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Puddle Jumper
05-19-2006, 09:08 AM
Has anyone here ever had any experience with charasmatic churches? I'm wondering what they're actually like. I've seen them depicted on tv with shouting and dancing and "Hallelujah's" all over. I don't know if that's accurate or not. I know a couple people who attend a Charasmatic church and have very strong Christian beliefs yet they have foul mouths as well. They also talk about getting drunk as if it's a normal part of life and a good thing. I also heard someone comment that the kids who attend a Charasmatic church school are among the most foul mouthed kids they had ever heard and left some sporting event they were at because they were offended by it. Is that something common among Charasmatics or are these isolated events?

SeanDSchaffer
05-19-2006, 09:57 AM
Has anyone here ever had any experience with charasmatic churches? I'm wondering what they're actually like. I've seen them depicted on tv with shouting and dancing and "Hallelujah's" all over. I don't know if that's accurate or not. I know a couple people who attend a Charasmatic church and have very strong Christian beliefs yet they have foul mouths as well. They also talk about getting drunk as if it's a normal part of life and a good thing. I also heard someone comment that the kids who attend a Charasmatic church school are among the most foul mouthed kids they had ever heard and left some sporting event they were at because they were offended by it. Is that something common among Charasmatics or are these isolated events?


The last church I went to was a Charismatic church. It was non-denominational, although it tended toward the Pentecostal way of thinking.

The people there were wonderful people, and the ministries were manifold. They used to have a food ministry (I don't know if they still do or not) where you could get free food from them certain days of the week. You didn't have to belong to the church and you could get free food from them every other day, if you wanted to. There were no time limits, in other words, like there are with many food ministries.

The part you mentioned about being drunk, if I'm not mistaken, refers to the baptism of the Holy Ghost, in which people have a tendency to feel like they're drunk. They have trouble walking, talking, making sense, etc. I myself have experienced both the intoxication of wine and the intoxication of the Holy Ghost, and I would much prefer the latter (no hangover to worry about afterward).

The visual depictions of these churches is somewhat correct, from what I've experienced. People do dance around in the aisles and there is a lot of shouting 'Hallelujah' or 'Amen' or 'Glory'. There is also a large amount of speaking in Tongues, prayers for bodily healing, and other forms of deliverance in these churches.

The one thing I've noticed that I don't much care for in the church that I attended, was that they liked to make it sound like the only sign that someone had the Holy Ghost, was if they spoke in tongues. The Bible is very clear that speaking in tongues is a gift of the Holy Ghost, but not the only gift. But the way they preached it, it sounded as though the only gift was tongue-talking, as some people call it.

I don't think the people in a Charismatic church are crazy or strange in the least bit. They're people just like anyone else. They just worship the Lord differently than I was raised to. (I was raised Baptist.)

Overall, I thought the Charismatic church I attended was a decent church. There were some teachings that were not in-line with Scripture, but then again, I've noticed that most every denomination has teachings like that somewhere in their belief systems.

Gravity
05-19-2006, 04:57 PM
My wife and I received the baptism in the Holy Ghost with two weeks after we were saved (February 1975; yes, we're old!). All we've ever attended are spirit-filled churches. Oddly enough, our two best friends are lifelong Baptists, and insist God no longer has the power to do anything, other than grant salvation. It hasn't hurt our fellowship with them any (except for one time when we told them of some miracles we'd witnessed; that offended them greatly). We've since learned to keep out traps shut with them about things like that!

MadScientistMatt
05-19-2006, 05:14 PM
There are several different kinds of Charismatics. I've visited a few Assembly of God churches (a branch of the Pentecostals) and an independant church with a charismatic bent. They place an emphasis on the Holy Spirit, but I only saw someone speaking in tongues at the independant church.

Worship services at Charismatics tend to have a rather boysterous feeling. I've seen tamer rock concerts than some Charismatic churches I've attended.

I don't remember any Charismatics routinely using foul language, but usually that is an issue about manners and not theology. Most modern translations of the Bible have language that is sanitized compared to the KJV, whose translators were known for using the phrase "anyone who pisseth against a wall" when they want a contemptuous term to describe male characters.

