Friday, August 18, 2006

Downgrading the Prophetic Ministry?

I have been following with interest various discussions about the recent SG Worship conference and the presence of the 'prophetic' within it, especially as there were a large number of cessationists present. The responses were quite different and varied (all the following quotes come from the above link). What I found rather confusing was Bob Kauflin's rather bizarre stance on the gift of prophecy. On the one hand:

"Bob began this section by stating he had been led to sing a prophetic song for the women in the audience named Katie. He asked all the Katies presence to come to the front and he sang a song for them, the theme of which was to encourage them and to direct them to the Word as the source of God's voice".

I felt some sympathy with one cessationist responder who said;

"Isn't it ironic that Bob claimed to have gotten a 'word' (from God) to all the Katies that God's Word is the source of God's voice...and yet this 'voice'(word) directed only to those named Katie didn't come from THE Word?"

Yet at the other end of the spectrum, an insider at Kauflin's church said this;

"Even his ... message from Friday morning (which I heard last Sunday when Bob preached at CLC) had a more conservative prophetic bend than what I experienced last night (i.e. "no mates, dates, correction, or direction").

So on the one hand Kauflin is calling "Katies" out because he thinks he had a "prophetic song" (where's that in the Bible?) of encouragement for them. Yet on the other he doesn't advocate; "mates, dates, correction or direction" in the prophetic? I am confused and concerned that prophecy is being downgraded like the Baptism of the Spirit has been downgraded so as not to offend.


Anonymous said...

Well said!!

Let's not allow our theology to be defined by our desire for acceptance in the community.

Dr S A J Burgess

Anonymous said...

Dan, is this a new blogging project? Looks good.

Anyway, you make a good point about prophecy. It seems to me that, if we have done our biblical exegesis correctly, we have the authority of God's Word to practice these gifts in the way that Scripture describes. No more and no less.

I was discussing SGM's re-definition of Baptism in the Spirit with a friend of mine, and he made the point that it seems like they have redefined this doctrine so that Wayne Grudem, and other Reformed people they have great respect for, would be able to become a member of SDM churches. It was an interesting observation.

While I consider myself both Reformed and Charismatic, I would never consider redefining or compromising my charismatic theology in order find acceptance with "reformed non-charismatics". That neither glorifies God, nor can it help to fulfil His purposes for the Church.

Spiritual gifts are essential for the life and health of a Church.

Dan Bowen said...

Hi Hobbes,

Thanks for the comment. Yes it's an attempt to try and seperate out my two passions - Ern Baxter and Pnuematology! I am trying to make this more concerned with things of the Spirit so that I can get on with publishing Ern's ministry over at "Life on Wings".

It's very interesting you mention your discussion with your friend. When my home church in Dunstable altered their understanding of the Baptism of the Spirit to become traditionally Reformed, I spoke to Terry Virgo at Stoneleigh 1999 with a few friends and we asked him just how important was that re-definition. He made an interesting observation. He said that in his experience, the baptism of the Spirit seems to be a fulcrum for many other doctrines of the Spirit. Once that is changed the others tend to follow, ie spiritual gifts, spiritual warfare etc.

That happened in Dunstable and it seems to be the same in the SGM circles.

I love your statement that you would never consider redefining or compromising charismatic theology to find acceptance. I couldn't agree more.

We surely must be bound to the Word of God and the Word of God alone. If it says "This is That" concerning spiritual gifts, spiritual life or anything - then that must be our practice!

Thanks again - good to hear from you!

Anonymous said...

I like that quote that you put over at "Life on Wings" from Greg Haslam.

That what we preach is what we get.

Humility is all vital and good, but clarity in the pulpit is essential - I am coming to realise. That if God by His grace begins to grant a wider audience to what is said, then the increasing and greater responsibility on each word uttered from the pulpit is HUGE!

Who would want a responsibility like that!? I know I wouldn't! God Himself said - theirs is the greater judgement.

I think that's why Mark Heath's blog entry on the Word of Knowledge is so utterly timely. That the sermon is more important than we have perhaps given it credit for. That each preacher NEEDS the anointing of the Holy Spirit because church direction is affected by it!

And this confusing stance on prophecy is just an example of that. Clarity is essential. Because what we preach is what we get. Yep.