Author Topic: Speaking in tongues and encounters with the Holy Spirit  (Read 2467 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline CarolS

  • Lurker Extraordinaire
  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 38
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church
Re: Speaking in tongues and encounters with the Holy Spirit
« Reply #45 on: July 23, 2015, 03:09:19 PM »
It's a simple case of mass-hysteria.  I recall a high school assembly with a hypnotist. (why this was presented at a Lutheran high school I have no idea!)  Anyway, quite a lot of the kids seemed to be hypnotized, but later admitted they were pretending, because they didn't want to admit in front of their peers that they weren't "feeling it".  Others were probably genuinely caught up in it.  Our minds can play tricks when you want something bad enough.

It's pretty easy to figure out these preachers when you read their bios.  Real saints didn't publicize and enumerate how many healings they performed through prayer.  A few years back, I sat in on a fundamentalist Christian prayer service.  It was amazing to hear the preacher use the word "I" at least twice as much as he said the name of God.

Offline Minnesotan

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,140
  • From the Land of 10,000 Lakes
Re: Speaking in tongues and encounters with the Holy Spirit
« Reply #46 on: July 23, 2015, 11:57:01 PM »
It's a simple case of mass-hysteria.  I recall a high school assembly with a hypnotist. (why this was presented at a Lutheran high school I have no idea!)  Anyway, quite a lot of the kids seemed to be hypnotized, but later admitted they were pretending, because they didn't want to admit in front of their peers that they weren't "feeling it".  Others were probably genuinely caught up in it.  Our minds can play tricks when you want something bad enough.

It's pretty easy to figure out these preachers when you read their bios.  Real saints didn't publicize and enumerate how many healings they performed through prayer.  A few years back, I sat in on a fundamentalist Christian prayer service.  It was amazing to hear the preacher use the word "I" at least twice as much as he said the name of God.

Maybe it was part of an lesson in psychology, or discernment?
I'm not going to be posting as much on OC.Net as before. I might stop in once in a while though. But I've come to realize that real life is more important.

Online Maximum Bob

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 3,301
  • Personal Text? We can have personal text?
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: Speaking in tongues and encounters with the Holy Spirit
« Reply #47 on: July 24, 2015, 01:26:45 AM »
Maximum Bob, I'm not unfamiliar with Pentecostalism, both personally and academically speaking.
Good me too.
Quote
I know what being "slain in the spirit" means, and it's not what's described in the passages you're referencing.  I would not say that this woman, for example, is being "overwhelmed by the presence of God".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeBya-Q4uzI
Based on what?

Quote
St. Paul, et al, were in full possession of their faculties the entire time.  God doesn't possess and overwhelm people like a voodoo spirit.  No one had to catch them or throw a sheet over them because their slip was showing.
In my experience I would expect that someone in that situation would be in possession of their faculties and able to pull out at any time but is choosing not to do so in order to continue in prayer and to focus on their experience of God.

Quote
I don't mean this sarcastically, but in all sincerity.
I know, I don't take it that way I think we are both sincerely working through this issue from our own perspectives.

Quote
We know where Pentecostalism comes from.  It's not the work of the Holy Spirit.
I don't know this, not conclusively.


Quote
Thank God we also have the testimony of the Church to help us discern in such matters.  We only see things like this occur outside of the Church.

I'm not sure the Church speaks with only one voice on this issue. You initially lumped visions into your statement but then I pointed out that many of our Saints have had visions. If one were to go back to the matter of tongues, I would point to a story from St. Porphyrios in "Wounded by Love" where he talks about a hermit, who thought he was alone  practicing glossolalia and the Saint crediting that with the development of some of his own gifts. We know some of our Saints experience clairvoyance, what the Protestants would call "words of knowledge" etc., we know some of our Saints are gifted in healing. I'm not advocating that we go back to being Protestant Pentecostals, nor that we throw all caution to the wind, but I also have seen too much to roundly condemn it all. Discernment in this, I think, must be an ongoing matter not a once for all judgment.
Psalm 37:23 The Lord guides a man safely in the way he should go.

Prov. 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.

Offline hecma925

  • Non-clairvoyant
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,154
  • Άγιος κέιθ ο Υμνογράφος και Μελωδός, να μας σώσει!
    • Blog
  • Faith: Truthful Chalcedonian Truther
  • Jurisdiction: Puerto Rican Orthodox Sobor
Re: Speaking in tongues and encounters with the Holy Spirit
« Reply #48 on: July 24, 2015, 01:44:19 AM »
It's a simple case of mass-hysteria.  I recall a high school assembly with a hypnotist. (why this was presented at a Lutheran high school I have no idea!)  Anyway, quite a lot of the kids seemed to be hypnotized, but later admitted they were pretending, because they didn't want to admit in front of their peers that they weren't "feeling it".  Others were probably genuinely caught up in it.  Our minds can play tricks when you want something bad enough.

