It may appear that I write so vigorously against the Charismatic movement with a vindictive attitude. Indeed, one or two people have said to my face that they believe I reject Charismatic theology because of hurts I supposedly suffered during my years in Charismatic fellowships.
Fair enough, on one level. Several attempts at healing me from Cerebral Palsy probably did border on spiritual abuse, and it certainly would be understandable if I harbored bitterness over those experiences. Sure, such bitterness would be sinful, but most people would at least understand it. In a way, I suspect the friends I have in Charismatic circles might feel comforted by the thought that my current theological positions are just an overreaction to all I underwent.
But really, I turned away from Charismatic theology because, quite simply, it doesn’t line up with God’s Word.
Yes, I know all the verses Charismatics use to substantiate their teachings. I remember using those very verses in my disputes with non-Charismatics, actually. I believe that many Charismatics genuinely love God’s Word and honestly think the miracles of the four gospels and the book of Acts should be replicated today. I know why they hold such convictions. Their arguments carry a sense of plausibility that I have to respect.
But I have come to very different conclusions as I’ve studied Scripture and learned more about proper hermeneutics. Not that I’m smarter or better educated than they are. Rather, God graciously led me to more accurate teaching on the topic by His grace and for His glory.
Although I’m still far from being a Biblical scholar, the Lord has exposed me to good models of understanding His Word, consequently convincing me that the miracles of the New Testament weren’t meant as normative patterns for Christians after the First Century.
Hopefully I’ll write future articles detailing why we mustn’t apply First Century occurrences to present-day Christianity, but that isn’t the purpose of this particular post. Today I merely want to communicate that I didn’t renounce Charismatic theology as a reaction to negative experiences, but instead because of my desire to remain faithful to the Word of God. Whatever spiritual abuse I may or may not have endured (and I’ll leave the Lord to make that determination), I only want my doctrine to line up with God’s Word.
My personal experiences are no more authoritative than the experiences of my Charismatic friends.
4 thoughts on “An Uncomplicated Reason To Leave Charismatic Teaching”
Why does God lead us to more accurate teaching than He does for Charismatics? Million dollar question, I suppose. Great post.
God is sovereign. I’d suggest Romans 9 as a possible answer.
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Ditto! While I believe God can and still does miracles, it certainly isn’t because we “claimed them” or think we have authority, or that Jesus had to pay a price for that type of thing, or was born again, or all other sorts of nutty…it is totally absurd to believe such nonsense.
What I read in scripture wasn’t lining up with the word of God, and the charismatics I met were obsessed with getting earthly things such as money, personal fame (although they claimed not, their actions clearly suggested otherwise), or a television spot.