Statement of Faith of a Charismatic Church – Part 3

Grace and peace to the Elect of God, and greetings to those who are still in darkness.

Today we complete our examination of the Charismatic statement of faith.

6. “By the power of God, He was raised from the dead in the same body now glorified.  He ascended into Heaven where, at the right hand of God the Father, He continually makes intercession for us.” 

Notice that they say that Jesus was raised from the dead “by the power of God.”  If Jesus Christ is God (as they claim in statement #4), then saying He was raised “by the power of God” is like saying He was raised “by His own power.”  There are Scriptures that state that the Father raised Jesus up, that the Spirit raised Him up, and that He raised Himself up.  These were provided for us so that we would believe Him when He says, “The Father is in me, and I am in Him” (John 10:38).  If we believe that Jesus was and is God, it suffices to say, “He rose.”  For, if He is God, that is exactly what He did.  Protestant Reformation churches have always stated, “He rose on the third day.”

As stated, charismatic churches subordinate Jesus Christ to the Holy Spirit, though they pay lip service to Jesus, for example, in ending prayers in Jesus’ name.  But they don’t properly exalt Him or obey Him.  This will become evident shortly.

7. “The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and Son; regenerates the believing sinner; indwells, guides, instructs and empowers the believer for Godly living and service; comforts the children of God.  The Holy Spirit guides and gives power to the church, the Body of Christ, to fulfill the Great Commission, and convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.”

No problem. 

8. “Man was created in the image and likeness of God; but through the sin of Adam, mankind fell into sin and is, thereafter, lost apart from Christ.  Unless a person is born again, they cannot see the kingdom of God.” 

There is nothing doctrinally wrong with this statement, however, the use of the third-person plural pronoun they to modify person shows that this church strives to be politically correct: using gender-friendly, inclusive language to placate the liberals and feminists.  As stated before, a charismatic church believes that in the Bible we have the words of men, not of God.  They therefore believe that the Bible is full of errors and reflects the prejudices of the time it was written: specifically the antiquated notion that women were second-class citizens. 

Feminists resent that God gave the man headship (not ownership) of the woman in the hierarchy of the family and they do not like the fact that the Bible uses the masculine subjective pronoun “he” to refer both to men and women.  They argue that the use of such language subordinates the woman to the man and that women then lose their own identity.  For this reason, charismatic churches will say that one bible is as good as another, but because they don’t like the “biased,” “hateful,” and “judgmental,” language of the King James Bible, you will not see it used often, if at all.  

Moreover, the use of the term “born-again” here is unclear, because an unsaved person would not understand the meaning of this term.  To include it here necessitates an explanation, which is not forthcoming.  But as you will soon see, there is a reason they introduce it here.

The next three statements dealing with Salvation are what identify this church as Charismatic, so pay close attention.  We will list them together and comment afterwards. 

9.  “Salvation is the gift of God and includes the forgiveness of sins, the imputation of the Righteousness of Jesus Christ, and the gift of eternal life.  Union with the triune God provides all blessings in this life and the life hereafter.

10.  “Salvation is received by faith in Christ’s finished work alone, apart from all good works and merit.”

11.  “A believer is saved by the washing of rebirth and renewal of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:4-7), and is baptized into Christ (1 Co 12:13, Eph. 4:5) [sic] the instant a person genuinely repents and wholeheartedly trusts in Him as Lord (God) (Ro. 10:9-10).

This is why the Charismatic Movement is so dangerous: it is very deceptive.  First of all, notice that only now does this church give any Scripture references for their beliefs.  Why now particularly?  Because they know that what they are claiming here is unscriptural and that the spiritually discerning Christian will know it right away.  So they mount a tactical offense by attempting to put up a Scriptural defense.  But as we shall see, in so doing, they wrench the Scriptures out of context to their own destruction.

Second, it is interesting that they never explain exactly what salvation is.  We are told it is a gift (9) and we are told it includes forgiveness, imputation of righteousness, and eternal life.  But we are not told how to get it.  Note #10 tells us that salvation is received, and the use of this word is very interesting, because Christians don’t normally speak of salvation as being “received.”  We usually say we “got saved,” not “received salvation.”  Nowhere does the Bible speak of “receiving” salvation.  The use of this term is actually a clever and diabolically deceptive endorsement of the Roman Catholic communion. 

You see, the Roman Catholic church teaches that the actual body, blood, and divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ are present in the communion wafer that Catholics eat.  This doctrine is known as the “Real Presence.”  So, when a Catholic receives the wafer in his mouth and eats it, he may then say that he has “received” (literally consumed) Christ.  That is what a Catholic means when he says he has received Christ as his Savior.  He can’t mean it in the sense that we do, because instead of believing his sins are washed away by the blood of Jesus, he believes that after death he must spend time in Purgatory until all his sins are “purged” away.  But the Bible tells us that belief that the shedding of His blood for the remission of our sins is sufficient for salvation (Romans 3:24-25).  Why then, the necessity for Purgatory?