It's pretty easy to figure out these preachers when you read their bios.  Real saints didn't publicize and enumerate how many healings they performed through prayer.  A few years back, I sat in on a fundamentalist Christian prayer service.  It was amazing to hear the preacher use the word "I" at least twice as much as he said the name of God.

Maybe it was part of an lesson in psychology, or discernment?

Or it's labeled as "comedy".  Comedian hypnotists showed up once a year at my university to put on a show.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

"But God doesn't need your cookies!  Arrive on time!"

Offline Minnesotan

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,140
  • From the Land of 10,000 Lakes
Re: Speaking in tongues and encounters with the Holy Spirit
« Reply #49 on: July 24, 2015, 01:55:27 AM »
It's a simple case of mass-hysteria.  I recall a high school assembly with a hypnotist. (why this was presented at a Lutheran high school I have no idea!)  Anyway, quite a lot of the kids seemed to be hypnotized, but later admitted they were pretending, because they didn't want to admit in front of their peers that they weren't "feeling it".  Others were probably genuinely caught up in it.  Our minds can play tricks when you want something bad enough.

It's pretty easy to figure out these preachers when you read their bios.  Real saints didn't publicize and enumerate how many healings they performed through prayer.  A few years back, I sat in on a fundamentalist Christian prayer service.  It was amazing to hear the preacher use the word "I" at least twice as much as he said the name of God.

Maybe it was part of an lesson in psychology, or discernment?

Or it's labeled as "comedy".  Comedian hypnotists showed up once a year at my university to put on a show.

That seems most likely.
I'm not going to be posting as much on OC.Net as before. I might stop in once in a while though. But I've come to realize that real life is more important.

Offline David Young

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,919
  • 2015, Baptist chapel, Llay
    • Some of my sermons preached at Bradley Road
  • Faith: Baptist
  • Jurisdiction: local church, Wrexham
Re: Speaking in tongues and encounters with the Holy Spirit
« Reply #50 on: July 24, 2015, 02:57:49 AM »
Or it's labeled as "comedy".  Comedian hypnotists showed up once a year at my university to put on a show.

I watched a video of a so-called "Toronto blessing" meeting once. Rightly or wrongly, I found it involuntarily had the same effect upon me as high comedy. "Fawlty Towers", of John Cleese's genius, has a similar effect on me. I offer this fact without comment.
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline Antonious Nikolas

  • Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite, Anagnostis
  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 3,795
  • Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra
    • Return to Orthodoxy
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Church
Re: Speaking in tongues and encounters with the Holy Spirit
« Reply #51 on: July 24, 2015, 07:30:05 AM »
Based on what?

Based on the fact that the Holy Spirit never acted this way in the actual Church and doesn't act this way in the Church today.  It can be discerned when and where in history this sort of thing entered "Christian" practice, and it never permeated the Body of Christ.  Again, have you looked at Fr. Alexis' book or any of the links provided?

In my experience I would expect that someone in that situation would be in possession of their faculties and able to pull out at any time but is choosing not to do so in order to continue in prayer and to focus on their experience of God.

That's not usually been the case in my experience.  It certainly wasn't the case in the video I linked to.  Can you please link to a video illustrating something similar to what you mean?

I don't know this, not conclusively.

Again, I would advise taking a look at the relevant material.  Charles Fox Parhmam, C.H. Mason, et al, were certainly not prophets of God and what they brought to the fore in American folk Christianity (though it certainly had its antecedents in the South) was not something that was present in the Early Church.

I'm not sure the Church speaks with only one voice on this issue.

I'm sure it does.  Nothing like modern Charismatism has ever been present in the Church.

You initially lumped visions into your statement but then I pointed out that many of our Saints have had visions.

No.  I was speaking specifically to what David Young was describing - "getting in the spirit" or "being in vision" - as in the kind of ecstatic mass hysterical trance that we see in modern Charismatism and that he also makes note of in the Primitive Methodist church.  Please don't think that I spoke against the idea of visions in general or that you contradicted any point I made.  I acknowledge the reality of visions, tongues, et al, I simply know that what has occurred in the Church is distinct from Pentecostalism and Charismatism.

If one were to go back to the matter of tongues, I would point to a story from St. Porphyrios in "Wounded by Love" where he talks about a hermit, who thought he was alone  practicing glossolalia and the Saint crediting that with the development of some of his own gifts.

