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Examining the Charismaniacal Deconstruction of the Holy Spirit

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"1. Religious tradition. Many of the hardline Jewish people in Jesus' day couldn't handle it when He touched lepers, healed a bleeding woman or talked to Samaritans because He was breaking old religious rules. Tradition prevents us from being open to anything new, even if God is the one providing the new path. Many Christians have been taught that the spiritual gifts in the New Testament don't happen anymore, so they have built-in skepticism." - J. Lee Grady

The fact that some people have been taught cessationism and others continuationism, is correct but one always needs to be open for what the spirit will teach us. Someone once asked my opinion and I did some research and came to the conclusion through scripture that the bible does not support cessationism. It just does not pass the smell test. That said, neither does holy laughter. Just because something is new doesn't make it right either. The fact that Jesus touched lepers does not mean that the Holy Spirit makes us bark like a dog while worshiping God.

"2. Fear of the supernatural. The book of Acts is full of accounts of healings, angelic visitations, doors opening by themselves and demons coming out""accompanied by screams. I'm not sure why a Christian wouldn't want to see such miracles today. Maybe they watched too many horror movies about demons? Fear can cause someone to live in a box of limitation. I hope more believers today will ask the Holy Spirit to do His supernatural work through them, because we need New Testament-style miracles now more than ever!" - J. Lee Grady

To be honest I see this less. I can see religious tradition making people uncomfortable but a fear of the supernatural? Nope. What Grady is missing is that most people discern that the Holy Spirit is not the only spirit and something being supernatural does not mean it must be from God. For example, I do not believe that Jennifer LeClaire can release squadrons of angels for personal harvest in your life even though she wrote an entire book on the matter. I believe in angels because the bible tells me so, but I do not believe when charlatans like Bill Johnson claim angel feathers started falling all around him in a local diner. I believe God heals. I have seen Him do so powerfully. I do not however believe Todd White's leg growing scam or itinerant healing evangelists who never seem to go to a hospital to show off the power of God they pretend to have. So, most Christians I know would love to see powerful moves of the spirit but have no interest in the false signs and lying wonders of the NAR.

"3. Dependence on logic and reason. Many Christians today have built their faith completely on an intellectual foundation. They love apologetics and eloquent sermons, but they forgot that the apostle Paul""who was a masterful scholar""actually put more emphasis on the subjective realm of the Holy Spirit than on scholarship. Paul wrote: "...my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power" (1 Cor. 2:4). God gave you a mind, but if you continually lean on your own understanding you will limit Him!" - J. Lee Grady

It is always a fine line to walk. Skeptics would argue that most Charismatics leave logic and reason at the door but that is no more biblical than what they complain about. Faith is not checking your brain at the concierge. The spirit will lead us into all truth but we still must understand what is being shown to us. Paul's reference here is that he did not come to them with eloquent speechcraft, which was desperately sought after and worshiped in his age. The demonstration of the power of the spirit does not mean convulsing demonically or slapping people to impart healing. So, I agree we must always be open for the display of the power of the Holy Ghost but issue a warning of caution to not assign every bizarre movement to Him personally.

"4. Fear of talking to others about God. When people are baptized in the Holy Spirit, they are filled with boldness and begin to share their faith openly. This can be terrifying to someone who is timid or introverted, so they naturally pull back when there is an opportunity to receive more of God's power. God has not given us a spirit of timidity (2 Tim. 1:7), but many Christians are satisfied to live in timidity's control." - J. Lee Grady

Again, I agree partially but I think Grady misses the boat on the reason. People are not afraid of the Holy Spirit but of the fears and anxieties they carry from this world. As a former sufferer of anxiety, I can tell you that knowing perfect love casts out all fear may not be enough to practice it in real time. I agree that most Christians are deathly afraid of witnessing but most of that has to do with how poorly they are taught. God did not make all evangelists. We witness first with our lives. Too many churched folk run around asking people to say sinner's prayers with them so they can check the box that they "led someone to Christ." It does not work that way. Grady is right and fear/anxiety is a silent killer in the church today that excuses the sorcery of pharmacotherapy because they just do not know how to deal with people who are struggling with these issues. To say however that it is all a fear of talking to others about God misses the boat entirely.

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Submitted on Monday, Jan 23, 2023 at 1:05:30 PM

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