Monday, August 20, 2007

Holy Spirit Gifted Women Called Witches

Today on her program, Patricia King had Mary Goddard whom Patricia credits as being the person who mentored, raised-up, and released her into the ministry. When Mary Goddard related the story of her own start, she included a familiar story.

She described how she was in a small women’s fellowship. One of the women began to demonstrate exceptional spiritual gifts. She frightened the other women. Some even wondered if she might be a witch. However, one day the lady lead a hardened sinner to Jesus with a radical change of his behavior. That got the other women’s attention including Mary’s.

I wondered how many women do you suppose started their ministry by being a part of some small female study group, discovered the Holy Spirt, and suffered persecution?

At my university graduate school, we were encouraged to not study why people became psychologically ill, but rather to study those people who manifested exceptional abilities. So, observing the exceptionality of those receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, I did what I was trained to do. I took my tape recorder and traveled through several states interviewing them.

After listening to Mary Goddard, I went back through my taped notes. I found the story of Sharon. Sharon and her husband were a ministry team. Her husband would sometimes run up on the stage when others were ministering and get outrageous. Reluctantly shy Sharon ran after him interpreting, making all the bizarre sounds and gyrations, he would make, and the crowd would go wild. Sharon was impressive.

I asked: Sharon, do you remember when you first started? Yes, I was in a Southern Baptist Church and there was a group of females we called 007 secret agents. Even at that time I had discernment enough to know that if I wanted an answer to a spiritual problem, I bypassed my pastor and went to them.

Were they Holy Spirit filled and speaking in tongues Baptists?

Yes, but it was as though the Holy Spirit wooed the people to that group and people who would be unnerved did not show up. There were other women’s groups in the church, but I could see something was going on there. One day, the pastor let a Charismatic Bible teacher instruct us if she promised not to mention the Baptism. But she invited me to her home and I received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and began speaking in tongues. After that, I too became a teacher.

Another person, Jane, got my attention because every time I was with her and she would start teaching in her small fellowship, people literally seemed to stop breathing in order not to miss a word. I thought that must be like it was around Jesus. I know I felt that way. I taped her interview.

Jane told a similar story to Sharon. She was in a small women’s Southern Baptist fellowship. Early in her life, she discovered she knew things about people that she could not have known by ordinary ways. After she received a real outpouring of the Holy Spirit in her life, the women in her group asked her to teach. The little fellowship grew quickly from a few people to a point where the room would not hold them anymore.

Needless to say, when the pastor realized she was teaching by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, she received the “left foot of fellowship.” Like the woman in Mary Goddard’s group, the pastor thought she had to be a witch.

Over the years, I have also met women who are now practicing metaphysicians. Early in their lives, they had profound spiritual sensitivities. They were cruelly treated in their churches, so took a different spiritual path than the Christian women I interviewed.

Two thoughts I have always pondered: How many small groups of women are out there as 007's manifesting the gifts of the Spirit, but either having to do it secretly, or undergo attacks, or be driven away? Secondly, how many of the metaphysicians out there might have stayed on and grown in the work of the Holy Spirit if only their supposed shepherds had not been so spiritually underdeveloped?


Anonymous said...

I go to a Baptist church in the Midwest. My husband is Southern Baptist and does not believe in speaking in tongues. I received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit when I was 10 years old, and I continue to believe in it and practice speaking in tongues. I have to do it privately so as not to offend my husband or friends from church. It was great seeing your blog. I will be back to read more.

Given55 said...

When my gifts started to become public knowledge I too was called a witch. People just have hardened their hearts to Gods creative ways of sharing, moving & loving through us. Love your site. God bless

Blogger said...

Given, You made my day. I always feel so sorry for those Christians who are missing God's great gift to help us worship Him Thanks.
Father Don

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Anonymous said...

I absolutely love this post. I was not even raised in a Christian home nor had any upbringing in biblical teachings. I just since I was a chile believed their was a God and in difficult times cried out to him. I was a visitor one day to a Pentacostal Church in my late twenties after life has nearly destroyed me. I was all in. That day I was baptized and received the gift of tongues. I left the church because of the harsh structure I never felt I could conform to. I know attend a nondenominational spirit filled church. I am absolutely on fire and I am working in addition supernatural gifts of the spirit. I would emphasize to anyone desiring to work deeper in the gifts of the spirit. Relationship over religion.

Blogger said...

Jessica, How great to hear your experience! I praise God and will keep you in my prayers.