“If you’re not teaching you’re(sic) people about the dangers of charismaticism then you have no qualifications to be a pastor” the brash, overzealous, pompous Student of THE Southern Baptist Theological Seminary told me.
Understand this was at the outset of the MacArthur Strange Fire phase and so it was popular to rant and rave on the subject because it was the most important thing facing everybody’s church.
Except the people I worshipped with weren’t dealing with the charismatic question. They were dealing with the loss of jobs, of family members, of life. They were just trying to live their lives in light of God’s covenant promises. I have a great mentor who taught me a great lesson “Don’t go introducing heresy by attacking it.” It’s so simple.
I will say clearly I am a strong cessationist. I think Reformed Charismatic is right up there with Jumbo Shrimp and Pretty Ugly. It just doesn’t make sense to me. Just because you take monergistic soteriology and slap it onto Charismatic ideology doesn’t make it Reformed. Now, I have brothers and sisters who I love who hold to a different view. But that’s ok. And here’s why this tiny, open handed doctrine really isn’t worth fighting about.
It’s not the Gospel.
But alas, I can find folks on both sides of the issue blasting away at each other, tilting at windmills, and spilling digital ink because THIS is the line. THIS is where we should swing it out.
Trust me, not everything needs a blog post written by a seminarian. Yes, we as Christians should firmly know what we believe and why we believe it. This is not a statement of me throwing my hands up and saying “uh I don’t know anything about spiritual gifts but what the Westminster says”.
But we do our people a massive disservice to think that every little theological fight needs to have civilians in it. That only makes more casualties. This is why (and Mercy help us) public social media isn’t the place for theological pugalism. When my Anglican friends do something that’s profoundly Anglican on social media, the Reformed come out and swing. It’s fight time.
But it’s really not. They’re shocked that an Anglican would act like (and brace yourself, cause this might be confusing) an Anglican. He’s not bothering anybody. He’s not forcing anyone to worship his way (like a Covenanter). But the dogpile commences because young Reformed men don’t have a real fight. And instead of just being quiet we have to go tilt at windmills and look like fools.
My point: maybe we just all need a little grace. Maybe we should expect people to act within their nature. And maybe the mountains that the Theological Windmills are placed on, are really just molehills that we shouldn’t tilt at.