I'm familiar with that story.  Again, I would make a distinction between the experiences of that blessed hermit (may his prayers be with us) and what occurs in Pentecostalism and Charismatism, as does Archimandrite Zacharias here:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/on-the-gift-of-speaking-in-tongues.aspx

We know some of our Saints experience clairvoyance, what the Protestants would call "words of knowledge" etc., we know some of our Saints are gifted in healing. I'm not advocating that we go back to being Protestant Pentecostals, nor that we throw all caution to the wind, but I also have seen too much to roundly condemn it all. Discernment in this, I think, must be an ongoing matter not a once for all judgment.

Again, I think that the authentic Gifts of the Spirit can be readily distinguished from the errors of Pentecostalism/Charismatism.  It's not a matter of denying anything miraculous at all, but simply differentiating between the work of God on the one hand and the delusions of men and the deception of the devil on the other.
Worship is theology, so a church which brings Evangelical and Charismatic "praise & worship" into its corporate life is no longer Orthodox.  It is, by definition, heterodox.  Those "Orthodox" leaders who make theological arguments for the incorporation of heteropraxis into the life of the Church are heretics.

http://returntoorthodoxy.com/

Online Maximum Bob

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 3,301
  • Personal Text? We can have personal text?
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: Speaking in tongues and encounters with the Holy Spirit
« Reply #52 on: July 25, 2015, 01:20:12 AM »
Based on what?

Based on the fact that the Holy Spirit never acted this way in the actual Church and doesn't act this way in the Church today.  It can be discerned when and where in history this sort of thing entered "Christian" practice, and it never permeated the Body of Christ.  Again, have you looked at Fr. Alexis' book or any of the links provided?
Your response to this is predicated on your understanding of the verses I provided as not applying to the situation. But perhaps I also was too general in my challenge. If you consider the whole of the video the setting, the laying on of hands, the prayers being said over her, the background, I am not defending all of these only that it is possible to be overcome by the presence of God and to fall down.

Have I looked at Fr. Alexis' book? I'm looking at it right now it's in my library. I'm very familiar with Fr. Alexis and even had the privilege of interacting with him on a review/response exchange in a professional journal for an article he submitted. And yes, I'm familiar with the other links too. Including the one you provided that I copy/paste from when I'm feeling too lazy to summarize the story from  St. Porphyrios.

In my experience I would expect that someone in that situation would be in possession of their faculties and able to pull out at any time but is choosing not to do so in order to continue in prayer and to focus on their experience of God.

That's not usually been the case in my experience.  It certainly wasn't the case in the video I linked to.  Can you please link to a video illustrating something similar to what you mean?
No, I'm speaking of the way things were done at the Church I left which as you have already noted seems to be different from your previous experience. We didn't video these things they were more low key and private not some spectacle to be broadcast.

I don't know this, not conclusively.

Again, I would advise taking a look at the relevant material.  Charles Fox Parhmam, C.H. Mason, et al, were certainly not prophets of God and what they brought to the fore in American folk Christianity (though it certainly had its antecedents in the South) was not something that was present in the Early Church.
I'm familiar with the history good, bad, and ugly. It was one of the classes I had to take before getting the ministerial license I used to have.
I'm not sure the Church speaks with only one voice on this issue.

I'm sure it does.  Nothing like modern Charismatism has ever been present in the Church.
The Churches voice is in some ways varied and in others too broad. Which is one of my complaints in any thread on this topic. I presented the story on St. Porphyrios and glossolalia specifically because it would seem to contradict some of what is said in Orthodox circles, including in Fr. Alexis' book. Yes, jurisdictions and synods have condemned the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement but my contention has been and remains the movement has too many parts to fit into a blanket condemnation. Take again Fr. Alexis' book there are things I agree with him about parts of the Pentecostal/Charismatic movements' beliefs and practices that I and the church I used to go to would have condemned with him. There are also ways in which my former church did not resemble at all what he was talking about, or perhaps even your own experiences.
You initially lumped visions into your statement but then I pointed out that many of our Saints have had visions.

No.  I was speaking specifically to what David Young was describing - "getting in the spirit" or "being in vision" - as in the kind of ecstatic mass hysterical trance that we see in modern Charismatism and that he also makes note of in the Primitive Methodist church.  Please don't think that I spoke against the idea of visions in general or that you contradicted any point I made.  I acknowledge the reality of visions, tongues, et al, I simply know that what has occurred in the Church is distinct from Pentecostalism and Charismatism.
my bad, apologies

We know some of our Saints experience clairvoyance, what the Protestants would call "words of knowledge" etc., we know some of our Saints are gifted in healing. I'm not advocating that we go back to being Protestant Pentecostals, nor that we throw all caution to the wind, but I also have seen too much to roundly condemn it all. Discernment in this, I think, must be an ongoing matter not a once for all judgment.

