As we ate at Hedrick tonight, we got into a long discussion about the charismatic movement and its pervasive spread and influence throughout the modern-day evangelical Church. We both have experiences from the past that provide a first-hand look into the emphases of charismatic theology, and are able to see the unfortunate consequences that such theology brings upon a body of believers. I got pretty stirred up during our conversation and began almost to rail against several things that I take offense at.
Just a few things that came to my riled mind:
When trials come, don’t focus your prayers against Satan. Focus your prayers on God, that His will be accomplished and our hearts be humbled before Him (1Pt 5:6-7). Trust God’s promise that He will work things out for your good, rather than seeing trials as a source of nothing but evil (Ro 8:28).
Stop seeking and emphasizing the “baptism of the Spirit”. The Holy Spirit has come; He was sent at one instant in history, and He indwells every believer. He seals us and is given “as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory” (2Co 1:22). He does not leave the believer.
And stop thinking that you control Him like a superpower to knock people over or to heal someone at your touch or to speak in ecstatic gibberish. The Holy Spirit is not a force, and we are not Jedi. He is a Person, He is fully and absolutely God, and He comes and goes as the wind. Do not presume to be able to direct the affairs and activity of the sovereign King of Creation (Is 40:13-14).
Do not overemphasize or add to the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives as believers. Of course, we are regenerated by His work, and we are sanctified by His power in us, but He did not come to glorify Himself but to direct attention to the Son (Jn 15:14), in accordance with the eternal purposes of God to exalt Christ (Eph 1:19-23).
There may have been more issues that we discussed… And I know that our discussion was far from exhaustive. But I simply wanted to put some of these out here. Keeping ’em cooped up in my thoughts was giving me a headache.