InspiredWriter
05-19-2006, 07:13 PM
Whenever I visit a church that practices faith a little different than I am accustomed to, I try to focus on what we hold in common, not the differences. That way, I demonstrate the love I feel for my brothers and sisters in the faith, I am not judging others and becoming devicive.

The church has so many pressures and problems pushing against it from the outside, we sure need to have unity and brotherly love among believers, regardless of how they demontrate their worship. I am grateful that we live in an area where so many Christians practice their faith and worship regularly in the local churches. I really enjoy visiting churches that are more expressive than mine (though I love my church, we are a bit conservative in expressing our worship).

However you worship, worship!

rwam
05-19-2006, 08:47 PM
I've noticed the same thing as Sean ("Tongues is the only evidence you have the Holy Spirit"), which is why I tend to take these kinds of churches with a grain of salt. A good friend of mine (Pentacostal) was once told by her pastor he was afraid she was going to go to hell merely because she hadn't yet spoken in tongues. It was a sad chapter in her life.

At the risk of generalizing, I think the obvious appeal of charasmatic churches is the "possibility of the Holy Spirit's power visibly manifesting itself for all to see". Until maybe the last ten or fifteen years, the Pentacostal movement has largely appealed to those with little or no social or political power, I understand the void it probably fills in the lives of certain believers.

With that in mind, I try to look at the collection of denominations being "The Body of Christ", with each denomination having its own unique talents & contributions.

At the same time, I've also found it extremely difficult to have theological discussions with charismatics. Usually, it leads to them repeating a certain phrase over and over. About a year ago, I learned this is one of the 5-6 steps cults use to get their followers to drown out the enemy. I'm not saying Charismatic churches are cults, only that they seem to be similar in certain ways (not necessarily a bad thing).

I've yet to meet a Charismatic with a foul mouth, however, but know many who seem pre-occupied with getting rich, and not always in the most honorable way.

Standard Disclaimer: I'm only sharing my honest observations here. Any church or denomination is merely a collection of fallible humans and birds of a feather tend to flock together.

Jim Colyer
05-20-2006, 01:09 AM
I got in with a charismatic church after I came out of the army. It was wild.

citymouse
05-20-2006, 03:19 AM
...but I only saw someone speaking in tongues at the independant church.

MSM, when you saw a person "speaking in tongues" may I ask what did you understand the message to be that this person was delivering?

Also what do you understand the phrase "speaking in tongues" to mean?

Puddle Jumper
05-20-2006, 03:35 AM
The part you mentioned about being drunk, if I'm not mistaken, refers to the baptism of the Holy Ghost, in which people have a tendency to feel like they're drunk. They have trouble walking, talking, making sense, etc. I myself have experienced both the intoxication of wine and the intoxication of the Holy Ghost, and I would much prefer the latter (no hangover to worry about afterward).
Their meaning was pretty clear that they were talking about alcholol consumption.

Thanks everyone for your responses. :)

SeanDSchaffer
05-20-2006, 06:36 AM
Their meaning was pretty clear that they were talking about alcholol consumption.

....Snipped.


Okay, thanks for the clarification.

Just because people go to church and worship Christ, does not mean they're going to be flawless, sinless individuals. They're still human, and they're still sinful, whether they have Christ in their heart or not.

I would be leery of clumping together all Charismatics, though, into one group of foul-mouthed, intoxicated people. Just like I would be leery of thinking that all Baptists are out to take the fun out of life. Some are, most aren't.

The same can be said for Charismatics. Just like there are bad apples in any other group of Christianity, so there are bad apples within the Charismatic Movement, as well. To think that someone is sinless because they become Christians is pure fantasy. The Bible says that 'If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.'

Puddle Jumper
05-20-2006, 07:14 AM
Okay, thanks for the clarification.

Just because people go to church and worship Christ, does not mean they're going to be flawless, sinless individuals. They're still human, and they're still sinful, whether they have Christ in their heart or not.

I would be leery of clumping together all Charismatics, though, into one group of foul-mouthed, intoxicated people. Just like I would be leery of thinking that all Baptists are out to take the fun out of life. Some are, most aren't.

