More and more people were seeking to live the Christian life on the basis of subjective feelings rather than on the Word. I saw a strong revival of “Deeper Life” type views of sanctification that promised Christians a special second work of grace by which they could live the “victorious” Christian life through being “filled with the Spirit.”
The church now had two classes of Christians—those who were baptized in the Spirit and those who were not; those who were “spirit-filled” and those who were not. This dichotomy, I became convinced, not only was not taught in the New Testament but was contrary to what is taught there. I came to realize that the charismatic view of the Day of Pentecost represented a distortion of its Biblical significance. The charismatic view of Pentecost was a low one, not a high one.
I began to see that anyone who is uninhibited enough can utter unintelligible sounds while in a posture of prayer. I don’t doubt anyone’s experience of praying in such a fashion, but I am concerned it is not a supernatural event and is not the same as what was experienced in the early church.
My final departure from the movement came when I realized that I must live by the Word, as the Spirit never works against the Word but always with it and through it.
I still enjoy fellowship with my charismatic friends and delight in their love for prayer. I am grateful for the real revival in interest in the person and work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church that this movement has spawned. However, I am very concerned about the false doctrine it has brought in its wake.
This article originally appeared here and is used by permission.