03 December 2013

Continusmaticism: lunges and ripostes — the research phase

by Dan Phillips

This is probably too ambitious, and I probably don't have the time.

That rousing beginning uttered: Continusmatics keep recycling the same lame challenges and comebacks and evasions that have already been answered over and over. Though each quip has been killed dead more times than Freddy and Jason combined, they're always pulled out of a hat as if they'd just sprung fresh from Zeus' brow, never heard before, never answered even once (let alone myriad times), and always produced with the invincible air of the Aha.

This happens a lot in Twitter, where I guess I get followers (or non-following drive-bys) who don't know who I am and haven't actually read any of the dozens of articles I've ever written on these subjects. So I've taken simply not to wasting my time on folks who don't "follow" me, because there's no context there, and I've no time to do each lazy challenger's research for him.

So in that all, I've often thought it'd be nice just to be able to give a link, say "Read #47," and be done with it. Create a master post, with as many comebacks and/or links as I can manage, maybe let it grow like the Axioms post, and use it.


That's what this is for: research for a future post. To be written, you know, in my spare time.

HERE ARE THE RULES, AND LO! THEY ARE RULEY-RULES:
  1. Anyone (who hasn't been banned) can play. Charismatic, non-, apostolic, third-wave, tenth-degree, 49th parallel, second amendment... whatever. 
  2. But the comment must be one sentence long or I will delete it. Comment as many times as warranted, but each comment must be one sentence long, and must be what the next rule says it must be.
  3. The comment is and must be only something a Charismatic says either to defend, go on offense for, or dodge the implications of his position.
  4. For examples, see below.
Simple, eh? Yeah, I know; "We'll see."

So I'll start it with these examples:
  1. God still heals.
  2. The Bible says "earnestly desire to prophesy" (1 Cor. 14:39)
  3. The Bible says "do not forbid speaking in tongues" (1 Cor. 14:39)
  4. The Bible says "do not despise prophecies" (1 Thess. 5:20)
  5. The Bible says "do not quench the Spirit" (1 Thess. 5:19)
  6. No verse says the gifts have ceased.
  7. No verse says the gifts would cease with the closing of the Canon.
  8. A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.
  9. There were prophecies in the Bible that weren't added to Scripture.
  10. We aren't claiming to write Scripture.
  11. NT prophecy is different from OT prophecy.
  12. Saying that prophecy should be tested and sifted (1 Thess. 5:21) and discerned (1 Cor. 14:29) proves it is different from OT prophecy.
  13. Great Man A had a weird experience that's hard to explain, so the gifts are still around.
  14. Some Continusmatic wrote an answer to your answer of #___.
There y'go. Sound like fun? Depends on you. So have at it, homies.

Dan Phillips's signature


197 comments:

Webster Hunt (Parts Man) said...

There are parts of the world that don't have the Scriptures, so the gifts are needed to prove the truth of the Gospel.

Michael Coughlin said...

What about the children?

Michael Coughlin said...

Calvinists have done more to hurt Christianity than Charismatics

Michael Coughlin said...

You shouldn't put God in a box.

Michael Coughlin said...

The pharisees didn't like the signs Jesus did either.

Webster Hunt (Parts Man) said...

Without the sign gifts, our relationship with God is robbed of its power, and we don't thrive.

Daryl said...

God changed you through theology and Bible, he changed me through experience.

Daryl said...

God changed you through theology and Bible, he changed me through experience.

Daryl said...

There is no verse saying the gifts will cease.

Daryl said...

New Testament prophets are told to exhort and encourage so clearly prophecy has been redefined.

Daryl said...

Where do my gifts come from, if not from God?

Daryl said...

These gifts are bearing good fruit in my church, doesn't that prove they're biblical and right?

Daryl said...

I Corinthians says Paul was the least of the apostles, not the last.

Daryl said...

I know God speaks because He speaks to me everyday.

Daryl said...

Deuteronomy 18 only says that an inaccurate prophecy means we shouldn't fear it, not that the guy isn't actually a prophet.

