George Muller’s prayer raised 100’s of orphans. My prayer once got my daughter out of the bathroom before I peed my pants.
The way George Muller tells it, he prayed and hundreds of orphans were fed. He wrote a book about it. I read it. I don’t know. I’m one of those guys. It’s possible this is simply my guilt and inadequacy on display, but I think George Muller was full of crap.
I think the same thing when I read about Francis of Assisi. They just make me want to puke.
I’m not belittling anything they did that was legitimately of faith. Just the way they convey what they do to others, I don’t know, it creeps me out.
There are all kinds of stories about these “great men of God” who did these “great acts of faith.” If we just could be more like them, then we would be awesome too.
There’s a solid chance these guys are better than me and anyone else I’ve ever known. There’s a chance. Not saying that’s impossible. I am saying it’s highly unlikely. People are people. I know some are better than others, but at the base, we’re all people.
The thing I don’t like about books about or by these guys is that God comes across as a genie in a bottle. If you pray right with the right amount of weepy and the right amount of feels, then God will do all this stuff for you. It looks more like superstition than anything explained in the Bible.
The Apostle Paul never talked the way George Muller does, Peter, James, and John don’t either. Paul basically treats ministry things like suffering and work. I don’t get the idea from Paul that he depended on prayer alone to feed himself. Paul was a tentmaker. Paul was real. Paul was in the world doing things. He suffered outside the church and had tensions within the church. There is no glowing aura about his ministry. It was gritty, dirty, and real.
Francis of Assisi was a fruitcake who never worked a day in his life. George Muller isn’t far behind him. George Muller repeatedly guilted people for money. To say he solely depended on prayer is nonsensical. He was constantly talking about money and hitting up people for cash. The idea he was in his closet praying all day while food and money showed up at the door is silly. I mean, how do you know Muller did the prayer and orphan thing? Because he talked about it constantly, that is how people knew he needed cash!
Yet this is the expectation foisted upon pastors. Pray in your closet and fast and watch the money and the crowds come. If it doesn’t happen, there must be something wrong with your faith.
Paul said if a man doesn’t work, neither should he eat. The idea that by rubbing God the right way with your emotional prayers sounds more like Baal worship than Christ honoring worship.
I fear that all these alleged testimonies merely frustrate and defeat hardworking, struggling ministers of God toiling in obscurity. Pastors feel massively inadequate in the face of these testimonies. I mean, we feel massively inadequate without these testimonies; all these testimonies do is pile on and kick us when we’re down.
They don’t sound real to me and bigger than that, I see no biblical expectation for ministry to look the way they make it look.
Again, I could be completely wrong and I’ve never expressed this opinion before without massively ticking off people, but minister to people for 20 years and let me know at the end if it sounds Like George Muller magic hams showing up or Paul’s laboring and suffering. I guarantee you Paul will be way more encouraging to you than Magic Ham Muller.
For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.
–2 Corinthians 7:5
7 thoughts on “Alleged Christian Testimonies of Ministerial Triumph”
Reading this I literally laughed out loud. Thank you for your honesty. and I am happy to know I’m not the only one who feels this way sometimes.
Glad I could make you laugh. When the “Magic Hams Muller” came out I about killed myself with laughter.
Your writings (thoughts) are routinely candid and refreshing. I appreciate them!
Thank you. Truth and reality should be dealt with, in my opinion!
Here’s some truth and reality in my opinion.
The “church” as we see, know and experience it in our modern world is light years removed from God’s intentions and purposes.
It should be about expressing the very life, nature and ways of Christ in a sick, dying world.
Instead we have sermons, services, programs, projects and biblically illiterate “believers” sitting in the pews in ever decreasing numbers.
I’m so glad to know that I’m not the only one who thinks this! (I am a missionary and know all too well how easy it is for missionaries to manipulate donors in a way to make themselves appear heroic.)
For my children (10+ years old), I would like to find some biographies that don’t deify the main character. Are there any good authors who are known for their honesty in not always portraying their subject as the hero?
It’s nice to have company!
I don’t know of any authors. usually people who write biographies write them because they love or hate the person they are writing about, which tends to skew things. I often bemoan the fact that Christian writing is so bad, particularly for kids. Sorry I can’t help you there.