We are not Charismatic or Pentecostal because we believe the Bible is our highest authority and supersedes all human experience concerning our faith and practice. Many teachings within these groups deviated from biblical truth. Therefore, we choose to separate from this movement because it is unhealthy at best and heretical at worst.
The Bible—A More Sure Word Of Prophecy
- “Charismatic” is a term to describe a modern movement (around 1900s) within Christianity that puts a wrong emphasis on baptism in the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues as a type of spiritual evidence (often for salvation), prophecy, healing, interaction with or casting out demons and a breakdown of leadership within the church. Their theology is based on human experience over Biblical truth. This would include other movements such as Pentecostals, The Third Wave Movement, Word of Faith Movement or any other group who holds to these teachings.
- Experience or Truth: The Bible is the basis of all Christian belief—it is the truth that reveals God’s will to us so that we know who God is, how to know Him and how to live for Him. It is sufficient for us to know God’s will and it is the only way for us to be certain about God’s will. There are no dreams, visions or anything else that has higher authority than the Bible itself. Therefore, we reject all systems of belief that attempts to have any other authority than the Bible. Our theology is built on Biblical truth which supersedes all human experience, internal awareness, intuition or other spiritual experiences.
John 17:17; Acts 17:11; 2 Peter 1:15-21; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:15-17
- Warned: Jesus warned us of these type of false believers—those who claim they did great works in Jesus’ name but aren’t living according to the truth of His word. They make false claims or promote “lying wonders”. They don’t have genuine works because they don’t have genuine faith. They trust in the “works in Jesus’ name” as their evidence for their relationship with God, but they sadly do everything except the will of God—which is to believe in Jesus alone for salvation.
Matthew 7:22-23; John 6:28-29; 1 John 4:3; 2 Thessalonians. 2:9
The Truth—Understanding What We Believe
- Heretical Teachings: There are many types of charismatics and all have different but similar teachings. The most dangerous are heretical teachings which include but not limited to the following: (1) Modalist belief—rejection of the trinity. (2) Speaking in tongues is required as evidence of salvation—adds works to faith. We reject all heretical teaching as not being Christian at all.
Ephesians 2:8-10; Matthew 28:19
- The Holy Spirit: The Baptism of the Holy Spirit puts us in Christ and happens only once at the time of salvation. The filling of the Holy Spirit happens more than once and gives us power to serve God, serve others and be a witness of Jesus. We are filled with and walk in the Spirit when we allow the Word of God (that the Holy Spirit inspired) to change who we are. Also, we are given different spiritual gifts from the Holy Spirit that we are to use to edify each other and the church. They should be used within the realm of the church with self-control, orderliness, edification and love.
Ephesians 5:18; Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:27-28; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 14:1
- Spiritual Gifts: There are two main types of gifts: temporary (apostles, the working of miracles, healing, various kinds of tongues, interpretation of tongues) and permanent (prophets/prophecy, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, teachers/teaching, exhortation, evangelists, pastors, government/ruling, helps/ministry, giving, mercy, faith, and discerning of spirits). The temporary gifts were given to authenticate that the Apostles were truly appointed by God and their teachings were truly from God. These signs continued as the Apostles laid the foundation of the church and ceased after the Bible was completed. The permanent gifts are still available to be used for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry and for the edifying of the body of Christ.
Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Corinthians 12:8-10; 28-30; Romans 12:6-8; Hebrews 2:3-4
- Speaking in Tongues: Tongues was a temporary spiritual gift that allowed a person to speak the Word of God in a language they didn’t know so others could hear it in their own language. Not every believer had this gift. Speaking in tongues was useless if there was no interpretation or understanding. Also, it was to be done in a certain order—according to Scripture. Today, we believe this gift has already ceased.
Acts 2:4; 10:44-48; 19:1-7; 1 Corinthians 12:1-10; 28-31; 14:1-39
- Female Pastors: Christian women are not permitted to hold main positions of teaching and authority over men in the assembly of the church. This limits them from holding the offices of pastor and deacon (although they can have the gift of deaconess or service as we see in the Bible). They are permitted to serve in equally important, but complementary roles. God set a pattern for the roles of men and women at creation. He created man first to be the leader, and the women second to be the helper. God is the head of Christ. Christ is the head of Man. Man is the head of Woman. This is based on God’s original intent at creation and will not change over time or because of culture.
1 Timothy 2:11-14; 1 Corinthians 11:1-16
The Teachers—Characteristics Of False Teachers
- False teachers are often focused on self-elevation and greed. Their messages revolve around money or the “prosperity gospel”—meaning that health and wealth is godliness and we can force or use God to accomplish these goals.
2 Peter 2:2-3; Titus 1:10-11; 1 Timothy 6:5; 3 John 9-11
- False teachers are good communicators who produce evil fruit—unrighteous living and wrong doctrine. They deceive the hearts of the simple. They speak with “vain words,” meaning they may approve of a sinful lifestyle or make empty promises.
Matthew 7:16-20; Romans 16:18; Ephesians 5:6-7; 2 Peter 2:18-22
- False teachers have corrupt intentions and are deceptive. The aim or plan of false teachers is to attack the church and draw away true disciples. They are not simply people with a difference of opinion, but they twist scripture and speak “perverse things” or “destructive heresies”. The Bible refers to them as “ravenous wolves” or “savage wolves” who are enemies of the flock of God.
Matthew 7:15; 24:11; Acts 20:29-30; 2 Peter 2:1; Galatians 2:4
- What is a more sure word of prophecy than experience?
- What kind of person did Jesus warn us about?
- What is the truth about the Holy Spirit, spiritual gifts, tongues and pastors?
- What are some of the characteristics of false teachers?
- Why are we not Charismatic?