13 September 2012

Gullibility versus Biblical faith: three vignettes

by Dan Phillips

I used to drive a dear lady, an older sister in the Lord, to a chiropractor. It was a long drive, and my opinions about chiropractics were irrelevant and secondary to the opportunity for fellowship.

But she became a bit concerned because she wasn't seeing any progress, after many months of visits. So she went in to the chiropractor to question him. She shared her concerns, he looked at the X-rays.

And this was the upshot: though she felt no difference, and though the X-rays showed no difference, she was making progress.

Because he said so.

Just "progress" that could not be seen, felt, nor detected by instruments.

Fast-forward a couple of decades later, to Just The Other Day.

As I drove my wife to the airport the other day, we passed a Palm Reader, so advertised by signs which blared out many claims of wonderful mysteries awaiting within.

You just have to marvel. I thought (partly aloud, to my family), "How does that person stay in business? Obviously he or she makes enough income to rent a house, have signs, keep a location on a busy street... but how? Do people really think that someone has those kinds of powers, yet all they can do is run a little shop in a little town in a little corner of the world, in total anonymity. That makes sense to people? To a lot of people?"

(I also noted that one of the claims on the advertising was "Returned loved ones." I wondered if that required a receipt. But I digress.)

And then, having delivered Valerie to her point of departure, as we journeyed home, the boys and I spotted another... well, place of business.

This time, the sign said "APOSTOLIC SIGNS AND WONDERS."

And again, I marveled.

I exploded to the boys, "Really? People who own Bibles go to a place like that? 'Signs and wonders' — so that means they're raising the dead, healing the congenitally blind and the congenitally paralyzed, parting water, making the sun stand still, stopping and starting rain at a word... all the time! Because that's the main thing they say on the sign: not that they preach the Gospel, not that they preach the Word, but that they do apostolic — not just garden-variety, mind you, but apostolic — signs and wonders. And with all that going on, they're just a never-heard-of group in a tiny building 'way off the side of the road."

So... what's the difference?

Here's the irony, the truth I keep hacking away at from every angle I can find.

Many so-called "continuationists" (Reformed!) would shake their heads and cluck their tongues right along with every one of us — even while they enable this sort of thing. Because obviously, the only reason such follies can survive is that people have given the charlatans a bye on the whole Biblical issue of falsifiability.

How so?

All the Biblical tests of genuinely revelatory/attesting events are explained away by modern hucksters or their enablers. They either die the death of a thousand qualifications, or are radically Clintoned down. "You see these tongues are... are... they're a different kind of tongues than Pentecost! Yeah, that's the ticket. So you can't test them or identify them. You just have to believe! And the prophecy, it's... it's... it's not like the entire Bible explicitly defines prophecy. No no, it's a special kind of non-inerrant non-binding low-octane objectively unverifiable prophecy for the glorious New Covenant! Yeah, that's it. That's the ticket! And these porn pictures I get in my head, they're actually..."

You see?

And what does all that leave us with?

Pious gullibility masquerading as faith. With the charlatans in charge.

Dan Phillips's signature


77 comments:

Bill said...

What I find puzzling is when one attempts to engage a continuationist, the lack of love coming back is often palpable. Don’t dare mention a verifiable healing (of say a broken bone) accomplished, the actual hearing of a different language that the speaker does not possess (vice babbling in what is called a prayer language), etc. If you want to face head on the full force of righteous indignation mention “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”

DJP said...

WE LOVE YOU ONE-STAR HATERS!

Rational νεόφυτος said...

Good post, and yes, I've observed some of the tap-dancing when I've asked my pentacostal pal if I should bring a Bible with some blank pages to his church, so that I can jot down the all-new revelations! (when translated by someone else from 'angel tongue', of course, if I understand the system correctly. I mean, I can't just write down the "blagh-blagh-blagh" stuff since it would need to be translated first, I think...)

But hey, be careful dissing chiros. Yeah, there are some schisters out there cracking necks, but no different than plenty of western docs who treat medical problems by giving you a 5-minute once-over, scribble a prescription and kick you out the door. I've seen first-hand x-rays of my wife's neck, following regular adjustments, with the natural bend progressively being restored and clearly visible in the pre/post x-rays. There's no pharma in the world that could produce results like that. But hey, go the pill-poppin' pain-killin' route if you like.

DJP said...

Thanks, Rν.

