The Modern Charismatic Movement
The modern charismatic movement traces its roots to the "Apostolic Faith Movement of Charles Parham in 1901. From that obscure beginning it has grown like the proverbial mustard seed into a grotesque and out-sized caricature of what a mustard plant is supposed to be. In Jesus' parable, the lowly mustard plant became a tree instead of a garden herb, and became the dwelling place of birds, representing evil. Just so, the charismatic movement that is descended from the Apostolic Faith Movement has today morphed through a series of phases into a movement filled with excesses and mischaracterizations of the truth of Scripture, including a fascination with wealth and prosperity.
That is not to say that there are not many sincere believing people who are caught up in its web. There certainly are, but the core beliefs are not Scriptural, they are, among others:
- The Holy Spirit of the modern charismatic movement is not the Holy Spirit of the Bible. "He did not come to speak of Himself Jesus said in John 16:13, but rather to glorify the Son. In the modern charismatic movement, everything is about the Spirit, and very little is about Jesus Christ, diametrically opposite to the Biblical truth.
- The Bible is down played in exchange for "new revelation that is purported to come from the Holy Spirit. This "new revelation often contradicts the Bible, and in many cases is absurd and foolish. The modern charismatic movement would re-open the cannon of Scripture to the incoherent babblings of new tongues and other mischaracterized spiritual gifts.
- The modern charismatic movement is unbiblically tied into a prosperity message that plays on the greed of men and the desire to be rich and live opulently. The message of personal repentance and conversion is hard to find amidst the experience based teaching and personality cult of the movement.
- The sanctification of the Spirit that is a growing life-long walk with the Savior is replaced with instantaneous experiences that deny the discipline and commitment of a call to discipleship in the New Testament.
- The true "life in the Spirit has been replaced with flash and glitz that appeals to those who are gullible and seeking the wide and easy road to spirituality.
Lakewood Baptist Church believes that the excesses of the Corinthian Church are being reproduced in today's charismatic movement. We believe that the gifts of the Spirit are divided into two categories, Sign Gifts and Ministry Gifts, as taught by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 12 “ 14. The sign gifts that authenticated the early church as a work from God have ceased and are no longer functional today. The ministry gifts, given by the Holy Spirit at His discretion, are functional today, but must be subordinated to the Fruit of the Spirit as demonstrated in 1 Corinthians 13. A person may have all of the Spiritual Gifts in the extreme, but if they do not have love (defined as a "self-sacrificial commitment to serve others) they are of no value to themselves or to the church. We love the people of the modern charismatic movement, but we reject the false doctrine and the false teachers on which the movement rests.