The Charismatic Movement - Rev Dr Wayne Pearce
23 Feb 2009
My subject this evening is ‘The Charismatic Movement and the de-formation of the church.’ And I wish to begin my address by quoting you the words of the Lord Jesus Christ who says: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? [miracles] And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Mt 7:21-22). Now please note the Lord Jesus is making very clear to us that what is truly fundamental and foundational is our obedience to the revealed will of God which is solely contained in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments and not in the outward manifestations of the work of the Spirit. We read in the Book of Deuteronomy: The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law (Deut 29:29). The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Illumination: He is the One who leads God’s people into all truth and testifies of and reveals Christ to us. He enables God’s elect not only to hear the word which is foolishness to the natural man but to believe and trust it unto salvation which is through faith in Jesus Christ. And then the Spirit works in us to conform us to the image and likeness of Christ through our appropriation and application of the Word.
In 2007 the Rev Maurice Roberts addressed the Northern Reformed Fellowship on the subject of Martin Luther and the doctrine of justification by faith alone, and in his introduction, if I recall correctly, he rightly informed us that, generally speaking, there had been three great periods or epochs in the history of the church leading up to and including that glorious revival of biblical Christianity in the 16th century. Firstly he reminded us that there was the formation of the New Testament church built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone (Eph 2:20). And we read of its origins and initial expansion through the preaching of the gospel and the whole council of God in the Acts of the Apostles and the New Testament epistles. And this period of formation he suggested lasted up until around the 5th and 6th centuries as the church grew numerically and established itself throughout the Western world. However this time of formation was tragically followed by a long, ever darkening, period of de-formation under the usurped authority of the papacy and the near universal establishment and hegemony of Roman Catholicism. And the thing that truly precipitated and promoted this deformation in the church I believe was her departure from the doctrine and teaching of Holy Scripture. She failed to hear and heed the word of God which is disobedience and rebellion.
It was and continues to be the claim of the Church of Rome that Scripture is not sufficient revelation and that God continues to reveal His will to His people through tradition and the church - specifically through the Pope when he speaks ex cathedra. Before long, man-made dogmas and teaching obscured and obliterated from view the Son of Righteousness, the biblical gospel and the teaching of God’s word generally. Thus, in came all manner of false teaching and the subordination and subjection of God’s word to the inventions and machinations of men who claimed to speak on God’s behalf which in turn led to widespread ignorance of the revealed will of God. Consequently in came idolatry, superstition, worldliness and all manner of aberrant beliefs and practices like a flood upon the church. But praise the Lord, God raised up faithful and courageous men in the 16th century like Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox and many others who took a firm stand upon the inspired, infallible and inerrant word of God which led to the Re-formation of the church. The reformers understood, you see, that the church stands upon the Scripture and not the other way round as the Church of Rome claimed. Moreover the litmus test of orthodoxy and faithfulness for the Christian is God’s word which is the Bible. Scripture not man’s teaching, inclinations, feelings, emotions or experience is the ultimate authority for the individual Christian and the church collectively. The reformers thus sought to re-form the church on a purely biblical template. And as a result the church became once again, as in the days of her formation, Christ-centred and Christ-focussed and the word of God was the only rule pertaining to all matters of Christian faith and practice.
From that sure and solid foundation of sola scriptura, that is scripture alone, came the other famous solas of the Reformation which helped to delineate and define the great fundamentals of the faith: sola gratia - reminding us that salvation is of sovereign grace alone - it is the gift of God, it cannot be earned or merited. Sola fides - it is through faith alone without the works of the law. Man is not saved on account of his good works but is saved in order to do good works. And faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Sola Christos - salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. There is no other Saviour; there is no other name under all of heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. And where do we encounter Christ but in the scriptures! And sola Deo Gloria - this is all to the glory of God alone. Please note that sound doctrine and theology is God-centred not man-centred! Note to the centrality of the gospel which is undergirded by the word of truth. And my great concern is that the Charismatic Movement with its emphasis on the wrong things like signs and wonders (the Lord Jesus says: An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign), and most particularly in its belief in continuing revelation through so called apostles and prophets has failed to learn and heed the lesson of history and is undermining not only our biblical and Reformed heritage but is jeopardising the spiritual welfare of both the church collectively and of the individual Christians who comprise her. While the claim of the Charismatic Movement is that it is a movement of the Holy Spirit to renew and revitalise a moribund and lifeless church, my contention is that to the contrary the Movement is largely of man and is promoting the deformation of the church. One need only tune in to the some of the Christian broadcasting channels on digital and cable TV to witness deeply disturbing parallels between certain Charismatic beliefs and practices with the previous age of deformation.
