Forgotten Word Ministries
“The Real Danger Behind The Charismatic Movement ”
THE NOBLE BEREAN: Volume Ten - June 2006
By Michael C. Gaudiosi - The Berean Radio Network
MORE THAN JUST SIGNS AND WONDERS? The most infamous danger that most discerning students of the scripture see in the Charismatic Movement is the constant seeking of signs and wonders. As bad as that is, therein lies a danger that I think, either matches or surpasses that. I will use a few quotes from a particular email I received from a reader that really raise some red flags.
This email was in response to the May 2006 newsletter in regards to the TBN Spring Praise-A-Thon. Some of the comments in this response prompted me to write on this subject, because I believe the Charismatic Movement has a lot of problems other than the seeking of signs and wonders, and that is evident by this person’s response. The first comment in this email started with the typical reaction:
“Your zeal for the Lord and desire to be "religiously correct" come across as EXTREMELY critical and judgmental.”
Notice that they put religiously correct in quotes! As if to say I’m trying to put everyone else down and say my views are the only correct views. The words “critical” and “judgmental” are used, as they always are. The first problem here is that by simply disagreeing with the fundraising methods of TBN, I become the bad guy and I am to be admonished! This is most common in the Charismatic Movement, that you are not to disagree with it’s leaders, whether on TV or in the local church, or you will be labeled as a fault finder, Pharisee…etc. These leaders claim they are hearing from the Lord, and as such, that gives them carte blanche to say and do whatever they want, without any accountability whatsoever, especially to the authority of the scriptures! Therefore they bring themselves to a level, which is above any biblical correction or discipline. This is extremely dangerous! The next comment in this email gets even worse:
“How are you any different from than radical Islamists who put down and hate Christianity and the American way of life? They justify their actions with their "point of view."
Incredible, isn’t it? I am the one who is being critical and judgmental? Take a look at what this person compares me to, simply because I disagree with some Charismatic leaders on TV, and have the unction to say so! To this person, I am spreading hatred for America and Christianity! This kind of mindset not only shows the fact that these leaders can do whatever they want, and get away with it, but also the mind-control and manipulation they have on their followers! Nobody is to correct them, or disagree with them. When they say God is speaking to them, don’t you dare try to use your mind to discern from scripture if what they are saying is truly from the Lord! A perfect example of this is what Rod Parsley said on the TBN Spring 2006 Praise-A-Thon:
“When a word from God is given, reason is never required. Faith and faith alone must answer that door”
Tragically, many people will follow what Rod is saying here, without determining, through the scriptures, that this is a false statement. The apostle Paul stated in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 - Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. When someone gives you a “word from God” you had better use your God-given intellect and go to the scripture to determine if it really is from God, it is commanded of us to do so! However this is forbidden in the Charismatic Movement.
I speak from many years of involvement in a charismatic church. When I was in my former church, I found out something that I never have forgotten. That people in the Charismatic Movement are separated into two classes. The first is the spiritual elite class. These are the leaders you see on TV or in the church, like the senior pastor. He was always the one who heard from God. He was always the one who can lay hands on people and they would fall backwards. He was the one who can never be corrected. He was the one people looked to for signs and wonders…and so on.
I myself however, fell into the second class, which is the spiritual inferior class. I was able to hear from God, but always under the direction of the senior pastor. I could lay hands on people to pray, but they never fell backwards and I was in no position to dare correct the senior pastor, even when the evidence clearly shows he was wrong in his doctrine! With all that, I felt spiritually inferior, as if God didn’t care for me, or even wanted to use me. I had other people who came out of this movement express the very same thing to me as well, so this does exist in the Charismatic Movement!
SOLA SCRIPTURA – THE SCRIPTURE ALONE!
The last comment from this email I would like to use asks the question that can only be answered with a question:
“I wonder if you couldn't communicate your concerns and point of view differently and not have it be so critical and at the expense of others?”
How else would you expect me to communicate my concerns? There is only one way, and that is to correct and expose wrong doctrine through the scripture. Ephesians 5:11 states - And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. These unfruitful works most defiantly include false teaching. It is not being critical to correct wrong doctrine, I never have personally criticized someone because of their false teaching, I have simply listened to what these teachers are saying and comparing it to the light of scripture, the very same thing the Bereans did in Acts 17:11. They were not being critical of Paul, just simply checking if what he was saying was true, and the only authority to turn to was, and still is, the scriptures.
I do not make the claim to know it all! Check out what I’m saying by the Word of God! I am certainly not above correction, if I am in error, I would most certainly welcome your comments of correction! You would not be criticizing or judging me, but you would be most obedient to the Word of God, as we all should be! I have never heard anyone ever make this kind of statement in the Charismatic Movement. I would encourage you to question the things you hear that may be doctrinally incorrect, and search the scriptures for yourself, even if it is from your pastor on Sunday morning! If he were a true shepherd, he would welcome your comments!
If he refuses to hear you then I would consider the possibility of searching for a bible believing New Testament church that upholds sound doctrine, and whose leaders are held accountable, and are not above correction and discipline. It is one thing to trust the leaders in your church, that they will always preach and teach the truth from God’s Word, but it’s most certainly another thing when they tell you not to be concerned with their incorrect doctrine and to simply just “trust their judgment”. That is totally unacceptable!
The lack of accountability and discipline of it’s leaders, the control and manipulation of the flock, the total contempt for correction and sound doctrine, and the primary focus on feelings and the experiential make the Charismatic Movement very dangerous! Especially the fact that there is not one shred of biblical evidence to support such a movement makes it down right heresy!
Search the Scripture for yourself! SOLA SCRIPTURA! The Scripture ALONE! May the Lord bless you!
If you would like to respond please send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Copy write 2006 The Berean Radio Network.