INTERVIEW – Greg Haslam On Being Reformed and Charismatic

In this, the final segment of my interview with Greg Haslam, Greg discusses being reformed and charismatic, Terry Virgo’s spiritual influence on the church in the UK, and the role of the organization Terry heads up, Newfrontiers.

If you missed any of the other four parts of this interview, you can read them here:

  1. Greg Haslam on Filling Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ Pulpit

  2. Greg Haslam on Leaving Newfrontiers for Westminster Chapel
  3. Greg Haslam on the Primacy of Preaching
  4. Greg Haslam on Unity Versus Doctrinal Integrity

Adrian
You combine an interest in the charismatic and reformed doctrine. I know that many of my US readers still find that combination hard to comprehend. Do you find that people look at you strangely sometimes from both sides, or do you feel that, in the UK at least, the wider Church understands it nowadays?

Greg
I sense that this combination of “Word and Spirit” is no longer the issue it was for many. The heat and dust seems to have settled on the controversies of the 1960′s to 1990′s, and many have gone back to the Bible, seen good practice in many churches, and agreed, “You were right!” As I said previously, I am convinced many more will come to the same conclusion and we shall reach “unity in the faith” on this matter. People still look at me strangely, but probably for other reasons I need to do something about!

Adrian
It seems to me that Newfrontiers, and Terry Virgo in particular, seem to be a growing force in the UK church scene that seems to, in part, change the perception most people have of the charismatic. So, unlike in the US, if one says the word “charismatic,” people increasingly think of a Newfrontiers church they know. Do you think that is a valid perception?

Greg
Terry VirgoTerry Virgo is one of the most important Christian leaders God has raised up in the last thirty years. No wonder amazing doors continue to open for him and his message to the Church! He is wise, humble, full of grace, and a man of astonishing faithfulness and vision. Significantly, he is an outstanding prophetic voice and a remarkable Bible teacher. He combines Word and Spirit in striking ways, teaching truth in depth and seeing miracles accompany it, and he has influenced thousands of people around the world to model the same authentic Christianity we read of in the book of Acts. We’re told by Christ to judge teachers “by their fruits” (Matthew 7). I’ve seen what Terry and his associates have built first-hand. I have been part of it. It is very impressive. It is not marked by the boasting, hype, self-serving, and exploitation that other leaders and movements have floundered on. When I say “Charismatic” he and his movement is what I most think of. It’s biblical and dynamic in equal measure. Why divorce what God always meant to be together?

Adrian
As someone with a slightly more detached status these days, how do you see Newfrontiers, or for that matter other similar groups developing in the future?

Greg
I see them interfacing, interlacing, and having an increasingly beneficial influence upon one another, thus fostering greater unity in the wider body of Christ. If that doesn’t happen, we might rightly ask, “What was that all about then?”

Adrian
One question no one seems to ask is what will Newfrontiers look like after Terry Virgo—not that he seems likely to go anywhere for some time to come! The Vineyard Movement seemed to struggle a little after the death of John Wimber. Do you think Newfrontiers will have a similar struggle in years to come?

Greg
Possibly. Under God, Terry has been the “father” of the movement in every respect. I don’t know if an evident successor has emerged as yet. Terry Virgo and Greg HaslamBut Terry has never sought to hold things to himself. He has raised up like-minded leaders of stature. He has released them to “do their stuff” all over the world. He is not possessive. He believes in Church unity. He is a blessing to many outside Newfrontiers. Young leaders are emerging everywhere you look and church plants and adoptions increase by the week, with many Ephesians 4 ministries being released to serve them. I don’t see this movement collapsing should Terry retire or be taken home. He has built too well. Only demonic attack, heresy, or some kind of character failure on the part of his followers could jeopardize all he has built, but many safeguards are in place to help prevent this.

Adrian
What do you think the wider Church will look like thirty years from now? Will existing denominations and groups of churches be intact? Will there still be the same arguments that divide us now?

Greg
Greg HaslamI am pretty sure that intellectual, religious, social, and political persecution is emerging in our nation right now and will increase in the future. Arrests, imprisonment, and even martyrdoms could occur. Some loose unaffiliated churches and failed denominations will likely go to the wall. As the darkness deepens, it means that there is every possibility the light will become brighter. Christians will find each other, and find Christ more powerful among them, and then will find the courage to do and say the right things in spite of the pressure to panic or compromise. We can, and shall, make great progress in the conversion of dangerous false religionists, and among many who will be disillusioned with the failure of governments and other faiths to “give the goods.” Evolutionism, secularism, atheism, and religious syncretism will all be exposed for their lies. Truth will prevail and error cannot hold out forever.

Adrian
Well, Greg, it has been a pleasure to have you here. But before you go, do you have anything else you would like to say to my readers?

Greg
“Be who you is, ‘cos if you ain’t who you is, you is who you ain’t!”

Adrian
Thanks so much for joining us!

To find out more about Greg Haslam, visit Westminster Chapel’s website, or download mp3s of nd-preaches/select-speaker/greg-haslam/">conference messages by Greg Haslam.

About Adrian Warnock

Adrian Warnock is a medical doctor, a writer, and a member of Jubilee Church, London since 1995, where he serves as part of the leadership team alongside Tope Koleoso. Together they have written Hope Reborn - How to Become a Christian and Live for Jesus, published by Christian Focus. Adrian is also the author of Raised With Christ - How The Resurrection Changes Everything, published by Crossway. Read more about Adrian Warnock or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

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