A flippant history of the charismatic movement

Originally, about one hundred years ago, some people wanted to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, so they tarried and prayed and repented until they felt themselves immersed with the power of God, and spoke in tongues.

Later, some people wanted that same power, but they said you just needed to ask for it, you didn’t have to press in or pray through to get it.

Later, some people said anybody could have that same power without necessarily speaking in tongues.

Later, some people decided, as long as a church sang choruses from an overhead or Powerpoint projector, and sometimes raised their hands and closed their eyes, that it would be simpler if they assumed that everybody in the church had experienced the power of the Holy Spirit. Instead of actually making sure.

In other words, you don’t have to tarry or pray or repent or ask or speak. You don’t even have to receive. Very convenient, unless for some reason you actually need God.

The Third Wave movement appeared, somewhere in that continuum, in the 1980s in association with teachers such as John Wimber. A similar movement started about the same time from a Southern Baptist direction, through the influence of people like James Robison and Milt Green and Jim Hylton and Peter Lord. Jack Taylor has been associated with some of these guys too.

I would say that latter movement is gone now. Some of them later said, “Why bother being Baptist? Let’s just be charismatic,” and others said, “Why bother being charismatic? Baptists are now allowed to raise their hands and talk about the Holy Spirit too.” For that latter reason, the shine on the charismatic movement is pretty much gone now too. Mainstream evangelicals decided that charismatics shouldn’t have all the fun, and adopted the best (non-flaky) parts of the movement.

It’s that God part that I’d like to see more of.

4 thoughts on “A flippant history of the charismatic movement

  1. I strongly disagree, and the charimatic movement is just as alive as the flippin batist movement, and where ever you got your info is false. charismatic people are aloud too lift their hands and close their eyes we do it all the time. And you can’t just prayer in tongues and just receive it. you have to be a christian, and you know what maybe you should also go and read the bible properly. God clearly states that if You want to pray in the evidence speaking tongues you must have recieved the father into your heart.
    God also states that those who twist His word around and mess it up, it will have a consiquence. So i strongly suggest that you go and study the word before giving out the wronge infomation.

  2. Well, you didn’t really understand what I was saying. But I’m used to that. You might even be too young to have experienced what I’ve experienced.

    I agree that the spiritual gift of tongues belongs only to believers in Christ. But others can fake it. And receiving a gift doesn’t mean we deserved to receive it.

    Yes, of course, charismatics are known for lifting their hands and closing their eyes during worship. But now that other denominations can do the same without fear of becoming outcasts, those who call themselves charismatics might need to redefine themselves a little. Certainly many churches still call themselves charismatic, but many others no longer bother. It isn’t the latest fad anymore

  3. For a good background on one of the forerunners of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement I recommend “The Supernatural Occurrences of John Wesley” published by Sean Multimedia. It offers journal entries from Wesley himself showing how that he experienced miraculous healings, exorcisms, slain in the Spirit, visions, dreams and more. Wesley, of course, is the founder of the Methodist Church.

  4. Orange Juice is a required beverage for most denominations.
    Conversely, sneaker wearery is not exactly a dogmatic requirement.

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