Letter to a Friend

Dear One,

As we discussed, there are glaring problems with your experience with the Neo-charismatic conference you recently attended.

First, the prayer given to begin the session is careless. There is no warrant for a prayer to the Holy Spirit in the scriptures. What that means for the prayer you heard is that it was either ignorant or, at worst, idolatrous. This is the first and perhaps worst breach. Everything that follows depends now on a prayer that was wrong from the start.

Second, the practicum of exercising the “gift” of personal prophecy completely departs from anything the New Testament teaches about spiritual gifts. This practice of personal prophecy is a creation of the late 20th century Charismatic heresy. It is still around because it works. Just like spiritual hucksterism works in the hands of mediums and astrologers. The receiver is looking and longing for a “fresh” word from God. They then interpret what is said to match their situation. We do this naturally all the time. We are always looking for connections. Place that desire and ability in a religious setting along with someone who claims to have the gift of personal prophecy and error springs up.

Third, the idea that an individual can turn on or off a gift of the Spirit is antithetical to New Testament doctrine. We are instruments not operators. The prophecy exercise had you speak the first thing that came to mind. What a dangerous method to stamp with the work of the Holy Spirit.

Fourth, do not let your experience of seemingly helping another during this event validate as true all that is not. Experience here is the trap and is why the Charismatic heresy continues. People believe their feelings affirm the prophecy because they receive a positive reading.

Fifth, whatever help is believed to have been achieved under these conditions must be vain. The individual was looking for confirmation on a decision. Perhaps they were leaning to a wrong conclusion thinking that was the best outcome. Personal prophecy enters the scene which they confirm and interpret as God’s blessing on their choice. They have not been helped. The person giving the prophecy never knows what is happening in the heart of the receiver, they are simply affirmed in their “gift” and continue to practice a spirituality not taught in the Bible.

I hope this helps as you continue to process the experience and seek the Lord about its true nature.

All my best,

Published by David B. Smith

Author, podcaster, pastor, and Big Pappa to my grandchildren.

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