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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Top Ten Reasons Why I Am No Longer Pentecostal

10.  Much of the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement has adopted a form of Christian Science and New Thought cultic doctrines into their teachings on healing and prosperity via the Word of Faith teachers like Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Fred Price, Creflo Dollar and others.  (See Issues, Etc., A Different Gospel, by D.R. McConnell.  See also,  A Different Gospel).


9.  Pentecostals are essentially Anabaptists and de-emphasize the doctrine of Scripture alone or "sola Scriptura".  Because of this they emphasize mysticism and ecstatic experience above Scripture as their source of doctrine.   (2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21).


8.  Pentecostals emphasize the gifts of the Spirit above doctrine as the source of unity with other denominations.  Because of this modern Pentecostals fellowship with Charismatic Catholics and others who deny the final and absolute authority of Scripture.  (Jude 1:1-4).


7.  Trinitarian Pentecostals now accept fellowship with Oneness  Pentecostals who deny the Tri-Unity of God as three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  (Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 John 5:7-8; 2 Peter 1:1; Titus 2:13; Colossians 1:19; Colossians 2:9).


6.  Pentecostals and Charismatics accept the false prophets and television evangelists who have been exposed over and over again as teaching false doctrines that contradict justification by faith alone, the sovereignty of God, and the priesthood of believers.  (See Benny Hinn and other false prophets who do not know much about doctrine and produce all sorts of false miracles).


5.  Pentecostals and Charismatics think they are spiritually superior to other Christians who do not agree with them.  (1 Corinthians 4:6-16).


4.  The theological roots of the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement are in the Wesleyan holiness movement and the Keswick higher life movement, which emphasize sanctification and personal piety above justification by faith alone and are therefore semi-pelagian.  (See Donald Dayton, The Theological Roots of Pentecostalism).


3.  Scripture always points to the sovereignty of God in everything that happens, including election, effectual calling, and perseverance of the saints (Romans 9:6-18; Ephesians 1:4-12, 18).  (See Sovereignty of God).

2.  Miracles, signs, and wonders are not ends in and of themselves  (Exodus 7:3; Nehemiah 9:10, 16).  The false prophets and false religions also have miracle claims (Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22; 2 Thessalonians 2:9).  What sets Christianity apart from other religions is not subjective, ecstatic and mystical experiences but the Holy Scriptures and sound Christian doctrine  (Jude 1:3-4; 1 Timothy 1:10; 1 Timothy 6:3; Titus 1:9; Titus 2:1).


1.  God grants us the grace to understand the Bible and to read the Reformed confessions of faith from the Protestant Reformation and God grants us the faith to trust in God and God alone through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.



May the peace of God be with you,


Charlie




  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
    Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.




21 comments:

Reformation said...

Helpful. Thanks.

Robert said...

Interesting article, but I must question two points. First is your use of the nouns, "Pentecostals and Charismatics" without either a prior definition or a caveat so that P. and C. become what you say they are within this discussion. Unless someone approaches this with the exact same views as the writer, they find him saying little more than "I'm right because I say so." There are probably millions of people who fall within one of those categories but have no use for the opinions you "credit" them with.

It is interesting, also, in the way you worded your #1, that the Reformed statements of faith hold the same weight and authority as (sola) Scripture. Could it be you reveal more than you wish?

Andy said...

Thanks for that post.

I am a former Pentecostal also. I have done several posts on my blog dealing with Tongues, Pentecostalism, Charismatism and the inherent mysticism of their theology.

It's nice to know that we are not alone in our exodus from theological error.

Keep up the great work.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Thanks for the feedback, Andy. Nice to see you have worked in the Philippines. The Filipino people are in need of the Gospel since the majority of them are nominal Roman Catholics or worse.

God bless,

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

Robert, I'm glad you commented here. First of all, the distinction between classical Pentecostals and modern Charismatics is a blurred distinction. In earlier times there was a much sharper distinction, especially since the Charismatic movement did not begin until the 1960's when an Episcopal minister, Dennis Bennett, took the Pentecostal "experience" mainline.

