Originally Posted By: Myshkin
Thanks be to God that you both came to the true faith. I've personally known many, especially children who grew up in charismatic churches, who became aware of the false teachings and ended up rejecting Christianity altogether.


Sadly, Charismatic Christianity is all too often the only Christianity that some people are exposed to, so when it proves false (money doesn't return ten-fold, loved ones don't get healed, etc), many fall away thinking, "Christianity failed me."

Quote:
Were there some specific things that caused you to question charismatic teachings?


One that didn't occur to me until I began to question other ones was, "If I can get holy and super-spiritual enough on my own to qualify for Spirit baptism, why do I need it?"

This is the heart of the matter: GRACE. The grace of God is often completely obscured by the superstitions and the "how to get this, how to get that, how to exercise this or that gift, how to discern spirits (is it a demon or just my flesh?)," and the constant seeking after that which we already possess in Christ, but in the form of ever deeper experiences, ever deeper revelations, ever more joyful worship ... a bigger, better "high" (to put it in brutally blunt terms). For the Charismatic, everything depends on my faith, my persistence, my purity, my training, and my ability to "sense, discern, and follow the Spirit." Whereas in the true faith, everything depends on God alone from beginning to end.

Terms are redefined in Charismatic teaching. Faith, for example, becomes "an ability attained through human effort and practice, to deny what they eyes see, what the ears hear, what others say, or what circumstances tell us about our situation and change reality through mind-over-matter" instead of God-given grace to admit our own powerlessness and accept His provision in Christ, letting go of all our other anchors and things we have to fall back on if God should fail. Faith is from God, not from within. Charismatics need to know that.

Again, the false teachings have to repeatedly fail a charismatic a zillion and twelve times before they will even begin to question the teachings rather than their own ability to "believe," or to purify their hearts and motives, or to give enough money or cry enough tears. GRACE is what helps a Charismatic pick up the pieces after so many failures have made him or her feel hopeless.

A Charismatic needs certainty of unchanging truth, dependence on God alone not only for salvation but for everything else pertaining to life and godliness, and finally, to know the sufficiency of Scripture to equip the man of God for every good work (2 Tim 3:17).

If you take some time to read the discussions here in this forum, and peruse the articles in the Charismatic section of the-highway's vast library, I think you will find no lack of treasures that can lead a despairing Charismatic to simple, childlike but industrial-strength, gospel-based faith in the truth.

And of course, a few of us who have been there can help too. The hardest part for me about rescuing my friends still trapped in Charismatic confusion and superstition, has been waiting for them to reach the point of desperation in which they are willing to question the teachings rather than themselves.

-Robin