Let me say categorically however that it is not my aim or intention to pick a fight. Instead my address this evening is born out of a genuine love and concern for the church in our day and for souls. Neither do I speak as if I believed that I personally, my own congregation, denomination or the Reformed constituency generally is perfect or near so for there is much that is amiss and needs to be put right. There is much that we ought to be ashamed of and be repenting of! We ought to always be reforming in the light of the word of God, growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and demonstrating that we are His disciples by the love we have one for the other! Moreover I want to acknowledge that there are sincere and genuine believers within the Charismatic Movement who put to shame many of us within the Reformed constituency by their evangelistic fervour, good works and by the evident love and warmth they manifest in and through their ministries. Nevertheless they are adherents and promoters of false doctrine and practices that are a grave and serious threat to the spiritual welfare of the visible church. It is not therefore my desire to merely condemn or denigrate such people but I want to plead with them for love and truth’s sake to consider the following things.
It is also my firm conviction that there are many within Charismatic Fellowships who are there not because they have embraced unorthodox teaching and forms of worship and practice but instead they are where they are because they found themselves discouraged and disgruntled with the endless division and bickering and the evident lack of love, warmth and fellowship among brethren within their former congregations or denominations. They are where they are because the Reformed churches have failed to teach them sound doctrine in a consistent and systematic manner. Others have attached themselves to Charismatic type fellowships because they became disillusioned and dismayed by the lack of drive, purpose and vision within the church or alternatively they could not accept the lack of concern to impact the world with the gospel in obedience to the Great Commission. Others have left local churches because in spite of their claims to orthodoxy they were teaching the commandments and traditions of men instead of the word of God. And yet others have wrongly sought to find in Charismatic Fellowships a panacea for what they perceived to be desperately dull and lifeless worship elsewhere. These are just some of the things that folks have personally said to me who are currently worshipping within Charismatic churches.
Now let me explain to you that my objective here is not to explore every aspect of Charismatic theology and practice but instead I want to highlight certain beliefs and customs which are leading the church back into the dark ages - the age of deformation. However before I do so let me just provide those of you who may be unfamiliar with the Charismatic Movement a little background information into its establishment and focus. The origins of the Charismatic Movement are evidently many and varied. Mid-17th century England witnessed the emergence of sects like the Shakers during the brief period of the Cromwellian Interregnum. Most commentators however trace the Movement’s origins to the Wesleyan/Holiness movement in the 19th century and more obviously and specifically to the formation of the Pentecostal denominations in the early 20th century. However the modern Charismatic Movement emerged principally from within the mainstream denominations in the 1950s and 60s and generally speaking is much more ecumenical in its approach and worldly in its practice than the movements and churches that helped to shape it. In many ways it is a phenomenon of the age and culture we live in with its powerful emphasis on the individual and his/her own personal experiences, feelings and perceived needs. Me-ology rather than theology often predominates as is evidenced in the name it and claim it messages which are given prominence in some circles and in the man-centred songs and choruses which often pass for worship.
