Where is Truth?


Where is truth…. in the Charismatic Confusion?

Something has washed up on the shores of our churches in the last few decades which has all but carried the people away with its cheerful promise. This apparent treasure trove from the sea comes in many forms and guises, but all with certain similar features. Several words may describe it: Contemporary worship, Community churches, Charismatic leaders, Choruses, Clapping, Celebrations, Choirs, Courses (Alpha of course), Confusing Chatter….Constant change… And the resultant effects of chaos and confusion.

Known as the Charismatic Movement, with its ebbs and flows it is full of ‘C’s, emphasises what you see, and, to be plain, is all at sea… bobbing on the ever-changing waters of ‘Hope’, sailing upon the ‘High Cs’, looking for ‘New Frontiers’ to appear in an ‘Emergent Church’, all aboard on the ‘Good Ship Vineyard’ where you’re as likely to contract ‘T.B’ (or the Toronto Blessing) as you are to ‘Catch the vision’ of a ‘New Perspective’…..

But in the midst of all this pioneering and cheerful camaraderie, when one takes up a Bible and compares the truth as God has delivered it in the scriptures and as revealed by His Spirit, with what is done and said in these contemporary 21st century temples of worship, several questions must inevitably come to mind: What has happened to the faithful preaching of the Gospel of Christ, and the resting in the knowledge that it is the preaching of the cross by which God is pleased to save sinners (1 Corinthians 1)? Where is the sound of the truth, the continual proclamation of that message described as “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3)? Where is that preaching which convicts of sin and brings in a broken and a contrite spirit, with which sinners are led to the feet of the Saviour? Where the taking up of one’s cross, and the suffering of persecution for righteousness sake? Where the preaching of “Christ and him crucified”, who died for sinners, as according to the scriptures, the Just for the unjust, a substitutionary sacrifice in the place of those people chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1)? Where the clear declaration of the Sovereignty of God in salvation in saving all those whom He predestinated unto eternal life? Where is that powerful, Spirit-filled preaching which brings in that awe and reverence before a Holy God which so characterised the preaching of the Gospel in days gone by? …..Where are these things?    

Perhaps you attend such a church, one that is ‘modern, relevant, changing with the times, reaching out to the community’? Perhaps your experience of ‘Christianity’ is that purveyed by such contemporary ‘worship’ as has become so common in this day and age. Then, my reader, I encourage you to take a moment to “consider your ways” and especially to consider the ways of the ‘churches’ which speak so much of a Jesus and so much of a spirit which have so little to do with the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of God as set forth in the Gospel by the word of God (2 Corinthians 11:4). Take a moment to heed a warning. It is not my desire to find fault here, but it is my desire to point you towards the truth, to point you towards Jesus Christ the Saviour of sinners and to point you towards that preaching of the Gospel which alone is “the power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16).

For the truth is, that devoid of the Gospel, rather than bringing to a sure and certain hope, the ships of the Charismatic Movement will lead their jolly, but entranced, travellers into troubled waters and certain spiritual death and destruction. Many are those who have been led to shipwreck upon such voyages, led along as it were as children following the Pied Piper. But the faithful preaching of the Gospel of Christ, as according to the scriptures, declares of salvation by that Jesus, that Joshua, who leads His people through the waters of death dry-shod! (Joshua 3:17) Not by their works, not by the exercise of their own will, not by worked up sentiment or emotion – but by free and sovereign grace! By the eternal electing purpose of God. He does it! He saves! And He saves… by the preaching of the word of truth.

This is that preaching which declares unto man what he really is. It tells him who God really is. It tells him the consequences of sin, and the eternal states of both the sheep and the goats. This preaching convicts of sin, it convinces men of righteousness and of judgment – and it points the guilty sinner to a Saviour who took away sin by His one sacrifice for sin for ever. This is that preaching which declares the Redeemer, even Jesus Christ… and Him Crucified.

But is this the preaching you hear in the ‘churches’ today? Is this the Gospel you know? That Gospel which the Spirit of God really preaches? That Spirit with whom all of God’s people are baptised when born again, not by their decision, “not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” John 1:13. That Gospel which points fallen, guilty, sinners to God, the Saviour of sinners. That Gospel which is “to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” 1 Corinthians 1:18. That Gospel which is preached, for “it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”

Have you heard this Gospel preached? My reader, if salvation lies in this Gospel, and none other, if salvation is found in Jesus Christ and none other, then these aren’t questions to be trifled with. The rest of our eternal souls depends upon it. Do we know the truth or not? Do we believe the Gospel or not? Is the ‘Jesus’ we know truly the Christ of the scriptures, who came into this world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15)?  

If it be true – and it is true – that “the truth shall set you free” then it is vital that we ask ourselves the question – do we know the truth? Indeed, where is truth?

Well, I would not leave you without hope. I am not out to point out faults, but to point the way to the One who is the Truth (John 14:6). So I urge you my reader, compare what is said and done in these Charismatic Chambers of Confusion with the Clarion Call of the Gospel of God’s free grace in Christ Jesus, that word of truth as can be read and heard here:

Where is Truth?

Free Grace Radio

The Gospel of God

www.graceandtruthonline.com

And may the Lord be pleased to lead into all truth – that truth as it is in Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of His Name.

Amen.

Listen to ‘Signs and Wonders for Today’ or ‘Worship’ by Don Fortner

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