But that’s precisely the point. A prayer, by definition, isn’t a speech made to a public audience but is instead a petition made to a higher Being. For the government to censor such prayers is to turn the government into a theological referee, and would, in fact, establish a state religion: a state religion of generic American civil religious mush that assumes all religions are ultimately the same anyway. To remove the “sectarian” nature of prayer is to reduce such prayers to the level of public service announcements followed by “Amen.”
When a marriage is functioning as God intended, it’s a living illustration to all the world—it screams, “This is what our Savior does for His bride!” This is a wonderful and glorious thing. Witnessing a healthy marriage, where a wife is submitting to her husband and her husband is sacrificially loving her, says more about the gospel’s power than many a sermon.
Cessationism does not mean that God no longer does anything miraculous. As a pastor I see miracles often. Every time a spiritually dead person comes to faith is a miraculous work of grace. Every time a person is healed solely in answer to the prayers of God’s people totally in contradiction to the medical science predictions, it is a divine miracle. If God so chose, he could allow someone to speak today in a language they didn’t previously know.
Cessationism means the Spirit no longer gives believers miraculous spiritual gifts as a normative Christian experience as it was for the apostles.
One of the great scriptures is 1 Chronicles 12.32 which speaks of David’s mighty men. It says the men of Issachar were “men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” If we want to shape our times for God, we too must be people who know the times.
First step: Stop wishing the world were different and start creating the world you want.
This is why I am crushed whenever I hear that an institution has invoked the fact that “Bible Professor X caused some students to have faith crises” as grounds for dismissal. This is what good Bible teachers do!
What if we extended this to other disciplines—if physicists had to fear for their jobs whenever they caused students to understand nature in a new way, or if philosophers came under fire whenever they encouraged students to question reality in a new way?
Wanting to spare students from having faith crises implies that the students arrive at university with a perfect understanding of the nature of the Bible, in which case, we do not need to teach Bible classes at all.
Musical Notation, As Described By Cats
[Music theory taught by GIFs of felines… what could be better?]