I stand by what I have written here even though the movement is widely divergent and there would be pockets here and there which would not agree with what I said. In "general" and of the movement as a whole, however, what I said is accurate.

I spent 10 years as a classical Pentecostal and a Charismatic and I graduated from an Assemblies of God bible college. In addition, I was a member of the Society for Pentecostal Studies for two years while I was in seminary.

Also, if you click on the links, I did note the distinction between Pentecostals and Charismatics.

Classical Pentecostals fall into two main divisions: The Wesleyan holiness Pentecostals who have three works of grace by the Holy Spirit:

1. Justification by faith and conversion.

2. Entire sanctification.

3. Baptism with the Holy Spirit with the initial physical evidence of speaking in tongues.

The Baptistic Pentecostals have only two works of grace:

1. Justification by faith.

2. Baptism with the Holy Spirit with the initial physical evidence of tongues speaking.


Charismatics generally do not recognize tongues as an initial sign that is necessary to show the "baptism with the Holy Spirit." Their emphasis is more on the gifts of the Spirit and actualizing the baptism of the Spirit, which they see as coming with conversion due to their more mainline Protestant views.

The Oneness Pentecostals are similar to the Wesleyan holiness Pentecostals in that they emphasize all three works of grace as absolutely necessary to salvation, including the initial physical sign of speaking in other tongues:

1. Justification by faith, conversion.
2. Entire sanctification.
3. Baptism with the Holy Spirit and evidenced by speaking in tongues.

If step three does not occur, the Oneness or Apostolic Pentecostals do not believe the person is saved. Also, the Oneness Pentecostals reject the Trinity and the trinitarian baptismal formula in Matthew 28:18-20. They believe that anyone who believes in the Trinity is a tri-theist and bound for hell.

Needless to say, the Oneness Pentecostals are a cult and not Christian.

I would include the Word of Faith teachers as cult leaders. That would include Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyers, Fred Price, John Osteen, and a host of others. Their view of Christ is not orthodox and they in fact are preaching another Jesus from the Jesus in the Bible.

(See 1 John 2:22-24; 2 John 1:7-10)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Robert, the doctrine of Sola Scriptura does not credit the Reformed confessions with equal status with Scripture. You obviously did not read the article to which I linked on the doctrine of sola Scriptura. It reads:

Sola scriptura does not nullify the concept of church traditions. Rather, sola scriptura gives us a solid foundation on which to base church traditions. There are many practices, in both Catholic and Protestant churches, that are the result of traditions, not the explicit teaching of Scripture. It is good, and even necessary, for the church to have traditions. Traditions play an important role in clarifying and organizing Christian practice. At the same time, in order for these traditions to be valid, they must not be in disagreement with God’s Word. They must be based on the solid foundation of the teaching of Scripture. Sola Scriptura.

Even Reformed Baptists believe in having a "confession" of faith to guide our understanding of Scripture:

Russell Reno, professor of moral theology at Creighton University, recently reflected on the role of confessions in the Church:

"The impulse behind confessions of faith is doxological, the desire to speak the truth about God, to give voice to the beauty of holiness in the fullest possible sense. However, the particular forms that historical confessions take are shaped by confrontation. Their purpose is to respond to the spirit of the age by re-articulating in a pointed way the specific content of Christianity so as to face new challenges as well as new forms of old challenges. As a result, formal confessions are characterized by pointed distinctions. They are exercises in drawing boundaries where the particular force of traditional Christian claims is sharpened to heighten the contrast between true belief and false belief.... As they shape our beliefs, confessions structure our identities."


DON'T JUST DO SOMETHING;
Stand There! Southern Seminary and the Abstract of Principles

NewKidontheBlogg said...

Excellent article and discusson. For former pentecostals/charismatics, what was it like when you spoke in tongues? Did you fake it and can you or do you do it now? (Is it an authentic gift in any way?)How did it benefit you or did it benefit you?

Nightline found no authentic healing in the Lakeland Revival. Do you know of any authentic healing?

Charlie J. Ray said...

I'm glad you asked, Carol. Do I believe that Charismatics and Pentecostals are "faking" it? That question could apply to just about everything they do and believe, including signs, wonders and miracles. That depends on how you define "faking" it. The short answer is I do not believe they are faking it. They are sincerely doing something but they are sincerely wrong.

