In America, there was a talk show that ran on the air from 1952 through 1970 called the Art Linkletter Show. Now the show was not a Christian talk show but the host was a Christian. One day, in the late 60’s, Art had on a female guest who he knew was a conservative Christian. So sensing an opportunity to talk about their shared faith on network television, he asked the woman what she believed in. She responded along the line of that she does not beleive in long hair, going to church barefoot, or singing theses new fangled choruses but hymns. Art had to quickly intervene and humorously quipped, “You misunderstood me, I did not ask what you did not beleive in but what you did beleive in!”
With blogs, YouTube and other social media it is soo easy to get caught up in the insanity of some of the more bizarre nature of someone’s belief system and miss out on all the things people and church movements do right. There was an old surgeon who every year at the American holiday of Thanksgiving, would always endure the ribbing of kind hearted relatives who when carving up the annual turkey at the dinner table, would comment on how well they carved the turkey. And as a result, that they would state that they should have become a surgeon. He finally learned to respond, “It is not how well you can cut something up that makes one a surgeon, but how well you can mend someone to bring life.”
- Proverbs 4:20-22 NASB – 20 My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart. 22 For they are life to those who find them And health to all their body.
When I pastored in a small church, I had to remind the congregation from time to time that I do not have the responsibility to just bring the easy word, but also the hard word as well, even though it may offend.
So in reversing that, here are some things that I think the modern Charismatic Church does right:
They have commitment and fervor for what they believe, even if unpopular. Consider this compliment from God via the prophet Jeremiah
- Jeremiah 35:13-14 NASB – 13 “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Go and say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, “Will you not receive instruction by listening to My words?” declares the LORD. 14 “The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, which he commanded his sons not to drink wine, are observed. So they do not drink [wine] to this day, for they have obeyed their father’s command. But I have spoken to you again and again; yet you have not listened to Me.
They have jubilant expressive worship.
- Psalm 100:1-2 NASB – 1 A Psalm for Thanksgiving. Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing.
They seek to allow the Holy Spirit to move through them with all the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
- 1 Corinthians 12:1-7 NASB – 1 Now concerning spiritual [gifts,] brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. 2 You know that when you were pagans, [you were] led astray to the mute idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all [persons.] 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
They love to give joyfully and are willing to fund causes quickly with lavishness.
- Luke 7:44-46 NASB – 44 Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 “You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. 46 “You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume.”
The unspoken theology is that just because we may not agree that certain practices, and beliefs are being applied strangely, Jesus does not love them. Quite to the contrary, how did Jesus finish his reply to Simon?
- Luke 7:47-48 NASB – 47 “For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.”
And so even though I may disagree with much that is being practiced to my fellow Charismatic/Spirit-Filled/Pentecostal brothers and sisters for which I am one. I wish to bless them with all the best, that they may extend life and health to all those who surround them, as well as for the readers of this blog, not only for 2021, but in all of the years to come! Love much my friends . . .