I chose Not To Be A Charismatic
Note by Phil Scovell.
This is the testimony to which I have written my own rebuttal and
called it: "Why I Chose Not To Be A Baptist." In fairness, I
wanted to display my brother's testimony as he wrote it so the
reader could compare my rebuttal with his complete testimony.
end Of Note.
I chose Not To Be A Charismatic
Raymond J. Storms
APRIL 2, 1977.
Tomorrow I will read my resignation to the members of Calvary
Assembly of God - a church which welcomed me over ten years ago
on my first Sunday in this Glens Falls, New York, pulpit with 28
men, women, and children in the congregation. In these ten
years, we have remodeled and doubled our facilities, purchased a
parsonage and 17 acres of land, started a school which has
tripled in its second year, increased our income 20 times and
reached an attendance of around 1,000.
Yesterday I wrote my brother, who is an executive of the "PTL
CLUB", to cancel my second appearance on Jim Bakker's "Praise the
A couple of years ago, I turned down a stepping-stone
denomination job. I've been a fair-haired kid in charismatic or
Pentecostal circles. All of that when the charismatics are
riding a big wave of popularity on a transdenominational level.
An ominous voice says, "You are a fool," and I feel
frightened; but an assuring voice says, "This is the way, walk
ye in it," and I am comforted. Come with me as I trace my
search for the full power of the Comforter promised by Jesus.
As you do, I hope that you will understand why, though I have
seen more than one side of the issue, I chose not to be a
My aim is not to fight or to hurt brothers amongst
charismatics. My aim is to help God's people keep from being
fooled into accepting a cheap 20th Century imitation of the New
Testament reality - fullness of power.
Raymond J. Storms
GARBAGE ON THE DOORSTEPS
My father was quiet again as he picked up the garbage on the
doorsteps of the church that morning. Even though we had
experienced this before, as a little boy of three or four, I
couldn't understand the explanations given for such occurrences.
We came to expect dirty words written on our door, name
calling...and the garbage at our doorsteps. We would simply
gather at the table and pray for our persecutors.
Rome, New York, was hardly a hospitable place for a
Pentecostal church to spring up. Most of our neighbors were
Italian Catholics who looked upon us with suspicion as the old
paint factory on Spring Street experienced a metamorphosis into
a house of worship.
I was born in that old paint factory in the plain, but
comfortable, quarters that were home to Levi and Alma Storms.
Raymond J. was born at home, so I was told, because we were too
poor to afford a hospital bed. We were even too poor to afford
a middle name for the second son of the tribe of Levi, so the
letter J. had to do.
Dad had sold his delivery truck with which he had delivered
bread for a local bakery in Carthage, New York, and had gladly
sold the family home by the Black River when he felt the call of
God to found an Assembly of God church in the needy area of
Rome, New York. The money was put into the church to get the
There were a lot of things I did not understand in those
trying, but happy days. I could not grasp why my Free Methodist
grandfather had, I was told, disinherited my parents when they
were "filled with the Spirit" at the "Old Glory Barn" in
Carthage. I could not understand why the rats didn't move out
when we took over the old paint factory for a home and a church.
It was quite a frightening evening the night dad was bitten on
the toe by a rat while sleeping.
I didn't always understand how food found its way to our
table. Dad had left a good job as a paper chemist at the Crown
Zellerbeck Paper Company to come to Rome to start the church.
We lived on the income from a little religious periodical that
dad published entitled, "The Lighted Cross". The name was taken
from the lighted cross on the front of the church. Many times
we'd set the table for supper without a morsel of food in the
house. We would sit at the table thanking God for the food and
a knock on the door would bring fresh bread wrapped in an old
Italian lady's apron or a kettle of spaghetti from some
kindhearted neighbor who noted our poverty and persecution.
