Monday, 29 February 2016

Spotting a Counterfeit Part 3

My previous two blogposts discuss my struggles with looking for and talking about other people's errors. Errors and sin is everywhere, that really shouldn't need saying, should it? The New Testament says we are not to keep company with anyone who says they are a brother and lives sinfully (1 Corinthians 5:11, because those outside of the faith are not convicted by the Holy Spirit, but if they truly are of the faith they will feel convicted if we reject their company in response to living in open sinful rebellion. It really doesn't say to continually convince everyone of their errors, although there are a couple of passages that do mention how the church is to deal with unrepentant persons who claim to be believers, I do not see that as justification for continuously bringing up other people's wrongdoings.

The above image link will take you to a blog entry that makes the case that John MacArthur made some grievous mistakes in how he addressed the topic of the excesses we have perhaps all seen replayed which occurred during some infamous "outpourings" that resulted in people barking like dogs, and other behaviours that were less than orderly at best, and perhaps might even be considered blasphemous. 

Excerpt from the link:

(quoting MacArthur):“Mostly this comes in the professing church from Pentecostals and Charismatics who feel they have free license to abuse the Holy Spirit and even blaspheme His holy name. And they do it constantly.
How do they do it? By attributing to the Holy Spirit words that He didn’t say, deeds that He didn’t do, and experiences that He didn’t produce, attributing to the Holy Spirit that which is not the work of the Holy Spirit. Endless human experiences, emotional experiences, bizarre experiences and demonic experiences are said to come from the Holy Spirit…visions, revelations, voices from heaven, messages from the Spirit through transcendental means, dreams, speaking in tongues, prophecies, out of body experiences, trips to heaven, anointings, miracles. All false, all lies, all deceptions attributed falsely to the Holy Spirit . . .

(and then the last hiker's thoughts on the MacArthur quote): Basically, John MacArthur said that I have blasphemed the Holy Spirit–the unpardonable sin. So according to John MacArthur, I am going to hell because my relationship with God involves me believing that He speaks to me. I don’t think he really means that we are going to hell, he can’t mean that, can he? But you can’t throw out the phrases blasphemy of the Holy Spirit without conveying that idea."

Regarding the Charismatic excesses, and those who have written and spoken against it, you can find plenty of information about it online, and I encourage you to do the research prayerfully with your Bible nearby to look up all the related Bible verses that are given by both sides, and study to show yourself approved regarding this, and all things that are important in our walk with the Lord. The above linked blog article is a good place to begin if you are unfamiliar with this topic, but be sure to read all the comments in the comments section as well... I did... there is much food for thought and prayer in that article AND in the comments as well.

You may agree or disagree with "the last hiker", but I wanted to mention a few things that were brought up about John MacArthur in the comments section of that blog article:

1.  John MacArthur said you can repent after taking the mark of the beast if you mistakenly take it during the great tribulation. (I disagree with him)

2. He said he couldn't recall ever repenting or being born of the Spirit, that he had always believed in God even as a small child. (God only knows if he is saved, some think this means he isn't born of the Spirit... as for me, I don't know so I'm leaving that one with Jesus)

3. When he talked about his great family heritage, and about his great grandfather being a pastor in Prince Edward Island, Canada, he failed to mention that his great grandfather was also a grand master in a Masonic lodge and held the 33rd degree. (If you are going to talk about great family heritage would it be good to mention the failings as well?... when talking about my grandmother I doubt I'd drag out her skeletons in the closet, but does that prove a lack of being born again? I personally don't think so)

When I look to men (and also when I focus on myself) I see shortcomings every time. That is why our focus should remain on Jesus and what He has done. When a man such as John MacArthur speaks things that are in agreement with the Bible, I will agree with him. When "the last hiker" says things that is right with what the Bible states, I am agreement with her. When John MacArthur boasts of himself or his family he speaks foolishly (according to the Apostle Paul 2 Corinthians 11:16-33). When "the last hiker".... or when I.... try to make excuses for things that require humble repenting, or try to think more highly of ourselves than we ought, we likewise speak foolishly. It is better to hold the tongue and take it to the Lord directly to see if that is the case.

But what this link also shows me is that no one changed their minds on this topic in this discussion. Those who thought MacArthur is right might have disagreed with the above-mentioned points, but still held their position when it came to what he had to say about "Strange Fire" and those who want to hold to signs and experiences having importance and value in a Christian's life, might concede that things such as Toronto Blessing was not appropriate and orderly church behaviour, but still held to their belief that signs, healings, miracles, tongues, etc, have an important place in a true Christian's life. I like the fact that the discussion was done in a civil manner, and it is important to talk about our differences, but if the goal is to change anyone's mind: If the Lord isn't doing it, it ain't gonna happen.

Regarding this topic of John MacArthur vs. the Charismatics I have my opinion, but getting into heated discussions about it won't enlighten anyone. I can pray for those that I perceive are being hurt or deceived, and I can avoid those who are willfully teaching and doing things that are contrary to what the Bible clearly teaches.
That's it.
Edit: well, that isn't quite "it", I posted more about it here

 1Corinthians 5:9-13
I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:  Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.   But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.  For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?  But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.



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