Charismatic Baptists Are Not Baptists
By Pastor Albert Gregg
The so-called Charismatic Baptists are False Baptists. There are no Baptist Charismatics and no Charismatic Baptists.
"Beloved, when I gave diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." (Jude 1:3,4)
"Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines..." (Hebrews 13:9a)
We have come to a time in history when many changes are being made. Some of these changes are changes in principles and practices, while others have to do with the doctrinal teaching and practices of churches. there is an abandoning by some, of the traditional beliefs of Baptists as taught in the Word of God. These have not tried to start a new religion, nor have they changed their name to indicate their departure from Scriptural practices. These are "False Baptists" because they do not adhere to Bible doctrine. They use the name Baptist for their profit while hating and denying that which true Baptists believe.
The primary departure has been an entering into what is called the "charismatic movement". The Charismatics claim to have something that has been left out of the church practices for many, many years. The question then arises, "Do they have something that everyone else has missed?"
What Has Happened In The Past?
History tells us that the speaking in tongues and special miracles in the scriptural sense ended during the second century. These gifts were primarily given to the apostles, and there is no such thing as apostolic succession. Not only that, but the Bible also tells us that these gifts were to cease. "Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." (1st Corinthians 13:8-10) We have something better than tongues, knowledge, and prophesy; it is the very Word of God. When we have God's Word for something, what do we need with those things that men have to say or do? "That which is perfect" found in verse ten is the Word of God. Therefore, when we read of the promises of God and accept them by faith, we do not need some superficial proof that God is alive and at work in our life. I do believe in miracles, but I don't believe that they have to be presided over by men. God works them all by Himself.
The Pentecostal idea of speaking in tongues is less than one hundred years old. That should tell us something in itself. The Lord told us that He would build His church and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it. "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18) In order for the Pentecostal idea to be correct, it would mean that for something like nearly 1800 years the true church of our Lord Jesus Christ did not exist, and that, in fact, the gates of hell did prevail against it. Are you willing to believe that? Just as humanity is preserved by reproduction in child bearing, the authority of the church is passed on to a new church as it develops out of another Scriptural church, else it has no authority from God and is in reality not a church at all. When a Scriptural church departs from the truth and remains in error, it ceases to be a true church of the Lord.
When a so-called Baptist church leaves true Bible doctrine, it ceases to be a Baptist church and, therefore, should change its name to suit its doctrine. In fact in the eyes of God, it ceases to be a church at all and becomes just another man-made organization.
Is There An End-Time Revival?
I keep hearing the charismatic claim that a great end-time revival is sweeping the land. However, I have seen no evidence to bear this out. God's Word rather tells us that the very reverse will be the case. "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." (2nd Timothy 3:1-5) When I listen to the news on TV, it is reported that crime and immorality are on the increase. Crime was up 18 percent in 1974 over 1973, and it is still climbing according to news releases. As I survey our cities, I see taverns and clubs being built on nearly every corner. I have read that during the times of great revivals of the past, that the places of ungodliness were shut down because people got right with God. It is strange that if we are in the midst of a revival, there is no evidence of sin being defeated.
Not Every Supernatural Event Is Produced By The Holy Spirit
"Oh," you say, "you ought to feel the spirit." I have felt what some people call the spirit, and I have no doubt that there is the presence of a spirit, but what I want to know is, "what spirit is it?" The devil himself is able to appear as an angel of light. "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works" (2nd Corinthians 11:13-15). We are warned to try the spirits to see if they are indeed the Holy Spirit or an evil spirit. "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world" (1st John 4:1-3). The Bible tells us that there will be those who will do many miraculous things in the name of the Lord, but they are not even saved... "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I say unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Matthew 7:21-23). Not only were they never saved, but they were workers of iniquity rather than the workers of divine miracles.
Something that bothers me about most people who "speak in tongues" is that they believe that they are better Christians than anyone else and don't mind telling you that they are. This is the spirit of pride and is condemned in God's Word. We are to humble ourselves, not magnify ourselves. "Do you think that the Scripture said in vain, the spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he gives more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Cleanse your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?" (James 4:5-12). Whenever you have seen a person who thinks they have arrived, be assured they don't know where they are going.
