Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Bill Clinton and the woefully-misnamed "continuationalists"

So, if "continuationalists" were really "continuationalists," wouldn't that mean that they believe in the continuation of revelatory and attestational gifts just like in Biblical days?

If they believe in any discontinuity, then isn't it the case that they are not really "continuationalists"?

And if that is true, then isn't it really the fact that all Christians are "cessationists"?

And doesn't it then become a question of how much cessation we see, and why?

That would seem to me to be the Biblical and logical choice.

But then there is the Bill Clinton option, and that's the one for which most continuationalists opt today.

I take it as a premise that no sane, Bible-believing Christian really, seriously tries to argue that it is commonly happening today just as it happened in the apostles' day. Inerrant, canonical Scripture is not being written (pace 1 Corinthians 14:37; 2 Peter 3:15-16, etc.). And however many people may or may not be regaining their sense of smell or getting over back-aches, it certainly is not the case that the preponderant and undeniable nature and quantity of bona fide miracles are leaving unbelievers scrambling for an explanation (Matthew 12:24; Acts 4:16). Rather, it is the believers who are falling all over themselves trying to explain why these things are not happening.

So folks are left with basically two options: admit that there is a chasm, a cessation, and deal with it -- OR the Bill Clinton option.

What's the Bill Clinton option?

Well, before he even lied his way into the Presidency, Bill Clinton was hounded by reports of his unwillingness to keep a promise — specifically, the promise he made to his wife, when they wed. Now, he could have admitted that fact, and dealt with it by repentance and genuine Christian faith. Or he could have admitted it, said he had no intention of dealing with it, and if folks didn't like it, that was just tough for them.

Instead, what he did was to drag down all other Presidents and leaders to his level. That's what it means to "Clinton down": to appear bigger, by making the truly-big appear small.

What he did (and still does! I just heard him do it!) is say, "Now you listen! If you want to say I'm not fit to be President/wasn't a great President, then you'll have to say all these other Presidents aren't great either -- because they all did it too!"

And so he made/makes himself great, by making everyone else small, contemptible, and shabby -- like himself.

Thus, what "continuationalists" have tried to do in recent times is say that the miracles of the apostles, and the prophecies of the prophets, weren't really that great after all. Denying the clear and pan-Biblical definition of prophet (grounded in Deuteronomy 18, and a few hundred other locii), as well as the overall impact of apostolic signs and wonders, they say the apostles and prophets failed, and they made mistakes, too. They're just like the modern aspirants.

So they, like Bill Clinton, raise themselves up by dragging others down. Their "miracles" are legit, because the real articles weren't such a big deal after all.

And in so doing, the hope evidently is that all of us will simply overlook what Phil Johnson has pointed out in his way (here, and here, and here) , and what I have pointed out in mine (here, and here): that their movement has never produced anything genuinely of apostolic class. Never!

Not much of a "continuation," is it?

And certainly no gain for the Body of Christ, at all.

Maybe we should just busy ourselves with reading, studying, learning, believing, doing, teaching and proclaiming God's inerrant and abiding Word. Novel thought, eh?

Not really (John 8:31-32; Matthew 28:18-20).

1 comment:

Alex Jordan said...

Excellent. What good are error-filled prophecies, pseudo-tongues, and dubious miracles?