The Charismatic Movement takes its name from the Greek word charismata which relates to the gifts of the Spirit. Charismatics claim that the charismata are given in the baptism of the Spirit which is a post conversion experience or event. Now I do not wish to engage in a debate about whether or not this is true. Time will not permit that here. The majority of Reformed theologians rightly insist that there is no second baptism of the Spirit and that such a viewpoint has developed from a misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the events recorded in the Acts of the Apostles in particular which were extraordinary and not normative. However there are some who think differently. Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones for one makes a compelling case for the baptism of the Spirit as a post conversion event in his book ‘Joy Unspeakable’ and quotes Puritans of the calibre of Thomas Goodwin in defence of his position. Dr Wayne Grudem is another who takes a similar view. However these men rightly acknowledge the supreme authority and sufficiency of Holy Scripture and their theology and practice was and is very different to those I am referring to here tonight. The distinguishing or key marks of the Charismatic Movement tend to be speaking in tongues, continuing prophesy, supernatural healings, prosperity and battle against the Devil and his fellow demons.
There are five areas in particular which I am concerned are precipitating and promoting the deformation of the church:
1. Rejection of the Sufficiency of Scripture
Firstly, the Charismatic Movement promotes deformation in the church by its rejection of the sufficiency of Scripture. It is probably safe to say that the majority of those who claim allegiance to the Charismatic Movement recognise the divine nature and origin of Holy Scripture. Such folks often claim to acknowledge the authority of God’s revealed will but it appears to escape their notice that belief in continuing prophecy only helps to undermine that claim in the same way it did in the previous period of deformation. Charismatic teaching and practice similarly often negate, refute and nullify both the authority and the sufficiency of the God-breathed word. In other words while Charismatics rightfully recognise that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God they nevertheless are ever adding to it the doctrines and commandments of men in spite of God’s grave warning against such a practice! For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book (Rev 22:18-19). These words are not found at the end of the Bible by mere coincidence but are a solemn reminder that we must not add to or take away from special revelation - the God-given revelation we possess in the sixty-six books which alone comprise the canon of scripture. It is for this very reason that the Westminster Confession of Faith correctly and unambiguously states: ‘The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.’
Let us truly grasp that the church is being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit (Eph 2:20-22). There can be no other foundation and it is unquestionable folly to seek to add to that which has already been laid. And yet the Charismatic Movement claims that God is today raising up apostles and prophets to give new revelations. Like the Church of Rome they fail to recognise that the apostolic succession is not to be found in men but in doctrine. Moreover it is on the erroneous basis and assumption that God is continuing to call and equip prophets that groups like the Mormons and other cults and heretical groups stake their claim. I often want to ask Charismatic friends what is the purpose of this continuing revelation. After all God’s word very clearly states that the holy scriptures, ...are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. [Moreover] All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (2 Tim 3:15-17). If the Bible reveals all that we need know about God and our duty towards Him, our salvation, our growth in the Christian life and provides us with all things necessary with the aid of the Spirit to enable us to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, equip us for service and for glory - to be followers of Jesus Christ, to be perfect - not sinless perfection this side of the grave but instead all that is requisite for sanctification and for spiritual maturity and to equip us unto all (not just some) good works then why oh why are these people constantly seeking new revelations and novelties?
It seems to me that this is born out of a deficient and erroneous understanding of the doctrine of Scripture. For well over a century the true church has had to contend with the widespread and pernicious influence of liberalism which like a spiritual leprosy has ate away and destroyed many limbs that had once been a vibrant part of the visible body of the church. It did so by a direct and open attack on the doctrine of Scripture robbing men and women, boys and girls of the word of truth that alone had the remedy for the terminal condition of sin and its grave consequences. The Charismatic Movement appears to be indirectly furthering this evil. Possibly arising out of this there appears to be a tendency among many Charismatics to subordinate the preaching and teaching of the word in favour of short motivational messages, healing ministries and repetitious and ego-centric praise choruses and songs, dance and drama. Stages are much preferred to pulpits in such an environment. Entertainment is sadly usurping the place of worship just as it did in the first period of deformation!
