Joy to the world!
The Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King!
Faith-based musings from a decidedly Biblical Protestant point of view, on just about everything, including Bogus Bibles, New Age Deceptions, Corrupt Politics and other signs of the Last Days before the World ends.
John 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.I could spend a lot of time on these verses, but there's really only one simple message I want to convey: I think we ignore these promises of Jesus in a way that is depriving the Church of power these days. They have no doubt been misused, such as by the Charismatics, Pentecostals and others, but we don't have to fall into their theological systems to take them seriously. We don't need to know, for instance, whether they have anything to do with a separate "Baptism of the Holy Spirit" or not, all we really need to know is that Jesus promised this kind of power to His followers, to those who "believe on Him," and we don't have it.
...are arguments that are nearly identical to your textual critics in modern times, who don't realize that many of their arguments come from the Roman Catholic Church ... even though these guys are professing Protestant evangelical, sometimes neo-Reformed... the arguments they make about the Bible and its history...come from Roman Catholic apologists, and Jesuits and rationalists...who have made these arguments for hundreds of years. And of course I believe that because Higher Criticism gained the upper hand in the 19th century, largely as a result of events surrounding the discovery of Codex Sinaiticus, and because of the discovery of Codex Sinaiticus, this is what led to the full-blown exploitation of unbelieving Higher Criticism in our colleges and universities... and as a direct result of the Higher Critical arguments gaining the upper hand, what immediately happened after was the beginning of modern-day ecumenism...This gets him into a discussion of how the revising committee of 1881 introduced the corrupted Greek manuscripts, but especially how their arguments came to dominate today's Bible scholarship. He says we have to understand that
...Westcott, Hort, Scrivener, all of these guys, were Anglo-Catholics... That's why they invited Cardinal John Henry Newman, who was the leader of the Oxford Movement, to come and sit on the committee with them.... Cardinal Newman, his entire purpose was to reclaim England for Rome.The plot goes on thickening from there, through the work of Phillip Schaff who did the American version of the English revision, how Schaff kissed the feet of the Pope and how he was a keynote speaker at the ecumenical Parliament of World Religions of 1893 which included Buddhists and the satanic Theosophists Blavatsky and Annie Besant among the bogus "Christians" and so on and so forth. This is all within the first six minutes of the radio show, and it goes on from there until he finally gets back to Dowling's book in the middle of the second half of the show. Listen and weep. That's what happens to me when I hear this stuff.
1 Cor 14:15, in KJV "with the spirit and with the understanding also"--which certainly implies that the spirit is something separate from the mind and not understandable or graspable with the mind.
True worship takes place in spirit and truth (John 4:24), meaning it involves both the emotions and the mind.Again he treats "spirit" as synonymous with "soul" or "psyche," but this isn't correct: it is "psyche" and not "pneuma" which is the seat of emotions and mind.
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.''At the Blue Letter Bible site, Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary on this verse acknowledges this tripartite human nature:
Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart
All three, spirit, soul, and body, each in its due place, constitute man "entire." The "spirit" links man with the higher intelligences of heaven, and is that highest part of man which is receptive of the quickening Holy Spirit ( 1Cr 15:47 ). In the unspiritual, the spirit is so sunk under the lower animal soul (which it ought to keep under) that such are termed "animal" (English Version. "sensual," having merely the body of organized matter, and the soul the immaterial animating essence), having not the Spirit. The unbeliever shall rise with an animal (soul-animated) body, but not like the believer with a spiritual (spirit-endued) body like Christ's (Rom. 8:11This is in keeping with Penn-Lewis and Nee's understanding and both of them develop the idea at great length.
Rather than initiating another conference, I am more interested in sparking a movement committed to reclaiming the honor of the Holy Spirit. And I would be glad to stand with these men in that effort, for the glory of Christ and the good of His church.Here are some more topics touched on in the MacArthur interview as he answers questions and objections posed to him:
Do I believe that people in the Muslim world are actually seeing Jesus Christ? No, I do not. Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 15:8 that he was “the last of all” to see the risen Christ. So, I believe that precludes anyone outside of those listed in 1 Corinthians 15 of being able to claim legitimate visions of the resurrected Savior.He refers us to this blog concerning the claims of Muslims being brought to salvation through visions, and to this one.
(The apostle John, of course, was one of those included in 1 Corinthians 15. Accordingly, I don’t believe the book of Revelation sets a precedent for believers to expect genuine visions of Jesus to occur throughout church history.)
Furthermore, it is important to note that these individuals are still unbelievers when they reportedly have these experiences. Consequently, these experiences (whatever they are reported to be) cannot constitute examples of the charismatic gifts having continued, since spiritual gifts are only given to believers (1 Cor. 12:7)—and these people do not come to saving faith until later.
Finally, the New Testament clearly states that the way in which the gospel is spread in this age is through preaching. As Paul explains in Romans 10:14–15, unbelievers will not hear the gospel unless missionaries go to them proclaiming the good news of salvation.
