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Catholicity
06-03-2015, 06:22 PM
I don't know if I have actually made a thread on this but I have certainly been vocal about it. As a teenager I was involved with the Charismatic movement. I went to a conference specifically designed to experience the Holy Spirit run by the vineyard church movement. Everything was designed and set up for people to look for signs and wonders and there were a lot of people praying in tongues. One was supposed to fall down when prayed for but now that I look back I cannot recollect if I was just sleep deprived euphoric from the type of odd depression I have or if it was real. When I came home expecting miracles and elated I cried for days because life was still a wreck. Over the next years I attended youth groups prayer meetings and retreats. I thought perhaps at times I could feel the Spirit move and was more than emotional in these moments.... But I also found out that not doing certain things like witnessing constantly ( I was uncomfortable to speak). Praying in tongues was expected as was daily bible reading and not disagreeing with the purity culture. We were expected too feel God and if we didn't we were taught that we were not walking with Jesus. Later in another group we were taught not to be unhappy and mental illness or sin was a sign of failing Jesus. We were taught to be positive in a sorrowful life never grieve or worry and push away any doubt or question and claim only joy. I fell far behind. Eventually I left Charismatic Christianity all together. I have seen God work but I need not feel anything and would rather not really. I believe in God but the idea of finding him believing or experiencing God on an emotional level is something that frightens me. I would be more apt to chalk it up to my depressive disorder. I realize that my experience is based on personal life and since I have come to believe that all Christians have been given gifts of the holy spirit but the greatest is to Love one another.
My question for someone would be what evidence is there for if any the charismatic movement and how is one so certain that it is different than the gifts we obtain in becoming a Christian.

Raphael
06-03-2015, 06:43 PM
I don't know if I have actually made a thread on this but I have certainly been vocal about it. As a teenager I was involved with the Charismatic movement. I went to a conference specifically designed to experience the Holy Spirit run by the vineyard church movement. Everything was designed and set up for people to look for signs and wonders and there were a lot of people praying in tongues. One was supposed to fall down when prayed for but now that I look back I cannot recollect if I was just sleep deprived euphoric from the type of odd depression I have or if it was real. When I came home expecting miracles and elated I cried for days because life was still a wreck. Over the next years I attended youth groups prayer meetings and retreats. I thought perhaps at times I could feel the Spirit move and was more than emotional in these moments.... But I also found out that not doing certain things like witnessing constantly ( I was uncomfortable to speak). Praying in tongues was expected as was daily bible reading and not disagreeing with the purity culture. We were expected too feel God and if we didn't we were taught that we were not walking with Jesus. Later in another group we were taught not to be unhappy and mental illness or sin was a sign of failing Jesus. We were taught to be positive in a sorrowful life never grieve or worry and push away any doubt or question and claim only joy. I fell far behind. Eventually I left Charismatic Christianity all together. I have seen God work but I need not feel anything and would rather not really. I believe in God but the idea of finding him believing or experiencing God on an emotional level is something that frightens me. I would be more apt to chalk it up to my depressive disorder. I realize that my experience is based on personal life and since I have come to believe that all Christians have been given gifts of the holy spirit but the greatest is to Love one another.
My question for someone would be what evidence is there for if any the charismatic movement and how is one so certain that it is different than the gifts we obtain in becoming a Christian.

Could you possible reword your question Cath? exactly what you're asking for isn't too clear for me.

Chrawnus
06-03-2015, 07:53 PM
Could you possibly reword your question Cath? exactly what you're asking for isn't too clear for me.

fify

I think Leonhard is starting to rub off on you. :glare:

Teallaura
06-03-2015, 08:02 PM
Could you possible reword your question Cath? exactly what you're asking for isn't too clear for me.I think she's asking about their validity - possibly whether or not they are orthodox?

Raphael
06-03-2015, 08:34 PM
I think she's asking about their validity - possibly whether or not they are orthodox?

The Oneness Pentecostals, no they're not orthodox (as they don't believe in the Trinity). The rest of us Charismatics I would say on the whole are (you get your special peanuts, but they're outliers).

Catholicity
06-03-2015, 09:00 PM
The Oneness Pentecostals, no they're not orthodox (as they don't believe in the Trinity). The rest of us Charismatics I would say on the whole are (you get your special peanuts, but they're outliers).

I am asking what evidence there is to suggest validity of the Charismatic movement and if indeed it is valid how is it different from your average church down the street that believes they are spirit filled but does not practice things such as tongues or prophecy and rather emphasizes more of a standard worship format.

Littlejoe
06-03-2015, 09:32 PM
I am asking what evidence there is to suggest validity of the Charismatic movement and if indeed it is valid how is it different from your average church down the street that believes they are spirit filled but does not practice things such as tongues or prophecy and rather emphasizes more of a standard worship format.

As a practicing Charismatic, it seems to me you're asking why the ears can't be like the eyes? We are all the body of Christ after all. :nsm:

But, to try to answer more fully what I think you are asking, I think the Charismatic movement came about as a response to the "Enlightenment Age" that saw more pragmatic, sedate type of faith that spawned the cessionist movement...i.e.

9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away "

As someone who was raised in the Southern Baptist denomination of the 60's & 70's, speaking in tongues and "all that other nonsense" were just wrong and maybe even "Of the Devil"...until God showed me different. A plain reading of scripture tells us that Paul expected Prophecy and Tongues to be a normal part of worship. (See 1 Corinthians 14) So to us, we are just returning to what is expected in a worship service.

