Thursday, March 22, 2007

charismatic? why not?

Robert Ivy summarizes his list of 14 reasons he is a charismatic. Then he asks, "are you a charismatic? Why not?" Drop by his site and let him know. I'd love to see the responses.

Me? To cessationism I "just say no".

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Randy (no blog) said...

He writes that list as if there are two types of people—Charismatics with all the gifts and other believers with zero gifts. That is not my experience. We non-Charismatics are not giftless. Typically Charismatic is defined as having, in addition to some other gifts, the gifts of tongues, healings, and maybe the gift of knowledge.

Just as everyone does not have the gift of pastor or teacher, some believers may not have the so-called Charismatic gifts. Now, we could argue about whether a person should pursue all the gifts, but I would say probably not. At least I wouldn’t encourage a person to seek the lesser gifts. I also wouldn’t, for example, encourage someone to seek the gift of pastor if he has no evident pastor capability.

There are many spiritual gifts, and I know of no one who has all of the gifts. The reason Ivy feels a need to write the list is that some believers insist that 2 or 3 of the gifts have ceased. We agree on the other gifts. I don’t think it’s helpful for Charismatics to elevate themselves to a point of self-designated superiority because of their beliefs about 2 or 3 gifts. I also don’t think it is helpful for cessationists to suggest that the Charismatics are heretics because of those gifts either.

rick said...

I may understand why you perceive Ivy's list as you do but I don't see that he said that there are only two categories, those with and those without. I don't believe he thinks that.

I think he is addressing those that have said we shouldn't pursue all of the gifts (this is you). Ivy and I (and of course we think the Apostle Paul agrees) think you are incorrect in your position to not pursue all gifts. We don't think you have no gifts. If you'd like I can send you a personal note listing those. :< )

As for a sense of superiority. I didn't read that. I think it's a matter of right and wrong rather than better and worse. I think Calvinism is right and Arminism is wrong. I don't think Calvinists are better ... well, I try not to think that. :< )

The "superiority" argument is a wrong kind of argument. I pursue these gifts while you do not. Do you believe you are superior to me? Then why is one of the routine arguments against Charismatics that they think they are better than those that are not?

As with Calvinism, the older I get, the more convinced I am that this is right and the opposing position is wrong. At the same time I see both sides within the bounds of orthodoxy. Therefore it should never take the form of a fight, ugliness, etc..

I've read only a small number of Charismatics speaking badly about cessationists. But the stream of cessationists writing/speaking badly of Charismatics is endless.

I've heard cessationists accuse Charismatics of thinking they were superior but I think the evidence supports the opposite.