“And so charismatic chaos spreads because the voices promulgating eccentric teachings drown out the feeble whispers of those who challenge Christians to examine the Scriptures to see whether these things are so (cf. Acts 17:11). It is not unkind to analyze doctrinal differences in the light of Scripture. It is not necessarily factious to voice disagreement with someone else’s teaching. In fact, we have a moral imperative to examine what is proclaimed in Jesus’ name, and to expose and condemn false teaching and unbiblical behavior.”
I wish everyone would read this book! When we elevate experience over the truths of Scripture, then chaos results. “Experience, however, is not the test of biblical truth; rather, biblical truth stands in final judgment on experience. That more than any other single issue is what this book is about.”
“As experience after experience is reported in the press and on religious radio and television, a subtle but sinister pattern is developing. Instead of responding to a proper interpretation of God’s Word, Christianity is collecting fantastic and preposterous experiences. The Bible is either mangled to fit those experiences or simply ignored altogether. The result is pseudo-Christian mysticism.”
This is why it is so crucial that Christians learn how to study and interpret the Bible correctly. Lack of knowledge of the Bible’s truths opens us up to be deceived by all kinds of false teachings and errors. We need to be in our Bibles: reading, studying, memorizing, and applying. The Bible has the truths we need to live holy lives that honor and glorify God. When we don’t know the Bible and the Bible seems to be lacking in what we are looking for, we turn to emotions and experience to find what we crave. God has told us in the Bible that His Word is sufficient (2 Peter 1:3 tells us He has given us everything we need for life and godliness). Do we really practice that? Do we rely that the Bible gives us the truth we need or do we look to ours or others’ experiences for truth?
Mysticism has been defined in various ways. Here is John MacArthur’s definition: “Mysticism is a system of belief that attempts to perceive spiritual reality apart from objective, verifiable facts. It seeks truth through feelings, intuition, and other internal senses. Objective data is usually discounted, so mysticism derives its authority from within. Spontaneous feeling becomes more significant than objective fact. Intuition outweighs reason. An internal awareness supersedes external reality…..mysticism is at the heart of modern existentialism, humanism, and even many forms of paganism – most notably Hinduism and its close ally, New Age philosophy.”
I would encourage people to read this book to understand what the concerns are when it comes to the charismatic movement and to see the heresy in the Word of Faith movement. Most of all, I encourage people to be reading and learning the Bible, applying its truth to their lives.