Cow Poke
06-04-2015, 04:26 AM
As a practicing Charismatic, it seems to me you're asking why the ears can't be like the eyes?

This, coming from a guy who calls himself Little Toe. :doh:



oh, wait... that's JOE?


:outtie:

Cow Poke
06-04-2015, 04:33 AM
I am asking what evidence there is to suggest validity of the Charismatic movement and if indeed it is valid how is it different from your average church down the street that believes they are spirit filled but does not practice things such as tongues or prophecy and rather emphasizes more of a standard worship format.

One of the greatest difficulties about the charismatic movement is that it encourages those who are only in it for the feelings and emotions. Several Assembly of God pastor friends of mine tell me one of the toughest things in their pastoral duties is to sort out the "nuts" without dampening what the Holy Spirit is doing. That takes quite a bit of discernment sometimes. When worship becomes "all about me", it's obviously not "true worship and undefiled".

I've seen well intentioned people get sucked into the extremes (in my opinion) of the charismatic movement like demanding that if you don't speak in tongues you're not saved. Tongues is only one of the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives "as He will".

It's all about Jesus. (I'm a borderline Bapticostal)

Littlejoe
06-04-2015, 10:39 AM
One of the greatest difficulties about the charismatic movement is that it encourages those who are only in it for the feelings and emotions. Several Assembly of God pastor friends of mine tell me one of the toughest things in their pastoral duties is to sort out the "nuts" without dampening what the Holy Spirit is doing. That takes quite a bit of discernment sometimes. When worship becomes "all about me", it's obviously not "true worship and undefiled".

I've seen well intentioned people get sucked into the extremes (in my opinion) of the charismatic movement like demanding that if you don't speak in tongues you're not saved. Tongues is only one of the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives "as He will".

It's all about Jesus. (I'm a borderline Bapticostal)
And honestly...the experience Catholicity describes is on the extreme end of the line...if you were come to my Assemblies of God church on any given Sunday, you would be hard pressed to distinguish it from say...your church CP.

Cow Poke
06-04-2015, 11:09 AM
And honestly...the experience Catholicity describes is on the extreme end of the line...if you were come to my Assemblies of God church on any given Sunday, you would be hard pressed to distinguish it from say...your church CP.

My wife and I visited an Assembly Church once when we were on vacation, and it was right near the hotel where we stayed. I was very pleasantly surprised to notice that I didn't notice anything majorly different about their Sunday Morning Worship.

I talked to the Pastor afterward, and he smiled and said, "come back tonight - we're a little different on Sunday nights". :smile:

Catholicity
06-04-2015, 11:15 AM
My wife and I visited an Assembly Church once when we were on vacation, and it was right near the hotel where we stayed. I was very pleasantly surprised to notice that I didn't notice anything majorly different about their Sunday Morning Worship.

I talked to the Pastor afterward, and he smiled and said, "come back tonight - we're a little different on Sunday nights". :smile:
Did you go?

Cow Poke
06-04-2015, 11:31 AM
Did you go?

We were already checked out of the hotel, and on the next leg of our journey, but I would have liked to. :smile:

He just explained that it's less formal on Sunday Nights, and the people knew they had more liberty.

Jedidiah
06-04-2015, 12:59 PM
On a slight aside:

If God wanted me to speak in tongues I am confident He could allow me to do so. The fact is I asked early in my Christian walk for the sort of evidence that "tongues" is. I did not receive it. I assume that it is God's will. The same goes for prophecy. Prophecy must come from God, not from the desire of the "prophet." I have a very low level of respect for faith based only on feelings. In my mind feelings must follow, not lead.

Adrift
06-04-2015, 01:25 PM
On a slight aside:

If God wanted me to speak in tongues I am confident He could allow me to do so. The fact is I asked early in my Christian walk for the sort of evidence that "tongues" is. I did not receive it. I assume that it is God's will. The same goes for prophecy. Prophecy must come from God, not from the desire of the "prophet." I have a very low level of respect for faith based only on feelings. In my mind feelings must follow, not lead.

How do we square the type of thinking that says: "I prayed to God, and didn't get it, :shrug: God musta not wanted me to have it", with a passage like Luke 18:1-8 (the parable of the widow and the judge)? I ask this as someone who questions my own use of tongues in the past, and who has mixed feelings on the type of tongues and prophecy I see in many charismatic churches.

Is it possible that you could have received this gift, but gave up your request before God granted it? Is it possible that you lacked faith in the things you asked, or that you asked for it with the wrong heart?

I'm not accusing you of anything, I'm asking these questions, because I sincerely don't know, and am wondering about the possibility.

Adrift
06-04-2015, 01:30 PM
Also, I question your statement about the gift not coming from the desire of the prophet. Elisha asked Elijah for a double portion of his spirit, and Paul told the Corinthian church that he desired that they all spoke in tongues. What can we take away from those passages?

Pentecost
06-04-2015, 02:36 PM
Also, I question your statement about the gift not coming from the desire of the prophet. Elisha asked Elijah for a double portion of his spirit, and Paul told the Corinthian church that he desired that they all spoke in tongues. What can we take away from those passages?

I thought he meant that as a jab at the "impartation" crowd. I could be wrong of course.

Cow Poke
06-04-2015, 02:48 PM
I've shared before that I had my own "speaking in tongues" episode back in the early late 60's / early 70's with one of the "Jesus Freak" communities.

