Yesterday, we covered on Filming God and judging God Stories based on the documentary by Darren Wilson. Today, we will continue on the subject and addressing the issue of doubting Thomas. In reality, it is one of the most common sins in Western Christianity.
It is no secret that I have little to no respect for people living in doubt and fear. You can’t do anything from a position of fear; yet so many people spiritualize and canonize both of them be “wisdom.” Wisdom makes you bolder with confidence; not pushes you back in being more into compliance.
We need a fresh touch of faith. One of the first things I learn at Oral Roberts University was that faith is always current. It is always now. Hebrews 11 starts with “Now Faith is….” God is the God of the Now. He is always on time.
However, everyone around us are doubters it seems. I hate to say it but Pentecostals can be some of the worst cases of doubting the word of the Lord and the move of the Spirit. It is one thing for the Baptists to question things but Pentecostals that was born out of the Azusa Street Revival? Seriously?
Darren Wilson’s journey into the Spirit realm
If you were to ask me then (and my wife often did), I would have told you that I was a healthy skeptic. In truth, I didn’t believe most of what I heard from other people. It’s not that I thought they were lying, I just figured they were embellishing things, remembering poorly, or stretching the truth (sometimes quite a bit). Usually they had something to gain if I believed them. Maybe I’d give them money, support their ministry, stroke their ego, or allow them to keep speaking at other churches. I was sure God could do great things, I just didn’t think He did do them all that much.
What he calls being a skeptic is really the spirit of Doubting Thomas. He excepted people to not have prophetic experiences. Anything radical at all and he didn’t want to receive it. This is not special to Darren Wilson, either. This is very common, even in renewal churches. Doubt is never a fruit of the Spirit, either.
He expected that faith required him to agree with the person on some level. There was an investment to be made. It might be seeding an offering, supporting them in prayer, or endorsing them in ministry. By his own admission, he knew that having faith in people’s experience would cost him something.
This is a risk that many will not take. They would live a life of failure. They see themselves as people struggling and therefore, they believe everyone around them must be struggling to have faith as well. This is actually far more common than we care to admit.
It is amazing how many Christians think the Holy Spirit is the quiet kid in the corner of the lunch room that is afraid to speak to anyone in fear they will mock Him and humiliate Him!
Darren Wilson was not alone.
The story does not end there. He is open to the move of the Spirit, he is just a skeptical. There is hope and deliverance for skeptics. They are not critics; they haven’t made up their mind, yet.
In Darren’s words,
In my mind, I was a healthy skeptic, but in reality, I was an impostor. I hid behind my skepticism and called it discernment. But what I have discovered in years of traveling the world filming this stuff, and in dealing with people’s opinions of me and my movies, is that skepticism and discernment are two totally different things…
What he is releasing is a powerful word for all of us, if we have ears to hear it. Most of us remain skeptics and spiritualize it as discernment. In reality, most people do not even know what discernment even looks like!
Discernment is being like the Bereans, checking things out hoping it is true. A skeptic is looking with the position, “I am sure they are wrong and I am just checking to make sure before I blog about them as heretics.” There is a world of difference.
I have never been good at being a skeptic of the move of the Holy Spirit and really bad at being a critic. I do not check my brain at the door but I believe in the God of the Possible too. Impossible is nothing to a man with faith.
I am over being being a doubter, completely set free and not returning to being in bondage in the near future. Sorry, not my thing.
What about Scam Artist Preachers
Darren Wilson touches on this as well,
The problem, of course, is that there are so many charlatans out there, so many religious men and women who have been caught lying to us. So many leaders have proven to be hypocrites on a grand scale, and it has become increasingly difficult to trust and believe anything at face value anymore. I don’t see this problem going away any time soon, and I think it’s both healthy and important that we continue to wrestle with these things, test them, and turn a discerning eye toward them.
This is where I will tend to disagree with him on some level. Darren is a solid guy, loves the move of the Spirit but some of His old Baptist theology is raining through. Worrying a scam artist or a charlatan is really not something I care to do. You can say someone is, I can say than they are not. Who is right and who is wrong?
I have found that most people who are accused of being a scam artists are not at all. I hear this leveled against Todd Bentley on a regular basis. I do not believe he is for one minute. He might be dumb with some of his presentation and he might be an idiot when it comes to finances; but that does not mean he is a scam artist.
Todd is no Robert Tilton. He is one of the few that I will say is clearly a con artist. Peter Proff is another. These are confirmed. Todd Bentley, Benny Hinn, and even Paul Cain are not. They might have issues but issues don’t make you a charlatan. It just makes you completely lack responsibility.
Darren Wilson’s final outcome
If it was true that God really was moving at an unprecedented rate around the world, and His spirit was doing things that were, well, of biblical proportions on a pretty regular basis, then church for church’s sake wasn’t going to cut it anymore.
If you want to see more of God than you have, you are going to have more faith in what He is doing than you do in what He is not doing. Until we can get to the point, we are not going to see much change in how we think of the Holy Spirit or we express the move of God to the culture we dwell in.
As I said, people like Darren are very common. The sad part if they fill the seats of Pentecostal and Charismatic churches across America.