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Tuesday, February 18, 2014 | Comments (25)

by Cameron Buettel

When it comes to false teachers, naming names seems to have become the unpardonable sin for many in the charismatic movement. Certainly, much of the criticism aimed at last fall’s Strange Fire conference focused on that issue. But is “Thou shalt not call out false teachers” really another commandment for the modern church, or is it an unbiblical shield designed to protect heretics from theological scrutiny?

The apostle Paul spoke to this issue in his epistle to the Romans:

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them (Romans 16:17 KJV).

Tragically, Paul’s instruction seems to have fallen on deaf ears among many charismatic and continuationist leaders who should know better. In Authentic Fire, his book critiquing Strange Fire, Michael Brown wrote:

Have I named names? For the most part no, since there is so much immaturity in the Body and we are so prone to division that the moment someone’s name is mentioned, even in the context of a minor correction, that person is instantly demonized by some, as if their whole message is suspect. [1] Michael L. Brown, Authentic Fire (Lake Mary, FL: Excel Publishers, 2014), 32.

Brown might think that naming names causes division, but Paul says clearly in Romans 16:17 that the work of false teachers is what causes division, and that we identify and avoid them for the sake of preserving true unity.

Brown’s argument is also markedly out of sync with church history. The Arian heresy, the Pelagian heresy, the Sabellian heresy, and the Socinian heresy—to name just a few—were all named after the heretic who taught them. Yes, their names were named, and still live on in modern memory as a reminder of the damnable errors they taught. 

One could hardly say that false teachers find anonymity in the pages of God’s Word either. Jesus (Revelation 2:20), Paul (1 Timothy 1:19–20; 2 Timothy 4:14), and John (3 John 1:9–10) were all more than willing to name names.

Of course Romans 16:17 is not talking about witch hunts, but it does highlight the responsibility of Christian leaders to identify, expose, and reject false teachers wherever and whenever they appear. John MacArthur’s commentary on that very verse is both instructive and encouraging as he points out that passivity is not an option when it comes to wolves among the flock:

It is the nature of love to warn against harm to those whom it loves. The greatest harm against believers is that which undermines God’s truth in which they live. Love is ready to forgive all evil, but it does not condone or ignore evil, especially in the church.

The mature Christian is to keep his eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances. Paul is not talking about hair splitting over minor interpretations, or about immature believers who are divisive because of personal preferences. We are to “shun foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless” (Titus 3:9). Paul is here talking about something immeasurably more serious. He is warning about those who challenge and undermine the divinely revealed apostolic teaching they had received.

Keep your eye on such men, Paul says. Mark them out as false teachers who are to be opposed and avoided. Skopeō (keep your eye on) carries the idea of looking at or observing with intensity. It is from the noun form of that word that we get the scope in telescope and microscope. It means more than simply to look at, but to examine and scrutinize carefully.

Evangelicals who adhere strictly but unpretentiously to the inerrancy of Scripture and refuse to join ranks with professing believers who compromise God’s Word are often labelled as divisive. But God’s true church is bonded by His Word and the power of His indwelling Spirit, who applies and builds the church on and through that Word. The ones who truly cause destructive division and disharmony, the ungodly dissensions and hindrances about which Paul speaks here, are those who promote and practice falsehood and unrighteousness. No institution or movement can rightly claim unity in Christ if they are not unified in and by His Word. Whatever spiritual unity they may have is based on the spirit of this age, which is satanic, not godly.

The right response of believers to false teachers, especially those who teach their heresy under the guise of Christianity, is not debate or dialogue. We are to turn away from them, to reject what they teach and to protect fellow believers, especially new converts and the immature, from being deceived, confused, and misled. Paul often argued and debated with unbelievers, both Jew and Gentile (Acts 17:16–17; cf. 9:29; 17:2; 18:4; 19:8–9). He did not, however, provide a platform for those who professed Christ but taught a false and perverted gospel. Such people are not to be debated but denounced. [2] John MacArthur, Romans 9–16: MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1994), 371–74.