I really did speak in tongues as the others laid hands on me and prayed for me to "receive the gift", but when I got home, didn't feel right about it. It didn't bring peace, it brought confusion.

I prayed one of my "blockhead prayers" -- "God, you know what a blockhead I can be - if this is real, please let me know, but if it's something I'm not supposed to be involved in, please let me know that, as well".

The next week (we met on Tuesday nights) one of the guys who "received the gift" the same night I did the previous Tuesday "got saved". Everybody was rejoicing, and I was wondering ...

WAIT --- he "got the gift of the Spirit LAST week, and this week he gets SAVED?????" Even a dumb teenager like me knew something wasn't quite right, and the fact that nobody else seemed troubled over that seemed to me to be the answer to my blockhead prayer.

I've also been in meetings where the "Roaring Lion" "gift" was in operation, and I thought --- acting like an animal is something people do when they're not in their right mind.....

Adrift
06-04-2015, 04:39 PM
I thought he meant that as a jab at the "impartation" crowd. I could be wrong of course.

Impartation crowd? I don't think I'm familiar with them.

Adrift
06-04-2015, 04:45 PM
I've shared before that I had my own "speaking in tongues" episode back in the early late 60's / early 70's with one of the "Jesus Freak" communities.

I really did speak in tongues as the others laid hands on me and prayed for me to "receive the gift", but when I got home, didn't feel right about it. It didn't bring peace, it brought confusion.

I prayed one of my "blockhead prayers" -- "God, you know what a blockhead I can be - if this is real, please let me know, but if it's something I'm not supposed to be involved in, please let me know that, as well".

The next week (we met on Tuesday nights) one of the guys who "received the gift" the same night I did the previous Tuesday "got saved". Everybody was rejoicing, and I was wondering ...

WAIT --- he "got the gift of the Spirit LAST week, and this week he gets SAVED?????" Even a dumb teenager like me knew something wasn't quite right, and the fact that nobody else seemed troubled over that seemed to me to be the answer to my blockhead prayer.

Yeah, that is weird. In every instance of someone speaking in tongues I've ever heard of, it followed a confession in Christ. How did he even know what speaking in tongues was if they didn't speak about salvation? Is it possible that he had been saved, but thought he could or should ask for salvation again?


I've also been in meetings where the "Roaring Lion" "gift" was in operation, and I thought --- acting like an animal is something people do when they're not in their right mind.....

Wow, I've never heard of that, but then again, a lot of cults did form out of the Jesus Freak movement (and so did a lot of great orthodox churches), so it doesn't surprise me too much.

Cow Poke
06-04-2015, 05:07 PM
Yeah, that is weird. In every instance of someone speaking in tongues I've ever heard of, it followed a confession in Christ. How did he even know what speaking in tongues was if they didn't speak about salvation? Is it possible that he had been saved, but thought he could or should ask for salvation again?

I think, in this particular case, the "speaking in tongues" was not legitimate. It was encouraged and coached, and followed a period of very emotional "praise and worship". As to the "salvation" - don't know if that was because it's what the group expected or....

I think these people were sincere, but confused.


Wow, I've never heard of that, but then again, a lot of cults did form out of the Jesus Freak movement (and so did a lot of great orthodox churches), so it doesn't surprise me too much.

This was much more recent - about 7 years ago - the "Lion of Judah" or "roaring lion" manifestation that came out of the "Toronto Blessing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto_Blessing)" or the "Brownsville Experience (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brownsville_Revival)" - along with "Holy Laughter", which I also observed. This was in an Assembly of God Church whose Pastor, in my opinion, kinda went off the deep end and was following a South African Evangelist.

Pentecost
06-04-2015, 06:26 PM
Impartation crowd? I don't think I'm familiar with them.I don't know if they have a name, that's just what I call those charismatics who believe what I list below.

They're associated closer to Bethel I think, they believe that they can give their spiritual gifts to a recipient directly through laying of hands as far as I can tell. This is similar to the idea of Apostolic succession, but in my understanding would demote God's place as the actual giver of gifts.

It seems like bad theology but I am an outsider looking in and I assume I'm mischaracterizing their belief somehow.

My experience with them is twofold:

1. My (A/G) church hosted some non-denominational charismatics from a state away who were acting as missionaries and on the night they were leaving I was saying my good byes and I was stopped by one of them who said he wanted to pray over me to which I consented, I had noticed that others treated him with honor and held his prophetic gifting in high regard previous to this, and during his prayer over me he said he "imparted" all his prophetic gifts to me, and asked God to make them even greater for me. It is the only time I've fallen to the ground because I was being prayed for and I resisted it strongly but I felt a weight settle over me the crushed me into the ground, I had no feelings of euphoria, only peace.

2. Listening to Bethel sermons online and hearing Bill Johnson talk about giving his congregation an impartation being something God told him to do and then he prayed.

---
Again, I might be drawing lines where there aren't none but it was a different way to describe giftings than I'm used to.

Pentecost
06-04-2015, 06:34 PM
This was much more recent - about 7 years ago - the "Lion of Judah" or "roaring lion" manifestation that came out of the "Toronto Blessing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto_Blessing)" or the "Brownsville Experience (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brownsville_Revival)" - along with "Holy Laughter", which I also observed. This was in an Assembly of God Church whose Pastor, in my opinion, kinda went off the deep end and was following a South African Evangelist. I never heard of the roaring lion, I have heard claims of dog barking coming out of those events, not that both phenomena aren't very weird sounding.

