a discussion starter (i hope)
I have been thinking A LOT lately about Spiritual Gifts.
I will be honest and admit that I am a little bit of a closet Charismatic – but am obviously commited to live and breathe in the Protestant Baptist Church. As a firm believer that God equips His children with unique gifts – I know He uses these gifts through us to further the work in HIS KINGDOM. It isn’t us. We don’t own these gifts. We are simply instruments.
Background: I grew up Catholic and converted to the Protestant church (and began attending a contemporary Baptist church) when I was 15. So, there is not much room in there for anyone to sway me in my beliefs of Spiritual Gifts. My beliefs are based on the Word and my own experience with my gifts.
Here’s what’s troubling me lately. I have found myself in conversation with & overhearing people who almost seem weary to even admit that Spiritual Gifts are real. More so, downplaying the existence of tongues, prophecy and discernment of spirits…etc. Usually it is the more "charismatic" gifts that are most looked at as false or "Old Testament". But how can one say these gifts are "false" or "outdated"… or "not used anymore" if it is written in the living & breathing WORD OF GOD… (and IN the New Testament at that).
1 Corinthians 12:4-11 (NIV)
"There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as He determines. "
I have recently gone back to what is called a Spiritual Gift Inventory. Basically it is a test created by Theologians that can somewhat determine the Gifts that a Christ-follower may possess. I’ve taken these tests before but decided to do it again since I have been seeking God in a deeper, more vulnerable way and asking Him to use me… and based on my recent condition of Spirit (out of the ordinary promptings (hearing His voice), A deeper sense of the troubled around me, Speaking Truth in ways I didn’t even know I knew how to, etc.)… I decided to take another test. Just to see.
It came back with two gifts of an equal high score: wisdom & discernment
If that is the case… how can this not justify the existence of Spiritual Gifts and God’s omnipresence and continued use within His children…?
Where are at on this topic…
True or False… why or why not…
How did you come to your beliefs…
What has been your experience…
So… Let’s discuss shall we?
ooh… great conversation starter. i grew up in baptist churches most of my life. late in high school my family’s baptist church started to become a little more open to ‘supernatural’ spiritual gifts, the sort of gifts that make some nervous. :) i was pretty curious about it, but was still a little scared. but open enough to start checking stuff out. when i went away to college, the first church i attended was a very charismatic church (people dancing in the aisles, prophetic messages offered from the stage). at some point, it started freaking me out a bit, and i was a bit concerned by the notion that other christians were somehow less in tune with the Spirit because they didn’t speak in tongues and that sort of thing. i also had some funky experiences with a student campus group sponsored by another very charismatic church, which left me a bit uncomfortable with that movement. i left that church and became less regular with the student group and started attending a church with more of a cessationist (gifts aren’t for today, they ‘ceased’ when Jesus’ first disciples died out) bent. but i could never find support for that theology in scripture, and never really embraced it. i was still freaked out, but just wanted to know what was true…
after college, i started attending a vineyard church (and the church plant i’m part of is a vineyard church). one of the hallmarks of the vineyard is the concept of ‘supernaturally natural,’ meaning that spiritual gifts are a part of everyday life for a christian. ‘super christians’ don’t have to slam you over the head or anything for you to receive them, they aren’t given for the sake of impressing people or a sign of closeness with God, and it doesn’t have to be weird. it puts the focus back on God and on Him giving us tools to serve others. it’s like that 1 cor. passage says, the gifts are given for the common good. if people are getting creeped out or using gifts to abuse influence/ power, chances are people are using gifts for something other than the common good. anyway, this approach has helped me to come full circle with a lot of this, though there’s still some hesitancy at times.
so that’s my 2 cents. thanks for this, crystal!
First I have to say that I love that you answered my question with Clay Akin lyrics. lol
I grew up Nazarene. There are certain things that never got discussed. Spiritual gifts was one of those. I do believe that God gave each one of us specific gifts. I know that leadership, music and encouragement are my top three. I know that I am not gifted in discernment, that is why I seek someone out who is. Sometimes I think people desire other gifts than what they have, thus ending up disregarding the idea of them. I just think there needs to be an acceptance of their personal gifts, therefore allowing us to work together.
Does any of that make sense. I think I was rambling….shocker I know!
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