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Strange Fire Recap: Day Three

Saturday, October 19, 2013 | Comments (35)

Conrad Mbewe – “Are We Preachers or Are We Witch Doctors?”

Zambian preacher and author Conrad Mbewe kicked off the third and final day of Strange Fire with a powerful introduction to life in the African church. He vividly explained that many charismatic pastors hold the same offices—and essentially function—as local village witch doctors, taking advantage of the superstitions of their people. The pastors use the peoples’ superstitions to their advantage, insulating themselves from criticism. Mbewe gave a clear call to support the spread of the true gospel in Africa, and to counter the vast damage caused by the importation of charismatic teaching.

Phil Johnson – “Providence Is Remarkable”

During the breakout sessions, Phil Johnson addressed one of the major presuppositions of the charismatic movement—the belief that unless God is regularly moving in miraculous ways in the world, He is altogether absent. He explained that the charismatic mindset sees the cessation of the gifts as nothing more than deism, and that this misconception has led to the widespread watering down of the church’s understanding of miracles. Preaching out of Matthew 10, Johnson described Christ’s commissioning of the disciples and His emphasizing God’s providence and not the gifts He had bestowed on them. By explaining the various ways God regularly intervenes in the world through His providence, Johnson made it clear that God’s engagement in this world is not dependent on His miraculous intervention.

Justin Peters – “Spiritual Shipwreck of the Word-Faith Movement”

Justin Peters’s second breakout session picked up where he left off Thursday, in his exposé of the Word-Faith movement. His apologetic approach provided a clear contrast between the words of false teachers and what the Bible plainly says. He addressed the strange manifestations and bizarre claims of many within the charismatic movement, particularly some practices that parallel behavior common to Hindu cults. He explained that tongues, prophecy, uncontrolled laughter, and slaying in the spirit are not the exclusive domain of charismatic Christianity. What’s more, he made it clear that those manifestations have no biblical foundation or defense.

Nathan Busenitz – “Charismatic Counterfeits: Do the Modern Gifts Meet the Biblical Standard?”

In his breakout session, Nathan Busenitz addressed the question of whether the modern charismatic gifts meet the biblical standard of spiritual gifts. He thoroughly defined the terms of the debate over spiritual gifts, carefully couching them in the historical context of the church. He paid specific attention to three key charismatic gifts—prophecy, tongues, and healing—and carefully walked his listeners through biblical examples of each one. In light of the clear testimony of Scripture, his conclusion was that what we see in the charismatic movement are not the same gifts described in Scripture.

Panel Q&A

For the second day in a row, Todd Friel sat down for a Q&A with several of the conference speakers. He led John MacArthur, Nathan Busenitz, Phil Johnson, and Conrad Mbewe through a discussion on the practical aspects of dealing with the charismatic church. The speakers took turns answering how best to assist people caught up in the movement, and how attendees can be effective spiritual stimulants in their congregations. As Friel played more video clips and probed deeper into the issues with thought-provoking questions, the speakers emphasized the importance of having a biblical basis for everything in the believer’s life. Each man was compassionate but direct in the need to biblically confront false teaching, and offered encouragement on how to effectively engage people on these important issues.

John MacArthur – “An Appeal to My Continuationist Friends”

To close the conference Friday night, John MacArthur took the pulpit and began by answering many of the criticisms regarding Strange Fire. He directly addressed the claims that the teaching at the conference has been unloving and divisive, saying that “the most loving thing someone can do is to tell the truth” and that “it’s better to be divided by the truth than united by error.” He said he does care about offending people, but he cares more about offending God.

With that in mind, he made a clear call for his continuationist friends to abandon a position that gives license and credibility to the excesses of the charismatic movement. He strongly exhorted them to consider the cost of their continuationist stance, and how it can be a gateway to unbiblical charismatic theology and practice. He closed his time, and the week, by restating his motive to hold the Strange Fire conference. He demonstrated from 1 and 2 Timothy a pastor’s responsibilities—illustrated in the life of Paul—to declare and guard the treasured truth of God’s Word.