Now, the obvious assumption is that this is something that is totally supernatural. But is it? No. And why do I say that? It is for the simple reason that Charismatics and Pentecostals have a "synergistic" theology of the gifts, miracles, tongues, prophesy, etc. In other words, the emphasis is not on God coming upon a person and literally taking control so that you're out of control of what is going on. No, it is a "cooperation" with the Spirit of God in their view. In other words, if you just "believe" it then "act" then the result is "supernatural" in their theology.

So for example, if you are believing God for a healing, you just claim it and them pray and then ACT as if you DID get the miracle. They call this "expecting" God to move. So it is a way of setting up people to be submissive to whatever the evangelist says. So to speak in tongues you simply "believe" you are going to speak in tongues and then you act on it by faith. It is similar to a child playing and pretending to speak in a foreign language. We've all done that at times as young children.

Pentecostals believe there are two basic "biblical" forms of tongues: 1. Xenolalia (speaking in a known human language that you personally don't know) 2. Glossolalia (speaking in unknown tongues of angels which are not a known human language).

In Acts 2 what happened was xenolalia since the miracle was that the apostles spoken in human languages they did not know themselves but those native speakers who did understand heard them praising God in their own language.

In 1 Corinthians 14:2 and 1 Corinthians 13:1 the "prayer language" is obviously an unknown language since Paul refers to is known only to angels and is a "mystery" spoken to God. 1 Corinthians 14 is meant to correct the abuse of such superspirituality rather than to endorse it as most Pentecostal and Charismatic scholars spin it.

An ecstatic experience is then closely akin to hypnotism. The authority figure plants a suggestion in front a crowd. Like in the emperor's new clothes, no one is willing to go against the emperor's suggestion that he is wearing clothes when he is really naked. It's the same principle at work. The evangelist claims a miracle and it is so whether or not it is so or not. This principle applies to healings, miracles, tongues, interpretations of tongues, et. al.

In other words, all of these manifestations are simply people by "faith" trying to reproduce the miracles in the Bible. Unfortunately, most are not miracles at all but simply cheap imitations.

Did I ever speak in tongues by faith? Yes I did. And I did as I was taught to do by others. And was it real languages? No. It was gibberish. Glossolalia and not xenolalia.

Unfortunately, Pentecostals base their doctrine of the intial physical evidence of tongues as the sign of being baptized by the Holy Spirit on the day of pentecost in Acts 2. But that is not glossalalia but xenolalia. So just based on that, the sign of tongues is not reproducing Acts 2 at all! They are by and large speaking in gibberish, not xenolalia or foreign human languages.

There have been stories of folks having received this gift of xenolalia but there are no documented and verifiable incidents. Mostly what you will get is anecdotal stories.

I hope this helps. I think I will post this on the main blog.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Charlie

Andy said...

I know I faked it the first time I spoke in tongues. But the assumption was that this was precisely how it was done: you simply tried, you blurted whatever came out and then 'believed' that it was genuine.

iceman121 said...

I am a former Charismatic myself who recently came to the Reformed faith. I expierenced every single trait on this list. The whole speaking in tongues can be learned being a former charismatic I had much practice at it now I can speak in tongues without any problem just blurt out a few syllables and there you have it. Much tongues today is learned and is more mentally induced. Do I believe God could not still do it if he wanted to? of course not but it would be in very rare cases.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Thanks for your comment, iceman121. I still have old friends who are in the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement. However, they are not open to what I have to say about it. That's why I think it is borderline with brainwashing. It is practically anathema to even doubt the reality of miracles and the supernatural today.

Anonymous said...

For one there is a HUGE difference in True pentecostal vs Charismatic.
A true pentecostal church does not teach you how to speak or what to say in tongues. They believe it just comes to you while the charismatic movement teaches you what to say.

Your references to Benny Hinn and I quote you "false prophets and television evangelists who have been exposed over and over again as teaching false doctrines that contradict justification by faith alone"

That is the charismatic movement not the true pentecostal movement.

