Saturday, October 19, 2013

Because everyone else is posting about Strange Fire

You throw rocks at a hornets nest, and you get the hive stirred up. I was on the cripplegate website and found a man jumping in to defend Benny Hinn as serving Christ and being an example of true worship. How dare that John MacArthur.This got me to thinking (since I'm down sick and have the time) on why the two groups are not even hearing each other. And I think I have it, where the difference lies I mean.

The Charismatic group starts with the Spirit, and the, we'll call it, 'baptist' group, starts with the Scriptures. Just listen to how each frames the debate and you'll see it, because the winning and losing happens within the first three seconds.
The Charismatic calls out the Baptist for not believing in the power of God, in the working of His Spirit, and the functioning of the church. "You don't believe God can heal today?" is the first question right out of the gates, and most people actually mean that. In their mind they cannot conceive of anything else being said by the Baptist. It's a direct challenge to the sovereignty of God. That's terrible unfaithfulness to their ears, those people have no respect for God.
Now pay attention to how the baptist frames the debate, their equally unanswerable question out of the gates is something like "Are the Scriptures insufficient? Do we need Apostles today to write more? Are there two foundations for the church?" To their ears, the attack the Charismatic makes is against the sole rule and authority of the Scriptures. It's the same thing they fought Rome for all those years ago.

Having considered this, I think the Baptist way of setting this discussion is right, and here's why. The Charismatic believes that all the gifts are for today, including the prophetic utterances. This necessarily means that God Himself is speaking. Therefore that same infallible, perfect, life yielding voice that spoke the Scriptures is speaking in the same clear, perfect, undeniable way. In other words, every attributes the Scriptures have must necessarily be present in the vision or prophetic movement.

But it's not, so what that is is an addition to the authority of the Scriptures. The Catholics believe their magisterium is equivalent to Scriptures, the Charismatics believe their feelings and visions are.
The 'fringe' TBN Charismatics understand this, their problem is that they accept it and have no regard for Scripture, I suspect that's why you have such ghastly results globally.

Now, the principled Charistmatic, like say, Piper, understands the supremacy of Scripture, and subordinates himself to it. He believes that the ongoing charismatic gifts are the best explanation for what Scripture itself says. I can respect that. I'm a fallen man with fallen sensibilities too.
But that's not the Charismatic movement. JMac should have done a better job pointing out that those men are of the "baptist" persuasion, whether they realize it or not.

1 comment:

SacJu said...

I've been having discussion with a co-worker who is a "Charismatic". He shares how he can lay hands on someone and tell them what's going on in their life. He points to 1 Cor:14:1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. He points out that Baptists don't talk about this chapter deliberately as they don't really believe in it in todays times.. I find that he seems to be giving self more credit than the Spirit that dwells in him. All this makes me skeptical that he has this gift and is practicing more "Fortune Telling".