Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Prophesy ~ considering the Greek

I offer the following in further support of my position discussed HERE.

The Biblical and historical understanding of prophesy does not leave room for the contemporary man-centered view which claims there is a 'lesser' type/quality of prophesy--one that can be/may be/is tainted by man and consequently fallible.

From: “A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature”, 2nd edition, Bauer, Walter; Arndt, William F.; Gingrich, F. Wilbur (Fondly referred to as "BAG" by N.T. Greek students)

προφητεύω (verb form)
- proclaim a divine revelation
- prophetically reveal what is hidden
- foretell the future, prophesy

προφητεία, ας, ή (noun form)
- prophetic activity
- the gift of prophesy, of prophesying
- the utterance of the prophet, prophetic word, prophesy

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pyromaniacs: Signs and Wonders

I always appreciate when the Pyro guys invite us to consider (and reconsider) our understanding and theology on this topic! Pyromaniacs: Signs and Wonders

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tongues ~ observations & considerations

Toungues is mentioned in three (3) books of the Bible: Mark 16, Acts 2, 10, 19, and 1 Corinthians 12, 13, 14.

Speaking in tongues after receiving the Holy Spirit occurred ONLY in three (3) incidences in all of Scripture, and that is only found in the book of Acts.

None of the Acts passages ever makes a command that such an experience is to be had by anybody else.

The Samaritans in Acts 8 did not speak in tongues according to Scripture.

Of the 3,000 new believers in Acts 2:41 and the 5,000 new believers in Acts 4:4, there is no mention of them speaking in tongues.

In order for something to be normative it must be common to everyone.

In the book of Acts events surrounding belief in Christ (salvation), the receiving of the Holy Spirit, and speaking in tongues are not common to everyone mentioned.

The languages had a definite purpose: to be a sign of judgment on unbelieving Israel, to show the inclusion of other groups in the one church, and to authenticate the apostles.

Tongues cannot be 'prayer language' (or 'heavenly language') as such phrases/ideas do not exist in the Greek.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Charismatic Movement: Cause for Celebration or Concern?

I found this book last year at a local Goodwill store for .50--being the bibliophile and former charismatic that I am, I bought it and have been slowly picking away at it.

Here's a link to Al Mohler's book review, The Charismatic Movement: Cause for Celebration or Concern? Much of what Mohler says highlights our need to give greater thought and consideration to the practices and claims of the charismatic movement--no matter how subtle it may appear:

"...he rightly points to the emphasis on feelings and experience as the Achilles heel of the Charismatic approach to doctrine and discipleship. 'It is vital for Christians to approach the Bible as the final source of authority. There is a tendency today to elevate one's personal experience above truth as revealed in the Bible. Our culture tends to place trust in man's feelings as the prominent feature in making decisions about truth. Our feeling-oriented society wants to go by how it feels about a matter in determining what the truth of a matter is.' "

"On the matter of "power evangelism," Vines notes that the focus of these ministries is too often on the "signs and wonders" rather than on the gospel of Christ. The real power is the salvation of a sinner - not the manifestation of signs or supposed miracles."

"Vines dares to tread where few have gone before when he considers the controversial belief in territorial spirits and spirit warfare. He affirms the reality of demons and the importance of prayer in the Christian life. But he demonstrates that the Charismatics have gone far beyond the Bible's teachings in their understanding of territorial spirits and their claims of demonic warfare. Whereas some Charismatics claim to know the names of demons and to detect demonic presence and activity within geographical areas, Vines warns that it 'is possible to get so focused on the dark side that one diminishes the person and power of the Lord Jesus Christ.' "

"The greatest strength of the book [SpiritWorks] is its consistent affirmation of the evangelical doctrine of Scripture. Vines underlines the necessity of rejecting any claims to a post-biblical revelation on par with the canon of Scripture, and he insists upon the priority of biblical authority over personal experience. The Bible is the authoritative corrective to Charismatic excesses and errors."

"The Charismatic movement cannot be ignored. Its influence in contemporary church life is remarkable and growing, and, because of its need for promoting emotional energy, it is constantly producing new manifestations."

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Charismatic Question

I invite you to devote some time and attention to this very humble and careful handling of the topic of charismatics, HERE.

Critique Does NOT Equal Condemnation

I believe it is VERY important that I remind my readers that I most definitely consider many charismatics to be true brothers and sisters-in-Christ. Those who understand and embrace the essentials of the gospel--wholly placing their faith and trust in what Christ has accomplished--can and do enjoy Christian fellowship.

What my concern is (and has been since I left the movement 25+ yrs. ago) that much of what is being taught and practiced by charismatic believers;

1) is in some ways a 'different' gospel
2) brings shame upon the name of God
3) brings into question God's very nature and character
4) often detracts from rather than highlights God's call and purpose for His children

So please, do not allow yourself to believe that my examination and critique of charismatic theology and practice is in any way a condemnation of individuals--it most certainly is not.

    Tuesday, March 4, 2008

    "So, HOW charismatic WERE you?"

    Over the years I've been asked to describe "how" charismatic I was. Most non-charismatics are familiar with the charismatic practice of speaking in tongues, but many of them are visibly surprised when I share the rest of my 'list' with them:

    Prayed in tongues regularly privately and corporately

    Prayed in a 'prayer language' daily

    Physical and vocal during corporate worship, including hand-raising/waving, jumping up & down, dancing, shouting, 'voiced agreement' during prayers, extending hand(s) toward those praying or requesting prayer--you name it, I did it.

    Rebuked Satan and/or demons privately and publicly

    "Bind/bound" Satan and/or demons daily and frequently (i.e. red traffic lights, difficult relationships, financial strain, academic challenges, etc.)

    Claimed healing(s) on a regular basis for everything from head aches to financial challenges, to menstrual cramps--everything and anything.

    Anointed the 'door posts' of my apartment with oil on several occasions (primarily in the context of perceived/supposed spiritual warfare).

    Claimed supernatural experiences such as visions from God and direct revelation from God.

    Participated with friends in casting out demons from an inanimate object in my apartment.

    Laid hands on and prayed for others to receive the 'second blessing/baptism with the Holy Spirit'.

    Laid hands on and prayed for various healing(s) for others, including physical, mental, emotional, relational, financial, and academic needs.

    Considered myself Biblically eligible to train for and become a preacher/pastor--and actively pursued that goal for a time (this included applying to attend Rhema Bible School and Oral Roberts University to study theology).

    * I'll post more later on this.