Continuationism. Because the miracles never stopped.

by K.W. Leslie, 18 June
CONTINUATIONIST kən.tɪn.jʊ'eɪ.ʃən.ɪst adjective. Believes the Holy Spirit’s gifts (particularly tongues and prophecy) continued from bible times to the present day.

Honestly I’m not a fan of the term continuationist, because the default setting for Christianity is—and should be!—the Holy Spirit is living, active, and still doing as he did among the ancient Christians.

As prophesied by the prophet Joel in the fifth century BC, and fulfilled 24 May 33 on the first Christian Pentecost:

Joel 2.28-29 NKJV
28 “And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”

Before the church age, the Spirit’s power was only poured out like this to prophets. But now every Christian has the Spirit within us, and therefore he can empower Jesus’s church with supernatural gifts as necessary—miracles, signs, healing, exorcisms, and speaking in tongues. These gifts are often necessary in this hurting world, which needs to learn God is here, loves us, and wants to save us.

But not every Christian believes this. Cessationists insist God turned off the miracles less than a century after he pouring out his Spirit upon his church. Gone within two generations. Not because of a massive doubt problem among his followers (although certain cessationists believe this too), but because they figure miracles are no longer needed now that we have a bible. And back this faithless idea with various out-of-context scriptures.

To their minds, cessationists feel they’re right to believe God has depowered and abandoned his people, He 13.5 with nothing to keep us going but our beliefs and our bibles. That those of us who insist miracles continued—whom they granted the label “continuationist”—are delusional, deceived by devils which trick us with mighty acts of power. ’Cause somehow their supernatural abilities never got turned off, yet ours has.

Does this make any sense to you? ’Cause it does to cessationists. To their minds, they’re the norm, and continuationists are weirdos. Even though we continuationists outnumber ’em by more than four to one. Seriously.

And even though cessationist churches are full of people who don’t actually believe in cessationism. Because they’ve seen stuff. Miraculous stuff. Stuff which makes ’em describe themselves as “soft cessationists”—they grudgingly admit God permits some miracles to take place once in a while, under certain circumstances. But not so often that they get uncomfortable—and not in continuationist churches, ’cause they’re pretty sure we continuationists are too wayward for God to legitimately work among us.

Basically there’s a lot of pride and denial going on among cessationists. But enough about them; their unbelief will just frustrate you. Let’s stick to normal Christians, who know God interacts with his kids on a regular basis. ’Cause we’ve seen him do it.

Your God-experiences have to jibe with the scriptures.

by K.W. Leslie, 17 June

In the year 610, Muhammad ibn Abdullah al Mecca began having visions of an angel he identified as Jibril, who’d be גַּבְרִיאֵל/Gavryél, “Gabriel.” Because Muhammad was at the time illiterate, Jibril had him memorize certain recitations, and these were later collected into the Quran, Islam’s scriptures.

Problem is, Muhammad never double-checked ’em against the Christian scriptures. Even though his revelations told him to.

Quran, 10 (“Jonah”) :94
So if you’re in doubt about what We revealed to you, then ask those who’ve previously read the bible. Truth has truly already come to you from your Lord. So don’t be among the doubters.

Despite this instruction, he didn’t. He presumed Jibril would never steer him wrong; why would a holy angel do any such thing?

Hence the Quran has a lot of things in it which contradict the Christian scriptures. The way Muslims reconcile the differences is to claim Jews and Christians must’ve twisted or distorted the bible. (Usually they figure we let errors slip in, but the more paranoid sort assume Jews and Christians deliberately altered our scriptures, just to mess with them.) Whereas Christians figure whoever Jibril is, it’s not the angel Gabriel from Daniel and Luke: Either it’s an invention of Muhammad’s imagination, an outright fabrication, or an evil spirit messing with the poor guy.

I bring up Muhammad because he’s a good example of someone who sought a God-experience, and, well, got something. Got several. Every chapter of the Quran comes from a different revelation, so he had at least that many experiences. But were they God-experiences? Muhammad surely thought so, as has every Muslim since.

