Is it really just ‘Emotional “Penty” Hogwash?’

There has long been a (hopefully friendly) rivalry between Pentecostal/charismatic and more conservative/traditional Christian churches.

The former get accused of being too emotionally and experientially driven and not grounded in the Scriptures, while the latter get accused of being too straight-laced, dogmatic and lacking in the Spirit.

While you will always find negative extremes, both sides need to be careful that their judgment is not clouded by prejudice or ignorance of what the Bible actually says.

This really hit home to me some time back as I was listening to a song by Matt Redman, entitled Undignified (I will dance).i10030

Some of the lyrics are as follows:

I will dance, I will sing
To be mad for my King...

And I’ll become even more undigni-fied than this.

My natural, default bias would ordinarily have written this song off as ‘emotional “penty” hogwash,’ (I mean, undignified dancing!!) but this time was different. Only days before I heard the song, I was reading a fascinating passage of Scripture in 2 Samuel 6:16-23 in which King David was bringing the Ark into Jerusalem, so I immediately recognized the song as being directly from Scripture. (You can read the passage here)

It was a good reminder to me that before we write anything off as ‘emotional “penty” hogwash’ or ‘legalistic conservative dogma’ it would be wise to go to the Scriptures first, and, above all, to remember that Jesus greatly desires the unity of His Church.

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The Loneliness of Chronic Illness

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Chronic Illness can be a very lonely journey, even when you’re surrounded by people who love and care about you.

Often you become isolated, unable to go out with friends, and over time, those friends move on, and you’re left behind.

Eventually people stop asking about your health; and you’re glad, because there’s nothing fresh to tell them.

After years of suffering, adjusting, changing and recalibrating you settle into a new sense of normality. When you have a rough day, you don’t bother to tell people anymore because there’s nothing they can do. You get good at hiding the pain; you carry a burden that affects you every day, and while others forget, you have a constant reminder.

I have been so blessed in my illness (which has claimed the majority of my adult life) to have been surrounded by supportive friends and family, but no-one can fully walk the path with you. No-one knows what it feels like on the inside.

Everyone else can walk away; everyone except God.

He is the only one who has walked every step with me. He’s done every day at work, every night of insomnia, every holiday, shopping trip, restaurant experience, social gathering and solitary day on the couch. No-one knows what I experience every day, except Him.

The silent solitary path of chronic illness is a lonely and often isolated one, but I am so blessed to say (in the words of Matt Redman) that ‘never once have I ever walked alone.’