Monday, June 9, 2014

Signs & Wonders vs Health & Wealth

This article covers one of the most vital, misunderstood and controversial topics of debate in modern Christianity—the supernatural activity of the Holy Spirit. I pray that the following words cause you to rethink the evaluations people have made concerning the charismatic expression of the faith, writing off an entire move of the Holy Spirit due to the grievous error and, yes, downright heresy of a few.
Yes, there is a major difference between those who ascribe to a shallow "health and wealth" ideology (not even worthy of being called a theology or gospel) and those who hunger for a resurgence of authentic, supernatural, New Testament Christianity in a day of gimmicks and self-help sermons.
My heart burns to see all believers encounter a glorious Person—Jesus Christ. The supernatural is not about mankind simply using God to get what we want out of Him. Rather, it is about God's character being revealed to the world, the supremacy of Jesus being displayed and the livingness of the Holy Spirit being made known to a people (and a church) who are often convinced that God is detached and disinterested. Such could not be further from the truth!
Knowing This Difference Will Transform the Way You Live
The following article gives you a clear idea of why it is absolutely vital for all Christians to know the one fundamental difference between those who embrace a "health and wealth" ideology and those who legitimately want to see God move with New Testament signs, wonders and miracles once again. Merging the two perspectives is costly because it buys right into the lie that all charismatic Christianity is created equal. Not so. Discernment is not writing off an entire movement due to imbalance; it is learning to separate the authentic from the counterfeit.
I do not believe this is a trivial matter. In fact, how we respond to the topic at hand will dictate what we expect from our Christian lives. Our concept of who the Holy Spirit is and what He does actually defines what dimension of power we actually walk in. I dare say, it is not up to God. There is no outpouring left to release out of heaven. The Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost. If you are born again, congratulations—God Almighty lives inside of you! There is no upgraded Holy Spirit. I believe in fresh fillings and fresh touches (Acts 4:31, Eph. 5:18); I do not believe in asking for a new Pentecostal outpouring. We don't need God to send a new Pentecost down from heaven; instead, we need to begin living like the first one we received is a precious inheritance, sufficient for the task at hand. Stewardship is the key issue here. Unfortunately, we will neglect certain aspects of stewarding the Holy Spirit's presence and power when we believe they are heretical, fanatic and self-consumed. This is not the Holy Spirit!
If we continue to demonize all forms of supernatural activity, lumping it together as "health and wealth" or "name it, claim it" me-centric heresy, we will never place an appropriate biblical demand on the faith that has been miraculously entrusted to us by God Himself (Eph. 2:8-9). If our vision of the supernatural is tainted by the gross misrepresentations we see from certain TV preachers, we will probably ignore anything to do with the power of the Holy Spirit.
On the flip side, if we sit down and become honest—with ourselves, with the biblical text—and accurately observe these two contrasting groups in modern Christianity, we will reap a powerful reward. What is this reward? Depending on how you respond to the challenge, it is highly likely that you will bring your Christian expression into agreement with every miraculous possibility that Scripture has made available to you. You will launch out on the greatest quest of any believer—the quest for more of God....
Good stuff - Read it all at the link.