Again, I think that the authentic Gifts of the Spirit can be readily distinguished from the errors of Pentecostalism/Charismatism.  It's not a matter of denying anything miraculous at all, but simply differentiating between the work of God on the one hand and the delusions of men and the deception of the devil on the other.
Here we agree at least some but perhaps not all the way. Because again I do not defend all Pentecostalism/Charismatism, some is rightly to be condemned. Still, as I said previously, in my opinion the movements have too many parts for blanket condemnation of  them all.
Psalm 37:23 The Lord guides a man safely in the way he should go.

Prov. 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.

Offline Antonious Nikolas

  • Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite, Anagnostis
  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 3,795
  • Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra
    • Return to Orthodoxy
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Church
Re: Speaking in tongues and encounters with the Holy Spirit
« Reply #53 on: July 25, 2015, 04:37:00 PM »
Your response to this is predicated on your understanding of the verses I provided as not applying to the situation.

On the contrary, I think that trying to understand the verses in that way is reading modern Pentecostal/Charismatic practice onto the Scriptures in an ahistorical way.

But perhaps I also was too general in my challenge. If you consider the whole of the video the setting, the laying on of hands, the prayers being said over her, the background, I am not defending all of these only that it is possible to be overcome by the presence of God and to fall down.

I would argue that when people fall down when encountering the presence of God, it is usually forward, onto their knees, and they remain conscious and in possession of their faculties.  They are not knocked out.

Have I looked at Fr. Alexis' book? I'm looking at it right now it's in my library. I'm very familiar with Fr. Alexis and even had the privilege of interacting with him on a review/response exchange in a professional journal for an article he submitted. And yes, I'm familiar with the other links too. Including the one you provided that I copy/paste from when I'm feeling too lazy to summarize the story from  St. Porphyrios.

If you're not convinced by Fr. Alexis' book or the articles, then this argument will quickly become circular.  It's clear that I'm not going to convince you of anything or vice versa.  That's fine as far as it goes.  Your assessment of your experiences in Pentecostalism/Charismatism is between you and God.  As a historian, I can only speak to where such things entered the historical record and whether or not such things have a place in the life of the Orthodox Church.  Of course, I can also speak to my own experience, which seems to differ in many ways from yours.

No, I'm speaking of the way things were done at the Church I left which as you have already noted seems to be different from your previous experience. We didn't video these things they were more low key and private not some spectacle to be broadcast.

I'm asking for something analogous.  I didn't attend the same church as the woman in the video, but what she and her friends were doing was very close to a lot of what I saw in the churches I did attend.

I'm familiar with the history good, bad, and ugly. It was one of the classes I had to take before getting the ministerial license I used to have.

I expected you would be.  I'm just saying, their reading of Scripture to justify the novelties they introduced was an inaccurate one (particularly in the case of Parham).

The Churches voice is in some ways varied and in others too broad. Which is one of my complaints in any thread on this topic. I presented the story on St. Porphyrios and glossolalia specifically because it would seem to contradict some of what is said in Orthodox circles, including in Fr. Alexis' book.

Only if one reads Pentecostal/Charismatic practice onto what the monk is doing.  I don't see it through that lens.  I think to do so is as big a mistake as reading Pentecostal/Charismatic practice onto Scripture.

Yes, jurisdictions and synods have condemned the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement but my contention has been and remains the movement has too many parts to fit into a blanket condemnation. Take again Fr. Alexis' book there are things I agree with him about parts of the Pentecostal/Charismatic movements' beliefs and practices that I and the church I used to go to would have condemned with him. There are also ways in which my former church did not resemble at all what he was talking about, or perhaps even your own experiences.

At first blush, I am inclined to disagree, not only because of my own experiences and my study of the origins of the movement, but also because I've paid close attention to the global Charismatic movement in places like Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia and haven't found anything there of value either, but I would like to learn more about your church and others like it.  Where could I start?

my bad, apologies

No apologies necessary.  I just wanted very much to clarify that I don't deny the authentic work or gifts of the Holy Spirit in any way, shape, or form.  I just advocate being careful to distinguish them from things I think are spiritually dangerous.  I say this partially as a historian who has studied the origins of Pentecostalism in some detail (I haven't published on it or anything.  It's not my field.  But it is an area of interest, especially as it relates to African and African-American spirituality) but more so as someone who has seen things in Pentecostal circles that I know for sure was not the work of God and that scared the living daylights out of me.  I appreciate that our experiences were apparently very different, and I'm willing to consider your point of view, and would like to learn more about your former church.

Here we agree at least some but perhaps not all the way. Because again I do not defend all Pentecostalism/Charismatism, some is rightly to be condemned. Still, as I said previously, in my opinion the movements have too many parts for blanket condemnation of  them all.

Cool.  Like I said, I'd like to learn more and would appreciate whatever information you could give me.  As I said though, I've followed the Global Charismatic Movement with great interest, and so far, have not seen anything that would challenge my view as it has been established by my own experiences and my research into the origins of the movement.  I've also not seen any evidence of the things that began in the American South in the historic or Biblical Church.  Any information you could send my way would be appreciated.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2015, 04:53:10 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
Worship is theology, so a church which brings Evangelical and Charismatic "praise & worship" into its corporate life is no longer Orthodox.  It is, by definition, heterodox.  Those "Orthodox" leaders who make theological arguments for the incorporation of heteropraxis into the life of the Church are heretics.

http://returntoorthodoxy.com/

Offline Maria

  • Orthodox Christian
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 12,898
  • O most Holy Theotokos, save us.
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: GOC
Re: Speaking in tongues and encounters with the Holy Spirit
« Reply #54 on: July 25, 2015, 04:42:21 PM »
Quote
Worship is theology, so a church which brings Evangelical and Charismatic "praise & worship" into its corporate life is no longer Orthodox.  It is, by definition, heterodox.  Those "Orthodox" leaders who make theological arguments for the incorporation of heteropraxis into the life of the Church are heretics.

http://returntoorthodoxy.com/

Your signature says it all, Antonious

Thank you!
Ἅγιος ὁ Θεός
Ἅγιος ἰσχυρός
Ἅγιος ἀθάνατος
ἐλέησον ἡμας

Offline Antonious Nikolas

  • Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite, Anagnostis
  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 3,795
  • Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra
    • Return to Orthodoxy
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Church
Re: Speaking in tongues and encounters with the Holy Spirit
« Reply #55 on: July 25, 2015, 05:46:52 PM »
Quote
Worship is theology, so a church which brings Evangelical and Charismatic "praise & worship" into its corporate life is no longer Orthodox.  It is, by definition, heterodox.  Those "Orthodox" leaders who make theological arguments for the incorporation of heteropraxis into the life of the Church are heretics.

http://returntoorthodoxy.com/

Your signature says it all, Antonious

Thank you!

Thank you, Maria.  Your prayers for the Oriental Orthodox Communion in this regard would be truly appreciated.
Worship is theology, so a church which brings Evangelical and Charismatic "praise & worship" into its corporate life is no longer Orthodox.  It is, by definition, heterodox.  Those "Orthodox" leaders who make theological arguments for the incorporation of heteropraxis into the life of the Church are heretics.

http://returntoorthodoxy.com/

Offline Maria

  • Orthodox Christian
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 12,898
  • O most Holy Theotokos, save us.
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: GOC
Re: Speaking in tongues and encounters with the Holy Spirit
« Reply #56 on: July 25, 2015, 05:48:03 PM »
Quote
Worship is theology, so a church which brings Evangelical and Charismatic "praise & worship" into its corporate life is no longer Orthodox.  It is, by definition, heterodox.  Those "Orthodox" leaders who make theological arguments for the incorporation of heteropraxis into the life of the Church are heretics.

http://returntoorthodoxy.com/

Your signature says it all, Antonious

Thank you!

Thank you, Maria.  Your prayers for the Oriental Orthodox Communion in this regard would be truly appreciated.

You've got them. Lord have mercy.
Ἅγιος ὁ Θεός
Ἅγιος ἰσχυρός
Ἅγιος ἀθάνατος
ἐλέησον ἡμας

Offline Minnesotan

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,140
  • From the Land of 10,000 Lakes
Re: Speaking in tongues and encounters with the Holy Spirit
« Reply #57 on: July 26, 2015, 02:24:11 AM »
Cool.  Like I said, I'd like to learn more and would appreciate whatever information you could give me.  As I said though, I've followed the Global Charismatic Movement with great interest, and so far, have not seen anything that would challenge my view as it has been established by my own experiences and my research into the origins of the movement.  I've also not seen any evidence of the things that began in the American South in the historic or Biblical Church.  Any information you could send my way would be appreciated.

I've found a very interesting blog post from a person who calls himself an "Anglican Pentecostal". The purpose of the post was to rebut the arguments of arch-cessationist John MacArthur. The blogger is arguing that MacArthur, along with other Western Christians, fails to distinguish between the essence and energies of God, and that it is the energies that are responsible for "charismatic" phenomena, not the person (essence) of the Holy Spirit. He even gives a shout-out to the Orthodox monastic tradition.

I find myself agreeing with the basic thrust of the argument. I have never much cared for John MacArthur or his brand of rationalist fundamentalism, which, in the words of one of his critics, "builds a theology around lack of experience". MacArthur is also hypocritical in his denunciations of charismatic churches, for example, he claims they have never been involved in humanitarian work and that you can "judge them by their fruit" because of it. Yet fundamentalist churches that practice "biblical separation", such as MacArthur's own, are far, far worse in that regard. Also, the one church that arguably does the most charitable work, namely the RCC, has been the recipient of some of his harshest diatribes.

That being said, I highly doubt that the founders of the Asuza Street Revival or any of the other movements linked to it were aware of the essence-energies distinction. It was for the most part a movement of theological illiterates.

So I would argue that:

  • 1. John MacArthur and cessationists are wrong to deny the existence of anything "charismatic", experiential, miraculous, etc.
  • 2. This attitude stems from the lack of understanding, or implicit denial, of the essence-energies distinction. It also stems from nuda-scriptura Biblicism (MacArthur thinks anything outside the Bible--the Protestant Bible, that is--is something you need to beware of). Both of these are errors.
  • 3. That being said, discernment is necessary to distinguish what is actually the energy of God from counterfeits (prelest, demonic activity, etc).
  • 4. Most Pentecostals are so eager for signs and wonders that they will tend to believe or embrace anything that seems like it. Because of that, and also because they often don't have much understanding of theology, they often end up lacking such discernment.

In regards to item 4, the Pentecostals have very much in common with Jews of an earlier era. I don't think it's a coincidence that so many of them (John Hagee, etc.) are philo-Semitic and/or supportive of Christian Zionism. "Messianic Judaism" is for the most part an offshoot of Pentecostalism as well.

There is something very Hebraic about many Pentecostals' way of thinking and that isn't necessarily a bad thing. I think it's potentially a useful corrective to the Hellenic ultra-rationalism of the MacArthurs and Sprouls of the world. Nevertheless, they too often take their enthusiasm for signs and wonders to an unhealthy extreme, and part of the reason for that is they don't have the example of the Church and the saints to guide them. Also, while they are very open to miracles and supernatural activity, the one miracle they don't seem to be willing to accept just yet is the Eucharist. Which is too bad, really.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2015, 02:33:01 AM by Minnesotan »
I'm not going to be posting as much on OC.Net as before. I might stop in once in a while though. But I've come to realize that real life is more important.

Offline Antonious Nikolas

  • Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite, Anagnostis
  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 3,795
  • Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra
    • Return to Orthodoxy
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Church
Re: Speaking in tongues and encounters with the Holy Spirit
« Reply #58 on: July 26, 2015, 10:19:02 AM »
I don't think a refutation of the errors and deceptions of Pentecostalism/Charismatism need necessarily rest on the arguments of "arch-cessationists" like MacArthur.  I know mine don't.  There's nothing in the blog post linked that refutes any of the sources or ideas I base my skepticism of this movement on, and I didn't expect  there would be.  I'm not buying the essence/energy distinction as it pertains to this stuff either.  So, what Sister Lucy at New Jerusalem Church of God in Christ was bowled over and knocked silly by - necessitating the usherettes to throw a sheet over her lest everyone see her bloomers - were the uncreated energies of God?  And the thing that caused Sister Janet to start lurching about and groaning as if she were having an orgasm - face grimacing, body spasming and clenching and all - was the uncreated energies of God?  And that's what was at work at the Toronto Blessing?  Nah.  I'm not buying it.  This blog post just seemed full of the usual torturing of the Scriptures and the historical record to fit Pentecostal/Charismatic preconceptions and justify their errors.  Some people are just so enamored of the practice that they don't want to accept the truth and give it up, or, if they're done with it, acknowledge that something that once made them feel so good and gave them such comfort might be false.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2015, 10:21:05 AM by Antonious Nikolas »
Worship is theology, so a church which brings Evangelical and Charismatic "praise & worship" into its corporate life is no longer Orthodox.  It is, by definition, heterodox.  Those "Orthodox" leaders who make theological arguments for the incorporation of heteropraxis into the life of the Church are heretics.

