pretty dramatic, huh?

So the movie came down to this. If the Higgs mass was about 115 times the mass of a proton, it would point to supersymmetry. If it was about 140 times the mass of a proton, it would point to multiverse. Order and elegance versus chaos, or, as some people might speculate, God versus no God.

All of this is interesting, but sometimes I think that people miss the forest for the trees, or the universe for the particles in this case. In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he wrote: “For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20) We have been without excuse since creation, and now we have even less of an excuse to clearly see and know the existence and glory of God. Back in the day, scientists like Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, Francis Bacon, Blaise Pascal, Louis Pasteur, and countless others worked within their knowledge and belief of the existence of God and with the notion that their discoveries were guided by God. The famous astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler, wrote, “I see how God is, by my endeavors, also glorified in astronomy, for ‘the heavens declare the glory of God.’” (quoting Psalm 19:1).

Why, then, do so many people miss what is so obvious to others? Why do they reject the notion of God so adamantly that they’ll create theory after theory to debunk any idea of intelligent design?  I think the reason is found in two separate scriptures. First, in 2 Peter 3:5, Peter writes that people will “deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.” And through this deliberate forgetfulness, since they “d[o] not know the righteousness that comes from God [and they seek] to establish their own, they [do] not submit to God’s righteousness.” (Romans 10:3) In short, people forget what is obvious to the rest of the world because they simply don’t want to serve anyone. They want to be their own god. But hey, as Bob Dylan once sang, “It may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.”

Anyway, back to the Higgs and the documentary. Now I personally don’t need to know the mass of a particle to convince me that God exists. And I assume that if the Higgs came back light and the multiverse theory was somehow discredited, people who simply don’t want to believe in God would figure out some other theory to cast doubt. But leave it to God Himself to remind us who is in control here. Because when they ultimately found the Higgs – and they did – its mass was exactly dead center between 115 and 140, which left both sides scratching their heads. We thought we had it all figured out. We thought it was all or nothing. But God said it was neither. It was something else entirely. It’s not so much the “God Particle” as it is simply one of God’s particles. Like everything else, God created the Higgs, and its mass is what it is. Now deal with it.

And finally, why in the world would I write about this interesting natural world drama in a blog about the supernatural? Well, because in the middle of the documentary, during one of the trial runs for the Large Hadron Collider as they were counting down toward the test, something truly fascinating happened. During that countdown from five to one, at just around minute 27:51 of the documentary, the camera cut to a young scientist waiting for the test to begin. And as the countdown reached three, she closed her eyes and briefly bowed her head. I think she prayed.

It’s True. All of it.

Denise took me to Star Wars the other day, and all I can say is, WOW! We decided not only to see the movie, but to see it in HD, 3D, IMAX, etc., and it was truly amazing. I swear there was one point in the movie when some starship looked like it was literally sitting in the seat next to me. And at another point, a guy from a few rows down went out for drink or something, and I thought he was a Stormtrooper dashing across the screen. For a brief moment, life and art were one. The whole thing was almost worth the price of the popcorn, for which Denise and I had to take out a short-term loan.

kylo-ren-rey-s-connection-revealed-in-new-star-wars-episode-7-photos-rey-and-finn-pre-710348

Anyway, the reason that little excursion makes it into a blog about the supernatural is because the movie itself kind of overflows with a good and evil, God and Satan sort of tale. I knew that going into it, and then Harrison Ford summed everything up. When Rey was asking Harrison’s character, Han Solo, about all the stories she had heard over the years, Han replied, “It’s true. All of it. The dark side. The Jedi. They’re real.”

It reminded me of what might happen today if someone was able to meet up with one of Jesus’ apostles, like maybe John. That person might ask, “Hey, I’ve heard all kinds of crazy stories in the Bible, and a lot of people think they’re fairy tales. What’s the deal?” At that point, I’m sure John would say, “It’s true. All of it. God. Satan. Jesus. The supernatural. They’re real.”

But all of that begs the question, which has been posed most forcefully by Del Tackett from the Truth Project series. During that series, Del often asked, “Do you believe that what you believe is really real? Because if you really believe that what you believe is real, then Christians will change the world.” He’s right. If we acted as if we really believed everything in the Bible, our actions would look radically different not only to the rest of the world, but likely even to us.

What if we really believed that we were created in God’s image, that Jesus is God come in the flesh, and that by having faith in Jesus Christ we are able to live as eternal beings with God? And if we really believed that Jesus Christ is God, wouldn’t we strive every single day to act in ways pleasing to Him? We believe in the laws of the natural world, and we act accordingly. So what would our lives look like when we really believe in the supernatural?

I’ve spent many years studying various aspects of different worldviews and I’ve come to believe that there is universal truth, which points directly to Jesus and the Bible. That, in turn, has dramatically changed how I live my life. I don’t worry so much anymore. I walk in the supernatural. I fight demons. I talk to God. I talk to other people about God. I follow His will even when those in the natural world think I’m nuts. I know I’m about as far from perfect as someone can be, but I understand the concept of perfection and where to go to learn more about it so I can get better. If you don’t feel as confident as I sound, keep searching. Because if you go looking for truth – or, as Denise calls it, “Truth with a capital T” – you’re going to run smack into Jesus.

You aren’t going to have John the apostle or even Harrison Ford show up in person to tell you that everything is “really real,” but Jesus knew that. He said to Thomas, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)  You can strengthen your beliefs and come to know Jesus better through a variety of other sources – most importantly through the Bible – because you’re hard wired to recognize Truth. Start looking, and I’m sure you’ll come to believe that God, Satan, Jesus, and the supernatural are true. It’s really real. All of it.

