Miracles: The Struggle of a Skeptical Believer — Part 1

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio. Maybe believers who need proof aren't all that bad?
The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio. Maybe believers who need proof aren’t all that bad?

The charismatic movement. Speaking in tongues, laying on of hands, miraculous healing. Weird stuff with people claiming to be knocked down by the Holy Spirit or pinned down, held in a trance for hours. You know what I’m talking about. Folks who know little of the charismatic movement and are cynical towards it would add snake-handling to that list, but I try not to give nutpickers the time of day. I’ve been attending church with people who practice modern-day manifestations of the gifts of the Spirit for seven or eight years now, in part because my own study of the Bible has always lead me to conclude that there is no reason why gifts of the Spirit should not be practiced today. Yet for some reason, I feel ashamed to write that I’ve never practiced them myself. Worse, when my evangelical friends tell me so brightly that they can speak in tongues now or God healed them in some way, I don’t always believe them. (more…)