RT Kendall responds to MacArthur’s Strange Fire

The Strange Fire  online conversation seems to just run and run. In the latest significant intervention, RT Kendall, who was a successor to Lloyd-Jones at Westminster Chapel has written an open letter to MacArthur:

I have admired you as an able writer and speaker for years. I have not only read your book Strange Fire but listened to your talks as well as the panel discussions at your recent conference. I am as reformed theologically as you are and can say we are on the same page when it comes to many issues you address.

I was not prepared however for some of the things you said. I had to reread some parts to be sure you said what I thought you said. First, if your book purports the danger of offending the Holy Spirit with counterfeit worship, I fear you are in greater danger of offending the Holy Spirit by attributing His work to Satan. Does this not worry you? You are risking an awful lot by counting on cessatonism to be totally true. You have tried to turn the hypothetical teaching of cessationism into a dogma.

Second, surprisingly, you imply that my predecessor Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones would agree with you. A major portion of my own book Holy Fire is devoted to what he believed regarding the gifts, the baptism and the immediate witness of the Holy Spirit. He was no cessationist; he loathed cessationism. Nearly every Pentecostal and charismatic in Britain knew he was their friend. Not only that; he has turned more of them into reformed thinkers than anybody in the twentieth century. He would be horrified that you dismiss as demonic all contemporary testimonies of experiencing the direct work of the Spirit. According to you, my own baptism with the Spirit was demonic even though it led me to reformed theology without reading a single word of John Calvin.

Third, to be consistent, if you have got it right, we should counsel new Christians to disregard many Scriptures – e.g. those that encourage us to believe that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb.13:8), that he still shows us when we are on the wrong track (Phil.3:15), that the Holy Spirit cannot speak today as he did to Philip (Acts 8:29) or that we should covet earnestly the best gifts (1 Cor.13:31).

Read the rest at Dear Dr. MacArthur.

About Adrian Warnock

Adrian Warnock has been a blogger since April 2003, and a member of Jubilee Church, London since 1995, where he seves 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.

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  • Cal Koe

    Would John MacArthur worry about offending the Holy Spirit. Of course , I am sure he would even if Matt 7 : 21 is not likely to refer to cessationists like him. It is the charismatics that appears unconcerned no matter how much you quote Matt 7:21 judging by the strange fires still burning with so called moderate continuationists offended by outsiders complaining about the fires .And now with John Piper saying that prophecies are not infallible, how are we now to know who are the false prophets that Jesus and the apostles persistently warned us about. Why were they so concerned about the false prophets and yet we cannot use God’s prescribed 100 % accuracy yardstick to make objective discernment. Do we now depend on people with the gifts of discernment to tell us. If so just remember they are equally fallible. Lord help us confused sinners.

    • http://www.wheretoreach.us/ T Freeman

      Cal, there are many, many OT standards and practices we don’t carry to the NT, or carry in the same way. Priests and prophets are two good examples. There is still a priesthood in the new covenant, still prophetic work, but not the same. Now, God has poured his Spirit on all people, young and old, men and women. But Paul does teach us how communities can discern prophetic words and discern what is said; and we do it all the time in teaching from the Word. Do not despise prophecies, but test what is said, hold on to what is good. Avoid all evil. It’s not rocket science; it’s biblically informed, communally practiced discernment under Paul’s (rather lengthy) instructions. If you say, “Well, Charismatics and Pentecostals need to listen to Paul!” I say, “Amen.” I’ve taught the gifts for years and I don’t hesitate to talk about the ways that even the “charismatic” Corinthians and many today were using the gifts, but in counter-productive ways. No shocker–most if not all of the things the NT taught against are still being fought against today. Greed hasn’t been cured yet, has it? :D Best to you.

      • Cal Koe

        Bro.,
        I will wait for the theological explanation from John Piper himself who said prophecies are not infallible, meaning you cannot tell the true and false prophets apart by using the yardstick of 100 % accuracy as prescribed by God. The need to tell the true and false apart is no trivial matter , seeing that Jesus himself warned us to beware numerous times of false prophets and many in wolves clothing. The apostles too warned us of false prophets who will deceive even the very elect. Are we to take light of these warnings. In the past, I made judgement based on God’s proclaimed yardstick and no charismatic leader ever said it was wrong. Now John Piper’s new teaching has dismantled the previously accepted basis of judgement, used even among charismatics. I am sure he can tell us of the new infallible yardstick to use to help us heed the warnings of Jesus and the apostles and to identify the false prophets. I await for it. In the meantime, I am at a lost.

        • http://www.wheretoreach.us/ T Freeman

          Let me try to shorten your wait if I can. Some prophecies, even ones in the scriptures(!) aren’t verifiable for a very, very long time, if ever in this life, correct? I hope you can realize this yourself by thinking of even some prophecies about the Messiah that won’t be fulfilled until he comes again. Indeed, John the Baptist even doubted who Jesus was because Jesus wasn’t fulfilling some of the prophecies of judgment. Also, we have someone like Jonah who said, without qualification or condition, “Ninevah will be overthrown in 40 days.” Didn’t happen. Was this a false prophecy or was Jonah not sent by God? No. So not even the OT yardstick is as satisfyingly easy as many claim. Further, many prophecies aren’t doctrinal. Some are very vague and poetic, and hard to understand, even for the one giving the prophecy! How do we verify those, again, even the ones in the OT scriptures? We can’t just claim “false prophet!” for lack of understanding.

          Paul says that Timothy’s gifts were given/affirmed via prophecies. At what point in someone’s ministry do we declare that such prophecies were true or false? If someone gives a doctrine, supposedly via prophecy, we test it against the scriptures. That’s what the scriptures are for! If it’s not doctrinal, we sometimes have to wait and see or test it in other ways, and sometimes that may not be possible. Jesus said we would know them (wolves, false prophets, false teachers) by their fruit, not by a 100% accuracy yardstick test. Fruit is long-term; fruit is character; fruit is Christlikeness. Your not at a loss, you have a Bible and the Spirit and the Church. You can assess character, especially if you are in relationship.

          • Cal Koe

            Without any intent to insult, I rather wait for J Piper’s or maybe theologian Wayne Grudem’s views from their reform continuationist position which are way different from WOF charismatics. And then, we will to hear what John MacArthur says. WOF charismatic biblical explanations are as good as how RT Kendall explained his support for the Toronto blessings.

