Discover the Book - Sept. 30, 2007
Where Do All the
Denominations Come From?
Part 2 continued from September 29th
Did you know that a great deal of what the charismatic church does today is absolutely right? They do have wackos—If you see someone take their suit jacket off and whirl it around and knock down the congregation, you know you are off the page. If you see people crawling around on their hands and knees barking and foaming at the mouth—if you see people rolling, totally out of control, you never see that in the Scriptures. God is a God of order.
This would be the Methodist church, this would be the Wesleyan, Nazarene and that whole group. The Baptists are right here. So the Baptists and the Methodists are right over here between the Reformation and the Evangelical church. The post Reformation – by the way, it’s interesting— the north of the line here is Calvinistic, south of the line here is Armenian. A lot of modern day Christendom would be characterized as Armenian. In fact the Charismatics are Armenian—what I mean by that-- able to lose your salvation—that’s a very loose description. The Charismatics, Wesleyans, Nazarenes, a lot of the Methodists would be Armenian. The Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Roman Catholic and Reformed would be Calvinistic. A lot of the Baptists and evangelicals and modern day Methodists and almost all of the Charismatics would be Armenian. (NOTE: the Rhema- ites are not Armenian. The men from there that I have had discussions with believe like we do on this point.) Look at how nicely everything pans out- it is almost like half and half. What is amazing about it is that everybody sees this part of everybody else—they all see everyone else’s errors. We just don’t see our own, usually. That is what Jesus talked about.
Let’s get back to the Charismatics. I see a historical progression. We started with Romanism—which took the Church away from the people. It took away the open Bible reading, study, the hymns, the interpretation of the Scripture—1John says you don’t need an interpreter, you have the Holy Spirit and He can reveal everything to you. We have an anointing from the Holy Spirit and that you have these gentlemen, pastors, elders and overseers who can spend their lifetime studying but all they do is encourage the saints to do that and you don’t need the pastor to get revelations directly from God and tell you what they are—you can get them yourself by being in God’s Word. (NOTE: is “revelation” the right word here? I was taught that there is no more revelation today, but we receive “illumination”)
So the Roman church took the people out of the equation. The Reformation church brought back the music. Luther brought back the people studying the Scriptures but he left in the infant baptism and all the other bad things he shouldn’t have left in. So the Church began to decline again and get institutionalized until there was the outbreak of the modern, kind of freeing of the Church into independent churches instead of being under a hierarchy. You notice most of these have hierarchies - the Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Reformed and Roman. These churches don’t have hierarchies down here. There is an autonomy within Charismatic churches. The
Back to the Charismatics—what is interesting is—if we have gone from the early Church to the Reformation to the world mission era—it is almost like we are on a journey. Look where we are. Why would the charismatic event be going on in our world today? It could be that God has allowing something to happen because who is most involved in the world with the poor people? The Bible church movement? NO. The Baptists? Not really, not most of them. Who is most on the front lines of world missions right now? Not a lot any more from here, it’s here now. With all their errors, and by the way, tons of errors. The Bible is very clear about gender specific roles. (NOTE: what about all the single female missionaries sent out from Baptist and Bible churches over the years?? They acted as pastors, bishops, teachers, etc.) There is great confusion about that in the charismatic church. There is great confusion about the gifts but there is great confusion about the gifts here, too.
Always remember the letters to the Corinthians were written to a vibrant church. They had a lot of confusion within a vibrant church. In fact almost everything we know about our resurrection body, the judgment seat of Christ comes within the context of this church that had all the charismatic problems. But they were real believers, they had all those problems. Real believers that were misusing the gifts.
So what we have to be careful of is because we do have lots of stuff that is not in the Scriptures here, we cannot take the whole thing and ditch it. Because the errors of the charismatic church are not at all like the errors of the Roman Catholic church.
The Catholic church errors are damnable. If you believe Roman Catholic doctrine, you may not go to Heaven. If you believe the majority of charismatic doctrine, you will still go to Heaven. Do you understand the difference? This is a problem with salvation—Now I am not talking about out here—there are lots of really heretical things floating out here because there is no restraint. I am talking about what we would call the old Pentecostal movement.
Do you remember the old Pentecostal movement where people would all come forward and get on their knees and pray on the altar and people would kind of be excited in the service? I remember when I lived in the south I would go once in a while just for fun to a Pentecostal church just because they didn’t ever get staid and placid. If the pastor said something, they would get all excited about it.
When they sang songs, they ran around while they sang them. There used to be a guy called Sunshine always sat in the back and about the fourth song he started getting worked up and pretty soon by the fifth song, he would be running laps. He would jump up on the platform run behind the pastor, jump off, run over there, go out the door, run back in. He got the whole church excited. They would all start singing even more. I thought, “great, we need a Sunshine in every church.”
I don’t recommend it but I am saying we get kind of cold. What bothers me—what song did we sing this morning that made most of us feel a little bit uncomfortable? (A song about raising our hands). Why do we have so many songs about lifting hand, why do we have the New Testament Church lifting their hands, why do we have the Old Testament believers raising their hands and we don’t?
Because of this—we don’t want to associate with anything that is erroneous even though we have all of our own errors. So we throw out something that is in the Bible, NEW TESTAMENT, 1Timothy 2 “I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” If you were a Godly man, you lifted holy hands as you prayed.
We wouldn’t think of it. In fact we would ask people to sit in the back because it might offend someone. How can you be offended when you are doing something that is actually commanded? Read what Paul said. We say they were doing it at home. Then why does 1Tim. 4:13 say, “Till I come, give attention to (public) reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” I don’t know—we have to be very careful.
I am not advocating anything except to say that we need to be careful when we think of Episcopalian, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Reformed, Baptist, Methodist and the whole Wesleyan, Nazararene movement, and the Charismatics and some of the Oasis movement which is the evangelical, charismatic part of Romanism. What is happening is the part of Romanism that is true is resonating with the part of the charismatics that is true and you have this new group over here starting all over the world where they don’t know what they are because they can’t understand all the errors of the Roman church and they love the worship of Jesus Christ personally.
All that to say that the Church- In fact Spurgeon preached “The Three Surprises of Heaven”- My first surprise in Heaven will be that I get there. He is so elect, he had a big E right there. He was so humble he said he did not deserve to be there. The second surprise is all the people that I was sure were going to be there, won’t be. The third surprise is all the people I didn’t think were going to be there are there. That was 140 years ago.
An interesting thought that I think has to do with this: There are so many people we think won’t be there; there are so many people we think for sure will be there because they agree with us and in the midst of that, we spend so much time shooting our wounded brethren instead of the enemy. I think in our case, we have to be careful about shooting these people and I think we have to be careful about shooting these people and shooting these people and we always have to be wary of this because there are still believers within Romanism.
This sermon will conclude tomorrow October 1st when we finish looking at the churches.
For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit discoverthebook.org.
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