I had this post in my drafts for some time but after listening to the first part of John MaCarthurs ‘Charismatic Chaos’, I knew it was time for me to publish this. One thing I have noticed a lot recently is how much emotionalism and experience’ plays a big part in church life. It is as if they are equivalent to scripture and truth. To see a classic example of this, you only need to look no further to the various comments that I received when I posted my article about Todd Bentley.  Other examples are being slain or drunk in the sprit.  Also listen to Tonex. And the list of experiences can go on and on. Below is a classic example

This is especially true in the charasmatic circles where a lot of emphasisis is put on emotions. It is not about not believing in the supernatural for Satan is supernatural and the bible makes it very clear that he will appear as an angel of light meaning a lot of what he will do will be in churches today. God has given us the scriptures so that if rightly interperpreted, we will be able to discern error when it is presented to us. Gary Gilly says:

There is very little understanding or desire for biblical truth and theology even among Christians. The Bible is not being expounded in many pulpits today. Christian radio saturates the airwaves with talk shows and psychology experts. Christian magazines aimed at the laymen are full of testimonies but devoid of solid spiritual food, and so few believers study the Word for themselves. As a result, we are a spiritually starved people who are no longer able to discern truth from error.

As a result, sound doctrine seems to become secondary and experiences which come and go have become primary in many circles. This is very dangerous because in essence, we are saying that the bible is not enough. The sad thing is that I will probably have comments from people defending these guys but they will not defend scripture first. I dont care what experience a person has. Satanists have experiences but what I am interested in is does the experience line up with the word of God?

John Macarthur says it well when he says

Once you allow experience to be the test of truth, then you can’t limit doctrine to the pages of scripture

I strongly recommend listening to Charismatic Chaos, not because I have an axe to grind with my fellow charismatic believers but because I want everyone to know what the bible says about the subject. I know for many, this will mean deprograming their mind totally and reprogramming it to the truth of the scriptures

Scripture ALWAYS validates experience. Experience NEVER validates scripture

Related Post:

How Important is Doctrine?

The relinquishing of sound doctrine

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Comments
  1. Darren says:

    lol, before I read this can I just point out that this was a very quick post, I usually spend a day or two praying about mine. I still get them wrong though. lol

  2. Darren says:

    scrath that, I shoulda read it first

  3. Darren says:

    and I cant spell scratch

  4. Darren says:

    It’s so funny, despite all my moaning and stuff, this is spot on. I don’t have a problem with the mesage but I do have a problem with the finger pointing. I am penticostal, I would consider myself rather charasmatic, but in no way anything like what you are describing. There are people in every church that have problems. In my line we have guys that go all out for experience, over scripture. In some denominations you’ll find that people are really legalistic to the point of fighting over doctrines. You get what I mean.

    It’s about time we stopped argueing about who’s right (cos we’re all wrong) and started working for Christ. Showing our faith through our deeds.

  5. Alan Higgins says:

    Darren, all I try to do is defend the faith which the bible instructs us to do. Yes you are right, in EVERY church, there are problems but scripture must be the FINAL authority in all things.

    I had most of this post written in my drafts. I just finished it off last night.

  6. Darren says:

    drafts… what are they, lol

    maybe one day I might have some, I had one the other week but figured it wasn’t the right time. Shoulda kept it. I will in future.

  7. MaryMary says:

    Hello! I am new to this site and am learning something new everyday!! What a breath of fresh air!! I grew up Catholic until the age of 16 and converted to Assembly of God until I met my husband at the age of 28 who introduced me to the Baptist faith!! I have seen SO much over the years that I have questioned as being biblical. One of the things is the spirit of laughter and the other is being slain in the spirit. My friend and I asked a few church members if they could find scriptures to back up these “spirits”. Here is what they gave me…remember when Jesus was arrested in the garden and they asked Him if he was the Christ and He said “I am He” and the men fell as dead? That was one example and the other was Psalms “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures”!! Can you believe that? As far as the laughter…they couldn’t find any scriptures to back that one up. I have also noticed, even in the Baptist church, the laziness of Christians to believe whatever the preacher says and never question anything!! In all of the churches that I have been to, I have had very few people that I can share my joy of knowing Jesus and my passion for learining…..and it saddens me how Christians are so lax…thank you for your site!! I will be visting it often!!

  8. Sounds like you’ve done some research into this area. I’m doing some intense research into the history and doctrine of the Charismatic Movement. I have some friends who are very involved and I’m trying to educate myself. I’ve done quite a bit of research on the early history of the 20th century and I’m beginning to look into the 90’s and the contemporary scene. I don’t know if you’ve read it or have it but Hank Hanagraaff’s Conterfiet Revival is a great informative read.
    Do you have any information on current revivals? I’m interested in the Kansas City area specifically. I have many friends who are very into IHOP. I’m very “academic” in my blogging, so if you have any reputable sites or information let me know. By the way, I really like your last sentence in this blog-short and too the point.
    Thanks

  9. ThePioneer says:

    “…the bible makes it very clear that he will appear as an angel of light meaning a lot of what he will do will be in churches today.”

    ie, EVERYONE WHO DISAGREES WITH MY INTERPRETATION IS SERVING SATAN.

    Nice. Very fair and reasonable.

  10. Kristi says:

    I’ve been in an online discussion with a Mormon and I found your post very relevant to my discussion with her. I think that many charismatics would be shocked to find that they are in agreement with Mormons on this issue. They have both accepted doctrine outside of scripture because of experiences. “Once you allow experience to be the test of truth, then you can’t limit doctrine to the pages of scripture” Great quote!

  11. Sara says:

    Where is the reverence for God here in this video? This mocks God! No where in the scriptures will you find such a display of this nature. If you look to Revelation of Christ through John when the saints are standing in front of Heavenly Father worshiping Him we do NOT see this type of behavior. Sprit moves yes it does but, He dosen’t move to such an uncontrolable demise. How is this glorifying our God, How? The fruit of the sprit plainly states in Glatians 5: 23 self-control. Glatians also state 5:26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another envying on another. My mother used to watch this man over 20 years ago and after watching this video she was shocked. She asked me when did he get on this bus because he never used to preach this way.

  12. Melissa Askew says:

    It seems to be very “chic” these days to get away from “doctrine” and rely on “experience” or the actual “doing” what Christ did. I have read articles that predict the doom of Christianity due to the reliance on and teaching of doctrine. Without an understanding of doctrine, we really can’t have an understanding of our experiences. Our experiences won’t have much substance and meaning, and thus, will be only external and temporal. Consistent experience of an internal type only comes from understanding the doctrine, or the “why” of it. Without sound doctrine we will never know the “why” of Jesus’ actions. We won’t know His motivations behind His actions. All we will be able to do is “mimic” Christ’s actions. In so doing, we are not really following Him. Doctrine is our foundation upon which our experiences and actions can be built. Also, not all “spiritual experiences” are of God..If we don’t understand doctrine, we will not be able to discern what spirit is the Holy Spirit. Spirituality is also “chic” these days, however, too many are following unclean spirits due to lack of knowledge which comes from sound doctrine…

  13. B.Meredith says:

    i get how scripture always proves experience but i don’t understand how experience never proves scripture. Can someone give an example of “experience never proves scripture” cause it’s not clicking in my brain.

    • Alan Higgins says:

      For example, someone maybe rolling over the floor and having ‘holy laughter’. That is their experience but that doesn’t make that experience scriptural

      • B.Meredith says:

        oh, because ‘holy laughter’ isn’t anywhere in the bible (or at least not that i can find)? And that it could just be the cause of music and others around that person playing with the mind and making them think they’re experiencing God?

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