If you weren’t worshiping with Crew on Sunday and haven’t yet listened to Josh’s sermon yet, download the podcast and give it a listen. It was a great overview of the four views on whether the miraculous spiritual gifts (prophecy, miracles, healing, and tongues) are for today (the continuationist, or charismatic, position), or whether they ceased once the Scriptures were complete (the cessationist position).
Looking beyond whether these gifts are active today, I’d like to offer concerns I have with the extremes of both positions. Like any issue, the dangers usually occur when we get out of balance; reacting against one side’s position will often make us swing too far in the other direction.
As you read these, please keep in mind: I am not saying that all, or even most, of those holding cessationist or charismatic positions are guilty of all, or even any, of these dangers. I’m just saying: no matter which side you hold to, let’s guard against these unhealthy extremes.
First, here are five dangers for cessationists to avoid:
- Failure to give God glory when the supernatural occurs (for example, when the cancer mysteriously disappears, perplexing the doctors)
- Tending to view charismatic brothers as non-thinking or overly emotional
- A low view of the Holy Spirit’s leading; a fear that if someone says, “I feel God is leading me to tell you…” that the person is somehow trying to add to the Scriptures
- Tendency to downplay the power of the Holy Spirit in evangelism and ministry
- Skepticism, failure to rejoice, and failure to praise God when He uses a charismatic church to accomplish eternal good: establishing an effective ministry, experiencing revival, leading someone to Christ, etc.