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Pentecostalism and the Word of God
2 Peter 1:16-21
There is a religious movement afoot today which threatens the authority of Holy Scripture in the church of Christ. That which is called “Christianity” today is plagued with a new Pentecostalism. Pentecostalism is no longer an obviously small, fanatical sect of “holy rollers,” looked upon with scorn by orthodox “Christians.” It has refined its actions. And it is a militant, aggressive, widespread movement, which has infested every “Christian” denomination.
Pentecostalism strikes at the very foundation of our faith — the Word of God. It offers the religious world a new approach to authority and absolute truth. Pentecostals boldly claim to have apostolic gifts and powers. They speak of receiving a word from God, seeing angels, speaking in tongues, and performing miracles of healing. They claim to heal family troubles, financial troubles, and physical troubles. They claim to have a new word from God, new revelations.
Pentecostalism supplants Holy Scripture. — If these men and women have the gifts they claim, they also possess apostolic authority, and they can receive infallible revelation from God, as the apostles did.
And this they actually claim. Pentecostals claim that when a man speaks in tongues, his body becomes the instrument of the Holy Ghost and he is speaking the very words of God. It is not difficult for the modern day miracle worker to get a following. His terribly heretical doctrines are received, because of his ability to perform miracles and wonders.
I make no effort to disprove the validity of their miracles. I have no question about it, some of these men can perform miracles. They do have visions. They do speak in some babble called “tongues.” But this does not prove that they are of God. They are of that wicked One — “Even him whose coming is after the work of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders? (2 Thessalonians 2:9 — Read Revelation 13:11-18).
The Pentecostal has a very low esteem for the Word of God. Those who attend their meetings are more elated by the dreams and visions of their supposed 21st century prophets than by the words of Christ and his apostles. As their pretentious charismatic gifts increase, the exposition of God’s Word decreases. Their views of God are pathetic. Their views of man are great. Their views of Christ are sissified. Their views of the world are carnal.
Their attitude toward Scripture makes the Bible of secondary importance, at best. Charismatic meetings are filled with “sharing experiences,” with only an occasional reference to the Word of God. Pentecostalism is built and lives upon the physical, the tangible, and the emotional. It is all experience and feeling. And it has little use for the Word of Truth. The Pentecostal interprets the Word of God by his latest experience. Whereas, he ought to interpret his experience by the Word of God.
More Sure Word
“We have a more sure word of prophecy.” — The Bible alone is the foundation of our faith. It is God’s complete revelation of his will and purpose to man; and it is sufficient and authoritative as our only rule of faith and practice.