A man who does not have experience swimming sees extreme danger in swimming near waterfalls and other places. His basis is his own experience — if he tries to swim in these places, he drowns.
He can also use the example of people drowning in seas, lakes, waterfalls and rivers to show that swimming is dangerous. In fact, there are plenty of examples of drowning deaths. He has plenty of examples to discourage people from swimming.
Does this mean that there should be a cessation of all swimming?
The same is true of the steering wheel. Every year a very significant number of people die from car accidents. Those who do not know how to drive can use the numerous traffic accident cases as evidence that people should be banned from driving.
Does that mean that humans were not meant to drive? Does this mean that there should be a cessation of drivers and cars?
No way. Even if swimming and driving involve risks, the correct attitude is for the swimmer and the driver to perfect themselves in the experience of swimming and driving. Banishing does not solve the problem; it only removes necessary options.
I apply the example of a ban on swimming and driving to the cessationist theology, which seeks to ban from the Christian life the experiences of supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit. Just as is ridiculous for someone who does not know how to swim and drive to impose laws and banish people from swimming and driving, even with theories against swimming and driving, so it is ridiculous for theologians who have no experience of the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit to impose human doctrines and ban Christians from having these gifts, including with surprising theological theories against these gifts.
Like everything else in life that is necessary and important, the use of gifts may involve risks, just as swimming and driving always involve risks. But the right way is not to avoid swimming, driving, and having supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit. The right way is to learn right and perfect yourself in these necessary experiences.
If the supernatural gifts were not needed to equip the church, Jesus would not have given them to his first apostles and he would not give them today.
To deny that Jesus gives these gifts today on the basis of the lack of this experience among critics or by using the bizarre cases is the same thing as criticizing the experience of swimming and driving based on the lack of experience among critics and by using horrendous cases of drownings and accidents of transits.
Banning people from swimming and driving is sure to avoid nearly 100 percent of deaths from drowning and traffic accidents, but it will bring numerous other problems.
Prohibiting experiences of supernatural gifts, including revelation and prophecy, in the church will certainly avoid bizarre cases, but will bring numerous other problems, including spiritual disability.
Only the immature, the fearful and the cowardly forbid people to drive, swim, and have supernatural gifts.
Learn to drive very well.
Learn to swim very well in the River of the Holy Spirit.
Learn to swim very well in your gift.
Learn to let the Holy Spirit guide and direct your experience of supernatural gifts.
Portuguese version of this article: Nadar e dirigir é perigoso… para quem não sabe nadar e dirigir
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