Deadly God Complex

August 31, 2006

An evangelist in Africa apparently drowned trying to copy Jesus’s miracle of walking on water. Perhaps there are a few lessons to be learned from this tragic situation.

First, we do not have to repeat a miracle to prove it happened. That is, after all, the whole point of faith. Just because we cannot do something does not mean Jesus did not. He is God and we are not. We would do better telling people about Jesus than trying to prove that He existed.

Second, hopefully people will be more suspicious of those who claim God has spoken to them and given them a unique revelation. (If God really did tell the evangelist to do this as he claimed, then God must have wanted to kill the man.) Many Christians too often seem to be drawn toward the more sensational and emotional leaders, rather than following the real Shepherd.

Finally, this incident should be a lesson in learning to admit when we are wrong. As an eyewitness explained, “He walked into the water, which soon passed over his head and he never came back.” Why did he keep going even though he was walking in the water and not on it? Are we also so afraid to admit error that we continue to plunge into it?

Maybe it is time for evangelists to spend more time actually evangelizing and leave the miracles to God.

Thanks to Kevin Bussey for pointing out this sad story.