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#1  Posted by Anthony Griffin  |  Tuesday, February 18, 2014at 4:00 AM

Amen, amen, amen! The word of God speaks and that is final. Unfortunately the sufficiency of Gods Word should be enough in all matters pertaining to life but it seems not to be the case in most churches. How do we fight the fight or go about making the change back to Gods word and truth? My church is not charismatic but evangelical influenced by this horrible movement.

#2  Posted by George Canady  |  Tuesday, February 18, 2014at 6:17 AM

I am grateful for those who would name names and warn us. I remember listening to the radio years ago and hearing Hank Hanagraph name names. He became one of the roads to GTY and understanding of who and what false teaching is. However, I am some what disappointed in the tone now. I once ask a local prominent reformed pastor about his frequent and harsh warnings about his favorite target, Joel Olsten. He explained why that was necessary and I think I agreed. But then he said something I thought was curious, he said he would still go eat with him to talk with him. I remember thinking, "after the way you talked about him to others, why would he want to?". I wonder if adding open prayerful pleading for salvation of these false teachers would cause a more biblical but less rude approach?

#3  Posted by Benjamin Bufkin  |  Tuesday, February 18, 2014at 6:23 AM

I attended this weekends Passion conference in Houston tx. Beth Moore was one of the speakers. During her message, she was talking about making the most of our time, she said that there was a lot of christians in the body fighting the wrong fight. She made reference to people in the body slandering other christians publicly. My first thought was that she was speaking about the strange fire conference, because her name was brought up during this conference. I'm just curious, was this blog post written in response to her message at Passion? Or is it just coincidence?

#4  Posted by Guymon Hall  |  Tuesday, February 18, 2014at 6:34 AM

I think perhaps a better appeal to Jesus' example of naming names in Revelation is his citing of the Nicolatians, about whom he says that he hates, such as in Rev. 2:6, etc.

#5  Posted by David Smith  |  Tuesday, February 18, 2014at 7:38 AM

Cameron, please could you give some guidance on exactly what is meant by the phrase "compromise God’s Word", as found in the fourth paragraph of the John MacArthur word, perhaps by referring to practical examples that we'll all be aware of.

The overall context is obviously serious matters, but it would be really helpful to know the sorts of things you feel are in this category. What is a serious matter to one person may be hair splitting to another.

As an example, I personally believe that continuationism is wrong, but I don't think that, by itself, it is always a barrier to fellowship or should be considered a false teaching. However, when you take it to the extent that, say, Bill Johnson or Rick Joyner do, it's a different matter and I have no hesitation in labelling those people false teachers and warning against them.

Another related point is what is called "secondary separation". Should I refuse to associate with someone who, for example, believes Benny Hinn or Todd Bentley are OK? I'm talking about personal friendships, not church events.

#6  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Tuesday, February 18, 2014at 9:07 AM

Benjamin (#3): this post was not at all related to Beth Moore. It was planned and written prior to this weekend.

David (#5): can I take a stab at your question? The word compromise can have differing meanings depending on context. Think of a bridge which has been compromised. Not only is no longer reliable, in fact it is liable to crumble. A teaching or practice compromises God's Word when it undermines the integrity of Scripture and effectively causes it to collapse upon itself in a person's life.

Example: if a person believes they can expect to hear directly from the Lord for daily guidance and significant decisions, though they would affirm the truth and power of Scripture, they deny and undermine it when they keep their Bible closed and spend hours "waiting on the Lord." In other words, the Word has lost its power in that person's life because they affirm a truth which actually subverts the Word. If this person were a preacher, he would be far less concerned with rightly dividing the Word of truth, and more concerned with proclaiming his own thoughts, which he believes must have come from the Lord.

Now another person or preacher could hold to essentially the same theology, but have a stronger trust in the Word, and thus the subjective practices may be reigned in. Though they believe effectively the same as the other, outwardly they are far more concerned with the Word, and so they proclaim and promote it faithfully. This is where I believe faithful charismatics live. While being continuationists, in practice they look more like cessationists. And this is why there is such difficulty in calling out false teaching; because in certain areas they essentially believe the same even if their practice is different.

