Many years ago I went to hear a famous Christian musician at a local church. During his performance, he asked if anyone was going through a really difficult time right now. I certainly was. We had just gone through a church split and I was really hurting. He asked us to just raise a hand so that we could be prayed for.
I raised my hand.
Then he invited those who raised a hand to just stand. Well, everybody saw me raise my hand so I felt obliged to stand. But already this was going down a road I didn’t want to travel.
Then he asked us to just step out and come down to the front so it would be easier for us to be prayed for. Again, I couldn’t just sit down.
I went down to the front.
So there I was standing at the front with several others who were hurting and just wanted to be prayed for. Then the singer started talking about the fact that we were suffering because we didn’t have enough faith. It was because of our lack of faith that there was suffering in our lives.He just lost a fan.
Then he said that the reason we didn’t have faith in our lives was because we weren’t believers. We weren’t Christians. We were overcome with sin and darkness. So he invited the elders of the church to come around with gospel tracks and lead us all to salvation. Others came around with membership cards for that church so that this fall into sinful suffering would never happen again.
What a humiliating time that was! What made it even more humiliating was that some of the people who’d left my church during the split were there. They must have been thinking, “I never did think he was a real Christian!”
I laugh now.