Daryl said...

All through Acts people's theology changed because of their experience rather than Bible study, why nto so now?

Daryl said...

My pastor, never having heard of tongues, began speaking in tongues the moment he was baptized.

Daryl said...

So-and-so began seeing prophetic pictures in her mind the moment she was saved, so it must be for real right?

Daryl said...

But Muslims have visions of Jesus telling them the gospel all the time, right?

Daryl said...

You have to deal with my obviously God-originated experiences and not just keep arguing from Scripture.

Daryl said...

I prophesied over so-and-so and it was accurate.

Daryl said...

The Bible nowhere tells us not to seek the gift of apostleship.

Daryl said...

Not every prophecy in the OT or NT was recorded in Scripture, so what prophecy today have to do with the sufficiency of Scripture.

Daryl said...

The first Apostles laid the foundation of the early church so it makes sense that apostles today should lay the foundation of local churches.

trogdor said...

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGAAAAAAAAABBBBBBBBBBBUUUUUUUUUUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reagan Rose said...

By His stripes we are healed!

trogdor said...

My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night said he saw a miracle, so there.

trogdor said...

You're just picking the low-hanging fruit and avoiding real mainstream charismatics like Grudem.

trogdor said...

There are all sorts of miracles in Africa but not here, because we're too 'enlightened' and don't have faith like them.

trogdor said...

You're quenching the Spirit!

Reagan Rose said...

The Two Witnesses in Revelation 11 will have miraculous powers, so clearly the gifts didn't cease at the close of the canon.

trogdor said...

Shouldn't we follow the wisdom of Gamaliel and wait and see if God's hand is in this or not?

Reagan Rose said...

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, so the gifts must still continue.

trogdor said...

Paul says to "earnestly desire" greater gifts, especially prophecy (1 Cor 12:31, 14:1.

Brady Bush said...

You're telling me that 500 million believe a false gospel?

aaron said...

(to go along with your #12 above) NT prophecy is different than OT prophecy also because women were allowed to prophecy (1 Cor. 11:5) unlike the OT office.

trogdor said...

1 Cor 13:9-10 (8-12?) says tongues and prophecy will last until the perfect comes, that is, until Christ returns and we see him face to face.

trogdor said...

1 Cor 1:7 claims that Christians will not lack any gift until Christ is revealed, which must surely include the gifts discussed later in this letter (tongues and prophecy).

trogdor said...

Asking for evidence to substantiate claims makes you no different from Hume and the atheists.

aaron said...

(another serious one) If NT prophecy is not "secret knowledge"/"divine revelation" material since we should test it (1 Thess./1 Cor. 14) than what, in your definition, Dan, IS it?

trogdor said...

You're a big mean doody-head.

trogdor said...

Touch not the Lord's anointed.

trogdor said...

Pastor Mark's teleprompter told him to say you're a functional deist.

trogdor said...

It's analogous to the Biblical gift, so we should call it by the same name and pretend it's the same thing.

trogdor said...

Mark 6:5-6 indicates Jesus couldn't do miracles in Nazareth because the people had no faith, which is why we don't see many in post-Enlightenment societies today.

Webster Hunt (Parts Man) said...

For cultures entrenched in spirituality (the Hindu, for example) the gifts are necessary to prove the truth of the Gospel to those people.

Michael Coughlin said...

Why are you so concerned about spiritual gifts when there are people rapping about Jesus?

Michael Coughlin said...

Sufficiency: you keep using that word...I'm not sure it means what you think it means.

DJP said...

Coughlin - ROFL!

David Alves said...

I actually HAVE spoken in unlearned languages.

Randall van der Sterren said...

I am no charismatic or continuationist, but I will throw in a proposition I've seen online: "The same arguments used to refute ongoing miracles today would also refute Biblical miracles."

David Alves said...

You just don't have the fullness of the Spirit!

David Alves said...

There are things in the Charismatic movement that I just can't explain away!

David Alves said...

Tongues don't need to be interpreted when they're used as a private prayer language!

