Charismatic Errors Listed

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by John of Japan, Sep 24, 2012.

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  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    The Charismatic movement has so many errors of doctrine and practice that if I were one I'd call myself something different. Now, not all Charismatics believe all of these, I admit. I also admit that there are true believers in the Charismatic movement who are simply deceived. But I think it is important for you BB folk to understand just how wrong and insidious the movement is.

    First of all, some background. We should differentiate between the traditional Pentecostal churches and the Charismatic movement. There is some overlap in doctrine (tongues, "full Gospel" teaching and the like), but the Pentecostals early on rejected the precursor to Charismatic doctrine, the Latter Rain Movement, which was specifically rejected by the General Council of the Assemblies of God in 1949. One Pentecostal has even written a book opposing the Charismatic movement which I have, Charismatism, Awakening or Apostasy, by O. Talmadge Spence. But by and large, by 2012 most Pentecostals have bought into the movement.

    The movement actually began in the 1960s, based on Pentecostal doctrine which was based partly on radical holiness doctrine of the late 19th century, in particular the second blessing doctrine.

    Without further ado, here are just a few of the errors of the movement:

    (1) Making a minor doctrine (the gifts of the Spirit) into a foundational doctrine. This doctrine is the foundation of the whole movement, which is why it is called the "charismatic" movement, after the Greek word xaris (charis), meaning "gift." Because this minor doctrine is made major, many charismatic preachers de-emphasize major doctrines. Often at big Charismatic meetings the atonement of Jesus Christ is not even mentioned, yet they claim to be doing evangelism.

    (2) Tongues as the sign of the baptism/fullness of the Holy Spirit. This has been done to death in recent threads on the BB, so I'll not detail it here.

    (3) Healers. There is no office of "healer" in the Bible. Jesus did not call Himself a healer, though he did heal people when they came to Him. He did not have "healing meetings." There have been so many fakes in Charismatic healing "ministries," it would take too much space here to just mention them.

    (4) The manifest sons of God doctrine. This pernicious doctrine was characteristic of the post war Latter Rain movement. It teaches that in the last days there will be special people chosen by God and annointed to go around doing miracles. They will usher in the millenium. Normally I don't recommend Wikipedia, but their article is fairly good: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latter_Rain_(post–World_War_II_movement)

    (5) Ecumenicalism. The movement has been radically ecumenical from the start. They'll take absolutely anyone: Catholics, liberals, doesn't matter, Anyone can be embraced by the Charismatics as long as they say they are Christian.

    (6) Being "slain in the Spirit." This practice doesn't exist in the Bible.

    There are many, many more errors, but I just wanted to get the thread started. Feel free to add to the list.
     
  2. Tom Butler

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    John, this is a good start.

    Let's also add the Positive Confession movement. Summed up, it holds that "you can have what you say."

    I must be doing something wrong. I have confessed with my mouth that I'm rich, but so far, I'm not.

    Also, John, I think it is axiomatic that if you get one thing wrong, you'll be wrong on other things.
     
  3. John of Japan

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    A sad error, Tom. I think this one has done great harm in turning people away from God when He doesn't make them rich, and giving people the wrong idea about spirituality.

    I agree. I think some of the more basic errors lead to the others.
     
  4. Greektim

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    You mentioned healing and positive confession... which leads right into the prosperity gospel.
     
  5. John of Japan

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    If you can find time, please explain more about this error. Thanks.
     
  6. John of Japan

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    I said I wouldn't detail the doctrine of tongues, but I found a book "lost" in my library that is very revealing, I Once Spoke in Tongues, by Wayne A. Robinson (NY: Pillar Books, 1975). I want to give some quotes from it. Robinson was an old line Pentecostal who had trouble speaking in tongues, which was anathema in his crowd. He then learned to speak in tongues, then became a Charismatic. So this is straight from the horse's mouth.

    "For some, tongues has been the greatest thing ever to happen; others have seen it disrupt churches, destroy careers, and rupture personal relationships" (p. 10).

    "It was preaching, then, which initiated the tongues experience. I was aware of this method, for in tongues-speaking churches, a man's call to preach is validated by his ability to influence others and get results. Many ministers specialized in preaching on tongues. The intent of their sermons was to suggest that a sincere Christian had no legitimate excuse for not experiencing tongues" (p. 38).

    "And what about my preaching: Had tongues strengthened it in any way? I had discovered quickly that, for the most part, effective preaching depended on a good idea, adequate study, and rapport with the audience. Tongues didn't make me a better preacher. Or, take another activity, one-to-one evangelism. I had witnessed in bars, talked to dropouts on the street, attempted to convert hitchhikers, left tracts with tips for waitresses, etc. But had the fact that I talked in tongues ever won a single convert?" (pp. 49-50).

    "Soon after this, I was exposed for the first time to a group of charismatic Christians who were advocating a new understanding of the use and place of tongues. Their interpretation was that tongues could be spoken at will, any time, any place. In fact, tongues should be spoken every day instead of being held back for those rare emotional outbursts. And it could be done at the initiation of the person. God gave the heavenly languages, but man must make the sounds. They based their beliefs upon a new interpretation of 1 Corinthians 12-14, parts of which were totally ignored by Pentecostals" (p. 53).