2. Promotion of Two-Tier Christianity
My second concern is that the Charismatic Movement is leading to the deformation of the church through its promotion of two-tier Christianity just like in the previous period of deformation. Then as now within the Church of Rome there is to be found a distinct demarcation between the religious (those in orders) and the laity. So within the Charismatic Movement there are those who have received the Baptism of the Spirit as evidenced first and foremost in the speaking in tongues and those who have not. It is therefore inherently divisive. It creates a special class of Christians but we must ask ourselves are these people who claim to have these gifts more knowledgeable of the things of God, more holy, more humble, more Christ-like in thought, word and deed? You see, it is in these evidences of grace that gives credence of the Spirit’s work in and through us, not speaking in tongues. This belief is ultimately a denial of the Protestant and biblical doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. The word of God says: Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ (1 Pet 2:5). There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal 3:28). Now the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers is not a recipe for anarchy in the church. For it is right and proper that we recognise that God has established a government in His church and it is He who calls, equips and empowers certain men for this type of service. Thus we do recognise that there are functional differences within the church just as there is within the God-head. And we have the continuing offices of pastor/teacher, elder and deacon but we must guard against creating two-tier Christianity. Yes as Christians God has given us different gifts and graces but we must all acknowledge that He is no respecter of persons. We are many members, yet but one body (1 Cor 12:20).
My third concern is that the Charismatic Movement is promoting mysticism which again was a common characteristic of the long period of deformation. Subjective experience, feeling, emotion and such like are elevated and given precedence over the objective standard of Holy Scripture. How many times do we hear Charismatic friends say but God spoke to me, He told me to do this? But when queried most do not claim to have heard a literal voice but what they mean is that they got an idea in response to prayer. However, I want to ask the question how do such people know that it is God who is speaking to them? Could it be their own subconscious convincing them that God is telling them what they want to hear? What’s to say it is not the Devil or one of his minions? After all he can appear as an angel of light and his chief aim is to keep us from Christ and from being faithful to Him through obedience to His word. You see, without the objective standard of Scripture ultimately anything goes. And when people do things which directly contravene or contradict God’s revealed will in the Bible and claim to be speaking or acting on behalf of God then we know that something is seriously amiss.
Now please do not misinterpret what I’m saying! I’m not advocating rationalism, although there is nothing unreasonable in biblical Christianity. No, I very much appreciate that Head knowledge is not enough for the true believer; it must always be accompanied by heart knowledge. We must confess Christ with our mouths and believe on Him in our hearts which speaks to us of the entirety of our beings - will, intellect, emotion and so on. Believers must have an experiential faith as the old Puritans once put it. But this is far removed from the mysticism promoted by the Charismatic Movement which leaves one without the objective standard of God’s word to test the spirits to see whether they are from God or not. In this manner Charismatic belief is too introspective and is strikingly similar to a number of false religions and New Age and Occultist traditions. Such a perspective also appears to ignore or forget man’s fallen nature - even the Christian’s - a saint yes, but a sinner still this side of the grave. We cannot trust in ourselves. Instead we must cleave to the Lord Jesus Christ and obey His word.
And this mysticism I want to suggest is particularly promoted through the use of so-called tongues. My own view is that the tongues which Charismatics customarily practice are far removed from biblical precedence and custom. Most appear to be gibberish rather than genuine languages as in the Scriptures which the practitioners can turn on and off like a tap at will! The fact that Charismatic Roman Catholics priests have professed to have prayed the rosary in tongues and that they are used in false religions again escapes the notice of many. My chief concern however is that Charismatic practice bypasses the mind. Listen to the advice given by Nicky Gumbel in his famous and ubiquitous Alpha Course. He is urging Christians to seek the filling of the Spirit and the gift of tongues and writes:
- Ask God to forgive you for anything that could be a barrier to receiving.
- Turn from any area of your life that you know is wrong.
- Ask God to fill you with his Spirit and to give you the gift of tongues.
- Open your mouth and start to praise God in any language but English or any other language known to you.
- Believe that what you receive is from God. Don’t let anyone tell you that you have made it up. (It is most unlikely that you have.)
- Persevere. Languages take time to develop.
(Source, Questions of Life, pp 146-147)
How unbiblical is this! He is telling all Christians, and worse unbelievers for Alpha is primarily targeted at those outside the church, to engage in gibberish and believe and tell others that it is a language that God has given them!
