No Holy Spirit
January 6, 2014
Author Article Cessationism Opinion Pentecostalism

Whisper it softly. I have some cessationist friends!

No Holy SpiritI don't mind cessationists, really I don't. Many of them are my brethren in Christ. I used to be one myself, until I studied the relevant Scripture passages for myself. They have misunderstood Scripture, that is true – but a lot of us have done that. I probably still do, on some issues.

But too many of the cessationists commenting on Facebook at the moment are not really cessationists – they are anti-charismatics. Their whole raison d'ĂȘtre is negatively to criticize any tiny or perceived fault they can find in any charismatic or pentecostal, however well respected. I don't know about you, but all my human heroes have feet of clay. But as soon as a charismatic is noted to do something that an anti-charismatic does not like, the anti-charismatics jump up and down with glee, using adjectives like “crazy”, “bonkers” and describing the same as “wolves in sheep's clothing”.

The double-standards are breathtaking. For example, the most prominent cessationist theologian of the moment is John MacArthur. MacArthur holds to the very common eschatological view known as dispensationalism, which usually includes a belief in a pre-tribulation rapture. This is a view held by a large number of cessationists. Yet the theology only came about in the 19th Century, and was introduced via a “prophetic word” given in a rather dubious charismatic fellowship in Scotland. The irony of cessationists holding to pre-tribulationism is staggering! But pre-tribulationists are my brothers. You will not hear me describing them as crazy or bonkers.

In my view, the Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogosphere baiting of charismatics by these anti-charismatics, since the notorious Strange Fire conference, is beyond a joke. It is time for leading cessationists of character to call on their brethren to say that enough is enough, and to start disciplining the loud-mouthed bullies of the anti-charismatic world. For my part, I am tired of trying to treat anti-charismatics as brethren. While I am sure many of them are simply immature people, who have failed to grow in spiritual maturity, I see no reason why I should continue in fellowship with them, until they repent, not of their cessationism (that will come through honest Bible study), but of their sheer bad manners.

7 responses on “Anti-Charismatics

  1. Mary Jo

    At the risk of making all my cessationist friends mad, I'm going to heartily agree with this post! While I'm pretty sure the charismatic movement has A LOT of problems, the cessation camp has a pretty big one too… i.e. lack of scriptural support. Growing up in a reformed home, the sound of John McArthur's voice is one of my earliest memories, but I definitely take issue with him on this… as well as his eschatology! ~Mary Jo (Posting as a guest because Disqus is acting up today and won't let me login!)

  2. Paul Taylor

    Thanks Mary Jo. The charismatic world has a HUGE number of problems. I have highlighted some in this blog. One only has to think of several well-known names and “revivals” to see what problems there are in the charismatic movement. Are there more problems in the charismatic movement than in the cessationist movement? Probably! Why? Because the gifts of the Spirit are true and are for today – so why would Satan bother counterfeiting what isn't true? Satan produces error in the vicinity of God's truth, to try to deceive the elect, if that were possible.

  3. Geoff Hughes

    That old saw used by the cults; ie, the JWs ,Mormons, Roman Catholics,etc,etc, etc. “See! This proves we are real Christians; we're being persecuted by the sessationists “. Circle the wagons , brethren, they are out to get us, the true believvers(once again).

    1. Paul Taylor

      Who are “etc, etc, etc”? Your point lacks intellectual merit, by the use of such tired clichés as “that old saw”, rather than attempting to engage the arguments. Your argument might be more impressive if you were capable of spelling “cessationists”, or even “believers”. You could easily have copied the word “cessationist” from my article. The fact that you spelled it wrong suggests that you didn't bother to read it.

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