CHARISMATIC EXTREMES

This is not an in-depth study but just some personal observations... I think there are two extremes that can happen with reference to the charismatic gifts of today such as tongues and healing.

One extreme would be to say that they should not be operating since the canon of the Bible was completed. This is based on an interpretation of I Cor. 13:8-12 which doesn't hold up to close investigation...as it ends by saying when these gifts end we will see "face to face". Also, as I look at the things occurring on the 700 Club, I am certain that if they were not real or valid, someone would have LONG ago exposed them. The charismatic gifts ARE obviously operating... and I have to wonder if people who say these are not real but fake are by default relegating the work of God to the Satanic realm... THAT I would see as very dangerous.

The other extreme I have heard about at times is to say EVERYONE can or should get the gift of tongues or healing or some other gift. I realize we are to build our beliefs on the basis of the Bible, not experience... but I went through a time when I really TRIED hard to get some/ANY of the charismatic gifts I could. Hands were laid on me...nothing happened... I was to say syllables...it didn't work. I got a babysitter and spent literally hours alone saying, OK...here I am... if there is anything you have for me that will help me be more effective in serving you, I want it. At the end of those hours nothing happened except that I was finally drawn to two thoughts. One... God had already given me the 'gift' of teaching, and secondly, that I Cor. 12:7-11 says that it is up to GOD to decide who gets what gift or gifts, and how many, and that all Christians get at least one gift.   I am happy for those who have the charismatic-type gifts I don't, but when a teacher suggests that we "all" should have some gift, I just shake my head. It says in I Cor. 12:29-30 that all do not have all the gifts... A series of questions is asked, and the obvious answer to all of them is  "no".  One of the questions is: "do all speak with tongues".    Some quote Paul's statement that he was thankful that he spoke in tongues more than all of them (the people at Corinth - I Cor. 14:18).  Think that through.  If he had the WELFARE of the Corinthians in his heart, why didn't he say,  "I pray you all will speak in tongues as much as I do." 

The downside here -- I got encouraging thoughts at the end of my seeking, but if a younger Christian came out of such an experience without the awareness of the scriptures mentioned, that person might feel God was neglecting or ignoring him or her, or the person might feel somehow unworthy.  I KNOW  I am not the only person who has had such a searching/not receiving experience.

The third observation is this: Satan is a counterfeiter. Some charismatic "revivals" have accomplished much good, but have been infiltrated with Satan having influenced people who are NOT submitting their feelings, actions, prophecies or gifts to the spotlight of God's Word... We could look at some of the excesses and throw the whole movement into the trash, or recognize that Satan wants very much to discredit God's work. It is definitely a MIXED BAG. Those involved in any Charismatic movement need to realize they become a target for counterfeit activity and submit to the SCRIPTURAL guidelines for what is happening.   For example -- I heard recently of a 'spirit' movement that results in some people vomiting!   Yikes!   I think it would be a mistake to categorize the Brownville or Toronto revivals or any others as all good or all bad. Spiritually MATURE leaders should be monitoring for Satan's counterfeiting activity.