We trust Strange Fire was an encouragement to you. In the coming weeks, the audio and video from the conference will be available both here and at tmstrangefire.org. We look forward to how the Lord will use those resources to strengthen His church and grow His people.

GTY Staff


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#1  Posted by Colette Marr  |  Saturday, October 19, 2013at 11:37 AM

Well done good and faithful servants! Many have been set free because of your faithfulness to the Word of God before, during and after this conference entitled "Strange Fire". God bless you all!

#2  Posted by Jodi Denning  |  Saturday, October 19, 2013at 3:44 PM

My husband and I just arrived home from the Strange Fire conference. The hospitality, warmth and professionalism of everyone at Grace to You was extraordinary. Our deepest thanks to all the people who worked so hard to make this event a success, and to the speakers who all modeled Ephesians 4:15 by speaking the truth in love.

We will be praying for lasting and genuine fruit from this important conference. May God bless you all, and strengthen and encourage you as you continue to walk in and teach Truth from God's Holy Word. Sola Scriptura!

#3  Posted by Hanna Morton  |  Saturday, October 19, 2013at 3:46 PM

I loved the livstreams! I hope GTY puts the sessions on DVDs! You're amazing, Pastor Johnny Mac! I'm thankful for you and your ministry! Thank you for preaching God's Word!

#4  Posted by Andrew Pegman  |  Saturday, October 19, 2013at 4:22 PM

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#5  Posted by Kelvin Peterson  |  Saturday, October 19, 2013at 4:57 PM

This was a tremendous conference. I was able to stream each day and it felt as if I was actually there. Thanks so much for the streaming.

I think the church today would be in a different place in the days ahead if Dr. MacArthur had not taken this step.

If Christ should tarry, this is the kind of boldness that's going to be necessary in the future when men such as Dr. MacArthur has passed on to Glory.

It was also good to hear and understand from the presenters that this was not a bash, but a call to repentance. That's Love!

Thanks again for the conference and I know that the Lord is pleased with Dr. MacArthur and all who were not afraid to stand with him.

#6  Posted by Tonya Dixon  |  Saturday, October 19, 2013at 5:33 PM

Wonderful conference. I cannot wait to read the book...

#7  Posted by Samuel And Darlene Farlow  |  Saturday, October 19, 2013at 9:30 PM

I, too, would like to thank you so much for the live streaming of the conference. It is very gracious of you to do so and I really appreciated the messages and the panels. Praise God for your ministry!

#8  Posted by Kathy Ripka  |  Saturday, October 19, 2013at 11:55 PM

I watched on line, and loved every moment of it. Sound, solid doctrine and truth. Sola Scriptura!!

#9  Posted by Caudio Germán Saucedo  |  Sunday, October 20, 2013at 1:04 AM

That great benediction! God blesses them greatly. From Argentina, graces Gentleman for these big serfs that the Gentleman has raised for the glory our Gentleman Jesus Christ.

#10  Posted by Joseph Wade  |  Sunday, October 20, 2013at 5:11 AM

One very important point to make here! John MacArthur's preaching and teaching is always clear. His proclamation of preaching the word of God is always easy to understand and yet convicting. I have been meditating upon the words from scripture for day's now. In my estimation it will take me several days if not weeks to feed on all the truth that was taught. All the rich teaching just taught to us from the conference is intended to be shared so others will have a clear view about this movement. I woke up early this morning just thanking Him for His rich blessings and allowing me the opportunity to learn and grow. It's important to also note, God used this conference to make myself look in the mirror of my heart, what a time for true repentance. Thank you again for such rich teaching.

#11  Posted by Johnny Helms  |  Sunday, October 20, 2013at 7:19 AM

This conference was long overdue. The damnable heresies spread by the false teachers/prophets/apostles/healers of the Charismatic Movement going back at least to the early '70's, are so ridiculous that it boggles my mind how anyone can believe them and support them, especially those who profess to have the Holy Spirt, those who profess to be disciples of Christ. After making one false prophecy after another over radio and tv, Benny Hinn, the Copelands, Duplantis, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, and the late Kenneth Hagin garnered huge followings...and still do.