I think a careful read will disclose that I don't actually express an opinion about chiropractics in general.

Jules said...

With no guile I ask, is it really gullibility?

Manfred said...

Dan - A most enjoyable read! I must say that no one who is Reformed can be a "continuationists", but any Calvinist can.

Allen Gregory said...

This kind of post is why I read this blog. It highlights the obvious I have many times overlooked.

" — not just garden-variety, mind you, but apostolic — signs and wonders. And with all that going on, they're just a never-heard-of group in a tiny building 'way off the side of the road."

Here in the South these little buildings are everywhere but no one knows who these people are. Hmmmm.

I give it 5 Stars! Thanks DJP!

AerodynamicPenguin said...

We "continuationists" aren't all the same. Some of us have master's degrees in theology and have studied reasons for believing that the gifts (and powerful work of the Holy Spirit) continue.

Some of us have biblical reasons (lots of them), as well as having seen many miracles.

You shouldn't lump everyone into the charlatan department, or huckster department.

It's sort of ridiculous if even orthodox, Reformed, 5-sola-loving continuationists don't fit into your "in" category.

AerodynamicPenguin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DJP said...

I didn't talk about you at the end?

Kerry James Allen said...

And what drives this stuff but the age old sin of pride? When did you ever meet a "signs and wonders" person who didn't feel sorry for you because you haven't experienced speaking in an angelic language, been slain in the Spirit, received a word from God that you didn't get, and seen "many" healings?

"Pride takes a thousand forms and hides itself under numberless disguises." CHS

They are sincerely deceived at best, and demonically deceiving at worst.

Eric O said...

Greetings,
“Many so-called "continuationists" (Reformed!) would shake their heads and cluck their tongues right along with every one of us — even while they enable this sort of thing”

Those in the ranks of “Many” will one day answer for the “enabling” which may or may not lead to the ship wreck of some elect.

As one who has family and friends who operate in the gifts, I simply can’t ignore what’s happening, how do you ignore the same?

How do we ignore and invalidate the work of the spirit (thru gifts), let’s say of the missionaries who have been used thru them? I either have to say it is of God or the Devil.

What do I tell my friend who has interpreted tongues, that he is being led by the evil one?

AerodynamicPenguin said...

You do make some distinction, true. Yet if the categories are either A) charlatan or B) gullible, charlatan-enabler -- that leaves me in B (probably), and it doesn't quite feel like I'm in the "in" category (if by "in" we mean "loved Christian brother." But maybe I misunderstand?

DJP said...

Eric, I can't make sense of your comment. I don't know anyone who's ignoring or invalidating any legitimate Biblical-level reality. Just as I don't know anyone who has ever despised prophecy or forbidden to speak in tongues. Ever. Well, regarding prophecy, not since Biblical times (i.e. Isa. 30:10).

AP - yes, right, if I'm understanding you, you are a gullible charlatan-enabler.

DJP said...

Now back to the actual contents of the post. Gullibility: good thing? Bad thing? Why do so many follow and prop up obvious frauds?

Eric said...

Very good observations Dan.

I think it is especially interesting to contrast the "many miracles" of today with the miracles accounted in the New Testament.

During Jesus' time of ministry and immediately following during the apostolic era, when miracles occured, such as the healing of the lame man by the temple or the casting out of demons, word spread throughout whole regions and people everywhere talked about the miracles. Everyone knew them to be miracles because they knew and saw the people who were previously lame for life or demon possessed and now there were not. And so news spread, with no Twitter, no cell phones, no internet, no cable news stations.

Today, when a rare penguin from the anartctic has a baby in a zoo in Bangladesh, we know about it in 5 minutes or less. So, in the age of instaneous worldwide information, with a cell phone camera on nearly every person in the U.S., where are the people who were lame from birth who are walking and leaping and praising God? Youtube is filled with uncountable number of inane videos of cats doing dumb things (sorry Dan), youthful idiocy, and strange occurences, but not a single verifiable video of an actual apostolic-type healing. No, the best we get is Benny Hinn smacking people on the head and telling them that their ulcer is now healed. Incredible!

Kerry James Allen said...

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. John 7:24

Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. Psalm 119:160

DJP said...

Eric (not O), you have identified one of the very large elephants in the room. There are others, but that one it itself is sufficient.

AerodynamicPenguin said...

Wow, so much for speaking the truth in love.

