When strange things happen, it’s best to face them plainly. I took down the last post I wrote because I’m not sure what combination of Holy Spirit and dopamine was involved in its composition. If God does indeed possess prophets, then it would be impossible for that not to look like a psychiatric incident in our world today. But I am a pastor with a responsibility not to frighten people God has given me to love into discipleship. So I want you to know I’m okay and I need your prayers to try to make sense of what happened.
I’ve been coming to the perspective that the powers and principalities talked about in the Bible are not things like UN or Wall Street so much as they are what Slavoj Zizek calls the Real. It’s the normal that humanity is hypnotized into accepting. It’s what makes it not seem ludicrous to us that little white and green pieces of paper are more valuable than the material products they purchase. It’s also what makes us say, “Get a job!” when we drive past a bunch of 21st century hippies trying to create a new civilization in public space that isn’t really public.
Living comfortably within the normal makes us feel safe but also anxious at the same time. I used to have dreams all the time in which I found myself in my classroom at school naked and had to figure out how to make clothes out of my papers and books before anybody could notice. I guess now I live with an analogous awkwardness. When I tried to deny that I spoke in tongues before, it was genuinely because I didn’t want to mock God but also because I’m an endocrinologist’s son, not some weirdo I a tinfoil hat (no offense to others who share the gift). Now God has forbidden me to deny it. I don’t know what that means except that I’m not going to use it unless God makes me.
Regarding prophetic insight, I need confirmation from others before I’m going to own completely what I was given two nights ago. Nothing I said was not already a part of what I basically believe so it could have been a manic explosion of my own thoughts. I have a psychiatrist. I’m taking a medicine that helps with both anxiety and mood stabilization. Unless my general ability to function seems impaired over time, I don’t think I will make any major changes.
I do believe that we are absolutely called upon to fight spiritual warfare against the powers and principalities that create normals which are oppressive. The one thing that was given to me that I am going to own is that the weapons of this war are the sword of truth, the sacraments of the church, a contrite spirit, and a crucified flesh. We need to be reading our Bibles, we need to take communion, we need to confess our sins and pray in general, and we need to engage in various forms of fasting. It is the powers of oppressive normals that need to be fought for our world to be redeemed.