One day I had a realization that there were parts of Scriptures that I had been trained to jump over. Speaking in tongues is an example of this. I had questions.
Because I had absolutely no exposure to anything outside of my experience, I spent years wondering and seeking. Very little showed up. Eventually I realized that even my personal experiences had fallen out of the Evangelical “safe-zone.” My solidly non-charismatic friend even commented that “God really talks to you.” I knew He did, but if I was careful, no one really questioned it. I had become good at minimizing prophetic revelation by saying things like “I feel like God is telling me….”
Christianity As I Now Know It
Over time, God did answer those early questions. I still have lots and lots of Evangelical, decidedly non-charismatic family and friends. But I have strayed. My husband followed suit. And our children have all been exposed to the power of the Holy Spirit through their childhoods. My truest old friends have been loyal, sticking with me even though our paths have diverged. One or two have come alongside me. Some are awestruck at what God does on a daily basis in my family members' lives, but stay firmly planted within the boundaries of early theology. And then there is that very large group of people who still do not know the depth of our divergence from those Holy Spirit-limiting doctrines.
Since we walk in Evangelical circles (my husband also attended a Christian college) and have Evangelical extended family (he also was a missionary kid and Baptist minister’s kid), we sometimes feel like we lead double lives. We never apologize for God’s supernatural gifts and ways, and we do share testimonies (because they are so awesome that we must!) but neither are we “evangelical” about them in the true sense of the word.
There is a lot of the Bible that we have in common and we like to stay in that realm when theology comes up in conversations. It is all so shocking to my dear conservative family members. I pray that God speaks to them, but we want to keep peace and not worry them. We homeschooled for 15 years until recently, and we met many new people, mostly Christians. We learned to be diplomatic and discrete about our prophetic church affiliation. I will be frank to say that the term “red flag” has been used by our Christian friends to describe these affiliations. We try to keep full alienation to a minimum.
A Little Fish Drawn in the Dirt
The ichthus is the little fish that you see on the back of so many Christian cars. It's made of two arches that face and overlap each other, forming a fish with a tail. It now screams “I'm a Christian!” but back in the day of the early church, this symbol was an esoteric indicator of Christianity. It may be on a doorpost, for example. Legend says that when two people met on a path, one would draw an arc in the dirt with a stick. If the other person was a Christian, he would know to draw another arc opposite of the first one, intersecting the final part of the arc to create a fish drawing. I have thought how nice it would be to have a sign like this to find out if a person is not just a Christian, but a prophetic Christian.
Instead of having a handy little test like the ichthus arc, to meet a new person is to wonder about their theology. When I meet a new Christian, I want to know if I have been blessed to meet another Spirit-filled believer. My ears perk up and I listen for key phrases like “The Lord has been telling me” or “God healed my wrist” or “God delivered me of…” I may be bold and use one of these phrases myself. I look intently at the person’s reaction. Sometimes they catch on. Or they may notice one of the books I am carrying and say “I read that!” That is a wonderful moment, indeed, when that happens. I very rarely say “I'm Charismatic. Are you?” It’s that red-flag thing. I still try to avoid it.
For the Kingdom
As I have personally scoured the internet for charistmatic, encouraging sites, my search has not yielded much beyond those big names that inspire and travel to conferences. I love these people, but sometimes I just want to read encouraging words from someone who is walking the Spirit-filled walk like I am. Now that our paths have crossed, we can walk alongside each other as long as you would like. My hope is that you will see what we have in common and will be encouraged. We are all working together to build one Kingdom. We are in this together. My hope is that prophetic crossroads will be where like-minded, Spirit-filled believers cross paths and exchange words, ideas and encouragement, to strengthen the Kingdom.