I’d like to commend Dr. David Platt for his long track-record of personal integrity, passion and zealousness for the truth. I certainly don’t hope this brief article hurts his reputation in any way. Platt certainly seems like one of the good guys, with the exception of letting ecstatic babblers serve as missionaries and occasionally repeating an unfounded continuationist rumor. Just imagine us going on and on about how much we like Dr. Platt, because, seriously…he’s a great guy and good leader and relatively solid and all that.
Here’s why I share this info: There’s a tendency among foreign missionaries to tell old wives tales and missionary legends to the congregations back home, many of which are shaded by Montanism and continuationist hocus pocus.
It’s simply amazing the amount of times miracles and wonders are performed when there’s no video camera present. Sure, our missionary friends tell us that God is somehow inhibited from performing these fantastical feats in the First World because of our reliance upon microwaves or lack of faith or something, but I’m pretty sure it’s because the bulk of those fantastical stories are just that…stories. One such example is David Platt’s account (from hearsay, without evidence or substantiation) of a man raising from the dead. Frankly, when even men the caliber of David Platt share these unsubstantiated tales of miracles, it makes us all look naive and foolish. I pray that we all check, double-check and triple-check the validity of the stories we tell, lest we accidentally deceive our audiences in the process.
Here’s a clip of David Platt at the Cross 2016 Conference recalling the story he was told by “one of our missionaries” about said missionary giving a man a Bible to roll cigarettes and how he was converted smoking/reading one-cigarette-per-page through to the Gospel of John. …
And here’s an older and eerily similar account entitled, “Robert Parham and Dimitrina Oprenova: Smoking the Bible“ – a 140 year-old story about the first gypsie pastor who was converted after smoking the Bible one-cigaratte-per-page through to the Gospel of John.
Could there be more than one pastor who was converted smoking the Bible and this is all coincidence? Yuuup.
Is there a better chance that it probably didn’t actually happen to “one of our [unnamed, nebulous, heretofore unidentified] missionaries” and is a conflation of a much earlier and much more well-known story that’s been making its way around missionary circles for years? Yuuup.
Listen, the Word of God is powerful, active, living and doesn’t return void. Just make extra sure that – like with Platt’s resurrection account – you’re not just repeating an old wives’ tale as demonstration of God’s work. God’s work, unlike some stories that get passed around with the offering plate, is real.
There are lots of miraculous stories in the pages of the Bible that we can be assured with 100% accuracy are actually real. Let’s tell those stories.
I even read there was a Guy who rose from the dead after being in the tomb for three days.