I’m a full-blown Bible-believing Charismatic Evangelical Christian.
The problem for people like me is justifying ourselves to non-Charismatic Evangelicals.
Why is this? What I hear from people is about how we’re turning to experience instead of the Word, and we’re losing depth.
The answer is… yes.
Charismatic leaders as a rule are well versed in the Bible, but we run the danger that members of charismatic congregations may be more interested in what happens at the meeting and getting our next charismatic buzz than in what God says in the Bible.
Think about it. The Bible has to be uppermost. How can we tell if what we are experiencing is of God if we don’t know our Bibles? No experience that contradicts the Bible can be of God, so it’s kinda essential.
Similarly, if we hear someone speak about God, how can we know if they’re being authentic and truthful if we don’t know God’s word? This applies whether they speak from the Bible or not… you can speak properly about God without citing the Bible once if others can in turn check what you say against the Bible, or you can use the Bible to tell lies about God by taking bits out of context.
I also know from the books I’ve read that even Christian books can miss things out, and you need to know the rest of God’s truth. I’m reading one book at the moment where the guy is talking about Jesus’ message about God’s kingdom. What he’s saying (about the meaning for life in this world) is absolutely brilliant, and I believe it’s true, but it’s only 2/3 of the story (the other 1/3 being about being with God forever). Watch out for the review when I finish the book, it’ll be posted somewhere on the site.
Being with God, having experiences is utterly brilliant. I wouldn’t swap it for the world.
But I also know how much he wants me to have the experience of knowing his word, so I can read Psalm 119 with my whole heart. I think it will also increase how God can speak to me, as I get to know him better through his word.