Testimonies about miracles. I’m not much on them.
At least once a year or so, I’ll have someone want to tell our ministry of mostly non-Christian kids a “miracle” testimony of being healed, delivered from drugs, saved from prison, etc.
I obviously don’t say “no,” but I really struggle with this kind of thing on Biblical grounds. Jesus didn’t primarily use miracles to evangelize, but to show the presence of the Kingdom. It was present miracles, not stories. I know it’s common in mission settings. I know Pentecostals love it. But I have to be honest: I’m pretty uneasy- on Biblical grounds- about how we tell those stories and recall those events. The message- overt and overheard- is often sub-Gospel. Our sinful, prideful, self-seeking need for attention gets in there as well. You know what happens. I’ve heard some testimonies that would send a lie detector up in smoke.
I’ll hear it over and over: “He’s the same God now as he was then, and he can do the same miracle for you he did for me. Just have faith.” Lots of scriptures to quote about believing, bold prayer, etc. I’m not much to take those verses and run. I’ve been jaded, but then the Bible gives me reason to be cautious. Miracles have their place, but we shouldn’t have them on the loudspeaker all the time.
One of the guys who gave his healing testimony was dead in a few months. I don’t want to even check on the testimonies of those saying they were delivered from drugs and crime. I know the score. Averages in that game aren’t encouraging.
I had a good friend fault me because I do not tell my students to pray specifically for miracles. And I don’t. I believe Jesus taught us how to pray. Your will be done. Your Kingdom come. Deliver us from evil. It’s not hard.
I don’t deny anything about the possibility of miracles, but I am very reluctant when we start to advertise them.
What do you think of “miracle testimonies” and their place in evangelism and Christian communication?