#8  Posted by Sherry Nolte  |  Tuesday, February 18, 2014at 2:38 PM

I have spent 15 years in a charismatic church. I recently came out of because I sought out truth and now see the deception I was part of...Without doubt these churches have an Agenda. To support the Agenda every sermon and the word of God is a mixture of truth and twisted scripture and is used in manipulative way to support this Agenda. The mantra of this church I was at is What we do-We all do! They keep things exciting and relevant through music, fun atmosphere, easy on the spirit sermons, and the possibility of God showing up with signs and wonders. They have special meetings that they experience God through feelings and emotions and learn how to be filled with the Spirit which does not include being filled with the fruits of the Spirit. It is all mystical and superficial. IT has been nothing but false and empty claims of something more from God that you can get if you have enough faith. It is a distraction from Christ and leads the sheep away from the Savior causing them to look for more than He has already given. IT is the scam of the century and people are falling for it everyday and getting hurt and discouraged by this false heretical system that has become a big business. If people who know the truth do not stand against the Charismatic Heresy and call it out...it will grow worse and continue to deceive multitudes of people- and if were possible even the Elect of God.

#9  Posted by David Smith  |  Tuesday, February 18, 2014at 3:51 PM

Sherry Nolte #8:

I'll be frank and say that my experiences of the charismatic movement were pretty much the complete opposite of yours. I did see things similar to what you describe on occasion, but they were the exception rather than the rule. The movement is very diverse.

But, like you, I searched for truth and eventually became convinced that charismatic beliefs are wrong. It doesn't matter whether they are moderate or extreme, the core beliefs are the same and they are equally wrong.

Gabriel Powell #6:

Thanks for your comments.

The difference between mine and Sherry's experiences illustrates your examples perfectly. I also accept your point about compromise involving the chance that something will go wrong, even if it doesn't always.

Tell me, then, do you think infant baptism is a compromise? It could be said to involve a risk of things going wrong, especially if the parents turn out not to be believers.

#10  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Tuesday, February 18, 2014at 4:53 PM

David,

I want to be careful about getting sidetracked on specific doctrines, but briefly:

Infant baptism isn't a good illustration of the point because it is not an isolated doctrine; it is the natural outworking of Covenant Theology. In the case of baptism, certain generational aspects of the Mosaic Covenant are imported (I think wrongly) to the New Covenant. There is a hermeneutic underlying Covenant Theology which results in several theological distinctives including infant baptism. In other words, infant baptism is a symptom, not the problem.

That said, even Covenant Theology is not a compromise of the same sort as charismatic theology. Charismatic theology is unique in that it leads many people away from the objective truth of Scripture toward personal and mystical experiences. For those who are not led away from Scripture, it is their non-Charismatic theology that keeps them tethered.

#11  Posted by Joyce Atela  |  Tuesday, February 18, 2014at 9:13 PM

I agree with you Sherry. It gives all Born Again people a bad name. I'm having a hard time talking to one of my son's about the truth. He believes in God, reads the Bible & some books , but is putting off going to church. I trust God will keep drawing him & his family.

#12  Posted by Mike Wood  |  Tuesday, February 18, 2014at 9:22 PM

Nice article. On a somewhat related side note, I am finding in Canada at least where I live, we not only are encouraged to have 'religious tolerance' but even worse in my opinion are told that the religion of Islam is peace loving, and we should take the time to understand Muslims. I believe as the Lord said, not to be a 'respecter of persons' but sometimes you just have to call a spade a spade!

There is no sense of sugar coating things to hide the true nature of false practices, or false religions, just to be politically correct or appease them.

#13  Posted by Brett Vermillion  |  Tuesday, February 18, 2014at 9:40 PM

The issues I have heard about with the Strange Fire conference had nothing to do with naming names. That part is very helpful; along with many other parts.

The issues I heard about (and were personally grieved by) had to do with sweeping generalizations about Charismatics, i.e. 90% unsaved, saying someone could only be a Continuationist by emotionalism (specifically mentioning Piper and Grudem), saying Charismatics practicing gifts (even wrongly) are blaspheming the Holy Spirit, etc. I cannot imagine Spurgeon ever saying those things. Even though the Corinthian church needed correction on practicing the gifts, Paul never said they were blaspheming the Holy Spirit or weren’t saved.