In the early chapters of the Acts of the Apostles the gospel was made known to different nationalities in their own tongues by the work of the Spirit in and through the preaching of the apostles and this, in many ways was God’s way of reversing His judgement on the nations in the incident at the Tower of Babel. Hence different nationalities heard the gospel in their own tongue and there was that new found oneness in Christ but the advice and practice promoted by Charismatics only produces further babbling, confusion and division. Moreover, note how Charismatics use tongues in prayer to God when the Bible actually says: Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not (1 Cor 14:22). Gumbel does the exact opposite and in so doing he is promoting irrational and irresponsible behaviour. God’s word says: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Rom 12:2). The Christian moreover is to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind (Mt 22:37). The apostle Paul urges the saints in Ephesus And be renewed in the spirit of your mind (Eph 4:23). For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7). And yet many Charismatics seem to be advocating that we do the opposite and be out of our minds. And so they sadly contradict God’s word which makes clear that we are to do all things decently and in order. The cacophony of noise, of chaos, confusion and disorder that is often a feature of Charismatic worship with some speaking in tongues, others writhing on the floor, others laughing hysterically and yet others making animal noises is all too reminiscent of the Gadarene demoniac before the Lord Jesus drove out the evil spirits and left the man sitting at His feet and clothed and in his right mind.
4. Unbiblical Ecumenism
Fourthly the Charismatic Movement promotes deformation in the church through fostering unbiblical ecumenism. Just as the Church of Rome placed a high premium on unity in it apologetics so the Charismatic Movement regularly promotes the notion that the Movement is a unifying one. One of the principle aims and claims of the Charismatic Movement is to be fostering greater unity among Christians. Sadly however many within the Charismatic Movement tend to blur the distinction between truth and error. And they do so by promoting unity through shared experience rather in love and truth. I have heard numerous Charismatics say in particular that theology and sound doctrine is divisive and therefore the church needs to lower its standards in order to promote greater unity but this is the antithesis of what the Bible teaches. The early church continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine and fellowship and the breaking of bread and prayer. Note doctrine comes first and so throughout the New Testament epistles we are reminded of the need for sound doctrine and are repeatedly warned against false prophets and teachers who will constantly seek to lead God’s people astray. Sound doctrine which is found in the Bible alone is absolutely vital for a healthy church. For it is this that determines, distinguishes, and delineates the true church from the false. Moreover right thinking should lead to right acting! Hence in Paul’s epistles to the Romans, Ephesians and Colossians we have doctrine first followed by application. And yet I have heard it said on a number of occasions by Charismatics that it does not really matter whether you are Reformed, Arminian or Pelagian. It doesn’t really matter whether you are a Protestant or a Roman Catholic as long as there is evidence that you possess the baptism of Spirit, which evidence they claim is first and foremost to be found in speaking in tongues. Thus within the Charismatic movement we find liberal unbelievers, evangelicals and sacerdotalists who are regarded as one without recourse to the gospel and the word of truth. Again this is a denial of biblical Christianity and must lead to the deformation in the church. We by contrast must emulate the reformers who strongly advocated the catholicity of the church and the communion of saints. They had a great interest in promoting biblical ecumenism. It should be the aspiration, conviction and determination of all true believers to promote biblical ecumenism thereby giving true expression to the unity and oneness that Christians have as members together in the body of Christ, the household and family of God.
5. Superstition and Worldliness
Fifthly and finally the Charismatic Movement is promoting superstition and worldliness which can only advance deformation in the church. In the same way that some folks are mesmerised and yet shocked by horror movies, so I have experienced a similar sensation in watching some of the leading Charismatic practitioners on Sky TV. One guaranteed to cure the cancers and other illnesses of not only those who were present at his revival/healing meeting but that same promise was extended to any who might be looking in. Another urged me to write or phone for the miracle green prosperity handkerchief and yet another offered miracle manna! It is quite frankly disturbing to see what is being done and said in Jesus’ name by these people. They are peddlers of superstition and ignorance who prey on the weak, the vulnerable and the gullible. The parallels with the pre-Reformation period are all too obvious. The use of relics and objects with supernatural/magical powers were all too common and led people to put their faith and trust in these rather than in the Lord. Tragically the health and wealth peddlers predominate on most religious broadcasting channels with a few notable exceptions. What with their flamboyant and celebrity lifestyles, Armani suits, Rolex watches, limousines and so on, it is clear that they are least are certainly getting wealthier! Just like the popes, cardinals, archbishops, bishops, abbots and others privileged church leaders prior to the Reformation there appears to be many whose God is mammon rather than the one true and living God who calls us to a life of self-denial, self-sacrifice and service in His kingdom.