David Alves said...

One more: I've had visions, spoken in tongues, and prophesied, so the gifts MUST be for today!

trogdor said...

Romans 8:26 talks about spirit-praying in non-words.

trogdor said...

If we researched and criticized all the crooks, cons, and cookies in the Charismatic movement, we'd have no time for anything else.

aaron said...

(another serious one) If NT prophecy is not "secret knowledge"/"divine revelation" material since we should test it (1 Thess./1 Cor. 14) than what, in your definition, Dan, IS it?

Daryl said...

Acts is meant to show us what the church should look like today.

Even So... said...

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, so there!

Even So... said...

You have too much sin in your life for the gifts to work.

Jeff Dornik said...

Half a billion people can't be wrong, can they?!?

Even So... said...

It's your intellectual pride that keeps you from experiencing the truth.

Rob said...

But charismatic Benny Hinn can't be all bad because his name reminds me vaguely of Benny Hill, the comedic little English guy that was always running around really fast.

Jeff Dornik said...

Who are you to limit what God can do?

Even So... said...

He had healing rooms where over 100,000 people were cured.

Even So... said...

He raised 13 people from the dead and it's documented!

Jeff Dornik said...

The reason why healing, miracles, etc. is not happening in America like in the NT is because we don't have enough faith!

Even So... said...

You make the Bible the third person of the Trinity, and deny the Holy Spirit.

Webster Hunt (Parts Man) said...

If all we have are the Scriptures, and the gifts have ceased, then where's the power we were supposed to have when the Holy Spirit filled us?

Even So... said...

The sermons of cessationists are dry as dust.

Frank Turk said...

I tried to read all these.

Really, I did.

Barry Bishop said...

Cessationists believe that God stopped speaking once the canon was closed (at Council of Nicea).

Daniel Kleven said...

John MacArthur said that Lloyd-Jones was in the "good stream," in a conference on the Holy Spirit.

DJP said...

< facepalm >

There's always one. And it's always Frank.

And no: that doesn't mean ANYONE ELSE can break the rules. Which, BTW, great stuff, thank you.

Michael Coughlin said...

Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. John 8:15

Jim Pemberton said...

"Some people think the Trinity is the Father, Son, and Holy Bible." -Paraphrase of Mark Driscoll

Daryl said...

You can't deny the existence of the apostolic gifts just because of some excess somewhere.

Michael Coughlin said...

Who are you to judge someone else's servant? Romans 14:4a

Jim Pemberton said...

"I've been casting out demons for [umpteen] years with the help of my wife who has the gift of discernment." -Quote from a missionary I once knew.

Jim Pemberton said...

"My pastor came up and told me that I have the gift of prophesy." -Quote from a fellow from another church in my area.

trogdor said...

The Holy Spirit doesn't go on hiatus.

Jim Pemberton said...

"Everyone was talking in tongues and I didn't for a long time, until the other week I finally got the Holy Spirit..." -Paraphrase from a friend of mine who married a Pentacostal and started going to her church

Reagan Rose said...

The instructions regarding spiritual gifts in 1 Cor. 12-14 wouldn't be in the Bible unless they still apply to us today.

Jeff Dornik said...

God does not change, so He can't physically be able to stop giving miraculous gifts.

Stan McCullars said...

Just because prophets prophesy falsely doesn't make them false prophets.

Stan McCullars said...

Our prophecies are generally false and our healings are fake, but that doesn't mean it's not the Spirit moving.

Jeff Dornik said...

There's no false prophecies... God just changed His mind!

Stan McCullars said...

Even though the modern manifestation of prophecy, tongues and healing bear no resemblance to what is described in Scripture, I feel warm all over when I experience it.

Stan McCullars said...

As Dan Phillips would say, while "Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises" - the gifts are of lesser quality.

Stan McCullars said...

So are you accusing Charismatics of plagiarism regarding the spiritual gifts?

Stan McCullars said...

You're just being divisive.

Daryl said...

God communicated clearly and accurately but the human instrument did not.

