Christianity 201

October 27, 2011

How Could You Ignore A Heavenly Vision?

I often use various search techniques to comb the internet looking for a mix of new voices, older voices, and the writings of people no longer with us. (See the section at the bottom of today’s post for the fruit of today’s research!)  That’s how I ended up on the blog of Carole McDonnell.   She is a fiction writer, and I think some of this blog post is an attempt to help critics of one of her books understand the behavior of a particular character in one of her stories.  The rest of her blog is diverse, sometimes edgy, but always interesting.  She titled this post, Being Faithful to the Heavenly Vision.

So there is Peter on top of the roof when he gets this vision which God translates to mean, “Gentiles are okay now. God has cleansed them. Therefore you can now bring the gospel to them and not worry about connecting and communing with them.” (Book of Acts, chapters ten and eleven.)

He repeats this testimony about three times. (And we also hear Paul’s testimony about his own vision three times.)

Not to mention Peter’s vision on the mountain when he saw Elias and Moses.

But back to the vision on the roof.

One would think that seeing this vision and seeing the impact on the disciples and the Gentiles, Peter would’ve stuck to being Peter. But he goes back to being his old Simon self and when certain disciples came from James, Peter — uh, Simon– goes back to avoiding the Gentiles. Paul had to call him out on this. (Galatians 2:12)

How can one have seen such a great vision and yet forget it? How can one not be obedient to such a heavenly vision?

Even stranger, Jesus had told Peter he would be sifted. Jesus had told Simon not to be such a “simon” (reed, blown about my the wind) but to be a “Peter” (a rock.) And Jesus had even spoken the word of blessing by calling Simon by the new name of Peter. Obviously, we have to work with God. God can’t make us into something if we don’t work with it.

I wonder about heavenly visions as well. Getting a vision often incurs all kinds of temptations. Joseph and the patriarchs hear from God that they are to be great in some way and what do they do? It makes Abraham and Isaac assume God doesn’t speak to the Gentiles (Pharoah and Abimelech). It makes Jacob covet his brother’s birthright because obviously his mom told him it would be his anyway. It makes Joseph walk around snitching on his brothers.

How can we then be faithful to the vision without being jerks? And how can we not be faithful to the heavenly vision when God has clearly ordered it? Which reminds me… so many Christians were mad at me because they said Loic (in Wind Follower) shouldn’t have gone against the vision God had given him. They don’t know human nature, do they?

~Carole McDonnell


Interested in exploring the blogosphere to find classic Christian authors or deeper life readings?  Here are a few recommended ones from my own explorations!

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