Funny how so many gullible charlatan-enablers preach the gospel and experience the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the result being glory to God and freedom for people.

Seriously: Dan, do you think you might be guilty of some pharisaism? Eric O.'s point re: so many of the missionary stories we all love, or Spurgeon for that matter -- maybe the should inspire you to take another look.

DJP said...

BTW, you could profitably plug in THIS.

DJP said...

That's funny, AD. I am honest with you in not being intimidated by your question, but giving you a straightforward answer to your question... and that entitles you to reading my mind and judging my heart? And I'm a Pharisee?

Is this your first day here? Pity; you might have read what I posted just two days ago and not made such a foolish accusation. Or you'd have known how many times we've responded to the "guy who heard a fellow who once knew someone who was told that a missionary had said" line.

And you wouldn't say something as silly as speaking of the "many gullible charlatan-enablers [who] preach the gospel and experience the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the result being glory to God and freedom for people." Because all of us here believe that all of God's people are experiencing the gifts the Holy Spirit is giving today.

Oh, or wait — can you point me to some apostles and prophets who are still writing Scripture?

Really, click on the tags to this article and the previous, and do some catching up. So you can participate with us.

AerodynamicPenguin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
AerodynamicPenguin said...

I didn't accuse you of being a pharisee -- if you read carefully, you'll see that I asked you to examine yourself. I'm not in the business of reading minds and hearts. All I can say is that your words are harsh.

And it's not the first time I've been here. I used to read this blog, and then I thought, why did I stop reading it? So I came today. Now I remember why I stopped.

DJP said...

You present me with the dilemma I've never solved: how to help someone who refuses to read, let alone learn.

But I will delete comments that betray the fact you don't even understand the position you're dismissing. Like your last one. Dude, seriously!

DJP said...

BTW: I may make this a post, but seriously, here's a ministry someone who has a lot of time on his/her hands and a bit of HTML savvy could do.

Catalog all our posts on continuationism, da gifts, leaky canoneering, sufficiency, Sola Scriptura, the whole nine.

We once started a group post meant as an FAQ that just lumped them all together, but to teleion never "came."

(c:

Jules said...

I second, Kerry. As a former charismatic I can attest that gullibility is a rather generous term for what is more likely the age old sin of pride.

AerodynamicPenguin said...

Well, that was a fast-moving downward spiral. I'm genuinely sad about that.

I did read what you recommended. Just because I don't comment doesn't mean I didn't read. I just don't agree with you, and I think you are making mistakes. You comment on what the Bible explicitly says about prophecy -- yet overlook 1 Cor 14:29 and 1 Thess 5:21. The NT allows for a category of fallible prophecies. (This is Wayne Grudem's book's thesis.)

You can many of the same things you're saying here, but differently. (Consider Kevin De Young's most recent post; I myself will do the same.)

I'm sorry if I inadvertently offended you -- I honestly didn't mean to offend you. But I think you're behaving like a bit of an intellectual bully (not that I think you're right).

Jeremiah Greenwell said...

Does experience determine truth, or does scripture? I admit, I get somewhat spooked when I hear someone say "God healed this invisible (to the eye) disease" and uses that as a proof text that Apostolic-level miracles still happen today. At this point consider me a scoffer to your claim AD until I can be thoroughly convinced by scripture and sound reason.

As for the post, Dan, I think the more obvious argument against it would be to point out how the Catholic church fought against allowing bibles translated into the common man's tongue in order to prevent abuse. What would you say to someone who compares the Continualist movement as a whole to that, where they'd rather free people to possibly abuse a truth rather than hold it only for the spiritual elite?

DJP said...

I don't begin to see the connection, Jeremiah, sorry.

DJP said...

At this point, AD, you are exactly like the person who insists "As a matter of fact, I did study through that math book, and if you weren't so mean you'd stop saying that 2 + 2 wasn't 7!"

AerodynamicPenguin said...

Ok, bye -- May the Lord bless you and your church and your family, and mine, too!

Jules said...

As the mother of a young child I've grown accustomed to dealing with immaturity. The immature want what they want when the want it and truth will not sway them from their desires.

Eric O said...

My mistake.

My take from the last few posts, I’ve come away thinking that you “would” (not that you did), teach that the “gifts” are no longer in use.

That would mean, among other things, that the gifts of tongues and healing has ceased.

Jeremiah Greenwell said...

