Since I am currently on a kick of pointing out core fundamentalist logical ludicrousness, here is another one that is really rather shocking when fully considered with all of its ramifications.
Generally, most Baptist fundamentalists subscribe to the idea that God revealed more knowledge and interacted differently with humans in different time periods or ages. This idea is referred to as Dispensationalism. Here is a link for a quick summary if you’d like: Dispensationalism
According to this theological belief, we are currently in the Dispensation (Age) of Grace. This Dispensation started when Jesus was crucified as a sacrifice for the sins of all mankind past, present, and future, His sacrifice appeased Gods’ justice, while at the same time showed God’s mercy to us by providing a way for us to connect with God.
A little more specifically, prior to Jesus’s death, and for a short period immediately after His ascension to heaven, both Jesus and His disciples had the power to do obvious physical miracles that were instantaneous, observable, and repeatable if they chose to repeat the miracle.
At some point, according to Baptists, miracles ceased to exist. Let’s put this thought on hold because I am building an argument here, and I will need to pick up this piece shortly down the road a ways. . .Okay?
So, now let me lay out a passage of Scripture next. Here it is;
1 Corinthians 13 King James Version (KJV)
13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. (Source: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians+13&version=KJV)
Baptists would generally claim that miracles were needed for authenticity of Jesus’s ministry and for His disciples to authenticate the Gospel.
Now, since ‘that which is perfect has come, (we have the Bible, and the Holy Spirit who lives inside of us), we don’t need miracles any longer, so they have ceased.
Without delving into a dispute if tongues, prophesies still exist, I want to stay focused on the Baptist idea that there are no more miracles for today. Just let that slowly simmer down around the brain for a few seconds.
Now here is my question. . .
WHY PRAY?? If God is done doing miracles, then it makes no sense from a logical point of view to ever ask God to intervene supernaturally to heal someone, ‘magically protect people from accidents’, keep someone’s car running even though the parts are worn out, bring in money for missions support, or to meet your immediate financial needs.
No, none of this even makes sense because if one believes that we are in the Age of Grace, that miracles have ceased, then what we have is STOP. END OF STORY!
And to me, this is a huge, glaring core theological error that is completely illogical!
You can’t believe that God will answer prayers ‘supernaturally’ while at the same time believing that miracles have ceased in our age. You can’t say a circle is a square and insist they are both the same geometric figure.
And this leads to another great, great longing of my heart. I was looking for REAL POWER as it was actually taught that the New Testament believers possessed! I was looking to see it. Not fake babblings, not fake healings, not obviously incorrect prophesyings, but GENUINE power of God!
Was I too idealistic to actually believe that what I was taught about the early church should still hold true today?
This was just another very sad, but heavy stone that ripped out part of my heart and soul in my world view.
And this is why, I believe, that folks don’t attend church. They are not stupid. There is no power there. A lot of entertainment, socializing, good works, and upbeat positive encouragement, but if God’s presence ever showed up, if the Holy Spirit ever really descended on people in a church service, like in the Day of Pentecost, would the church be so focused on keeping their tight schedule of services that this would be dismissed out of hand?
Many churches claim they believe in God’s power, in miracles, but their core theology denies it. All lip service, no reality.
And I find that incredibly, incredibly sad.
To put this into Star Trek verbiage, Christianity had a core breach, there is no warp power driving anything, merely putting along on impulse engines that are social programs.
Maybe it was all a lie all along?
The churches in which I grew up, where my dad was the preacher, and then churches I attended during my college years and beyond were definitely NOT “entertainment, socializing, good works, and upbeat positive encouragement!” It was all about guilt and shame, how sinful and depraved we are and the need for repentance. The messages were much more like your previous post about never being good enough and never deserving forgiveness and the only reason we could get it was due to God’s grace although that was barely mentioned. Those are just as bad for people. All that is, is fear-mongering to manipulate people to behave the way churches want, and to do what they want – all about control and power. And it’s thinly veiled that it’s how God wants us to live, but 99% of the time it doesn’t really match up with scripture anyway. THAT is why I stopped going to church! There wasn’t any encouragement or love to be found there, only those trying to exert control and power over peoples’ lives.