| Gifts for today????|
In my adolescence i was exposed a lot to the charismatic church. In high school there was a time when i was very zealous and hungry for God. i was young and trusted ministers. i believed what i was told. i read books by men in the faith movement. i devoured them one by one. in church we would gather and walk the floors praying in tongues for hours.
eventually i met other Christian friends at school from community churches, baptists, calvinists, etc. much more conservative and reserved. They challenged the views i was taught and gave me books to read. These authors attacked the things many of these preachers said. I was young and only had a partial knowledge of the Word. I was very confused. I didnt have the tools to discern for myself which doctrinal road to take. I had no foundation. I was tossed to and fro by winds of doctrine. Later this would be something which contributed to me walking away. i couldnt figure out why Christians--two with 8 yrs of study could 'attack' each other with the same Bible verse. My eyes became skeptical. I attended a church where they would all stand and simultaneously speak in tongues loudly, boldly, and fervently. We would bow in worship---some would prophecy. I knew in the word that Paul had written the Corinthian church instructing them to do things orderly. I thought---'i'm sitting in a Corinthian church. They are doing the same thing. It isnt that what was done wasnt the Spirit ('the spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet'). It wasnt that they didnt have the gift but it seemed disobedient and defiant to what Paul wrote. At times it was difficult to determine if what a man declared was conjured by his flesh or a manifestation of authentic gifts.
I remembered this in my wayward yrs.
When the Lord took me back, broke my leg, and draped me over His shoulder so that i would never stray again but rather bond to me Shepherd 7 yrs later i decided to get to the bottom of all this. I read like a mad scientist. I was thankful to Calvary Chapel because they taught the Bible verse by verse, chapter by chapter. They did things in order but believed the gifts were operative today--unlike some Baptists.
I studied 'prophecy'.
I knew in Eph. 4 that in NT times men were called to the office of prophet. I also understood that many people were naive and seeking the sensational. I dont think Jesus ever made one move to appease someones curiosity, but it was always to further the gospel and glorify God.
In study i learned that the OT prophet was the equivalent to a NT Apostle. They spoke forth the Oracles of God. They were men of no compromise, absent of a fear of any man or government and remarkable character. Men who lived and breathed pray--fellowship with God. What they spoke, dreamt, wrote was Holy Writ. Primarily their call consisted of 'forth-telling'. At times, they were given dreams, visions, words, to 'fore-tell' (depict future events). There is a thing called 'sensus plenior' which means they didnt even know sometimes what the words they wrote even meant. To them they were writing jibberish. Centuries later scholars and even lay people saw the culmination of these things.
If Apostles are the same as prophets of the OT and the Cannon is complete. Where does the element of prophecy fit today. Well, first it is well to recall that primarily it is for the prophet to 'forth-tell'---simply to speak the word of God. The prophetic Spirit declares truth. Simple as that. In Cor. we learn that to prophecy means to either 1) edify the body (encourage with passages of life), 2) exhort (stir and spur on to action) or 3) admonish (a gentle rebuke or correction)---a rebuke should always be done with an objective for restoration, never alienation (unless church discipline is needed that they might repent). Second--at times men will dream dreams (and woman!!). Dreams are always seen in the Bible on a national scale (i think therte's a couple exceptions--like when it was prophesied Paul would be bound)---mostly centered around Israel but not every time--but when it concerns another nation it most likely has a relationship to Israel---all points to Jesus--all points to the promised Messiah!! The Bible says "do not forbid to prophecy. Prove all things. Test the spirits" what is the motive behind the word a man has declared-- what is the heart? Does it aline with Scripture!! It must----otherwise that man is condemned by God (Gal.1:9) if he is knowingly declaring falsity opposed to the Spirit of Christ. "The spirit of prophecy is the spirit of Christ (Rev. 19).
I love Calvary Chapel. Their emphasis is the Bible and they love the Jewish people. However they tire me. They are so concerned about doing things in order that no one hardly steps out. I shouldnt say 'ever', but i am making a generality...there are beautiful believers in every fold who are greatly used by God in these ways. They dont want us to draw attention to ourselves. They want all the glory to go to God...which is right on...but i think this has hindered things. Fearing a fear of man they have actually acquired a fear of man. They dont want man to think they are drawing attn. to themselves---this is hypocrisy. No one is maturing in their gifts. They are scared. They are stagnant. Much of this is due i believe to the attacks of the enemy and darts in the church thrown at eachother. Some men are right on and are only seeking to defend truth---this is excellent--BUT in this we have all stood still for fear of doing it wrong. I fear for the church. Many are not just luke-warm...many are cold.