I was "in" the Charismatic Movement for 9 years without buying into their practices. I found the movement to be exciting while at the same time I was disturbed by the lack of love and knowledge of the word of God. I never "spoke in tongues" or bought into the "voice of strangers" that I was hearing. I love(d) the charismatics I hung around with but there came a time I had to say "no more."

His sheep hear His voice and the voice of another they will not follow. Thank God.

#12  Posted by Nancy Alvarez  |  Sunday, October 20, 2013at 8:11 AM

Thank you for the Strange fire Conference. My husband and I watched faithfully each day. Today we look forward to the worship service that starts here at 1:30.

There are people in this evil movement that the Lord is convicting right now and will see the precious true Light of His Holy Word!

I know this is true because of what Jesus tells us in John 10:25-30.

I am not going to write the verses because I would like for people to read God"s Holy word for themselves.

Thank you for teaching the strict truth of God's word.

#13  Posted by Bonita Veldhuizen  |  Sunday, October 20, 2013at 1:12 PM

In response to Andrew's post, I have been in the Charismatic movement for nearly 30 years. I have been out of it for just a few years. During all that time, I loved Jesus with all my heart, and I was delivered from a lot of garbage in my life. Just as with all true believers, we grow in sanctification throughout our entire lifetime. I believe there are many true believers in that movement, and many of them are among my lifetime friends. We ALL have a bit of heresy in our lives, and it will only be completely removed when we see Him face to face. Please remember that the true body of Christ consists of those who truly love and seek Him. Even while still in that movement, I always knew exactly how I was saved - through the blood of Jesus alone atoning for my sin. Although I no longer agree with that movement, I am still so thankful for all the discipleship I received. May we all grow in Jesus and trust Him to continue to show us doctrinal error that we have embraced. He is faithful to do it!

#14  Posted by Rick Ayers  |  Sunday, October 20, 2013at 2:27 PM

Andrew Pegman.....Your comments are so far off from the truth. Any Charismatic seeking to balance themselves theologically will read your extreme and unfounded comment and TOTALLY reject everything good and helpful from this conference. You are just as wacked out as any Charismatic, but in the opposite direction.

#15  Posted by Tom Moore  |  Sunday, October 20, 2013at 3:53 PM

I watched several of the live stream broadcasts with great interest. Thanks for making them available to us. I greatly appreciated Steve Lawson's presentation on "Sola Scriptura". I know it must have been awkward for the panel discussion to have footage of guys like John Piper leaving an open door to this practice, but it shows me your humility and courage to really take this stuff on.

Currently, in my congregation, we have some people "hearing from God", or "the Spirit said this about you". I have taken this to my elders and my concerns have been met with some resistance, unfortunately. There are even pockets of "deliverance ministry" things going on, which is frightening to me.

Thank God for His Word, and may we all be like the Bereans who searched the Scriptures daily to see if what is being said around us is true. Bless you all!!

#16  Posted by Ben Enders  |  Sunday, October 20, 2013at 4:19 PM

Andrew,

I would be a bit more cautious in making assumptions on who is saved and who is not. Although you may be correct about what the majority of Charismatic’s believe, we are in no position to pass judgment on salvation. We can and should debate doctrine all day long but, we should do it with a Christ-like mindset. 2 Tim2:24-26

#17  Posted by Terrence Sinanan  |  Sunday, October 20, 2013at 7:02 PM

I am deeply grateful to John MacArthur and Grace Church for the Strange Fire conference and for providing the live stream so that we in the island of Trinidad could have viewed it.

In Trinidad we have the same problem where the charismatics show up in all forms from moderate Pentecostals to the extreme Universal Church. They make up the overwhelming face of evangelistic Christianity in the island.

I am a former moderate Pentecostal in Trinidad and by absolute coincidence (I now say God's providence) I came across GTY about 3 years ago and it has revolutionize my life. Every day I thank God for John MacArthur and his teaching. In the last 2-3 years about 50 people have joined with me in a small church called Bible Temple and we use the GTY resources of John MacArthur to guide us in building a church that will only focus on honoring Jesus and exalting Him.

Thank you very much John MacArthur, GTY and Grace Church.

