For many of us, the charismatic movement has been a mixed bag of bonkers and blessing. The danger is, of course, that we throw the blessed baby out with the bonkers bathwater! Especially for those of us who have been through some kind of deconstruction, we can easily end up rationalising away anything mystical.
So we asked Brad Jersak to help us think all this through. Brad is a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church and is deeply contemplative. But he’s also a charismatic. So we ask him what the charismatic and contemplative traditions can learn from each other, and whether contemplation can help take some of the crazy out of the charismatic.
After the interview Nomad hosts Tim Nash, David Blower and Nick Thorley reflect on their own experience in Charismatic spaces, and what they’ve kept and rejected as their faith has continued to evolve.
Interview begins at 17m 32s
Image taken by Tim Nash. Used with permission.
“Faith is about – first of all – the faithfulness of Jesus and us learning usually the hard way to trust that he’s faithful. And that is not drummed up in me. We come to believe that we can trust as we see the faithfulness of God in action. But it’s God initiating. Jesus shows us his faithfulness somehow and I begin to grow and trust around that. It’s not me getting enough faith to put it in the divine vending machine.”
“If God is good and life is random, what does this mean? It means that we still engage in prayer and we still step into ministries that will alleviate suffering in some way or another. But my posture in that is no longer triumphalism. It’s more contemplative surrender.”