That's a well written article. Thanks for posting it.

I like the way Peter Masters concludes his thoughts.

The ultimate goal of our Christian life is conformity to Christ. In Ephesians 4:13 Paul expresses this goal thus: "Till we all come to the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." We seek to deepen our character, grow in grace, increase in love and knowledge, and also in discernment and judgment. We are absolutely obligated to progress from spiritual childhood to spiritual maturity. Yet it must be said that the Charismatic ideal is an abandonment of maturity and a reverting to childishness. The rhythmic pattern of music and dancing; the hand clapping, the jolly informality, the uninhibited antics of some, together with the very low demands made on the mind, are all features of conduct which delight the very young and tend to embarrass the mature person.

Mature people are uncomfortable not because they are unwilling to let the Holy Spirit have sway in their lives (as the Charismatics claim), but because they sense that this manner of proceeding is in the reverse direction from that of spiritual maturity.

As we seek to draw closer to Christ, and to be like him, we must ask, Was Christ abandoned in his behavior? Did he encourage people to dance and jump and roll over on the ground (as some healers do today) before he healed them? Did he engage in uninhibited physical activities in his prayers to the Father? Did he put believers into trances or encourage them to shout out suddenly, shriek, or cackle alarmingly? We are to imitate our Lord. We are on a journey to Christian maturity. We are commanded to exercise our adult minds and not to behave like children, who use their minds sometimes, and sometimes not. Our actions are always to be controlled, sincere, sensible, and worthy of our Master.

Children love to pretend and play-act. They love stories and surprises. They are gullible, open, believing, and easily led astray. Our duty on the pathway of Christian maturity is clear from Paul's words: "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things" (1 Corinthians 13:11). How many believers allow them-selves to be drawn into Charismatic thinking through hearing stories of how people have supposedly been restored by a "gifted" healer, but they do not ask -- What saith Scripture? Sadly, this reflects the difference between a child and an adult. The little child is amazed at what the conjurer can do, whereas the adult perceives that things are not always what they seem, and applies certain laws to the situation.

We hear even of ministers who have been drawn into Charismatic pastors' fraternals and conferences where they have thrown off the mantle of maturity to experiment with the claim that uninhibited behavior releases the blessing of the Spirit. It is the ultimate tragedy when worked-up emotional sensations have to take the place of genuine power and blessing from God. The road to Heaven has always led upwards, not downwards, and this goes for maturity of behavior, rational control, and discernment as well as for all the other objectives of the Christian life. Paul underlines the issue with the words: "Brethren, be not children in understanding...but in under-standing be men" (1 Corinthians 14:20).

By abandoning the duty of spiritual maturity and the law of a sound mind, Charismatic teachers have plunged thousands of believers into the very quagmire of childish, superstitious religion which true Christianity rescues us from. With supposed healings as its principal "selling point," Charismania reverses the process of maturity, turning people into mere children -- "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive" (Ephesians 4:14).

Wes <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/BigThumbUp.gif" alt="" />

When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts