Embrace the Supernatural
This is day 4 of my 40 day Lenten blog.
There is a very wrong idea among some Christians, that if we can just downplay the supernatural aspects of our religion then it will be more attractive to the modern audience. This thinking couldn't be further from the truth.
Some, such as now deceased Episcopal Bishop Spong, even go so far as to deny the virgin birth and the divinity of Christ. How he ever became a bishop is beyond me. But an even bigger question is, why would he want to be? Why would he dedicate his life to Christ if Christ is just a mortal man like the rest of us. I don't think I would even bother to get out of bed and go to church on Sunday much less become a priest and a bishop.
But there are many more Christians who fully believe in the divinity of Christ, but nevertheless downplay other aspects of the supernatural world. They don't like to talk about angels saving people, or the Blessed Virgin Mary appearing to give instructions. Statues weeping blood, or the bread and wine becoming the actual body and blood of Christ just seems too loony to believe. Demonic possession and voices from God or angels are fake or simply the result of a mental illness. They believe God is real, but...come on that stuff is just silly. And they certainly won't let Jesus take the wheel of their lives. That would be reckless.
The truth is, supernatural occurrences are no more miraculous than the natural things we all believe and take for granted every day. After all, why is a statue weeping blood more impressive than the Big Bang and the formation of the entire universe? How is Saint Mary speaking to people more difficult to believe than the conception, growth, and birth of a human being?
We see miracles every single day. They are so common, in fact, that we don't even recognize them as miracles anymore. We doubt angels speaking to us, but we don't give the development of the planet with conditions perfect for life to form, develop, and evolve a second thought.
People are drawn to the miraculous powers of God. It is the miraculous that points to God. That's what the word "miracle" means. It means "sign." Miracles, whether the miracle of creation or the miracle of walking on water, whether natural or supernatural, are signs pointing to God. But since we are no longer impressed with natural miracles, it is the supernatural signs that really grab our attention. So do not downplay them. Embrace the supernatural signs--those beings and events that point the way to God. We must believe as a child believes. When we start embracing the supernatural again, and having the faith of children, we will once again see growth in the Church. It is by suppressing the supernatural, the very things that make religion worthwhile, that is causing the death of the Church.
Today's prayer: Lord, please help me to have the faith of a child. Help me to see Your miraculous hand in every aspect of life and the universe, whether natural or supernatural.
R.C. VanLandingham lives in Florida with his wife and kids. He is the author of several books including the Christian fantasy books Peter Puckett & The Amulet of Eternity, Peter Puckett & the Enchanted Chalice, and Magdalene Hope & the Elves of Evermore.