          • http://www.wheretoreach.us/ T Freeman

            Your call my friend. I’m not a WOF charismatic. On this issue, my thoughts are likely very, very similar to Grudem’s. But don’t just let others reason for you, no matter how respected they are. Check the scriptures yourself. Peace.

          • Cal Koe

            Bro,
            What I said was merely that I prefer to hear from the reform continuationist viewpoint. Both Piper and Grudem are not WOF charismatics. The confusion starts when WOF charismatics start to refer themselves as continuationists (maybe it is more respectable?) and reform continuationists loosely say they are charismatic. Reform continuationists theology are way different frm the WOF charismatic. For one , both these people don’t believe in baptism in the Holy Spirit as a second blessings and even more that it is evidenced by tongues. Both don’t claim to have sign gifts and Piper admits he desires to speak in tongues and was brave enough to say he once tried to make it up unlike the WOF pastors where tongues is the hallmark. I also feel safer with classical Pentecostal like Jim Cymbala of the Brooklyn Tabernacle. Name and claim postive confession belongs to K Hagins/Kenyon and his WOF charismatic.
            There is no call to be made,

          • Mark Simpson

            And what we should say and only say, is that, “I am one that has died to the carnal man, and have been raised to new life that I no longer live, but Christ lives within me.” That way, I don’t have to be any of those weird “titles” that you have continuously thrown out there. Let me ask you to listen to one man that you will know has a heart after God, and know that not all that are “filled with the HS” are off base. Carter Conlon, pastor of Time Square Church in NY. You won’t be sorry after you have heard him speak.

  • Vic Christian

    Charismatics – please answer my one question. OI have been a Christian for 41 years, was taught in Bible College that those gifts are not for today. However, how can both ideas be correct for the church. If the charismatic is correct, then the non-charismatic churches are wrong and are sinning by teaching against it and not displaying those gifts. If the non-Charismatic church is correct, as JM states, then the charismatic church is sinning.

    • Ben Thorp

      Is it a sin to teach and act upon what you genuinely believe the Bible teaches?

      For me I think it is difficult to answer “Yes”, because I think we all know that our understanding is imperfect.

      For me I think it is difficult to answer “No”, because of the strong warnings against false teaching.

      Therefore the answer has to be “sometimes”. In which case the question has to be “which times?” If gifts of the Spirit is one of those times, then you are correct – both cannot be true. However, if it is not, then it is easily possibly for the church to agree to disagree, as it has done on many ‘minor’ issues such as child baptism, and still remain in unity.

    • http://www.wheretoreach.us/ T Freeman

      Vic, thank God that love covers a multitude of sins! Yes, we all believe and teach error to some extent. That’s just part of this life, in which we “know in part” and not face to face. We all fall short in lots of ways, some intentionally, some unknowingly. This area is no exception. Does that answer your question?

    • Mark Simpson

      Ask God to give you all He has for you, and speak it out to Him as you feel.such as “God, if the gifts of the HS are truly for us today, then I ask that you fill me with the HS and allow the gifts to flow forth in my life as you see fit.” That is what I did. research it out, and ask God to reveal to you His word as you read it. When Israel left Egypt, they first crossed the red sea, which represented them being cleansed of the worldliness in Egypt, or sin. It was many years before they entered into the promised land, and only a few that were there at the beginning made it into the promised land, due to their disobedience. But it came time for them to cross over, and in order for them to do it, they had to cross the Jordan River, which was representative of the baptism of the HS, (and the Jewish scholars knew this, and that is why they didn’t ask Jesus what he meant when He said that they would be baptized in the HS) Once they crossed over, they had to go and take the promise land by force. jesus tells us that we as well must take the kingdom of God by force from the enemies of God, which today are the demonic forces of hell, and the sinfulness within our own lives. You can not do this on your own, or in your own strength. You must have the power of God working through you to accomplish that work here on earth. The word was interpreted “gifts”, but could be better explained as the weapons of the HS. They are what we use to fortify the local church, and to bring down the forces of darkness all around us. For as Paul say, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities ” and again, “for your weapons are strong and mighty for the pulling down of strongholds.” The gifts weren’t given to us so we can walk around like a show pony, strutting ourselves around like a proud peacock, but so we can conquer the forces of darkness, and bring the kingdom of heaven here to earth. Too many christians keep trying to throw it on Jesus to take care of it, but He said He would empower us with the HS to do it. We must take it upon ourselves to go forth in battle, knowing that the battle is His, but we are the ones fighting the battle, tearing down the strongholds that are all around us. If all that was done, then the church age would be over, and we would be reigning with Christ in His second coming, which we realize as a truth, has happened as of yet. Paul says that we are to do the work of the ministry, or the work of God, bringing those without Christ to accept the gift of salvation. I have many friends that don’t believe the gifts are for today, and I just keep praying that they will al least open their hearts up to receive all that God has for them in this life. Hope this helps.

  • gmonzeglio@mweb.co.za

    This from a man who endorsed the toronto “blessing” as a move of God and would have us believe Dr Lloyd Jones would have done the same?! Backed Morris Cerullo. Hot nobbed with modalist Tommy Tenney denier of trinitarianism. But now feels led to rebuke John Macarthur. Shameless.

    • http://www.wheretoreach.us/ T Freeman

      Here’s a question I often wonder when folks speak of the excesses in Toronto (which I acknowledge as such). Was the Corinthian church “a move of God?” The Corinthians didn’t just do weird and selfish stuff in their gatherings, but they were suing each other, being arrogant and divisive, trying to wear gifts as badges of honor, were eating food of pagan feasts to actual idols/demons, and having intra-family sexual affairs (and apparently proudly!), and selfishly injuring each other in how they “worshiped” via the Lord’s Supper. Now, take each of those in for a bit. Frankly, the whole barking thing was bizarre, but I think God cares more about being misrepresented via incest and mixing with actual pagan/demon worship than with that, but that’s just me. But my question remains. Was Corinth a move of God? I say yes (I believe Paul does too) and one that needed correction. But Paul’s argument wasn’t to say that the gifts were bad or too dangerous for this crew. Rather, he urged them, but with love.

      • Cal Koe

        Jesus’s love or Paul’s love does not do away with forthrightness or bluntness. The wolves in sheep clothing has alot of outward display of love that impresses in order to hide deception. Take Paul’s bluntness in condemning to hell those who preach different gospel. Gal:1:6-8,
        .And what about Jesus harsh words in Matt 7:21 and many more. Certainly harshness does not mean they were spoken without love.I don’t think John MacArthur is lacking in that.