The same can be said for Charismatics. Just like there are bad apples in any other group of Christianity, so there are bad apples within the Charismatic Movement, as well. To think that someone is sinless because they become Christians is pure fantasy. The Bible says that 'If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.'
I wouldn't expect other Christians to be flawless and sinless when I myself am far from perfect. :)

SeanDSchaffer
05-20-2006, 03:12 PM
I wouldn't expect other Christians to be flawless and sinless when I myself am far from perfect. :)


I must admit, I originally did think that of you. Sorry about that. It's just that many people have an attitude that if you're a Christian, you're somehow supposed to be without sin. It's a bad attitude to say the least, and one that makes no sense. But again, people do have a tendency--at least in my own experience--to hold this glorified view of Christianity and what its people should be like.

BTW, I may have sounded harsh in my previous post. Such was not my intent. I was simply giving my take on the situation. If I sounded harsh, please know that I did not intend to do so.

DrRita
05-20-2006, 06:02 PM
Whenever I visit a church that practices faith a little different than I am accustomed to, I try to focus on what we hold in common, not the differences. That way, I demonstrate the love I feel for my brothers and sisters in the faith, I am not judging others and becoming devicive.

The church has so many pressures and problems pushing against it from the outside, we sure need to have unity and brotherly love among believers, regardless of how they demontrate their worship. I am grateful that we live in an area where so many Christians practice their faith and worship regularly in the local churches. I really enjoy visiting churches that are more expressive than mine (though I love my church, we are a bit conservative in expressing our worship).

However you worship, worship!

I think Elizabeth has the proper attitude. When it is all said and done, the only thing that will matter when we are rid of these bodies and stand before Christ is if we trusted his finished work for our salvation.

There are charasmatic practices in all denominations. Baptists, Catholics, Presbyterians . . . you name it and there will be a group who believe in manifesting the sign gifts (tongues, prophesying, healing etc.) sometimes with the blessing of their denomination and sometimes without. The doctrines vary, the main dividing points are eternal security and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Pentacostols tend toward Armenianism and the evidence of tongues as a sign of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit while fundamentalists tend toward Calvinism and the ceasing of the sign gifts (which few can actually pinpoint a date). There is a group which are of neither camp; a strange mix of pentecostal and "baptist" theologies. My pentacostol friends call them "Bapticostals" because they adhere to some sort of Calvinism and eternal security, yet manifest some of the sign gifts such as tongues, prophesy and so on. They are referred to as misguided or heretics to some extreme fundamentalists and not readily accepted into the quieter, more conservative folds.

As for sin, all Christian denominations entertain their acceptable brand of sin whether it be gossip, dissention, gluttony, back biting, legalistic exclusivism or whatever. I see the church today as a close paralell to the Judiasm of Jesus day.

We need to focus not on the tongues of the pentacostals but on the tongues of our own mouths. James comes to mind . . .

johnnysannie
05-20-2006, 06:51 PM
In my own spiritual quest I've attended several different denominations. I often write short fiction based on some of my experiences. If you want to read fiction based on eye witness, I-was-there experience, here's a link to the latest one that has been published:


link:http://www.dfire.org/x1656.xml

Puddle Jumper
05-20-2006, 08:04 PM
I must admit, I originally did think that of you. Sorry about that. It's just that many people have an attitude that if you're a Christian, you're somehow supposed to be without sin. It's a bad attitude to say the least, and one that makes no sense. But again, people do have a tendency--at least in my own experience--to hold this glorified view of Christianity and what its people should be like.

BTW, I may have sounded harsh in my previous post. Such was not my intent. I was simply giving my take on the situation. If I sounded harsh, please know that I did not intend to do so.
I wish I could say I was perfect that I never struggled or fell to sin now that I'm a Christian. I believe that when a person becomes a Christian, the devil turns all his guns on that person and attacks more viciously than if they weren't. It's hard to follow and obey Christ when you're still stuck inside of sinful flesh. Mortal flesh is sinful, thus we can not be rid of sin until we die. But that's all a part of God's plan. It's how we grow and mature in Him. Like the song says, "We fall down, we get up. We fall down, we get up. We fall down, we get up. And the saints are just the sinners who fall down, and get up."