By stating that salvation is received, the Charismatic Movement cleverly endorses the Roman Catholic communion and the blasphemous doctrine of the Real Presence.  This
is why I don’t feel Christians should say that we have “received Christ” when referring to our salvation.  It is better for us to say that we are trusting in the blood of Jesus Christ. The inclusion of this term in the Protestant Christian lexicon is proof positive of the infiltration of Roman Catholic theology into the Christian Church through the Charismatic Movement.

What’s worse is that because Roman Catholics and many Christians claim to have “received” Christ, they are both misled into believing that Catholics are saved, and they are not.  There is no longer a clear line of demarcation between the Roman Catholic church and the visible Christian church.

When Protestant churches were strong in the U.S., you would never see a Roman Catholic attend a Protestant worship service and be comfortable there; it would be way too foreign to him.  And the Holy Spirit moving in that place would be an affliction to their very soul as they fell under conviction for their sinfulness. 

Today that is no longer a problem.  Some Roman Catholics regularly attend Protestant worship services.  Charismatic churches have so watered down the Gospel and have made the Christian message so “accessible,” that sinners no longer feel uncomfortable in their sin; in fact, they feel very much at home.  This ought not to be.

Statement #11 cleverly implies that salvation is a separate process from repentance and becoming a believer in Jesus.  The sentence construction is very deceptive.  Walk with me as we deconstruct it.

“A believer is saved by the washing of rebirth and renewal of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:4-7), and is baptized into Christ (1 Co 12:13, Eph. 4:5) [sic] the instant a person genuinely repents and wholeheartedly trusts in Him as Lord (God) (Ro. 10:9-10). 

Grammatically, this sentence is incorrect, and it is not by accident.  There should really be a period after “baptized into Christ,” because there are two subjects: believer and person.  There is no period, however, as the intent is to obscure what the author really wants to say: that when a person accepts Jesus Christ as his Savior, he is not yet saved.  I will explain how they do this.

As stated, there are actually two subjects here: believer and person.  If they were the same person, the author could have repeated believer or used the third person singular pronoun he.  And if he wanted to be politically correct, he could have used the third person plural pronoun they as he did in statement #8.  Here are some examples:

1.  “A believer is saved…the instant [the believer] repents…”

2. “A believer is saved…the instant [he] repents…”

3. “A believer is saved…the instant [they] repent…” 

But he does neither of these things because the intent is to obscure that they are talking about two different people: the unsaved person before becoming a believer and the believer.  This is because there are two actions being discussed:

  1. Getting saved.
  2. Being baptized into the Body of Christ.

If the author wanted to say that salvation happens when a person repents and trusts in Jesus for his salvation, he could have said:

“A person is saved the instant he repents and wholeheartedly trusts in Jesus as Lord.” 

This would be a true statement.  But the author doesn’t say a person is saved when he accepts Jesus as Lord.  He says that a person is “baptized into Christ the instant [he] genuinely repents and wholeheartedly trusts in Him as Lord.”  This is different from the believer, who he says is “saved by the washing of rebirth and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” 

Make no mistake: the author doesn’t use the word person as a politically correct alternative to he, because as we have seen, he uses they for this purpose (#8).  The author is talking about two distinct people and two distinct actions: a person who”trusts Jesus Christ as Lord” and a “believer [who is] saved…by the Holy Spirit.”

This is the Charismatic doctrine of the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit.”  They believe that when a person repents and trusts in Jesus, he is merely baptized into the Body of Christ, but he is not saved until he experiences the Baptism of the Holy Spirit evidenced by the speaking of tongues.  We can prove this by looking at statement #14:

“The Baptism in the Holy Spirit, according to Acts 2:4, is given to believers who ask for it, with the Bible evidence of tongues.  It is essential to be an effective witness of Christ.” 

Now he says that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is only essential to be an effective witness, but in the earlier statement he said that it was what saves the believer. Remember, the writer says that a believer (as opposed to a non-believer) is “saved by the washing of rebirth and renewal of the Holy Spirit.”  This is code for Baptism of the Holy Spirit. 

This doctrine makes salvation a separate process from repentance and accepting Jesus Christ as Savior.  That is why they say that a person “trusts Jesus Christ as Lord” instead of as “Savior.” They believe a person who merely trusts in Jesus is not yet saved.  This is why they never explain what salvation really is, because if they did, they would have to explain that remission of sins (salvation) involves the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22). And only Jesus Christ shed His blood for us, not the Holy Spirit.  The Bible says it is trusting in the blood of Jesus Christ as sufficient for remission of sins that saves us (Romans 3:25).

This doctrine actually blasphemes the Holy Spirit—the unpardonable sin, because nowhere in Scripture does the Holy Spirit have the ministry of salvation.  The Holy Spirit did not shed His blood for us—Jesus did.  As a matter of fact, when Jesus completed his work on the cross, God the Father and God the Holy Spirit had separated themselves from the Lord Jesus (Matthew 27:46), because He had become sin (literally a curse) for us (2 Corinthians 5:21).  The work of salvation was completed by Jesus Christ and Him alone.  Why then, does the Charismatic Movement exalt the Holy Spirit into the position of Savior?  This is blasphemy!

This is where this charismatic church reveals its agenda, for they know that salvation is not a ministry of the Holy Spirit.  Look at Statement #7 and see if you see salvation among the ministries of the Holy Spirit.  It is not there.  Also notice that, among all the ministries they attribute to the Spirit, one is strangely absent: and it can be found in 1 John 5:8, which says,

“And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood.”

Witnessing.  That is the ministry of the Holy Spirit that is missing.  Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would remind of us of everything that He ever said (John 14:26), and Jesus never said that the Holy Spirit would save us.  He said He was the Way and that no man could come to the Father but by Him (John 14:6).  The doctrine of salvation through baptism in the Holy Spirit calls Jesus Christ a liar.

Moreover, why list statements ten and eleven separately?  If this church truly believed that a person is saved when he believes in Jesus’ finished work on the cross, then statement #11 would not be necessary.  The only plausible explanation for its inclusion is that they don’t really believe a person is saved only through trusting in the shed blood of Jesus Christ.  As a matter of fact, there is no mention of the blood at all.

The doctrine of Baptism in the Holy Spirit makes salvation a two-step process:

  1. A person repents and trusts in Jesus.  He is now a believer.
  2. The believer experiences the Baptism in the Holy Spirit evidenced by speaking in tongues.  He is now saved.

I take this whole doctrine, ball it up, and throw it away.  It is now trash.  Paul told us that there was only one thing we need do:

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). 

Interestingly, this church states that speaking in tongues is necessary to be an effective witness.  But how can one be an effective witness if no one understands what he is saying?  Paul is very clear on this matter: 

“Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?

“For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

“So likewise you, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken?  For ye shall speak into the air.

Therefore, if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.

“Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say ‘Amen’ at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?

I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

“If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?

How is it then, brethren?  When ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation.  Let all things be done unto edifying.

If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most three, and that by course (one at a  time); and let one interpret.

But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God” (1 Corinthians 14:6-28).

It is obvious the Charismatic Movement does not follow this advice.  I have visited many charismatic churches and I can tell you that once the preacher gets fired up, most everyone starts speaking in “tongues”—especially the preacher. 

Tongues are dangerous unless there is an interpreter present because a person speaking in an unknown tongue (as opposed to a foreign tongue) can be saying something that does not glorify Jesus Christ.  They could even be paying homage to Satan.  This does not edify the Church. 

Notice that in verse 28 above Paul says, “if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence…and let him speak to himself.”  Why doesn’t Paul say, “if there is no interpreter let him speak only to God?”  The obvious answer is that God would not give someone tongues unless He also provided an interpreter so that the Body of Christ could be edified.  So, if an interpreter is not available, those tongues are not of God.

Some people who attend charismatic churches have serious concerns about their salvation because they cannot speak in tongues.  Conversely, I have seen others pretend to speak in tongues so they would not be considered “left behind.”  One woman even told me that she was coached to say “Jesus saves” many times in rapid succession until it seemed she was speaking in tongues.  In reality, she was only babbling.  These are man-made tongues.

“Gospel” singer, Kirk Franklin, gives a perfect example of man-made tongues in one of his songs, when he says that the church “taught [him] how to speak in tongues.”  This is not of God.

At one charismatic church I visited, I went to the altar for prayer and the pastor, a woman who claimed to be a prophetess, kept slapping me on the forehead and crying “Loose him!” When I did not fall back or start speaking in tongues as the others did, she said that I was resisting the Holy Spirit.  From that day forth, I was on this woman’s list of uncool people.  This is the danger of the Charismatic Movement: it is about “going along to get along.”  It is a diabolical form of peer pressure.

As stated before, the Charismatic Movement emphasizes the works of the Spirit, rather than the finished work of Jesus Christ.  Another one of the works that they emphasize is healing:

13. “The redemptive work of Christ on the Cross provides perfect healing of the human body in answer to believing prayer.” 

The Charismatic Movement again disregards what the Bible says about both prayer and healing.  The apostle John tells us:

“And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, he heareth us” (1 John 5:14). 

Belief only does not guarantee we will get what we ask of God.  Paul was given “a thorn in the flesh,” a messenger from Satan so that Paul would not be “lifted up” by all the revelations that God had shown Him.  For Paul was such a faithful witness of Christ in the midst of all his trials, that God showed him a bit of what awaited him to keep him motivated. 

Satan, therefore, to keep him humble, afflicted Paul (students differ on the nature of this affliction).  Paul asked God three times to take it away from him and each time Jesus said no, adding finally that His grace was sufficient for Paul, for God’s strength was “made perfect in [Paul's] weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:1-10).  The apostle Paul was as close to God as a human being can get, having been taken to the “third heaven,” and yet, God did not grant him the healing he asked for.

Healing is according to the will of God.  It may be His will that we remain sick.  We can pray all we want for healing, but if it is not God’s will for us to be healed, we will not be healed. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t pray for healing, but we cannot compel God to heal us.  Healing, like all the works of the Spirit, is an act of grace. 

God also allows us to be sick for a variety of reasons.  It could be, as in Paul’s case, an envoy from Satan that God allows to keep us humble and depending on Him.  It could be punishment for sin, such as when someone partakes unworthily of the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:27-30).  It could also be because of unconfessed sin in one’s life (James 5:14-16).  And I don’t have to remind you how Job was afflicted by God though he was innocent. 

The point is that God allows sickness for a number of reasons, and merely praying believing you will be healed is not a guarantee of a healing. 

Many have bought into this unscriptural teaching and have been ultimately disappointed, even going so far as pretending to be healed.  Others have been told that they have not received healing because they didn’t believe they would be healed.  This can really cause a crisis of faith for some Christians.  That is the danger of the Charismatic Movement.

We will look at the remaining statements a little out-of-order for the sake of comparison and emphasis.

15. “The Church is composed of all those regenerated by the Spirit of God by whom they have been baptized into one Body of Whom Christ is the Head.  The purpose of the Church is to witness concerning Jesus Christ according to the Scriptures, and to preach the Gospel among all nations. 

Again, they emphasize regeneration by the Holy Spirit.  This statement really says that the true Church is all believers who have been baptized by the Holy Spirit (evidenced by speaking in tongues).  If it were not so, they had merely to say that the Church is composed of all believers or all who are trusting Jesus Christ as their Savior.  But they emphasize those who have been “regenerated by the Holy Spirit.”  Regeneration is part and parcel of salvation, so special emphasis should not be necessary; unless, of course, they have something else in mind; which they do. 

The next statements are curious:

12. “Water baptism is for born again believers only, and does not save.  It is essential for obedience to Christ.”

16. “The Blood and Body of Christ are not physically present in the Lord’s Supper, which is given to remind believers of His Sacrifice of which they partake spiritually.”

They seem eager to differentiate themselves from the Roman Catholic church.  This would not be necessary if they were a real Protestant Reformation Christian church.  But since their doctrines are decidedly charismatic, which movement was begun by the Roman Catholic church, they feel the need to specifically state for the record their position on the two most contentious doctrines between Christianity and Roman Catholicism.  This, however, does not fool the discerning Christian. 

17. “Jesus Christ will come again to receive to Himself those who believe in Him, that where He is, they may be also.  He will come again personally and visibly to establish His kingdom.” 

No problem.

18. “The resurrection of the believers will be to eternal glory in Heaven, and the resurrection of the unbelievers will be to eternal punishment in Hell.” 

No problem.

As stated before, the Charismatic Movement is very deceptive, because it retains some traces of authentic Christianity.  Satan always mixes truth with error to make his unscriptural doctrines more palatable.  As Kent Hovind loves to say, rat poison is 99.9% good food.  It’s that .1 percent that is deadly.

The Charismatic Movement is sweeping Christianity leaving doubt, confusion, and destroyed churches in its wake.  They are preaching another Jesus, another Spirit, and another Gospel.  Beware of this many-headed hydra and pray that it doesn’t come to your church.

I know that some reading this will not appreciate what we have said here, but it is 100% scriptural.  Take it to the Word in prayer and see if it’s true.  And as always, watch and pray.

If you doubt that this statement of faith is authentic, it can be found on the internet under a ministry called Born-Again-Christian.Info.  We are not attacking this ministry or the webmaster of this site.  We randomly found the site and were perusing it when we came across this statement of faith.  When we read it and realized that it was charismatic, we decided to do this piece, because before we read their SOF, it really seemed like a Christian organization.  Unfortunately, this is not the case.  They may be good, sincere people, but if they adhere to the beliefs in their SOF, they are tragically deceived, and are deceiving others.

We only offer the information on this ministry so that you can see that we are not making any of this up.

Remember, we must watch in all things.

Be encouraged and look up; your redemption draweth nigh. 

The Still Man

Copyright © 2011 Anthony Keeton, The Still Man ®.  All Rights Reserved.

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2 Responses to Statement of Faith of a Charismatic Church – Part 3

  1. Anonymous says:

    If ye love me, keep my commandments, and I will send the Spirit.

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