Holy Laughter isn't something I've witnessed in others, but I have felt euphoria during intense periods of worship where I started grinning and laughing for a few moments before I can regain control of myself (1 Corinthians 14 for orderly worship comes to mind) is it similar but in great numbers and undisciplined?

Cow Poke
06-04-2015, 06:40 PM
I never heard of the roaring lion, I have heard claims of dog barking coming out of those events, not that both phenomena aren't very weird sounding.

Holy Laughter isn't something I've witnessed in others, but I have felt euphoria during intense periods of worship where I started grinning and laughing for a few moments before I can regain control of myself (1 Corinthians 14 for orderly worship comes to mind) is it similar but in great numbers and undisciplined?

Some of the members of my Church were going to Revival services at a local Assembly of God, and they were telling me about this Holy Laughter. I decided to attend to see for myself.

Long story short, this evangelist would point to somebody, and they would erupt into uncontrollable laughter, cackling and convulsing.

The first two nights, he did a lot of this, and never got to preaching the Bible.

On the third night, he actually got his Bible and was preaching on Jesus dying on the cross. The room was appropriately very quiet, and he was talking about Jesus calling out to God, asking why He had forsaken Him....

This woman behind me burst into hysterical laughter, and this triggered two other people on the other end of the auditorium to convulse in laughter, one of them actually falling into the isle, laughing and panting.

Even the preacher looked stunned --- how could the Holy Spirit of the Living God cause -- or even allow -- God's people to laugh so hysterically as the Gospel of Christ was being preached in such a manner? And, yeah, I had asked God, "God, you know what a blockhead I can be -- if this is real, please make it so obvious....."

Pentecost
06-04-2015, 06:53 PM
Some of the members of my Church were going to Revival services at a local Assembly of God, and they were telling me about this Holy Laughter. I decided to attend to see for myself.

Long story short, this evangelist would point to somebody, and they would erupt into uncontrollable laughter, cackling and convulsing.

The first two nights, he did a lot of this, and never got to preaching the Bible.

On the third night, he actually got his Bible and was preaching on Jesus dying on the cross. The room was appropriately very quiet, and he was talking about Jesus calling out to God, asking why He had forsaken Him....

This woman behind me burst into hysterical laughter, and this triggered two other people on the other end of the auditorium to convulse in laughter, one of them actually falling into the isle, laughing and panting.

Even the preacher looked stunned --- how could the Holy Spirit of the Living God cause -- or even allow -- God's people to laugh so hysterically as the Gospel of Christ was being preached in such a manner? And, yeah, I had asked God, "God, you know what a blockhead I can be -- if this is real, please make it so obvious....."

Gosh that's weird. I'm not comfortable with the first instance at all, it sounds so contrived. The second one's spontaneity makes it seem better to me but I don't think I'm comfortable with that either, even if it was from God they should have disciplined themselves to not be an interruption.

Thanks for explaining CP.

Cow Poke
06-04-2015, 06:57 PM
Gosh that's weird. I'm not comfortable with the first instance at all, it sounds so contrived. The second one's spontaneity makes it seem better to me but I don't think I'm comfortable with that either, even if it was from God they should have disciplined themselves to not be an interruption.

Thanks for explaining CP.

Somewhere I posted the longer version of this, but I was preaching in a black Church once where somebody got up in the middle of my sermon and started dancing and shouting, and being young, it caught me off guard, and I didn't know what to do. The black Pastor, who was sitting on a bench beside the pulpit, stood, pointed to a couple of his deacons, and they guided this lady out the back door, still dancing and shouting.

He then looked at me and said something very profound .... "The Holy Spirit don't NEVER interrupt Himself". :smile:

Adrift
06-04-2015, 07:11 PM
Some of the members of my Church were going to Revival services at a local Assembly of God, and they were telling me about this Holy Laughter. I decided to attend to see for myself.

Long story short, this evangelist would point to somebody, and they would erupt into uncontrollable laughter, cackling and convulsing.

The first two nights, he did a lot of this, and never got to preaching the Bible.

On the third night, he actually got his Bible and was preaching on Jesus dying on the cross. The room was appropriately very quiet, and he was talking about Jesus calling out to God, asking why He had forsaken Him....

This woman behind me burst into hysterical laughter, and this triggered two other people on the other end of the auditorium to convulse in laughter, one of them actually falling into the isle, laughing and panting.

Even the preacher looked stunned --- how could the Holy Spirit of the Living God cause -- or even allow -- God's people to laugh so hysterically as the Gospel of Christ was being preached in such a manner? And, yeah, I had asked God, "God, you know what a blockhead I can be -- if this is real, please make it so obvious....."

Just thinking out loud here, but a few possibilities occur to me. 1.) The "spiritual gift" of laughing in tongues that you witnessed is spiritual, but it's demonic. An imitation of a real gift of the spirit used to mislead and confuse. 2.) Some sort of non-spiritual, psychological phenomena. A sort of mass hysteria of some sort. 3.) A true, Holy Spirit derived manifestation, that has gotten out of control because of poor pastoring/leadership 4.) A legit expression of the manifestation of the spirit that just seems odd to the outsider.

Out of all of these, I'm going with either 1 or 3. The reason I think 3 is possible is because Paul himself had to direct the church in orderliness when it came to charismatic expression, which tells me that the early churches were practicing these things, and getting out of hand sometimes. Paul never condemns the manifestations themselves, never calls it evil, or demonic (in fact, commands the church not to forbid speaking in tongues), but instructs them to do so in a decently and orderly fashion. I'm also reminded of the early charismatic group, the Montanists, who, most scholars seem to agree, were orthodox for the most part, and identified as such for some time, but when they eventually got out of hand, the church proper declared them heretical.

