Friday, November 02, 2007

Caring for My Charismatic Friends

I have a number of friends either heavily in the charismatic movement or comfortably (in THEIR minds) on the fringes.

Phil Johnson over at Pyromaniacs has posted yet another excellent review, Something "Nice"?, of the movement as a whole.

No matter how much the nay-sayers in the comment thread accuse Phil of "straw-man" arguments, harshness, etc. the facts of his Biblical argument and the sad evidence within the movement DEMANDS our attention, consideration, and denunciation.

I've said it before, and will probably say it till I die, I am a former charismatic and I am not surprised by ANYTHING that happens in or comes out of the charismatic circles. It is a chaotic, man-centered, and self-serving movement. I live with and deal with charismatics on a daily basis and it is heart-wrenching to hear and read much of what they claim God is doing--and often blame Him. I loudly echo what Frank Turk (emphasis mine) said today in the comments of Phil's post:

I love these people. I worry daily for them on the basis of their discernment and frankly the way they apply the faith they have to the way they live. And the root cause for all -- and I say this with all gentleness and reverence possible in this case -- their various troubles in life is investment in phony prophecies and visions which never come true and which lead them down blind alleys where they expect God to deliver them from their own frankly-godless ends. I know a businessman who took his current position based on a "personal word from God" which became immediate clear to be false, but rather than consider whether his decision, then he went seeking another word from God to find out what to do.

What does God do to a people, I wonder, who follow false prophets, and take their own word as His word? Do we have any examples in Scripture? What does John say about the fate of people who follow false prophets?

This is a far more serious issue than the charismatic advocate will allow, and that actually makes me personally more worried that they are deceived.

May God have mercy on more people within the charismatic movement and cause them to see Him as He has revealed Himself in scripture, rather than the cosmic "puppet" they have created in their man-centered theology.

No comments: