David at He Lives is thinking about teaching on Cessationism in his next semester of Sunday School. He defines it this way:
"Cessationism teaches that the charismatic gifts: tongues, prophecy and healing, gifts generally associated with God the Holy Spirit, ceased being practiced early in Church history, either at the Church's reception of the canon or with the death of the last apostle."
Here are my comments to David:
My experiences in Charismania for 30 years has led me to determine that:

1) God does indeed speak today but not in a universal sense ... prophetic like utterances are focused and specific.

2) Charismatics (I being one) regularly misinterpret and mis-hear the Spirits voice. We foolishly say 'thus says the Lord' or 'God told me' before testing what we say. Sometimes it is just a matter of bad role models and/or immaturity.

3) The manifestation of the Holy Spirit via spiritual gifts is probably not the norm. For example ... take healing ... less than 1% of people prayed for are healed miraculously.

4) Some charismatics are really fundamentalists that cloak legalism with spiritual verbiage. They follow charismatic formulas rather than the voice of the Spirit.

You can follow my journey in my post entitled Confessions of a Charismatic Fundamentalist
So what do you think about the topic. Seems that this was one of the hot issues in the 70s and 80s. Is it still controversial or is it something that we all have agreed to disagree on?


  1. "what do you think about the topic."

    I love the topic!

    It's funny, though. I don't think I ever took you for a charasmatic. I have nothing on which to base that. It's just the impression I got.

    Obviously, I am a cessationalist. (Is that a word?)

    But I still believe that God performs miracles today. (If you read my conversion story entitled "I love July 19th" then you know that I, myself, have experienced God's miraculous abilities in the form of both direct intervention, and physical changes.)

    I am (temporarily) rusty on my doctrinal arguments right now. But setting that aside, I have not seen anyone speak in tongues the way the brothers and sisters did in the Scriptures. Why is it always the "tongues of angels" and not "German, learned on-the-fly"? I haven't seen any convincing healings, and not one raising of the dead. And I haven't seen any prophets emerge who have spoken the way a guy like Agabus did.

    I dunno, even if it were biblically sound that the gifts still existed, the ones that are displayed today just seems to pale in comparison to what is biblical.

    I am surely not trying to slam anyone or be incendiary. But I would assume that you would not have posted this if you dd not wish to discuss it with folks who disagree.

  2. I, too, love the topic!

    Until I became a reborn Christian 12 years ago at the age of 51, I was decidedly agnostic, not to mention a "cessationist." But since then, I have seen a number of instances when God's presence was very palpable.

    For example: My brother was rushed into a heart catheterization because of several blockages. A large number of people prayed for him. Just before the procedure, the doctor told us that he very likely would go ahead and do bypass surgery. About an hour later, he summoned us and showed us the films. He said the blood was flowing perfectly well, and there were no blockages. He said, "I don't know how to explain that." I do. God did it.

    The same thing happened to a man in our church. I know a woman who was healed of hepatitis C (the kind you can't get rid of) and another woman who was healed of multiple sclerosis.

    Somewhere in a big fat book of Methodist doctrine (I'm a Methodist), I read that it was a mistake for the church to abandon the practice of healing services.

    I think if people have "eyes to see and ears to hear," they'll see these miracles even today.


  3. KB
    Your link to Confessions did not work : ( Would love to read it!

  4. I've been thinking on this for a while--your words do that, KB--
    I love this topic, too, because it reminds me of how great Jehovah is.

    Do all of our differences really make a difference after all?

    And I agree with DK on ONE POINT--

    "...the(gifts) that are displayed today just seems to pale in comparison to what is biblical."


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