Charismatic

Charismatic: (adj) relating to the charismatic movement in the Christian Church.

Even in the midst of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenburg Church, symbolizing the beginning of the Reformation Movement and the Protestant rendition of the faith, my mind prefers to go back less than fifty years–when
those boundaries existing between Catholics and Protestants were melted away by a simple sweet spirit.

I had just begun traveling the country–a young man full of dreams and plagued by empty pockets–when suddenly the walls that had once stood strong between the denominations of the followers of Jesus began to tumble by a movement of the Holy Spirit.

Matter of fact, many of my first opportunities to sing and share ended up being in front of Catholic Charismatic meetings, where those who honored a Pope and offered wine and cheese for snacks, suddenly joined hands in prayer with their Protestant counterparts.

It was beautiful. It was childlike. It was awe-inspiriring and sometimes a bit clumsy.

One night at a McDonald’s, one of my Catholic brothers, in an attempt to validate his newfound freedom and faith, proclaimed to the entire table of hamburger-munchers that “Jesus wiped with the same hand we do.” Everybody graciously said a quiet “amen,” our Big Macs suddenly shrinking in appeal.

What were the ingredients that made this movement so successful?

  1. They didn’t take too much time discussing theology.
  2. Everyone became known as a “Charismatic” instead of identifying by their denominational nametag.
  3. Love and hugging were just as important as Bible study and prayer.
  4. The music was like children’s hymns, sung with tears.
  5. It unified.

The Charismatic Movement didn’t last very long. False teachers, televangelists and those who wanted to make a dime off of a penny’s worth of thoughts soon came in and ravaged the faithful.

But it truly was charismatic.

Charismatic in the sense of being totally charming.

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Annunciation, The

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Annuciation, The: (n) announcement of the Incarnation by the angel Gabriel to Mary (Luke 1:26-38)

Angels have personalities.

I suppose one has to believe in angels or accept the concept of personality.

We know they have some sort of thinking process– one-third of them decided to rebel against management and ended up earth-bound. (Sometimes I think we fail to realize that losing a third of your personnel is a pretty heavy indictment against the employer.)

So I wonder what Gabriel, an angel in good standing, felt like when he was instructed to go to Earth and tell a young, teenage girl that the Holy Spirit was going to overshadow her and that she would bear a child, and even though the offspring would be the Savior of the world, for the first nine months, it would be a much-unwanted pregnancy.

I’m not so sure that a young, Jewish girl in that time would have been aware of the procreative process. So did Gabriel get stuck explaining sex and God–in the same visit?

Or were young girls of the time so confined within tiny, stone huts that actually, Mama and Papa’s evening groanings needed to be explained earlier than usual?

But I will tell you three positive things:

  1. Only a teenage girl would think it was cool to have a baby. If God had caught her any older, she would have been more rational.
  2. Only a young lass would have the faith of a child and the optimism to think that God really saw her personally and wanted to bless her uniquely.
  3. And only Mary stands out singularly as the woman that God chose, to birth the promise of the ages.

What a difficult assignment it was for an angel to annnunciate the heart of God into the fragile mind of a superstitious, adolescent and poverty-stricken little girl.

It is so much the story of humanity–with all of our technology, intellect, pursuit of knowledge, political maneuvers and theological profundities, it is still one single person believing in the unbelievable … marching us forward.

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Addendum

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

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Addendum: (n.) an item of additional material, typically omissions, added at the end of a book or other publication.

At the risk of offending those who worship religion instead of finding a gospel that loves people, let me say that I find it difficult to believe that a book that had its last chapter written nearly two thousand years ago and was compiled fifteen hundred years ago is not in need of so me addendums.

After all, we do it with everything else.

Yes, we call it the Bible and just to make sure nobody messes with it, we add the adjective “Holy” to its title.

But there are things within the confines of that book, or series of books, that tell us that the discovery of God and humanity is meant to continue through the workings of the Holy Spirit. There are strong indications that there should be further insights and perhaps additions as mankind progresses, constantly putting the whole concept of Christianity to a test drive.

Without this, we have the conviction that the Model T Ford is the culmination of all automobiles. We would never have gotten the Corvette Stingray.

Should the world be viewed in the light of the Biblical prose? Or should the Biblical prose be discerned in the light of discoveries made in our world?

Now there’s a great question.

  • For instance, since we found out that the earth is round, is it all right for us to go into the Holy Scriptures and find references to “the circle of the earth” and applaud those notations, setting aside any verse that’s “flat-headed?”
  • Since now we know more about shrimp, is it now all right for us to eat them?
  • Since we’ve abolished slavery, might we put in an addendum that all previous references to it in the Holy Book were erroneous “tippings of the turban” to the powers that were?

After all, the Apostle Paul said that only three things would ultimately abide: faith, hope and love.

So anything that increases our faith in one another and God, makes us more hopeful, and generates love is certainly worthy to be touted from one generation to another. Yet anything that poses that the Amorites needed to be slain by the Israelis, or that all men require circumcision in order to “trim up for heaven” might benefit from an addendum.

My feeling is that great ideas are not afraid of revision when that interpretation brings forth an even more stupendous transformation.

I believe the Bible because I believe in faith, hope and love. But I’m not afraid to allow science, wisdom, technology, archeology, geography, and just my own experience to enhance the pages … with greater and greater magnification.