What I Like and Don't Like About the Modern Charismatic Movement
by Eddie Hyatt
What I Don't Like About the Charismatic Movement
- I don't like the super-spirituality that is constantly giving rise to new and bizarre teachings and experiences. In this super-spiritual milieu, individuals are constantly seeking some new experience or some new revelation or giving themselves and others impressive sounding titles. All the while, the simplicity and power of Jesus and the Gospel are neglected. This is exactly what was happening in the city of Colosse when Paul wrote his letter to the church in that city (see my article "The Colossian Heresy Revisited" at www.eddiehyatt.com, or here on the Pneuma Foundation website). I think the inhabitants of heaven must weep when they observe the self-centered, religious antics in our movement today.
- I don't like the celebrity mentality that is promoted by so many, nor the entertainment culture that has captured so much of the movement. This culture has more in common with Hollywood than with the New Testament. In it, worship leaders have become entertainers, preachers have become performers, and church has become big business. At one time, commitment to Christ involved giving up personal fame and fortune. Today, people come to the church to seek their personal fame and fortune. Oh, for a mighty heaven-sent revival that will sweep through the churches of North America. I don't like the money-driven antics of preachers who promise blessings and gifts from God to those who will send them an offering. These are the new charismatic indulgences. Scripture is twisted and integrity is compromised as the gifts of God, purchased by the blood of Christ, are offered for a price. These are those of whom Jesus spoke in Matt. 23:14, Woe to scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers. What a terrible reckoning these will have to give when they stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
What I Like About the Charismatic Movement
- I love the thousands of Spirit-filled believers I have met in many parts of the world, including North America, who are sold out to Jesus Christ and the advancement of His cause.
- I love the world-wide outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Wherever He is allowed to work in unscripted, spontaneous ways there is a melting and breaking, often resulting in tears and sometimes in laughter. These times also include healings, miracles, and conversions. These times cannot be duplicated and mass marketed, although that is attempted in our business approach to Christianity. These "times of refreshing" come as we are totally dependent on Him and humble in His presence.
- I love the empowering of the Holy Spirit in preaching, teaching, and in the manifestations of the gifts of the Spirit. The only means Jesus gave for fulfilling the Great Commission was for His people to be filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit once said to me, "Life in the Spirit is a life without limitations". Hallelujah! Keep coming Holy Spirit!
Eddie L. Hyatt, D.Min., is the founder and president of Hyatt International Ministries in Dallas, Texas. He is the author of 2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity which traces Pentecostal/charismatic movements and phenomena from the Day of Pentecost to the present time. www.eddiehyatt.com
Prepared for the Pneuma Foundation website by KenJ