Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Talking Like a Charismatic

I have a small request to make of people who claimed to be Reformed: Stop using Charismatic lingo. I constantly encounter people who, while they abhor Pentecostalism, use the same ridiculous expressions.

I grew up as a dyed-in-the-wool Arminian, a Pentecostal, who was also an adherent of post-trib premillennialism. I have since become a thoroughly convinced adherent of Reformed theology. By Reformed, I do not mean simply the so-called “Five Points.” I mean the whole worldview that Reformed theology has traditionally always entailed.

As my doubts about my inherited theological system grew, I would ask questions. I cannot count the times that the person of whom I had inquired appealed to a mystical experience as the great clinching assurance of his doctrinal stance. “The Lord just really showed me that this is what the Bible teaches about the end-times.”

Now, Pentecostals believe this is the norm; therefore I can’t fault them for answering me with such weak-kneed responses. But I am alarmed at the number of Calvinists who use such language.

I am astounded at the number of people who claim to be Reformed that have been infected by Pentecostal jargon. You hear it all the time. “The Lord told me…;” “God has been showing me…;” “I just sense that…;” “I really sense in my spirit that…;” “I really feel an anointing on…” - This is unacceptable. Much of it is the result of our Reformed leaders and spokespersons’ unwillingness to confront the errors of Pentecostalism, or their lack of certainty about their own Cessationist position. By refusing to refute the error of Continuism, many Calvinists are left in the dark about the validity of the Charismatics’ experiences. And because we aren’t warned clearly enough, we started to assimilate their ways of expressing ourselves.

I am Reformed, which, among other things, means that I believe in Covenant Theology. I am a Cessationist, a paedobaptist and an amillennialist. But I wouldn’t dream of appealing to some mystical experience as my source of assurance of the veracity of any of these doctrinal positions. I have never had the Spirit tell me, “Calvinism is true.”

If you are Reformed; if you believe in the sufficiency of Scripture; if you disbelieve in Pentecostalism, then please, do me a favor: Stop talking like a Charismatic.


  1. The Spirit just reveals in my heart that you are right. ;o) Actually, I recently blogged on the same issue, though yours is much more sophisticated than mine was.

  2. Thanks, Chris. Funny. I liked your post, too.


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