        • http://www.wheretoreach.us/ T Freeman

          Sorry, my last sentence could be read more than one way. I meant that Paul encouraged pursuit and practice of the gifts, but that the gifts be practiced and sought with, or in, love. MacArthur urges the opposite “solution” that Paul urges to crazy Corinth. MacArthur urges to stop desiring prophecy and to forbid tongues as all bad–total 180 from Paul’s teaching. That should give anyone pause.

          • Cal Koe

            You are so wrong. John would certainly throw out his Cessationists views and welcome gifts that mirrors that of acts.

          • http://www.wheretoreach.us/ T Freeman

            But there are other NT scriptures to consider–tons. We see the prophetic in literally dozens of examples outside of Acts, though Acts is great. And we see extensive teaching on it in some of the epistles. Some prophecies are small and personal. As Paul says, prophecy routinely “reveals little.” The woman at the well’s husbands, Nathaniel under the tree, these are not huge revelations, but they fit Paul’s description as well as the current experience of many. But most importantly, MacArthurs reading of the scriptures on this topic is in the overwhelming minority of believing scholars across denoms for a reason: it’s a lot of work to turn the NT into arguing against the practice of the gifts. The texts just don’t teach it; they teach the opposite in example and commands.

          • Mark Simpson

            Brother. I love you. Your heart and mine are one. If we were to throw out the working of the HS in those that He is doing it through today because there are some of those that are abusing them, then the Bible would have to had been thrown out and never used as we use it for the word of God, for we read of many fallacies within the early church. All I know is that I was raised Catholic, never heard of the HS, but once I gave my heart over to Christ, in a very short time, I received the HS and spoke in tongues. I had no idea of it, but when I shared it with some one, they told me I was saying, “Jesus, the Son of God,” in Latin. I had never had Latin taught to me a day in my life, so me saying those very words were proof to me that it is something that is from God to us, today. Does that mean all who have the HS will speak in tongues? No. As paul says, I wish all of you spoke in tongues, but don’t. We are the Christ God has in the world today; we meaning those that have truly surrendered their hearts over to Christ in a way that they are living no longer of themselves, but they may boast as Paul, It is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives within me. I must say that I have been in many places where some “funky” things were happening, (women walking around, clucking and walking like chickens, and such) but God has always given me the gift of discernment, and I have always know when something was not of Him. I have been in large pentecostal churches, and they have read these creeds all together, that because they are believers, read their bibles, they will make more money than any one else they work with, have the best jobs, and will not be affected financially in any way if the economy is to falter throughout the US and the world. but God will enable them to profit even more, (at this church, my wife jumped up before I did, and ran out , yelling, “I have got to get out of this, immediately”. I was right behind her.) So, I know there have been many that have misrepresented what God has meant to be for those that are desiring all He has for them, but, Satan has always been in the market of doing just that. He mocked everything Moses was sent by God to do. But, through it all, God was still doing what He was doing through Moses. We can’t say that Moses was not of God, because the sorcerers were able to mimic him. The biggest problem within the early church, and is pretty much the same for today, is man trying to be Christians on their own abilities. Doing everything legalistically, trusting in their own ability to overcome sin, to be a better person for God, and learning out of their learnings from men, not allowing the carnal part of themselves to die, so that Christ can be poured out into them, and reveal the Word of God to them, lead them in all truth, and work the things through their lives that God wants to do through them. We all must come to this understanding that there is nothing we can do to please God. He has accepted us as we are, and still choses to do through us the miraculous by the HS in us. And we have no part in it other than denying ourselves, putting our carnal man to the cross, crucifying it there with Christ, bury it, that it may be raised up with Christ (and note, be raised with Christ, not Jesus. Jesus was the man, christ was the God-part within the man.) We are the Christ in the world today, doing the works of God. Let us do them.

      • gmonzeglio@mweb.co.za

        Hi there. Not sure what you remember about Toronto issue but I experienced it close up. You are making my point. Apart from the fact that the Corinthian church was birthed by sound apostolic preaching and not “manifestations”, Pauls’ letter was written to correct all the abuses and not condone them. And that’s exactly what sound teachers should have been doing today – RT Kendall did the exact opposite and the corinthians were not rolling around barking like dogs and attributing it to God the Holy Spirit. A lot of huge damage was done, churches damaged, marriages damaged and worst of all the name and testimony of Christ tarnished. Paul would have been first in line bringing order to the chaos with heavy words. RT Kendall brought “it” to his own church which was a beacon of sound expository preaching in the past. And to say that Dr Lloyd Jones would have done the same is simply lunacy. So to see this man calling out John Macarthur (never mind his other associations with false teachers and modalists) just lacks any credibility and smacks of hypocrisy. Call out the true prophets and give green light to false teachers and revivals and then want to rebuke people like Macarthur. As I said I will repeat – shameless.

        • http://www.wheretoreach.us/ T Freeman

          I’m making half your point, or agreeing with you in part, as many continuationists have. Correction, yes. Calling all practice of tongues ‘dangerous’ or worse? This is exactly what Paul did not do. Equating all prophecy with new doctrine or scripture? NT doesn’t do that either. The answer (Paul’s answer) to self indulgent or wrong thinking about pursuit of gifts isn’t to forbid tongues or discourage the prophetic and call it all fake. Quite the opposite. MacArthur did fine in pointing out some awful practices and teachings (like health-wealth). But he then uses this to condemn what Paul encourages.

          • gmonzeglio@mweb.co.za

            Dear T. The problem is a massive one. I am writing from South Africa. This is not a fringe issue as Adrian and Michael Brown would have us believe. I also speak as a former pentecostal from a very conservative group that tried to practise things decently and in order. But to be honest the longer I looked for the baby in the bathwater i couldnt find it. The “tongues” didnt match and were induced by peer pressure never mind not being a sign for unbelievers (relegated to private prayer languages – some sign!), the prophecies were the same as Baptists sharing testimonies and the healers ………………….. To say that what we are seeing and have seen for over 100 years now is the same as apostolic early church manifestations described in Acts is simply dishonest. So we have n ow is people redefining the gifts but all the while claiming they are the biblicists?All its done it has opened the door for this mess and we are in the middle of a huge scripture reduction movement not a revival. I keep on saying this – if its about sign gifts it shouldnt be such a conundrum to resolve. Show us the evidence – real evidence so that the skeptic can be convinced. Plenty paralytics and blind people around today. We have technology that can record real languages. We have tests for prophets in the Bible so lets use them but at the same time if the “prophets” get it wrong lets at least point them out and warn people. Am I missing something – Peter was a skeptic and God convinced him using a sign. The purpose was to bring the whole body together not divide it as these fake signs have done and are doing. God Bless.

