Q05 for Bryan: The Rest of Christianity

What should be done by the larger body of Christ if the orthodox inside Charismatic circles aren't doing what is called for in your previous answer?

I think the only thing I really called for in my previous answer was an avoidance of two errors (immature & blasphemous charismania and immature & blasphemous cessationismania). If a cessationist with a larger platform wants to shoot down (not literally of course) wolves like Mike Murdock with a slug, then I might want to video that myself, maybe even do a little cameo somewhere. But if a cessationist with that larger platform wants to shoot down Shepherds like John Piper, Wayne Grudem, and Sam Storms (and by implication Matt Chandler and a host of others, including sheep) with buck shot in order to get to con-men like Mike Murdock, then obviously we've got some problems.

Now, I don't put John Macarthur and those in his camp anywhere near men like Mike Murdock, neither do I consider John Macarthur or cessationists, wolves. There are probably some among you, which is amazing really, cause some of you guys have rifles pointed out the back of your heads. However, I would like to see the larger body of Christ address hard cessationist expressions like the Strange Fire conference in a more seriously loving but harsh way...one that matches the degree of seriousness and tough love of the Strange fire conference and still punches your gut while asking you to have a sense of humor about yourselves. When I first started watching the Strange Fire conference introductory videos, I wondered in disgust why or how long continuationists with the larger platforms would tolerate such a crusade and mockery of the things they sincerely know to be true and beautiful. Then I had to realize, that some of the men that I think should respond with some grit and spit (I'm an Arkansas boy), probably have good and wise reasons not to. Maybe they've experienced enough battle to know it's time to just "leave them alone".                                  

But I think the idea here is what do we think you guys should do if we (the orthodox) inside charismatic circles aren't doing what you think we should be doing, right?

My initial thoughts:

1. Explore in more detail how these guys with the larger platforms are already addressing your concerns you say are not being dealt with. I've read John Macarthur's letter to his continuationist friends, so I know John acknowledges that some work has been done here (primarily with the prosperity gospel), but is not enough in his view. While I've stated before that I don't think any amount of addressing concerns will satisfy cessationists, because what they really want to see is an abandonment of our modern use of the "gifts", there is still more evidence than you realize that those who are "orthodox" and consider themselves to be in the "charismatic movement", are indeed "policing" it.
2. Meet face to face with those orthodox continuationists and charismatics to discover why exactly they're willing to continue their practice even after the Macarthur letter/book and the conference. Find out why Grudem refuses to remove his endorsement of Jack Deere's books. Explore exactly why John Piper asks His Father in childlike faith for the gift of tongues. If these men are brilliant theologians and you've benefited from their ministry and books, is it not logical to give them more of an ear as to why even after such a strong expression against them with your conference and in the book, they still won't change their mind on the issue? I think logically you've have to assume that there is more truth to what they're teaching and defending than what you currently understand.

3. Sincerely ask the Father, not me, "What would it mean for me to obey, or to even want to obey, I Corinthians 14:1 if I conceded that it was something I should be doing for the edification of the Church and for Your glory?" Ask Him every day.

4. Sincerely ask the Holy Spirit, with other believers in a small gathering, to display His healing and revealing ministry among you. Ask Him to speak to you in any way He pleases. Then listen together. Consider having someone like Jack Deere and/or Wayne Grudem to come to your church to teach on the subject.

5. Explore how the spiritual warfare motif is evident in both the Old and New Testaments, how that battle is going on today practically throughout the world, and how the gifts fit in to a warfare worldview and the overall goal of advancing the Kingdom of God through the church. On this note, you might even consider visiting somewhere like the Village first or speaking with some other pastors there, especially those over the counseling ministries, to get an idea of what it looks like to work with, with the help of someone with the gift of discerning of spirits, persons who are demonized. There are other ministries elsewhere that deal more consistently with those issues as well, but the point is that being aware of how the gifts are used in those contexts may be very helpful.    

After seeking to do these things and possibly experiencing/understanding the "real thing" more so that you can more adequately identify the counterfeit, meet with larger platform continuationists and charismatic pastors, discuss the concerns you still have, and start developing a plan together to purify your own belief and practice and then shooting the obvious false teachers and developing strategic ways to sort through what could be counterfeit signs and wonders that could deceive the Church.

If this seems like I'm asking too much from cessationists, then at least perhaps consider how we can come together to engage in war against the real enemy and to advance the Kingdom of God in Truth, Love, and Power even if we couldn't agree completely on the issue of the of the gifts.