Monday, April 16, 2007

Fundamental Flaw

I'll be on the road for the next couple of days, so I'll pacify the crowds :-) with this classic from Dan at the Cerulean Sanctum. Some food for thought, and although you may not see fundamentalism the same way, its a nice piece to consider for spiritual edification and improvement. He concludes...

The Christian Church at the beginning of the new millennium needs more than legalism and cessationism. Life everlasting requires that we live by the Spirit or perish. And as much as the fundamental churches have championed adherence to the Scriptures, that is only one part of our life of faith and not its entirety.

Sir Chuck of the frozen wasteland...

5 comments:

  1. All belivers have some measure of the Holy Spirit. The emphasis on "Baptism of the Holy Spirt" sounds rather like a two-phase salvation.
    And to be fair to ourselves, the Holy Spirit is a gift and we can only pray for Him. We do have a small measure of direct control over our works. Rebukeing someone for not receiving an extrodinary Baptism is in some ways like rebukeing someone for not falling in love. On the other hand we do seem to know instinctively that being good is as much who we are as what we do so maybe it is not as irrational a rebuke as all that.
    Petty legalisms are unfortunatly inevitable in any church. As too often we chide other denominations for their pettynesses it is as well we see it in ourselves. Being self-righteous about other people's self-righteousness is amuseing but it is still self-righteousness.

    Sir Jason

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  2. Being self-righteous about other people's self-righteousness is amuseing but it is still self-righteousness.

    Great point, Sir Ja. For much more interesting insight on this "Christian struggle" see the comments on

    this blog. Long but a good discussion, well thought out on both sides.

    Sir C

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  3. Sir Chuck,

    Thanks for the link and for rooting through the ancient past to uncover this old post of mine.

    To respond to Sir Jason, the Holy Spirit is the lifeblood of the Church. When we say that "Without Him we can do nothing," do we think of the Holy Spirit in that same regard? When it comes right down to it, the only difference between Christians and Jews is the Holy Spirit. But that's all the difference in the world.

    Too many Christians give the Holy Spirit short shrift and it shows in our weak, powerless churches. The world is waiting for the Church to walk its talk, and one of the best means to do so is to acknowledge the "charismatic" gifts and use them as the Lord intends.

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  4. Actually the difference between Christians and Jews is Christ.
    And my point wasn't that the Holy Spirit is unimportant. My point was that the Charismatic picture seems to imply that every believer who has not had a massive and dramatic Infilling is somehow inferior. The Holy Spirit works in different ways and saying someone who has never had such an experience but who(postulated for arguments sake)behaves and believes in every other way like a Christian, is "not quite" a Christian.
    For one thing, to be brutaly frank Charismatics associate the Infilling with cliche behavior. such dramatic events are easily faked, it is easy to decieve others about them, and oneself. So easy that one can do so without realizing that one is doing so(the ease of doing so in fact may make venial what would otherwise be a hideous blasphemy). No man can know the heart of course and God will judge whether someone is being a hypocrite or merely a follow-the-leader. But we cannot tell by watching whether someone has had such an experience in truth. The only way to tell is to remember that by their fruits you shall know them.
    Moreover the Charismatic habit of rebukeing people for not having such an experience is cruel and presuptuous. Cruel for it condemns others for something which as at the control of Another-and therefore the rebuke is meaningless. It is presumptuous because it assumes that the Holy Spirit's manifestation is always detectable. It also denys that the Holy Spirit is part of every believer for no one cometh unless the Spirit draw him.
    I am not giving the Holy Spirit short shrift to disaggree with those who make an interpretation of his workings that is in my opinion simplistic and misleading.
    As for weak and powerless churches there have always been those. There have also been cruel and tyranical churches, corrupt churches, lazy churches, strife-ridden churches and power-hungry churches. The Holy Spirit was always working then and he still works. And blots on the Church will one day be made clean just as blots on individual Christians.


    Sir Jason

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  5. Anonymous said...

    Actually the difference between Christians and Jews is Christ.
    And my point wasn't that the Holy Spirit is unimportant. My point was that the Charismatic picture seems to imply that every believer who has not had a massive and dramatic Infilling is somehow inferior. The Holy Spirit works in different ways and saying someone who has never had such an experience but who(postulated for arguments sake)behaves and believes in every other way like a Christian, is "not quite" a Christian, is a profound error.
    For one thing, to be brutaly frank Charismatics associate the Infilling with cliche behavior. such dramatic events are easily faked, it is easy to decieve others about them, and oneself. So easy that one can do so without realizing that one is doing so(the ease of doing so in fact may make venial what would otherwise be a hideous blasphemy). No man can know the heart of course and God will judge whether someone is being a hypocrite or merely a follow-the-leader. But we cannot tell by watching whether someone has had such an experience in truth. The only way to tell is to remember that by their fruits you shall know them.
    Moreover the Charismatic habit of rebukeing people for not having such an experience is cruel and presuptuous. Cruel for it condemns others for something which as at the control of Another-and therefore the rebuke is meaningless. It is presumptuous because it assumes that the Holy Spirit's manifestation is always detectable. It also denys that the Holy Spirit is part of every believer for no one cometh unless the Spirit draw him.
    I am not giving the Holy Spirit short shrift to disaggree with those who make an interpretation of his workings that is in my opinion simplistic and misleading.
    As for weak and powerless churches there have always been those. There have also been cruel and tyranical churches, corrupt churches, lazy churches, strife-ridden churches and power-hungry churches. The Holy Spirit was always working then and he still works. And blots on the Church will one day be made clean just as blots on individual Christians.


    Sir Jason

    Tue Apr 24, 03:20:00 AM EST
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    Typo correction

    ReplyDelete