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Itís (Past) Time for a Charismatic Reformation
Charisma Magazine ^ | Wednesday, 26 October 2011 | J. Lee Grady

Posted on 11/09/2011 8:36:24 AM PST by metmom

In honor of Reformation Day, here are some complaints I’m 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. Let’s 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. Let’s 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 Spirit’s discernment. Visions, dreams, prophecies and encounters with angels must be in line with Scripture. If we don’t test them we could end up spreading deception.

3. It’s 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 God—whether they are traveling evangelists, local pastors or heads of ministries—must 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 don’t sprinkle glitter on ourselves to suggest God’s 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. Let’s return to purity. We’ve 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, let’s make sure we don’t 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 don’t deserve a public voice.

15. Let’s make the main thing the main thing. The purpose of the Holy Spirit’s 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 God’s priorities.

Luther’s 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 I’ve 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 don’t have “indulgences”—we have telethons. We don’t have popes—we have super-apostles. We don’t support an untouchable priesthood—we throw our money at celebrity evangelists who own fleets of private jets.

In honor of Reformation Day, I’m offering my own list of needed reforms in our movement. And since I can’t hammer these on the Wittenberg door, I’ll post them online. Feel free to nail them everywhere.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Charismatic Christian; General Discusssion; Theology
KEYWORDS: charismatic; holyspirit; reformation
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To: Godzilla
That's why I said *in general*.

I think one of the areas of confusion is in the definitions of the terms of being filled with the Holy Spirit and being baptized in (or with) the Holy Spirit.

In the area I'm in, I keep hearing that THE evidence of the filling is speaking in tongues. I know of people who went forward for prayer for the filling of the Holy Spirit and the whole push on them was to speak in tongues.

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').

I couldn't agree more.

21 posted on 11/09/2011 11:07:25 AM PST by metmom (For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: Quix

Thanks. I’ll have to look at them.


22 posted on 11/09/2011 11:08:25 AM PST by metmom (For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: metmom
That's why I said *in general*.

:)

I think one of the areas of confusion is in the definitions of the terms of being filled with the Holy Spirit and being baptized in (or with) the Holy Spirit.

I can understand. My understanding is that through the work that the Holy Spirit accomplishes in salvation, the believer is 'filled' with the Spirit. however, in the NT, "to be filled" is often related to the 'baptism' of the Holy Spirit. I will state that the Holy Spirit never leaves the believer following salvation to 'come back' for the baptism, but that the baptism is an overwhelming experience of the already indwelling Spirit. Jesus seems to state that this is something separate, though following, salvation.

In the area I'm in, I keep hearing that THE evidence of the filling is speaking in tongues.

There is solid scriptural evidence for this. In the book of Act, every instance where the baptism of the Holy Spirit was made manifest, the individuals spoke in tongues. (ch 2; 10:44–48; 19:1–7). In another instance (8:14–20), something was manifested that showed the observers that something supernatural had occured. So it is the scriptural pattern for when this occurs to believers.

But the scripture is kinda silent on the baptism without at least the initial evidence of tongues (First Corinthians 12:30) and there is no evidence of what happened specifically to Paul other than we know later he did speak in tongues.

I couldn't agree more.

Indeed, Paul in 1 Cor indicated that there be an order to the expression of the charismatic gifts in public worship and that those expressions are to be closely examined/judged. Some today have forgotten that and excesses have occured.

23 posted on 11/09/2011 12:04:38 PM PST by Godzilla (3/7/77)
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To: Godzilla

I kind of thought of it that when we were saved, we were baptized into Christ and the Holy Spirit as an initial act of *immersion* into Him, and then filling came later.

The thing that makes me question the tongues as the evidence is although it did happen a few times and was recorded to convince the early church that Gentiles and other non-Jewish groups received the same Holy Spirit as the Jews and therefore were to be accepted by the Jewish Christians, there is no explicit Scriptural statement to the effect that speaking in tongues evidences filling.

The thing is, since tongues can be, and has been faked, I find it a poor criteria by which to measure an act of God in someone’s life. Also, I had an encounter with God some time ago that could only have been a filling of the Holy Spirit and it was so real and so powerful that I have no doubt it was of God and honestly, I don’t feel like I need to speak in tongues to validate it.

If someone feels that they need to have an experience of speaking in tongues to validate a (supposed) work of God in their lives, I wonder what they really experienced. I mean, when God touches you like that, you KNOW. It’s powerful enough to stand on its own. At that point, tongues to *confirm* it is superfluous. If someone is not sure aside from a tongues event, then I don’t know .... I’d just wonder about what it was they really did experience.