The Apolstolic Pentecostals do not believe in the television evangelists or what they stand for.

It seems everyone is Pentecostal these days.

I have studied and talked to people about what you call speaking in tongues and I bet if you would ask around there are alot of people that have experienced this than what you know of. From Catholic nuns to Baptist ministers. In fact in Texas there is sometimes 2 services at Catholic churches. Those who you believe the old style and those that are beginning to believe in tongues like Acts teaches.

One more thing, as someone who is always looking and searching for the correct way you just said that the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement is not open to what you have to say. It sounds alot like you are not open as well to what they have to say.

Be blessed

Charlie J. Ray said...

Anonymous,

The Apostolic Pentecostals are a cult because they reject the Trinity.

Enough said.

Charlie J. Ray said...

I should have also said that Roman Catholics believe in all sorts of unbiblical and idolatrous doctrines, including justification by faith plus works, praying to Mary and the saints, transubstantiation, etc... Just because they speak in tongues does not mean they are saved. Pentecostal ecumenicalism is heresy.

What matters is biblical doctrine, not speaking in tongues.

Lucio De La Rosa said...

your wroung body ur judging all pentecostal churches on ur bad experiences, I believe that u were never a true pentecostal otherwise u would still be one, we never mingle with charismatics, plus u mention a few T.V. evangelists, but u overlooked the scripture that says that a lot of people will preach forlfinancial gain, they are only fullfiling what paul said, and paul finishes by saying do not ptohibit them.a true pentecostal believes in the armenian way vs calvinisim, the bible clearly stays and don't prohibit speaking in tongues they will always be people like u that were nothing but fakerd in the pentecostsl movement, u mean to tell me that uwere living a lie for years? and that ur heart was not sincere? anf all of the sudden u renounce pentecostalisim? in favor of calvinism?were u teaching a lie? what makes me think that tomorrow u won't be a Jehovah wittness and renounce calvinisim? or become a mormon and renounce the reformed church? u were never a pentecostal.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Lucio,

Doctrine is determined by Scripture, not by your "experiences." There is nothing in Scripture that tells you how to "practice" supernatural gifts, miracles, signs, wonders, words of knowledge, prophecies, words of wisdom, tongues and interpretation or any of the rest of the "Pentecostal" view of the charismata.

Secondly, Pentecostals are Arminians and believe that salvation is defectible and can be lost. Calvinism IS the Gospel. Arminians and Pentecostals have more in common with Rome and the papists than with Biblical Christianity. Truth is propositional and logical. Truth is not "experienced" but thought with the mind and the intellect. Pentecostalism is inherently experiential and anti-intellectual. It is false religion on several levels.

I do not consider myself to have been truly saved and converted until God opened my eyes to the doctrines of sovereign grace in 1995. I was deceived by Pentecostalism and the Charismatics. Both classical Pentecostalism AND the Charismatic movement are false.

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

Also, Robert's comment about the Westminster Confession and the 39 Articles of Religion is misplaced. Since Scripture is propositional revelation, the propositions of Scripture can be logically understood by any man with a rational mind. God is Logic and man is the image of God. The propositions of Scripture can be systematically arranged into doctrinal statements because the Bible stands together as a whole. The system of theology in the Bible is best summarized by the Reformed confessions. The propositions of Scripture are not disjointed, disjunctive and isolated propositions that are unrelated. They stand together because Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35). All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for doctrine (2 Timothy 3:16). Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).

Charlie J. Ray said...

What makes me think that I will always be a Calvinist? Well, since it is impossible for God's elect to be deceived (Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22) and not one of the sheep will be lost (John 10:26-29), it follows that salvation cannot be "lost."

You're the one who believes that you save youself, keep yourself saved, and cause yourself to endure to the end, Lucio. The Bible, on the other hand, teaches the perseverance of the saints.

Charlie

Carol Noren Johnson said...

This is a very important discussion here. Glad you are maintaining it, Charlie.

Carol Noren Johnson said...

This is an important discussion. Glad you are maintaining it, Charlie.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Thanks for your kind remarks, Miss Carol...

The peace of God be with you always.

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