Since I started following Jesus over 40 years ago, there’s a few things I’ve discovered about myself. One of those things is this – I know less now than I did then. And I also know more now than I did then. But it’s all in how I know what I know.
When I was young, I knew all kinds of stuff. I was quite the intellectual, driven by the lust of having to know how stuff works. If I knew how it worked, I could control it, sort of. Explaining things was what I was good at. So, in that way, I knew lots of things.
There’s a way of knowing things through learning intellectually, and then there’s learning through experience. For example, you can learn what it means to fall off a horse in only one way. You have to experience it. You could save yourself the experience by reading about falling off a horse, watching videos of people falling off horses, or listening to testimonies of those who’ve had the experience of being thrown by a horse. I guess you could call that learning, but if you haven’t actually fallen off a horse yourself, you don’t exactly know what that means.
When I was born again in 1973, I had more experiences than what I had explanations for. It was a combination of amazing and frightening. Let’s just leave it there. Many of those experiences happened to us before the term Charismatic was even used. We didn’t know what it meant to be spirit filled until we got educated.
I’m not a theologian; not an expert. But it seems to me that folks have become very good at explaining how stuff works, like being “born again.”
I was born in 1950. I didn’t know anything about it until years later, like when I was around six. Only then did the thought of having a birthday started occurring to me. I had no choice of where I was born, who my parents were, or my birth order. FYI, I’m the last of ten kids!
How was I born? Well, what I know is after nine kids, mom and dad were real experienced at the love making-birthing thing. Apparently they loved having sex with each other. So, here’s what I understand about being born. Sperm meets egg; “hello”!
How was I born again.? God’s seed word came into my egg heart. I can’t explain that with any words that end with “ly” (except for the word literally), but it happened. I was literally born again. This time, I was there when it happened and I knew it. It happened so fast, there was no room for explanation or discussion.
A lot has changed since then in the way people explain how God does stuff, and all that. There are whole groups who can explain the new birth in ways that constrict people to methodologies and formulas all the while the experience is akin to people having sex using condoms. It provides for wonderful mental stimulation, but the experience is completely safe. You get my drift here?
I know a wild God. You and I were meant to be wild too. But what I see today, is a collection of people in churches who have become way too civilized and culturally appropriate. The results can be called by different things. Intellectual atheism comes to my mind. Another, moral therapeutic deism. I don’t even like the label Christian all that much. It’s too vague and ambiguous, assuming, misleading, etc.
I know a man who loved me before I was born so much He gave his life for me. After Jesus was raised from the dead, He breathed on the twelve men who were called disciples, and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
They inhaled when the creator exhaled and the rest is history. All the rest, I’ll leave to those who know.