On The Futility Of Accepting The Charismatic Sign Gifts For Current Use -- By: Cliff Allcorn

Journal: Journal of Dispensational Theology
Volume: JODT 16:49 (Dec 2012)
Article: On The Futility Of Accepting The Charismatic Sign Gifts For Current Use
Author: Cliff Allcorn

On The Futility Of Accepting The Charismatic Sign Gifts For Current Use

Cliff Allcorn

Cliff Allcorn, M.A., pastor, Rim of the World Community Church, Running Springs, California

“For the world . . . tries as far as it is able to cast away all knowledge of God, and by every means to corrupt the worship of him” (Institutes I.III.3).1 Sadly, John Calvin was completely correct in his interpretation of the world; it is even sadder that believers today also corrupt their own worship because they have neglected the true knowledge of God found only in Scripture by accepting their own experiences as eternal truth. Biblical Christianity teaches that only Scripture alone can give a completely accurate and undeniable picture of God, whereas human experiences, even the true revelation one deduces from nature, are simply unable to have the Bible’s level of authority. However, there is one movement in Christianity that teaches a set of practices as truthful worship based solely upon their own experiences. The movement is comprised of those who affirm that all the gifts of the Spirit are currently active and given on a regular basis to the church; it is called the charismatic movement.2 Charismatics believe that they can trust their fallen senses despite the fact that

We are tainted with this sin from our birth, from our conception, while we are formed, while we are warmed in the womb, as the word is. Natural corruption is not contracted only by imitation, nor becomes it habitual by custom or repetition of acts, but it is rooted in the soul before the subject be capable either of imitation or acting.3

By virtue of their claim of validity based upon experience,4 charismatics cannot now claim to affirm the ideal of sola Scriptura because they have replaced the teachings of Scripture with their own sinful and subjective beliefs. The similar type groups believe that the “sign gifts”5 remain an active part of the modern church, and should be accepted as a normative worship practice. The groups have various titles, but all of them defend (by experience alone) the practice of gifts that were intended only for the foundational period of this present dispensation. The article herein will assert that any experiential defense of the modern use of the sign gifts in the church is not acceptable when one understands that there are noetic effects of sin. Furthermore, this article will argue that the Scri...

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