I was asking about the person that would say that "Yes, this teaching is what's opened up that bag of worms. But I believe it to be true and I'm not going to deny it regardless of how much it will be abused."

They'd be like the parent that tells their son "don't do this" already knowing that he won't listen at all.

I guess I just don't think "enabler" is the only fair category for everyone in that camp. But then again, I'm looking at the motivation more than the actual result.

DJP said...

Still not sure I get you, Jeremiah.

Anyone who in any way provides cover for peddling fake sign/revelatory gifts is an "enabler."

Does that help?

DJP said...

Eric O, again, I'm getting that this is your first time here. Please read some of the many dozens of posts on that topic, to which I referred the Penguin guy, above. Click on the tags on the article.

Jeremiah Greenwell said...

There's not much to me to get.

Yeah; I got it now. Mine was a question of motivation, but we all know where good intentions lead, which is how I'd answer my original question.

Scott Welch (formerly Scooter) said...

Looking back on my days as experience as a former charismatic/continuationist, I never hear how these mumblings from God would mature and ground my faith. The pastor/teachers never explain how these "words from God" were going to breed contentment and worship in my heart. As soon as the first "word of God" didn't come to pass, doubt, depression, and disappointment quickly set in.

Now as a (hopefully) more mature believer, I don't see how Blackaby-esque teaching possibly helps mature a Christian. Don't our pastors and teachers remember that God called us sheep for a reason. We are prone to stay and forgetfulness and thus need frequent encouragements, warnings and prodding.

Tom Chantry said...

I'm shocked - SHOCKED! - that there are 38 comments and no one has come to the defense of chiropractors! I expected about a dozen pro-chiropractic rages and at least one eerie story someone's second-cousin's neighbor's hairdresser had about a palm reader. I did, however, predict that most of the rest of the thread would be taken up with "I'm a charismatic and you're not loving."

Kerry James Allen said...

Leave it to Chantry to "adjust" his schedule and "pop" in with a comment about chiropractors! Well, at least he predicted the theological "subluxations" of the Pentecostals!

Kerry James Allen said...

BTW, aren't "Aerodynamic penguins" and reformed, orthodox, 5 sola loving continuationists oxymorons?

Larry Geiger said...

"I'm a charismatic and you're not loving". Thank you, Tom.

LanternBright said...

Kerry, stop enabling Chantry.

Tom Chantry said...

"Enabling?"

Is KJ now my co-dependent?

Kerry James Allen said...

Can't happen TC. We're not co-millennial.

trogdor said...

Now I'm not saying I'm skeptical of charismatic claims, but when someone keeps talking about this awesome thing he can supposedly do, but he never actually does it, after the first century or so I start to wonder if he can actually do what he says.

Charismatic miracles are the Canadian girlfriend of the Christian world. You know how you'd get back to school after the summer, and your friend would talk about this amazing girl he dated, and you'd axe about her and if you'd ever get to meet her, and your buddy would be all like "Yeah, uh, she's from Canada, and she just had to go back there. But man, she is AWESOME! Trust me man, she's amazing. But you can't meet her. Canada. Yeah." That's our charismatic brothers when it comes to these apostolic signs and wonders.

Eric said...

Tom,

Rational v... (3rd commenter) came in pretty strong for chiropractors in his second paragraph, but you probably missed that because you were poppin' pain killers.

Eric said...

Imagine the odds:

An actual miracle worker who actually can heal instantaneously in a way that is contrary to the laws of science and any known medical methods/cures who escapes any documentation from the likes of Primetime, 20/20, John Stossel, etc., not to mention any verifiable documentation from followers. And all that while he not only does not hide, but seeks to make his gifts known as far and wide as possible.

Tom Chantry said...

Eric, you're right, I missed that. I was counting and quickly categorizing comments at that point and Rational N (not v) started with "Good post." I chuckled and thought, "Yep. We always need that." And moved on.

Don't get me wrong, it was a good post. Frank just has forever ruined that comment, as he ruins so many things.

Dave said...

1) I know the very apopleptic, er, i mean, "apostolic"* establishment you're referring to--I used to drive by it every day. Breaks my heart and raised my blood pressure.

2) I know it's become cliche around here, but Trog wins the thread. I'm calling it now, because nothing will beat this beauty: "Charismatic miracles are the Canadian girlfriend of the Christian world."

Merrilee Stevenson said...