http://returntoorthodoxy.com/

Offline David Young

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,919
  • 2015, Baptist chapel, Llay
    • Some of my sermons preached at Bradley Road
  • Faith: Baptist
  • Jurisdiction: local church, Wrexham
Re: Speaking in tongues and encounters with the Holy Spirit
« Reply #59 on: July 26, 2015, 04:54:31 PM »
I don't think a refutation of the errors and deceptions of Pentecostalism/Charismatism need necessarily rest on the arguments of "arch-cessationists" like MacArthur.  I know mine don't.  There's nothing in the blog post linked that refutes any of the sources or ideas I base my skepticism of this movement on, and I didn't expect  there would be.  I'm not buying the essence/energy distinction as it pertains to this stuff either.  So, what Sister Lucy at New Jerusalem Church of God in Christ was bowled over and knocked silly by - necessitating the usherettes to throw a sheet over her lest everyone see her bloomers - were the uncreated energies of God?  And the thing that caused Sister Janet to start lurching about and groaning as if she were having an orgasm - face grimacing, body spasming and clenching and all - was the uncreated energies of God?  And that's what was at work at the Toronto Blessing?  Nah.  I'm not buying it. 

I agree.
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Online Maximum Bob

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 3,301
  • Personal Text? We can have personal text?
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: Speaking in tongues and encounters with the Holy Spirit
« Reply #60 on: July 28, 2015, 12:58:53 AM »
Antonious, The Church I used to belong to was an Open Bible Standard Church. It arose from the combination of the Bible standard Conference in the Eugene Oregon area and the Open Bible Evangelistic Association in Des Moines Iowa. Both of these in turn ultimately trace their roots to the Azusa Street Revivals. Both groups left earlier Pentecostal groups due to their concerns over the impious behavior of some of those leaders and their authoritarian styles of leadership. Perhaps because of this they adopted a much looser central structure giving each congregation lots of room to develop on it’s own. For that reason I don’t know how universal the experience of my Church would be even within that particular denomination. What I do know is in my 20 years there I have seen and experienced things I believe to be genuine.

Now let me qualify this by saying several things. Firstly, I didn’t grow up Pentecostal and went into it with a good deal of skepticism. Second, despite being in that church for 20 years in the years, before that I have had experience in 7 other Pentecostal churches of varying denominations. Third, I have in some of the other churches, and even in that church on different occasions seen things I did not find to be genuine.

Now, if I may, you indicated some past  experience in such churches yourself, do you mind if I ask what that was. May I also ask did you ever encounter anything in any of it that you found to be genuine?
Psalm 37:23 The Lord guides a man safely in the way he should go.

Prov. 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.

Offline Antonious Nikolas

  • Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite, Anagnostis
  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 3,795
  • Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra
    • Return to Orthodoxy
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Church
Re: Speaking in tongues and encounters with the Holy Spirit
« Reply #61 on: July 28, 2015, 01:39:34 PM »
Hi, Bob.  I'll Google around and see what I can find out about the Open Bible Standard Church.  As indicated, I am skeptical of anything that has its roots in Azusa Street, but I certainly appreciate your experience.  My main experience with Pentecostal churches has come through COGIC and related unaffiliated (read: local storefront) churches.  I haven't seen things within the Pentecostal churches that I have taken to be the authentic work of the Holy Spirit, but I have seen miracles within the Orthodox Church, including manifestations of the authentic gifts.  What I have seen in Pentecostalism have been things that - as I have indicated - have made me feel really creeped out and uncomfortable.  Thanks for being willing to dialogue and learn from one another.  Please pray for me.  :)
Worship is theology, so a church which brings Evangelical and Charismatic "praise & worship" into its corporate life is no longer Orthodox.  It is, by definition, heterodox.  Those "Orthodox" leaders who make theological arguments for the incorporation of heteropraxis into the life of the Church are heretics.

http://returntoorthodoxy.com/

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,577
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Diocese of the South (OCA)
Re: Speaking in tongues and encounters with the Holy Spirit
« Reply #62 on: July 28, 2015, 04:04:30 PM »
Since we are blessed to have David Young, Maximum Bob and Antonious Nicholas on this thread, I would like to ask your reaction to this nascent thought that I keep on having:

The failings and schisms in the Church have been caused partly by anthropocentrism. It seems to me that deviations from Holy Tradition in such matters as female priesthood, abortion and same-sex marriage are similar to the deviations from orthodox worship by the adherents of charismatic/pentacostal modalities. They are caused by or at least heavily influenced by a world view where man is the most important entity in the universe.



