The last post dealt with dangers for cessationists to avoid. However, there are also harmful extremes that some charismatics can fall into. So, since I seem to be stuck on the number 5 lately, here they are: Five Dangers for Charismatics to avoid:
- Dividing Christians into the spiritual “haves” and “have nots”– believing that those who have spiritual gifts such as tongues are more spiritual than those who do not. Receiving such spiritual gifts is felt to launch you to “Level 2” spirituality. (You only need to review church history to see that God has worked mightily through men in both camps.)
- Holding “prophecies” on the same par as Scripture. “God told me” becomes just as binding as “The Bible says…”
- The idea that God wants you to always be well, and that any illness on your part can be blamed on your lack of faith (enter: guilt, for still having cancer…)
- A belief that God does not use suffering in our lives for good purposes. (By contrast, the Apostle Paul was not healed of his thorn in the flesh in 2 Corinthians 12, though he pleaded with God three times to take it away. Paul told the Philippians in Php 1:29, “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake.”)
- A belief that God wants you to be wealthy. The so-called “prosperity gospel” feeds the materialistic bent in us. However, as explained so powerfully in this video, having more money does not show the world that Jesus is infinitely valuable.
Let’s ask the Lord to guard our hearts: to keep us close to the Scriptures and away from dangerous extremes!