I don’t know what I think about this.
On one hand, I sort of understand what Mark is talking about. I’ve seen things. I don’t usually see things that are violent or abusive or sexual in nature. But I’ve seen things. On several occasions, I have seen people’s struggles or sensed people’s needs. Sometimes I’m far more Pentecostal than I let on. I’ve never called this “seeing” a gift. Because I’ve always thought that, as soon as you call it something or talk about it or write about it as “something”, it becomes something that it was never meant to be.
But despite understanding the whole “seeing” thing to some degree, this short video clip of Mark talking about what he sees leaves me with lots of questions.
For one thing, why is every example one that is sexual or violent in nature? Isn’t that a bit odd? Somewhat sensational? Or even exaggerated? I mean, even the way he casually describes “seeing” things like multiple rapes, molestations, wives being beaten by husbands, grandfathers touching grandchildren strikes me as odd and honestly, causes me to
see assume a few things about Mark.
Does he ever “see” good things? Maybe he discussed the good things earlier in the talk. But discernment is not simply an act of seeing a person’s worst moments. It’s also an ability to sense the good in people, the wisdom in people…
At least two or three times he talks about telling an individual that they were abused. He then tells the person to go and confront their abuser. Again, that may be exactly how it happened. But I see holes in the story or perhaps holes in the casual way the story gets told. Because in every scenario that required a victim to confront an abuser, the abuser casually admits “yeah, I did that. How did you know?” Do they live happily ever after? Or does all hell break loose? Does Mark see the conclusion of the story, too?
When does a longtime abuser just casually confess, “Oh yeah, I did all of those things. But you were only two.” It’s unlikely that, if this happened, that it happened like that.
And God forbid if Mark has been wrong about something as serious as child abuse.
Mark says he never talks about his ability to see things because he doesn’t want to be invited on the Montel Williams show, but he doesn’t mind telling his congregation of 10,000(?) people? Does that make sense?
UPDATE: As Andy pointed out in the comments, this talk was not to his entire church. According to Andy, a seminar he did with Mars Hill Staff about spiritual warfare… it was later released via podcast as a resource to churches and pastors…”
Maybe every story he shared in that 5 minutes is absolutely true. Nobody knows. And when you open up a dialogue about something like this, why not offer some proof that yes, this happened and here’s how it happened and here’s the woman/man who it happened to…
And here’s a question about the whole “seeing thing” in general. How are Mark’s visions different than say, a psychic like Sylvia Brown? Now I know the stereotypical answer…
“Because he’s getting his visions from God and she’s getting her visions from Satan!” That’s what people often say.
I don’t have the answer to that question. I just think it’s an interesting concept, the idea of God giving us visions and “Satan” giving other people visions…
So… do you “see” things? Does the way that Mark describe his ability to “see” line up with your experience?
Maybe this clip is completely out of context or again, maybe Mark’s stories are 100% true, but as somebody who does “see” things sometimes, I sense in my spirit that something doesn’t add up here.
But I could be wrong.