This is part 3 of my response to Dan Edelen, and you can find part two here. After I get this posted, I will open up the comments. I will be unable to respond tonight to anyone as I have a project due at work tomorrow, but after I participate in that project I'll be back to check in with all of you and find out exactly how wrong I am about so many different things.
| How we miss this! When we denyDude: that's academy-award stuff. Very moving.
| that type of prophetic word spoken
| over our leaders, we create an
| environment of doubt wherein men
| not fit for the pastoral role are allowed
| to become pastors because we have
| said that God no longer reveals His
| will through charismatic prophecy!
| What a tragedy for the Church! When
| we toss away the charismata, we toss
| away this type of confirmation used to
| confirm the roles of specific
| individuals within the Church. We
| then go on blindly to install folks God
| may not have confirmed because we
| base their confirmation on things
| outside the Spirit. And for this error,
| we've damaged the Church.
| God gave that prophetic word thenI don't think it is. See: I think the gift of being a pastor/teacher/overseer is still present in the church – the church would be completely useless without these offices; it would be a meaningless gathering. Moreover, these are plainly gifts of the Spirit (cf. 1 Cor 12). But the question here is whether or not a miraculous event co-terminus with the laying on of hands is the vehicle by which the Spirit provides these gifts, and if a prophecy must precede that event. That is, in what way is Timothy's ordination normative for the church today?
| and He will do so today if we believe
| that He will. Our problem is that too
| many people say the charismata have
| ceased. Therefore, God has given us
| over to the vagaries of installing
| people into positions of leadership
| who do not have His confirmation by
| means of prophetic revelation.
| The implication is clear.
Be careful that you answer consistent with the way charismatics view giftedness prior to ordination. I think if you answer this by thinking about how one is called by the church to ministry, you'll find a very different model – which is like the one described in the Bible -- hidden under your charismatic enthusiasm.
| 5. Are the charismatic gifts necessaryI'm interested in this flaw, but before we go there, let's consider one of yours: the problem of specificity. No one would disagree, btw, that the church is called to be a witness for Christ "to the ends of the earth". The question is whether every generation, and indeed every believer, must experience Pentecost.
| or not?
| Jesus Christ believes the gifts are
| necessary because He gave them to
| His Church to establish it throught the
| world and through time:
| But you will receive power when the
| Holy Spirit has come upon you, and
| you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem
| and in all Judea and Samaria, and to
| the end of the earth."
| ---Acts 1:8
| Many cessationists believe the gifts
| were only for the initial establishment
| of the Church in the first century
| during the Apostolic Age. But that
| theory contains a profound flaw.
In your view, Jesus here promises to give every believer a "Holy Spirit" experience, and then at Pentecost He gives the first one, and Peter says that Joel prophecied this for all who believe.
The problem is that Jesus in Acts 1 says, "the Spirit of power will come to you", meaning the ones asking the question, "whence the Kingdom," and Peter says Joel is pointing at the specific event of the people then filled with the Holy Spirit, and incredibly, those baptized at Pentecost don't also share in the speaking in tongues. Those baptized that day share in fellowship, prayer, and bearing burdens.
Your view ignores what specifically happens, and expresses a broadness the events of the text do not express.
That's your flaw. Let's see what mine is.
| You see, the Church of Jesus ChristI don't see how this is my flaw. It seems to be that you are claiming something Phil, Dan and I have asked to see substantiated. See: we read Scripture, and you say it says, "X", but in fact it says less than "X", and in fact more of "Q". So your view, to me, seems to experience a good bit of exaggeration.
| never stops being established. Even
| today, it's being established on the
| frontiers of lands peopled by folks
| who have never heard the Gospel. To
| those people, today is the same as the
| first century, because the Gospel is
| coming to them afresh. And it comes
| in the same manner and means as it
| did the day of Pentecost.
| Not only this, but even in this country,
| the Gospel is still being established
| because we continue to establish it
| from one generation to the next. The
| frontier exists even in a country like
| ours filled with churches because we
| must establish the next generation in
| Christ or else the Church here will
| cease to exist.
So then when you say, "Well, the church experiences 'X' in places you can never see, and to a lesser degree in places you can see," all I say in reply is, "Dude: if your reporting is of the same type as your exegesis, I'd like an example I can check against your description."