In terms of potential dangers, I do believe that modern tongues is an unsafe spiritual practice. True worship takes place in spirit and truth (John 4:24), meaning it involves both the emotions and the mind. By contrast, a worship practice that empties the mind or consists of vain repetitions (Matt. 6:7) has more in common with pagan religion than true worship. The fact that modern glossolalia parallels pagan religious rites should serve as a major warning of the dangers inherent in this unbiblical practice...Phil Johnson also wrote a post today on the GTY blog specifically on tongues.
A lot of the interpretative issues in Acts and 1 Corinthians 12–14 become clear by simply applying the basic rules of hermeneutics. For example, one of the most fundamental principles of Bible interpretation is that Scripture interprets Scripture, and that the clearer passage ought to be used to interpret the less clear passage. Regarding tongues, Acts 2 is explicit that the gift of tongues produced real human languages. When we allow the clearer passage of Acts 2 to govern our interpretation of 1 Corinthians 12–14, we can make a strong case that the tongues of 1 Corinthians were also real human languages. That simple observation undermines the modern charismatic practice of vocalizing irrational speech...
Because the honor of the Holy Spirit is at stake, we were convinced that we could not remain silent...In Part 2 he continues:
The charismatic quest for extrabiblical revelation, subjective impressions, ecstatic experiences, and so on, represents a massive danger to the church. Error is still error, even if there are true believers who embrace and espouse it...
The reality is that the gospel being proclaimed and believed by the majority of charismatics around the world is not the biblical gospel...
[It] breaks my heart to think that hundreds of millions of souls are being caught up into a movement where they are being seduced by false forms of the gospel.
Now someone might ask, “But isn’t this a secondary issue?” I would respond by asking, “Is the true understanding of the dignity of the Holy Spirit a secondary issue?” That’s a frightening notion, since the worship of the true God in the true way is our highest priority. And this issue has dramatic implications both for how we view God and for how we worship Him...These are strong statements, but for the most part the Continuationists or Charismatics have been reacting against the very idea of criticizing "another branch of the Church" and denigrating the Conference as focusing on secondary issues to no good purpose, rather than addressing the actual arguments presented at the Conference.
[Most objections don't]... take into account both the severity and the ubiquity of the charismatic error on the global level. Errant pneumatology is not ancillary to the charismatic movement. It is the very thing that defines it. And when an entire movement is defined by a heterodox theology that threatens the purity of the church by tolerating and even promoting false forms of the gospel, it must be boldly confronted...
I’m around average Pentecostals in my congregation and campus ministry. I’m not constantly around denominational leaders or scholars. And among most congregants the likes of Osteen, Meyer, Copeland, and Shuttlesworth are incredibly popular.INCREDIBLE DAMAGE OF PROSPERITY TEACHING IN WORLD MISSIONS. Nobody else on the Continuationist side has said such a thing that I know of. And he concludes with this:
I’ve heard demands for MacArthur to evaluate us by looking at French Arrington or Stanley Horton. To be completely honest, my congregants have no clue who those men are (apart from perhaps a vague familiarity established by sermon references). My congregants do know who Kenneth Hagin is, or who T.D. Jakes is. I don’t think MacArthur’s concern is primarily with the Pentecostals who hold Horton in high esteem. It’s with the congregants who hold Jakes and Copeland in high esteem, and given that priority, MacArthur’s approach makes more sense.
MacArthur wasn’t looking to spark a debate in peer-reviewed literature. He was looking to engage at the popular level, and he has been wildly successful at this. It’s the popular level where the false teachers and excesses are often a problem, and it makes sense to aim there.
It should also be noted that TBN is exported to other countries. They broadcast all over the world. They broadcast to Christians who don’t have the benefit of owning their own Bibles. The incredible damage of Prosperity teaching in world missions must be carefully observed.
We Pentecostals and Charismatics needed to be offended, I’m afraid it may be the only thing that will make us think critically and Biblically about ourselves as a movement. And for this offense I want to thank John MacArthur and the participants in the Strange Fire Conference. The most hurtful thing about that conference is not the broad generalizations, sweeping condemnations, or lack of distinctions. For me as a Pentecostal the most hurtful thing about the Strange Fire Conference is my knowledge that far too many of the criticisms are true.Right. We can all read the books by the pastors and theologians but it's our friends in the congregations we hear from most, and although I'm no longer part of the charismatic movement I do still have friends who are. Some are into the Prosperity Gospel or at least into the related idea that miraculous healings are promised to us if we ask for them. They can quote the Bible on this.
The argument for cessationism is simple: the "revelatory gifts" of the New Testament were for the purpose of revealing scripture and since that is now done, we don't need those gifts. So they've ceased.Yes, that's a simple enough statement of the Cessationist position, but how that position was defended at the Conference is not how it was characterized on the radio program. Both on the program and in Carpenter's article, the appeal is made to 1 Corinthians 13 as supposedly saying that the gifts will cease "when the perfect comes" understood to mean "when the canon is established," which is NOT any argument that I heard at the Conference, or if it was it went in one ear and out the other. I'd heard that sort of argument for years and it never convinced me that the gifts have ceased and I'm not at all surprised it doesn't convince anyone else. But that was NOT the argument that DID convince me that I heard at the Conference and it makes me wonder if this long after the Conference neither Brown nor Carpenter has actually HEARD the arguments made there.