May the Force . . . er, I mean, may God be with you!

The Pattern of the World

I’m way off track on my goal of switching from full-time criminal justice reform to creating a new album and studying more about God. It’s super frustrating, but I can see some light. Plus, I consider everything I do with criminal justice reform still to be doing God’s will – in fact, I call what I do “God’s Project,” because of all the things He’s done to make it happen. So if He wants me to keep it up, I will. Part of walking in the supernatural is to hear God and do what He says no matter what else you think you want to do. We’ll see.

untitled

Last week I watched with amusement the Family Leadership Summit, where each of most of the Republican candidates for president answered questions about pretty much everything, including God. I watched a lot of strange answers, including a guy who said that he never asks for forgiveness (apparently he doesn’t need it), but that he enjoys eating that “little cracker.” Most of the answers made me think that everyone was just trying to find that perfect balance between talking about God and not saying anything too crazy to lose votes. Political Christianity.

A lot of America is probably content with these kinds of answers. But if you’re a follower of Jesus, you have to get used to living in a foreign land – the natural world, where everything Jesus said and did often seems crazy to most everyone else. For a moment, I wondered what it would look like if a candidate for president was truly someone who believed in all that Jesus taught and modeled. Someone who believed in the supernatural. Someone who understood the transcendent force of love for all persons, even those who are unloved by the world. What would he say? Would he be called a “Republican?” Would he even be there?

In my opinion, if Jesus himself were in Ames Iowa that day, he wouldn’t have been labeled as either a Republican or a Democrat. If he spoke to anybody, he probably would have spoken of things that people simply wouldn’t have understood. Just like before, he would have spoken of wonderful things to give hope to all humanity, but he also likely would have spoken about things that would have made people want to kill him. The more I think about it, the more I believe that he wouldn’t have even gone in to the Summit – I think he would have spent his time looking for the poor and displaced people that were somewhere in the backstreets of Ames.

If you’re like me, and you want to follow this radical named Jesus, you have to realize that some things he said might be labeled ultra-conservative, while other things might be considered downright socialist. And so to truly follow Jesus, you’re going to have to get used to feeling like a complete outcast in the natural world. That’s to be expected. In Romans 12, Paul wrote, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Jesus mentions being “not of this world” a few times, and one commentary explains one of those statements quite succinctly: “The Spirit of God in true Christians is opposed to the spirit of the world.”

If the whole political thing just frustrates and confuses you – especially when they talk about God – then that’s a good thing. In my opinion, that’s just you listening to the Spirit of God and not conforming to the pattern of the world.

Be blessed, everyone!

Spiritual Warfare in South Carolina

When we all learned about someone killing nine followers of Jesus Christ in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina, some said it was the most unbelievable and unimaginable thing possible. Inside a church? After a bible study?  People tried to label it – a hate crime, a terrorist act, perhaps something unable even to be labeled. But today the headline on CNN spoke the truth, as it quoted the Reverend Norvel Goff as saying that, “No evildoer, no demon in hell or on earth can close the doors of God’s church.” Indeed, this attack was brought on by evil. It was a part of the spiritual war.

This ministry is not geared toward people who aren’t followers of Jesus Christ. It’s called “Arming the Saints” because it’s main goal is to help followers of Jesus recognize the supernatural, and to react accordingly. And if you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, then you believe in the Bible and what the Bible teaches. And if you believe in what the Bible teaches, you should see the truth of recognizing something demonic at work inside the church in South Carolina.

The Bible is clear that we’re in a spiritual war: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph. 6:12). Knowing this, if someone would have asked me where some of the heaviest fighting would be, I would have said, quite confidently, inside our churches and against God’s people. There’s nothing unimaginable about a demon wanting to come into a church to harm followers of Christ. It’s exactly what I would expect.

Now, I’ve been in a lot of church buildings, and I’ve been in more than I’d like to mention with some demonic presence. I know it sounds bad, but it happens (virtually always unintentionally), and so I’ve done my share of rebuking demons even inside what we like to think are some of our most hallowed buildings. But I’ve also been in church buildings with such an incredibly strong covering of prayer and rebuking that no demonic presence can even get close. And, please, don’t get me wrong. I am by no means saying that any of the people in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church did anything wrong. They are Saints, losing them is a horrible loss, and I only hope that when I go, I go like them – praising Jesus Christ while facing down evil with the knowledge of God’s grace and an awaiting eternity.

But a spiritual issue requires a spiritual response. So when you hear the natural world talk about how to keep this “unimaginable” thing from happening in the future, remember that Ephesians 6 gives us the true answer: “Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

May God bless and show His infinite grace to all persons.

“Unexplained” Miracles?

andre

Pastor Andre Butler

I was on the treadmill the other day, watching “The Doctors” on TV. Normally, I don’t always watch the Doctors on TV because they tend only to talk about the most embarrassing and cringe-worthy medical issues. However, on this particular episode – found at http://www.thedoctorstv.com/videos/how-faith-could-heal — I watched as Pastor Andre Butler talked about medical miracles. Now, I’m a big believer in miracles. What was most interesting to me, though, was the doctors’ constant use of the word “unexplainable” as they described and discussed various healings, etc. In fact, I think I might have even seen the Pastor smile once or twice when that word was used.

That’s because medical miracles are quite explainable, are found throughout the Bible, and are a normal part of a worldview that includes God in our lives. There’s nothing unexplainable in a created universe, and certainly nothing unusual about how easily God can fix us.

“Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.” Psalm 30:2


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


%d bloggers like this: