Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:13)

Charismatic Emotionalism

Sunday, October 08, 2006
charismatic nonsense...

(Before reading this post, be sure to read "My Charismatic Experience - Part I" and "My Charismatic Experience - Part II)

As I mentioned in my last post on this subject, my analytical and scientific mind went to work on these "spiritual gifts" that were practiced in my Pentecostal church. I HAD TO KNOW! Was God really working these miracles and great sign gifts and somehow, my family wasn't being fully blessed because of sin, or was the whole thing a complete fabrication. It took about two years. That's how long in took me to observe enough events at our Pentecostal church (as well as other charismatic churches we visited), to start getting a clear picture of what was going on.


That was my number one observation. If the level of emotionalism wasn't high, the manifestation of charismatic gifts were barely visible. The "worship team's" music had to be spot on! The Holy Spirit didn't seem to like our church piano or organ, because every time we had worship using only the piano or organ with the old hymnal, there were rarely any charismatic gifts. But when the guitars, bass, and synthesizers came out with the modern choruses... watch out! You'd have "speaking-in-tongues", "prophecies", people "falling-in-the-spirit"... etc... etc.

"Falling-in-the-spirit" was the epitome of the charismatic experience, which, of course, required the highest level of emotionalism. From the very beginning I had strong doubts about this practice because unlike "speaking-in-tongues" and "prophecies", "falling-in-the-spirit" had absolutely no biblical foundation. Nowhere in Scripture are we told of a saint falling flat in some sort of blissful state. There are examples of saints falling flat in fear, but not blissfully "in-the-spirit" (see Daniel 10; Acts 9 for examples).

It wasn't long before I made the association between "falling-in-the-spirit" at one of our "church's" worship services and the sight of teenage girls passing out at boy-band concerts. It's all about emotionalism and crowd manipulation. I still remember seeing my father's song sheets: they would ALWAYS start with children's songs and more traditional songs to start with (which, consequently, were the most biblically based songs), and then they would progressively work towards more contemporary ballads which would have everyone either tapping their feet or "moving-to-the-beat". The musicians would always play these songs with such fervor, their singing so heartfelt, you could feel the emotional pressure building. The longer they played these songs (which were always repeated multiple times), the more intense the "sign gifts".

Not being a particularly emotional guy, I saw right through this practice. I knew, without any question, that the "falling-in-the-spirit" sign was an emotionalistic invention and that the Holy Spirit had nothing to do with it. But questions remained. There was mention of "speaking-in-tongues" and "speaking prophecies" in the Bible, so I couldn't so easily dismiss the manifestation of these gifts at our Pentecostal church.

It would take me another two years to conclude that these two other gifts were also complete fabrications, and another three on top of that to understand, from the Scriptures why all these gifts were no longer in operation today.

To be continued...