Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Why Charismaticism is Easy

First, let me say I'm not a cessationist.  I believe that the 1st century church and the church today have the same access to the game God through the same Holy Spirit with the same power.  That being said, it's not the 1st century, there are no more Apostles.  To be an Apostle, you had to see Jesus in the body resurrected.  That isn't happening today, there is no one holding the office of Apostle.  Even so, there are churches everywhere that grow out of the excitement of the charismatic movement, let's talk about why for a minute, and go back in time a ways.

When Jesus was on the earth, He did miracles.  He healed people, fed a bunch of people with just a little bit, walked on water, raised the dead.  People flocked too Him and began asking to see more miracles.  They wanted a sign to see if He really was the messiah.  They said "do that one again".  They wanted to feel validated, they wanted proof.  Proof is easier than faith.  They wanted a sign,  and eventually Jesus got aggregated.  In Luke 11:29, Jesus says the generation is evil, for it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given except the sign of Jonah (Jesus rising from the dead).

Are we an evil generation?  We sure do love signs and miracles and wonders.  If you tell people you are going to teach them truth, they may show up.  If you say you are going to heal the sick, raise the dead, speak in tongues and do wonders, they show up in droves.  Why is it so easy to focus on the miraculous?  Why do we push so hard for the signs and wonders of the spirit to show up?  We have begun practices not seen in the New Testament, like being slain in the spirit, falling down and twitching and vibrating.  Why?

If you are a charismatic and you practice these things, my goal is not to insult you, but to encourage you to question what is really happening.  For the 12 men closest to Jesus, we don't see any of these things, expect when they speak in tongues, which is intelligible languages at Pentecost.  We have some notes from Paul, but no explicate instructions except for tongues, to limit it and it's the least of the gifts.  Why focus so much on something that is discussed so little?  Maybe we are an evil generation that seeks a sign.  Maybe, just maybe it's easier to have proof than faith, but remember.  Without faith, it's impossible to please God.

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