Daryl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gary Good said...

We only see miraculous healings in far off places because they people there aren't distracted by TV, entertainment, technology, and wealth.

Kerry James Allen said...

spurgeon...Spurgeon...SPURGEON!!

Jeff Dornik said...

So are you saying that Pastor (so and so) is wrong?

Burrito34 said...

Are you sure you're not going too far towards the deistic extreme in your opposition to continuationism?

CCinTn said...

Since my Aunt Gertrude’s sore toe was healed after placing a prayer hanky on it, do you really want to lumped in with the Pharisees who accused Jesus of doing miracles by the power of Beelzebub?

CCinTn said...

How can you say that God doesn't get a warm fuzzy when 10,000 people in the megachurch down the street are worshipping Him in their hearts and praising Him with the 'tongues of angels'?

CCinTn said...

Wait, Pat Robertson's gift of hurricane deflection is not legit???

CCinTn said...

I feel God's presence when I'm speaking in tongues so how do explain that?

Mark Hanson said...

"The wind blows where it wishes.... So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit" - John 3:8

Mark Hanson said...

God wouldn't let believers be deceived about something as important as spiritual manifestations.

Donny said...

People often abuse teaching and other gifts, but you don't say those are illegitimate gifts.

Donny said...

You shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

It's a facile distinction that cessationists make when they say they believe in divine healing, but not in divine healers.

Merrilee Stevenson said...

Since Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he heard the still, small voice of God, why wouldn't we expect to hear God's voice today?

Merrilee Stevenson said...

The Bible doesn't tell me which job I should take, who you should marry, or what we should name our next child, so we need to wait and pray and ask Him to tell us.

Merrilee Stevenson said...

If you only hear God through reading the Bible, I feel sad for you that you don't have a deeper, 2-way intimate relationship with God.

Paul Reed said...

If gifts has ceased, how do you explain Mark Driscoll's pornographic visions of women in his church? :)

Paul Reed said...

You're just worried that you won't appear sophisticated enough to the secular world if you admit miracles still happen.

Merrilee Stevenson said...

"My sheep hear My voice."

Paul Reed said...

The Bible gives miracle after miracle for thousands of years, but around 100 A.D. or so, God just picks up, leaves, and is never seen or heard from again?

Paul Reed said...

If all modern day miracles are fake, how do you know that miracles 2000 years ago weren't also fake?

Paul Reed said...

"nosdfjifeooo jjifoowsdfsefco giroaoiosd fioeosdfojir jgiorojasdee fooifooreddfieefsdf fioeosdfojir"

(that's me speaking in tongues, which proves continuationism. If anyone on here has the gift of interpretation, I welcome a translation.)

Merrilee Stevenson said...

(True story) "I didn't know why, but God told me to take chocolate pudding to a friend, so I went out of my way to drive to her workplace, gave it to her, and she cried because she hadn't told anyone that her marriage was falling apart, so you wanna tell me that wasn't God?"

Jim Pemberton said...

Paul Reed, translation: "The gifts have not ceased and I give this prophecy to demonstrate it so that my church will be sustained and made to prosper with all riches and health in a miraculous way so the world may know that I speak through my latter day prophets."

Daryl said...

Since prayer is a conversation, God clearly still speaks.

Daryl said...

(Or one that I've heard so often I could lose my cookies over it) I know God still speaks...He just does.

Daveschatology said...

I'm not claiming my word from the Lord is equal to the prophecies in the Bible.

Daveschatology said...

You are calling me a false prophet just because my prophecy didn't come true, well, ummmm.....look over there, a SQUIRREL!!

Daveschatology said...

Why yes, I am saying that God can speak in non-authoritative ways....He's God, He can do anything.

DJP said...

Omigosh, Dave, that last one is I think the funniest of all.

Webster Hunt (Parts Man) said...

(What some may be thinking) If the gifts really don't continue, since I've thought for all these years that they have, taught that they have, argued that they have, claimed with authority that I've experienced something, that means I have to go back on all of that, claim that I've been wrong all this time about that, and maybe even ask some serious questions concerning whether I actually believe what God said in His Word in the first place; and that scares me.

