Dream of:13 November 1997 "Spiritual Communication In Church"
My wife Carolina and I were talking about renting a car and taking a trip from Fort Worth to Arizona. We would only be gone for a couple nights – we would just drive out to Arizona, turn around and return. As we looked at a map spread out in front of us, I noticed a long line of highway headed due west from Fort Worth. The stretch of road reminded me of alligator alley, the long ribbon of highway through the Everglades in southern Florida.
The map showed how the road looped around in Arizona so we could follow the loop, and return to Texas on the same road. A small town named "Waverly" was located on the loop. Since I had been thinking of looking for this particular town, I thought it might be a good place to spend the night. From the map, the town appeared much smaller than I would have anticipated.
We would also be passing through another large city, not more than 150 kilometers west of Fort Worth. The map even displayed a picture of the city – a huge gambling metropolis, ostensibly filled with casinos. I joked with Carolina that we could visit the town and add gambling to our list of vices.
When we finally headed west on our trip, we stopped along the side of the road at a small church which seemed as if it might have been in a tent. After we had stepped inside the church, we saw a few people sitting scattered around in their seats, and we also sat down. At the front of the church, at a pulpit, stood the preacher – a slender black-haired man (not more than 30 years old) – delivering his sermon. The meeting seemed informal, and at times, members of the congregation even posed questions to the preacher.
I also began trying to formulate a question for the preacher. I was sure the preacher didn't really understand what he was saying, and I wanted to phrase my question – not so much to trap him – as to narrow down the possible answers. My principal aim was to delve into the confusion which I perceived concerning the God-nature of Jesus Christ.
I would question the preacher about whether he thought Jesus Christ himself was working through him (the preacher) when he was preaching. If the preacher answered that question affirmatively, I would bring the question of God into the formula, and query the preacher about how God fit into this scheme of things. How exactly was God different from Jesus Christ? If Jesus Christ was working through the preacher, was God also working through the preacher?
I began by getting the preacher's attention. I addressed him as "pastor" and I simply first asked him if he believed in Jesus Christ. He immediately began a long speech about how he believed in Christ. Continuing my interrogation, I asked the pastor if he thought when he was preaching, Jesus Christ was trying to communicate to his congregation through him. The pastor answered, "Yes."
The idea that some power could be working through a man – to communicate to other people – was fascinating, verging on frightening. It was difficult to grasp that the pastor might think the spirit of Jesus Christ was inside him right now, passing through him to the sundry souls – including myself – seated in the congregation.
Having established that the pastor believed Jesus Christ was working through him, I asked the pastor a question about whether God was also working through him. The pastor's forehead wrinkled, perplexed, almost nonplused. When I interjected another question (almost facetiously) about the so-called Holy Ghost, the pastor appeared momentarily even more consternated.
It wasn't my intent to be malicious; I had pried enough and saw no point in simply digging further at the pastor and embarrassing him. So finally I simply retreated to the original question concerning Jesus Christ. It was interesting enough to me that the pastor reverently believed a spirit was working through him to communicate to me. Since I knew that most Christian churches identified that spirit as Jesus Christ, I was satisfied to simply leave it at that.
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