These latest posts pertaining to sola scriptura and such are really hitting home in our church right now. So much so that all I can say is, "Good post, Dan, keep it up! Please pray for me!"

Having said that, I hope you don't mind that I include a little quote from a book I'm re-reading that seems fitting to the topic. R.C. Sproul defines "The sensouous Christian":

"The sensuous Christian is one who lives by his feelings rather than through his understanding of the Word of God. The sensuous Christian cannot be moved to service, prayer or study unless he "feels like it." His Christian life is only as effective as the intensity of present feelings. When he experiences spiritual euphoria, he is a whirlwind of Godly activity; when he is depressed, he is a spiritual incompetent. He constantly seeks new and fresh spiritual experiences and uses them to determine the Word of God. His "inner feelings" become the ultimate test of truth.

The sensuous Christian doesn't need to study the Word of God because he already knows the will of God by his feelings. He doesn't want to know God; he wants to experience him. The sensuous Christian equates "childlike faith" with ignorance. He thinks that when the Bible calls us to childlike faith it means a faith without content, a faith without understanding."


--R.C. Sproul, Knowing Scripture, 1977, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, pg 27.

Merrilee Stevenson said...

...And to think he wrote that back in 1977!

Eric said...

Just givin' you the business, Tom.

Of course Rational will be comforted to be reminded that he always said "good post".

DJP said...

Yay; I'm afk and come back to some really terrific, value-added comments. Thanks!

Hard to pick a fave, but I do love "We're not co-millennial."

rockstarkp said...

This might be my favorite video of a "healing".
Don't miss the very end. LOL.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msf7VkREYz4&feature=related

DJP said...

I am so tempted to delete that video. I don't find it funny at all, not remotely. That poor soul, that poor man.

But though I'm torn, I think I'll leave it, just for a couple of reasons.

1. If this is their exhibit of "Arise and walk," it depicts more vivdly and poignantly than I could the utter disconnect between modern fakes and Biblical miracles (cf. Acts 3:7-8).

2. Let that poor man stand for the personal damage caused by this hucksterism. He obviously is not healed. But see how he's being used. He's not sitting comfortably hearing good, heartening, bracing, edifying, hope-inspiring, hearty preaching of Jesus Christ and His saving truth. He's being used and hollered at.

Stuff like that is why it isn't remotely tempting to ease up on this whole bypath and its support structure.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Dan,

I'm in 100% agreement with you here, even on the two you gave just for illustration. I'm also with you on something you didn't write here, but I think you would agree, the revivalistic experientialists, who have prayed through for "large evangelistic results," indicating their obvious apostolic type of gifting. But perhaps the question is, why do people continue to, as you aptly put it, enable these people, that is, prop them up, leaving them with a house on main street? Could we say it is because they have been cordoned off by the doctrine of "first importance." If they get the gospel right, then the criticism of their non-essentials would amount to a kind of gospel undermining. You would be disrespecting their gospel-centeredness by picking at doctrines lower in rank. Isn't that a get-out-of-jail-free card? And then, who are the enablers of those who promote this means of protection for the continuationists?

semijohn said...

Trogdor, I'm Canadian and you're not loving (actually I'm not, but I'm sure if I was I would be offended).
:)

AJM said...

Dan,
Thanks for this post. Bring more on this.
You and all the commenters help sharpen our discernment.
I live near Tulsa. Used to attend a Baptist church six miles from Kenneth Hagins Rhema
and just a few more from Oral Roberts.
Boy could I add my stories to this.
Just keep doing these posts!

Barbara said...

Re the palm reader/tarot reader, etc How does that person stay in business?....That makes sense to people? To a lot of people?"

Desperation, pure and simple. Walking without light, desperate for some semblance of something to make sense, grasping onto anything that might bring a glimmer of hope when things are chaotic and out of control around you.... some go for fun, others go in spite of themselves, knowing better but maybe hearing something they want to hear, and those cards come out in such a way that things make sense - it's just darkness, but it's a seductive darkness that calls out to the frightened, hurting, wayward soul and teases that soul with bitter honey, even claiming, as the prostitute in Proverbs 7 does, to be paying her vows and offering her sacrifices as some of your money goes to her church.

I speak from past experience with these charlatans. As to the rest, I can't answer.

one busy mom said...

Great post -

Most debates I've had with friends with Charismatic leanings have degenerated into some form of: "well you have your Bible, but I have the Spirit & Spirit trumps Bible".