Cathy said...

Just because I claim to hear from Jesus and then write down what He says for others to read, believe, and obey does not mean I put these words on par with scripture.

Daryl said...

(Webster...that was me.) Are you trying to say that everything I've based my relationship with God on, is untrue?

Daryl said...

Dr. MacArthur once said "X" and it was clearly way too broad of a statement, and he's a cessationist, so you're clearly on the wrong side of history here.

Daryl said...

So-and-so is a charismatic and he's the godliest man I know.

Daryl said...

I just knew when I met her that we were to be married, and here we are 55 years later, still happily married!

Chris Okogwu said...

Cessationism advocates dead and dry orthodoxy by muting God and putting Him in a box.

Daryl said...

But we need "the fire" don't we?

Daveschatology said...

You have head knowledge of God, but not heart knowledge.

Daryl said...

Where do you get the power to live a godly life if not from the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Chris Okogwu said...

I don't believe in a mute God dogma, and God doesn't leave His genuine children being unable to hear from Him.

Daryl said...

You're just arguing from (lack of) experience.

Daryl said...

Anyone who reads the bible would arrive at a continuationist position unless someone indoctrinates them.

Daryl said...

You Calvinists...you're just so...intellectual that you've left no room for the Spirit.

Daveschatology said...

God has called me to not take out the trash, Dear....do you want me to go against God's will?

Chris Okogwu said...

God spoke to me and I know it, I don't care what you say.

corinthian said...

BBrrrraahhhtakatiki-mokajava, there, interpret that!

Whozep68 said...

You cannot put no one puts new wine into old wineskins so we need new forms for the new moves of the spirit.

Webster Hunt (Parts Man) said...

This may be a new method of the Holy Spirit exercising the sign gifts He gave to the early church, and I don't want to be guilty of calling something wrong that may be right.

Daryl said...

Don't blaspheme the Holy Spirit.

Richard said...

Single verses diverge into many opinions whereas the Bible teaches the singular, whole Truth.

Paul Reed said...

Are you just jealous because you don't have the gifts?

Paul Reed said...

Where in the Bible does it say that the gifts will cease?

Paul Reed said...

You eventually end up with academic Christianity, where you have to believe in the Resurrection because otherwise you wouldn't have a religion, but every miracle before that and every miracle after that is complete B.S.

Cathy said...

Just because I claim to hear from Jesus and then write down what He says for others to read, believe, and obey does not mean I am claiming to be a prophet.

Cathy said...

What's so special about Acts?

Jim Pemberton said...

Interpretation of corinthian's comment: "Don't be filled with wine but be filled with the Holy Spirit, and for visitors we have free mocha in our coffee center."

juks said...

John 14 says we would do the works of Jesus and even gretaer works

DJP said...

Oh good heavens, I can't believe none of us (including me) have done that one yet.

Daveschatology said...

Ps 46:10 - Be still, and know that I am God....and will then whisperingly proclaim to you all sorts of private utterances that you can use at your discretion throughout your, what otherwise would be, mundane and un-truly-spiritual life.

Kerry James Allen said...

Would God that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them! Numbers 11:29

M.W.C. Barker said...

"Bible, babble, bobble; Luther has the Bible, we have the Holy Spirit." -Thomas Munster.

M.W.C. Barker said...

"Bible, babble, booble; Luther has the Bible, we have the Holy Spirit." - Thomas Munster

Tom Chantry said...

You say there's no example of a modern miracle, but what about Mark Driscoll writing the exact same words as all those other people; isn't that a miracle?

Tom Chantry said...

...which is not even to mention the miraculous disappearance of tweets, blogs, etc...

Darrell said...

1 Corinthians 13:10: "but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away."

The perfect must mean the return of Christ, so gifts continue until he returns.

DJP said...

Yeah, I know, I broke the rule in allowing that. I just didn't count the Bible verse.