#18  Posted by Gary Archibeck  |  Sunday, October 20, 2013at 10:06 PM

#4 Andrew - Hello Andrew. I'm a charismatic, and I always willing to engage theologically. I call Jesus King of my life. Simple faith in Jesus is required for kingdom participation. I worship the God and Father of our Lord Jesus. Spirit dwells in me by virtue of the life of God poured out after the ascension of Jesus now living and moving in me. I am a partaker of the divine nature and each and every promise is fulfilled in King Jesus.

You may choose to deny the power of God, you may choose to create new schisms in the body of Christ, you may choose to highlight the weird and deny the orthodox. Go for it - if you want only a cognitive experience with God, he will honor that request. But please never reduce the grace granted me through the blood (life) poured out for me on Calvary. That would indeed be a tragedy - a fool's tragedy.

#19  Posted by David Smith  |  Monday, October 21, 2013at 2:40 AM

I too have to respectfully disagree with Andrew Penman (#4).

The pentecostal / charismatic movement is obviously very diverse, but the vast majority of people in it are definitely born-again christians. What we have in common with them is far greater that the things we disagree over.

The reason why they are difficult to reach out to is not because they are unsaved. I can think of three actual explanations:

Firstly, the sociological aspect. They may well have grown up or come to faith in the charismatic movement. It will have been their spiritual home for years and their identity as christians will be tied up with it. It's no different to the way people are baptists or presbyterians.

Secondly, the psychological aspect. People often have powerful spiritual experiences in charismatic meetings. These experiences are false - they are basically manufactured by music - but they give the impression of a personal encounter with the Holy Spirit. It is difficult to get people to view their experiences objectively.

Thirdly, the poor state of non-charismatic evangelicalism. I am sorry to say that the joy of the Lord and the life of the Spirit are often absent from non-charismatic churches. Non-charismatic churches have a reputation for dull services, lifeless preaching, and miserable people. Yes, this is a stereotype, and it's less true now than it was 30 years ago, but it still has a lot of basis in fact.

#21  Posted by Andrea Whitaker  |  Monday, October 21, 2013at 8:40 AM

After moving to Charlotte, NC and looking for a Reformed/Baptist Church, my husband and I settled into a Sovereign Grace church. I was open to what this subtle charismatic church was teaching and the longer I was there, the more I saw the conflict with Scripture and the influence this movement had over the whole church. I have felt so alone in my search for truth about something that I knew was wrong. Attending the Strange Fire conference has let me know that I am NOT alone. The conference was outstanding. The church and its 700 volunteers were incredibly hospitable, including the Master's College professor and his wife that graciously let us stay in their home. I am studying the book, Strange Fire, now so that I can be equipped to help others that are confused by all the nonsense going on in the name of the Holy Spirit. Thank you Pastor MacArthur for loving the church enough to speak the truth of God's Word even when you know you will be mocked and misunderstood. You are a blessing to us and I thank God for you, your commitment to the truth, and your courage to say it.

#24  Posted by Richard Hart  |  Monday, October 21, 2013at 12:04 PM

I wasn't able to hear any of the messages. Please I just read one of the comments and someone had said they hoped these messages all of them will be available through GTY. I agree and really want to have them for myself and some friends. God has blessed GTY and uses this ministry mightily! I know GOD used the book The Gospel According to Jesus to break through my deceitful heart (Jeremiah 17:9) and expose my many hidden sins and my presumptuous sins (willful) and the false belief that I was truly saved when I surly was not! Along with the many many of John's sermons that i would listen to since 1987. May HE (GOD) continue this blessing to HIS glory and for Christ sake until HE returns!

#25  Posted by Jason Harbert  |  Monday, October 21, 2013at 2:01 PM

Not being a Christian for very long I've known little about this movement. I have however known of things like "tongues" and the like from family members. I never really understood it. I think through ministries like GTY have been spared the confusion and mysticism. For a new believer I see some of the charismatic behavior as a large cloud that obscures the true view of the cross. If not for the Word of God how can any of us be built up in the faith. Proper hermeneutical understanding of the Word for me has brought a logical harmony in the scripture and not chaos (Thank you GTY). This team of brave men who have stood up and lovingly pointed out error are all my hero's. I want you to know that I support you all and my prayer is that this message spreads to those who are elect within this movement both here and abroad (God bless you Conrad). May God bless all of you who made this possible and may He shower you with grace upon grace.