    "My growing disenchantment peaked. I concluded that instead of tongues turning me toward people and their needs, my preoccupation with tongues speaking had turned me inward. Instead of driving me out into a world of hurt, lost and lonely men and women, I had retreated to a closet to seek a spiritual high for myself. Instead of identifying myself with the meek and lowly, I had set myself apart as a member of a spiritual aristocracy. I was trying to impress. In effectt, I was shouting, 'Look, people, I'm a Christian who speaks in tongues and I have the evidence to prove it'" (pp. 54-55).

    More later.
     
  7. Greektim

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    There is not much farther to go when you start having faith healers and the concept that if you plant the seed of faith you will have all your heart's desires to then going on to say that God wants you to be rich and prosperous. The prosperity gospel is a natural outgrowth of much of charismatic theology. That is why it is mostly constrained to that brand. You don't really see it in other places (except where liberation theology is prominent but not necessarily charismatic theology).
     
  8. John of Japan

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    Thanks for the input. I know you are well versed in theology.
     
  9. Greektim

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    Not really... the more I read, the more I realize I don't know very much at all.
     
  10. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Well, join the crowd! The more I interact with my Ph. D. candidate son, the more I realize how far behind I am! :laugh:
     
  11. InTheLight

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    What about snake handling and drinking poison? Isn't that exclusive to charismatics?

    Also, how widespread is this practice?
     
  12. Mexdeaf

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    Thanks for this, John! A very helpful thread. When it comes to error, we need to understand what we are dealing with rather than just trying to minimize it or ignore it.
     
  13. Greektim

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    How about the basic epistemological concept of emotionalism and existentialism defining truth? Could that be included in the list?
     
  14. InTheLight

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    Though not exclusive to charismatics, don't most of them deny the doctrine of eternal security?
     
  15. Mexdeaf

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    I would say it is more of a Pentecostal (or Apostolic) practice than a Charismatic one. It's pretty exclusive to the mountain regions of W.V., Tenn, Alabama and the Carolinas.
     
  16. OldRegular

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    The biggest error in the charismatic movement is that among some it evolved into the Word of Faith heresy. Positive confession is one aspect of WOF as well as negative confession.
     
  17. awaken

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    I am afraid that most Baptist and other evangelicals are known more by what we are against than what we are for. We more often are reacting to others. The moral issues/questions need to have a negative reaction from the church.
    But I have witnessed that this same negative reaction is sometimes turned toward genuine brothers and sisters that embrace biblical authority yet may disagree on some interpretations.

    What I have learned concerning the graces, gifts and manifestataions of the Holy Spirit was not learned in a class room. I learned it in the mist of heated discussions.

    I will also say that some church leaders lift certain doctrines and belief systems higher than the Word of God. I was guilty of this! I held toward cessationism, or the belief that the sign of the Holy Spirit ceased at the close of the Bible. But I find little support for that position in the Bible. The truth is it is minority view. I refused for years to study it our for myself. Peace about this will come to those that study and pray this out!

    We are warned about the leaven (doctrine) of the Pharisees in scripture. THe Pharisees pressed the grid of their commentaries and traditions of Scripture. Soon they believed their own interpretation were equal to God's Word. They searched the Scriptures but missed Jesus!

    I ask you...Where is the power of God? The evidence of the baptism with the Holy Spirit is POWER. Dunamis = power! I do not believe that tongues is the intitial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They along with other manifestations are by-products of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. No where in scriptures does it say that it is a required evidence.

    Most of what you posted in the OP I know very little about and I am sure it was posted for my benefit.

    I am a baptist that believe in the manifestation of the Holy Spirit...if that puts me in a charismatic side in the worlds eyes..then so be it! I will not deny what is in scriptures for the world or fellow christians to like me.

    Billy Graham in his book on the Holy Spirit defines his view:
    Although there is honest disagreements among Christians about the validity of tongues today, I personally cannot find any biblical justification for saying the gift of tongues was meant exclusively for New Testament times...Indeed, tongues is a gift of the Spirit...Today there are Presbyterians, Baptist, Anglicans, Lutherans, and Methodist, as well as Petecostals, who speak or have spoken in tongues.
     
  18. awaken

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    Sad how someone can take the WORD OF GOD and go to that extreme! I think that is stepping into CRAZY!

    Maybe you can enlighten us on what Mark 16 is REALLY speaking of?
     
  19. Allan

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    As well as with Wiccans, pagans, shamans, ect...
    The problem is there is no distinction between them and the vast majority of what is being done is churches today especially in light of the fact that some of those who do, do not even hold to a life saving gospel but one of works (there are Catholic priests who speak in tongues as well, as well as Mormons)

    Nevermind.. I'm not really interested in getting into this now either :)
    Enjoy everyone
     
    #19 Allan, Sep 25, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2012
  20. awaken

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    I read it before you edited it! Very interesting!
     
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