The author doesn't have a profile, and we'd welcome more information. He (she?) claims to hail from somewhere to the far west. Nor does he (she?) come from exactly the same doctrinal place as I, it appears. So the value is in the thoughts expressed, the personal perspective of what it is to live under the tyranny of the Charismatic model, and how great it is to enjoy Biblical freedom.
I didn't want you to miss it.
‘Extra biblical revelation’, GTMS (God Told Me Syndrome) or the more pacifying labels of ‘promptings’ and ‘impressions’ are fraught with dangers. Whichever way you slice it, the clincher is this: How do you test it? ANSWER: You can’t!!!
Especially on matters where the Bible is silent, how do you assess the validity of someone saying, ‘God told me to buy a house in this neighborhood’ or ‘the Lord told me to start a paper run as an outreach ministry’? There are no legitimate grounds on which to qualify such statements.
So if you can’t test it what are you left with? The subjective interpretation of the individual. Great! What a fantastic assurance, now we can all sleep better at night.
What a miserable, emotionally torturous and dangerous way to live your life! The best kept secret as the antidote to this disease is hidden in one of DJP’s earlier posts in this thread (as much as it pains me to agree with a Calvinist in public!)
DJP said: Adam was free to choose what, when, where, and how much, all equally to God's glory and with His blessing.
On matters where the Bible is silent, we are free to exercise our Christian liberty and our conscience to decide. We have been granted far more freedom than we realize. To quote Greg Johnson (St. Louis Center for Christian Study) …to bind the conscience where Scripture leaves freedom is a very, very serious crime.
As a Pentecostal refugee I am now free from the tyranny of having to ‘have a word from God’ on every decision I made. I can now breathe in the oxygen of Christian liberty given to me in Christ and rely on God’s guidance through Scripture and his overall providence in matters of daily life. I am not guilty for not obeying a ‘prompting’ or ‘leading’ that I can’t verify it’s true. Anything outside the Scriptures is not binding to me. The Pentecostal/charismatic movement is one of the most guilt inducing, burdensome and theologically anemic expressions of modern Christianity. Pentecostals are probably allergic to this blog, but for any drive-by’s, take heed.
Finally, I think the broader problem here is the ‘model’ of charismatically oriented ministry (thank you Mr Finney). I don’t know enough about (Jackie) Francis Chan whether he is a fully fledged charismatic or not, but he certainly thinks and talks like one.
This is a model where the leader’s respect is shaped by his mystical spirituality. Their naïve followers have been conditioned to expect the leader to make regular announcements of mystical revelation. So, if in the ordinary course of business one decides to move house, he has to throw God in the mix otherwise he could be seen as ‘acting in the flesh’!
If you’ve being investing in such a model, these are the dividends it pays you. Or as a wise man said ‘if you sleep with dogs you wake up with fleas’.