Friday, March 27, 2009

Bible, not Bentley!

"I'm now convinced that a large segment of the charismatic church will follow the Antichrist when he shows up because they have no discernment." - Anonymous Pentecostal Evangelist

The above quote comes from an article in Christianity Today regarding the imminent return of Todd “hold still while I punch heal you” Bentley to "ministry".


I'm not writing to tell you about my disgust at Bentley & his false teachings, which is considerable. No, I'm writing because I was struck so hard by that quote! It is so true! This is what happens when you base your belief system on "feelings," and "leadings," and "fresh words," instead of on what God has given us, "something more sure, the prophetic word"!


Isn't this exactly the sort of thing that the critics of the Charismatic movement have been saying all along?

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17 comments:

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Mr. Squirrel,

I share your concern. Where have all the Bereans gone?

The Pyros referenced an article earlier this month by Michael Spencer. This point stuck out to me,

"We Evangelicals have failed to pass on to our young people an orthodox form of faith that can take root and survive the secular onslaught. Ironically, the billions of dollars we've spent on youth ministers, Christian music, publishing, and media has produced a culture of young Christians who know next to nothing about their own faith except how they feel about it. Our young people have deep beliefs about the culture war, but do not know why they should obey scripture, the essentials of theology, or the experience of spiritual discipline and community. Coming generations of Christians are going to be monumentally ignorant and unprepared for culture-wide pressures.

The whole article is here

The Squirrel said...

Yes, I read that article. It isn't a new concern with me. I am constantly amazed/disappointed with the level of Biblical Illiteracy that I find in the church. The majority of a whole generation of the church has, for the most part, been failed by those who had the God-given responsibility to pass on to them the doctrines of the Christian faith.

Not only have they not been taught what they should have been, many of them have been taught, wrongly, in my opinion, to try to find God’s direction for their lives in subjective feelings, experiences, and circumstances rather than in the Bible. Add to that the many who have been taught outright false doctrine of the “name it and claim it,” health and wealth stuff, and we’ve got a real mess on our hands.

It is unfortunate that the MacArthurs, Devers, Beggs, Mohlers, (you can tell who I listen too) and other faithful Bible expositors are in the minority. There is a remnant, but I really believe that we’ve reached the time “when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires” that Paul wrote of in 2 Timothy.

Luckily, our hope is in Christ, and not in the efforts of mere men. Someday, it will all be put aright. Until then, I will preach and teach the Word to all who will listen.

The Squirrel

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Having grown up in a doctrinally sound Bible-preaching church I was really (blissfully?) unaware for a very long time.

Oh sure, I'd had encounters with the "airy fairy" type of Christians, but I guess I was pretty sheltered. In fact, I'd never heard of the whole emergent church thing until late in 2007, when our home church was becoming... well... unbearable.

I kind of hate to say that to a pastor. To tell the truth, we don't feel like we left the church.

The church left us.

Joshua Cookingham said...

I'm not a cessationist, but I'm not charasmatic either.

I'm friends with people in both groups, and I've seen traversties and unbiblical teaching in both.

That being said, I do feel Charasmatics are more prone to false doctrine, simply because they rely so much on feelings. Paul wasn't against the gifts, but he was against their being used improperly.

God bless.

Aaron said...

feelings...They are so fleeting. If I did everything I felt like, I'd be in big trouble now. Fortunately, I follow the Bible which tells me what I ought to do even when I don't feel like doing it.

I lean cessationist, but I'm not dogmatic on the point. I've just yet to find a Christian who claims to have such charismatic gifts also live a lifestyle worthy of calling Christian. Of course, Paul had some harsh words for a church that had charismatic gifts yet acted poorly so maybe that isn't a good way to judge things, necessarily. I once had somebody try to coach me into speaking in tongues...LOL.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

We have friends in missions and/or ministry who have related some amazing and clearly miraculous events. However, these were unlooked for... not done for "show", in fact, nearly unnoticed by most people. Glory to God, not the people involved. :0)

The Squirrel said...

I used to be a lot more relaxed on the cessationist/continuationist question. But, the more I've studied, and the more I've seen the damage that the Charismatic movement has caused to the name of Christ, the more firmly cessationist I've become.

If you havn't read MacArthurs Charismatic Chaos, I would urge you to do so. Or follow the link in the main post, and download the audio of the sermons from which the book was adapted. It was eye-opening for me when I read it, and I'm taking a study through it at my church right now.

The Squirrel

Joshua Cookingham said...

I read some of what MacArthur posted, I'm not sold.

Basically, we use one or two vague verses to justify dis-believing in the gifts. Meanwhile, the CRAZY charasmatics cherry pick one time events to strengthen their argument.

That's why I'm neither.

Fred Butler said...

Has anyone ever seen Bentley physically kick old ladies in the head with his boot? Or body slam an autistic child? Is there video of this?

The Squirrel said...

Fred, I've never seen such a video.

I did read an interview with Bentley where he related how God "told him" during a healing service to punch some old lady...

I would doubt that it actually happened (legal ramifications would be too great, he's not stupid, he's a con artist) but he most likely said it to help drum up the crowd, "Hey, let's go see what he'll do tonight!"

The Squirrel

The Squirrel said...

Just did a Google search, and found this (I can't get it to link, the url is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUTCWLoD4-4) video, where Bently kicks a guy with colon cancer in the stomach.

The Squirrel

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Don'tcha think that if the guy with Stage 4 Colon Cancer actually was healed by that lunatic kicking him in the stomach he'd go public about it?

I think we'd hear something.

Julie

The Squirrel said...

Julie,

I just watched the video again. I would not be surprised if it was staged (as it has been shown that much "faith healing" is. Remember Peter Popoff?)

The Squirrel

Fred Butler said...

I wrote last year that this guy was a fake, like all the others, and if there were people getting hit, I would imagine they would be staged goons.

See Post Here

The Squirrel said...

Good article, Fred. Thanks for the link. How'd I miss reading that one? Oh, wait, I was driving truck in July, and blogging while driving is highly discouraged. :-)

The Squirrel

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Fred and Mr. Squirrel,

In a country as litigious (sp?) a ours, that's the thought that crossed my mind too.

Julie

The Squirrel said...

litigious - yup, indeed!

(And you did spell it right)

(c:

The Squirrel