The Charismatic Movement and the Deformation of the Church
Rev Dr Wayne Pearce
My subject this evening is ‘The Charismatic Movement and the de-formation of the church.’ And I wish to begin my address by quoting you the words of the Lord Jesus Christ who says:Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? [miracles] And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Mt 7:21-22). Now please note the Lord Jesus is making very clear to us that what is truly fundamental and foundational is our obedience to the revealed will of God which is solely contained in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments and not in the outward manifestations of the work of the Spirit. We read in the Book of Deuteronomy: The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law (Deut 29:29). The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Illumination: He is the One who leads God’s people into all truth and testifies of and reveals Christ to us. He enables God’s elect not only to hear the word which is foolishness to the natural man but to believe and trust it unto salvation which is through faith in Jesus Christ. And then the Spirit works in us to conform us to the image and likeness of Christ through our appropriation and application of the Word.
In 2007 the Rev Maurice Roberts addressed the Northern Reformed Fellowship on the subject of Martin Luther and the doctrine of justification by faith alone, and in his introduction, if I recall correctly, he rightly informed us that, generally speaking, there had been three great periods or epochs in the history of the church leading up to and including that glorious revival of biblical Christianity in the 16th century. Firstly he reminded us that there was the formation of the New Testament church built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone (Eph 2:20). And we read of its origins and initial expansion through the preaching of the gospel and the whole council of God in the Acts of the Apostles and the New Testament epistles. And this period of formation he suggested lasted up until around the 5th and 6th centuries as the church grew numerically and established itself throughout the Western world. However this time of formation was tragically followed by a long, ever darkening, period of de-formation under the usurped authority of the papacy and the near universal establishment and hegemony of Roman Catholicism. And the thing that truly precipitated and promoted this deformation in the church I believe was her departure from the doctrine and teaching of Holy Scripture. She failed to hear and heed the word of God which is disobedience and rebellion.
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