For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. -- 1Corinthians 14:33 (ESV)
I make no bones about the fact that I am a Charismatic Christian. Simply put, that means I believe in the expression of the Charismata, or the gifts of the spirit. I believe the New Testament is clear about how these are apportioned and manifested. As the key verse sums up this teaching -- God is a God of order. Why? So that there would not be confusion but rather peace, in His church. It is because I believe these things that I can biblically debunk cessationism, which believes the gifts ceased at the end of Apostolic Age. It is also for this reason that I can admit that my house is not in order. I can readily admit that the gifts are largely abused these days as Charismania has supplanted reason. Charismania believes in gold dust and gem stones. Charismania believes in angel feathers and glory clouds. Charismania believes experiential Christianity trumps what the bible says. I reject all such nonsense as the bible instructs me to do. I came across the above linked article a few weeks back that perfectly outlines all that is wrong with Charismania. So let us reason together once more as we walk through this offering:
"An Azusa Street report: disgraceful intermingling of the races ... they cry and make howling noises all day and into the night. They run, jump, shake all over, shout to the top of their voice, spin around in circles, fall out on the sawdust blanketed floor jerking, kicking and rolling all over it. Some of them pass out and do not move for hours as though they were dead. These people appear to be mad, mentally deranged or under a spell. They claim to be filled with the spirit. They have a one eyed, illiterate, Negro as their preacher who stays on his knees much of the time with his head hidden between the wooden milk crates. He doesn't talk very much but at times he can be heard shouting, "Repent," and he's supposed to be running the thing... They repeatedly sing the same song, "The Comforter Has Come."
It's becoming less common for Christians to jump out of bed on Sunday mornings, excited about heading to church. Of course, many do still love their church experience. The worship environment is powerful, the vision is alive, and the part they play causes them to feel the fire of the Holy Spirit coursing through them. However, sadly, if we were honest, we'd have to admit that many church services are much less powerful, less anointed and less impacting than we'd like. In fact, a church that looks anything like what was described in the above Azusa Street report can hardly be found." -- John Burton
Thank God churches cannot be found like described in the Azusa blurb. That does not sound like church but rather demonic outpouring. The race of the pastor (William Seymour) is irrelevant, although clearly not at the time of the revival. The focus on one worship song while repetitive is equally irrelevant. The fact that Seymour spent much time in intercession and calling for repentance is welcome. It is the rest of the report could just as easily describe a service in the 1990's at the bogus "Toronto Blessing" or the infamous "Lakeland Outpouring" in 2008. People running, jumping, shaking all over, falling out jerking spasmodically, rolling around on the ground, and passing out for hours as if dead? That is all the greatest hits of the modern day Charismania experience or as huckster Benny Hinn calls it, Sunday. They claim these activities are all orchestrated by the Holy Spirit, as did the Azusa followers. Yet we know this cannot be true by reading our bibles. God is a God of order. One of the gifts of the spirit is self-control! The truly sad thing is Burton essentially opens up by saying that it is these unbiblical things that determine if a service is powerful, anointed and impactful. What about the Gospel preached correctly? What about God focused corporate worship? What about communion with the saints? Unless I burst into uncontrolled laughter it is not powerful? Ridiculous.
'There is a way to fix that. The end result is an atmosphere that's placed in the Holy Spirit's control. I'll tell you this: It's impossible to be bored when God moves. Impossible. It can't happen. It's possible to be provoked, irritated, offended or troubled, but not bored or disconnected. What this means is that, in many churches, God isn't moving in real power. It may be hard to admit that, but we must if we want to prepare for revival and an outpouring that will make us say, "I can never do church the way I used to again."' -- John Burton
Again the connotation to losing complete control of oneself as being powerful is asinine and not supported biblically. What is truly worse now is he actually says that those that seek to hear the word preached correctly without having to fall down in a pile of sawdust must be bored. Sorry, I never grow bored with the Gospel. The reason why so many do these days is the modern church does not preach the Gospel at all and would prefer to entertain people. From an entertainment perspective I can see Burton's point. Who wouldn't rather be part of the show? Running around falling down, screaming out. Except church is not supposed to be about us now is it? Burton now gives seven ways to end boring, predictable church services: