Monday, July 08, 2013

Events Theology

So yesterday Andy Murray wins Wimbledon, well done Andy! It only takes about 15 minutes for someone to tweet that Murray's win was a significant sign for our nation. I find myself extremely puzzled by this. How on earth can a man winning wimbledon be a significant sign for us as a nation. He is just a great tennis player who trained hard, worked his way up through the rankings and with dedication, talent and balls eventually won Wimbledon. Which made for a wonderful afternoons viewing and left us all buzzing from having seen an athlete win wimbledon for Scotland.

 I see a creeping idea that sports stars who do something remotely spiritual or even just win something soon get quoted as a spiritual sign for a nation!!!!, I think not! Why? Well because it just further shows how celebrity culture has permeated our society to the point that if the world number one tennis player prays, we make it significant! In Romans 12 it talks about not being conformed to the pattern of this world?

 Special dates, special events, special people!!!! Oh and if it is televised then obviously it is uber significant!

Please can we not see how this is so not the kingdom of God? It doesn't work like that. Last week I know a bunch of people who prayed on council estates around London, people rocking up to a prayer room at 4 in the morning to cry out to God for some deprived area of our land! I watched 5 ladies yesterday morning clean the urine infested stair well of a block of flats near where I live because they wanted to show love to the residents. A group young people worked in sectarian Derry/Londonderry last week clean and serving on the streets. Orphans got fed in Romania, Water projects got launched in Africa, Children got educated in Bolivia. Neighbours helped one another, people prayed and the kingdom was gently but forcefully extended by a serving praying church.

 Not by a man winning a tennis match.

 And if you want to say you get all of that but you feels it's a sign, a prophetic sign. What a sign? that celebrity wins, that 1.6 million pounds is a justifiable pay day, that the fact it was increased by 38% from last year shows an organisation that is in touch with reality? Frankly a tournament that sells 200,000 glasses of Pimm's, 100,000 pints of lager and 25,000 bottles of champagne over 2 weeks is a sign of something. Or here's another one Total top-50 players to have emerged solely through the British tennis structure in both the men's and women's games since 1994: one (Tim Henman). Total cash injection from Wimbledon in that period: £476m. Whats that a sign of?

 Anyway sorry for the rant, it was just a tennis match, a wonderful exhilarating tennis match, Andy murray is a great chap and I enjoyed every tension filled minute. Lets just keep a grip with reality!

Spain won the world cup then descended into recession! Greece hosted the Athens Olympics was that a sign?

 Here's what spoke to me this morning:

"Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

3 comments:

nordicadventurer said...

Hey Brian. At risk of putting my self open to ridicule, I want to challenge you. I 100% agree the kingdom is primarily all the things you talk about, practical acts of love and reconciliation, absolutely. But as someone with a prophetic gift there are often patterns and signs in things that God is speaking about. I have no idea about this Andy Murray Wimbledon word, but maybe we can sit down over a beer and I could talk to you about some of the crazy ways through dreams, events and symbols and numbers that I have heard God speak. I have even given prophetic words similar to this. I hate anything silly or sensationalist but maybe part of the Kingdom of God is also being open to things we personally find difficult? Are you maybe throwing the baby out with the bathwater? I had an incredible conversation last week with a girl who is not a Christian but is into new age. She was saying she feels someone is speaking to her through dreams, events and numbers. The revelation was clearly all about God's love, and also important information for her and how she should handle certain situations, and I was able to tell her that I really believed God was communicating his love to her in a way that was relevant to how he made her. Because I had a similar gifting to her I was able to talk about a lot of this symbolic stuff and tell her how God speaks to me in the same way. Of course, others would have thought I was crazy and I wouldn't necessarily talk this way to everyone.

Faced with a choice, of course, I would always choose acts of love above everything, but we are all part of a body, if you are a hand for example, and I am a knee, then we are going to act and think very differently but we still need each other. If I felt God was telling me to give a prophetic word about an event would you be able to tell me 100% that this is definitely not God, could you be absolutely sure that he would never speak like this? At least I would hope that you would test this word and lovingly reject it if you felt it was wrong. It's been a long and difficult journey to step out into my prophetic gifting because I always thought I would be ridiculed or seen as sensationalist for saying something along these lines, as it often goes against my down-to-earth nature.

Anyway, thanks for the post and I hope you don't mind me keeping the conversation going, it's an interesting topic and I at least agree that we can sometimes get carried away with random symbolic stuff and forget the most important 'bread and butter' of practical acts of love!

nordicadventurer said...

Hey Brian. At risk of putting my self open to ridicule, I want to challenge you. I 100% agree the kingdom is primarily all the things you talk about, absolutely. But as someone with a prophetic gift there are often patterns and signs in things that God is speaking about. I have no idea about this circumstance, but maybe we can sit down over a beer and I could talk to you about some of the crazy ways through events and symbols and numbers that I have heard God speak. I have even given prophetic words similar to this. I hate anything silly or sensationalist but maybe part of the Kingdom is also being open to things we personally find difficult? Are you at risk of throwing the baby out with the sensationalist bathwater?

I had a great conversation last week with a girl who is not a Christian but really seeking, she is into the new age. She was telling me how she has a lot of dreams and keeps seeing certain numbers and significance in events. I was able to share a lot from my experience of this happening to me and was able to tell her that I believed God was speaking to her, as the revelation was really beautiful and seemed relevant to who she was. In fact, I meet a lot of people in Iceland who are very 'spiritual' but not Christian, and think along similar lines. One of the reasons they have not been reached is that the church has told them all this is silly, all you need to do is believe the word and read the word. But recognising that God does speak this way is key to sharing the gospel with people such as my friend.

I understand I think the heart of what you are saying- focus on practical acts of love and kindness and don't go overboard on the crazy prophetic stuff. I totally agree with that! But also we are part of a very diverse body with diverse giftings and maybe we all have a part to play in the wider purposes of God? It's been a long journey for me to step out into my prophetic gifting, as I have often clearly seen signs and symbolism through events, days and numbers. Maybe I am just crazy. But maybe also this is a gifting that God wants me to use and steward wisely and carefully? Can I use this gift without neglecting showing practical love to people day by day?

Anyway, thanks for the post and I hope you don't mind me keeping the conversation going!


Martin said...

Maybe it was a sign for Serbia and not for UK!!!???? Or a sign for... or as you say just a great tennis match. I kinda think so.