Strange or Authentic Fire?

February 2, 2016

If you read Dr. MacArthur’s Strange Fire or Charismatic Chaos, you should be a good Berean and read Authentic Fire as well. As Dr. Brown states, Dr. MacArthur has been a great teacher for decades, but on this issue he has been a bit myopic and honestly unfair to lump all Charismatics/Pentecostals together. That is like saying that all Baptists are like Westboro Baptist Church or all Catholic priests are pedophiles.  It’s not true and an unjust assessment.
I have been a Baptist for 40 years serving as a lay worker and in pastoral positions in GARBC, Southern Baptist and Independent Fighting Fundamental Baptist Churches in several states.  I did pretty much what Dr. MacArthur has done. I consigned all tongue speakers to Hell or madness because I had seen only the abuses. Since we believe in Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and forever why do we think the Holy Spirit changed?  Because some theologian told us He did, but I do not see anything in the Word that says He changed.
I am now in an Assembly of God church and spent a few months at a Charismatic/Apostolic Church in Fort Worth where I saw God move and there was no strange or wild fire. God is alive and well and moving among His people where I am a member. Indeed, if you are tired of playing church or knowing God only by rules and rituals come visit Bethel Temple in Cleburne, TX.  I have grown more in the last year than I have in 40 years, but have a long way to go.
I have served with some good men and I am not intending to bash Baptists, but they do have some groups that are nearly as crazy as Westboro that have hurt as many people as the Charismatics MacArthur cites. However, just as not all Baptists are kooks and cultists not all Charismatics abuse the gifts. Remember that the believers in Corinth had all the gifts and were abusing them. Paul chastised the abusers, but did not say the gifts were bad. He encouraged the people to seek the best gifts and to get love for without love the gifts could not be used properly.  There are Baptist tares and Charismatic ones, but do not tear up the wheat with them. We can add the rest of the denominations as well to the list of who has wheat and tares.  No group is exempt from it’s crazies.  Paul said that there must needs be divisions so that the approved would stand which means there would have to be those who are not approved.  Discernment is needed, but as many of my professors would state you don’t toss the baby out with the bath water.
Do I speak in tongues? No and not everyone in a Pentecostal church does as the Scripture says the Spirit dispenses the gifts to whom He will. God asked me if I would let Him be God in my life and I said yes, so now I am seeking to hear Him.  Yes, I heard Him ask it. I am still learning and it has been prophesied that I will speak in tongues one day.  If that came from God then I will and I am willing to accept whatever gift He gives me.  That is a far cry from even five years ago.  Had you told me that I would be in an AOG church, I would have laughed at you.  I guess the laugh is on me, but I am glad of it.

Read Dr. Brown’s book, if you want a balanced view of the subject hearing both sides.  I believe it will be the classic apologetic for the Pentecostal movement.  You may be surprised at some of the people he quotes.  Ask God to show you His truth and let Him be God, not your denominational background.  Let Him deal with the abuses.  Be a Berean!  (Acts 17:11) Shalom!  Maranatha!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s