Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Terry Virgo and Dave Holden on Being Truly Charismatic!

I have just added these two quotes to the Pentecostal Post-It Notes Blog. They are fruits of my labours spending some very happy hours going through my Archives of old Newfrontiers Magazines prior to them being made available online! However both quotes were of such gravity and challenge that I really felt that I should reproduce them here for our consideration. Is the Holy Spirit truly free to move among us?

Terry Virgo said;

"Our churches must be centres of Holy Spirit activity. God is with us! His Presence is to be enjoyed. Beware the danger of thoughtlessly grieving or quenching the Holy Spirit and getting used to meetings where His Presence is hardly known ... When did you last feel the powerful sense of the Lord's Presence in your meetings? When were you last genuinely built up by a prophetic utterance? We must 'covet to prophesy'. Beware creeping passivity and simply waiting to see what the lead guitarist will do next.

God is present! He is willing to scatter spiritual gifts among you and the manifestation of the Spirit is for the good of us all".

And Dave Holden urged;

"Being a charismatic church means that you have a deluge of spiritual gifts in your worship. Is that true for you? How can you be truly charismatic if it is only by reputation and not in reality? When was the last time you had a tongue and an interpretation in your meeting or a time when many individuals brough "songs in the Spirit"? Gifts are not an option; they are essential for biblical worship and for the churches to come to maturity. Gifts are not the pinnacle of worship; they are aids to help us to worship more effectively".

A "deluge" of spiritual gifts! He used the same phrase in our seminar at Together on a Mission. Can any of us claim that we have a "deluge" of spiritual gifts? If the Holy Spirit is eager to pour out those gifts and Paul commands us to "eagerly desire ... especially" then there is nothing wrong with God. The problem may be us!

3 comments:

jul said...

Great quotes. I love Terry's dedication to making sure we experience God in church.

Did you happen to read this article? (http://worshipmatters.blogs.com/bobkauflin/2007/07/hey-bob-in-your.html) I am really concerned about this trend toward thinking God is everywhere all the time and nowhere in any particular powerful exeriential way... basically, the popular thought is that it's all in our heads. We just need to increase our awareness of his omnipresence. This to me downgrades the reality of his manifest presence and makes Christians no better than your typical 'spiritual' person doing Eastern meditation... If we can just convince ourselves 'He's here' then he will be! Is it me or is this a little crazy?

Dan Bowen said...

No I must confess I don't read Bob Kauflin anymore after the "Draw Me Close to You" episode!! ;)

That's a concerning post and a concerning concept. But you are absolutely right. Obviously evangelicals are right to emphasise the omnipresence of God because He IS omnipresent. But the Bible CLEARLY states (and that is our final authority last time I checked!) that God can by His sovereignity be in places more powerfully and more manifest than others!!

Here's some examples off the top of my head;

Exodus - God said to Moses that He wouldn't go up with them to the land of Israel but send an angel instead. Was God still omnipresent? Of course He was! But did the promise of His Presence make a difference to Moses? Clearly - else why else would he have interceded so much?

Ezekiel - the glory of God was seen departing from the temple in stages and then returning at the end of the book with the sound of rushing waters. Was God still omnipresent? Of course. But did Jerusalem suffer in God's absence? Absolutely. And what happened when the people heeded His commands and repented? The glory of God or His manifest Presence returned.

Acts - the Day of Pentecost! Was God omnipresent? Of course. Well if He was equally present everywhere then why did people come running TO where the disciples were receiving this encounter with God?

Acts 4 - the place was shaken! Was God omnipresent? Of course! But was the place shaking everywhere? Of course not.

And so on and so on. My fervent belief is that evangelicals and functional cessationists have and are using the omnipresence of God to explain away why He isn't manifesting Himself in power and glory like He has done in times of revival and in the Word of God.

We must stand against that and say that is wrong! Not in a proud way! I wouldn't dream of saying that I encounter God the way I did at Brighton day by day or week by week! But I certainly CERTAINLY am not going to settle for a mediocre promise of His omnipresence! Of course that is a huge HUGE comfort! "I will never leave you or forsake you". But isn't the promise of His omnipresence a comfort when His smile is hidden and the heavens are quiet?

Let's not settle for anything less. The cloud of glory needs to be descending on city after city (as Rob Rufus said) so that thousands upon millions of unbelievers are swept into the Kingdom! Surely that's what our Charismatic Resurgence should be about! Standing up and saying what we've got isn't enough!!

We are the people of God and we want to encounter Him!! In glory!!

James B said...

I've read Bob Kauflin's article - it's really concerning and really grieving. I can't understand how people who champion the Word of God so much are prepared to downgrade His Presence in manifest glory. Surely the Word of God should be our thermometer for experience today NOT our experience today!!

Doesn't 2 Corinthians say that the New Covenant will put the glory of the Old Covenant in the shade??! Oh really - well if that's so then I want to see some of what Moses experienced - "Show me Your glory!!". I want to see clouds of fire!! I want to see clouds of glroy filling the temple until the people can't minister anymore like in Solomon!! (You forgot that one Dan!!).

GRRR!! People we can't accept this evangelical orthodox rubbish!! It WONT do!! The Bible expressly says there is MORE MORE MORE!! And surely that is exactly what Adrian Warnock and Julie's posts were all about - not settling for anything less!!