This reason this is so grievous because the real things said in the conference so desperately need to be heard in the Charismatic community. But over-the-top statements like that do not get people to think, they only stop communication and drive away the confused and hurting.

And as far as I am concerned the worst offence is the way the scriptures were handled to support Cessationist doctrine. Maybe it is just because I have a huge pet peeve about people mishandling the scriptures, like using eisegesis and calling it exegesis. When you say that 1 Corinthians 13 supports Cessationism or say that Paul was discouraging tongues in 1 Corinthians 14, how is that different than the way the Charismatics handle them. If you do the same thing they do, how are they ever going to understand that it is wrong?

#14  Posted by John Deckert  |  Wednesday, February 19, 2014at 8:38 PM

I wish this had been explained to me 15 years ago....... that the ones being divisive are the ones introducing false doctrine. If I had a dollar for every time some called me divisive for doing the very thing that this blog explains we should do biblically, I would have enough money to buy a couple pair of jeans.

Thank you so much. Happened to stumble across Johnny Mac back in 2004. Started listening to the radio program in 2008. Got an iphone in 2012, now we listen even more, when we want and where we want. God is good! So blessed to have a bold teacher like MacArthur. I can sniff out the weak ones.

#15  Posted by Manuel Jr. Reyes  |  Wednesday, February 19, 2014at 10:09 PM

Truth indeed is exclusive. It is bestowed by God alone to anyone whom He pleases, and He stoops down to those who are poor in spirit. I thank God, He had opened my eyes just when I was in the same movement. I could not remember if I had asked for it but I now realize I am out of sync with the system I belong. Now I desire His truth more than anything this world could give. Thanks to you and your ministry!

#16  Posted by Dr. M.Charles Wadsworth  |  Sunday, February 23, 2014at 6:01 PM

Recently I had a conversation with a devout follower of Benny Hinn,Nothing new...I've heard the same from these folks for over 40 years.However after our exchange...this person told me he had the gift of healing...and that "you would not believe some of my healings"I couldn't hold back my answer."your right"...I did invite him to come along with me to the local hospital,because I wanted to see him in action....He declined

#17  Posted by Sherry Nolte  |  Monday, February 24, 2014at 10:46 AM

In regard to Bret #13....It might be good if you listen to all the Strange Fire segments. If you just heard about what was said I think the truth may get mis- communicated and the conversations could be taken out of context. I did listen to it all and did not hear that any sweeping generalizations were being made... Especially the 90% being unsaved or that the holy spirit was being blasphemed because they were practicing charismatics. I think that we can all agree that these sign gift certainly did function and had a place in New testament times, but the questions is are they now? At the time the letters were being written they were in fact gifts of the spirit that some in the church were given to testify of Christ Jesus. Regardless of whether they have ceased or not can we honesty and sincerely say what is being manifested as true gifts of the spirit in this time was not what was going on then? Has anyone seen anyone healed in a miraculous way by a healer? Or Tongues where you understood what the person said because it was in your own language or Prophesy that came true...not just kind of true or generally true or interpretation of a true language or a eral true Apostle, or performing of a miracle. The unique thing about these gift as well they were given by God through the power of the Holy Spirit...no one had to learn or teach them..God gave them...men did them. ITs not like today. Today they are a man made maybe even demonic in some cases. Men teach them and men do them in the power of their own strength and knowledge . 15 years in a Charismatic church who made it's purpose to teach these gifts and to practice them have done nothing but cause it to been an empty endeavor...a chasing after the wind. ITs not like I would not like God to bring about these gifts but sadly these man made signs take people off the focus on Christ. You know what I think is a real miracle?... is when someone is dead in their sins and brought to Life by the Holy Spirit and the Word of Life and healed. Or the Word of God through the power of the Holy Spirit speaks to your heart and the hidden sin is revealed and there is a deep conviction and Christ cleanses you from the sin! What about being able to be filled with joy unspeakable as you are going through hardship or you have a peace that surpasses all understanding as you trust in God with your life. How about the miraculous fruits of the Holy Spirit manifested in your life and you find yourself loving the unlovable, you help other without any expectations,you forgive the unforgivable, you are kinder, gentler, patient, show goodness and self control. Are not those true manifestation of God...to Him be the Glory.

