Are miracles deserved? If so, how do we get a miracle?
I am most amused to find that the Crystal Cathedral board (my relatives) decided that the church grounds are not for sale. Instead, they have implemented a fundraising campaign called a “Miracle Faith Offering” in which they hope to collect $50 million within 120 days.
I happen to know a lot about the theology of miracles. I have a bachelor’s degree in New Testament theology from the school of miracles – Oral Roberts University. I had mandatory classes called “Charismatic Life & the Healing Ministry” and each chapel service was devoted to miracle faith offerings, miraculous healings, and supernatural prayers.
There’s an amusing story circulating among close family and friends. Apparently, one of my aunts told my grandmother that God would provide a miracle. My grandmother allegedly responds, “We don’t deserve a miracle.”
It’s true! Suppose they raise the money. Then, what? What is the plan after paying off creditors? How do they intend to keep the grounds, pay staff and stay on the air? Don’t they need a credible minister in the pulpit? Don’t they need a dynamic television platform?
Of course, it’s also true that miracles are never deserved. This is a tragic misunderstanding among Christians who consider themselves charismatic. Many believe that we can earn our miracle with enough faith, prayer or donations.
Every miraculous story is a story with God at the center. He is the initiator and provider of miracles. We can never take credit for making a miracle happen. And, we ought to be cautious about how we interpret a miracle.
I suppose many will presume that I’m hoping for this miracle offering to crash and burn. Not the case. I truly hope that the money will be raised, and that the ministry will continue. However, I want to be clear about my motivations.
If and when the Crystal Cathedral keeps its assets, my relatives will interpret the miracle according to their own bias. They will deceive themselves and others into believing that a miracle is God’s reward for their good behavior. Don’t be deceived!
Any miracle that benefits the Crystal Cathedral is simply a sign of God’s grace, love and provision. Nothing more.
In the wake of any miracle, our job is to prayerfully ask, “What now, God?” That’s the question I’m not sure my relatives are prepared to ask. If they feel empowered as a result of a miracle, then they will continue to hear God according to their bias. They will think that because they deserved a miracle, they must also deserve to continue leading the ministry. This is why our theology of miracles is so important. A bad theology leads us to misinterpret God’s signs.
Like my relatives, I’m also biased. The difference is that I’m aware of my bias. I keep it at the forefront of my prayers and discernment.
I pray for a miracle for the Crystal Cathedral. My motivations are what they have always been – to see qualified leaders take the helm. A miracle won’t solve this long term problem, but it will buy time. With time, perhaps the Crystal Cathedral will replace its leadership and develop a strategic plan for the future.
If they do not receive the funds in time, I hope that they will find an excellent buy-out option. My favorite thus far is the offer from the King’s College. I was thrilled to hear that Pastor Jack Hayford is interested in the property. In all my dealings with ministers, I must say that I am most impressed with Pastor Jack. He’s the real deal. He loves God and his ministry reflects Spiritual Wellness in its totality. If the Crystal Cathedral were not stewarded by family members, I’d be proud to see it in the hands of the King’s College.
For me, either scenario would be a miraculous sign of God’s provision and grace.
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