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Old 10-17-2018, 06:50 AM   #17
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Florida
Posts: 4,114
Default Re: Discernment of spirits

Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post

You started a thread about discernment of the spirits, please don't widen the topic out to God's sovereignty. (a huge topic that would distract that the topic at hand) The "abilities" I addressed in my post are not necessarily related to God's sovereignty.

Would you like to address anything in my post?

I thought I was addressing something in your post when I asked about God's sovereignty. You're very first positive point was that discernment of spirits is a god-given ability. I wondered how you thought this particular god-given ability-- discernment of spirits--relates to all the other God given abilities.

I was pleased that you deigned to post on this thread as I am whenever you post in alternative views. I consider you a benefactor and a friend for allowing me to post my ramblings on LCD at all. I view it as an expression of your liberality or shall I say your magnanimity since liberal is considered a dirty word by some on this forum.

I don't disagree with anything in your post though I do find several of the points perplexing. Trying to get into the mind of Paul is always challenging and I never know if I'm doing it right.

He contrasts the natural person with the spiritual person. Now I think I know what he means. But, is he talking about someone who is predominantly natural or predominantly spiritual or is he speaking of natural and spiritual in an absolute sense? If the former then my experience confirms it. If the latter, I can say nothing.

Your distinction between abilities which are innate and those which are bestowed is perplexing and is what I was getting at with my question about God's sovereignty over all abilities. A case in point comes from the book of Acts which I have recently been studying.

In chapter 16 Paul and Silas meet a young girl who has a spirit of clairvoyance. In the Greek it says she had the spirit of a python. Her owners are using her ability to tell the future for profit. She followed the Apostles around crying out "these men are servants of the most high God and they are telling you the way of salvation." Thus she spoke the truth. Nevertheless, Paul casts the clairvoyant spirit out of her.

Now would Paul consider her a spiritual person or a natural person? The story doesn't tell us whether she was saved or not. But apparently she lost the spiritual gift that she had because her owners got angry seized Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities.

I think the story raises questions about spiritual reality. The python spirit could speak the truth but was not Truth i.e. Reality- in-itself.

Anyway, now having raised the question of the Python spirit I feel embarrassed because the story is so amazing and beyond my experience. But, perhaps it is relevant to the discussion even though I can only raise it here not on the main forum for fear of censorship.

In general I think spiritual discernment is something difficult if not impossible to talk about because words which are so concrete don't capture spirit. Jesus seemed to get at something like that point when he said in John 3:8 that pneuma blows where it wishes and we hear the sound of it but we can't tell where it comes from or where it goes. Ultimately, the gospel is about Spiritual Reality not just words.

Ken Gemmer- Church in Detroit, Church in Fort Lauderdale, Church in Miami 1973-86

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