          • http://www.wheretoreach.us/ T Freeman

            gmon,

            Thanks for being straight with me. Let me talk about tongues first. For starters, I don’t speak in tongues; my wife does. But I hope these verses make it at least plausible that tongues can often be prayers of thanksgiving and/or praise, or other communication to God, not to people, all from I Cor. 14:

            “For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them [not even the speaker]; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church.I would like every one of you to speak in tongues [even though it doesn't get understood by others!], but I would rather have you prophesy. . . For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say. For if I *pray in a tongue*, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding. Otherwise *when you are praising
            God in the Spirit*, how can someone else, who is now put in the position of an inquirer, say “Amen” *to your thanksgiving*, since they do not know what you
            are saying? *You are giving thanks well enough*, but no one else is edified.

            So, being “relegated” to a private prayer language isn’t anything to sneeze at or be dismissive of, at least not according to Paul! But no denying it is not as good as other gifts (and what makes the other gifts better is that they are not for one, but for all!). But my experience with them hasn’t been limited to that. You can read more here if you want: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2010/09/20/the-gifts-1-by-t/

            And when you say the same as the apostolic period, let me say a few things. First, I allow and expect that whether we are talking about evangelism, teaching, prophecy, healing, etc. or any gift, that someone doesn’t have to, for instance, have the brilliance of Paul to be gifted as a teacher, nor does someone have to have an experience such as Peter’s Pentecost sermon, leading thousands to the Lord, to have a genuine gift of evangelism. Now, it seems that even some of Paul’s own churches that he founded thought he wasn’t an especially powerful speaker, so maybe he wrote more skillfully and powerfully than he spoke; he wouldn’t be the first, but he had gifts of teaching nonetheless. I would say the same for many today, with any gifting. One doesn’t have to teach or heal as amazingly as Jesus to have either gift. Why do we think any gifting would work like that? I’m not “redefining” the gifts at all; I’m asking why we would think that everyone with a gift for evangelism, for instance, would be Billy Graham? Is there no room for variation or degree?

            As it pertains to prophecy, I’ve seen cessationists ask “if prophecy is still at work, why don’t we have folks writing it all down as scripture for all generations?” The short answer is that prophecy, according to the NT, includes scripture, but is much, much broader than just writing scripture or even giving doctrine at all. Consider the initial calling of Nathaniel, the woman at the well, and Paul’s teaching that “the secrets of [unbeliever's] hearts will be laid bare [if the church is prophesying] and they will say that God is really among you. The “revelations” here are often small and personal (I saw you under the fig tree; you’ve had 5 husbands, etc.), but very powerful, leading to exactly what Paul predicts. I’ve done and seen this too many times (sometimes even with believers, for their encouragement) to say that prophecy, which is what the NT calls those experiences, has ceased. Here’s the deal though: I see nowhere in the NT that the existence of the real makes fakes or mistakes impossible. Quite the contrary. There are false teachers, false prophets, false shepherds and even false Christs! Not to mention Christians who mess up in every area (See Corinth). I’m sorry your experience has been without any fruit. But if other believers have seen and done the very things that the NT puts under the banner of prophecy, and seen just what Paul said we would see, building up of believers and confession of faith for non, what are we supposed to believe?

    • Cal Koe

      Classical Pentecostals like the late David Wilkerson and Jim Cymbala spoke very strongly against Toronto blessings movements. So will Kendall dare challenge them ?

      • gmonzeglio@mweb.co.za

        you know the answer Cal. They speak in “tongues” and have the “baptism” so are part of the untouchable super spiritually gifted group. Its the one baptism only guys like poor John Macarthur that need the rebuke. They are limited to bible preaching. Apparently not enough to have a real deep relationship with Jesus. Pity most heroes of the faith missed it. What was Tyndale thinking?

    • lagmd@bellsouth.net

      You treat Dr. MacArthur almost as a saint. I heard the man on a panel laugh about repetitive language in contemporary music in a mocking way with Todd Friel. This group reminded me, as they sat together, almost as a group of Pharisees telling others why they aren’t following the law properly. They counted how many “fill me up(s)” were in a song. Did they stop to count how many Hallelujahs were in Handel’s Messiah? Later I heard Dr. Macarthur himself speak saying he almost wishes the music wasn’t even a part of worship services. How sad.
      Whatever good Dr. MacArthur has done, he must weigh it against the condemnation he gave many other devout Christian people. So many young people (I have three sons in the 18-23 year old age group) who have turned their lives around at churches like Passion City in Atlanta are damned because Dr. MacArthur doesn’t approve of their music? These people aren’t speaking in tongues, they don’t roll around in the aisles, they just love Jesus. Get used to it.
      I personally believe that any man of God who holds himself in ministry like Dr. MacArthur need to be very, very careful in stating in an obvious way or subtle speech that any other believer is a heretic and not saved. I pray for him that he would try to heal the bridge he has made between himself and other born again believers and show some humility and carefully review his comments. There is enough damage caused by people outside the church.

  • http://mriccardi.blogspot.com Mike Riccardi

    I think it’s worth mentioning that it’s unlikely Mr. Kendall would have the kind of unqualified support of his predecessor that he intimates in his open letter. This excellent article by Iain Murray, MLJ’s long-time assistant and eventual biographer, puts the lie to that sort of thing. A helpful excerpt:

    “In his early years in London, [R.T.] Kendall made much public use of his ‘Timothy-Paul’ relationship with ‘the Doctor’, and knowledge of this undoubtedly allayed any early misgivings in the congregation. In the now-published account, however, Kendall says nothing of why the relationship broke down. Indeed it broke down so seriously that prior to his death, Dr Lloyd-Jones indicated that Kendall, far from organizing his funeral or memorial service, was to take no part in those proceedings.