1 is a tempting option because Satan is the author of confusion, and it seems contrary to all that is holy for holiness itself to turn into chaos or confusion. Also, let's be honest, it's plain creepy. I've been in services before where I could feel the air thick with something, and I couldn't really tell whether it was from God or not, and once I started seeing the manifestation my spidey-sense kicked in, and said, "no, this is off". I attribute that spidey-sense to the Holy Spirit.

I don't know. Could go either way for me.

Scrawly
06-04-2015, 07:54 PM
Just thinking out loud here, but a few possibilities occur to me. 1.) The "spiritual gift" of laughing in tongues that you witnessed is spiritual, but it's demonic. An imitation of a real gift of the spirit used to mislead and confuse. 2.) Some sort of non-spiritual, psychological phenomena. A sort of mass hysteria of some sort. 3.) A true, Holy Spirit derived manifestation, that has gotten out of control because of poor pastoring/leadership 4.) A legit expression of the manifestation of the spirit that just seems odd to the outsider.

Out of all of these, I'm going with either 1 or 3. The reason I think 3 is possible is because Paul himself had to direct the church in orderliness when it came to charismatic expression, which tells me that the early churches were practicing these things, and getting out of hand sometimes. Paul never condemns the manifestations themselves, never calls it evil, or demonic (in fact, commands the church not to forbid speaking in tongues), but instructs them to do so in a decently and orderly fashion. I'm also reminded of the early charismatic group, the Montanists, who, most scholars seem to agree, were orthodox for the most part, and identified as such for some time, but when they eventually got out of hand, the church proper declared them heretical.

1 is a tempting option because Satan is the author of confusion, and it seems contrary to all that is holy for holiness itself to turn into chaos or confusion. Also, let's be honest, it's plain creepy. I've been in services before where I could feel the air thick with something, and I couldn't really tell whether it was from God or not, and once I started seeing the manifestation my spidey-sense kicked in, and said, "no, this is off". I attribute that spidey-sense to the Holy Spirit.

I don't know. Could go either way for me.

I felt the exact same sensation - the atmosphere was strangely "heavy" - when attending a charismatic church, once upon a time.

PS: It looks like we both have our spidey-sense intact, praise God! :smile:

Chrawnus
06-04-2015, 08:23 PM
This was much more recent - about 7 years ago - the "Lion of Judah" or "roaring lion" manifestation that came out of the "Toronto Blessing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto_Blessing)" or the "Brownsville Experience (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brownsville_Revival)" - along with "Holy Laughter", which I also observed. This was in an Assembly of God Church whose Pastor, in my opinion, kinda went off the deep end and was following a South African Evangelist.


Just thinking out loud here, but a few possibilities occur to me. 1.) The "spiritual gift" of laughing in tongues that you witnessed is spiritual, but it's demonic. An imitation of a real gift of the spirit used to mislead and confuse. 2.) Some sort of non-spiritual, psychological phenomena. A sort of mass hysteria of some sort. 3.) A true, Holy Spirit derived manifestation, that has gotten out of control because of poor pastoring/leadership 4.) A legit expression of the manifestation of the spirit that just seems odd to the outsider.

Out of all of these, I'm going with either 1 or 3. The reason I think 3 is possible is because Paul himself had to direct the church in orderliness when it came to charismatic expression, which tells me that the early churches were practicing these things, and getting out of hand sometimes. Paul never condemns the manifestations themselves, never calls it evil, or demonic (in fact, commands the church not to forbid speaking in tongues), but instructs them to do so in a decently and orderly fashion. I'm also reminded of the early charismatic group, the Montanists, who, most scholars seem to agree, were orthodox for the most part, and identified as such for some time, but when they eventually got out of hand, the church proper declared them heretical.

1 is a tempting option because Satan is the author of confusion, and it seems contrary to all that is holy for holiness itself to turn into chaos or confusion. Also, let's be honest, it's plain creepy. I've been in services before where I could feel the air thick with something, and I couldn't really tell whether it was from God or not, and once I started seeing the manifestation my spidey-sense kicked in, and said, "no, this is off". I attribute that spidey-sense to the Holy Spirit.

I don't know. Could go either way for me.


The Toronto Blessing is clearly an example of 1 or 2, 3 isn't even an alternative for me . The manifestations in the Toronto Blessing such as "holy (:ahem:) laughter", being "drunk in the spirit" and convulsing on the floor has far more in common with the phenomena known in New Age circles as the "kundalini rising" than anything found in the Bible. There's a big difference between the unorderliness admonished by Paul and the unorderliness resulting from movements such as the Toronto Blessing. In the case of the early church it was the persons themselves that were the cause of the situation going out of hand (for example they chose to speak in tongues when it was not appropriate), or else it would have been pointless of Paul to admonish them in the first place. In the case of these clearly heretical movements however, the unorderliness is an integral part of the manifestations themselves, and since God is not a God of disorder these manifestations are clearly not from God. In the case of the early Church orderliness was actually attainable, or Paul wouldn't have admonished the Corinthians to behave in a more orderly fashion when manifesting the gifts of the Spirit. In the case of movements such as the Toronto Blessing however, achieving anything resembling orderliness isn't possible even in principle.

