Seminary Dropout 68: Jordan Seng, Author of ‘Miracle Work: A Down-to-Earth Guide to Supernatural Ministries

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Joining me on the show today is Jordan Seng. Jordan is pastor of Bluewater Mission in Honolulu, Hawaii, and a speaker on issues related to healing & prophetic ministry, church planting and missions, worship, and small groups.

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Jordan’s book is ‘Miracle Work: A Down-to-Earth Guide to Supernatural Ministries.

From the interview:

  • How did you come to experience supernatural ministries in your life?
    It happened frequently in college. The real story is this. I grew up as a believer not in a believing family, not in a church going family. I actually had some babysitter introduce me to Lord, when I was quite small and my family moved around a ton when I was a kid. We were actually running from the law and hiding under assumed names which is another story. But one thing was I didn’t get much church community and church acculturation. My view of collective Christianity came just from reading bible stories. So when Jesus called his followers, as I saw his helpers to do ministry, it always had a huge supernatural component preaching that the kingdom of God is here. In other words they should make stuff happen, and then heal the sick, heal the blind, cast out demons. I just thought that was the way it worked. So, I was open to supernatural experiences from a very young age, and had some from a very young age. I also assumed God speaks directly to his followers, and so I began having dreams and listening in my little prayers. And then, when I got to college that was the first time I really got the privilege of having fellowship in any way. I eventually stumbled into church that was doing some supernatural ministry.

 

  • Why is it not that we can’t YouTube miracles and see somebody genuinely healed or start walking or something like that? Why don’t we see it where we are today?
    Christian history so thoroughly peppered with miracle stories. So that was a tension for me. It doesn’t seem that the people around me are doing this stuff, but everything I read tells me how important it is. So what’s the deal? Why miracles are seen plentiful in history and but not plentiful in places that I frequent. That was actually an important question for me when I started learning about supernatural ministries. What I discovered and is my take on it, is that supernatural ministry is hard to deal with. It takes sacrifice, it takes commitment in a way natural ministries do not. So what we see in church history breakout and miracle seasons or sometime you see as revivals and then fade out. Miracles have never been absent from the church. But they have never been universal among churches either and has always been a little bit here, a little then, a little now and my explanation of the variability has to do with the effort required not only just to get into supernatural ministry but to sustain it over time. I call it miracle work because it turns out the miracles actually take work. But you want people to invest sacrificially and tell them to be supernatural people, which is really unpopular today. What we like is very reasonable spirituality that is not too humiliating. Miracles have never been absent and I think a person is dedicated to searching out supernatural Christians, will always find them. And in fact if you google, YouTube miracles you can find videos of people getting healed. Somebody send me a YouTube link from ministers that I trust and they are to be trust worthy.

 

  • If you Wikipedia ‘Ouija Board’ those things have been tested out in scientific laboratories. Why has the scientific community not investigated prayer and healing?
    What I find is that a scientific community occasionally investigates but not very well. The example a lot people know about is has to do with efficacy of prayer for hospital patients. There is a new study. Which uses a double blind study, where a hospital patients are selected to be prayed for. And you have prayer groups that pray for them anonymously. The scientific investigators investigate outcomes if prayers has improved human health, and actually the result of the studies are very impressive to neutral. My gripe with those studies is that they are not actually measuring supernatural study as Jesus demonstrated or taught. There is no quality control on people trained. The law of faith plays the large part in the success of miracles, we see that in Jesus stories. Faith moments count.

 

  • What does participating in supernatural ministries do in the life of a believer?
    Sometime people who chase super natural experience can get wrapped up in emotionalism but people who do super natural ministry they try to use supernatural power to help other people, to heal people, to free people from other demonic depression. 
    Supernatural Christians are world changers and if you don’t teach people and demonstrate they can do the impossible they will be hesitant.

 

  • “Faith makes miracles more likely. Faith is environmental. Testimony is great way to increase faith and built the sense of expectation and to change the impossible into the possible. Faith is extremely powerful. “

 

  • “One of the thing we need to recognize about the universe is that God partners with us to get things done. This is just a key principle of reality in kingdom of God, and we understand that about all ministries we consider normal.”

 

  • “To do supernatural ministry is other worldly. We have to come up against a lot of friction to do it, we become very odd people. Supernatural power within us tends to be sacrificial and it also requires a lot from our life to do it powerfully and to sustain it for a long period of time.”

 

  • If someones doesn’t have a background doing supernatural ministry where can they start?
    There are so many resources available. Tons of online resources. What I would encourage you do to more than anything is to TRY. One practical bit of advice to churches to groups of people, I will encourage you start small until you get testimonies. So you have a small group that does healing ministry. And once they get healing stories then you can do a congregational service. Start small, get a few stories and then go big.

 


If you liked this episode then you might also like…

Seminary Dropout 027: Greg Boyd on Doubt, Anti-Intellectualism & Open Theism

Seminary Dropout 55: Gary Black Jr. – Co-author of The Divine Conspiracy Continued


 

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17 thoughts on “Seminary Dropout 68: Jordan Seng, Author of ‘Miracle Work: A Down-to-Earth Guide to Supernatural Ministries

  1. Jordan first says that miracles are “plentiful” but then says they are “thoroughly peppered” these are two different quantifying terms. So if someone says there is a miracle and writes it down then that means it happened? There is no historicity of miracles that could qualify that miracles actually happen. All recountings are hearsay or descriptions of subjective experience which could be hallucinations.
    Faith is supposed to be a factor but faith is not objective nor can it be empirically measured. So what use is it in determining truth? If I believe something is true then according to faith it is. Therefore anything can be true in a subjective sense. But no truth claim can be made that there is anything objectively true.

  2. matteo1967 Thanks for listening and commenting. 