#26  Posted by Andrew Pegman  |  Monday, October 21, 2013at 4:52 PM

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#27  Posted by Lauren Jordan  |  Monday, October 21, 2013at 9:51 PM

I to want to lend my heart-felt thank you for live-streaming this life-changing conference. It was an absolute blessing from Above to be able to sit at my dining room table every day and listen to these godly men expound the Truth of God's Word. I learned so much... may have been absent in the body, but was definitely there in spirit.

Will continue to pray that the words spoken at this conference will go out to those whom God has chosen to hear His Word.

Grace and peace to all of you, through Jesus Christ our Lord...

#28  Posted by Michelle Rogers  |  Tuesday, October 22, 2013at 6:03 AM

Well, as someone who has experienced the Baptism of the Holy Spirit I just wanted to comment. If I am understanding correctly, I am not considered a believer, but I thought I should share anyways. After getting saved at age nine, I walked with the Lord and spent time in the word daily. I began to hunger for more of God in a tangible way at age 14. The only way I can explain it is that I wanted to be fully in his presence; the hunger reminds me of the Psalm the speaks of longing for God. I went up to an altar call and the only way I can explain it is that the love of the Lord just came down into my spirit like a waterfall. After this experience, I began to boldly witness and brought many others to the Lord. My testimony if full of God's grace, love, and mercy. I serve the Lord Jesus and seek His Kingdom above all else; I am kept by his grace through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit and know that by sowing to the Spirit (being in the word, obeying his word, and hating and resisting all sin by His power) I will bear the fruit of the Spirit. The word of God is my food! I have studied the word more than any other activity I can think of..except sleeping. So, when speaking of the Charistmatic movement, there are so many expressions that it demands specificity. I wish that this conference would address the abuses and false teachings because there are many that grieve my heart instead of calling any Holy Spirit Baptised believer a heretic. This is rather shocking to me and caused me to wonder if we will be persecuted by our own brothers and sisters. I do not agree, follow, or study the word of faith movement because it is a perversion. I do not follow, believe, or agree with Benny Hinn either. The Charismatic churches that I have attended not associated with any of the streams that are out of line. Thanks for allowing me to share my thought. I welcome your comments.

#29  Posted by Patrick Driscoll  |  Tuesday, October 22, 2013at 8:03 AM

In reply to Bonita #13 ..... As I read your comments, I found myself nodding in agreement. I was saved in 1977 and my first church was a small non-denominational charismatic church. But given enough time and clear Bible teaching, the Lord led me out of that movement. As you know, the inspired Scriptures are profitable for teaching, reproof and correction. At the Strange Fire Conference, the truth was boldly

proclaimed with the confidence that God's Word never returns empty but accomplishes what He desires and succeeds in the matter for which He sent it.

#30  Posted by Jeremiah Johnson  |  Tuesday, October 22, 2013at 9:16 AM

For Andrew and everyone criticizing Andrew's comment,

Let's bring an end to the debate on whether all charismatics are saved or not. It's not going to be a fruitful discussion, and I want to nip it before it gets out of hand.

It's true the Strange Fire speakers see a definite need within the charismatic movement for clear gospel preaching and widespread repentance. But no one on that stage set out to condemn the entire movement, nor is that a fair representation of what they said.

Instead, it might be worth discussing the true nature of the gospel, and to hear from people inside and outside the movement. Let's put away the broad brushes and keep the conversation productive.

Thanks!

#31  Posted by Horace Ward  |  Tuesday, October 22, 2013at 9:33 AM

So many of us anticipated this conference since it was announced earlier this year. It has definitely lived up to all expectations & even beyond.

So thankful for John MacArthur...