CCinTn said...

We would be a powerless church if the gifts were not in operation.

CCinTn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CCinTn said...

Jesus himself operated in the gifts of the Holy Spirit on a regular basis and we must follow in the footsteps of our Lord and become more like Him.

CCinTn said...

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is something that the early church was so accustomed to, that they told everybody to pray in the Holy Spirit (Jude 1:20)

CCinTn said...

When the early church found believers who hadn't yet received the gift of the Holy Spirit, they made it a priority to get them baptized in the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:14-17)

D Wayne Hatfield said...

Pastor says I haven't been filled with the Spirit because I haven't experienced a second blessing at the altar.

CCinTn said...

The Bible speaks of different times when people were clearly believers, but didn't receive the Holy Spirit until somebody laid hands on them (see Acts 19:2 and Acts 8:14-17) so this proves receiving the Holy Spirit is separate from salvation.

CCinTn said...

Joel 2:28-31 is a prophecy that was initially fulfilled at Pentecost but is ultimately fulfilled in the time right before the Rapture which happens to be the days we are living in now.

Robert Tingle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Tingle said...

Though my position leads me to believe that you cessationists are lost in sin by grieving the Holy Spirit, I will do the loving thing and NOT correct you.

D Wayne Hatfield said...

This whole continuation/cessation argument is pointless because...we can agree to disagree and still all be brothers in Christ, and follow our individual visions from God.

Robert Tingle said...

There's no way that hundreds of thousands of people are wrong!

Robert Tingle said...

If only you had faith the size of a mustard seed....

Robert Tingle said...

Matthew 10:8 says we are to go and perform these gifts for the world, but we can still collect money for it because verses 9 and 10 only applied to the 12 disciples.

Kerry James Allen said...

You can't moderate and delete God's comments as you are doing here!

Robert Tingle said...

A man's ministry and measure of his gifts shouldn't be tainted by his personal behavior.

Daryl said...

The Bible speaks of the Latter rains which are (apparently) always heavier than the early rains, so the gifts must continue and more so!

Daryl said...

We need the gifts to evangelize effectively.

Solameanie said...

You worship a book. I worship the living God (Joel winces as he types that)

Sam Downey said...

The existence of counterfeits implies that the real thing also exists, does it not?

Sam Downey said...

Doesn't the existence of counterfeits imply the existence of the real thing?

Tom Chantry said...

Hey, if Phil Johnson can keep churning out two great posts like this one every week for years after retiring, what supernatural things aren't possible?

John said...

How do demons get cast out?

BostonMike said...

"I've experienced it so it must be true"

Donny said...

We are commanded that if we earnestly seek him, we will find him. Clearly find him means him speaking to us. SERIOUSLY. From This sermon series. http://centralbcs.org/sermons/series/How-God-Speaks

R M Walker said...

Scottish Calvinist during the 17th centuty persecution had prophets who foretold things that would happen

Amanda said...

I felt warmth when so-and-so anointed me.

Toby Fruth said...

Starting in the 1930's through the mid 1940's, hundreds of thousands of Germans were wrong.

Andy said...

The gifts continue because of Sola Scriptura.

Zac Dredge said...

If I ask for tongues then God is obligated to give them to me.

Zac Dredge said...

Speaking tongues is a practice; I use some nonsense syllables to get started but after that they're the real deal.

Zac Dredge said...

If spiritual warfare is still relevant then we must still be given spiritual gifts, also.

Zac Dredge said...

The movement of the Holy Spirit is the secret ingredient to my famous potato salad, and without it the recipe wouldn't be nearly as flavoursome.

Zac Dredge said...

Your Church's lack of ('spiritual') odour must indicate the presence of Iocane powder, a highly toxic substance from Australia(I'm Australian, so I can confirm this); I'd bet my life on it.

Zac Dredge said...

If Baalam's donkey can see angels then so can my cat, who didn't screech at all when I tried to baptise her, because she was too saintly to do so.

Zac Dredge said...

You can't be spiritual without having the spiritual gifts.