Monday, June 09, 2008

What to do when confronted with supposed "New Movement of the Spirit"

When "God tells you to kick someone in the face" (see below)

Todd Bentley shows you how to keep people alert for the unexpected injury. It is a Florida Outpouring of violence! The ministry of assault and battery!
Gregory Koukl @ offers some very appropriate advice in response to the Toronto Blessing movement:

Let me put the matter in a different light, and I'll state it bluntly. Even if the Holy Spirit is in this, so what?

Let me tell you why I can say that, and why I feel completely safe before the Lord in uttering such a thing

In 2 Timothy, Paul's last letter, Paul was passing the baton to Timothy. His repeated challenge to Timothy was to guard the truth, to retain the standard. Timothy was to guard it and continue in the things Paul had begun.

Paul identifies a couple of problems that Timothy should be prepared for. Paul writes, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths" (2 Tim. 4:3-4).

Timothy, Paul says, the time will come when radical, weird things will happen in the church....Now, what was he to do when that time came? Paul has already given him the answer in chapter three.

He starts by saying, "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God" (2 Tim. 3:1-4).

Well, that time has come. And Paul gives Timothy the antidote: "You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them" (2 Tim. 3:14).

Then Paul goes on: "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work" (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

What is Paul's solution when all of these things begin to happen? He tells Timothy to stay steady at the helm. Don't worry about being left behind with the new things that are happening. Instead, continue in the things which you have already learned....

I've got my hands full with what Jesus and the apostles laid out as the original marching orders. I'm still busy with the old movement of the Spirit: the commands of Scripture that include the Great Commission.

No where that I know of does the Scripture tell Christians to look forward in time to be obedient to some new movement of the Spirit that is yet to be revealed. Instead, it says to stay faithful to what has already been handed down to us. That was Paul's dying command to Timothy. He said to guard and protect the old stuff, not look for the new.

Friends, how can you possibly be left out of God's plan if you are already obeying what He has told you to do in the Scripture? You can't be. That's why you don't have to answer the question of whether these new manifestations are from God or not. That is why you are always safe in ignoring all the latest silliness that passes for spirituality

Even if it is not silliness and Koukl is wrong on this one--which is always a possibility--you couldn't be faulted by God for not participating since He has already given you marching orders that fill your day. And if you follow those marching orders, they still apply because any new orders handed down do not supersede those that have come before. They don't cancel out the prior orders. The prior orders are still there and you can find safety in them.

You don't have to feel like God has left you out. You don't have to feel that you are substandard. You don't have to feel that something is wrong with you spiritually if you don't climb onto this bandwagon. You can say you're not sure about the new blessing, but one thing you are sure of: These 66 books of marching orders are from God and you've got your hands full with them.

I say again: When it comes to the new movements of the Spirit, so what? I've got my hands full and so should you. You don't need any new stuff. All the old stuff is plenty good enough. It's been good enough for 2000 years of Christendom. It will be good enough for the next 2000 years.

My counsel to you is not to be distracted by new-fangled Christianity, but instead be diligent to know and practice the faith that's been once and for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).

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