But like the Quran itself teaches, we’re meant to silence our doubts by comparing it against the scriptures. Our God-experiences shouldn’t depict a different God than we find in the bible. Nor should it deviate from orthodox Christianity, from what our fellow Christians have taught from the beginning—because plenty of heretics claim their deviant teachings are totally based on bible, but they’re based on out-of-context readings, and obvious violations of the clear intent of the scriptures.

The bible is a product of legitimate God-experiences. If we had a legitimate God-experience, it should be wholly consistent with the scriptures. If it’s not, we got a serious problem. It’s either a psychotic delusion, a serious self-delusion, an elaborate hoax by a rather evil prankster, or an evil spirit trying to lead us astray.

Those who regularly blaspheme the Holy Spirit, who claim all present-day miracles and prophecies and God-experiences are caused by evil spirits, don’t bother to compare these experiences with bible either. Oh, they claim to. Usually they quote the passage about how these activities will ultimately cease—

1 Corinthians 13.8-10 KJV
8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

—and the reason these revelations will cease is because Jesus is returning and we won’t need supernatural revelation when we can simply FaceTime Jesus on our mobile phones and ask him personally. (Well, he’ll be busy ruling the world, so it won’t be that simple. But you get the idea.) But if you’re cessationist, you’ve been taught to misuse this verse to claim these activities already ceased. Ceased a long time ago. So “according to bible” God doesn’t do that stuff anymore, and therefore every present-day supernatural activity must automatically be Satan… and if any one of them is the Holy Spirit, guess who they just blasphemed. Yep.

Christians should know better than to embrace any doctrine which claims Satan can do more than the Almighty. But neither should we blanketly accept every supposed God-experience as legit. We gotta test stuff. At the very least, it’s gotta be consistent with the scriptures. If it’s not even that, don’t accept it! Don’t believe it.

Galatians 1.8 KJV
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

Jesus warns against blaspheming the Spirit.

by K.W. Leslie, 16 June

Mark 3.28-30, Matthew 12.31-32, Luke 12.10.

Fairly soon after we become Christians, we hear a rumor there’s such a thing as “the unpardonable sin.” Or multiple unpardonable sins. Certain things we can do which push God’s grace to the limit, ’cause apparently it has a limit, and these sins cross it. Do ’em and you’re going to hell. Game over, man, game over.

Problem is, the rumor doesn’t always tell us what the unpardonable sin is. When I was a kid I thought it was saying, “F--- God,” and Dad had committed it a bunch of times, so he was surely going to hell. I’ve had newbies ask me whether it was murder. Or Catholics tell me it was one of the seven deadly sins, ’cause what made ’em deadly was they’d send you to hell.

There are in fact multiple unpardonable sins, and today I’m get to what Jesus teaches about one of them, namely blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Turns up in the gospels, right after Jesus had to correct the Pharisee scribes for accusing him of using Satan to perform exorcisms.

Mark 3.28-30 KWL
28 “Amen! I promise you every sin will be forgiven humanity’s children,
and every blasphemy, however often people blaspheme.
29 But when anyone blasphemes the Holy Spirit they aren’t forgiven in the age to come:
In that age, they’ll be liable for a crime.”
30 For the scribes were saying, “Jesus has an unclean spirit.”
 
Matthew 12.31-32 KWL
31 “This is why I tell you every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people.
But blaspheming the Spirit won’t be forgiven.
32 Whenever one says a word against the Son of Man, it’ll be forgiven them.
But whenever it’s said against the Holy Spirit, it won’t be forgiven them.
Neither in this age, nor in the next.”
 
Lk 12.10 KWL
“And anyone who’ll say a word about the Son of Man will be forgiven.
But speaking in blasphemy about the Holy Spirit won’t be forgiven.”

So there y’go: Everyone can be forgiven anything and everything. But one massive exception is when people blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Do that, and you’re sitting out the age to come. No New Jerusalem for you. Just weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Scary, right? Hence people wanna make sure they never, ever commit this crime. Problem is, instead of actually avoiding it, many foolish Christians have chosen to redefine and re-explain blaspheming the Spirit till it no longer means what, at face value, Jesus is talking about. Largely because they and their favorite preachers are blaspheming the Spirit. Regularly. I’m not kidding.

So… does that mean they’re going to hell? Not necessarily. But I’ll get to that.

Blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

by K.W. Leslie, 15 June

Our English word blasphemy comes from the Greek βλασφημία/vlasfimía—which largely means the same thing. It’s irreverence towards, and slander against, people and things we oughta reverence. We Christians tend to only use it to describe irreverence towards God (and bibliolaters to describe irreverence towards the bible), but the ancients applied it to all sorts of things. Like irreverence towards the temple, Moses, the prophets, and the scriptures. Even kings and emperors; yes you could blaspheme a king. Especially when they claimed godhood, as some of ’em did.

Some blasphemy is totally unintentional, like when we claim stuff about God that’s not so. When we claim, “God will send you to hell for that,” and no he won’t. When we claim God’s secret will is for evil to happen, and no it’s not. Other times it’s totally intentional, ’cause we’re pissed at God over something he did or didn’t do, so we yell at him a bit, or otherwise throw a tantrum and say some evil things. God is fully aware we’re just acting up, and forgives us once we snap out of it.

But then Jesus said this:

Mark 3.28-30 KJV
28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: 29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: 30 Because they said, [Jesus] hath an unclean spirit.

Said the same thing in two other gospels. In context, it’s part of the story where Jerusalem scribes visiting the Galilee gave their expert opinion, and declared Jesus did his exorcisms by the power of Beelzebub (in Aramaic Baal Zevúl, a local pagan god; their euphemism for Satan) instead of the Holy Spirit. Jesus pointed out this reasoning was stupid: Satan’s not gonna fight itself, and if it is, it’s falling apart. And then he said blaspheming τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον/to Pnéfma to Ágion, the Holy Spirit, means you don’t get forgiven. Mt 12.31-32, Lk 12.10 The crime follows you to Kingdom Come—and it looks like it keeps you out of it.

Yikes.

Hence some Christians are terrified of committing it. Afraid they might accidentally, unintentionally commit it. So afraid, they’re afraid of critiquing any miracle or prophet—even though we’re supposed to double-check these things, and make sure they’re really God. But they refuse to, lest they say “It’s devilish” when it’s really the Spirit, and stumble into blaspheming the Spirit. And that’s why so many Christians let so many phonies get away with so much evil.

On the other extreme, some Christians claim blasphemy of the Spirit never, ever happens. Not anymore. ’Cause cessationism! As soon as “that which is perfect has come,” 1Co 13.10 which cessationists insist refers to the bible, God switched off the miracles: He doesn’t need ’em to confirm his message anymore, ’cause now the bible does that. The conditions under which blasphemy of the Spirit could happen, no longer does. So whenever you see a “miracle,” or hear a “prophecy,” feel free to call it the work of Satan.

And on another axis you have those Christians who are quick to point to other scriptures which state God forgives every sin. 1Jn 1.7, 9 Every single possible potential sin; no exceptions. If you’re worried about the scriptures’ warnings against such things… don’t! God forgives all.

Lastly we have the Christians who try their darnedest to redefine blaspheming the Spirit so it’s not what Jesus warned the scribes against doing. It’s some other thing. It’s apostasy. Or it’s numbing your conscience so much, you can’t tell the difference between good and evil anymore; confounding the Spirit with Satan is just a symptom of the real problem.

I think instead of convenient little answers which make us calm down and stop worrying about committing this sin, we oughta figure out for real what it is, whether we do it, and whether we can still get into God’s kingdom even if we did it.

Cessationists: Those who imagine miracles stopped.

by K.W. Leslie, 14 June
CESSATIONIST sɛ'seɪ.ʃən.ist noun. One who believes divine miracles and prophecy ceased in the past. (And may happen again in future, but currently don’t.)
2. One who believes miracles and prophecy never happened; that all biblical descriptions of them are fantasies, exaggerations, misreports, or lies.
3. Having to do with a cessationist’s beliefs.
[Cessationism sɛ'seɪ.ʃən.iz.əm noun.]

When you read the bible, y’might notice there are a ton of miracles in it.

Jesus performed many. So’d the prophets of the Old Testament. Since Jesus empowers his followers with the Holy Spirit Ac 2.38-39 —same as himself Ac 10.38 and the Old Testament prophets Zc 7.12 —he told his students they’d perform miracles just like his, if not greater. Jn 14.12 Arguably his followers did exactly that, as retold in Acts.

