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Having grown up with the Assemblies on one side of my family tree and Baptist on the other, I too am open but cautious. What I find more often than not is that I am the one who is accused of prejudices and at the same time being shunned because my in-expression. I've had others, like you, pray over me and then judge me as insincere when nothing manifested. My experience is that I have been very open to them, and I still am, but I am now more treated as inferior and looked down upon.

I do appreciate your post here and wonder, out-loud, could it be that Baptist are not blessed with this gift and it is ok to be Baptist? Kind of like my red- headed brothers statement, “Don’t dye my hair and I won’t dye yours”.

I think we can cooperate without having to change the way our house is run. To be sure, I had breakfast this morning with other pastors who are of different persuasions on the “gifts”. We do not persuade or insist that we become each other. We respect the uniqueness that God has given us and the uniqueness of the spheres God has placed us. We have been meeting together for 3 years without pressure on this subject. We talk kingdom and then operate from the platforms God has provided.



Peter: it's ironic that you'd bring up 20 years ago. the same thing occurred with me, only 31 years ago. For quite a while I struggled with that until the Lord blessed me with His peace through His Word and His Spirit.

Through the years I have met and enjoyed the fellowship of several charismatic brothers and sisters. Some look upon me as inferior, some don't. Kinda like some Baptists look upon me as inferior and some don't. In the end the only thing that matters is how my Lord looks upon me and to be honest, I'd rather have love than speak in tongues of men and angels.

I'd rather have love than knowledge (though knowledge helps me not look so stupid). I'd rather have love than wealth, health or prophetic powers. I'd rather have love than be able to move mountains with my faith.

And I guess God is okay with what I'd rather have, too. selahV


:) Yeah I was there 31 years ago too SelahV, bought Kenneth Hagin's book "How To Speak In Tongues", assumed the position directed in the book (kneeling, one hand to heaven and one hand to .. hell? let your jaw go slack and just babble away... then God will take over .. ummm yeah .. right?!?) then realised "hey, this is not biblical!"
This sent me on a quest to understand the scriptures, AND to understand the Pentecostal movement.
Good words, and we still struggle with those who oppose non charismatics in our denomination. I experienced an intimation that I would be disciplined by the denomination's association this week for saying that I felt the prosperity Gospel and the instituting of Apostles over Baptist churches in a region, and various other charismatic excesses could be harmful to folks and couldn't endorse this sort of ministry.
I see the day coming very near where I and several other Baptist pastors will be removed from my denomination for not being charismatic.


Steve, I certainly hope what you said at the very end doesn't come true. However, I'm not naive enough to think that's impossible. I consider myself "open but cautious" in this area. I don't describe myself as "charismatic" (I prefer "continuationist" I guess) but if the only other alternative is "cessationist", then I'll have to concede to being a charismatic. But I think I admire those such as Grudem and Piper the most, here. But, getting to my point finally, we need people like you and Peter (and SelahV, of course, and others) to keep the rest of us in line!

peter lumpkins


Thank you for sharing a bit of your own journey. It seems we over lap some in our paths. I think you are correct in your thoughts about cooperation. However, I must admit, in times like these when a threesome go on national television and seem to subtly suggest that Southern Baptists who are void of charismata are somehow a quart low spiritually, surely kinks the chain of cooperation in my view...


I think your exhortation on love being supreme over any and all charismata stands as the apostolic exhortation our Inspired Apostle had in mind when he penned the 1Corinthian correspondence we have in hand. Thank you...


It is sad your Baptist fellowship would discipline those among you who embrace a noncharismatic approach to spiritual gifting. Is this action 'official' or only paper sanctions?


I have to confess, at least to my reading eye, Grudem is addictive in some ways. I have read completely his systematic theology through many times over and used to keep it a handy reference for the first few years in publication.

Presently, I don't even own a copy having lost mine somewhere in an Atlanta coffee shop, I suppose. I have moved on from him nonetheless.

Piper is an opposite story. Frankly, I have never finished one of his works as I can recall. His style I can only guess. I much more appreciate his live presentations.


One thing I think is being missed that needs saying is, not all charismatics/pentecostals may be judged in toto by the TBN panel. I failed to note such in my main post.

Men like Gordon Fee, who wrote "How To Read The Bible For All It's Worth", a little masterpiece of assistance, in my view, for enriching one's interpretation of Holy Scripture, is an eminent New Testament scholar and most anything he writes is worth reading. He also penned some major NT commentaries...