So here we are again: it'd be nice to have an example to compare to your description.
| Your basic premise ("The CharismaticI love a good teaching metaphor, btw. It tells us as much about the teacher as it does about the thing he is describing.
| Gifts, as manifest today, point people
| to Jesus Christ.") has a subtle
| underlying flaw we must examine if
| this is to make sense.
| A rich landowner approaches a poorYeah, hold on a second. That is exactly the point of the thesis statement which you gladly accepted. It's a little self-ignorant of you not to see yourself in the poor man here.
| man and asks the poor man to build
| him a house. The rich man provides
| all the tools, the best made. Because
| the rich man is an expert builder, he
| promises to teach the poor man
| everything he knows. And this he
| does. The poor man is given the
| riches of the wealthy man to complete
| the work. So the poor man, with all
| that has been given him by the rich
| man, builds a magnificent house.
| When the house is complete, the
| wealthy man comes to inspect the
| beautiful the house the poor man has
| built for him. The poor man thanks
| the rich man for the job and for the
| bountiful pay the rich man gave him.
| The rich man offers to make the poor
| man the chief carpenter of all the
| houses he wishes to build. When the
| rich man asks the now no-longer-
| poor man what he thinks of the house
| and his new position in life because of
| the rich man's generosity, the man
| says, "Look at this hammer! It's
| amazing. I've never seen a hammer
| like this. And this drill! Wow."
| You see, the once-poor man was
| looking at the wrong thing. His
| fixation was on the tool, not on the
| Jesus Christ gave the charismata at
| Pentecost to accomplish His
| commission to the Church. He
| Himself does not fixate on the tools
| because the tools are subservient to
| the work. Yes, Christ did not speak
| volumes on the gifts in the Gospels.
| He does not go into great detail on
| what they will be, but He instead
| shows us at Pentecost. Peter
| understood this, as did the rest of the
| apostles. We're to understand also.
Let's imagine that, in the next lot over, TeamPyro construction is building a house, too, for the same rich man, who has apparently made us the same offer, but we tell him, "Rich dude: we like to use bricks as hammers to save money on hammers. Our work turns out just as good as hammer people, but we like the bricks." The Rich guy, being a master builder, and steadfast in love, smiled at our, um, frugality, but signed us up for the job.
Plainly, you get done faster than us; you use fewer nails; you don't mark up the wood; and your roof has straighter lines because bricks on roofing nails is murder. So you come across your lot to ours and you say to me, "cent, dude: I'll give you hammers for free. It hurts to watch you build a house using bricks for hammers."
My first answer, if I am not as dumb as a pile of bricks, has to be, "Well, show me the hammers."
That's the premise of the question, Dan: show me the hammers. Show me how the gifts are necessary for building the house right. Show me how tongues and prophecy – as you have described them in this particular answer of yours – are the tools of the church today. Show me the hammers.
It is you saying, "Look at this hammer! It's amazing. I've never seen a hammer like this. And this drill! Wow." We're not denying you guys build houses: we're denying that the thing you're calling a hammer is more effective than what you might call our bricks, and in fact we are saying plainly that they are less effective and scripturally unfounded in building the kind of house the NT says we should be building. Because it turns out that our houses do go up quicker, stand longer, and have straighter roofing lines.
| It's not about the tool, it's about the... and those would be ... ?
| mission, the work. This doesn't not
| mean that we throw the tools away
| because it's not about them. We use
| them in their proper place to work the
| work Christ asks of us.
| And just as the Lord does not change,Again, nice speech. Show me the hammers.
| neither has the work He set out before
| us. We are still establishing the
| Church. The charismata are part of the
| tools by which we do so. This is why
| they pass away only on the Last Day--
| because then the work is done.
| But as of today, the work is not done.
| So they persist.
| If we choose to believe the charismataYet sadly, Dan, you certainly do make the tools the focus. Dude: "the lifeblood of the church"? Above Scripture? Above church disciple? Above the gathering together? Above prayer?
| have ceased, then we only make the
| work harder. Worse, we tell the Lord
| that we will not use the very tools He
| paid for with His blood.
| As to the question you ask me at the
| end of your post, my answer comes
| out of what I just wrote. We cannot
| make the tools our focus. The focus is
| on the Lord and His mission.
| Pretenders will come who use bogus
| tools to do unauthorized work, but
| this does not negate the reality of the
| geniune tools given the genuine
| workers for the Kingdom.
The problem is that you have made the tools the focus – and thus I simply want to see them, not just hear about them. Almost every example I can think of regarding someone who says they experience or practice these gifts is demonstrably fraudulent. KC Prophets, Benny Hinn, Pat Robertson, Oral Roberts, GUTS Church, Jim and Tammy, TBN, ...
Isn’t it bizarre that the churches and ministries that really grow in a crazy way because of the exercise of the gifts are generally frauds?
| Frank, you are a very intelligent man,Since your point about speculation really points the light back on your own claims, I'd be careful how many times you mention it.
| but you have no case here. You've not
| met the burden of proof and you
| simply can't, especially with
| speculation as to why God did what
| He did the way that He did. The
| Scriptures are clear and rich with the
| work. They show us the tools and
| how to use them.
Please engage in some kind of meaningful reading of the passages you are enlisting here – in context, as they are presented – in order that you can address these issues more clearly.