Charisma magazine does me so many favors; they are an unlimited fountain of fantastically feisty displays of charismatic craziness, continuationist spinelessness, and “heardmeneutics”. I would suggest that any of the three are reason enough for a conference level response, but all three together necessitate a series of conferences.
The craziness is found in all the “manifestations” of the Holy Spirit, and the defenses of the manifestations, like Ron Phillips recent defense of being slain in the Spirit (which has been re-named “falling out in the Spirit”). How long will Genesis 2:21 be used to support this?
“Heardmeneutics” is what I call a common charismatic approach to scripture where the interpreter seeks an interpretation of scripture from the Holy Spirit alone, ignoring the language and grammar of the Bible. Such “interpretations” regularly have little or nothing to do with what the passage actually says or means. A shining example of this is Cindy Jacob’s recent video on the Leviathan Spirit.
The spinelessness is shown in today’s absolutely stunning article by James Robison called “Another view of the Prosperity Gospel“. This is where the continuationist (or charismatic) folks cannot bring themselves to actually condemn something that is a false gospel, or even use the phrase “false gospel”. Let’s look at just one telling quote in the article (my interactions are in italics:
– “Scripture points out that what we’re seeing today is not new. The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah talked about priests who were greedy for gain (see Jer. 6:13; 8:10). The prophet Micah grieved over the ruling classes of Israel, whose rulers judged for reward, priests taught for hire and prophets divined for money (see Mic. 3:9).”
– Well, he’s right. Jeremiah 6:13 says that there were prophets who were greedy for gain. What Robison doesn’t mention is what God said through Jeremiah about those prophets:
“For from the least to the greatest of them,
everyone is greedy for unjust gain;
and from prophet to priest,
everyone deals falsely.
They have healed the wound of my people lightly,
saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
when there is no peace.
Were they ashamed when they committed abomination?
No, they were not at all ashamed;
they did not know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown,”
says the Lord.” – Jeremiah 6:13-15
If Robison knows 6:13, why does he not share God’s view of those false prophets & priests?
Why can he not call them “false” like Jeremiah (and God) did?
Why can he not condemn them like Jeremiah (and God) did?
Why can he not call the prosperity gospel “shameful” like Jeremiah (and God) did?
And as for Micah 3:9, it certainly does comment on the priests and prophets who divined for money. Let’s look at the greater passage:
“Hear this, you heads of the house of Jacob
and rulers of the house of Israel,
who detest justice
and make crooked all that is straight,
who build Zion with blood
and Jerusalem with iniquity.
Its heads give judgment for a bribe;
its priests teach for a price;
its prophets practice divination for money;
yet they lean on the Lord and say,
“Is not the Lord in the midst of us?
No disaster shall come upon us.”
Therefore because of you
Zion shall be plowed as a field;
Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins,
and the mountain of the house a wooded height.” – MIcah 3:9-12
Again, scorching words against those prophets. God says that they don’t actually prophesy, but rather “practice divination”. They hate justice, reverse right and wrong, are marked by sin, and yet claim that the Lord is among them. Because of their very presence in Jerusalem, Jerusalem would be destroyed. Robison says nothing of the sort.
Simple question – Did Robison use some sort of Bible concordance to grab verses for the article or did he actually read the passages he was referencing?
Those very passages show God’s response to those prophets & priests who did what they did for money, and the judgment found in the scriptures Robison quotes doesn’t appear in the article in which he cites those scriptures. What gives?
Why does his evaluation on the prosperity gospel sound so utterly different than John Piper’s evaluation? Consider this:
If the Continuationists cannot bring themselves to call “false” what God calls “false”, or cannot bring themselves to unabashedly condemn the things that God absolutely condemns, are they being true to the scriptures? If they quote scriptures and then explicitly contradict the scriptures they quote, are they really taking the Bible very seriously?
Most charismatic teachers/leaders simply do not have the theological resources or consistency to condemn all the false prophecy, false manifestations of the Spirit, and false teaching in their midst without compromising their own multimillion-dollar ministries, hence the soft approach to all the clearly and obviously abominable stuff going on. The very scriptures they attempt to use to softly address the issues at hand condemn them for their soft approach.
I’d hate to be James Robison when he has to give account for how he’s used the influence the Lord has given him.
Until Next Time,
Lyndon “Why can’t we all get along…with GOD?” Unger
***WAIT A MINUTE. In the time it took me to write this post, the article was pulled from Charisma! WHAT HAPPENED? It still shows up in Google, for the time being…