Jehovah`s Witness/Christian brothers
Hey. I must say it is good to hear from you. I always enjoy your comments and heart for God.
Its funny that you mension computer problems since mine sometimes get choppy. Meaning that I will be typing and then suddenly my curser will stop dead. I will have to move my mouse around clicking here and there to get the words out. This happened in one of my long responces to Grunbaum. I make no excuse for my poor spelling, leaving words out etc. However I am familar with the frustrations of computer glitches. I hope you get it worked out.
As for the Debate I am glad you found them. I actually didn't see the 'black' CoC pastors. I saw Bob debate fellow named David. I believe he is one of the Proffs at Harding University. The CoC was defending the position that the Holy Spirit only makes himself known through the word of God alone. They contest the idea that the Holy Spirit will Unction someone to do something apart from comming from reading the word of God. Its quite amusing since David gets very worked up with Bob. He ends up bringing a plunger on stage and uses it like a spear against his table top to illustrate his point concerning the teaching of Bob L Ross. Everyone was laughing it was great.
What I could not get over was the Accent of David and his manner of speach being Canadian and all it was interesting.
I cannot agree with you more that getting carried away with emotion and using this for the standard or basis of faith is sketchy. Primitive Baptist would argue differently as would perhaps some Penticostals, however like you said we have the word of God as our guide and standard. I am not for the flakey things, it turns me off.
CoC teaches that the gifts and baptism of the Holy Spirit were simply a first century thing. Since I had seen some of stuff that I questioned in the PAOC and some of the Big names (Kennith Copland, Benny Hinn, Rodney Howard Brown, etc) all seemed to preach a hyped up version of gifts and Christians entitlement, so accepting the opposite was not easy but it seemed plausable at first.
Some of the arguments that CoC had on this was that 1Corith 13 states that tongues and prophecy would cease when we see face to face that which is perfect (NIV) Loosely. They teach that the 'perfect' thing is none other then scripture, not Christ returning. David Miller Ph.D wrote a Paper on this where he states that the greek words gender is neuter. The logic was that if it was masculine then Christ would have been in mind. Since it was neuter this must have been a reference to the completion of the Scriptures. However the context 'you will know fully..' (NIV).
If the word of God was intended for us to know fully why all the variation? Its my understanding that the gifts, prophecy, and even scripture is only part of it. Perfection is realized when Christ appears, then we will see him face to face, and know fully who he is and who we are.
Other arguments they provide denies the gifts on the basis of all the bad or counterfit ones. John MacAurthor Jr. has a book out called 'Charismatic Chaos'. I own it, and have read through most of it. It is based on this kind of rational. My only fault in this kind of logic is two fold. First I don't think man has the ability to reason God into a box, he is soverign regardless of how rational we think we are. Secondly if you take the example of Moses you will see that when he did the wonders of God before the people the Magicians of Pharoh did the same, but counterfit versions. Did the counterfit prove that the authentic was also counterfit? No. All it proved was that Satan has the ability to decieve even to bring comfort to those who wish to deny the truth and go their own way.
As for scripture I don't see a limit on time frame for the gifts of the spirit. I do believe that they have the purpose of anointing the speaker (Christian) to be effective in making the word of God known. 1 Corith 2:4 "My message and preaching didn't come with wise and persuasive words but a demonstration of the the spirits power" (NIV). Being at the CC for the time I was I can see the perplexity and value of this passage. It is perplexing since moderning Christianity has become more 'mental' then Spiritual. We 'know' lots of stuff and can agrue it well enough using tactics to manipulate peoples feelings, or sense of right and wrong. My CC experience was one of devotion based on losing and argument more or less. However my spirit was not fulfilled nor did I feel inside that what I was doing was of God. It felt empty, yet in my mind I had no defence for how I was feeling. Scripturally they seemed correct. I felt trapped.
Yet does winning an argument make a true convert? For my wife and I? No. Does Gods ablity of ministering to the heart make a true convert. I have been his for all my life so I guess it does.
You have perhaps also heard it said that the 'Holy Spirit' brings the increase. Meaning that it is he who works in the heart of the individual bringing them to God. The Holy Spirit prompted Philip to go to the Eunich and minister to him, since his heart was ready to know Christ. I believe that God still works in Christians and those who want to answer his call as he did then.
So far as the gift go, I would love to speak in tongues, in fact I even dreamed that I was baptized in the Holy Spirit only a few days ago, and it was amazingly peaceful. I will not say no if it happens to me, however if it does not then Praise God anyway. I know the presence of God and felt his spirit well up with in me.
Not Last Sunday but the Sunday before that I began to sing in the song service. It was really nothing special, in that it was just regular worship. I started to have trouble getting the words out. So I would stop and start, think about other things etc and kept going. However, it continued to get worse so I had to stop sinning entirely. This didn't get rid of it. I could hear the words being sung and it was like it was peircing my soul and I began to weep and couldn't stop. It was embarrasing, yet I knew it was necessary. God was working something out inside of me.
I sat down and but my head between my legs and did all I could to keep from blubbering out loud. I was praying at this time that the song service would end soon or that God would finish his work and let me keep some dignity. *no one else other then my wife was weeping*.
I don't enjoy crying very much and espically in public. I am a man, it is embarrasing. I am not saying that the power of God is limited to making people weep, yet it is useful for breaking down inner stronghold we have set up, or allowed the enemy to set up. Praise God.
My point in all this is that the word of God is our guide yes. However we must remember that our worship is also in spirit as well. Infact the Spirit helps us in our understanding of the truth. That we not fall for every wind of teaching. Once again I thank you for your friendship as my Brother in Christ.
Hello Brother, how are you?
I am trying to keep my replies short, as I have had my computer screen to just "go blank" 2 times now, both this past Saturday. It hasn't done that since then, but it still has difficulty starting up, as I have to do it about 3 times. There isn't much that is any more disheartening, than to type a long response, only to see it disappear all of a sudden. So, my reply will be fairly short.
I will check out the debate you are talking about. Apparently Bob Ross has been engaged in a number of debates. I really enjoy things like that, as it gives the opportunity to see where both sides are coming from, and also helps to anticipate what arguments the "other side" may commonly use.
It will be Wednesday or Thursday before I can watch it, as my son has a basketball tournament an hour away from here tomorrow evening, and I will be leaving pretty much once I get home from work and grab a bite to eat, and will also be getting home late.
I have found that it is more the charismatics, than the Pentecostals, that get caught up in the hype of putting emotional experiences above the Scriptures. It is quite difficult reasoning with people like that, because they think that because they "feel" it, it MUST be from God, no matter what the Scriptures say. I believe that is a very dangerous foundation. I agree with you also, about the ministers that you named, as well. I have found most of your Pentecostal Churches to be grounded in Scripture much more than the charismatic movement. You mentioned Rodney Howard Browne...the laughing preacher. I have seen video of his services, and I have to wonder just where he validates his practices from the Word. Another one that many charismatics flocked to a few years ago, was the guy from Canada who was holding a "revival" down in Florida, named Todd Bentley. From the first time I watched that guy, I could hardly stand to view the mockery. Somebody in my wife's family was all caught up in watching that guy, and I told my wife that he was the most unbiblical, and far off-base "preacher" I had ever watched. A few weeks later, it came out he was running around on his wife, with a woman in his ministry. But the man's doctrine was some of the most out-in-left-field stuff I have ever seen.
As far as the spiritual gifts, my advice has always been...."Seek God, not the gift". Then, let the Lord do what He is gonna do.
As a Baptist, I DO deviate from the typical Baptist position that the "perfect" in 1 Corinthians 13:10, is the Scriptures. Don't get me wrong...I DO believe the Scriptures are perfect. I just don't feel that is what this particular verse is referring to, and I do agree that it refers to the return of Christ. My pastor has an excellent teaching on this topic. Obviously as a Baptist, my belief on tongues might differ from yours somewhat. But nor is my view that of most Baptists, that God can not, in any circumstance, use this gift today. I believe the key to understanding that, which is far too long to get into in this discussion, is in the fact that tongues is a "sign", and the Jews required a sign.
Anyway, that is a whole other discussion.
BTW, don't ever be embarrassed of worshipping God. I realize it is not just an emotional experience, but I sure AM glad it IS something that we can FEEL, and express emotion in doing. I wouldn't give you a dime for a dead church, where nothing ever happens, and you can't feel anything. Our church believes in worshipping in God, according to Scripture....lifting hands, shouting, etc.
I loved my pastor's reply to a gentleman, who asked him...."Do you REALLY think that shouting in your church is of God?"
My pastor thought for a moment and asked him..."Do you think all that sleeping in your church, is of God?"
Anyway, I'm gonna get off here for now, and eat a bite of supper. Take care, my brother. God bless.