One of the recipients of my invite was incensed. He responded (I have edited to mask who he really is in case some readers try to interpret):
I do not, for the life of me, see why you bother to write or respond to me.
He was speaking of things he has written on which from time to time I have sent him my opinion. He has not always welcomed my view or opinion. I think he is a good theologian, I just also believe that to accept everything everyone writes without contest or question is dangerous. I welcome his disagreement or counter argument. But he is offended. He writes further:
I am inferior to you according to you own words. I feel sure you do not see this but your words ring true and say loud and clear, "Without tongues you are missing something that is important, really necessary."
I have never ever said that I am superior to him or anyone else. There is something in him that drives that comment. I did say, and say again that a person in ministry with the fullness of the Holy Ghost with equal training and capacity will always be superior in giftedness and ministry ability to the one without. The person is not superior. The gift is. If you have it you are a notch up.
I have a real world example. I know of two men, identical twins. Matt and Mike. Fargo North Dakota. Both are christian, both went to the same school, both same theological training but the divergence came years ago when one man Mike, pursued the fullness of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of Speaking in tongues. The other, Matt did not. Now some years later Mike is the district leader of a large number of Pentecostal Churches in North Dakota and is Pastor of the largest church of the fellowship in Fargo North Dakota. Matt is no longer in the Ministry and works for the Toro lawn mower company. Oh Matt still loves Jesus, headed for heaven. He just fell short by trying to do in the flesh what was never intended without the fullness of the Spirit. There are lots of examples but this one seemed most salient. Mike is my son's Pastor.
I welcome your gift but I do not welcome this Corinthianism. I do not wish to provoke a battle by email. I simply have no interest in this debate at all.
What this good man is saying is, leave me alone. I like my rut and have no interest in getting out of it. Even if Jesus came back and appeared to him bodily I don't think he could or would change his mind. For that he is to be pitied above all men. Tradition blinds the spiritual man as certainly as if somehow a red hot poker were inserted into eyesockets.
I remain open to all the gifts but refuse to believe your "knowledge" of these things is correct. It leads you to embrace the worst aspects of the charismatic, not just the better ones.
I don't know what those "Worst Aspects" are and I guess I will never know since he has effectively shut me out. I imagine that the "worst aspects" have to do with not harmonizing with a Nominal Christian theology. That's what they really wish you know. They wish we would just keep quiet, not "Push" a viewpoint that mirrors Jesus instructions below. That we would just be a Side issue. I think the reason it so angers so many on the Nominal side is that it forces them to a decision. A decision that requires rejecting what they have believed and taught for a lifetime. That's a tough one. That's the problem with this debate, It's one sided. You nutty tongue talkers go over there in the corner and do whatever you do. We "Real" Christians will ponder our collective spiritual navels. "Worst aspects" for them are those that challenge Christians living in less than the fullness of the Spirit of God.
When Jesus said in Acts 1:4-5 “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
He didn't add "You can go home and do nothing and it'll be OK to not be Baptised in the Holy Ghost." No he said go and wait. This wasn't optional. This was THE promise of the Father in Heaven. This was a big deal. When he said go and Wait and it'll be poured out, he meant it. That is an inconvenient truth that is a "worst aspect" to some in nominal Christianity. If I read my Bible correctly, it can be construed from Paul's writing where he says Jesus appeared to over 500 at one time, that was on the mount of olives when He ascended. Yet only 120 were still in the upper room on the day of Pentecost. I guess people not pressing in for all the Father has for them is nothing new.
Oh, I will honor his request. I just feel bad.
In your zeal you have gone beyond Paul's counsel yet you cite him, out of context, and make your points.
What's interesting is I always quote Paul completely IN context. I quote whole chapters and passages. I see no caution or restriction other than don't reject the Gifts God wants to provide for you.
Try reading Gordon Fee, the best NT commentator on Corinthians alive, and a devout charismatic, and you will find my own views clearly written by the best scholar your own charismatic community has produced.
My respondent imagines I have never read Gordon Fee or even know who he is. I do and I have. This was an insult. But I'll let that pass. I will admit that I used to read a great deal until it became a bad substitute for the revelation of the Holy Ghost. I don't read much outside theology any more.
I wish you every blessing but really do not wish to discuss this any further. It has reached the place of pointless for us both. I have little time and no interest.
What he is really saying is "I don't want to have anyone challenge my chiseled in granite theology. I'm busy doing things and have no interest in hearing what the Spirit of God might say thru you or anyone else".
I have from time to time responded to things people have written on blogs which are non Charismatic. I have always been transparent about who I am and what I believe. Therefore I was advised by him in his comment to me to stop doing so in his note to me.