    First, are you a Christian/follower of Jesus? I’m not asking in a derogatory/sarcastic way, I’m just trying to understand your context. If you are a Christian is it your belief that miracles do not happen?

  3. My question really is why consider a miracle to be outside of the natural world? Why place God solely outside of the natural world? That is Platonism. Take sea creatures. Are they in different water than the water that is in them? Or us. Is the rain different water that the water that we are made of?

  4. matteo1967 I don’t think those are mutually exclusive or that Jordan was claiming that. I think he was saying that God doesn’t solely exist in the natural world.

  5. Well the reality is that we don’t know with any certainty. I think talking about God is like Jordan said offensive. Besides that most Christians say God is this or that but don’t really think so in their actions. Jordan for example is disingenuous about tslking about “social justice” without defining it or limiting to some “issues” without dealing with them all. What is the “justice” he subscribes to?
    To use yourself as an example what is “justice”?

  6. matteo1967
    I’m don’t understand what you mean by “talking about God is like Jordan said offensive”. Yes, many  “Christians say God is this or that but don’t really think so in their actions”, but I don’t see what this has to do with what Jordan said. He’s disingenuous for talking about social justice without defining justice? 
    He & his church started a restaurant to employ the homeless & poor that were coming to his church. Is that disingenuous?

  7. Sure that’s great. That is not an action exclusive to Christians. But in terms of “justice” what has that hot to do with stopping poverty or homelessness? What is the point of doing that when the larger issue is not dealt with? Jesus is said to have cured a blind man. Why not cure blindness?

  8. The thing is that my incredulity stems from the claims people make out of their belief which they expect everyone else to take as being true with a capital “T”. There is no basis for this. I don’t believe that the supernatural claims Jordan makes have anything to do with the common sense, utilitarian approach to help people for the sake of helping them. id one believes that there is a supernatural necessity then fine whatever helps you get out of bed. But that belief is not objective truth that should be justified by saying that a supernatural being is the only bring that can or should motivate people. If miracles are plentiful in history as Jordan claims then he needs to explain what these miracles are and then he needs to explain why these miracles have no or little impact on the course the world had taken. Also the idea of the supernatural devalues God as it presumes that God is limited by Himself which is nonsensical to Christianity’s own opinion of God. That to me is the offense against God. To perfume anything about God is offensive as it limits God.

  9. matteo1967 Sorry for the typos but that it what I get for typing on my iPhone.

    Also, as Jordan says “Faith makes miracles more likely. Faith is environmental. Testimony is great way to increase faith and built the sense of expectation and to change the impossible into the possible. Faith is extremely powerful.”

    So, how is it explained that miracles do not occur more often and are more dramatic, given the faith is so powerful amongst so many believers in the world? I feel that there is no real eyewitness accounts of miracles. When I listen to some testimonies, they sound like hearsay, or I question whether the experience they supposedly witnessed are miracles and there is some medical explanation for it.  Not just that I do believe in human volition on the part of those who experience a chance and they perhaps misconstrue their own ability to overcome some obstacle or other as smoothing outside of themselves.

    That being said, if miracles do actually occur why should they be limited to the Christian faith? There are claims from other religions that some people have raised the dead. Why should those claims be not accepted? Does Jordan accept this?

  10. matteo1967 I’m not following your logic in most of your questions.

    I’m sure that miracles can be experienced by those outside the Christian faith. The bible seems to tell stories of people outside the Jewish faith that experienced miracles at the hands of Jesus. I’m sure Jordan believes that all miracles today are done by the hand of Jesus as do I. If the exclusivity of Jesus is offensive to you then I think this podcast is probably not for you as it is unapologetically about exclusively following Jesus. 

    Wishing you well.

  11. beardonabike matteo1967 The exclusivity of Jesus is not offense to me at all. Why would you presume I think that? I guess there needs to be clarification, which Jordan does not really do, as to what a miracle is. Then, he presumes there is a prevalence of that without offering any evidence of that. Then, he suggests that faith is the main component of that. Logic suggests that if miracles do not take place, then there is no faith. What faith did Paul have before his miraculous conversion? Or Moses? Neither cared a thing about God or Jesus. So why make the claim that faith is a component? If it is, then how do you explain that miracles occur outside the Christian faith?

  12. matteo1967 I think you’re presuming too much about Jordan’s words. If you really want to critique him then I think reading his book to get the fullness of his message is the fair thing to do.

  13. beardonabike matteo1967 I can’t buy every book I hear about in interviews. If I am presuming too much then he’s not being clear enough.

  14. matteo1967 No but if this interview forced such a strong reaction in you then I think you owe it to the author to know his point of view before a harsh critique. Seminary Dropout is not meant to be an exhaustive look at the guests writing or theology. There is only so much to cover in 45 minutes and if you need more information or clarification then that’s on you, not the guest. 
    At this point I’m convinced that nothing I say will appease you so I’m going to say that we’ll have to disagree on this one and I’m wishing you well.

  15. beardonabike matteo1967 beardonabikematteo1967 I can’t buy every book I hear about in interviews. From what I get, he represents a certain subculture within Christianity faith which seems to think they are the only real questions. In terms of my belief see Christianity as a diverse faith, an umbrella, if you will, which can house many “beliefs”. I think, for example, Process Theology is a pretty substantive lens through which to see Christianity. To me, then given what Process has to say about the nature of reality, miracles are not intrusions into the natural world, as I think Jordan seems to presume. Likewise, I do not think God is exclusive about which of His children He loves and favors – despite the claims His children make about themselves. Miracles are part of the natural order of things. Why they do not happen more someone may ask?  Well, who says they’re not occurring all the time? I think they are. I think God is embedded in the very fabric of nature, which humans are a part of which they do not believe they are.

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