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.