I have three books I want to review and/or recommend to you before they go cold on the warehouse shelves of Amazon.com, but the Spirit told me ...
Listen: will anyone take that as a legitimate excuse for responding to the ample and rather vigorous criticism of the forth-coming "Strange Fire" conference and Grace Community Church?
"The Spirit Told Me"?
Will that be good enough to keep anyone from responding to anything I write here -- for fear of grieving the Spirit or some such thing? If that's not a blank cheque for me to do something as incidental as replying to the current wave of over-reactions to criticisms of Charismaticism and under-reactions to the real spiritual plague going on globally thanks to charismatic hucksters who are becoming lavishly-wealthy on the backs of the poorest of the poor (and also the poor people in America), then that's certainly no excuse to do something more spiritually-sophisticated.
For example, claiming the Spirit told me to predict a natural disaster and then when the disaster failed to come to pass writing it off as a little miss, as if false prophecy and partial preterism were the same thing. If someone can do that because the Spirit told him, why can't the Spirit have told me that criticism of the MacArthur conference is a bad idea, and overwrought, and plays like a turntable that can't quite get to 45 RPMs?
Or for example, claiming the Spirit told me that I will have a triple-favor anointing, and that I have 7 prophetic promises -- when in fact I am a double-talking shyster completely full of idiotic platitudes. If that can run under the cover of what the Spirit told me, why exactly can't I point out that, by a long shot, the kind of "christianity" which vomits out spiritual flim-flam sauce to take money from people does 10,000 times more damage to the reputation of the church when it is left uncriticized and undebunked? Why can't the Spirit have told me that?
Or for example, maybe the Spirit told me to wear a hoodie and a Mickey T and claim that I see -- that is, I can watch them via some sort of Spirit-filled TiVo -- the sins of other people. Especially: their sexual sins.
Right? If I can get away with that sort of thing because the Spirit told me, and nobody will question or criticize that sort of thing because they fear to grieve the Spirit, why will they dedicate their Q2 and Q3 to reproaching the folks at Grace Community Church for actually reading the words the Spirit wrote and proclaiming them against the excesses of so-called "Spirit-filled" people who have more in common with Simon Magus than with Simon bar-Jonah?
Then let's think more clearly about this than deciding that every person who claims to be a tool of the actual, personal Spirit of God who is not cowering over the experience since they have just been in the presence of the perfect, just, and infinitely-holy Creator and Sustainer of all things must be on to something. Let's begin immediately to represent the laughably-blasphemous as something to be tossed out of the company of good faith rather than something which just needs a little while longer to cook up something really astonishing. What they are really cooking up is something that is probably better called "just desserts" rather than the "fruit of the Spirit."