Of What Value Is Speaking In Tongues?
Speaking in tongues has no practical value... "Now brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to battle? So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air" (1st Corinthians 14:6-9).
We need to know and understand what we are saying, "For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also. Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?" (1st Corinthians 14:14-16). It is very important that those who hear us are able to understand the message, "Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue" (1st Corinthians 14:19). Speaking in another language was given for a sign to prove that God was indeed in the church, "Wherefore tongues are for a sign not to them that believe, but for them which believe not" (1st Corinthians 14:22). Once this fact was established, it is no longer necessary for us to speak in any other tongue or language to prove anything. (This was proven during the time of the apostles.) To insist upon or to offer constant proof is to give credit to the doubt that necessitates that proof.
I Am A Baptist!
I am a Baptist by conviction and because true Baptists are in harmony with the teachings of the Bible. I resent someone who has departed from Baptist doctrine continuing to carry the name. They are not Baptists and should be honest enough to admit it. But then, if all were totally honest, there would not be any false religion in the world today. There is a certain amount of acceptance to the name "Baptist," which is helpful to those who wish to perpetrate a lie. The Devil is still out to destroy the true churches of the Lord Jesus Christ and he is using the Charismatic Movement to help in his effort to do so. I could almost wish that true Baptists did have an organization that could afford certain protection for all Baptist churches, so that the "False Baptists" could be made to change their names. But, sad to say, as we have already seen, this would not work, for there are too many liberals within organized Baptists. They cannot, or will not, force their "False Baptists" to remove their name.
To show you what I mean, here is what one group of unscripturally organized Baptists did in their convention as reported in the Temple Daily Telegram in the fall of 1975...
Texas Baptists Reject Motion
Dallas (AP) - Texas Baptists Wednesday rejected a motion which could have led to the ousted of charismatic congregations from the Baptist General Convention of Texas. The proposal would have required a church to be a member of a local Baptist association before it could belong to the state organization. Two weeks ago, the Dallas Baptist Association purged from its membership two neopentecostal or charismatic churches, which practice faith healing and speaking in tongues. However, the 2,400 messengers attending the annual meeting here rejected the proposal by a margin of 20-1.
So you see organization does not guarantee that we could enforce scriptural practices upon all Baptists. In fact, these organizations only guarantee a forsaking of the truth. God help us to cling to the truth and to remain faithful regardless of the departure of so many from "the faith...once delivered to the saints." (Jude 1:3)
The sad truth of the matter is that there are too many people who are Baptist in name only. They are not aware of Baptist doctrine, or to put it correctly, Bible doctrine. We need to know and to teach the "all things" that the Lord has given us to teach to those who are redeemed so that they will not be carried about by every wind of false doctrine. I believe that we are living in the days described by Paul in II Tim. 4:3 and 4. "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." In spite of it all, the child of God is to be totally faithful unto the Lord!
What Are Charismatics?
The charismatic movement is nothing more than Pentecostalism. It has done more to bring confusion and division into the churches than anything else. Certainly we cannot believe that God would send division and strife into churches. God's orders are for unity. "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." (I Cor. 1:10) In the eleventh chapter of I Corinthians we learn that the divisions of the Corinthian church were caused by heresies. And in the next three chapters we find Paul dealing with the false beliefs about tongues.
There is No Such Animal as a Charismatic Baptist
Once a person or church has fallen for the devils lie, they desert Baptist doctrine and thus cease to be Baptists. They may still try to wear the name, but that does not make them Baptists. I do not understand why anyone who is Pentecostal in doctrine does not want to wear the name. If they see something wrong with the Pentecostal movement, then why not completely reject those false doctrines and be done with it? "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate..." (1st Corinthians 6:17). If you are a Baptist, be true to the Bible doctrine they have treasured through the years. If you are not, please be honest enough to drop the name.
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