Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Separation series #9: Charismatic Movement

No sooner had New Evangelicalism set the stage of compromising Biblical truth for the goal of reaching more people for Christ, when another compromising movement appeared in the mid 60’s the Charismatic Movement.

Pentecostal Roots
The modern Pentecostal movement had its beginnings in Kansas City and in the Los Angeles area back at the beginning of the 20th century. Is it based on a weak understanding of the Bible, a misunderstanding of the “Baptism of the Spirit” and on a false understanding of the early church’s gift of tongues (which was actually a supernatural ability of the early Christians to speak the truths of God in foreign languages that they did not know, so that the people gathered in Jerusalem from many nations actually heard the truth of God’s Word in their own languages). This gift was temporary and disappeared after the completion of the Bible. For the most part, Pentecostals are fellow believers and are our beloved brothers and sister in Christ, even though we differ with them in these matters.

Charismatic Beginnings
The Charismatic Movement with its Pentecostal leanings, had its beginning in California when a church reached out in love to the Hippies. Many of them had dropped out of their dead churches and were seeking reality; but they did not want to give up their rock music. The Californian church gladly took them in, taught them salvation through Christ and accepted their rock music. As a result Contemporary Christian Music with its strong rock beat exploded on the American scene. Within a few years CCM had taken the New Evangelical churches by storm. By the late 60’s most Christian radio stations had removed most of the beautiful Christian music of the past and exchanged it for CCM. Churches discarded their hymn books filled with hymns and Gospel songs of past generations and replaced them with “Praise choruses” from overhead screens.

Just a words about Praise music. Some of it is beautiful and magnifies Christ and His Word. That music is worth adding to the Christian music of the past. However, much of contemporary praise music lacks a clear Biblical message as well as a melody and musical structure.

The Charismatic Movement has its theological roots in Pentecostalism.

These movements basically believe that there are two distinct works of grace. The first is the work of salvation. The second work of grace is an experience, known as “The Baptism of the Spirit” or “The Second Blessing”. They teach that one who has had the baptism is able to speak in tongues. They are weak in Biblical understanding and make much of their experience, magnifying it over Bible doctrine. Since doctrine is not important to them, like the New Evangelicals, they gladly reach out to false, heretical religion, accepting them as brothers and sisters in Christ, if they have had a second blessing experience.

Another case of sinful separation.
When this new movement took hold in America, it swept into mainline Protestant churches as well as the Roman Catholic Church. As it took root in the Protestant churches, it divided congregations, separating people to their sensual doctrine and movement.

What is Success?
Charismatic churches proliferated everywhere. Charismatic radio and television now cover all the nations of the world. The Charismatic Movement, just as the New Evangelical Movement, are both willing to compromise doctrine in order to reach more people for Christ. This appears to be a very noble goal. If growth and size of audiences are indicators of success in God’s eyes; then my hat is off to both movements. They have been a booming success.

On the other hand, if faithfulness to God’s Word is more important than results, then both of these movements are failing. They are not producing saints who are strong in the Word of God and holy living. When one cannot distinguish a Christian from a non Christian in public, then there is a major lack in the pulpit..

In this age of religious confusion, one thing is certain. God is working out His will in this world and He is building His Church. Regardless of our lack of faithfulness Christ is going to be successful. He promised that the gates of Hell cannot stop the advance of Christ’s Church. I thank God for every soul that comes to Christ for salvation; whether it happens in an ecumenical evangelistic crusade or whether it is in a Charismatic church or whether it happens in a Bible believing Fundamental church..

My responsibility as a pastor these past fifty years has been to keep preaching the truth of God’s Word, exposing and warning of theological error and trusting God for the results.


May 22, 2006 - Posted by | Separation Series

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.