'Strangers to Fire' Blasts Back at Cessationist Movement; Defends Use of Supernatural Gifts of the Holy Spirt

"[W]e're saying that John MacArthur is stranger to the authentic fire of the Holy Spirit and of revival"

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Bert Perry's picture

I'd hang out and pray with some charismatics when I was a young believer, and roomed with a pentacostal one year.  Heard a fair amount of speaking in tongues, but somehow it never seemed like any language I knew.  And I can pick out a few.  

Would love to believe that a lot of the gifts are still in use.  Just haven't seen much evidence that the current manifestations pass Biblical muster.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Bert Perry's picture

I have been under the impression that one of the key arguments, Biblically speaking, against continuationism comes from 1 Cor. 13: 8--something about the verb tenses and such in the Greek.  I've also seen 1 Cor. 12:29 used to refute the idea that we must all speak in tongues.  What are the other Biblical arguments against continuationism?

For reference, I view the failure of most (almost all? all?) pentacostals and charismatics to adhere to Biblical descriptions of the gifts in Acts 2, 1 Cor. 14, etc., as something of a "practical" issue, and one where we can invoke inductive logic/argument from likelihood, whereas the others are deductive in nature.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Wayne Wilson's picture

Yes, Bert, I think the obvious inferiority of the modern gifts to the biblical descriptions of them is not only a sound reason for rejection, but demands it.

Tongues are no longer real languages. Prophecy is very imperfect, and often fails the biblical test (Deut 18:21-22, a verse that protected the church from errant prophets for centuries), and healings are decidedly pathetic compared to their biblical counterparts. In fact, to claim they are the same gifts is to make the Bible look like a bunch off tall-tales!

Biblically, I would look at Ephesians primarily. Eph 3:5 establishes that the role of Apostles and prophets is revelatory.  These are two of the four categories of ministry Paul mentions in 4:11. The Eph. 2:20 plainly says that Apostles and prophets are the foundation.  Charismatics claim the foundation image is not meant to reflect time, but of course it does. You lay a foundation, and then you build on it. It is the first in a sequence in building a building. Put together, it is clear that Apostles and prophets provided revelation as the foundation of New Covenant ministry. Once the foundation is in the church's possession (the Scriptures), it doesn't need to be laid again.  This fits with church history.