Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. -- Proverbs 4:23 (ESV)
Part of the New Apostolic Reformation is a focus on our experiences over the surety of scripture. This experiential Christianity is seen in the soaking prayer nonsense on TBN, the contemplative prayer of IHOP or the daily operation of Bethel, for some obvious examples. I watched a training video once for Bethel worship leaders that summed this up and was frightening. Bethel believes and teaches that all worship leaders are "prophetic"; which is patently absurd and biblically moronic. When you run a school however that believes you can teach the gifts of the spirit, this just falls right in line. In the training video the worship leaders were taught to use the "free praise time" to still their minds and just repeat whatever popped into their "hearts" because it is probably the Lord giving them a prophetic message for the congregation. I kid you not. I saw this practice live once at a local church where the visiting worship leader kept repeating "jump in the river if you want a hug from Jesus" for no less than 15 minutes. I do not doubt this silliness was the first thing that popped into her wickedly deceitful heart. I just doubt it came from God.
So experiential Christianity encourages our easily manipulated hearts to decide what God is saying. We see this every day with wannabe prophets who claim God gave them messages we know could not possibly have come from Him. If you dare pop their unscriptural bubble with the bible you are branded a legalist who needs a "deeper revelation" of the spirit. We also see this tactic used by the most egregious false teachers today. Joseph Prince claims every sermon he preaches is verbally given to him by God directly. One of the most tired accusations these charlatans make is that the opposition is just trying to "put God in a box." We saw this nonsense in both Holy Ghost movies by heretical filmmaker Darren Wilson. Beloved, the box they are referring to is known as the bible and God placed Himself in it to prevent us from falling for the lies of our own hearts and desires of our sinful flesh. The link above is to a recent article by Mark Virkler, who claims God told him to get out of his theological box. This should be a train wreck, so let us reason once again beloved.
"It is amazing how much we love boxes! The box I used to love the most was my theological box, as I am a theologian and I believed that my doctrinal box of rules of right and wrong kept me safe from deception and error. Yes, a set of rules and beliefs does help simplify our lives, however often we miss much of what God wants to show us because it is outside of our box." -- Mark Virkler
So, you are a theologian but cannot see that the box of scripture is designed to keep you safe from deception and error? Worse, you now think that belief is actually wrong? Rules do not simplify our lives Mark -- they provide guidance for it. Note however that Mark Virkler believes that God wants to show us so much more OUTSIDE of scripture. That is the inherent disagreement discernment has with experiential Christianity. God has shown us everything He wants to within the boundaries of the bible. More often than not, those that seek additional information that must be "out there" somewhere are traditionally known as Gnostic. The pursuit of hidden knowledge is due to our flesh not wanting to deal with the rules Virkler speaks of found within scripture.
My first box was the church I was saved in. It was a very small box as they believed they were the only denomination going to heaven. Wow! Really? Other boxes I (and others) have built and live in include: