Gary North on Charismatics

I am sort of a quiet charismatic.  North has an interesting take on part of the history of the movement.  Early Charismatic antinomianism was wrong, as it inadvertently emphasized a power from below.  But what if later ones corrected that and got it right?

Then, in the late 1970’s, a handful of Pentecostal-charismatics discovered Christian Reconstruction. They finally got the answer they had been waiting for: God can heal a sick society. Better yet: God will heal a sick world through a great movement of the Holy Spirit. These men dropped dispensationalism, and adopted a world-and-life view that is consistent with the victories that charismatics have seen first-hand.

Meanwhile, within the “Tyler” branch of the Reconstructionist movement, there came a new emphasis on liturgy, especially the power of the sacraments, and especially weekly communion. This emphasis on communion soon led to the split between “Tyler” and “Vallecito,” for Mr. Rushdoony adamantly refuses to take communion-weekly, monthly, or annually. The Tyler church also adopted formal healing services as a part of public worship. The elders went to sick people and anointed them with oil. (The first step, it must never be forgotten, is the sick person’s confession of sin. Ethics is primary, not the details of liturgy.) My wife was healed miraculously of a life-long affliction as a result of one such visit. So were others in the church.

This growing alliance between charismatics and Reconstructionists has disturbed Reformed Presbyterians almost as much as it has disturbed premillennial dispensationalists. it has led to accusations of heresy against both groups from all sides: pietistic Pentecostalism, pietistic Scofieldism, and pietistic Presbyterianism. The critics worry about the fact that the Pentecostalism’s infantry is at last being armed with Reconstructionism’s field artillery. They should be worried. This represents one of the most fundamental realignments in U.S. Protestant church history.

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