I see too much spiritual pride in regard to the haves and have nots. The message that keeps coming across is that the have nots haven’t really *arrived* yet spiritually.

I think we’d be better off focusing on what we can do for others..... like love (1 Corinthians 13)


24 posted on 11/09/2011 12:21:28 PM PST by metmom (For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: Godzilla
1 Corinthians 12:27-30 27Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31But earnestly desire the higher gifts.

Rhetorical questions are usually answered with a *no*.

25 posted on 11/09/2011 12:25:22 PM PST by metmom (For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: metmom
there is no explicit Scriptural statement to the effect that speaking in tongues evidences filling.

Like many things in the bible, there is no explicit statement - only the example presented by the actions of the believers at the time. Just like the Trinity arguements :), not explicitly stated, but derived from the whole of scripture.

The thing is, since tongues can be, and has been faked, I find it a poor criteria by which to measure an act of God in someone’s life.

That is why Paul notes that those who are spiritual discern the actions of those. That is why Paul gave instructions for those to say silent if they couldn't interpret those tongues. And just like a lot of other things, there is a degree of faith involved. However it is also a strong proof too. My childhood pastor was baptized in the Holy Spirit as a young girl. Thing about it was that she had never been taught or aware of tongues until suddenly she was praying in another language altogether.

Also, I had an encounter with God some time ago that could only have been a filling of the Holy Spirit and it was so real and so powerful that I have no doubt it was of God and honestly, I don’t feel like I need to speak in tongues to validate it.

And I would go counter to most pentecostals and agree with you.

At that point, tongues to *confirm* it is superfluous. If someone is not sure aside from a tongues event, then I don’t know .... I’d just wonder about what it was they really did experience.

I can only point to the experience of the earliest church - the tongue became a sign of what happened. The jews from around the world didn't witness the flames settling on the disciples- but they heard the tongues.

I see too much spiritual pride in regard to the haves and have nots. The message that keeps coming across is that the have nots haven’t really *arrived* yet spiritually.

Indeed MM, and that pride isn't limited to charismatics either :) One thing I'd note - the body of Christ is made up of many parts and none of the parts are suppose to look down on the others. So charismatics might fill the part of the "tongue" while others serve as arms and feet and what not.

I think we’d be better off focusing on what we can do for others..... like love (1 Corinthians 13)

Which is what we are doing here.

26 posted on 11/09/2011 12:41:04 PM PST by Godzilla (3/7/77)
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To: Godzilla
Indeed MM, and that pride isn't limited to charismatics either :)

That's fer sure.

When I first got saved, my best friend also got saved about the same time (we always did things together) although through an entirely different set of circumstances and I didn't know any thing about it until she told me, me not understanding what really happened to me either.

Anyway, I worked with a guy who was hardcore GARB, down to the toes, and my best friend landed immediately in an AoG church.

Boy, did I get it from both ends. I had a real crash course in the ins and outs of Pentecostal/Charismatic vs GARB cessationist theology.

I was just trying to figure out what had happened to me and establish my own identity in Christ, and was getting it from both (opposite) sides.

Perhaps that partially explains my..... resistance (for lack of a better term) to being told that I have to/can't do ________, because ____________.

27 posted on 11/09/2011 2:04:48 PM PST by metmom (For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: metmom
Perhaps that partially explains my..... resistance (for lack of a better term) to being told that I have to/can't do ________, because ____________.

I don't know, perhaps the word is stubborn LOL (ducking and running away)

I've come to my own conclusions based upon my experience and study of the scripture and come out convinced that only the blood-bought will be in heaven and that tongues or not will not matter at all there.

28 posted on 11/09/2011 2:12:09 PM PST by Godzilla (3/7/77)
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To: Godzilla
I don't know, perhaps the word is stubborn LOL (ducking and running away)

*Renegade* might be a more apt description in some ways. ;)

If it's clearly spelled out in Scripture, there's no compromise. If I see it as a convention of man, you can't make me, and don't waste your time trying.

29 posted on 11/09/2011 2:50:38 PM PST by metmom (For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: metmom

You know how I feel, mm, and I can only say AMEN to your post..:)


30 posted on 11/09/2011 3:06:38 PM PST by smvoice (Who the *#@! is Ivo of Chatre & why am I being accused of not linking to his quote?)
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To: metmom
*Renegade* might be a more apt description in some ways. ;)

Ha! Even worse yet. ;P

31 posted on 11/09/2011 4:34:46 PM PST by Godzilla (3/7/77)
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To: Godzilla

Depends on which side you’re on.