#18  Posted by Sherry Nolte  |  Monday, February 24, 2014at 1:50 PM

J.C. Ryles had it right....“it is hard enough to fight the devil, the world and the flesh, without private differences in our own camp. But there is one thing which is even worse than controversy, and that is false doctrine tolerated, allowed, and permitted without protest or challenge. It was controversy that won the battle of Protestant Reformation. If the views that some men hold were correct, it is plain we never ought to have had any Reformation at all! For the sake of peace, we ought to have gone on worshiping the Virgin Mary, and bowing down to images and relics to this very day! Away with such trifling! There are times when controversy is not only a duty—but a benefit. Give me the mighty thunderstorm, rather than the deadly malaria. The one walks in darkness and poisons us in silence, and we are never safe. The other frightens and alarms for a little while.” ““It is a plain Scriptural duty to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints" (Jude 1:3).

I am quite aware that the things I have said are exceedingly distasteful to many minds. I believe many are content with teaching which is not the whole truth, and fancy it will be "all the same" in the end. I am sorry for them. I am convinced that nothing but the whole truth is likely, as a general rule, to do good to souls. I am satisfied that those who willfully put up with anything short of the whole truth, will find at last that their souls have received much damage. There are three things which men never ought to trifle with: a little poison, a little false doctrine, and a little sin.

I am quite aware that when a man expresses such opinions as those I have just brought forward, there are many who are ready to say, "He is not faithful to the Church." I hear such accusations unmoved. The day of judgment will show who were the true friends of the Church and who were not.

Excerpt From: J. C. Ryle. “Warnings to the Churches.” iBooks.

#19  Posted by David Smith  |  Monday, February 24, 2014at 2:14 PM

Sherry, once again I'm going to sound a cautionary note.

As someone who used to consider himself a charismatic, I can say from personal experience that the majority of charismatics, both leaders and followers, are born-again christians committed to Biblical authority. Yes, there are lots of crooks and heretics in the movement (just watch christian tv!), but they are not representative of everyone, including many charismatic church leaders.

So I cannot regard charismatic beliefs as being in the same category as roman catholicism. Charismatics are wrong over cessationism but have the gospel right, roman catholics have the gospel wrong. Continuationism is not a false gospel.

Charismatics are not going to listen to our concerns about continuationism if we treat them as unbelievers and no different to roman catholics!

#20  Posted by Shane Haffey  |  Monday, February 24, 2014at 10:43 PM

It seems our post modern culture's favorite Bible quote to mis interpret "don't judge lest ye be judged" is being ever embraced in our charismatic communities. Tolerance over truth. Careful not to offend anyone lest their feelings get hurt. Everything's so touchy feely these days. Does not the Lord warn teachers that He will judge them more severly? James 3:1 "Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness."

As agent's of God's truth we have a duty to call out those leading others to embrace a different message. Those insisting on climbing over the wall of Jerusalem instead of passing through the sheep gate may expect to have the light shined on them by God's watchmen. John 10:1 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber."

#21  Posted by Ben Enders  |  Wednesday, February 26, 2014at 4:38 AM

David, I don’t remember who it was, but recently it was pointed out that millions of people watch the charismatic/faith healer shows. Based on the amount of people who watch these shows and the estimates of charismatics on the planet makes these people the majority. It makes them mainstream. I believe that there are some Catholics that have salvation but the mainstream follow a false gospel, same as charasmatics.

I have a friend who is very knowledgeable about the bible but all that she talks about is the latest reported miracles and how God has spoken to her. She is obsessive about things of the spirit. If she spent an equal amount of time obsessing about Jesus then perhaps I would think in addition to her bible knowledge that she has some discernment.

Charismatics are not going to listen to the cessationist view because they have little or no discernment. Charismatics (or any of us) should be concerned about the truth no matter how they are treated. It is our responsibility (if we love Him) to study His word and to obey his commands.

When they stand at the White Throne Judgment they will not be able to say, “MacArthur hurt my feelings and I was so mad that I couldn’t find the truth” (winey voice implied).

