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The New and Absurd Doctrine of "Functional Cessationism"

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Wow. Look at what Mattera is saying. Essentially, he is saying that as believers, we need to check at the door rational thought and understanding. That's insane and nowhere does God ask this from us. We are to be wise as serpents not stupid as idiots. The rational mind can still grasp the supernatural. When the doctors call a healing a miracle it is not irrational to conclude divine intervention. As for the first offering here for functional cessationism, it seems obvious he is just upset that many people do not count him as an apostle, which is a title Mattera craves. Heck, he runs the United States Coalition of Apostolic Leaders! The only position with some disagreement from Ephesians 4:11 is that of apostle. Forgive us Joseph but we do not bow down to any man claiming to be an apostle. Not you. Not C. Peter Wagner. Not anyone. Those I have met with a true apostolic calling on their life would never be so arrogant as to call themselves an apostle. That doesn't make me a cessationist; just someone who reads their bible.

"2. Cessationism Regarding Hearing the Voice of God - If you do not believe that God can subjectively communicate to you outside of the written Word of God or that He has ceased doing so since the completion of the canon of Scripture, you are a cessationist. Whether you describe divine communication as an "illumination," (God impressing something upon your heart), or a "revelation," (God speaking to you), it is all the same experience. Evangelical rationalists take Scriptures like 1 Corinthians 13:10 to mean the completion of the canon of Scripture. (The 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament). Thus, when somebody claims "God spoke to them," rationalists believe it is adding to the Word of God or the final canon of Scripture. (They use Revelation 22:18-19 to support their argument.) They believe this, even though a proper exegesis of 1 Corinthians 13:10 shows that Paul was not talking about the final canon of Scripture but rather was referring to the saints seeing Jesus "face to face" in heaven. (1 Cor. 13:12; 1 John 3:2). Furthermore, in the context of this verse, Paul said he would "know fully even as he was fully known." Since he died before the book of Revelation was written, he could not have been speaking about canon completion but rather he was referring to going to heaven. In addition, the context of 1 Corinthians 13:10 also shows that "knowledge" will pass away, not just tongues and prophecies. Do any of these evangelical rationalists genuinely believe that our present-day need for "knowledge" no longer exists?" - Joseph Mattera

Here is an excellent example of what I have been speaking about. Mattera lays out two sides and pretends there can be no middle ground. I disagree. I believe we can hear from God today, even audibly as rare as that may be. I believe the Holy Spirit can guide us into all truth to hear from God through His word. I can believe this and also recognize that Mattera sloppily lumps verbal revelation in with what we think we hear in our hearts. The knowledge Mattera seeks is in the bible. The prophecies we might hear, are to come from the canon of scripture or at least be related to them. Adding to the word is when we teach something NOT found in the bible and then have the temerity to blame it on the Spirit. In order for Mattera's beliefs to be true, God would have had to forget to tell us something when He finalized His word but now, He is using people like Joseph Mattera, James Goll, or Jennifer LeClaire to inform us. But not His whole church mind you, just the American church. It just doesn't pass the smell test. So perhaps that word you received by it being "impressed upon your heart" was not actually God. So yes Joseph, we desperately need knowledge, and many perish still for lack of it, but that knowledge is found in the bible, not in your deceitful heart. Once again, that doesn't make me a cessationist but rather a person who believes their bible.

"3. Cessationism Regarding the Gift of Prophecy - Doctrinally, Pentecostals and charismatics claim they believe in the gift of prophecy. (First Corinthians 14:31 says that "all may prophesy" so that the church may be edified. You can also see 1 Corinthians 14:4). However, if members in such Pentecostal and charismatic churches never practice this gift in their gatherings, it is reasonable to classify them as functionally cessationist toward prophecy." - Joseph Mattera

This is so wicked. What Mattera is teaching is that unless you allow the everything goes prophecies like Bethel, then you don't believe in the gifts of the spirit. Nonsense. Paul put severe limitations on the usage of the gifts during service. Not to mention that Mattera's version of prophecy is not what the bible supports. God did not forget something thousands of years ago that He is now using Betty from row three to inform us about. Even if you believed such nonsense, how does the rest of the church hear it? Look, if someone prophesy's repent for the kingdom of God is at hand or for God so loved the world that is perfectly acceptable because it is in the bible. What I do not need to hear however is Bob from the hardware store telling me God is saying that I should chase my inheritance or something equally unbiblical designed to scratch my itching ears.

"4. Cessationism Regarding the Practice of Glossolalia - Many leaders in the Pentecostal movement say that some of their young pastors and members in their contemporary churches do not practice "speaking in tongues" for personal edification (1 Cor. 14:2-4). Those who don't pursue, receive and practice this spiritual gift, aside from the Pentecostal classification, are functionally cessationists (1 Cor. 14:18, 1 Cor. 39-40)." - Joseph Mattera

Here is the poster child disagreement we are speaking about today - tongues. Specifically, we are speaking about the gibberish speech practiced in most charismatic churches today. Ironic that he cites the key verses for today and fails to realize that Paul is speaking AGAINST tongues in favor of prophecy. The larger point here is what manifestation of tongues are we talking about. The biblical manifestation was known earthly languages not this fake supernatural occurrence of baby-speak. So, what Mattera is arguing is that unless you speak HIS version of tongues then you are a cessationist. How arrogant. The word "Glossolalia" originated in the late 19th century. The modern version of tongues has only been around for 140 years or so out of over 2000 since Christ walked the earth. So according to Mattera, everyone who came before the 1880's had it all wrong. Right, and that makes me a cessationist.

"5. Cessationism Regarding Divine Healing - The Gospels and New Testament writings encourage believers to pray for the sick by faith for supernatural healing (Mark 16:15-18; Luke 10:1-9; John 14:12; James 5:13-15; Acts). Despite this New Testament chronicled practice, many Pentecostals and charismatics rarely pray effectively for the sick. Consequently, they are functional cessationists when it comes to divine healing." - Joseph Mattera

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
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