My wife is involved with a charismatic group and subsequently, God told her to divorce me. During that time I tried very hard to accept her "religion." The talking in tongues, putting oil on the windows to keep out evil spirits, being accused of witchcraft, spiritual and emotional abuse and taking the entire blame for the demise of our marriage. But I couldn't do it, everything was just so absurd, and I couldn't believe it was the work of God. With reinforcement from others who believe as she does, she now believes she was "delivered" and praises the divorce, and posts regularly on a web site for hurting marriages where divorce is "recommended" to change their husbands and if their husbands "don't get it" at least they're on their way to being free.
My children were stuck in the middle of all of this, and last night my youngest son who is 12 was asking about some of the "miracle" services that happen on TV. His question was: "If someone who is in a wheelchair goes and they pray for him, and he gets out of his wheelchair and walks, is that real or is it fake?" His mother was present when he asked. She had been talking about the Holy Spirit falling, and some of the things that people do when it happens, such as stomping their feet, running around the church and laughing, praising God.
He asked his mother if it was real, and she answered: "I don't know."
I thought about my response for a minute, and honestly, I couldn't lie to him, at least not as far as I believe, and I knew that my answer was going to fly directly in the face of everything his mother believed, but I said to him, "Yes, son, it is fake."
My older children have rejected the church, but, of late, my daughter says that her mother tells her that she (my daughter) is seeing spirits, and when she sees them, she needs to pray. All of which sends a chill down my spine.
How do I answer these questions with a firm and biblical foundation without sounding so rejecting of the things their mother does and believes?
I had held out some hope that maybe one day God would restore my family, but last night I came to a grim realization that I could never, ever accept the lunacy of acting like a fool and claiming it to be God. All I could think about was Second Thessalonians and what it speaks about concerning the delusion that God sends to those who refuse to believe the truth. Or, am I the one deceived?
The best way to handle disagreements is to calmly turn to the Word of God. Let it be the declaration of truth, then it won't be father's word against mother's word.
When your son asked, it would have been a good time to have turned over to II Thessalonians 2:8-12 and talk about when people want something, no matter what, they will find it even if they have to lie to themselves. Along with this would be II Timothy 4:3-4 where Paul warns that people will flock to those who tell them what they want to hear and not necessarily the truth. Finally, I would also go to Matthew 7:21-23 to show him that some people will say they are following Jesus when Jesus didn't send them.
Then to strengthen the point, sit down with your son and watch this expose: Peter Popoff proved fake on 39-17-Mhz and explain to your son that this is the reason your wife cannot state whether something is real or not. Then read an account of a real miracle in the Bible, such as the one in Matthew 12:9-15, and ask him if this could have been faked and why not. Some things to point out is that it was done in front of a hostile audience who knew it was real because they couldn't respond to it. It was something everyone could physically see change. Then make the point that these fake healers are degrading true miracles by equating their fakery to the real thing.
Just because you are tired of the battle it is not a reason to start doubting what you know the Bible says. It is clear that your wife is imagining all sort sorts of things -- things which have no foundation in the Scriptures.
Thank you for your reply. You are absolutely correct in using the Bible to answer these questions. After I had left that evening, his mother, told him that some of it was real because she has a friend who watched a man's arm grow back. At first, I wanted to have him tell his mother that he would like to see this man, but then I not only hesitated, but I quit.
I realized that the answer the I gave, "Yes son, it's fake", was very blunt, harsh, and wasn't very complete. These types of things greatly contributed to the demise of my marriage. Although I've been accused by her friends and supporters as being the "unbeliever," and it was OK that I left because the Bible says "let the unbeliever depart," she was under no obligation to stay with me and put up with the "abuse" of my unbelief.
I have realized, and I attribute this revelation to God, that all of the "fake" miracles, such as the arm growing back and other things, are a diversion. A diversion from the truth of knowing who Christ really is and what he came for. It's actually a very clever tactic used by Satan to get their attention on something other than knowing the truth. For that, I feel truly sorry for the people that "seek after a sign" and are caught up in the hocus pocus of what they think is from God. And those that think that every other thought they get comes from God, be it biblical or not. I realize that they have created God in their own image.
Yes, it is sad. What your wife did is again something I would point out to your son. Unlike the miracles in the Bible where there were people who testified as to what they personally saw (I John 4:1-4), charismatics rely on rumors. It is always a third-hand report. I know someone who said they saw someone ... Can you imagine this being offered in a court? Yet the New Testament is a record of actual witnesses. We are given multiple witnesses each telling the story from their point of view. They list other people, by name oftentimes, who can vouch for their report because they too saw the events. And many times they gave their testimony in court and the evidence stood (take John 9 as an example). The conclusion as to the source was debated but the facts withstood scrutiny.
The reason pointing all of this out is important is because your wife's delusions will undermine your son's faith in the truth unless he is shown that there is a difference between the truth and the lies he is hearing.