Let me stipulate emphatically that there are not merely good but excellent brothers and sisters who have an affectionate blind spot when it comes to Charismaticism. Let me further stipulate that I have no doubt whatsoever that, among those otherwise good-hearted, bright-brained, right-spirited spiritual sibs their intent is to glorify God. All of Scripture to the contrary notwithsthanding, they really believe that to "deny" the para-Biblical semi-continuance of pale imitations of some revelatory/attesting gifts is to hamper God, to downplay the spiritual, to handcuff the Holy One.
And nobody wants to do that.
But as always happens, when we don't yield to all of Scripture, our attempts to help God always end up injuring rather than enhancing His fame.
Let's examine a short list of excuses "continuationists" make for God's failure to keep up what He used to do on the level at which He used to do it.
- He really is doing it, you Christians are just not looking in the right places.
- He really is doing it, He's just not doing it here in the First World.
- He really is doing it; see, I know this lady who was prayed-for and got better.
- He would really love to do it, but unbelief is stopping Him.
The second is also a constant. It has in common with all "continuationism" that it thrives on non-falsifiability. If you indulge in this line of dodge, you can always raise the rung. You know? Like this:
Biblical Christian: As Scripture indicates would happen, there is no evidence of apostolic revelatory and attesting gifts continuing past the first century.
Continuationist: But they're happening right now in Florida.
Biblical Christian: I watched the videos, and I went to Florida, and nothing of the sort was happening.
Continuationist: Um... that's because you didn't go to Kaoma, in Zambia! Oh boy oh boy, it's going great guns over in Kaoma! No cameras, no objective observers, no first-hand evidence... but boy oh boy, holy fire from heaven!
Biblical Christian: Uh huh.The third indicates someone who just hasn't heard a word that Biblical Christians who really-really believe in the sufficiency of Scripture have said. This is a sure-fire is a dead giveaway: every time some would-be continuationist says, "Ah, but I in contrast to you believe that God still heals," laying it down as some kind of trump-card, you know you're dealing with sheer, deliberate ignorance. There is no excuse for it, never has been. No Biblical Christian has ever denied that God heals. It's a red herring.
How many of the original tongue-speakers believed in speaking in tongues before they spoke in tongues?
So: if it weren't for disbelief in God's own testimony, fueled by discontentment in Christ, and propped up by the support-system of good-hearted, well-meaning enablers willing to supply an endless chain of excuses and dodges and irrelevancies, "continuationism" would most often be mentioned in the same breath as "geocentrism."
And in the same verb-tense.