32 posted on 11/09/2011 4:37:36 PM PST by metmom (For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: metmom
Though I am not a "Charismatic" Christian, I think this article speaks to ALL those who name the name of Jesus Christ. Jesus came to serve, NOT to be served. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. (Matt. 23:11)
33 posted on 11/09/2011 8:17:30 PM PST by boatbums ( Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us. Titus 3:5)
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To: boatbums

It also emphasizes something sadly needed.

Accountability and responsibility.

And discernment.


34 posted on 11/09/2011 8:41:15 PM PST by metmom (For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: metmom

Very well written. You hit the nail on the head. I have Sky Angel tv. I also remember going to charismatic churches. There is a lot of abuse and misunderstanding. A great article and reply. Thanks for posting.


35 posted on 11/10/2011 2:30:51 AM PST by johngrace (1 John 4!- declared at every Sunday Mass.)
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To: metmom

Well, Praise the Lord. Someone FINALLY posted basically the reasons why I left the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement for good in 2004.

I am now a KJV-Believing, Independent, Fundamental, Baptist. Which I was when I was first saved, but switched due to a school change; that was 21 years ago.

I have been saved since June 7, 1982. I was 9 years old. I am now 39 years old. I have known Jesus for 29 years. Praise the Lord! I have not always acted like it, but I digress.

Glad to see someone in them circles has finally stood up and said “enough!” But if I know that crowd, like I do; all that written will fall on deaf ears.

-DetroitRight


36 posted on 11/19/2011 9:04:15 PM PST by DetroitRight
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To: DetroitRight

I have a health issue that keeps me from eating about anything but oats and most meat. Long story.

Anyway, I’ve been prayed for time without count and have been struggling with dealing with this for years, not accepting it but learning to live with it.

The single biggest contributing factor to the spiritual struggles I’ve had surrounding this have been as a result of the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement and its theology.

Nor have I been impressed with the lifestyle and behavior of the majority of the high profile figures within that same movement.

I sure do believe that the gifts are for today, nevertheless, I agree with every point he made.


37 posted on 11/20/2011 12:11:02 AM PST by metmom (For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: DetroitRight

It’s also interesting. Rarely do I hear of someone LEAVING the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement. The whole flow seems to be in to it with it’s prosperity mentality.

By the way, welcome to FR.


38 posted on 11/20/2011 12:13:30 AM PST by metmom (For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: metmom
Anyway, I’ve been prayed for time without count and have been struggling with dealing with this for years, not accepting it but learning to live with it. The single biggest contributing factor to the spiritual struggles I’ve had surrounding this have been as a result of the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement and its theology.

I had one misguided charismatic tell my wife her faith or rather lack thereof keeps her in a wheelchair. It took me several years to undo the damage. They mean well but ignore the fact that through our adversities GOD's Grace & power is shown the strongest. He forgot Paul asked three times for a healing {what type not specified} and GOD's answer was no. As well we have too look at ones who faced serious adversity and the fruits their faith produced not by being healed but by accepting it for what it is. GOD has His reasons.

GOD allowed for example Joni Tada to become paralyzed from about C-C-3 or C-4 down at age 16 from a diving accident. Faith? She's very full of faith. But her adversity started her on a ministry that reaches millions of disabled around the world. She's been in the wheelchair about 45 years.

Yes I do believe through prayer many are healed and GOD has His own reasons for those who aren't and it has nothing to do about lack of faith or punishment. The reasons we may not fully understand in this world. BTW the man who told my wife that? About a year later I caught him cheating on his wife.

The preacher he learned it from? Became involved in severe mis-use of church funds as in hundreds of thousands for his own use.

I'm not Pentecostal or Charismatic but I do believe strongly that The Holy Spirit dwells within us and is our guide and teaches us truth as GOD gives to us as we need it. I've seen people speak in tongues although they did not realize it was happening. At was at the alter of a Missionary Baptist church. The congregation was up at the altar praying {smaller rural church}.

39 posted on 11/20/2011 1:16:45 AM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: metmom

Yes Ma’am. Been out since 2004. Long story. I will say this; Baptists, especially among the Independent, Fundamentalist sort; are far from perfect. However, I feel their doctrine is closest one is going to get to the purest form of Biblical truth.

I just wish more of them would actually practice it.


40 posted on 11/20/2011 1:27:58 AM PST by DetroitRight
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