(This is the third of a series of posts inspired by my attending a Women of Faith conference).
He spoke at length and with authority about relationships with men. As a counselor, he offered expert advice regarding the marks of healthy and unhealthy relationships. He reminded us of the many self-protective barriers we erect and the subsequent need to tear them down, to forgive, and to be reconciled. Being a man, it was comical and disarming to us women as he exposed the flaws of his gender and shared little secrets about communicating with them. The humor made his marriage advice more palatable. But when Steve Arterburn spoke of relationship with one man in particular I wished he would stop talking.
“Personally, I believe Jesus wasn’t omnipotent or omniscient. The Holy Spirit empowered him to do miracles. He was a man like us. WE HAVE THE SAME POWER AND CAN DO THE SAME MIRACLES!”
For a moment I sat stunned. Did he really just imply that Jesus was not/is not God? What exactly does he mean by ‘man like us?’ But then it started: 8,000 women erupted in applause and high-pitched woo-hoos. No clarifications. Instead, I heard more applause, the man on stage allowing it to continue.
Even though my immediate response upon hearing those words was to reject them as false, being surrounded by so many women who agreed with the speaker made me wonder if I was the one who was wrong. But in that moment, the Spirit brought to mind a number of instances in which Jesus used his omniscience and/or omnipotence to prove to the people around him that he was God. He did things that only God could do, knew things that only God could know, claimed things that only God would/could claim. Colossians 1 came to mind, and, “in him [Jesus] all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,” put an end to my questioning…for the moment.
It occurred to me, however, that of all the times it would be appropriate and necessary to assure women that Jesus is who he claimed to be, it is in a conference session about relationships, especially marriage. I won’t ask you to leave a comment indicating your answer, but how many readers would say that they are still married today because they believe that Jesus is God? On the surface, it may not seem like all of our actions stem from belief or unbelief. But just think about it for a while…is there anything that we do that does not find its root motivation in belief (or unbelief) in the deity of Jesus Christ?
To be continued…