John MacArthur: 'Charismatic Movement Blasphemes the Holy Spirit?'

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(Photo: Lukas VanDyke)
John MacArthur of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, Calif., addresses thousands of pastors at the March 3-7, 2010, Shepherds' Conference

John MacArthur, the well-known pastor of Grace Community Church in southern California, has long criticized the charismatic movement, during the Strange Fire conference last Friday. His statements against what he describes as “strange fire” practices in the charismatic movement have sparked debate among Christians about the issue.

John MacArthur believes the charismatic movement offers to God unacceptable worship, distorted worship. “It blasphemes the Holy Spirit. It attributes to the Holy Spirit even the work of Satan. People are caught in it, deceived, led astray,” he said.

As a Cessationist, the Calvinist minister does not believe Christians today can perform the miracles that we see in the beginning of the first century and receive spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues or the power to heal others.

Mark Driscoll, a pastor more open to charismatic theology, just happen to be in the conference to hand out some copies of his new book: A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future? The Mars Hill Church lead pastor points one chapter in his book that would be helpful to the conference discussion about the Holy Spirit.

"There's one chapter on tribalism and how within evangelicalism, Christians have tended to form into tribes and then have arguments or debates with other tribes – often times talking about them, but not with them. Then, there is a chapter in there as well on the personal work of the Holy Spirit. I talk about that for the sake of evangelism and mission that there needs to be some real effort around unity regarding the personal work of the Holy Spirit because that's where a lot of division tends to come among Christians.”

Do you agree with pastor John MacArthur’ statements that the Charismatic movement “blasphemes the Holy Spirit” and promotes “false worship” Why or why not? Share your opinion or your personal story here:

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