#32  Posted by Charles M  |  Tuesday, October 22, 2013at 10:17 AM

I am in my early 30s, and I have been a Christian for half my life. Let me say that I have been coming to this website for several years now, have watched/read/listened to over 100 sermons by Pastor John MacArthur. Earlier this week did a friend gift my wife with MacArthur's Study Bible not knowing I am a 'fan'!

For purposes of this discussion let me describe myself as a Charismatic, specifically a Pentecostal. (I have rarely done this more than 5 times in the past 15 years since I prefer to call myself a Christian.) I have just heard of the conference and I know of John's views about the subject. I have read all his materials on the subject (that I could get), read critiques of his views- etc. While I do not necessarily share all of his views on the subject, I can understand his position. I am also aware of some of the excesses in the movement. Some damaging and damnable, and some, in my opinion, is a result of the development of the movement throughout history (e.g. lack of order, biblical balance, organised leadership, and emphasis on biblical scholarship.)

To hear John speak of the Charismatic Movt in his characteristic nature was not a surprise, however, it is the comments expressed in this forum that made me sad and I had to register to make a point.

- You cannot engage Charismatics by appealing to theology: I am one of them, and you cannot engage me in any way without appealing to theology.

- Charismatics are not Christians- While I cannot speak for the whole group, and I do not necessarily seek assurance of my salvation from members of this forum, but I can say it will be very difficult for most of you here to justify your 'Christianity' if you deny mine.

While the Charismatic (Pentecostal) movement contains thousands of churches and ministries in it, with different emphases and characteristics, what I observe here is a serious generalization of what these churches are about without fully understanding them. There are errors in the movement, and some of them unacceptable, but when one of your acceptable leaders commit errors I will not brand all of you into it. Besides, our humanity is evident in our limited knowledge and imperfect character.

So, let me implore you brethren, to learn to speak truth in love. Scripture says we know in part, so let us exercise reserve lest we become the stumbling block by demanding more from our brothers than what is required (for their salvation). Lest we become the obstacle to the work of ministry, let us distinguish between damnable heresies and, can I say, theological errors. Even though I greatly respect Dr. MacArthur, yet I am sure he does not see eye to eye on every point with others equally distinguished non-Charismatic Biblical Scholars. Is he a heretic then? I don't think so.

So, let us exercise a godly balance. Christ will perfect our unity in knowledge at the end of time. We are all seekers at this point in Church history.

#33  Posted by Marie Pappas  |  Tuesday, October 22, 2013at 10:20 AM

I was only able to watch parts of this conference and what I did see was just remarkable ! I hope and pray you will have this on dvd. Many thanks to GTY and all participants May God give you all many special blessings to continue His work in His name God Bless

#34  Posted by Brad Kennedy  |  Tuesday, October 22, 2013at 10:34 AM

Michelle, (28): Based on your comment, there is a wonderful reflection of saving grace at work in your life. I do not know how much of the Conference you were able to witness, but Pastor MacArthur, Phil Johnson, GTY, etal. made it abundantly clear leading up to, and throughout the Conference, that the SFC was as much about reaching God's present and future elect as it was sounding an alarm to beware of many ungodly, unprincipled men and women spreading a false gospel.

As an encouragement to you, having been forewarned of influences that abound in places where the saving grace of the true gospel is not taught in accord with Scripture for the glory of God alone, take comfort knowing that you are among many present and future worshipers in whom the LORD is keeping to Himself through the fruit produced during the Conference.

#35  Posted by Kelly Torian  |  Tuesday, October 22, 2013at 11:39 AM

No words can describe how timely and how much of a blessing the conference was for me – and I am sure, thousands of others. So much so, I wish it was still going on. That is, of course, because I was not involved in the process of the heavy lifting it took to make it such a great success. The logistics must have been mind-blowingly complicated.

At a time and in a society that demands everyone observe the rules of relativism – especially in speaking one’s opinion, hearing the Biblical truth spoken clearly by those truly concerned for the sanctity of Biblical theology and solid Biblical doctrine – as well as the spiritual health of the Church and the individuals within the Body of Christ, was not only refreshing, it was like water to a parched tongue. In this age “speak the truth in love” has come to mean to many “if you love me, you will not express an opposing view which might in some way, in anyway, remotely hurt my feelings”. Some of the most powerful words ever spoken to me were Biblically based – and convicting. Conviction never leaves a warm fuzzy feeling, but it is what the Holy Spirit uses to refine us towards our goal of continual conformation to the image of Christ.

