I have heard people talk about the “weakness of personal testimonies”; and how whether in the court of law, or even with unbelievers, our personal testimonies are weak and powerless. “Anyone can have an experience!” they mockingly proclaim. “I could have a bad trip on acid, see a vision of UFO’s eating pizza and playing poker. Does that mean that it’s real?!” One problem with that: You were tripping on acid.
Just because there are perversions of the real thing does not negate the reality of the real thing. Just because there is counterfeit money, does not mean that real money no longer is real. This reasoning can be used to support everything from healings, to the Spiritual Gifts, and, yes, testimonies.
Recently, over some lamb tikka masala in the countryside of Wales, I was discussing church planting with a pastor. He said something really good: The most powerful thing a Christian possesses is their testimony… you just need to be living it. Why would he say this? Wouldn’t reasoning, and philosophy, and logic, and theology be more “powerful”?! They are argued and practiced by the greatest apologists throughout history. They are combed over — over and over and over — in order to find the gaps, the faults, and the weaknesses in them, that one may present an absolute argument for an absolute God. Testimonies… hah, they are weak and foolish!
But, is seems as though that is the exact reason for their power! The following passages speak to that:
But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength. Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.
1 Corinthians 1:24-29
Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, “It has come at last—salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth—the one who accuses them before our God day and night. And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.
By the blood of the Lamb (Jesus) and by our testimonies… POWERFUL! The things the world would consider foolish God chooses to use to bring great glory to Him! The world deems great intellectual philosophizing as impressive and powerful; but God looks at the metamorphosis of a sinner into a saint, and sees the most beautiful and powerful transaction to ever take place. Your great intellect is impressive, but tout that in front of someone that just lost their dad, or is struggling with homosexuality, or is need of a great miracle of healing, and I think you will find your water-tight arguments to be of no effect.
I leave you with this:
1 When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2:1-5
I’ll be foolish. For in my weakness, He is strong…
- Do you agree with those that say experience or testimonies are weak? If so, why?
- Have you ever had anyone scoff at your testimony?
- Have you ever seen lives changed as a result of your testimony