On the other hand, the TBN panel reminds one more of Charlie Capps, Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn. Honestly, it would be hard to tell, were a sack over his head, Dwain Miller from Kenneth Hagin, to hear him speak.

In short, TBN represented, through at least 3 of the 4 men on the platform, the worse that Charismatic/Pentecostal Christianity had to offer. No surprise though. What would one expect from TBN?

Grace to all. With that, I am...



It commenced early in the year without warning or provocation, by our church not receiving minutes or information about regional association meetings.
When I requested these we were given wrong information about where the meetings were being held and incorrect dates for meetings.
After another phone call and several letters two members of the executive landed on my doorstep to meet with me. They heard my concerns and went away. I had no idea that this was a meeting to discipline me.
Then this week there were
7 emails from a regional executive wishing to take me to account for having said on our web page that we would not support anyone who promoted a Prosperity Gospel or wished to exercise Lordship over our church through the imposition of an Apostolic authority over us and that I felt this was harmful to people.
I have tried to contact our denominational execs at the State level, but they are too busy, perhaps realising its too big an issue and they don't want to be brought into it.
Several local non charismatic but continualist pastors have contacted me expressing their outrage at the local association execs behaviour.
That's about it.


I am a Baptist by birth and conviction. I am a Christian by the grace of God and His choosing me before the foundation of the world (yes -- I am Calvinistic).

I have friends who are Charismatic. I have friends who are cessationists. I have friends who are fundamentalists. I have friends who are liberals. I have friends who are Christian teetotalers. I have friends who are Christian moderate drinkers. I have friends who think that the only job for a woman in the church is nursery and pot luck suppers. I have friends who encourage women in the pastorate. Bottom line, I love and treasure all of my friends and thank God for each one of them as they have taught and encouraged me along the way.

Ultimately, however, I could not attend the same church as some of my friends due to my differences in their theology and ecclesiology. That is not a bad thing as they would not go to my church for the same reason.

The policy that my friends and I have is that we will discuss/debate the issues but we will not let them divide our friendship. We pray for each other but ultimately go to our own churches.

This long post is to illustrate my position on this issue. Denominations are not a bad thing. We should fellowship until the point of doctrinal compromise. Differences are good as they challenge us to consider and reconsider our views. My friends and I agree on this principle.

What we would never do with each other or anyone else is to proclaim my spirituality as greater than someone else because of something I do or not do. Therefore, for those on TBN to state that my relationship with God is lessened because I do not pray in tongues is judgmentalism at its worst. For whenever you think more highly of your spirituality than you ought is the moment that humbleness might be coming in your direction.


Amy, thank you. Your last paragraph echoes my thoughts towards TBN almost exactly. And as for denominations, I think what I heard in a sermon once is true, "we all operate at different levels of ignorance." I know that's true in my life, as I've changed my mind (more truthfully, had my mind changed by the truth) many times. If we all had the same depth of spirituality and knowledge of the Word, I think we wouldn't have denominations at all. But also, I think that God doesn't reveal as much to one as He does another. I don't mind to fall into the same trap of judgmentalism as I believe TBN types do here, though. But I know my own personal spiritual depth and knowledge is nowhere near the quality of some fine Christian people I know.


I meant, I don't WANT to fall into the same trap...

peter lumpkins

Amy, et al

Thanks for the contributions you all make. I could not have written a more agreeable comment than Amy. I too have good friends that are not members of my Baptist Church. That counts exactly nothing toward my respect for them or my relationship with them as friends.

Grace to all. With that, I am...


david broughton (davidinflorida)


I thought you looked familiar, So that was you standing at the; books for sale table; in Ft Worth at the James Robison Bible conference in 1987. I knew it.

Merry Christmas

Keith Schooley

As those of you who know me might imagine, it's a little hard for me to know exactly how, where, and how much to weigh in here.

First of all, I won't defend anything that happens on TBN, and only grieve that there is guilt by association between their brand of "charismatic" faith and my Pentecostal wing of the house of God.

Second, the main "gift" that Pentecostals believe in is not tongues, but the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, for which we believe tongues merely to be evidence. Historically, the people who began the Pentecostal revivals in the early 20th century were not looking for tongues; they were looking for a deeper walk with God, found what they found, and the rest is history. Even now, we tell people not to seek for tongues, but to seek for the Holy Spirit.

