As a young person, I often searched for a place to fit in, to understand better, who God is and know more about His role in my life. I was a born a Catholic and married into the Southern Baptist faith. I also conducted personal research on inter-spirituality, and spent a few years learning more about why so many people are drawn to this non-Christian philosophy. My time spent in research, grew my validation that there is only one God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit. Nothing can ever change this.
In my search for Christian meaning, I have always studied reformed theology and the writings of many preachers representing orthodox Christianity. Some are: C.H. Spurgeon, John Bunyan, George Fox, D.W. Moody, Ada Habershon, John Calvin, A.W. Tozer, and many other preachers of the old. In fact, I remember getting to know most of them from the time I began to read and understand what I was reading.
At this time of my life and beyond this moment, I consider myself to be someone who adheres to Reformed Theology, that is not all Calvinistic, accompanied by an uncomplicated form of the study of Apologetics. The church I attend consistently adheres to teachings grounded in reformed theology led by Biblical truth, the significance of obedience to God, and the need for repentance of my sins.
I also consider myself to be a practical-minded Cessationist. I confirm that God continues to provide spiritual gifts of Biblical proportions such as administration (my daily work), teachings (those delivered through the male elders of the church I attend), mercy, hospitality, daily sharing of God’s words as comfort to others, attention to the suffering, and etc. I believe that while God still do miracles, these miracles come directly from God, and not from individuals themselves.
Here are a few Biblical verses supporting my decision:
- Exodus 4:1-8 declares Moses’ ability to perform miracles to authenticate his ministry given to him by God.
- I Kings 17:1; 18-24 affirms Elijah was also provided miracles to substantiate his ministry.
- Act 4:10,16 supports that the Apostles were likewise provided miracles to validate their ministries.
- John 2:11, the Apostle John shares on Jesus’ miracles or “signs”.
After Jesus’s resurrection, and while the Church as God intended was being constructed, “signs” from the Apostles came in speaking in tongues and through miracles. In I Corinthians 14:22, I read this “Tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not.” To them that believe NOT. My discernment on this is that this language described here by Paul, was never intended to educate the church, as its members.
The Apostle predicted that speaking in tongues will cease- I Corinthians 13:8. Cessation.
After Corinthians, the Apostle Paul speaks of gifts, but none include gifts of signs and wonders.
Signs and wonders were used to authenticate God in the ministry of many in the Bible. Now, the Bible, God’s words, deconstruct the notion that verification of who He is must continue to be displayed through acts of modern-day “signs and wonders”. His words should be enough to authenticate Him!
Signs and wonders were used to prove to the sinners in Israel that God was real. However, again, His words, in the Bible should be enough. See I Corinthians 14:21-22 and Isaiah 28:11-12.
Other scriptures, which validate cessation, are: Acts 2; Luke 9-12; Acts 20:9-12; Philippians 2:25-27; 2 Timothy 4:20; 1 Timothy 5:23; and 2 Corinthians 12:7-9. The authority Jesus left with His apostles were already revealed to the people; therefore, I contend that no more authentication that God exist through common-day “signs and wonders”, is necessary.
A.W. Tozer said:
“A real Christian is an odd number. He feels supreme love for One whom he has never seen; talks familiarly every day to Someone he cannot see; expects to go to heaven on the virtue of Another; empties himself in order to be filled; admits he is wrong so he can be declared right; goes down in order to get up; is strongest when he is weakest; richest when he is poorest and happiest when he feels the worst. He dies so he can live; forsakes in order to have; gives away so he can keep; sees the invisible; hears the inaudible; and knows that which passes knowledge.”
Here, Tozer is not speaking of kenosis, for instead, he speaks of humility. Each day, I strive to be the type of Christian Tozer wrote about. In serving God, my family, daily life, and in my work, I am always thankful to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, to be in this place.
In conclusion, feminine Christianity is an important facet in my beliefs, applications, and service, and for this reason I follow the suggestions of the Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.