Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Answering The Charismatic "You Do Not Have Enough Faith" Quibble

  • Discussion:
          -An accusatory quibble articulated by extreme charismatics against those of us who deny the veracity of their claims is that we simply lack of faith in God (or that utilizing spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues is a requirement for salvation). Notice, however, the words once spoken by Jesus Christ to the doubting Thomas:

          "Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)

          Perhaps it is the charismatic types who have shallow faith and need continual miracles as did the Jews who challenged the authority of Christ during His earthly ministry. In fact, the Bible, which was written and compiled over a timespan of 1,600 years, documents less than three hundred miraculous occasions.

          We should be seeking the supernatural peace and grace that God provides in the midst of our daily trials (2 Corinthians 12:9; Philippians 4:7-8). God uses times of suffering to build up our faith and so confirm us to the image of His Son Jesus Christ (Romans 5:3-5). This is not to imply that God cannot or does not work miracles today, but rather that various spiritual gifts instituted in the first century no longer need be communicated through human vessels. The Apostle Paul even stated that not all who have been filled with the Holy Spirit were intended to speak in tongues (1 Corinthians 12:30).

          Those extremely dogmatic charismatics and Pentecostals who argue that one must exercise his or her allegedly bestowed gifts of the Holy Spirit (speaking in tongues) in order to be justified in the sight of God are in serious error. That requirement is nowhere included in the Apostle Paul's concise definition of the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-8). The gospel is the power of God to save everyone who believes (Romans 1:16-17). Justification is attained not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9). The belief that one must exercise charismatic gifts in order to be saved is not another gospel, but a perversion of the one true gospel. The argument that Christians who reject charismatic ideas lack a bonafide relationship with God amounts to nothing but an ad hominem attack.

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