Multi-user virtual worlds are a really, really new thing, so new that worship of our Lord there is still trying to feel its way around and decide its own etiquette and how it will deal with the very real people back home at the keyboard. Some people, however, just don’t get this.
Efron Foxdale wanted the kind of TV healing where he would pull me out of a wheelchair and I would gleefully run up and down the aisles of the auditorium. There’s one little problem with that.
This is not TV. This is Second Life. The phoniness of Second Life is giving Pat Robertson a run for his money. In SL, where the special effects come really cheap, what passes for miracles there?
Some 20 years ago, when I was attending a small charismatic congregation in Germano, OH, I was healed by a show preacher who was part magician. The preacher would start by giving me a word of knowledge from the Lord that one my legs had not grown to its proper length. He sat me down on the front pew.
The preacher moved my legs off to one side. The angle at which they sat made one leg appear longer than the other. And as he prayed over me, he held my heel in his hand, and he very discreetly pulled my shoe partially off to make the “shorter” leg appear to be growing to its proper length.
With that kind of phony faith healing in my background, you can understand how skeptical I was when Efron came to me in a side room of the House of Prayer in Second Life and claimed to have a word of knowledge from God that I again had legs of uneven length.
So, how is this miracle going to be pulled off when he can’t see me, and he’s too far away to touch me? He knows no more than what I choose to tell him. And how does he know I won’t lie? I’m lying about being an angel bear, am I not?
In fact, if you take the time to study the Lord’s miracles of healing, no two ever followed the same formula. He touches one blind man with His hand and smears spit-mud on the eyes of another. He heals a centurion’s servant by giving a command from far away, and a woman with an issue of blood sneaks up to His feet and grabs a handful of His robe.
This unwillingness to follow any script does not lend itself well to the showy pulling people out of wheelchairs and commanding them to run around the stage we see on TV today. You just cannot adapt what you see on a televised miracle service to the virtual world.
God wants to move in miracles for His glory, to be sure, but His ways of doing it have yet to show themselves in this infant technology where users operate digital puppets in a digital land.
He saves griefers who the day before were playing loud Bronx cheers in the middle of church services. Now that’s what I call a miracle.