And if his followers kept that up, certainly the world should be filled with miracles—just on the basis of pure numbers, ’cause a third of the planet identifies as Christian. Instead of one supernaturally-empowered Jesus the Nazarene, who was limited to the Galilee or Jerusalem or wherever else he traveled, what we should see is every Christian everywhere with the Spirit-empowered ability to prophesy, cure the sick, and perform Jesus-level wonders.

I could spend this article ranting why this isn’t so. (I’d mostly blame a lack of faith.) But not today; today I’m gonna discuss the Christians who believe it shouldn’t be so.

Y’see, they insist miracles ceased. God stopped doing them. He no longer empowers them. They don’t happen anymore. It’s why we call such people cessationist: They happened once, but not now.

We find them all over Christendom. I grew up in churches full of cessationists. I’ve since visited churches where the leaders, and the people actively involved in the church, for certain aren’t cessationist… but the rank-and-file attendees largely are. They have their doubts about whether God does such things anymore, and sometimes these doubts metastasize into full-on miracle-denying Spirit-blaspheming cessationism.

Yes, Spirit-blaspheming. Because whenever you tell a cessationist about a present-day miracle, most of the time their knee-jerk response is, “God doesn’t do that sort of thing anymore, so I don’t know what you saw, but it wasn’t God. Somebody tricked you. Maybe the devil.” And when certain Pharisees claimed the very same thing about Jesus’s miracles, he warned ’em against blaspheming the Spirit Lk 12.10 because it’s precisely what they were doing. It’s precisely what most cessationists do.

So yeah, it’s a problem. Not for God, ’cause the Holy Spirit is hardly hindered by these people. Not for continuationists (well, most of the time) ’cause again, the Spirit will do his thing in spite of them. It’s for newbies and pagans who don’t know what to think… and for all these Spirit-denying Christians who clearly don’t know the Spirit, who likely aren’t following him, and who might have no real relationship with Jesus at all. Which is gonna suck at the End.

So let’s look at ’em in a little more depth.

The excuse of the false experience.

by K.W. Leslie, 11 June

One of the various blogs I read is by a cessationist, who insists God turned off his miracles after the bible was fully written. Y’know how sometimes names are changed to protect the innocent? I’ll change his to protect the foolish, and call him Wanjala.

Wanjala claims to love the scriptures. No doubt he’s sure he does! But he simply refuses to believe ’em when they state the Holy Spirit’s supernatural gifts are meant to be the normal, everyday practice of present-day Christians. Wanjala doesn’t believe he’s ever had a God-experience, and exactly like those people who can’t bring themselves to believe I met God, he trusts his personal experiences more than he does bible. As a theological conservative he would never, ever admit to doing any such thing. But it’s precisely what he’s doing. He’s the baseline. Not the scriptures.

So according to his firm belief, God Almighty is exactly like those mute idols the gentiles used to worship; 1Co 12.2 he’s not a speaking God. If we ever wanna “hear his voice,” we have the bible. That’s it. That’ll have to do us till Jesus returns. His bible does all his speaking for him.

I bring up Wanjala because some years ago, one of his continuationist friends challenged him to actually try to hear God. For once, could Wanjala just put his personal skepticism aside and simply ask God to speak with him? So Wanjala took him up on it: He asked God whether he had anything to say, and if so, please just say it.

That night, Wanjala had an unusually vivid dream: He dreamed his wife was cheating on him. He even got the man’s name. He didn’t say the name, but since I’m assigning pseudonyms anyway, let’s say it’s Artsiom.

So Wanjala hacked his wife’s Facebook account (as if a smart adulterer would communicate her affair over Facebook… but hey, there are plenty of stupid people out there) and couldn’t find any Artsiom among her contacts and direct messages. Then he asked his wife point-blank if she knew an Artsiom, and interpreted her blank response as if she’d never heard of such a man. I’ll optimistically presume, as did Wanjala, she’s not an exceptional actor. He concluded his wife is innocent… and how stupid it was for him to believe in prophetic dreams.

So that’s what he blogged: He should’ve never sought a personal, extra-biblical communication from God. His fertile imagination led him astray. And that’s what happens when you dare go outside the cessationist bunker: You go all sorts of wrong, dangerous, heretic directions. Because you think, without proof, God told you such-and-so.