Third, I don't think one has to squeeze 1 Corinthians 14 in a skewed way to see that Paul is faulting the Corinthian believers for taking a gift that he both advocates and uses himself, and misusing it by using it publicly in the church instead of privately between themselves and God. So there is evidence of a "private prayer language," much more so than the alleged "missionary use" of tongues, for which there is no evidence whatever except perhaps the Day of Pentecost itself. (If tongues were primarily to communicate the gospel to people of another language group, then why would Paul insist so strongly on the necessity for interpretation? A translation need not be interpreted.) But I won't argue the "all believers" contention--not in this forum, anyway! ;-)

Fourth, if there is a problem with Southern Baptists, there is just as much a problem with American Pentecostals. We are all having trouble reaching the current cultural climate for Christ--so tongues is obviously not the answer to that problem. I do think that we need to be open to whatever the answer actually is, even if it looks a little weird to us. Denominations tend to get stuck in the battles in which they are formed (which is why Calvinists tend to think non-Calvinists are crypto-Catholics), and increasingly become irrelevant to later historical developments. We all need to be careful to avoid that.

Finally, with regard to "looking down" on other believers with different experiences, we all need to guard against that as well. Let's be real--all of us think our own chosen denomination more or less has it biblically right, and why can't everyone else see that? But really, God's truth has been divided--that is what's wrong with denominationalism--and people with differing gifts don't work together; they cluster in their own little groups. Satan's main tactic is divide and conquer, and it's working far too well.

peter lumpkins


So you WERE there too! Ummm. Does your Church know of this? :^)

Have a great Christmas. With that, I am...




Hope you are well. I am glad you did weigh in, my Brother. And, aside from a minor adjustment or two, I could lay down a hefty amen to virtually everything you said.

Though I did not mention it in any main post I logged, in this comment stream, I wrote:

"One thing I think is being missed that needs saying is, not all charismatics/pentecostals may be judged in toto by the TBN panel...Men like Gordon Fee...is an eminent New Testament scholar and most anything he writes is worth reading. He also penned some major NT commentaries...In short, TBN represented, through at least 3 of the 4 men on the platform, the worse that Charismatic/Pentecostal Christianity had to offer."

Know, Keith, I see Pentecostal Christians such as yourself from an entirely different angle than I do even the 'Baptist Boys' on TBN. Frankly, you and I have more spiritual camaraderie than them and me, albeit their Baptist rootedness. One reason is, while you look for those similarities between us and magnify them to promote unity between us, they look for those differences between us and magnify them; hence--intentionally or unintentionally--it promotes division.

Between you and me, I would not allow our differences on tongues to become a test of acceptance of one another as Brothers in Christ and I think you feel the same. Nor would I attempt to 'convert' you to my position and vice versa. On the other hand, the actions of these brothers on TBN emphatically drove a 20lb wedge between us. Their explicit desire was to convert all Southern Baptists to their position.

I must confess I do not want to expend energy on 'Baptist battles'. But because I am one of those who appreciate our heritage, I feel I must defend it. Not from Pentecostal Christianity. Fortunately, Christians such as yourself are not throwing the rocks. Rather I must defend it against insiders who want to smash to pieces everything that makes us who we are and have been. And, given this fallen world still, once all our jewels are crushed and our village pillaged, another 'denomination' will take our place.

Grace, Keith. I only regret we cannot have more fellowship than we presently possess on the internet.

With that, I am...


Joseff Farrah


you might also be interested to know that JP Moreland, a Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, has also become a participant of the Vineyard movement. See his his recently released book, KINGDOM TRIANGLE.


Scholars like Jack Deere and Sam Storms were influential in his journey.

peter lumpkins


As for me, I was unaware about Moreland. I've more than once seen his newest book on the shelf in stores but never picked it up. Thank you for the info.

Are you aware as to precisely when his shift came? At one time, if I recall correctly, he taught at Liberty which I do not think allows to teach but those who wholeheartedly embrace rugged dispensationalism.

With that, I am...


Keith Schooley

Hi Peter,

I'm in full agreement with all that you wrote, and I had viewed your favorable quote on people like Gordon Fee already. I know that you know that you and I have no quarrel. I just thought, as the token Pentecostal visiting here, that I should weigh in. :-)


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