Tuesday, November 08, 2005

My confession

My name is Matt and I'm a Charismatic. I was last drunk in the Spirit ...

Before anyone thinks I'm running back into my Charismatic closet, I want to affirm that I am, indeed, one of "those"people. But I also want people to know I am not one of those people.

Important elements of my faith:

  • I affirm this statement of faith.

  • I believe when Christ came as a man he preached the arrival of the Kingdom of God in Him. I believe Christ taught all his followers to preach the same message.

  • While I do not believe we will witness the fullness of the Kingdom until Christ returns, we have been left with the Holy Spirit, Who holds and imbues the dunamis -- the power of the Kingdom -- in Christ's followers. We are given this power to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom, which is the Gospel message of Christ, fully man and fully God, Who willingly sacrificed Himself on the Cross so all men, through faith in Christ, could spend eternity in fellowship with God.

  • I believe all the gifts are for today. I do not believe anyone today can hold the office of prophet or apostle, titles which were sealed with the Word. I do not believe any prophet today speaks on the same authority as inspired Scripture, and any prophecy given today can only be measured against the perfect canon of His word.

  • I do not hold to Dominioninst eschatology, which I find profoundly in contradiction to the Gospel.

  • I reject Word/Faith dogma as a vile perversion of the Gospel.

  • I believe all believers are sealed with the Holy Spirit upon acceptance of Christ as their Lord and Savior. I believe this is a legal statement of spiritual ownership and citizenship in the Kingdom of God. John called it our assurance. However, I believe there are degrees upon which the Spirit "fills" us, and some believers are not as "filled" as others. I believe the Spirit sometimes responds to requests to fill a believer, and I believe the Spirit sometimes impresses Himself on believers with or without that person's permission. I believe Paul instructed us to seek out an infilling of the spirit through worship. The purpose of being filled with the Holy Spirit is multiple, including for service, for gifting, for personal edification, always for the glory of God, not man.

  • I do not accept speaking in tongues as neccesary for evidence of Spirit baptism. I do not believe any physical evidence is neccesary for Spirit baptism.

  • I do not believe ecstatic spiritual experiences to be neccesary for sanctification or growth. I do not believe being filled with the Holy Spirit is always accompanied by outward manifestations. However, I do believe outward responses to the Spirit's powerful innerwork are possible, Biblical, and not always undesirable.
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