No one reading your comments on these blogs has any sympathy with your ideas at this particular point.
This is what open debate and discussion has become in the blogosphere. I have a good friend who often writes for Say Anything. He is very conservative. He goes by the Moniker, 2Hotel9. Of course, he will weigh in on liberal blogs like Daily Kos. They have blocked him out. They have said, "No one reading your comments on these blogs has any sympathy with your ideas at this particular point."
He wrote me a note when I asked him to tell me how they blocked him. HE SAID:
Mostly my comments stopped being posted, at Daily Kos I was blocked from the site entirely, at Democrat Underground I actually received an email notification that I was no longer allowed to comment. Most blogs have registration in order to comment and when I would try to login it just would not process through.
I only got nasty emails and nasty comments directed at me by a few blogs, and most seem to have vanished in the months afterwards. I need to go through my blog list and clear the deadwood. I am sure that if I had a blog at the time I would have gotten the "Treatment", the KosKids are quite famous for piling on any blog that disagrees with their religion.
So what now passes for "Discussion" in left wing political blogs is:
Post By Dave:
............so in conclusion, Bush is an idiot, he has ruined America and should be impeached.
Pete: Dave you're so right, Bush is nuts.
Bill: I agree with Pete, you said it again Dave.
Tom: Isn't it Great we can talk about thing like this and all agree what a Jerk Bush is?
Len: Impeachment is too good for him, he should be Lynched.
2Hotel9: Now wait, Bush has made some mistakes but he is our President.
Mark: Dave, You own this blog, who let that fool in. 2Hotel9, you are not welcome here. No one reading your comments on this blog has any sympathy with your ideas.
Now, if you think I'm kidding, just log on to Huffington or Daily Kos and see what kind of a mindless sycophantic simpatico drone goes on.
What is so discouraging for me is now that level of non discourse has now descended on blogs originally dedicated to a theological "discussion". If you don't agree you aren't welcome.
...... so dear brethren, you can see by these proofs that God is no longer in the healing business. He allows doctors to do that now. Besides, only those charismatics believe in healing like Benny Hinn and we all know what a disservice he pays to the Body of Christ:
Anna: Oh Alex, you really nailed this one. You are so right all the time. Benny Hinn is awful. Why I heard he...........
Steven: I don't even think Charismatics are Christians. They are demon possessed.
John: Steven, I have always wondered about that. Thanks for clearing that up. I agree with Alex (again).
Matt: Isn't it wonderful that only we know the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Those Pentecostals are so deluded. Why, they want us believing in miracles and handling snakes and things.
Judy: I have known a few good charismatics. Whatever happened to that Gene that used to post comments here. Wasn't he a charismatic?
Chuck: We don't need his kind here. No one reading his comments on this blog has any sympathy with his ideas at this particular point.
That's what we have descended to. No dialogue. No debate. No consideration of any views that don't agree with our own. We are a lost culture without the capacity to talk anymore. We shut out any voices except those that agree with our own.
This is not a good thing. What I am most concerned about blogs that Block commenters or won't engage the issue is that it is driven by an insipid superiority. I'm better than you. I'm smart, I have a degree and you don't. (As if Jesus were impressed with degrees.) Looking down their noses at those who might disagree we have impasse because of their arrogance.
It's true of some mainline denominational professors, true of liberals, true of global warming enthusiasts, true of Bush haters. If you DARE disagree you are an idiot.
I have visited almost every Luther Site in Germany. I have read much of what he wrote in the original German. I know what he said. He was controversial. I have seen his conversations with his companion and sometimes combatant in theology Phillip Melanchthon. If conversation forums or blogs existed then I suspect that Luther would not have been welcome. Certainly not on the Papal Blog. They would have said to him: No one is has any interest or sympathy with Luther's ideas at this particular point.
I know Martin Luther, he wouldn't, he didn't back down. He never ran from a fight.
I'm not running. In respect I'll step back. I've been run off before. But the debate will rage on. I'll find a forum to lay this in front of people who have closed minds.
If Luther had listened to the naysayers we may not have had a reformation and we'd all be praying the Rosary every day. Thankfully he didn't remain silent. Neither will I.
I just had my 62nd birthday. A pastor friend of mine said that the Lord nudged him to prophetically pronounce Isaiah 62:1-3 over me.
1 For Zion's sake I will not keep silent,
for Jerusalem's sake I will not remain quiet,
till her righteousness shines out like the dawn,
her salvation like a blazing torch.
2 The nations will see your righteousness,
and all kings your glory;
you will be called by a new name
that the mouth of the LORD will bestow.
3 You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD's hand,
a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
I'll take that. That's what I love about the Prophetic.