Monday, July 14, 2008

Can We Avoid a Charismatic Civil War?

J. Lee Grady from Charisma Magazine has stirred up a hornets nest this time with his article entitled Can We Avoid a Charismatic Civil War?

Here are just some of the responses:

Border State Report - Mark Byron
The Coming Charismatic Civil War - Dan Edelen
A Charismatic Civil War- Bob at In the Clearing
A Charismatic Civil War? Michael Davis At Charismatica

Grady describes a vision by prophet Rick Joyner, originally written in his book The Final Quest several years ago, describing a coming conflict among Charismatic Christians. You should follow the link above and read the article before continuing to read my post.
Other charismatic leaders have echoed this theme since Joyner’s book was published in 1996. They have predicted that our movement will be divided between “Blues” (those who constantly live in the supernatural realm of dreams, visions and miracles) and “Grays” (those who rely more on their intellect), and that the Blues will win and usher in true revival as champions of the Holy Spirit’s power.
If I had to choose, I would be more "gray" than "blue." But I do not believe that I have to choose! I believe in the continuing activity of the Spirit in visions, signs and wonders (blue) precisely because I believe the Bible teaches so (gray). However, I also believe that spiritual gifts operate most effectively and safely within boundaries and fences set by sound doctrine and expository Bible teaching.

As I have said earlier, some choices should not be made.
  • Some choose good theology and doctrine, some choose personal experience; I refuse to choose.
  • Some choose the Spirit, some choose truth; I refuse to choose.
  • Some choose individual spirituality, some choose community; I refuse to choose.
  • Some choose knowledge about God, some choose knowledge of God; I refuse to choose.
  • Some choose orthodoxy, some choose orthopraxy; I refuse to choose.
  • Some choose commitment to a church family, some choose openness to all believers; I refuse to choose.
  • Some choose ministry models open to all believers, some choose gifted and trained leadership; I refuse to choose.
  • Some choose catholicity, some choose evangelicalism; I refuse to choose.
  • Some choose charismatic gifts, some choose fruit in changed character; I refuse to choose.
  • Some choose loving God, some choose obeying God; I refuse to choose.
  • Some choose ministry within the church, some choose ministry to the world outside; I refuse to choose.
I refuse to make choices where God did not intend me to choose. I refuse to say yes to one and no to the other, when God says yes to both. I refuse to separate things God put together. I refuse to divide things God wants held in tension. What God has put together, let not man put asunder!

Grady concludes:
Thankfully a group of leaders from various charismatic camps (both “Blues” and “Grays”!) are discussing the contentious issues surrounding Lakeland—and biblical confrontation is occurring. I trust this process will result in correction where it’s needed, apologies when necessary and more humility on all sides of the debate.....

Please pray for Bentley—and for the leaders who are speaking into his life during this season. And pray that the church will not only experience genuine spiritual revival but also true unity. Let’s work out our differences, support one another’s ministries and focus all our efforts on one common goal: To tell a lost world about the love of Jesus.
Those are good words for all to heed!