Chrawnus
06-04-2015, 08:27 PM
On the third night, he actually got his Bible and was preaching on Jesus dying on the cross. The room was appropriately very quiet, and he was talking about Jesus calling out to God, asking why He had forsaken Him....

This woman behind me burst into hysterical laughter, and this triggered two other people on the other end of the auditorium to convulse in laughter, one of them actually falling into the isle, laughing and panting.


I'm pretty certain that the Holy Spirit would never mock the Gospel of the Cross by making someone laugh hysterically at it when it is preached. I can understanding joyful laughing because of the salvation we have in Christ, but the sort of extreme, uncontrollable and hysterical laughter that's found in these movements are clearly not from God. :no:

Jedidiah
06-04-2015, 09:29 PM
How do we square the type of thinking that says: "I prayed to God, and didn't get it, :shrug: God musta not wanted me to have it", with a passage like Luke 18:1-8 (the parable of the widow and the judge)? I ask this as someone who questions my own use of tongues in the past, and who has mixed feelings on the type of tongues and prophecy I see in many charismatic churches.These gifts were not something that I especially sought. They were something I thought might be of value. I did not continue to seek, I simply waited on God.


Is it possible that you could have received this gift, but gave up your request before God granted it? Is it possible that you lacked faith in the things you asked, or that you asked for it with the wrong heart?

I'm not accusing you of anything, I'm asking these questions, because I sincerely don't know, and am wondering about the possibility.
Again this was not something I craved. I asked if these were something I should have. I chose to simply trust God on the matter, not continue to seek something that may or may not have been His will for me. These gifts must be from God, not from an emotional high.

Adrift
06-04-2015, 09:32 PM
These gifts were not something that I especially sought. They were something I thought might be of value. I did not continue to seek, I simply waited on God.


Again this was not something I craved. I asked if these were something I should have. I chose to simply trust God on the matter, not continue to seek something that may or may not have been His will for me. These gifts must be from God, not from an emotional high.

Fair enough. What do you think Elisha's motivation was in asking Elijah for a double portion of his spirit? Was it part of some sort of emotional high for him, do you think?

Raphael
06-04-2015, 10:07 PM
I'm pretty certain that the Holy Spirit would never mock the Gospel of the Cross by making someone laugh hysterically at it when it is preached. I can understanding joyful laughing because of the salvation we have in Christ, but the sort of extreme, uncontrollable and hysterical laughter that's found in these movements are clearly not from God. :no:

The very charismatic Church I was in during the Toronto Blessing period, there was the Holy Laughter thing happening, but it was during ministry time, not during the preaching of the word.

One particular incident stands out to me during this time and that was a friend of mine who was in deep worship, and began laughing with a deep joyful laugh (rather than a maniacal disruptive thing) as God broke a stronghold in his life that he had been struggling with.

Pentecost
06-05-2015, 12:26 AM
The Toronto Blessing is clearly an example of 1 or 2, 3 isn't even an alternative for me . The manifestations in the Toronto Blessing such as "holy (:ahem:) laughter", being "drunk in the spirit" and convulsing on the floor has far more in common with the phenomena known in New Age circles as the "kundalini rising" than anything found in the Bible. There's a big difference between the unorderliness admonished by Paul and the unorderliness resulting from movements such as the Toronto Blessing. In the case of the early church it was the persons themselves that were the cause of the situation going out of hand (for example they chose to speak in tongues when it was not appropriate), or else it would have been pointless of Paul to admonish them in the first place. In the case of these clearly heretical movements however, the unorderliness is an integral part of the manifestations themselves, and since God is not a God of disorder these manifestations are clearly not from God. In the case of the early Church orderliness was actually attainable, or Paul wouldn't have admonished the Corinthians to behave in a more orderly fashion when manifesting the gifts of the Spirit. In the case of movements such as the Toronto Blessing however, achieving anything resembling orderliness isn't possible even in principle.

I was listening to a sermon just now and in it the preacher specifically said at the "Toronto Renewal" as he called that he saw one man manifesting signs from God while the man next to him was manifesting signs from the devil. This is from a guy who founded a school of prophetic ministry, so I guess even the overseers had issues with some of what happened there but refused to control it because they didn't want to limit the authentic moves by God while they clamped down on the false signs.

I did not go looking for the sermon either, I had downloaded it while I was unaware of this thread, and I had no idea that the preacher was gonna speak bluntly on this topic which by the way, he certainly did.

John Reece
06-05-2015, 07:32 AM
The very charismatic Church I was in during the Toronto Blessing period, there was the Holy Laughter thing happening, but it was during ministry time, not during the preaching of the word.

One particular incident stands out to me during this time and that was a friend of mine who was in deep worship, and began laughing with a deep joyful laugh (rather than a maniacal disruptive thing) as God broke a stronghold in his life that he had been struggling with.

That reminds me of a time (circa 1962) when I happened ― as a result of a remarkable series of events (too long a story to tell in this post) ― to visit an Assembly of God church in downtown Washington DC where a Baptist preacher (Frank Downing) from Baltimore was speaking for the final two days of a week long revival meeting led by Assembly of God evangelist Hattie Hammond. During the worship part of the service before Frank Downing spoke, Hattie spoke from the pulpit and was trying to complete a sentence but had difficulty doing so because she kept breaking into spells of joyful laughter. What she was trying to say was this: "Jesus is the Great Physician, with one hand he takes his surgeon's knife and removes what has to go, and with the other he applies his healing oil."

It just so happened that when I entered that church that night I was so deeply depressed that I could not imagine that anyone could say or do anything to help me. I had forced myself to go to the meeting, remembering John Wesley's testimony of having gone "quite unwillingly" to the meeting wherein he "felt" his "heart strangely warmed" ― which was the great turning point in his remarkable life.

What Hattie was trying to express in the words quoted above was happening within me, but it was taking some time. By the time she finished that sentence, I had been transformed from a deep dark depression to the fresh-heartedness of a new born babe in Christ.

Hattie's public spells of laughter were manifestations of the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit of Christ who was simultaneously setting me free from a clinical state of depression. It was as though her laughter and my healing was a single operation.

Jedidiah
06-05-2015, 10:31 AM
Fair enough. What do you think Elisha's motivation was in asking Elijah for a double portion of his spirit? Was it part of some sort of emotional high for him, do you think?

Elisha was already called to be a prophet. He was simply asking to be a good one.

Adrift
06-05-2015, 10:47 AM
Elisha was already called to be a prophet. He was simply asking to be a good one.

Okay.

John Reece
06-05-2015, 02:08 PM
That reminds me of a time (circa 1962) when I happened ― as a result of a remarkable series of events (too long a story to tell in this post) ― to visit an Assembly of God church in downtown Washington DC where a Baptist preacher (Frank Downing) from Baltimore was speaking for the final two days of a week long revival meeting led by Assembly of God evangelist Hattie Hammond. During the worship part of the service before Frank Downing spoke, Hattie spoke from the pulpit and was trying to complete a sentence but had difficulty doing so because she kept breaking into spells of joyful laughter. What she was trying to say was this: "Jesus is the Great Physician, with one hand he takes his surgeon's knife and removes what has to go, and with the other he applies his healing oil."

It just so happened that when I entered that church that night I was so deeply depressed that I could not imagine that anyone could say or do anything to help me. I had forced myself to go to the meeting, remembering John Wesley's testimony of having gone "quite unwillingly" to the meeting wherein he "felt" his "heart strangely warmed" ― which was the great turning point in his remarkable life.

What Hattie was trying to express in the words quoted above was happening within me, but it was taking some time. By the time she finished that sentence, I had been transformed from a deep dark depression to the fresh-heartedness of a new born babe in Christ.

Hattie's public spells of laughter were manifestations of the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit of Christ who was simultaneously setting me free from a clinical state of depression. It was as though her laughter and my healing were a single operation.

P.S.: I just remembered more fully the statement made by Hattie Hammond that I quoted above:


Jesus is the Great Physician, and whatever you need may be, he's a specialist in that field. With one hand he takes his surgeon's knife and removes what has to go, and with the other he applies his healing oil.

Teallaura
06-05-2015, 03:05 PM
Sidenote:

(Disclaimer: my Methodism is about to show. :tongue:)

Where there is no question of heresy or inauthenticity, I think the problem is our 'one size fits all' view of worship. Within the confines provided by Scripture I don't see anything that indicates that genuine worship won't be accepted because it's 'too cerebral' or because it's 'too touchy feelly' or because everyone was standing on their left foot. for some, emotion is how they connect and make sense of the world. Expecting them to find what they need in sedate, rational worship is silly; it's equally silly to expect those who find emotion a hendrence rather than a help to worship effectively in the middle of a crowd that won't stop hollering 'hallelujah'.

Conversely, I suspect any church that practices one to the exclusion of the other fails all its congregants: we NEED to be challenged where we are weak, to some extent. The Holy Rollers need to sit down and crack open that bible rather than literally standing on it. The theologian wannabes need to feel something in worship occasionally.

It's not all or nothing - it's both/and. The important part is to stay within the bounds of Scripture and to love God, however you express that love.

Cow Poke
06-05-2015, 03:14 PM
- it's both/and.

That's redundant. :glare:

Teallaura
06-05-2015, 03:21 PM
That's redundant. :glare:
So is either/or. :tongue:

Cow Poke
06-05-2015, 03:30 PM
So is either/or. :tongue:

Hmmmmmmmm.... :twitch:

Teallaura
06-05-2015, 03:34 PM
Other than "either this or that" and "both this and that" the constructions are both redundant. 'Either' indicates a choice just as 'or' does.

:rasberry:

Paprika
06-05-2015, 11:50 PM
Fair enough. What do you think Elisha's motivation was in asking Elijah for a double portion of his spirit?
It seems a pretty clear allusion to the inheritance law where the firstborn gets a double portion. We take away that when you're anointed and apprenticed to be successor to a great prophet, it is permissible to ask for a part of the gifting he had at the point of "death".

Catholicity
06-06-2015, 11:57 AM
I wonder sometimes if perhaps some of the things I had seen were both emotional coaching demonic imitation and mixed with the actual signs of manifestation of the Holy Spirit. The very last time I potentially felt God's presence I was sitting in mass and a very light breeze swept over the Church. A Cardinal had curiously come to rest on a window and it was noticeable to everyone. The breeze continued and it was strangely calming. The priest mentioned something about it. I have not noticed it since.
Its very difficult to discern the Holy Spirit when those around you do not. But that day? Perhaps not so much.

John Reece
06-07-2015, 10:24 AM
I wonder sometimes if perhaps some of the things I had seen were both emotional coaching demonic imitation and mixed with the actual signs of manifestation of the Holy Spirit.