Offline Antonious Nikolas

  • Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite, Anagnostis
  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 3,795
  • Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra
    • Return to Orthodoxy
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Church
Re: Speaking in tongues and encounters with the Holy Spirit
« Reply #63 on: July 28, 2015, 04:13:57 PM »
Since we are blessed to have David Young, Maximum Bob and Antonious Nicholas on this thread, I would like to ask your reaction to this nascent thought that I keep on having:

The failings and schisms in the Church have been caused partly by anthropocentrism. It seems to me that deviations from Holy Tradition in such matters as female priesthood, abortion and same-sex marriage are similar to the deviations from orthodox worship by the adherents of charismatic/pentacostal modalities. They are caused by or at least heavily influenced by a world view where man is the most important entity in the universe.

Carl, I could hug you.  :)

I've been saying this for years.  Lex orandi, lex credendi, or, as Professor Harry Boosalis of St. Tikhon's seminary says, "According to the Orthodox Faith, the teachings and traditions one upholds and believes in will necessarily influence and inform one's spiritual orientation and the way one worships...".  I'm very much inclined to agree with you that there is a definite connection between anthropocentric forms of worship (if such can truly be termed worship at all) and the kinds of self-indulgent, me-centered deviations you've enumerated here.  Bravo.

I would recommend this article/video as a starting point for anyone interested in exploring the connection:

http://returntoorthodoxy.com/american-protestant-perspective-doctrine-worship-practices/
Worship is theology, so a church which brings Evangelical and Charismatic "praise & worship" into its corporate life is no longer Orthodox.  It is, by definition, heterodox.  Those "Orthodox" leaders who make theological arguments for the incorporation of heteropraxis into the life of the Church are heretics.

http://returntoorthodoxy.com/

Online Maximum Bob

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 3,301
  • Personal Text? We can have personal text?
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: Speaking in tongues and encounters with the Holy Spirit
« Reply #64 on: July 29, 2015, 12:46:47 AM »
My first thought was remembering the song below from which I take the idea that some Charismatic leaders would certainly agree with the assessment that their worship had become centered on man rather than God. Interestingly in the story behind this song one of the things that was done to shake up the church the where the author attended was to loose all the instruments and the sound system and simply sing. A very Orthodox way to do it, which sadly didn't last.

“The Heart of Worship”
written by Matt Redman

When the music fades
 and all is stripped away
 and I simply come.
 Longing just to bring
 something that’s of worth
 that will bless Your heart.

King of endless worth,
 no one could express
 how much you deserve.
 Though I’m weak and poor,
 all I have is Yours,
 every single breath!

I’ll bring You more than a song,
 for a song in itself
 is not what You have required.
 You search much deeper within,
 through the way things appear,
 You’re looking into my heart.

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
 and it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus.
 I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
 when it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus.


Having said this I believe its endemic in all Protestant worship where the sermon has replaced the Eucharist as the climax of the service. As a minister for many years, and member of the worship team for probably as long, I can say such was never the point. The desire was to worship God, but, when you take away the alter and replace it with  a podium or a music stand, when the pastor and the "band" face the congregation on a "stage" the nonverbal message may be louder than the verbal one.

The theological outcome of this in a Pentecostal/Charismatic service may well be the idea that it wasn't a good service unless someone felt moved. A sentiment often express in Charismatic circles. I know one convert to Orthodoxy from Pentecostalism for whom one of the breakthrough moments was learning that the liturgy was the "work" of the people that it was okay to sometimes struggle with it, to not have to feel special every time. Not to mention the idea in some Pentecostal churches that your not "saved" if your not speaking in tongues.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2015, 12:48:32 AM by Maximum Bob »
Psalm 37:23 The Lord guides a man safely in the way he should go.

Prov. 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.

Online Maximum Bob

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 3,301
  • Personal Text? We can have personal text?
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: Speaking in tongues and encounters with the Holy Spirit
« Reply #65 on: July 29, 2015, 12:53:52 AM »
Hi, Bob.  I'll Google around and see what I can find out about the Open Bible Standard Church.  As indicated, I am skeptical of anything that has its roots in Azusa Street, but I certainly appreciate your experience.  My main experience with Pentecostal churches has come through COGIC and related unaffiliated (read: local storefront) churches.  I haven't seen things within the Pentecostal churches that I have taken to be the authentic work of the Holy Spirit, but I have seen miracles within the Orthodox Church, including manifestations of the authentic gifts.  What I have seen in Pentecostalism have been things that - as I have indicated - have made me feel really creeped out and uncomfortable.  Thanks for being willing to dialogue and learn from one another.  Please pray for me.  :)
Certainly, pray for me as well, my brother. I will respond more to this at some point in the not distant future but for now it's late and I'm in the middle of a 14 day stretch of work with no days off and right now my brain is not wanting to continue to cooperate with me. Good night.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2015, 12:54:23 AM by Maximum Bob »
Psalm 37:23 The Lord guides a man safely in the way he should go.

Prov. 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.