By Nicholas B
The first time I ever "faked it," I was in jail, and a pastor was walking around the chapel laying hands on the mens' foreheads, praying for our deliverance from drugs, alcohol, and a myriad of other evils we were guilty of or addicted to. When he came to me, I expected to feel something…anything, but when I didn't, I became embarrassed, flushed, anxious. Nothing was happening. "What should I do now," I thought. I fell back and laid on the floor assuming the "slain in the spirit" position, while the pastor went on and on and on praying, all along thinking that I had been touched by Spirit of Gawd.
Another time, we were all sitting around the chapel. The pastor asked the "congregation" if any one in the audience wanted an extra measure of faith. I was nervous. I knew he was going to try and see us receive the "gift of tongues." I was paranoid. "Please, NO, don't come over here," my mind screamed. "This shit is FAKE," but then I felt guilty, because I loved the Lord, and if the gifts were real, then I wanted to please him.
Another pastor told the congregation that although we might be saved, unless we received the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit," we would never walk in the power of the spirit, something that would keep us strong in the faith and out of prison after our release.
I never forgot those experiences, and they haunted me throughout my Christian walk, but I would read 1 Corinthians and remind myself that Love was the greatest gift of all, and would try and comfort myself with the knowledge that I had the gift of love. I tried to believe in the other gifts. They were biblical weren’t they? God wanted all of us to have them, didn't he? There must be something wrong with me, I thought. Obviously, I didn't have enough faith. It must be some sin that was hindering me. But deep down, I knew better. I knew that my faith was sincere. I knew that I wanted the things of God more than anything. I knew that to please Him was my first priority.
So, why wasn't the Spirit manifesting in me? Why was He playing favorites with the others around me? Again, I knew better. I knew in my gut that it was all a show. I knew in my gut that I was the only one being sincere. I didn't have the "fake it, till you make it" mentality required of "faith." Either the gifts of the spirit were real, or they weren't. Either God was going to prove him self, or the Bible was full of shit. I fasted, I prayed, I believed. I studied the Word and surrounded myself with concordances. Waiting ... nope still no babbling brook of inane commentary flowed from my mouth, no prophetic utterances, no virtue of healing power dripped from my finger tips. God was failing to prove himself to me. My faith was waning. Slowly, the chips began to fall.
The "gifts of the Spirit" was only one confusing doctrine in a line of many that would eventually seal my religious fate. After years of trying to justify one contradiction after another, I walked away for good, but I can't help but to think about this one particular belief of the Christian faith and wonder how many of you out there experienced a similar experience with the "charismatic" denominations. Anyone willing to admit that they "faked it" too?
To monitor comments posted to this topic, use .
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)