They claim to affirm Scripture, but have a low regard for it. I don't know what is actually preached in their churches, but what they've come away with is alarming!

As to pious gulliblity, one of the more bizarre experiences I've had was at a Christian moms’ breakfast about 15 years ago. The weather was bad and I commented that we might get a tornado. I was practically tackled by several hysterical women who were convinced that I had just "spoken" a tornado into existence. Nothing I could say would convince them otherwise. I tried everything: Scripture, common sense, the fact that no tornado was in sight....all to no avail. They remained convinced that I had just created a tornado - out of nothing - by my words alone. Tragic!

You know, I always wondered how anyone could believe nonsense like that & who on earth would preach it. "Pious gullibility masquerading as faith. With the charlatans in charge" certainly sums it up!

Barbara said...

One busy mom, it sounds like those women believed that your words have more power than theirs! That's the logic inherent in that. Even so, that line of thinking comes straight from the garden: Ye shall be as gods.

Barbara said...

From *the serpent in* the garden, that is.

DJP said...

OBM, you're a nicer person than I. If I'd gotten that response, it might have gone like this:

Me: So you're saying that, if I say something, it will come to pass?

Them: YES!!!

Me: Cool! Okay, then... You all might grow the heck up! There. Let's see how that goes.

rockstarkp said...

Dan,
I think I should repent of the "LOL" when posting that video.
I shouldn't mock or laugh at people who are being fooled into thinking that man was healed.

I should disclose that my father recently has been caught up in the Bill Johnson/Jesus Culture movement. I am also in a wheelchair myself, so my dad wants to "speak a miracle" in my life and wants me to "arise and walk."
This stuff is personal to me, but that doesn't mean I should be flippant about it either.
Thus, I'm sorry for the way I posted the video.

DJP said...

I'd've emailed you if I'd had an address, RSP.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. It's got to be a sort of "This can't get any w... oh, great, yeah, it can. Thanks Dad."

So you see what I'm seeing. All these glib enablers of this whole structure are seeing it through sparkly glasses at a safe distance. It's like the brilliant touch in the movie Luther, putting the mother and crippled child in Luther's heart so he would see and feel the personal toll of both Tetzel and the uprising.

rockstarkp said...

In an ironic sort of way, as my dad found the hyper-charismatic movement, I found Reformed theology.

I think I've found the better balance of understanding suffering in the world today and that God does not promise perfect health and healing today because we still live in a fallen world.
Thus, I don't worry about being miraculously healed today. I know that is the promise of the Kingdom to come.
I am most thankful that God saved an undeserving sinner like me. And even though I was born with muscular dystrophy, I can still praise God for what he has done and will continue to do.

BTW, this post was very helpful to me on the sufficiency issue.
rich-provisions-and-two-sons-parable

AJM said...

Re: one busy mom,
Have you heard the "don't put God in a box" when trying to refute their beliefs from Scripture?

Jim Pemberton said...

Don't Christians find daily life miraculous enough? If we got what we deserved, none of us would be around because God would have nixed the whole project long ago. If God sustains His creation, then every little thing is supernaturally upheld.

While I have no doubt that some exceptional things happen (I know too many Christian Arabs who have come to Christ because they had a vision of Him) the Bible gives no indication that exceptional things are to be normative in the Christian life. If we seek the exceptional, then we will learn to trust in it instead of the One who creates and sustains all things. Oh look, plenty of examples...

naturgesetz said...

When I read this post yesterday morning I was wondering how cessationism could accommodate belief that God answers prayers. Jim Pemberton's take that these things are possible but not normative seems to be the answer. But I still wonder if it is a matter of the degree to which we allow for miracles.

DJP said...

That only means that you literally do not understand the first, most basic, simple, rudimentary thing about cessationism.

Sir Aaron said...

@Chantry:

I once arrested a psychic. She made the Tonight Show when Jay Leno made fun of her for not predicting her own arrest.

So that's one post about psychics.

one busy mom said...

Dan,

Wow, I wish I had thought of saying something like that - I was just in too much shock.

Barbara: exactly!

AJM, yes I've heard that one, and other versions of it ,"I don't believe in limiting God" is big.

This stuff is SO rampant in my area.

I love reading these blogs because it gives me a better idea of how to intelligently debate this. Honestly, I doubt any discussion I've ever had with these folks has ever accomplished anything ........ other than raise a few tempers.

