Skip to comments.Itís (Past) Time for a Charismatic Reformation
Posted on 11/09/2011 8:36:24 AM PST by metmom
In honor of Reformation Day, here are some complaints Im nailing on the Wittenberg door.
Long before there was an Occupy Wall Street, Martin Luther staged the most important protest in history. He was upset because Roman Catholic officials were promising people forgiveness or early escape from purgatory in exchange for money. So on October 31, 1517, Luther nailed a long list of complaints on the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany.
1. Lets reform our theology. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He is God and He is holy. He is not an it. He is not a blob, a force, or an innate power. We must stop manipulating Him, commanding Him and throwing Him around.
2. Lets return to the Bible. The Word of God is the foundation for the Christian experience. Any dramatic experience, no matter how spiritual it seems, must be tested by the Word and the Holy Spirits discernment. Visions, dreams, prophecies and encounters with angels must be in line with Scripture. If we dont test them we could end up spreading deception.
3. Its time for personal responsibility. We charismatics must stop blaming everything on demons. People are usually the problem.
4. Stop playing games. Spiritual warfare is a reality, but we are not going to win the world to Jesus just by shouting at demonic principalities. We must pray, preach and persevere to see ultimate victory.
5. Stop the foolishness. People who hit, slap or push others during prayer should be asked to sit down until they learn gentleness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
6. End all spiritual extortion now. Christian television ministries must cease and desist from all manipulative fundraising tactics. We must stop giving platforms to ministers who make outlandish claims of supernatural financial returns, especially when Scripture is twisted, deadlines are imposed and the poor are exploited.
7. No more Lone Rangers. Those who claim to be ministers of Godwhether they are traveling evangelists, local pastors or heads of ministriesmust be accountable to other leaders. Any who refuse to submit their lives to godly discipline should be corrected.
8. Expose the creeps. Churches should start doing background checks on traveling ministers. Preachers who have been hiding criminal records, lying about their past marriages, preying on women or refusing to pay child support should be exposed as charlatans and shunned if they do not repent.
9. Stop faking the anointing. God is God, and He does not need our help to manifest Himself. That means we dont sprinkle glitter on ourselves to suggest Gods glory is with us, hide fake jewels on the floor to prove we are anointed or pull chicken feathers out of our sleeves to pretend angels are in the room. This is lying to the Holy Spirit.
10. Lets return to purity. Weve had enough scandals. The charismatic church must develop a system for the restoration of fallen ministers. Those who fall morally can be restored, but they must be willing to submit to a process of healing rather than rushing immediately back into the pulpit.
11. We need humility. Ministers who demand celebrity treatment, require lavish salaries, insist on titles or exhibit aloofness from others are guilty of spiritual pride.
12. No more big shots. Apostles are the bondslaves of Christ, and should be the most impeccable models of humility. True apostles do not wield top-down, hierarchical authority over the church. They serve the church from the bottom up as true servants.
13. Never promote gifts at the expense of character. Those who operate in prophecy, healing and miracles must also exhibit the fruit of the Spirit. And while we continue to encourage the gift of tongues, lets make sure we dont treat it like some kind of badge of superiority. The world needs to see our love, not our glossolalia.
14. Hold the prophets accountable. Those who refuse to take responsibility for inaccurate statements should not be given platforms. And prophets who live immoral lives dont deserve a public voice.
15. Lets make the main thing the main thing. The purpose of the Holy Spirits anointing is to empower us to reach others. We are at a crossroads today: Either we continue off-course, entertained by our charismatic sideshows, or we throw ourselves into evangelism, church planting, missions, discipleship, and compassionate ministry that helps the poor and fights injustice. Churches that embrace this New Reformation will focus on Gods priorities.
Luthers famous 95 theses were translated from Latin into German and spread abroad. Like a medieval Jeremiah, Luther dared to ask questions that had never been asked, and he challenged a pope who was supposedly infallible. Through this brave monk, the Holy Spirit sparked the Protestant Reformation and restored the doctrine of grace to a church that had become corrupt, religious, dysfunctional, political and spiritually dead.