Wanjala’s partly right. But mostly wrong.

Don’t exaggerate your testimony. Ever.

by K.W. Leslie, 10 June

It should go without saying that Christians shouldn’t lie. But we do, for various reasons, all bad. So stop. Wean yourself off exaggerating in order to make yourself look good. Wean yourself off dissembling to get yourself out of difficulty. Quit lying. Jesus is truth; Jn 14.6 stick to the truth. There y’go; your mini-sermon for the day.

It should also go without saying we shouldn’t lie when we share our testimonies, and talk about our encounters with God, what he’s told us, and how devoutly we follow him. But once again, we do. Way too many of us do.

It’s out of pure selfishness. We wish we had a really good God-encounter. We wish we witnessed something truly spectacular. And no I don’t mean “spectacular” as in neat; I mean in its original sense as a serious spectacle, something visible which really gets people’s attention. Like when Simon Peter raised Dorcas from the dead Ac 9.36-42 or something. We want these types of stories, because we wanna sound like we have more faith, or more divine favor.

And rather than act in faith, rather than develop our relationship with God so that he’ll grant us greater favors, we take the shortcut and lie. Much easier to be hypocrites than behave, obey, take the leaps of faith, or simply listen.

Hence lying testimonies happen all the time. I know, ’cause I’ve heard plenty. I grew up in church. If you have too, chances are you’ve heard dozens or hundreds of testimonies. Especially if you’re part of a church where sharing one’s testimony is a regular thing: “Anyone have a testimony this week?” and people will get up and share what God recently did for ’em. Some are profound and miraculous. Others are profound, but not all that miraculous—and don’t need to be, because they’re stories well-told, and point to God where appropriate.

But Christians tend to covet dramatic, miraculous stories. So if our stories aren’t miraculous enough… well, sometimes we exaggerate, and make ’em miraculous enough.

Here’s the problem: Embellishing our God-experiences, or telling fake miracle stories, gives people a false picture of who God is. Because we’re presenting a false witness. Remember there’s a commandment against bearing false witness? Ex 20.16, Lv 5.20 This is precisely what the LORD and Moses were talking about: Claiming somebody did what they haven’t done. When we claim God did something he didn’t—even if we imagine we have the best of intentions—it still slanders God. Or to use the old-timey word, it’s blasphemy.

“Don’t seek God-experiences!”

by K.W. Leslie, 09 June

When people wanna know whether God is real, I tell ’em to seek God-experiences. Watch him interact with people in our world, or hear him interact with you personally, and you’ll know for certain he’s real. Especially after you’ve had a whole bunch of these experiences.

New Christians tend to take this advice. Longtime Christians, not so much. Because when someone’s been Christian for a mighty long time, yet have no God-experiences at all, it actually means they’ve been going out of their way to avoid any such experiences. They’ve been intentionally, deliberately staying away from any Christians who dabble in miracles and the supernatural—whom they call continuationist, ’cause we claim miracles have continued from bible times to today, unlike those who say miracles ceased, i.e. cessationists.

Why do they stay away? ’Cause we freak ’em out a little.

Sometimes for totally understandable reasons. I gotta admit, some of us continuationists are straight-up freaks. They bug me too. I’d like to think I’m a pretty tolerant guy (’cause I’m trying to cultivate Jesus’s patience), but some of these freaks are using the Holy Spirit as an excuse for letting their freak flags fly, as if it’s his fault they behave this way. Instead of claiming, “The devil made me do it” (an excuse which works on no one, and shouldn’t), they insist, “The Spirit made me do it”—and no he didn’t. It’s not his fruit!

But more often it’s because the very idea of a present, immanent God, who isn’t way out there in outer space but right here right now, seriously creeps them out. They way prefer the idea of a distant God, who doesn’t intervene, doesn’t correct, and leaves them be. They don’t wanna personally interact with God till they die, and he lets ’em into paradise. Or till the second coming, which they figure isn’t gonna happen for another seven years at least.

And lest they stumble into any continuationist ideas and behavior, their cessationist churches demand they stay away from us. Don’t seek out miracles! Don’t seek out prophecy! Don’t seek out revelation! Don’t. Jesus said not to.

