January 01, 2012

Luke 12.11-12

"When you are brought before synagogues and state authorities,do not begin worrying about how you will conduct your defense or what you will say. For when the time comes, the Holy Spirit will instruct you what to say."


At 1:09 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so true! I've had this experience in my own life. I was a missionary overseas and once I was dragged before an Imam and questioned about my beliefs. The Spirit gave me the words I needed and by the end of it all I was invited to come back and teach about "my prophet" (Jesus)

At 3:26 p.m., Blogger forrest said...

Yeah, I hear that in some places it's considered very uncool to try to convert someone from The True Religion to Christianity. (Good to see you here, by the way; I like your writings!)

Me, I've usually worried about having to face scary people here in the US, but I've been covered, so far as it mattered.

In the 17th Century there were various Quakers moved to go visit The Great Turk, a ruler with a reputation for homicidal touchiness.

Most of these had trouble traveling through intervening Christian regions; several came to the attention of the Inquisition on their way through Spain. Those I know about were sent to a madhouse for awhile, then released. (I don't know if this was an honest evaluation, or political expediency, or the act of an Inquisitor aware of their sincerity and/or inspiration, having no other humane way to let them go.

One young woman made it. The ruler asked, what did she have to say about Mohammad? "If he told you the truth," she said, "he must have been a true prophet." Everyone was happy with her answer, and she returned to England, though without any converts that I know of.

Was your Imam a Sufi, do you know?

At 6:26 p.m., Blogger Random Arrow said...

I’m enjoying the comments here.

I had a case recently in which the client (with permission to tell) had a word from the Spirit on the night before a hearing in court.

The client felt the Spirit say not to prepare any comments at all for court. Say nothing. And that the case would be resolved.

The next morning at court, the attorney for the adverse party showed up and started to make opening comments to the judge. A minor problem arose. The attorney forgot to bring the case file to court. Simply “forgot.” Did not have notes or any other case materials with him in court. He had to ask for a continuance until a later time.

The judge granted the continuance out of mercy. A good judge, really.

During the period of the continuance, and before the next court date, the adverse party decided to forgive the case entirely. Case closed. Forgiven.

The ‘words’ given by the Spirit to the client were – no-words. Say nothing. So here’s a case in which no-words were to be spoken. And all the fancy prepared words of the formal opening statement flew right out the window. Something distracted the attorney who ‘forgot’ to bring his prepared words to court. Two speechless parties. Three counting the mercifully dumbfounded judge.

Make it four dumbfounded people – because I almost fell out of my chair as this unfolded before my bleary eyes.

The forgiveness was just that. Forgiveness. Not merited. No way to win this case on the merits. None.

The literal setting of this text – “before state authorities” – reflects a time and culture when religious tribunals had legal power. To trust the Spirit in these settings wasn’t a matter of trusting for cosmetic affects to be added to sermon material at the last minute.

The real caveat here is that the words given by the Spirit in legal cases are nowhere promised to be words for ‘wining’ the case – pace the stoning of Stephen. The words given by the Spirit could be the last words one speaks.

An attorney today who gives this advice to a client facing a court case would or could be sued for malpractice.

Perhaps Jesus wasn’t on billable time.


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