Shane, good post!

#22  Posted by David Smith  |  Wednesday, February 26, 2014at 10:25 AM

Ben Enders #21

I would treat any viewing figures for Christian TV with great suspicion. They're almost certainly wild guesses, and undoubtedly exaggerated (how do they know how many people tune into a particular show?).

Whilst I agree that charismatics lack discernment, there's a lot more to people's beliefs than this. People absorb the doctrines of their faith community, and seldom change their views. Baptists stay baptists, presbyterians stay presbyterian, and pentecostals stay pentecostal.

I see it in the same way as catholics - if catholicism is the only form of belief you have known, and it's been drummed into you that it is the truth and everyone else is wrong, then you are not likely to consider something that goes against everything you have been told. Similarly, if you grew up or came to faith in a charismatic church (of any sort), it's going to hard for you to reject these beliefs and become a cessationist. "I was wrong" are probably the three hardest words for anyone to say.

The above is generally applicable, but there's a specific "lock-in" for charismatics, namely speaking in tongues. If you have been manipulated into having a powerful emotional / religious experience, what is typically but wrongly called the "baptism of the Holy Spirit", and started speaking in tongues, then that, for you, is proof that charismatic beliefs are true. You've had personal verification direct from God that the miraculous gifts are available today. How can anyone disprove that? A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument (or theology).

By the grace of God, I became a cessationist not because of any Biblical arguments, but because I stumbled upon academic studies of religious experience, altered states of consciousness, and speaking in tongues. What I read provided a perfect explanation for what goes on in the pentecostal and charismatic movements, and I concluded that everything can be explained by psychology. That was the end of it for me. There's nothing supernatural going on and continuationism is therefore just a lie. A very big lie, to be precise - probably the biggest deception in the history of the world.

I may be a rare case in that I wasn't personally given to having experiences, and so, for me, the arguments won. I have a scientific background and make decisions according to logic and reason. Not everyone takes this approach..

But, if we believe in Jesus, he forgives all our sins, including doctrinal errors. So we have nothing to fear on Judgement Day, which is good, because I'm sure no christian has everything right.

#23  Posted by Link Hudson  |  Wednesday, February 26, 2014at 2:35 PM

Cameron Buettel should be thrilled about the Charismatics that have spoken out against the Strange Fire of Grace to You ministries. Watching the videos from the conference, my question was 'What about the Bible.' The Bible took a back seat to extra-Biblical doctrines about the role of scripture. I Corinthians 12 still says these gifts are given to the body.

The one scripture that so many speakers used to try to argue for cessationism, from II Timothy 3, was wrested from context. If that verse instituted cessationism, that would have made John's visions and prophecies in the book of Revelation falee. How could II Timothy 4 be inspired if chapter 3 was teaching cessationism. The big problem is the error of logic, thinking that a verse that says all scripture is given that the man of God may be complete means the same thing as saying that scripture is all the man of God is given to be made complete. The verse teaches the former, but not the latter. Paul had just told Timothy to stir up the gift that was in him by the laying on of Paul's. Why would he say that if the gift were to cease by the time Timothy finished reading two short chapters?

Michael Brown gave his reason for not naming names over SMALL errors, and the author here blows that up to talk about correcting heresy. I don't think a traditional Pentecostal has any more obligation to mention the names of RCC charismatics teaching error than he does to mention John MacArthur's name and address the Strange Fire error. Does the Bible teach that we are grouped by theological categories like this in God's sight?

#24  Posted by Link Hudson  |  Wednesday, February 26, 2014at 2:36 PM

Ben Enders responded to this post saying he became a cessationist not because of Biblical arguments, but because of the study of psychology. I find many cessationists argue like this with no Biblical basis, saying music causes hypnosis, when there is no basis in Biblical thought for the allegations (thinking of JM sermons and Wretched radio.) But a lot of these experiences can't be explained by psychology. Instant healings of bones, tendons, ligaments, etc. can't be explained so easily. Nor can prophecies and words of knowledge that contain extremely detailed information (secrets of the heart) that no one could naturally know. There are also the times when two people get the same prophecy, or you go to one place and get a prophecy, and go to another and someone else prophesies the same thing.