    “The reason for this solemn decision by Dr Lloyd-Jones was, at first, unknown to the deacons at Westminster Chapel. After Kendall had protested to them about his exclusion, they supported an enquiry to the Lloyd-Jones family. Writing to the deacons before the Memorial Service, to be held at Westminster Chapel, Kendall said, ‘Surely the family will see the importance of the Minister of Westminster Chapel opening the service that the Gospel might not be hurt at Westminster Chapel’ (Letter of 17 March, 1981). A crisis over the use of the building for the Memorial Service was averted by allowing Kendall to speak briefly at the beginning of that service.

    “We forbear mentioning other matters in this connection, but this much needs to be said to correct the impression of Kendall’s book that he ever enjoyed the confidence of Lloyd-Jones (note 4). He did not, and he knew it. He told the deacons ‘that he had given grave theological offence to the Doctor.’”

    Further, there are also MLJ’s own words to take into consideration, which seem to clearly suggest that he had greater sympathies with cessationism than contemporary continuationists often like to admit. Here are relevant excerpts:

    “A prophet was a person to whom truth was imparted by the Holy Spirit. . . . A revelation or message or some insight into truth came to them, and, filled with the Spirit, they were able to make utterances which were of benefit and profit to the Church. Surely it is clear that this again was temporary, and for this good reason, that in those early days of the Church there were no New Testament Scriptures, the Truth had not yet been expounded in written words.”

    And again,

    “We have all truth in the New Testament, and we have no need of any further revelations. All has been given, everything that is necessary for us is available. Therefore if a man claims to have received a revelation of some fresh truth we should suspect him immediately.”

  • Cal Koe

    Kendall endorsed the laughing revival and is too proud to back out. Between a man whose theology agrees with the Toronto blessings and another who don’t , I feel a lot more comfortable with John MacArthur. When truth is overruled by subjective experiences, anything goes.

    • http://www.wheretoreach.us/ T Freeman

      Paul was convinced that there is another option between anything goes subjectivity and total rejection of the gifts. We can practice the prophetic AND “weigh what is said.” We can encourage and desire prophecy and test what is said, holding on only to the good. We can a avoid practicing tongues so that visitors think we are crazy without forbidding it altogether. It’s right there in the NT– Paul teaching to avoid either extreme that we are pulled toward in this area.

  • melchizedekmail

    RT Kendall points for consideration:

    1. Using a long gone but respectable protestant preacher ( Dr. MLJ) to endorse his book and ministry without his permission.
    2. Using a deep spiritual experience which he claims to have had to more or less tell his readers that God himself has endorsed him.

    Conclusion:
    I take offence at RT Kendall and don’t think he really cares about the damage caused to christians both by reformists and charismatics alike.

  • Mel Gibson

    Here is a negative review of RT Kendall’s book on Total Forgiveness http://total-forgiveness.blogspot.com

  • mario

    Hi all

    Instead of going to answer all various questions that come to mind see the questions below:- Can we not just answer all these questions by JUST answering ONE question , If we can prove that the GIFTS DID cease. We must also separate the miracle and the sign gifts. The sign gifts have ceased but God can still have miracle gifts when ever he wants to.

    No one was more “charismatic” than the Apostle Paul. He wrote to the Corinthian
    church that “they came behind no other church” when it came to the gifts of the
    Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 1:7)—no church had more of the gifts of the Holy Spirit than
    the Corinthian church, yet Paul says that he spoke in tongues more than all of
    them (1 Cor. 14:18)!

    No one was more charismatic than Paul, yet the Lord
    revealed to him that those sign gifts were going to cease:

    “whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away” (1 Cor. 13:8). Here
    Paul writes of the gift of tongues, the gift of prophecy and the gift of knowledge (see 1 Cor. 13:1-2) and states that the Lord Jesus had revealed to him (1 Cor. 11:23; 15:3; Gal. 1:11,12) that a time was coming when these sign gifts were going to cease to operate.

    The question has always been: when? When
    would these gifts cease?

    This study focuses on that question—when did the
    sign gifts cease?

    Arranging Paul’s letters in the order that he wrote them.
    We begin by setting up a time line of Paul’s ministry. Paul was saved in Acts 9 when the Lord appeared to him on the road to Damascus. Paul would go on to write 13 letters in the New Testament—from the Letter to the Romans to the Letter to Philemon. When we remember that Paul is the subject of at least half of the Book of Acts, we realize that half of the 27 books in the New Testament are either about him (The Book of Acts) or were written by him (13 letters).

    Paul’s letters are arranged in our Bible by two principles: The
    letters to the churches are put first—nine letters from Romans to 2
    Thessalonians, then the four letters written to individuals—from 1 Timothy to
    Philemon.

    The letters are also arranged by length—Romans is longest and
    is first, then the Corinthian letters, then Galatians, etc. Longer letters are
    first, shorter ones later.

    But to understand when the sign gifts
    ceased, we need to read Paul’s letters in the order that he wrote them. When we
    arrange the letters in the order that they were written, all becomes
    clear!

    Paul’s Letters in the order that he wrote them:

    The first 6
    of Paul’s letters can be fit into the Book of Acts—we can read Acts and then
    read Paul’s letters and we can see where Paul was when he wrote these
    letters.

    The Letter to the Galatians is first

    In Acts 13,14 Paul
    and Barnabas went on their first apostolic journey which took them into
    Galatia—cities like Antioch, Lystra, Derbe, etc. Soon after Paul returned from
    this journey he wrote the letter to the Galatians (see Galatians 1:6 where Paul
    writes to the Galatians and says, you are “so quickly turned.”). Galatians was
    written soon after Paul returned from that first journey—soon after Acts 14:27.
    That makes Galatians the earliest of Paul’s letters.

    1 and 2
    Thessalonians

    The next letters Paul wrote are the two letters to the
    Thessalonians. In Acts 17, Paul, on his second apostolic journey, came to
    Thessalonica and preached there. Many were saved, but Paul was driven out of
    town. Paul continued on to Corinth where he wrote the two letters to the
    Thessalonians. Timothy’s return from Macedonia mentioned in Acts 18:5 is also
    reported in 1 Thessalonians 3:6. And in 2 Thessalonians 2:5 Paul reminds the
    Thessalonians of his teaching, as if it had not been very long since he had been
    with them. So the writing of 1 and 2 Thessalonians can be placed into Acts 18
    during Paul’s ministry in Corinth, and that makes them the second and third
    letters that Paul wrote.

