Wednesday, August 6, 2008

MacArthur on Charismatic Revivalism

"It is an offense to our rational, truth revealing God; it is an offense to the true work of His Son; it is an offense to the true work of the Holy Spirit to use the names of God, or of Christ, or of the Holy Spirit in any mindless emotional orgy marked by irrational, sensual, and fleshly behavior produced by altered states of consciousness, peer pressure, heightened expectation or suggestibility. That is socio-psycho manipulation and mesmerizm and it is a prostitution of the glorious revelation of God taught clearly and powerfully to an eager, attentive, and controlled mind. What feeds sensual desires, pragmatically or ecstatically, cannot honor God. You have to preach the truth to the mind."
-John MacArthur
From the 1998 Grace to You message from 2 Timothy 3:1-4:4 "God's Word in Today's Church: Five Reasons I Teach the Bible"

6 comments:

Nathan W. Bingham said...

"You have to preach the truth to the mind."

Amen Dr. MacArthur.

Actually, the entire quote is succinct and powerful. It amazes me that Paul's command to Timothy is so simple, yet is often neglected, twisted, or added too:

"Preach the Word" (2 Tim 4:2)

KuliKen said...

Hey Phil,

Can you write something about Piper's belief that spiritual gifts are still in order for today? Are Piper and MacArthur totally teaching the opposite or is MacArthur condemning a certain type of attitude within our churches today?

Thanks.

Philip@ReformedVoices said...

Hi Kuliken,

MacArthur is talking about extreme Word of Faith movements like the Lakeland Revival, something I wouldn't see Piper agreeing with.

I have no problem with the Spiritual Gifts either. Wisdom, knowledge, and faith are all listed as gifts of the Spirit given as He determines for the good of the body. The Spirit can do and give what He wants.

1 Cor. 12
7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

Andrew E. Courtis said...

This was a very good post! As a side note concerning what KuliKen said.

I appreciate both John Piper and John MacArthur. I have been blessed by their passion to proclaim truth no matter what the cost is! But they are very different.

Concerning John Piper, there is an inconsistency with his ministry and theology. That is to say, he believes and teaches reformed doctrine (by which I personally have benefited of), but doesn't allow it to inform all of his ministry (charismatic theology). I believe that in this area of theology, this is what makes Macarthur and Piper different.

I don't write this to pick on Piper (I like him), only to applaud Macarthur's consistency in doctrine and practice.

heatlight said...

Isn't being 'reformed' best defined by being entirely Scriptural - reforming our views to line up with the Bible? If that is so, given even a cursory read of Carson's "Showing the Spirit" shows that folks like MacArthur, and many other 'so-called' reformed believers are the inconsistent ones. Yes, they may be consistent with their philosophy - which is, I grant, a good one - but when their reformed theology buts up against the Bible in places that makes them uncomfortable, the Scriptures take the back seat, when it is all said and done.

Philip@ReformedVoices said...

Hi Heatlight,

I suppose MacArthur believes that his views do line up with Scriptures. I do not see MacArthur pointing at Piper or Mahaney's brand of charisma in this quote. It is directed to the TBN type crowd.
Thanks for stopping by.