I am no Luther, but Ive grown increasingly aware that the so-called Spirit-filled church of today struggles with many of the same things the Catholic church faced in the 1500s. We dont have indulgenceswe have telethons. We dont have popeswe have super-apostles. We dont support an untouchable priesthoodwe throw our money at celebrity evangelists who own fleets of private jets.
In honor of Reformation Day, Im offering my own list of needed reforms in our movement. And since I cant hammer these on the Wittenberg door, Ill post them online. Feel free to nail them everywhere.
I couldn’t agree more. I’ve seen almost all those problems in the local churches today.
John MacArthur wrote about this in Charismatic Chaos years ago.
The charismatic church is rife with cartoon-like unruliness and confusion. To implement the changes suggested would take a true work of the Holy Spirit, and a recognition of people and leaders that they are in the wrong.
J.Lee is right on with lots of things. He is a very well balanced and discerning charismatic. BTW how are you feeling these days?
Great article! I think he nailed it. There certainly is a tickled ear component in way too many churches and so called preachers these days.
He did make some very valid points but he also has made some gross errors himself with his false teaching on cessationism.
The church needs to get it right.
Feeling pretty well.
Not healed yet, but managing, and God is working in wonderful ways in my life.
All of the gifts are alive and well... Holy Spirit does not take back gifts. He is the giver of gifts.
That’s right and we have to test them in the light of Scripture as Paul exhorted the early Church to.
All of the gifts are alive and well... Holy Spirit does not take back gifts. He is the giver of gifts.
What the problem seems to be is that people are a little familiar with the theology in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14 but not all of it.
Much of what surrounds the teaching on the gifts and tongues in particular, is outright unscriptural.
Paul teaches that the Holy Spirit apportions the gifts as HE will. The churches teach (and I've heard it myself) that tongues is for ALL believers.
Paul tells the church to seek not to speak in tongues but rather to prophesy, and the whole emphasis these days to to *get* the gift of tongues for various unscriptural reasons. People are seeking after tongues in disobedience to the clear teaching of Scripture.
Paul states that tongues are a sign for unbelievers, not believers, and yet believers everywhere are told that tongues is THE *evidence* of the filling of the Holy Spirit.
Pentecostals in general seem to be unwilling to accept that someone can be filled with the Holy Spirit and not have spoken in tongues. And that tongues can be faked and sometimes is.
“Pentecostals in general seem to be unwilling to accept that someone can be filled with the Holy Spirit and not have spoken in tongues. And that tongues can be faked and sometimes is.”
That is another true statement and a bad doctrine from Pentecostals.
Every believer speakes in tongues. The Holy Spirit speaks in words and groans that cannot be understood. Pentecostals just amplify what He is saying. :)
Tongues spoken in a church setting is a different matter. They are words to edify the body of Christ.
Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
Words are words. Whether they're English, Russian, Hebrew, or some *prayer tongue*. If the groanings of the Holy Spirit are too deep for words to express, then they aren't coming out of our mouths because what comes out of our mouths are words being expressed, even if it is a *prayer tongue*.
And I also find no Scriptural support that praying in tongues is more effective than praying in English. God knows the heart and is not bound or released by the language.
For that matter, if we're going to use the language of God, we'd better get back to Hebrew. After all, that's what the Law was written in.
1 Corinthians 4:1-5 1 Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. 2For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. 3On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. 4The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. 5Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.
This is one area I see error in the thinking on tongues.
John Wimber, Christy Wimber, Carol Wimber in these two books articulate the truly Biblical perspective better than any I’ve read:
THE WAY IN IS THE WAY ON
EVERYONE GETS TO PLAY
well, this pentcostal doesn't accept that and I think that it is a mischaracterization by a few. One only needs to look at a Billy Graham to see that he was filled with the Holy Spirit.
It is more correct to understand that pentcostals I'm with understand that with salvation the believer is filled with the Holy Spirit, conditioned only by salvation. Clearly the charismatic gifts represent a release of the Holy Spirit to act within our lives with our cooperation and surrender(1 Cor).
Doctrinally, I don't know of pentecostal doctrine that denies the fact that there are satanic and fleshly conterfeits. But I will agree that there are too many who will accept ANY manifestation as being from the Holy Spirit when it is apparent that it isn't based upon scripture (ie 'barking'). Perhaps that is where some confusion lies.