    1 and 2 Corinthians

    The next two letters
    that Paul wrote are the two letters to the Corinthians. In Acts 18 Paul spent a
    year and a half ministering in Corinth—see Acts 18:11. He later returned to his
    home base at Antioch (Acts 18:22), and later in his third apostolic journey he
    arrived in Ephesus (his ministry in Ephesus extends all the way through Acts
    19—a period of more than two years, see verse 10). It is here in Ephesus during
    Acts 19 that Paul wrote 1 Corinthians—see I Corinthians 16:19. Shortly after
    that Paul traveled to Macedonia (see Acts 20:1 and 2 Cor. 2:13) and that is
    where he wrote the second letter to the Corinthians.

    Romans

    In Acts 20:2,3 Paul arrived in “Greece,” i.e. in Corinth again, and spent three
    months there enjoying the hospitality of a believer named Gaius (mentioned in 1
    Cor. 1:14). In Gaius’s home, in Corinth, Paul wrote the letter to the Romans
    (see Rom. 16:23).

    This is the last letter written during the Book of Acts. In Acts 21:33 Paul was arrested in Jerusalem, and would spend the next 5 years in prison, right through the end of the Book of Acts.

    So, to sum up what we have seen so far, from Acts 9 through Acts 28 we read of the earlier ministry of the Apostle Paul and find that during these years he wrote 6 of his 13 letters. The order of these first six books is:

    1.Galatians—end of Acts 14

    2.1 Thessalonians—Acts 18

    3.2 Thessalonians—Acts 18

    4.1 Corinthians—Acts 19

    5.2 Corinthians—Acts 20

    6.Romans—Acts 20

    In Acts 21 Paul was arrested and remained a prisoner through to Acts 28, and beyond.

    The Prison Epistles—Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon, and Philippians

    Shortly after the end of the Book
    of Acts, while he was still a prisoner, now in Rome, Paul wrote four letters—the
    “prison epistles”: Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon and Philippians. In each of
    these letters he writes of his “chains”—see Ephesians 6:20, Colossians 4:18,
    Philemon 13 and Philippians 1:13.

    The Pastoral Epistles—The letters to Titus, First and Second Timothy

    Paul was released from this
    imprisonment and continued his ministry for a few years, perhaps 3 years. During
    this time he wrote the three letters known as the “Pastoral Epistles,” because
    these letters were written to Paul’s co-workers—Pastor Timothy and Titus.
    Finally at the end of his life he is again in prison. This time he anticipates
    being beheaded for the Lord and writes the last letter, Second
    Timothy.

    Summary:

    We have surveyed the 13 letters written by the
    Apostle Paul, arranging them in the order in which Paul wrote
    them:

    During the Book of Acts—6 letters:

    1. Galatians

    2. & 3. The Thessalonian letters

    4. & 5. The Corinthian letters

    6. Romans

    Then after the Book of Acts ends—7 more letters:

    The 4 Prison Epistles:

    7. Ephesians

    8. Colossians

    9. Philemon

    10. Philippians

    Then the 3 Pastoral Epistles:

    11. Titus

    12. 1 Timothy

    13. 2 Timothy

    Now let’s read the letters in the order Paul wrote them

    Having surveyed the 13 letters and having put them into their chronological order, let’s see what they tell us about the question: when did the sign gifts cease?

    In the first six letters, all written during the period covered by the Book of Acts, we
    find that the sign gifts were operating in all these churches. All through the
    Book of Acts we read of tongues, the gift of prophecy, the gift of healing,
    etc.—for example, tongues and prophecy in Acts 19:6, the gift of prophecy in
    Acts 21:10-14, the gift of healing in Acts 19:11-12 and 28:8,9, etc.

    And in the “Acts Epistles” we read of the gifts operating in the churches that Paul
    founded. In Galatians 3:5, 1 Thessalonians 5:20, 1 Corinthians 12,13,14, 2
    Corinthians 12:12, Romans 12:6—in all these letters we read about the gifts in
    operation right through to the end of the Book of Acts.

    But, during this time in the Book of Acts, the Lord revealed to Paul that the sign gifts were going to cease—1 Corinthians 13:8-12. The gifts were all in operation all through the Book of Acts period and are mentioned in the letters written during
    that time, but the Lord had revealed that the sign gifts were going to cease at
    some time in the future.

    When the gift of tongues ceased

    Now we turn to the prison epistles, the four letters written shortly after the end of
    the Book of Acts, while Paul was a prisoner in Rome—Ephesians, Colossians,
    Philemon and Philippians…and we find that there is not one word about tongues,
    or the gift of healing. Even where we might have expected Paul to write of
    tongues in the passage about being “filled with the Spirit” in Ephesians 5:17,
    he has nothing to say about tongues. And as for the gift of healing, we read of
    a co-worker of Paul’s, Epaphroditus, who fell seriously ill during this time
    (Phil. 2:25-30) and Paul no longer had the gift of healing, and was no longer
    able to heal as he did only a few years earlier in Acts 28:9. The sign gifts
    were no longer operating at the time that Paul wrote the Prison
    Epistles.

    Tongues in the Pastoral Epistles?

    In the 3 Pastoral Epistles, as in the prison epistles, we do not read of tongues or the gift of healing operating at this time. We do read of prophecies that had been made about Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:18 and 4:14 and 2 Timothy 1:6, but these were given years before. So far as we read in these three letters, we wouldn’t even know that there had been a “gift of tongues.”

    And, again, in places where we would have expected Paul to mention the sign gifts, he is silent. When Paul gives Timothy and Titus instructions regarding the choice of men to be elders in the churches, Paul says nothing about the desirability of these men having a gift such as prophecy, or healing, or other sign gifts (see Titus 1:6-9 and 1 Tim. 3:1-10). The gifts of tongues, prophecy, etc. were no longer in operation by the time Paul wrote the pastoral epistles.

    It is clear that the gift of healing has ceased because, as in Philippians, Paul was no longer able to heal, even his co-workers. Timothy was suffering stomach problems and frequent infirmities (1 Tim. 5:23) and Paul can’t heal him, doesn’t recommend that he go to a healer in the church, doesn’t send a prayer cloth or a bottle of anointing oil (remember the miracles of some 8 years earlier in Acts 19:11-12). Likewise in 2 Timothy 4:20, Paul has to leave behind his co-worker Trophimus who had fallen sick on the last journey. Paul’s gift of healing (Acts 28:9) was no longer operating in Philippians 2:27, 1 Timothy 5:23 and 2 Timothy
    4:20.

