Post-Charismatic?

I would like to thank Lingamish for bringing to my attention a very interesting site called Post-Charismatic. This site consists of a series of articles, or a short e-book, which Rob McAlpine, a Canadian and former pastor, has written about the charismatic movement, and about those he calls “post-charismatics” because they have been through the charismatic movement and left it, without necessarily rejecting its principles. (His “post-charismatics” should not be confused with “ex-charismatics” like the cessationist Dan Phillips.)

McAlpine’s history of the charismatic movement is very interesting, but deliberately focuses on three main areas of distorted, or at least controversial, teaching which have affected the movement: Latter Rain, Prosperity and Shepherding. He seems himself to be one of many people who has been involved in the charismatic movement but has become confused and disillusioned by these kinds of teaching. Indeed some of these people seem to be so hurt that they have entirely given up on churches or on the gifts of the Spirit. McAlpine’s focus in his series is on helping such people to recover from such shipwrecks the essential features of their Spirit-filled Christian life.

I can agree with most of what McAlpine’s positive attitude towards the central charismatic teachings and negative assessments of the controversial teachings he describes. But he does seem to me rather negative about the charismatic movement as a movement. It seems to me, from my British perspective, that there is still a lot of hope for the movement. While it has been damaged by some distorted teachings, they have by no means destroyed it. There is still a vibrant core of charismatic believers and churches who have avoided the excesses of these teachings, while discerningly accepting what is good in them.

So, I see no reason to call myself a post-charismatic, to dissociate myself from the charismatic movement, or to accept that, as Lingamish suggests, the word “charismatic” is a slur. I am proud to be a charismatic Christian, as well as an evangelical at least in the British sense which is somewhat weaker than the American one. Yes, I and my church need continuing vigilance against all kinds of errors, and against the dangers of shallowness and hype. But, as we follow the example of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit, we can look forward in confidence to continuing to do great things for God.

0 thoughts on “Post-Charismatic?

  1. Peter Kirk said:

    There is still a vibrant core of charismatic believers and churches who have avoided the excesses of these teachings, while discerningly accepting what is good in them.

    . . . and . . .

    So, I see no reason to call myself a post-charismatic, to dissociate myself from the charismatic movement, or to accept that, as Lingamish suggests, the word “charismatic” is a slur.

    I agree with both of these points. I think it would be too bad to lose the term “charismatic” and it’s too early to say that the charismatic movement itself has somehow played out. If we focus on the negatives, then we can make it look pretty bad, but I think if we focus only on the negatives of any movement that will be a problem.

    Too frequently those who move away from the excesses of some who call themselves charismatics or pentecostals end up losing the life of their faith and their community. They begin to live a life of fear, ever watching for the excesses and thus never being able to appreciate the positive experience.

    There’s a balance of discernment, good judgment, and watchfulness while avoiding fear.

  2. I just began our blog and dealt with John MacArthur’s treatment of John 20:22 in “The Birth of the Church.” In the post I demonstrate the error of believing that Jesus’s only ascension is found in Acts 1:9.

  3. In my earlier post, I failed to underscore the importance of knowing the resurrection ascension of Jesus. Scripture demonstrates to us that Jesus actually ascended into heaven on the third day. In that ascension, he was glorified by the Father. Later that day, he appeared to his disciples and blew on them. He also said, “Take spirit holy.” (literal – no article). When he did that, he spoke as one having authority (since he had been glorified). Consequently, the disciples received “life” at that moment. See I Cor. 15:45. Consequently, when Jesus told them to receive “power” in Jerusalem, he spoke of the Father’s promise which is a second definite experience which we call the “Baptism in the Holy Ghost” although it is always “upon” in the Greek.

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