Cessastionists Anonymous

Some may question my wisdom, but I have stuck my oar into the charismatic-cessationist debate that is still going on in the larger Christian blogosphere again. I know my voice is likely to be ignored, scorned, misunderstood and rejected, but I weighed all this, and decided I still wanted it to be heard. Not to speak up would only reinforce the assertions that are being made out there that there are no credible believers who believe that all the gifts of the Spirit and Ephesian 4 ministries are in operation today. I'm not suggesting that everyone should join me, we have different callings and different people we can be a voice to. There are many cessationist who simply want to pick a fight, and I have no interest in crossing swords with them, there are however others who are genuinely interested and undecided, and only hold a cessatonist position because they have never encountered a credible alternative (I used to be one of these).

I left some comments on a prominent cessationist blog, and initially had some good dialogue with some of the other commenters. However, it didn't last long and the thread degenerated to the point where further dialogue was pointless. Some are more interested in twisting your words, and then condemning you for something you never said. I'm not going to continue the discussion there, however, it is unfair to leave the few civilised individuals I did engage in fruitful debate with no way to come back. So this post is it.

Cessationists who are not merely out for a scrap seem to have the following main concerns:
  1. They think the continuance of apostles is in conflict to the canon of scripture being closed.

  2. They think the continuance of the prophetic gift is in conflict to Sola Scriptura and the sufficiency of scripture

  3. They think that a prophet must be 100% accurate when he prophecies or he cannot be a true prophet

If you're looking for a scrap, please go elsewhere, but if you are genuinely interested and would like clarification on why none of these is a genuine issue, then please feel free to ask me a question in the comments below. You can stay anonymous if you like.

[I reserve the right to delete comments if they are off-topic or deliberately confrontational.]


Gavin Deakin said...

I don’t question your wisdom. I think it is about time we engage in a productive debate on the cessationist issue. I have been following the same debate on the un-mentioned blog.

I find it fascinating that those who hold the cessationist view, are in all other areas of doctrine, committed to the exegesis of scripture. However, in the past months (since the debate has been raging) I am yet to hear a clear biblical support for what they believe.

There is a Presbyterian church hear in St. Louis that taught the cessationist view. They hosted an Alpha training weekend at their building a couple of years ago. On the last day of training their entire pastoral staff was filled with the Spirit and speaking in tongues.

God will have His way.

Matthew said...

The closing of the canon of scripture - which is a wonderful and vital fact - clearly has not lead to a unity of the faith.

That God continues to gift the Church with those who have an ability and authority to establish doctrine and practice from the Word for the good of believers is surely a thing for us to be thankful for.

The bible presents this role as part of the ministry of apostles - if there are no apostles today, to whom does this activity fall?

(I know one answer is to the Spirit of God within the individual believer, but observation would suggest this does not work!)

Gavin White said...

Don't worry about offending some people chris - your blog is great -I've been targetted a bit recently for what to me was a very innocent, toungue in cheek post on new years eve!!


Anyway, I got over 500 hits in two days because of this so some good came from it!!

Keep up the Kingdom Revelation and let the world read it!