Those were happy meals. It was like manna from heaven! We
often proved God faithful in daily provisions. One neighbor
came by with a large roast and pounds of Hamburg almost every
I did not understand the blackouts necessitated by our
proximity to the Rome air base. When we had a blackout, I was
even afraid that the light on the radio dial might attract some
enemy's bomber plane. We should sit in the dark with mom's
knitting needles making the loudest noise. We kids didn't want
any loud talking to attract the enemy...and mom and dad enjoyed
the quiet. Dad had a thing for dark stain. The doors, the
woodwork and the homemade furniture were all stained dark. Our
blackouts were the blackest.
I did not understand the strange language Jasper Compania and
some of the others spoke when they gathered around the altar for
prayer after the services. Oh, it wasn't frightening; I had cut
my teeth on church pews and that kind of service was all I knew.
I did not see much difference between their speaking in tongues
with their hands raised to Heaven and the Italian neighbors
talking excitedly and gesturing as they struck a bargain with
the vegetable man who made the rounds with his horse and wagon.
If little Raymond J. found some of these things hard to
understand, there was one thing that I knew for certain: my
mother was a holy angel and my father was a holy saint! My
brother, Don, and I almost worshiped Dad, and we thought it was
a big treat to help him as he labored patiently to turn a paint
factory into a church.
If ever two boys wanted to be like daddy, we did! We would
follow him anywhere, even where we were not supposed to. I
wonder if the visit of two pajama clad youngsters to the Rome
Assembly of God Official Board Meeting in the pastor's living
room was ever entered in the official minutes. Although Dad did
not seem to mind too much, he did mind the time that my big
four-year-old brother Don climbed a 20- foot ladder to watch dad
shingle the porch roof.
Once the little Rome congregation was on its feet, dad felt
the call to Cortland, New York, the scene of my conversion. At
23 Port Watson Street, next door to a junk yard and across from
a bar, a two- story imitation brick building housed the Cortland
Assembly of God church on the first floor and the parsonage on
the second floor.
It was at this location that I first remember my own response
to the Gospel. I recall the crippled Emogene Stanton's playing
the Gospel hymns on the piano and organ-like attachment we had
proudly affixed to the piano in place of a real organ. I
remember the meetings with bald evangelist H. B. Kelchner when I
accepted Christ into my life at seven years of age and I asked
God for a double portion of Brother Kelchner's spirit.
I remember my embarrassment at the school when I filled out
questionnaires that asked for my dad's occupation. I couldn't
remember if minister was spelled with an "i" or an "e" in the
middle. Deep down inside I envied the boys whose dads worked at
something easy to spell - like plumber or salesman.
I felt a little guilty because I wasn't sure if the
embarrassment was from the mental block over that middle "i" or
"e" or because the kids always asked the embarrassing question:
"What church does you dad pastor?" My reluctant reply,
"Assembly of God," always met this query, "What kind of church
is that?" Is that one of those holy roller churches?"
More than once hot tears moistened my pillow after tasting my
classmates' ridicule for "that holy roller church." Why couldn't
we be Methodist or Baptist or something...anything but holy
rollers or Catholics! As a second generation Pentecostal, I can
well understand the consuming drive of modern Pentecostals to be
accepted and respected in the religious community.
Poverty and ridicule are not easy to grow up with. One or the
other might be bearable; but combined, they make one ache for a
change. Perhaps it was that ache that drove my brother Don. He
once told me, "Ray, I am going to be a millionaire. My kids are
not going to go through what we faced." He was well on his way,
too, until his oldest daughter nearly drowned in their swimming
pool, and he crashed his private plane.
The folks in Boston had heard of the preaching and miracles of
the small-town preacher from New York. I remember the
excitement and anticipation, as well as the sadness, as our 1949
Nash Ambassador pulled away from the farewell banquet at the
Grange Hall in Cortland as we headed off to Dad's new charge,
First Pentecostal Church in the Boston suburb of Chelsea.
