Thursday, August 03, 2006

Charismatics, Adrian Warnock, Democratic politicians, the MSM, and me

This is a short post on my lo-o-o-ong series at Pyro, which you can dive into by starting HERE. That has all the links.

So, why'd I do it? Why'd I do it at all, and why in such depth?

Two main reasons... no, three.

First, because Adrian addressed his comments to me, Adrian's our friend, it seemed the right thing to do.

Second, "I believed, therefore I spoke."

Third, because charismatics and public Christians and Christian media are like the Democrats and the mainstream media.

Democrats say and do the most astonishing things, and the media just say (at most), "Okey doke," and report it. Or, if it's embarrassing and unspinnable, they don't report it.

John Edwards says that, if John Kerry were president, the lame would walk. No mainstream reporter evidently said, "Okay... what?!" Nor ran around asking (by contrast) sane people, "So, what about John Kerry bringing in the Millennial Kingdom? Hwere are you on that?"

I've just thought that countless times, in interviews I've read and seen, in articles. No reporter seems to think, nor ask probing, commonsense questions of the "Do you really mean that?" variety.

It isn't like in England, where they all meet together for congenial brawls on TV, and are forced to defend or explain their ideas in realtime. No, here in the US the politicians are all isolated. Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, John Murtha, and all the rest say wildly irresponsible things in neat, tidy, safe, hermetically-sealed environments where they're never challenged, never forced to follow out the implications of their statements.

And so, similarly, Charismatics.

Benny Hinn goes on TBN. I don't think he's going to call James White's internet radio show. They just say things in friendly environments, and evidently are never in any position -- privately or publicly -- where their statements are latched onto, Biblically analyzed, followed through, and challenged. Where, in short, they're held to account for their statements.

Adrian made a number of statements that struck me as needing a "Wait a minute" moment -- like the one about Luke 11, and the one about why tongues might be only semi-sorta-Biblical because they're in the warmup stage, and how cessationists disobey Scripture, so on.

So what usually happens is charismatics talk among charismatics, and get agreement. They talk about cessationists among charismatics, and get agreement. Nobody is there with, say, Benny Hinn to say, "Wait -- you're saying people flew through the air at your meeting? When? Why didn't I read about that? Can you do that right now? Why not? What does that have to do with anything? What verse were you on? Can you name the books of the Bible? What's with your hair?"

And this isn't really good for anyone. It isn't good for the charismatics, it isn't good for cessationists, it isn't good for the church, it isn't good for the world we're supposed to evangelize together.

So, after weighing several options (no response, email to him, short response, etc.), I opted to interact with him seriously, and hope we all benefit by the dialogue.


Carrie said...

I agree with you. These things need to be confronted publicly at times to make sure the truth is out there. At least people can then make an informed decision.

DJP said...


And if he can do it in under a million words... bonus!


Carrie said...

Oh, no bonus for you then.

candyinsierras said...

Did you have to post such a scary picture of mutant hair wave apostate in your post? I have much more edifying pictures of the Mokelumne Wilderness on my blog. :)

Mike Y said...

What is with his hair?

Dan, you always seem to ask the relevant questions. ;)

This whole topic has actually gotten old to me. I keep hearing the charismatic arguments pop up, but usually after I hear something to the effect "don't confuse us with others". It all seems to be a variation on themes.

I too am waiting to see a sound response to all you wrote. I'd love to see it concise and rational. I can't take having to get in touch with more apparently hidden aspects of myself. If I continue, I may become schizophrenic.

Take care and thanks for your labor with this.

Gordon Cloud said...

I am going to put in a bid to get Benny's hairspray contract.

Garry Weaver said...

Heresy and hair... they go together like taters 'n beans.

Peter Kirk said...

I'm no great lover of Benny Hinn, because of his style and because of the exegetical weakness of his preaching. But I think we all owe it to our brothers (and sisters) in Christ, and especially to those in high profile public ministries, not to misrepresent or mock them. After all, there are plenty of unbelievers mocking them without us encouraging them. So, does Benny really claim that people fly through the air at his meetings? I thought he concentrated on healing miracles, not pointless tricks, and all to glorify Christ. But if he doesn't make such claims, to suggest that he does is to misrepresent him, and in the context looks to me like mockery.

DJP said...

Saw and heard him say it, with my own eyes and ears, Peter.

And if you think anything about Benny Hinn is about glorifying Christ -- we're missing some essential shared referents.