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The Stark Difference between Being Charismatic and Charismaniacal

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"3. Have open-mic intercession. Invite people to pray 10-15 second prayers, to make decrees and to stir the atmosphere. Praying in tongues corporately will naturally lead to some incredibly potent revelation stirring within the people. I believe it's extremely valuable to invite people, in that Holy Spirit infused moment, to release that in the form of short prayers and decrees. Simply open the microphone and watch the line grow as hungry, passionate saints of God prepare to lead the people in intercession, one after the other. Imagine 20 or 30 people or more shocking the atmosphere with Holy Spirit-driven decrees. Not only is it powerful corporately, but it also empowers people individually to take ownership of what God is doing within. As they all respond to the impact of the Holy Spirit, they become stronger and the service will definitely be marked with fire. "The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry" (Ps. 34:15)."

"4. Invite people to make biblical declarations. At another point during the service, open the microphone again. Invite people to release biblical declarations. The Word of God is alive, and when that sharp sword pierces the atmosphere as people read it and then call everyone to come into agreement with it, it will result in supernatural shockwaves. "Your statutes are very sure; holiness is becoming to Your house, O Lord, forever" (Ps. 93:5)." -- John Burton

The experiential church turns a church service round from being about God to being about you. Now, I have no problem declaring what sayeth the Lord but that is why He gave the church pastors and elders. I have seen what happens when you leave the mic open -- Bethel Church does that every Friday night. What ensues are not biblical declarations but personal anecdotes, dream interpretations and alleged words from God that most certainly are not. We also have zero authority to "make decrees." This is part of the word faith heresy that believes our words can create or even "stir the atmosphere." If the moment was "Holy Spirit infused" then there would be some self-control. There would be order.

"5. Promote prophetic art, flagging, dance and other expressions during the service. It's disappointing that prophetic expression such as art, dance and flagging are almost extinct in the church today. I suggest we allow the dancers to dance! There's serious prophetic power when anointed people flag, paint, dance and contend in the Spirit. Put up the easels and allow the artists to draw or paint. Provide whiteboards for people to write down prophetic words anytime during the service. Celebrate the dance and encourage the flaggers. God has given them important gifts, and it's a mistake to shut them out. I know many pastors would argue that they can be undisciplined. They might steal attention as they exhibit their gifting during the service. My question would be, what have you done to guide and equip them? Have you invested in them by training in protocols and equipping in prophetic ministry? If not, you can't blame them if they don't know exactly how to respond when their God-given desire to function in ministry is stirring within. "Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dancing" (Ex. 15:20)." -- John Burton

My old church had a vibrant flagging and dance ministry and it was a disaster from start to finish. I remember one prayer night they had 17 flaggers during one song and when they were all going at once I could not see the worship leader anymore! I thought she was raptured! This however is a microcosm of the showy, look at me spirit that embodies the charismaniacal church. Shouting out in tongues is look at me. Prophesying is look at me. Being slain in the spirit is look at me. What could be more self-centered and showy than the look at me art of flagging or dancing during corporate worship? Anything that distracts me from God cannot be called worship. Burton is correct to say they will steal attention but not from the pastor -- from God. The verse he misuses from Exodus is not during a church service beloved. It is a celebration of God's deliverance. They had just finished singing a song, so Miriam got her tambourine out and the women danced. Hardly a biblical foundation for modern dance and flagging ministries. If you ask hardcore flaggers they will insist that they usher in the presence of the Holy Spirit but if you want to gauge their sincerity explain that they can flag and dance in the back as intercession but not during service. See how many stick around when no one is looking at them anymore.

"6. Have prayer for deliverance, healing and freedom. When's the last time you saw someone vomit at the altar? Yeah, I know, that's a funny question. I personally don't prefer to clean up the mess (I love that some pro-deliverance churches have "bucket brigades"). The point is valid, however. When is the last time deliverance has happened on a Sunday morning? The weight of God's glory should be so intense that demons easily manifest, and deliverance commences right there at the altar. I've had demons react in some intense ways in services I've been in. It's actually a thrilling adventure, not something to be shut down for the sake of keeping nice, quiet and sanitized order. When we know who we are and the authority we walk in, deliverance is something we should all get excited about. As we contend for deliverance, healing and freedom on Sunday mornings, the order of service will often have to be violated. I'd personally rather see people free than hear the prepared sermon or get out of the service on time. "These signs will accompany those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues" (Mark 16:17)." -- John Burton

We all remember the biblical imperative to vomit at the altar from 2Regurgitations? Yeah. Me neither. The point is most definitely invalid. Burton all but admits here his desire is for a service that is not in order, directly violating the word of God. He quotes from a portion of Mark that was not in the original manuscripts and fails to realize that even that verse is not speaking about a church service! Seriously beloved, if your service makes you vomit I would wager that is not the Holy Spirit you are trafficking in.

"7. Expect manifestations of the Holy Spirit, and don't shut them down when comfort levels are threatened. How is it we can worship God, preach about God and gather together because of God but shut God out when he starts to interact in a supernatural way? Manifestations of the Holy Spirit should be expected. If God's not moving, something is wrong. I remember a meeting many years ago where God was moving in extremely intense power. People were absolutely rocked. God was touching people for at least two hours before the preaching even began. When the preacher was bringing the message, one lady was laughing and crying under the power of the Holy Spirit. Some in attendance kept looking her way as God ministered to her. The preacher became agitated and said something like, "Can you not hear me? Should I have the sound crew turn my mic up? Pay attention. Do you really want me to shut down God's ministry to that lady just because you can't stay focused?" That was a powerful moment indeed. One I've remembered for over two decades. "'In the last days it shall be,' says God, 'that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams" (Acts 2:17)." -- John Burton

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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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