"Charismatic" experience

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selah
Posts: 329
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:59 pm

Re: "Charismatic" experience

Post by selah » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:55 pm

christopher wrote:
See, what you described reminds me a lot of what happens in the now famous “Toronto blessing”. I confess that when I see video coverage of that phenomenon from the outside, there’s nothing about it that attracts me to it or looks like Jesus to me. Quite the opposite, I’m repulsed by what I’m seeing. And it’s hard thing to admit because I know that most of these people are true believers that are truly seeking a closer experience with God. I’ve heard enough testimonies (like yours) from credible people I know to believe that these experiences are truly happening.

So that leaves me with some questions:

1.Is it possible for a born again believer, full of the Holy Spirit, to be “hijacked” (so to speak) by other spiritual forces simply by virtue of proximity (i.e. in the building it’s happening in)?

2. Can the enemy counterfeit “overwhelming joy and pleasure” thereby deceiving people into thinking it’s from God?

3. If this is from God, how do these manifestations (like going limp, laughing uncontrollably, appearing drunk, etc) glorify Him, and edify the body, and attract unbelievers into the kingdom?

4. If God is doing this, why am I so frightened of it and pig-headed about it?

These are questions I don’t have solid answers for. I’d like to hear what you and others here think.

I really don’t want to down play your experience in any way, I’m sure it was very vivid and real and important to you. I just have a hard time reconciling some of the things you described with what I believe God would do (from what little I know). I freely admit that this could be a deficit in my own spiritual maturity and openness, and if so, I’d just like to say I’m very happy for the gift you were given that night.

But if it’s possible to “test the spirits” here, I wonder how we would go about doing that. :?:
Christopher, I have these same questions and I don't have conclusive answers.

One thing I want to say is that I was not a Christian when the "Toronto blessing" happened, but just weeks before meeting the ladies I shared above, a friend invited me to her home to watch a video of Heidi Baker wail and lament over her chair on stage--laboring for the wealthy westerners who were really so poor. I'll spare you the details but watching her had a huge effect upon me. Why, in my own home I had been wailing and lamenting for my son. Was I just an emotional mom who prayed "too" hard for her teenager and then, "resonated" with some charismatics? I wondered then....and I still do...

My years among charismatics brought to light many unwelcome sites. That is one reason why I eventually left those circles. However, if my health allows, I would go back to a place nearby where they wave flags and play beautiful love songs to Jesus. I would find one of their dark corners in the back of the large auditorium and there, worship with flags and dance and song and prayer. In my heart, I am a Charismatic, but if you see me in my home fellowship, I look very quiet. Am I deceived by an evil spirit? Oh I pray NOT! Will you pray for me if you think I am?

I was raised a very strict cultish way and told that someday, I would be deceived like "the very elect." As a young adult, I stepped away from my skewed perception of Jesus for decades (but not from seeking God) and all throughout my life, those words from my childhood teachers scared me. So although I am not so scared of them now, I still question; I still seek to discern the spirits.

Actually, the last time I was in regular fellowship with charismatics, an outrageous revival was happening here in America and people from my fellowship were really alarming me with their gullableness. (Is that a word?) So yes, I too have these questions. It just looks to me like you and I are on different "sides of the isle" while we ask the same questions. I wonder what God thinks of that?
christopher wrote:
So that leaves me with some questions:

1.Is it possible for a born again believer, full of the Holy Spirit, to be “hijacked” (so to speak) by other spiritual forces simply by virtue of proximity (i.e. in the building it’s happening in)?

No, I think that if we are "full of the Holy Spirit" then we are safe from being "hijacked.". So to my way of thinking, the key is to remain "in Jesus." (easier said than done)
christopher wrote:
2. Can the enemy counterfeit “overwhelming joy and pleasure” thereby deceiving people into thinking it’s from God?
Yes I believe so, but again if one is full of the Spirit of the Lord they will remain safe from deception.
christopher wrote:
3. If this is from God, how do these manifestations (like going limp, laughing uncontrollably, appearing drunk, etc) glorify Him, and edify the body, and attract unbelievers into the kingdom?
I have a problem with "these manifestations" too. I am very skeptical of most events like that for the simple reason that I have seen many people seek the sensation and even try coaching (me) people into doing and behaving that way. Like the giddy group who suggested that I fake laugh to get God to make me really laugh, or the man who told me to say "banana" backwards three times in an effort to speak in tongues. He said it is like priming the pump. I didn't buy it. Whole books have been written about techniques designed to help one "get" the spiritual gifts. These I view with skepticism.

I am not saying that God won't do any of "these manifestations." I believe He can and probably does; this is why I can rejoice with TK in his experience. However, I am also saying that in my journey as a Christian, I have noted that the manifestations became so over-rated, sought after and sensationalized that I chose to step away.
christopher wrote:
4. If God is doing this, why am I so frightened of it and pig-headed about it?
hmmmm ;)

I think you should be frightened of it. (I mean, enough to stay away from it. We really only "fear God," right?) You mentioned "pig" and it reminded me of an occassion when I was outside the auditorium and came back to my seat just after a worship leader finished squealing like a pig. An elderly lady next to me whispered the event and I left. I went strait to the motor home where the traveling preacher's employees were and asked what we were to make of this. (Man! I was bold when I was a young Christian. :oops: ) They were so gracious; they invited me in for tea and as we shared, they (a man and a woman) encouraged me to "test the spirits" and told me it is okay if you don't accept everything you see and hear. They admitted that even though they worked for the traveling preacher, they themselves didn't buy into everything either. We prayed together and I left with an open invitation to come back anytime. Of course, I never saw those kind people again, and I avoided that worship team from that time forward, but I also realized that people need to seek unity in truth, love everyone and stay away from some.
christopher wrote: These are questions I don’t have solid answers for. I’d like to hear what you and others here think.
No solid answers here, only attempts to come to terms with it all.
christopher wrote:
But if it’s possible to “test the spirits” here, I wonder how we would go about doing that.
Well, I am sure I have so much to learn, but like you and others I think we should find Biblical examples or principles to see as guidelines. For me, I think following the Bible is a most important key. However, I also think looking at fruit is key. If I think I have had an experience, I ask myself, "Do I exhibit the fruits of the spirit? We "shall know them by their fruits," the Bible says.

Thank you. God bless you :)
Jesus said, "I in them and you in Me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that you have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me." John 17:23

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Homer
Posts: 2604
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:08 pm

Re: "Charismatic" experience

Post by Homer » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:39 am

Selah, Christopher, et al,

Yes, LoveINC does a lot of good and is especially good for my wife and me.

I have sought an experience. Not some spectacular thing as seems to be so popular in some circles, but I have sought an answer from God. I have prayed and begged for an answer. An answer by way of some sign or something obvious. An answer I can not miss. I asked Steve's opinion regarding the matter of concern. He gave a good answer that put my mind at ease for a short time, but doubt soon crept in. Was it just his opinion? Was he wrong? Or was he right and Satan is attacking me? Is God looking down and thinking "I answered you through Steve, you dummy!"?

So the experience with LoveInc is, I believe, the best experience for me. That is doing something for someone else that you, in the flesh, REALLY do not want to do. Overcoming the flesh to be obedient to Christ. When the suspicion arises that perhaps someone is taking advantage of me, then thinking that we all have taken advantage of Jesus and He does not resent it one bit.

When the subject of the Holy Spirit and gifts comes up I am reminded of the sure sign of the working of the Spirit in our lives:

Acts 5:32 (New King James Version)
32. And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

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