I'm the kind of person who usually doesn't learn until I've made a mistake. I'm also the kind of person that if you tell me "no" I'll do it to see why you said that and if you were right or not. I'm rather stubborn and independent that way. There's a song from many years ago that I like which says, "My search for independence only put more strain on me."

I would never pretend that Christians are perfect or that it's possible to reach perfection while still in these mortal bodies. But God allows us still to sin to teach us. Often times it's not until I sink to my lowest that I remember just how good and loving and forgiving and compassionate God is.

Puddle Jumper
05-20-2006, 08:12 PM
I don't think alcohol consumption is a sin. If it were Jesus would have never turned water into wine for people to drink. It does seem to me that the Bible says you should not become drunk though. So when I hear Christians talking and laughing about getting drunk as a positive thing, it does bother me.

I don't think foul language is necessarily a sin, not quite sure about that. However, since we know there are many who find such language offensive, I would think the usage of it could then become sinful if it's causing others to become upset.

Now there are some who think drinking alcohol is a sin. For me, I've chosen not to drink and not to smoke and not to use foul language because I don't want to accidentally distress someone who thinks such things are wrong and sees a Christian doing them. Kind of like what Paul said regarding food. While he himself knew that all food was good to eat, he would not partake in food others considered sinful when in their presence so not to distress them.

I have seen attitudes among Christians that say, "It's not a sin so I'm going to do it even if someone thinks it is." Paul said we should not exercise our freedom in that way. Which we live in a time and society where the message is, "Don't tell me what I can't do. No one's the boss of me." I think what it boils down to is self-control and treating others as better than ourselves.

james1611
05-23-2006, 01:26 AM
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth...(Paul)

Be not drunk with wine, but be ye filled with the spirit...(drunk in the spirit?NOOOO...filled means controlled.

John said try the spirits whether they are of God...ie not all are!!!

How does one "test" the spirits...by the word of God of course. This is our final authority on all issues as christians. Notice in Timothy when they give heed to suducing spirits and doctrines of devils in the last days...that they heed not sound doctrine (teaching)...this sound teaching comes from teaching the bible, rightly dividing the word of God.

Many practices in Christendom are not scriptural, yet people do not try the spirits, by the word to see where it is coming from.

Speaking in tongues for example, is not the gibberish spoken in churches today, but look closely in Acts 2...The people heard them in their own languages...they were speaking in earthly languages, howbeit not their own language as galileans...what was the purpose? to preach the gospel unto them.

Tongues is mentioned in other places as well, for instance in revelation...when the multitude is standing before God from every nation, kindred, people and tongue....tongue means a particular language, it identifies a certain people, by their earthly language...gibberish cannot do this.

We must look to the Word of God to test these experiences...pagans also have experiences speaking in tongues and are "drunk in the spirit" and unable to control themselves...God's people are never described anywhere in the Word of God in this manner.
The sad truth is that people would rather gravitate to experiences that seem spiritual, than to invest themselves in the Word and study.
Yes God can do miracles, Yes God can heal and so forth...but we must not assume that everything that presents to us as "being of God" is...after all Paul tells us in 2 cor. 11:13-15, that Satan appears as an angel of light, therefore it be no great thing if his ministers appear as the ministers of righteousness."

We are commanded to study to show ourselves approved unto God, workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

As for wine, drunkeness is condemned over and over throughout the word of God, and the book of Proverbs has some especially telling passages regarding the consumption of Wine and strong drink...check it out.

Rev. James

SeanDSchaffer
05-23-2006, 08:40 AM
Snipped for Brevity and Content....

As for wine, drunkeness is condemned over and over throughout the word of God, and the book of Proverbs has some especially telling passages regarding the consumption of Wine and strong drink...check it out.

Rev. James


However, it should be pointed out that drinking and getting drunk are not one-and-the-same. The Bible tells us 'Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess....' It does not say 'Do not drink wine,' or anything to that effect, unless of course, one is following the strict rules of an Old Testament vow. The Nazarite vow comes to mind in this case.

The Bible is very clear that being drunk with wine is a sin. But it is also very clear that a sip now and then, is not a sin. In other words, it is not the use of the alcohol that God condemns; it is the abuse of alcohol that God condemns.