Many of my friends God has brought into my life recognize this. Many of us have grown away from Calvary Chapel. We believe in God's Sovereignty (a doctrinal baptist emphasis) and we also believe that the gifts are operative today (charismatic). We say "reformed in doctrine, charismatic in practice"---however i still hold one criticism. Even my closest friends who declare this are very skeptical of pentecostal things. Past things in the church have created this negative connotation. The word 'prophet' does not sit well in many Christians minds. It has been abused. The enemy has won too many battles. HOWEVER It is clearly taught in the Bible!!!
Lord....send Your latter rain. Heal our land.
"As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied (many different gifts) grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies--in order that in everything GOD MAY BE GLORIFIED IN JESUS CHRIST."
1 Peter 4:10-11
READ EPH. 4:10-17
| 2006/8/30 15:59||Profile|
| 2006/8/30 16:46||Profile|
i have read both these books. i am not refering to any off teaching. i am referring to an attitude in the church regardless of what they say they believe. we need more than lip service.
| 2006/8/30 20:57||Profile|
"Some people object because they feel that I gloss over certain passages of Scripture, and they're correct. But glossing over controversial issues is often deliberate because there are usually two sides. And I have found that it's important not to be divisive and not to allow people to become polarized on issues, because the moment they are polarized, there's division.
A classic example is the problem in our understanding of the Scriptures that refer to the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man. The Bible actually teaches both, but in our human understanding they're mutually exclusive. People who become divisive on this issue claim that we can't believe both, because if you carry the sovereignty of God to an extreme, it eliminates the responsibility of man. Likewise, if you carry the responsibilities of man to the extreme, it eliminates the sovereignty of God. This mistake is made when a person takes the doctrine and carries it out to its logical conclusion. Using human logic and carrying divine sovereignty out to its logical conclusion leaves man with no choices.
So, how are we to deal with rightly dividing the Word on the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man? We need to believe both of them through faith, because I can't keep them in balance by my understanding. I don't understand how they come together. But I do believe them both. I believe that God is sovereign, and I also believe that I'm responsible and that God holds me responsible for the choices that I make. I simply trust God that both assertions of Scripture are true.
There's a pastor who recently came out with a little pamphlet on Calvinism, and on the front cover, there's a balance scale with John Calvin on one side and John 3:16 on the other. Which side would you rather stand for?
Don't get polarized. Don't let the people get polarized. The minute you do, you've lost half your congregation because people are split pretty evenly on this issue. So if you take a polarized position you'll lose half of your congregation. Do you really want to lose 50% of your congregation?"
Chuck Smith 'Calvary Distinctives'
| 2006/8/30 21:12||Profile|
| Re: Gifts for today????|
Messenger on 2006/8/30 20:59:27 posted...
Quote:I am not qualified to comment on Calvary Chapel and its ways but I would like to question some of your Biblical assumptions. I think the equivalent of the OT prophet is the NT prophet. Apostles belong to quite a different order of things. If you reverse engineer the statement you may see what I am getting at. If Apostles are the NT equivalent of OT prophets what are the OT equivalents of NT prophets?
In study i learned that the OT prophet was the equivalent to a NT Apostle. They spoke forth the Oracles of God.
If Apostles are the same as prophets of the OT and the Cannon is complete. Where does the element of prophecy fit today. Well, first it is well to recall that primarily it is for the prophet to 'forth-tell'---simply to speak the word of God.
It is often been a pattern for churches from a Reformed background to equate NT prophecy with the preaching/teaching gift but this view cannot really be substantiated from scripture. Some Reformed folk are happy to talk about NT prophecy as long as the understanding remains that we are really talking about preaching/teaching. But if preaching and teaching are something quite different to NT prophecy then it may be that many of our churches are lacking a distinctive NT facet.
| 2006/8/31 5:19||Profile|
| Re: Gifts for today????|
The Gifts are for today.
Holy Spirit come back to Your Church.
The reason that we do not see the Gifts operating in our Churches, as we should see them, is that man wants to be in control.
This is the way it is in our Church.
Just certain ones can be used, and the Holy Spirit doesn't operate this way, for God will not give His Glory to another.
Good Posts, Brother.
| 2006/8/31 10:08||Profile|