I want to conclude by quoting to you the words of John Richardson, a former Charismatic and university chaplain who wrote back in 1997 but his words are equally apposite for today:
“One of the things you need in order to understand the Charismatic Movement is a long memory. Mine goes back twenty-five years! In the seventies we were promised that ‘speaking in tongues’ was the key to personal and corporate spiritual renewal brought by being baptized in the Spirit. Later, the emphasis moved to healing as the key with tongues being secondary. After that, ‘words of knowledge’ became the focus of interest. Later still, in the early eighties, it was ‘dancing before the Lord’ which would kick-start spiritual renewal. Then, in the mid-eighties, John Wimber brought ‘Third Wave’ spirituality to revive the Movement and in the late eighties he himself introduced the ‘Kansas City Prophets’ with the usual spate of new books in attendance. Unfortunately, the prophecies (e.g. of a Europe-wide revival beginning in London at the end of the decade) failed to materialize. Then one of the ‘Prophets’ was found to have been using his position to gain sexual favours from women in the congregation, so they quietly drifted from the scene. But just as all seemed lost, out of the Vineyard stable came the ‘Toronto Blessing’! Only later did people realize that the true origin of this was in the ministry of Rodney Howard-Browne, associated with Kenneth Hagin’s ’Word Faith’ movement - something which most mainstream denominations would not previously have touched with a barge-pole. But by this stage it was too late - people had bought the package. Yet where is the ‘Toronto Blessing’ today? Hasn’t everyone been there, done it, worn the tee-shirt and sent the card? But have the churches been revolutionized? Have the millions been converted? I don’t think so - but don’t worry. Charismatic Celtic Spirituality (Rodney Howard-Browne in a kilt?) is coming to the rescue. And so it goes on. But people don’t notice, because keen Charismatics are usually young Christians, and young Christians have short memories.
“I used to be a Charismatic. But I gave it up in the early eighties because I was spiritually exhausted by the Charismatic Movement’s constant failure to deliver on its promises. Fortunately, I didn’t give up being a Christian, or become a ‘post-evangelical’. Instead, I rediscovered my faith in God’s word and the power and sufficiency of the gospel. The road to recovery was long and slow. It is only fairly recently that I’ve been able to understand exactly where Charismatic theology is wrong. But now I want to turn back the tide that I believe is actually drowning the church.”
Let us heed the dangers and not be taken in by the Charismatic Movement. Let us remain faithful to Christ and His word and let us preach and share the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. Yes we need an unction; we need an anointing from the Holy Spirit; we need a baptism of fire but let us recognise that the Spirit and the word must always accompany one another to bless and empower us for worship, work and witness.
This article is the substance of an Address given to the Inverness Branch of the Scottish Reformation Society, 23rd February 2009 by Rev Dr Wayne Pearce, Lairg.
SCOTTISH REFORMATION SOCIETY
The Scottish Reformation Society was founded in 1851, following a protest against the re-establishment of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in England. The original constitution of the Society set out its objectives as being “to resist the aggressions of Popery; to watch the designs and movements of its promoters and abettors; and to diffuse sound Scriptural teaching and information on the distinctive tenets of Protestantism and Popery”.
To these aims, the Society has maintained and promoted a faithful witness to the present time. A quarterly magazine, The Bulwark, is committed to the same principles as the Society and the material is drawn from a wide source of Reformed teachers and writers past and present.
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