Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Why Cessationism Bugs Me

There are many brothers and sisters who don't see the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the same way that I do. That's OK, although I wish for them the experiences I have had in the Holy Spirit, and even better ones. Honest Christians who don't see from the Word the way into such experiences, are acceptable to me. What isn't are smug naysayers who justify in their own minds an experience of Christianity which isn't like that reported in the Word. All the while, ridiculing those who dare to believe that such an experience could be theirs.

Demands are made for proof, for documentation, for willingly undergoing a spiritual colonoscopy to satisfy the lack of belief in the naysayer. Jesus never felt compelled to bend to similar demands from his naysayers, I see no reason for the spiritually experienced to do so today. I say that any explanatory onus is not on the one endeavoring to live experientially in line with what's in the Word, but on the one who isn't experiencing what is described in the Word. In light of the divergence their experience demonstrates from what is reported in the Word, it is the cessationists and spiritually inactive who have some explaining to do!

I understand, there have been all manner of fleshy demonstrations, goofiness, and out and out fraud among charismatics, but how is that record any worse (or even different) from that for cessationist Christianity. The plain truth is that for cessationists God is mutable, and perhaps even disabled. Without warning or explanation he pulled the rug out from under the disciples' mission and changed their assigned techniques for evangelism and practice within the church. What could be the reason for that, did he run out of power?

If anything changed, it was Christians, specifically their faith in God to demonstrate what he said he would demonstrate through them. It is not surprising to me that when and where Christians dare to believe that what is described in the Word can be their experience, it becomes their experience. God has not changed, neither has his mission for the church, nor the power he makes available for them to do what he's commanded. I think what needs to change is us.


DonaldH said...

Good post!

What I find interesting is that all the gifts are gone but teaching (in their minds) and if they are the church growth type, then it takes methodology and not the preaching (unless its watered down into felt- needs)and The Holy Spirit to grow a church.

Your brother in the Lord,


SLW said...

Welcome to the Sound.

Amen. I absolutely agree with you. When the power of the Holy Ghost is not in play, the power of human ingenuity is the only game in town. That might grow a church for a while, but it can't grow the kingdom.

Dr. D said...


Amen. I have gone through a few of those 'spiritual colonoscopies' myself.

Sadly the demands are really no different than I also receive from atheists.

SLW said...

Dr. D,
Atheists and Cessationists make strange bedfellows, indeed.