Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Strange Fire conference and painting with a broad brush

One of the main critiques of the recently concluded Strange Fire conference is that John MacArthur and the Conference paint with a broad brush and thus tar everyone in the Charismatic movement including those that are more orthodox like Wayne Grudem and John Piper. Phil Johnson has spoken tangentially on the issue in his conference presentation Is there a baby in the Charismatic bathwater? here:

After the conference, Johnson addressed the issue of the broad brush in his blog article on the GTY website The Broad Brush here, making the claim that the orthodox party are covering up for their heretical friends, and thus questioning whether the brush was actually so broad at all since the difference between the orthodox party and their heretical ministry partners doesn't seem so great. The exact point being driven at is succinctly put forward in Tom Chantry's blog post that "any Charismatic belief engenders a lack of discernment, enabling the worst sort of Charismatic excess," a point confirmed by Phil Johnson:

So what are we to say about this? If the issue is the Charismatic movement as a whole, it is true that MacArthur is painting with a broad brush without sufficient nuancing and distinctions. If however the issue is how Charismatism results in little or no discernment, the conduct of Michael Brown and Sam Storms seems to go out their way to prove Johnson's point. Now, I do know Charismatic friends who warn against the charlatans in their movement. The problem is that they are nobodies in the movement. The leaders of the "Reformed Charismatics" like Sam Storms and Wayne Grudem have lent their credibility to heretics like Rick Joyner and Paul Cain. For those who claim to be more spiritual with the gift of speaking in tongues, their lack of discernment is rather telling I would say.

So in conclusion, if Phil Johnson's point is that Charismatism engenders a lack of discernment, the behavior of the "Reformed Charismatics" merely proved his point. In fact, I'm really interested to find any prominent Charismatic that actually warn against all of the charlatans associated with the Third Wave, including those less known like Randy Clark, John Arnott and Steve Hill.


Mary said...


Appreciate you taking the time to reflect on movements posing harm to the body of Christ.

May God continue to give you wisdom and discernment for the days ahead.

PuritanReformed said...