I just heard on a CD the hymn "Praise Ye the Lord the Almighty" wherein the words of the beginning of the second half of the third verse had been changed from that of the rendering of said verse in the Methodist hymnal used at the Methodist church in Vanceboro NC, where I was a student-pastor in 1956. I will return to the original wording of the hymn, which is the theme of this post, shortly; but first, a bit of background information.

It was at the end of my first year at The Divinity School at Duke, when my wife took our 6-month old daughter and left our apartment in Durham, telling me she was going to the local grocery store for a loaf of bread. She never returned but had gone home to her parents where she stayed until I was eventually forced by circumstances and legal authorities to have her committed to the state mental institution where she was given the diagnosis "chronic paranoid schizophrenia, severe".

Back to the beginning of this post: It was during the final exams at the ending of my first year at The Divinity School at Duke that I ascertained ― by having my father spend the night driving by my wife's parents' home until her car finally showed up there ― that she was safely at home with her parents in the Washington DC suburbs of Virginia.

I managed to finish my exams at Duke and then went to Vanceboro to complete my appointment as pastor that was ending that month (pastors of Methodist churches are appointed annually by the local bishop).

Back to the hymn, which I remember singing over and over again as ― alone ― I paced the floor of the sanctuary of the church in Vanceboro, with tears streaming down my face, singing the words of the hymn that included these words: "Ponder anew, what the Almighty can do, if with His love He befriend thee." The modern version I listened to this morning caught my attention because therein the "if" was excised and replaced by other wording, which to my mind it was wrong to do, because there is a HUGE "if" in reality ― at least in terms of the kind of miracle that is often desired but seldom happens.

See the words spoken by Hattie Hammond that I quoted here (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?7065-Charismatic-movements&p=204820&viewfull=1#post204820). After posting that quote of Hattie, I was out walking and pondering those words yesterday evening, thinking about how rare it is for them to prove true in human life ― that is, in terms of what is truly miraculous. For instance, my first wife was never healed of "chronic paranoid schizophrenia, severe". She eventually died in a mental institution, despite my spending many many years praying for her to be healed. Also, I myself have more health problems that I can remember to list in one sitting, none of which have ever been healed.

But when God in Christ by the power of his Spirit chose to manifest his love in Hattie Hammond's words and laughter, and simultaneously in me, those words she spoke were proved true at that time and in that place for me (I could believe that they were spoken especially for me) ― in a surprising manifestation of God's love that proved to be true to the original wording of the hymn: "Ponder anew, what the Almighty can do, "if" with His love He befriend thee."

I "amened" Catholicity's quote above, because I have been a witness to "speaking in tongues" that I, as a mental health counselor, heard sounding like a real foreign language coming from the mouth of an illiterate patient of mine in a local mental health center. The "foreign" words were spoken with an affect of fierce anger, which in my best judgement at the time seemed to be rather demonic.

I have also all too often seen pastors and worship leaders whipping up emotionalism in imitations of true spiritual giftings.

I for one have never allowed such manifestations of what seems demonic on the one hand, or manipulation of human emotion on the other hand, to cause me to "throw out the baby with the bath water" ― because I have experienced real manifestations of God's love in real giftings of his Spirit.

NorrinRadd
04-02-2016, 02:10 AM
Somewhere I posted the longer version of this, but I was preaching in a black Church once where somebody got up in the middle of my sermon and started dancing and shouting, and being young, it caught me off guard, and I didn't know what to do. The black Pastor, who was sitting on a bench beside the pulpit, stood, pointed to a couple of his deacons, and they guided this lady out the back door, still dancing and shouting.

He then looked at me and said something very profound .... "The Holy Spirit don't NEVER interrupt Himself". :smile:

That's a good general principle that should not be applied as a strict universal rule.

In Acts 10:44, Peter was "still speaking" (presumably preaching by the Spirit) when the Spirit fell on his audience and they started exalting God in other languages.

NorrinRadd
04-02-2016, 02:16 AM
...

This was much more recent - about 7 years ago - the "Lion of Judah" or "roaring lion" manifestation that came out of the "Toronto Blessing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto_Blessing)" or the "Brownsville Experience (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brownsville_Revival)" - along with "Holy Laughter", which I also observed. This was in an Assembly of God Church whose Pastor, in my opinion, kinda went off the deep end and was following a South African Evangelist.

Rodney Howard-Browne? Or... Hmm... Maybe I'm confusing him with Randy Clark.

The AG officially advises caution and scrutiny in regard to such "exotic" manifestations. I'll look up the paper if anyone wishes.

The Full Gospel church I used to attend had a lot of "holy laughter" and getting "drunk in the Spirit" several years before anyone ever heard of the Toronto Airport Vineyard. It was ok that they did not automatically reject those things, much less ok when they were actively encouraging them and seemed disappointed with any services where such things did not occur, and intolerable when people from the church leadership took trips to Toronto in hopes of "bringing back" some of the "anointing."

Largely because of positive testimonies of Craig Keener, I'm much less reflexively critical of "holy laughter" than I used to be. But I'm still automatically skeptical of "animalistic" behavior.

NorrinRadd
04-02-2016, 02:20 AM
Yeah, that is weird. In every instance of someone speaking in tongues I've ever heard of, it followed a confession in Christ. How did he even know what speaking in tongues was if they didn't speak about salvation? Is it possible that he had been saved, but thought he could or should ask for salvation again?

...

In theory, I prefer the idea that the "empowering" of the Spirit comes with or soon after the "regenerating" of the Spirit. But the wording of Scripture makes it difficult to be dogmatic.