As for tongues, I would say that I believe in the kind of tongues you spoke of, as well as speaking in a heavenly language. The Apostle Paul mentioned speaking in a heavenly language....I think. I'll have to find that in my concordance, but I'm pretty sure he did mention something to that effect.

The point to this is, a Charismatic speaking in tongues is not necessarily a bad thing. There are people who go overboard with it, of course, but the truth is that some of it is legit, at least IMHO.

What matters is what is in the person's heart. Remember that 'Man looketh upon the outward appearance, but God trieth the heart.' In the end, God will be the ultimate Judge of who is righteous and who is not. It will not matter in those days if you speak in tongues or if you don't speak in tongues. What will matter is what you've done with Christ.

M Paul
07-03-2006, 09:16 PM
First you need a definition of "charismatic." The most accepted is (in my own words)-- 1. an extreme form of Pentecostalism; 2. a Pentecostal community experience arising outside the government of a denominational church. Some Charismatics are very devoted and some succumb to the sinful nature. However, in assessing them, I think first a person has to take a position on the meaning of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. If the Pentecostal position is accepted theologically, then each church has to be assessed individually.

Keep in mind there's well over 500 million people under Pentecostal and Charismatic ministries world wide--which number was reached in 2001, but the movement is growing so fast statisticians can't keep up with it. With that many people, it is hard to make generalizations on overall character. Many years of study are required to truly understand the movement. Also, there has been great prejudice expressed against them, just as there was against the First and Second Great Awakenings by Cessationists (Christians who hold the power of God has ceased in its expression in whole or in part in any biblical manner).

M Paul.

Rachael
07-04-2006, 06:34 AM
I go to a SOMEWHAT charismatic Church of God, but we're pretty tame. Mostly just raising hands and a touch of speaking in tongues, but I've been to far more charismatic churches. Sometimes they're a little like what you see on TV, but most of the time they don't seem as fake. ;)

HoosierCowgirl
07-04-2006, 04:04 PM
We've gone to both charismatic and evangelical churches. Both have strengths and weaknesses. The charismatic church's strengths included -- cross section of the community (all ethnic groups -- black, white, Hispanic and several multi-cultural families); youth; energy; a heart for the poor and heart for unity and revival in the community; and powerful prayer -- "let God have the last word, not circumstances." One weakness was an ineffective -- well, OK, in this particular church -- unBiblical management structure where the pastor ruled and since he was hard to get along with drove away older Godly men who were elders. Once the wheels came off this church crashed quickly.

We now attend an evangelical church that, to paraphrase John Wesley (I think) is "organized to beat the devil" ;) This church is very homogenous and very organized, focused on getting a lot done. Whether that would be a new roof for a local widow or a funeral dinner for a grieving family or getting people and material to an impoverished mission school this church will get the job done -- with or without God's help ;) Most of the time "with." Has people teaching school, building roads and other projects all over the world. However, this church had so many people gifted in leadership that they couldn't all pull together recently and we lost a very good pastor for that reason. However, being part of a larger denomination, the district took over the church for a few weeks (great indignation from some quarters) and helped oversee reconciliation and finding a new pastor.

God has used both churches but in different ways. And people got in God's way in different ways at each church.

Music and worship structure was similar in both churches -- upbeat praise and worship; prayer and preaching; although at the Charismatic church there was emphasis on praying in tongues and being "slain in the Spirit." (Which is somewhat controversial and is not one of the fundamentals)

Both churches believed and preached basic Christianity but went about it in different ways.

Hope that helped

Ann

Bigbunny
07-05-2006, 09:33 PM
I love going to charismatic/pentecostal churches. There's so much freedom of expression in worship, and generally a faith that believes that our God can, in fact, do anything. I like to have someone praying for my healing if I'm sick, my deliverence if I'm hurting, my breakthrough....whatever. I haven't always seen that in other churches, not to say that it doesn't exist.

It's a shame that someone would feel the need to go out and get drunk when they can be filled with the Spirit instead. And the Bible is specific in saying not to let unclean things proceed out of our mouths. That's not to say that I haven't messed up, because I have in a big way on several occasions.

That's my 2 cents.