I'm just praying God will bring in more Godly men to preach and teach clearly on this. Even in my own church, the only voices opposed to continuationism and the chaos it spawns are coming from the pews - not the pulpit.

rockstarkp said...

In an email discussion with my dad, discussing an article/blog post on a point of doctrine, he just said:

"I've had enough experiences with sensing God's presence and sensing the presence of evil to disagree with his conclusions. He needs wisdom and revelation to go with his book knowledge."

How can anyone respond to that?
It's putting experience at the center of interpretation, and I know that's dangerous.

But speaking of psychics, I watched a few episodes of TLC's Long Island Medium. I can see how people support psychics when they have experiences that validated what they want to believe.

Linda said...

Actually, I've been quite reticent to speak out except that I'm just so grieved with this post that it behooves me to do so.

I understand where (AerodynamicPenguin) is coming from and I agree with him - It is a bit on the browbeating side w/h the post & comments. I don't say this out of being rude or out of any kind of disrespect whatsoever because I enjoy coming here to learn, be challenged as iron sharpens iron. I'm a bit intimidated myself by what looks like curt answers and- the fear of man. this should not be as we should gently and lovingly lead people to the truth and not just simply dismiss people. God's word reminds me of the proper fear I should have-Proverbs 29:25.. And this is why I don't get too close to people because of the coteries it forms around (man's ideas and views) of Scripture rather than what Scripture actually teaches or where Scripture is silent.

So, here I go best I can (in love).

I do NOT hold to either views (cessationists nor Continualists) as I believe both are in error. Too often we have judged ideas based on taking the extremes and abuses (and there are many to choose from), swinging from one extreme to another to prove our view is valid and the other is just gullible nonsense -this is just as wrong.

The problem with extremes is that they tend to shun and outcast anyone who doesn’t fully embrace either position and place them in the either/or camps when there are other possibilities to consider. The Apostolic Gifts I believe have ceased (in the sense) that they are no longer (needed) for the jump-start of the Church) and nor are the Apostolic Gifts (needed) since the Scriptures are completed. I believe these were the main two reasons for the Gifts since it boosted the incipient stages of growth of the Church.

As far as the Holy Spirit not being (able or capable) of performing any of these gifts, in our day, who's to say or be dogmatic about when or where He chooses to do that. That is strictly at the discretion of the Holy Spirit alone.

For the Cessationists, whenever one mentions Jesus being (led by the Spirit) into the wilderness (Luke 4), those who refuse to believe (Spirit leading) could happen today, often reject that and confine that as a unique incident. Or when one mentions Rom. 8:14 ("For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God."), they often relegate that to a one time work. Or Gal. 5:18 ("But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law."), they often place that in the same category, then focus instead on -not being under the law/

And for the Continualists well they take verses like~ "do not be drunk with wine" in Eph.5:18 to a whole nother level for Christians and misinterpret "speaking in tongues" until it's grossly distorted and just outright paganistic. They point to their same cherry picked passages and through their continualist glasses build their doctrine on them. Thus they leave the "whole counsel of God's word" and are practicing paganism and illusions of their own imaginations.


sidnote: the comparison of a Chiropractor with palm readers, tarot card reading, fortune-telling,, yes they are obviously quack from our high and lofty view since we are saved. But I believe it's a bit disingenuous. There is some measure of validity in them as well that should not be blithely dismissed when it comes to the fact that they do have power-mind you it's demonic that is. I would respectfully disagree as to how many just think it's just nothing to it all with what I even saw in my own father as a nonchalant attitude... There are many who are frauds and they all are in a biblical sense but there are quite a few who are being demonically possessed, controlled and influenced. This is why people ARE attracted to these places.

cb said...

I spent about a month with a Chiropractor before he told me he couldn't help me and I needed surgery. (Pray, surgery comes Oct. 8)

I was shocked after hearing Chiropractic horror stories.

Guess there are good folks and charlatans everywhere, even in medicine and the Church. Thus why God tells us to be discerning and examine the sciptures so that we can understand the truth!

Thank you, Dan, for helping us further along that path!

SCB said...

Although just a lead in to your post, as a Chiropractor I find your use of Chiropractic in the post concerning.
I realise you did not offer an opinion per se so let me just say my opinions about your post are irrelevant and secondary to the opportunity to comment.
Hope you can read between the lines.