#25  Posted by David Smith  |  Wednesday, February 26, 2014at 3:10 PM

Link Hudson #24

I think you are referring to me, not Ben Enders.

It is widely acknowledged that music can be hypnotic. I'm not sure why it matters that this isn't mentioned in the Bible. There are plenty of things that are not in the Bible. The Bible is a book about man and God, telling us all we need to know for salvation.

I disagree completely when you say "a lot of these experiences can't be explained by psychology."

Your first example is "healings of bones, tendons, ligaments, etc. can't be explained so easily." Maybe if these healings were happening, but they are not. There is simply no verifiable evidence that miraculous healings are happening in the charismatic movement, absolutely nothing. People may believe that they have been healed, but that's something completely different. The most telling example I read was of John Wimber, who admitted in his later years that he had NEVER seen a miraculous healing.

Your second example is "Nor can prophecies and words of knowledge that contain extremely detailed information (secrets of the heart) that no one could naturally know. There are also the times when two people get the same prophecy, or you go to one place and get a prophecy, and go to another and someone else prophesies the same thing." Again, there is no evidence that this is genuinely happening. There's a technique called cold reading used by psychics (google it) to make people think they have supernatural powers - the same trickery is often used by charismatics. And we mustn't forget the power of confirmation bias - people hear what they want to hear. EVERY predictive prophecy made by a charismatic has failed to come true. Just like healing, the track record is zero.

The "gifts", as claimed by charismatics, simply do not stand up to scrutiny and do not measure up to the Bible. Therefore they are not the Biblical gifts.

Cessationism and continuationism are both hypotheses that have Biblical support. But continuationism doesn't fit the facts on the ground. We have fake speaking in tongues, fake healing, and fake prophecy. The history of the pentecostal and charismatic movements is full of fakery. I pray that your eyes will be opened to see this.

#26  Posted by Sherry Nolte  |  Wednesday, February 26, 2014at 3:54 PM

Mr Hudson...God does give gifts to men for the Body of Christ. Timothy's gift of of eldership was to be stirred up in him and not neglected. There are gifts of teaching and of giving, eldership, hospitality,compassion, there are many gifts. But it seems the ones that are being abused and not lining up with the word of God are the sign gifts. Tongues are a real language...I have never heard them used in this way... Where people in their own language heard God being glorified by others who never learned their language. Have you? When someone has prayed in tongues over me...it never uplifted me I only heard gibberish. I don't even know what was being said and there was no one interpreting. It brought me much confusion. I went to Costa Rica on a mission trip and did not know Spanish, which would have been nice to have the gift of tongues so I could proclaim the gospel to those little children who I was caring for. When someone told me God is healing and will heal and the healer prayed for healing...I had faith God would heal me and I would not lose my baby...but sadly I did. I have asked everyday to for God to heal my disabled daughter and I have had those who claim to heal pray for her, but no God has not healed her. I have had people give words of prophesy and knowledge but they were not right. All of these claims over the last 15 years have hurt me rather than encouraged me. Rather than face that these gifts are not reality for the new testament church the Charismatics churches keep the merry-go-round going with the promise of new anointing, new wine, new things God is doing or saying, excitement, relevant music, serving, thin places, fire coming down, healing services, people falling down or pushed down, (yes the people praying push on you) superficial and feel good sermon's, false miracles and the list goes on. And the reality is nothing real and biblical is truly happening in these churches. Its a big business facade. I walked into a church once where everyone was speaking gibberish noise...I thought that they were crazy. The bible speaks against this..Does it not? But has God healed sometimes...yes but through simple humble prayer and has God given wisdom and knowledge when I asked Yes He has. Has he spoke to me plainly through His word where my heart was burning within like those in Luke 24:32 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” Yes He has. But I had to get off this Charismatic merry-go-round and Go to Jesus and trust Him alone and stop trying to chase something more than Him. You speak of healing experiences but are they your own? Where is the proof? In Honesty I have been in some places that try to be more biblical with these gifts not all churches are extreme, but I still have not experienced anything substantial to cause me to believe these gifts are for today.