    Summary

    The sign gifts, tongues, prophecy, the gift of
    healing, etc. were operating all through the Book of Acts, and these gifts are
    mentioned in the letters that Paul wrote during the Acts period. But when we
    turn to the letters written after the Book of Acts—the 4 Prison Epistles, and
    the 3 Pastoral Epistles, we find that the sign gifts either aren’t mentioned at
    all or we see—as with the gift of healing—that they were no longer operating in
    Paul’s life. What he could do in Acts 28, he could no longer do in Philippians,
    or in 1 and 2 Timothy. He could heal all the sick on the island in Acts 28:9,
    but he couldn’t heal any of his closest co-workers—Timothy, Epaphroditus,
    Trophimus—after the close of the Book of Acts.

    Arranging Paul’s letters in the order that he wrote them allows us to see the pattern of truth that is found in the Word of God:

    The sign gifts were operating in Acts and in all of the Acts Epistles:
    Galatians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2
    Corinthians and Romans.

    But in this time period, in 1 Corinthians 13:8-12, Paul tells us that the Lord had revealed to him that these gifts would cease some day. And they did, because in the letters written after the Book of Acts, the sign gifts had ceased, just as the Lord said that they would.

    The pattern could not be clearer, and the contrast could not
    be sharper between the earlier letters and the later letters, between the time
    when all the sign gifts were operating, and the time when all the sign gifts had
    ceased.

    We can now give a scriptural answer to the question that we
    started with: when did the sign gifts cease?

    The answer: The sign gifts ceased at the end of the Book of Acts. There is no record in Scripture of any of the sign gifts operating in any of the letters that Paul wrote after the end of the Acts period, and it is clear that the gift of healing had ceased since Paul could no longer heal even his closest co-workers after the close of the Book of Acts.

    Why did the sign gifts cease?

    Having seen the pattern of truth regarding the gifts, we need to ask, why did the gifts cease at this time?

    Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:8-12—

    “Love never fails.
    But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues,
    they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in
    part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that
    which is in part will be done away.

    “When I was a child, I spoke as a
    child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I
    put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to
    face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am
    known.”

    The gift of tongues, prophecy and knowledge during the Acts
    period were only “in part”—they were incomplete, they did not communicate the
    full knowledge that the Lord had to reveal. But the Lord revealed to Paul that
    “that which is perfect” was coming. In English, as in Greek, this is a neuter
    pronoun—”that thing which is perfect.” Paul was not writing about the coming of
    “He who is perfect” but of the coming of a “thing” which is perfect. When it
    came, then the gifts which were only “in part” would cease.

    It would
    be like the difference between being a child and becoming a grown man, or
    between seeing someone’s face reflected in a wavy ancient mirror, and seeing the person face-to-face.

    Before the end of the Book of Acts, during the Acts
    period, and in the letters written during the Acts period, the Lord had only
    revealed part of the “dispensation of grace” (Eph. 3:2) to the Apostle Paul, but
    He had not yet revealed the entire message to him. It was still only “in part”
    during the Acts period, but with the close of the Book of Acts, the Lord
    completed the revelation of the “Mystery” (see Eph. 3:3,4,9 and Col. 1:26,27,
    etc.). “That which is perfect” was finally revealed in all its fullness to the
    Apostle Paul and at that moment, those things which were only “in part” passed
    away from God’s program.

    Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:12—

    “Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.”

    When Paul wrote “now I know in part,” he used the common word for “know,” the Greek word gnosis.

    But then, when he wrote “but then I shall know…” he changes the
    word from gnosis to epignosis, “to fully know.”

    We could paraphrase Paul’s statement: “Now, as I’m writing 1 Corinthians in Acts 19, I have gnosis—I know, in part, what God’s message is for us today in the dispensation of grace, but then—when that which is perfect has come—I shall have epignosis—the full knowledge of God’s message of grace for us today.”

    All through the Book of Acts Paul had only “gnosis,” partial knowledge of the message of grace, but when we turn to the Prison Letters we suddenly find Paul using that word “epignosis”—he had now received that “full knowledge” which he didn’t have when he wrote to the Corinthians:

    “For I want you to know what a great
    conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen
    my face in the flesh, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together
    in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to
    the knowledge (epignosis—full knowledge) of the mystery of God, both of the
    Father and of Christ” (Col. 2:1-2).

    “For this reason we also, since the
    day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled
    with the knowledge (epignosis—full knowledge) of His will in all wisdom and
    spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing
    Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
    strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience
    and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to
    be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light” (Col.
    1:9-12).

    In all the seven letters written after the close of the Book of Acts, Paul uses this word “epignosis”—the full knowledge. What he had not yet received in 1 Corinthians 13, he now has. That which is perfect had come and so the sign gifts had passed away.

    The “sign gifts” were signs for God’s
    “sign people”
    Your comments will be appreciated

  • Brian

    Dear brothers and sisters, I feel strongly the hurt, confusion and righteous indignation many sincere believers, both cessationist and continuist, feel at this time. Why so? In my 40 years as a Christian, I have experienced the pain of seeing first-hand very desperate, poor black people in a Morris Cerullo service in London being asked to “give generously” immediately before the healing prayer part of the service started (afterwards you could buy “ministry air miles”); I have felt the betrayal — along with others — at the tearing apart of the Church of England in bowing to secular pressure. In short, I have seen the enormous impact of “leadership” on the Lord”s precious sheep. Yet I can ALSO bear witness to the fact that Jesus is still the Good Shepherd, our High Priest and the one who told us that the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth. (By God’s grace and the leading of his Spirit, I am now out of WOF and out of the CoE and now in a loving community where God’s word is held in high esteem, teaching is in-depth, and there are no big buildings, grand marketing programmes, empire building and no “big-ticket paid ministers”, but rather humble servants of God who lead by example – evangelising on the streets.)

    Many are now asking (since the Strange Fire Conference) — How do we move forward with this? Is there any comfort in all this?

    Let’s consider some facts.