Wait, Jesus said not to? The Jesus? Jesus the Nazarene? Yep. Here’s their proof text.

Mark 8.11-13 KJV
11 And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with [Jesus], seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him. 12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation. 13 And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side.

Luke presents Jesus’s public response with a little more detail.

Luke 11.29-32 KJV
29 And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. 30 For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation. 31 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

Therefore, cessationists conclude, don’t seek signs from heaven. Don’t seek miracles. If you do, you’re a wicked, evil, condemned generation. Those Christians who seek miracles, and claim to perform them: They’re wicked, evil, and condemned. And all their so-called “miracles” are performed by Beelzebub anyway.

Yep, that’s how cessationists keep Christians away from God-experiences: Call ’em devilish. Blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Claim we’re wrong, not they; that God doesn’t want to interact with his people, and speak to us, cure our diseases, and draw us close; he wants to remain distant. Probably ’cause he can’t abide sin or something.

It’s a profoundly f---ed up view of God, and it’s no wonder more and more people are abandoning those churches for continuationist ones. Rightly so.

Your testimony.

by K.W. Leslie, 08 June
TESTIMONY 'tɛst.ə.moʊ.ni noun. Formal evidence or proof of the existence or appearance of something. (Particularly a statement provided in court.)
2. A public statement, or retelling, of a religious conversion or experience.
[Testify 'tɛs.tə.faɪ verb, witness 'wɪt.nəs noun, verb.]

In the scriptures a testimony or witness refers to, duh, something you personally saw. Something you could make a formal statement about before a judge. Something that was a big, big deal if you presented a false testimony; one of the 10 commandments forbids it.

For the ancient Christians, when they talked about one’s testimony, they meant what we personally saw of Jesus.

1 John 1.1-4 NIV
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

John saw Jesus, learned what he taught, watched what he did, and shared what he knew. That’s his testimony. It could hold up in court. It was kinda meant to, because ancient Christians were hauled into court and had to explain themselves, and that’s exactly what their testimonies did.

Acts 26.1 NIV
Then [King Agrippa Herod 3] said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.”
So Paul motioned with his hand and began his defense…

Paul presented a testimony twice in Acts: Once in temple before a mob, Ac 22 and once on trial before his king. Ac 26 It’s largely the same story—it’s about how Paul used to persecute Christians, but then Jesus personally appeared to him and flipped him. Ac 9.1-22 The point of this story is Paul obviously had a God-experience, because there’s no other reasonable explanation for such a radical change. Yeah, skeptics might insist there has to be another, better explanation; or they’ll just insist he’s nuts, as did Porcius Festus at his trial. Ac 26.24-26 But it’s not about presenting a believable story; it’s about telling the truth as best we can, and if people refuse to believe it, that’s on them.

Anyway that’s what testify, witness, and testimony refer to throughout the scriptures: People saw God do stuff. People have proof God did stuff: A signifiant historical change, a transformed life, miracles, hope, and good fruit.

And if you had a God-experience, you saw something. You’re a witness. You have a testimony. You have something you can share with others. You’re meant to, ’cause sometimes people need or want to know about God, and you saw stuff. Great! Now share what you saw.

“How do you know there’s a God?”

by K.W. Leslie, 07 June

Every so often I’m asked, “How do you know there’s a God?”

No, they’re not asking, “How can we, as humanity, verify the existence of God?” They don’t wanna go over Christian apologists’ various proofs for God’s existence. Sometimes they’ve already heard a few; sometimes they even found them reasonable. But they also found them unconvicting. They couldn’t make the leap from, “I think there’s a God out there” to “So now I’m gonna become Christian.”

In fact if I started listing the proofs of God’s existence, it’d be the fastest way to annoy them. “Well y’see, I know there’s a God because the universe works on cause and effect. So if we trace all the causes back to a first cause…” Yeah, yeah, they didn’t ask for a philosophy lesson. Most folks have heard the “unmoved mover” idea before, and nontheists are pretty sure that unmoved mover is the Horrendous Space Kablooie. They don’t care about that.

What they wanna know is how I, me, K.W. Leslie, the guy who talks about God as if he’s a real guy, the guy who talks about God as if I’ve met him personally, know God exists.

Well that’s easy. I’ve met him personally.

No, really.