I have to express special appreciation and utter gratitude to Steve Lawson for his lectures on Church history. To describe his lecture on the Pilgrims as epic would be an epic understatement. As they say in my neck of the woods, it was a barn burner! His knowledge of Church history reaching back hundreds (and thousands) of years, has added airplane fuel to the fire to my own desire to immerse myself in the study of the forefathers and foremothers of the Faith.

#42  Posted by Peter G Moore  |  Tuesday, October 22, 2013at 7:44 PM

Sadly, I wasn't able to see more than 1/2 and hour of the conference. I heard some of John MacArthur' comments and true to form he was his usual Biblical self. I appreciate his ministry and I appreciate the needed stand that these men have and are making. We need more of this. The Charismatic movement is a diverse one for sure and so it makes it hard to generalise. Like everything, it operates on a continuum and so there are going to be some that are more strange than others. However here is a way that we can generalise: all Charismatics hold one thing in common, mysticism. It may be expressed to a greater or lesser extent but mysticism is a basic fault with the movement which of course leads to a depreciation of the Scripture and leads to a myriad of problems. Mysticism at its core is a monumental shift from the Biblical approach. Biblical Christianity centres on the mind: (not intellectualism though) the mind is informed. We know and from that continued knowledge base there is the response of the heart affecting the will, our actions and so on. Mysticism though goes on a straight line toward the destination of mindlessness. The full and final authority, perspicuity, dependability and sufficiency of Scripture is what needs to be promoted. Our Charismatic friends don't need to be made a laughing stock. They need to be befriended, valued and shown a better way. What we do and what we say and how we speak is paramount. What we do and how we live can add powerfully to the words we speak. We must not behave as if we were smarter and so didn't fall into the trap. As has been said, we all have our short-comings. There will be Charismatics who are not Christians. The same can be said regardless of the denomination. The inroads of the Charismatic movement or the departure of some reformed churches into a Charismatic blend is troublesome. If we are prepared to study the Scriptures, it will be clearly seen that the revelatory and sign gifts were temporary. 1 Cor. 13 teaches this. 1 Cor. 14 speaks about how the gifts are to be used while they remain. I can substantiate that further. The church needs a wholesome and regular dose of Biblical theology. It needs this to be applied to daily life and we need greater faithfulness to put into practice the graces and gifts we have been given with an ever greater prayerful dependency, trust, thankfulness, service and evangelical zeal for Christ. This will show in our singing, devotion and worship. Its what we are called to. Its our privilege and it will be a good testimony for our Charismatic friends to. Spread the word if you agree!

#43  Posted by Jennifer Phillips  |  Wednesday, October 23, 2013at 6:59 AM

I did not get a chance to listen to all of the sermons from the conference yet that I have downloaded, but did want to make a comment. It is very important to the defend truth, but I think we have to always make the focus on confronting the false teachers themselves who lead others astray. To ever make an assumption about another person’s salvation is not ours to do. There are saved and unsaved people in all denominations. Just as Christ confronted the Pharisees and Martin Luther confronted the Roman Catholic Church, we should be confronting the people at the top of these systems and pointing out their error, not alienating the people held captive by them.

#45  Posted by Peter G Moore  |  Saturday, October 26, 2013at 4:16 AM

Jennifer, I agree with you: we mustn't make assumptions re another persons salvation. And that is why we need to listen to the person and hear what they are saying. Their theology might not square with the Scripture but even then we can't necessarily conclude they're unsaved. Sadly, God's people sit under some pretty wacky teaching at times and without knowing it they're trapped. They don't need a beating but they do need to be patiently loved and cared for. They won't necessarily change their thinking and perception overnight. Some will not be Christians. We need to be wise and loving and keep coming back to the clear teaching of Scripture on the essentials of the faith praying that God would do a work that we can't do for His honour.