    1. The Strange Fire conference did not appear out of nowhere.
    2. Some expressions of Christendom are clearly deviant, apostate, a dishonour to our Lord, and a stumbling block to the advance of the Gospel.
    3. Scripture holds leaders to a higher standard; the Word of God can be used for rebuke and reproof; God’s love is not sentimental: he chastens those he loves. Revelation (and in other places) indicates Christians should not tolerate leaders who lead their flock into sexual immorality / lead Christians astray.
    4. There are several warnings about avoiding deception and false teaching and a false gospel.
    5. No human leader is perfect, nor do we have perfect revelation (we see through a glass darkly; some things are “sealed up”).
    6. John MacArthur is a precious brother in Christ. He has stood for Christ and been persecuted for his faith and for having a high view of the Word of God. His stand has encouraged many Christians at a time when some high profile Christian leaders have back-pedalled on previously-held scriptural truths in the face of secular pressure. His track record in bible exposition over many decades has blessed millions of people. He is no coward.
    7. John MacArthur has on some occasions intimated (I’m paraphrasing please, and using a bit of licence) that maybe there is something lacking or erroneous in his theology and that he was trying to find out where.
    8. The conference appeared to want to challenge “excesses” in the charismatic movement (from the video clips shown), but it actually came across in JM’s mouth as an attack on every charismatic worldwide. He used the word “they” unqualified several times, appearing overall to make no distinction between a Benny Hinn and every other charismatic. (though in his intro he did seem sympathetic to non-leadership charismatic christians being deceived). Figuratively speaking, instead of a surgical strike, JM carpet-bombed every charismatic in the world.
    9. Very godly men (Dr Michael Brown and Doug Harris) – one in the continualist camp and one in the cessationist camp – view the broad-brush denouncement of all charismatics at the Strange Fire conference as bungled at best and highly offensive at worst.
    10. In the radio discussion between Dr Michael Brown and the Exec Director of GTY (John Mac’s church), it was clear that GTY is not aware of how much some charismatics have done to challenge/denounce or distance themselves from the money preachers. Or how much charismatics are doing to help the poor and needy around the world. Both men welcomed further dialogue and exchange of information between them — GREAT.
    11. We are living in the last days. Error and a falling away are prophesied. So while error must be avoided and rightly denounced and preached against in the true church of Christ, there will still be the “false church” — whatever we do. (I’m trying not to sound fatalistic, nor am I suggesting scaling back evangelism and passively waiting for Christ — on the contrary, we need to “give more careful heed to the things we have heard” etc.) The wheat and tares grow up together and the tares are burned at the end. We are in perilous times and persecution of true Christians is massively on the increase.

    Personally, I feel the Strange Fire Conference was bungled, but also believe that God can still bring much good out of it. I would appeal to fellow brethren in the continuationist camp not to disown or to speak hate against John MacArthur but to pray for him. Yes, we’ve been misrepresented. Wronged. But JM (I think) is very serious about God and his truth and we in the body of Christ do need him. Remember, many of the denunciations GTY has made against error (eg the Catholic religious system) are in line with Christians in non-GTY churches have been saying too. God knows, we need bold men of God right now. So, let’s cut JM some slack. BUT, at the same time, let’s also pray that God-fearing, bible honouring and humble charismatics get a chance to come back at GTY with a full face-to-face counter/rebuttal/facedown — away from the glare of the media.

    In particular, I pray Dr Michael Brown’s request for a meeting with GTY / JM is accepted. So many misunderstandings can be ironed out in this manner. (Of course, GTY should have dialogued in private before the conference, but that’s another story). What I thought was tragic — listening to the radio phone in between Michael Brown and GTY’s Exec Director after the conference — was how astounded the GTY man was when he heard how passionate MB was about the truth of the Gospel and how much he had done to counter error/excesses in the so-called charismatic camp. So many needless misunderstandings on such a basic level!!

    I know many folk commenting in this blog space have gone into depth discussion about spiritual gifts etc.; whether one man of God would have supported what someone else says now etc. etc. OK. Fine. But I think the need for understanding and clarity exists at a very much simpler level right now. Let me explain. Many of these leaders seem not to talk to each other — they talk past each other, over each other, in open letters, in pulpit diatribes, in blog spheres that need to be filled each day with copy, via books, but seldom directly with the person they disagree with. This is why/how even respectable leaders end up making sweeping claims that are simply not 100% accurate. Forget theology for a moment. At the conference there were comments about whether Charismatics do humanitarian works among the poor. It is at this basic level that just a telephone call to someone respected “on the other side” could have provided an opportunity to test this assertion.

    Let’s pray that leaders endeavour more to talk with each directly in private to ascertain and understand what the other person believes before launching into the public space. If you have something against your brother, aren’t you supposed to go and confront him first in private? Once something is in the public space, it is hard to retract it.

    So what positives could come from the conference furore?
    1. The subject of truth/error gets more attention in religious organisations that claim to be Christian.
    2. Ordinary Christians are prompted to look deeper into scripture and actively “test” what is being said from the pulpit. i.e. become Bereans.
    3. Believers pray and fast, humble themselves, repent where necessary and seek God.

    For what it’s worth, I believe there is nothing that can be added to or taken away from scripture. There is no place for Gnosticism; no new extra-biblical revelation. The Lord does no “new thing” that contradicts scripture or the character of God. However, I believe a person’s revelation / understanding of scripture itself can be deepened (so there is new revelation / insight in that narrow sense if you will). I do also believe in spiritual gifts — partly because the church still needs edifying — and that these also need to be tested; all the scriptural precautions, checks and balances apply (eg. do everything decently and in order; abstain from any appearance of evil; test the spirits; guard your tongue; do only what edifies the church; is it Christ exalting? does it line up with scripture? etc.) Yes, spiritual gifts can be abused and are abused — and there also appear to be counterfeit “spiritual gifts” that the enemy has brought in to discredit the Holy Spirit and deceive people (paralleled no doubt by what the scripture terms LYING signs and wonders) — but airbrushing true spiritual gifts out of scripture seems as dangerous to my mind as adding to scripture. If you feel I am wrong, please pray for me. I am not infallible.

    Shalom

  • Dale Mcalpine

    Charismaticism is as John Macarthur says ~ A doorway to all manner of false teaching.

    Just look at the fruits of the charismatic movement, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Copeland, Jan & Paul Crouch, Todd Bentley, Paula White, Juanita Bynum, Pat Robertson, Peter Popoff ….to name only a few heretical teachers.

    Jesus warned us that an evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign Matt 12:39.

    Waken up!!

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