I was attracted to the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement since my conversion to the faith in the early seventies. My hometown contained one of the bigger charismatic preachers, Lester Sumrall, who was preaching at seventeen and turned world missionary at 20. I was attracted to the idea of working miracles and excercising spiritual gifts, like tongues. I spent 3 years in a leading charismatic church in San Jose, CA in the eighties, spoke in tongues, and even slain in the spirit one time. That experience was interesting. Even though I went down, I was fully conscience. My body had all this electrical energy going thru it and I did not want to get up.

Even though the experience was real and interesting, it was not 'life-changing' at all. Even back then I was kind of a freethinker and did not completely fit in the mold of charismatic or christian. Then watching the shennanagins of Jim and Tammy Baker, Jimmy Swaggart, and a few others, I lost interest in the movement and started looking elsewhere for truth. When I see a 'real' miracle, maybe I'll be convinced. Miracles are interestingly missing from most charismatic churches. No resurrections that I know of are being performed by anyone. Which, according to their own teaching, should be taking place. O, well.

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I can relate to the experience of being slain. It was a very interesting emotional and physical experience of which I have yet not found a comparison. I grew up in the Charismatic church so this was something that I knew and understood for quite some time. I think that Reinhard Bonnke claims to have raised someone from the dead.

All of this to say, the Charismatic movement is a very interesting movement.

Thanks for sharing James!
It is one of the fastest growing movements in the church today, including the Catholics. Most people are attracted to the emotional/subjective aspect of the movement. Add to that all the wonderful promises of abundant living, healing, prosperity, and the supernatural, and you have a movement that catches peoples attention. But what about long term affects? Does a person believe in god simply because of goose bumps and electrical experiences? Should I believe that dreams and visions are gods way of saying 'hello' to a lost world? For me anyway, speaking in tongues did not prove anything, least of all gods existence. It was an interesting experience yes, and somewhat of an empowering experience, but no more then the other pagan religions that dabbled in similar forms of worship. But until christians start performing similar miracles as those in the Bible, the rest is just hoopla. So called miracles started dissappearing from the church as early as the second century. When Orthodoxy took over - no need for miracles. And without miracles - who needs god?
Yeah, I always thought that the "no need for miracles" argument was funny. What a way to explain away fairy tales as actualities. I think that a god without miracles is no god at all. How boring.. At one time, I thought that I was a deist, but what the hell is god for if he doesnt do anything.


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