No true believer has problems with the Bible describing God’s miracles in the ancient past — we’re all in agreement the Word accurately portrays such events, so there is no controversy there at all.
It’s only when you start talking about God performing miracles in the modern day where you will generally have two kinds of reactions. Those who believe God still does them get really excited. Those who don’t get really freaked out. There is no middle ground — it’s a totally polarizing concept!
An interesting point-of-fact in this whole debate is that every born-from-above believer on the planet has experienced at least one miracle in his or her life, without a single exception. You might even protest my claim, saying, “I’ve never experienced a miracle!” Au contraire, you have definitely experienced at least one miracle: Which miracle do I speak of, you may ask?
The New Birth!
Continue reading “Ask & You Shall Receive #15:
A Brief Discussion on Miracles”
The New Apostolic Reformation (hereafter “NAR”) is a current movement within the charismatic community and is quite controversial. The volume of hostility towards those who teach and adhere to the principles espoused by this group is astonishing. The primary visible expression of the NAR within the US is Bethel Church in Redding, California.
Entire groups on social media are devoted to debunking the NAR and refuting its teachings. The degree of vitriol exhibited within these groups defies description. Regardless of the NAR’s merits — or lack thereof! — most of the comments in such groups are made by Internet trolls exhibiting huge amounts of spiritual angst coupled with a cursory level of scriptural literacy. In other words, they tend to be heavy on hysterical hyperbole and light on biblical scholarship!
My only direct contact with the NAR as been through a book written back in the mid-1990s by one of their leaders, a book which has profoundly impacted my life for the better. Who I am as both as a Christ-follower and a minister today are a direct consequence of this book’s influence at a critical juncture of my life.
This book notwithstanding, I’ve felt my ignorance of what the NAR actually stands for — rather than what others had accused them of — and whether it all measured up to Scripture was too profound to allow intelligent comment on my part publicly. As a result, I have remained silent.
All this changed recently when a Christian apologetics group I belong to on Facebook posted a YouTube video wherein a South African Christian educator was discussing the NAR with an author named R. Douglas Geivett who has written one or more books on the topic. In that video, a calm, rational discussion on the NAR actually took place, which was impressive in and of itself. Out of curiosity, I watched it all the way through. I was impressed with — and thankful for! — Brother Geivett’s refraining from tarring all charismatics and Pentecostals with the same brush, a distinction which is rarely made in the aforementioned groups devoted to refuting the NAR.
One of the other group members asked me to weigh in on what was said in the video because I’m known to be a charismatic minister. I felt led of the Spirit to repeat those comments in this article for your benefit.
Continue reading “The New Apostolic Reformation”
Back in the fourth article in this series, I presented the 9 gifts of the Spirit as listed in 1 Corinthians 12. In subsequent articles on this topic, we have discussed 3 of those gifts, the ones commonly referred to as the “utterance gifts:”
- Unknown tongues
- Interpretation of tongues
Now, after a lengthy hiatus, we will hit the remaining six in the list. The reason I’m lumping them into this one article is that these gifts are almost always manifested in some combination with one another to accomplish whatever the Spirit wills at the time. As a result, it’s almost impossible to provide examples illustrating any one of them in operation by itself.
Continue reading “They Speak With Other Tongues #7:
The Rest of the Gifts”