I’m going to write a little more in response to the whole “strange fire” talk between the continuationist camp and cessationist camp, mainly as seen between Michael Brown and Fred Butler from Grace To You (with some minor contributions by myself). Things are moving quick and comments are flying like mad, as is to be expected with an issue involving so many millions of people. There’s a lot of talking past one another, and a lot of rhetoric. So let’s make things really simple.
I’m going to lay down a simple challenge for people on both sides of the fence.
Here’s a video of what one group would consider a manifestation of the Holy Spirit and another would consider, well, the headlining act at the gospel gong show. (Shout out to Tony Miano for the link). Watch the following and then consider the questions after the video:
1. For both sides (cessationist and charismatic), is that a biblical manifestation of the Holy Spirit? Why or why not? (back up what you say from the scripture)
2. For both sides, are the spoken utterances coming from them biblical tongues? Why or why not? (back up what you say from the scripture)
3. Is the message of their conversion (and the stories of their evangelistic exploits) presenting the biblical gospel? Why or why not? (back up what you say from the scripture)
4. For both sides, would you allow this to occur in, or associated with, your church and support it? Why or why not? (back up what you say from the scripture)
5. For both sides, what should happen to the pastor (rev. Matthew Ford) sitting between these two? Should he be heralded as some sort of apostle for unleashing a new outpouring of the Spirit or tarred, feathered and ran out of town for being a false teacher? Why or why not? (back up what you say from the scripture)
We can dance around the issues all day long. Let’s stop dancing.
I know this sounds stupid or silly, but the kicker is in the answer to the question of why.
Why is it a modern day example of Acts chapter 2?
Why is it a wonderful work of the Holy Spirit?
Why is it stupid?
Why is it unbiblical?
I’d suggest that any charismatic who would suggest that this is not an authentic movement of the Spirit would be unable to rule out this alone, if they were being biblically consistent with their reasoning…and a wise cessationist once said “Inconsistency is the sign of a failed argument”.
Until Next Time,
Lyndon “If Bob and Doug McKenzie do the call to worship in your church, it’s time to go church shopping” Unger
P.S. – This song expresses my feelings on the previous video: