August 14, 2016

Why I am Not a Continuationist

Passage: various

The Book of Acts gives an account of many miracles that the apostles accomplished at the beginning of the Church Age. The church begins with the appearance of tongues of fire and the ability of the apostles to be heard in languages they did not learn. Miracles, healings, visions, and tongues seemed to be the normal state of affairs for the early church. The question is, should we expect those same kinds of experiences today? That is, should believers expect to speak in unknown languages, to heal the sick, to experience visions, or to accomplish other miraculous signs and wonders?

Some today would answer, Yes, the church should experience the same kind of supernatural gifts that were evident at the founding of the church. Those events set the pattern that the church should experience throughout the church age. Those who hold this view are called Charismatics or Pentecostals, or as I am describing them today, continuationists. They believe that all the miraculous gifts evident in the NT should continue today.

Others, including myself, would say no, there are good reasons why we should not expect the same kind of miraculous spiritual signs that occurred at the founding of the church. And we also recognize some serious problems with the continuationist doctrine and practice. Those who hold this view are called cessationists. We believe the apostolic sign gifts have ceased.

Today I want to explain why I am not continuationist or charismatic. And these are reasons why anyone should question whether the continuationist position is biblically valid.

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