All of a sudden we weren't poor any more. We didn't live
above or behind the church. We had a parsonage in a nice
neighborhood on top of Reservoir Hill. You had a blacktop
driveway, a dining room, two bathrooms, and a back yard that was
fenced in with a chain link fence. There were grape vines, peach
trees, and an underground garbage can with a flip top.
We were treated like kings. All three barbers in the church
wanted to cut our hair, so they took turns coming to the house
to give us free haircuts. Dad received a salary large enough so
that he didn't have to hold a second job. We weren't poor any
more . . . but we were still despised. All of our neighbors
were Catholics or Jews and, though they didn't leave garbage on
our steps, we still knew that we were outsiders.
Joey Ruzzo, the boy next door, made that clear when he and his
gang dragged me into their club house, tied me up, and used me
for target practice with their BB guns. Holding a glowing
cigarette menacingly close to my face, he warned me what would
happen if I squealed. For years, until Christ cleansed me of
the desire, I used to savor the sweet but evil feeling of
revenge that I enjoyed one afternoon when I caught Joey in a
vacant lot on the way home from school.
The Catholic hierarchy of Boston also made it clear that we
were unwelcome outsiders when dad started getting the attention
of the greater Boston area. The community couldn't ignore the
dramatic healing of a cripple in our church services. I will
never forget that Thursday night. A steel worker, Brother
Joseph Pottle, whom we all knew and who had been injured on the
job, dragged himself to the front of the church for prayer. In
answer to prayer, as he was anointed with oil, his twisted body
was straightened out before our eyes as we heard bones and
ligaments pop and snap.
One day, as a man of the church was working out of sight in
the ticket booth of a theater dad had rented for some healing
meetings, he overheard two priests who had stopped to read the
billboards. "We'll close this thing down before they ever
open," they agreed. And the next day fire marshals descended
and a theater fit for the motion picture crowd was pronounced a
fire trap for Pentecostal meetings. Only heroic effort
fireproofed the place in time for the overflow crowds that
flocked to hear Evangelist Richard Vineyard and to see the sick
It was the early 1950's. I was 12 or 13 and the healing
evangelists were starting to crisscross the country with their
tents. I saw with my own eyes what I am convinced were genuine
miracles of healing. I wanted the power of God in my life so
badly that I told God I'd do anything!
I was always serious minded when it came to religion. Once,
when I was younger, when the other kids were attending
children's meeting at Bible Camp, I begged my folks to allow me
to listen to the morning adult Bible teacher. From then on, I
would sit and listen with tears of joy running down my face as I
savored the sweetness of God's Word. One day a gusty breeze
rattled the tent flap, making it hard to hear. I wrapped the
rope around my arm to quiet the noise. A gust of wind hit the
flap and yanked me off the rough plank bench onto the sawdust on
the ground. I picked myself up, brushed off the sawdust and sat
back down and listened to God's Word.
I SPOKE WITH TONGUES
A chill went through me as both adult and teenage prayer
supporters of both sexes laid hands on me as I knelt on the
platform with tears running down my face. I remember wondering
how many were praying over me. I did not open my eyes. I
figured there must have been several. After all, my dad was
I wondered, "Should I fall over or continue kneeling?" I
thought I'd have no choice. Others seemed swept over, or as we
called it, "slain in the Spirit." Oh how I wanted the ecstasy
and joy of the others described! I was trying so hard and God
knows that I was earnest. At that moment, I wanted nothing more
than to be "baptized with the Spirit."
One from the chorus of voices all around me, praying for me
and praising God with upraised hands, spoke next to my ear,
"Just praise Him in English until you run our of words and God
will give you a Heavenly language." A chorus of "Amen" and
"Hallelujah" encouraged me to press on.
I had lost track of time but it was nearly 10:30 p.m. at First
Pentecostal Church of Chelsea, Massachusetts. I must have been
11 or 12 years old at the time. And though I was small for my
age, I was a serious Christian and I knew I wanted what others
were enjoying. We were in the middle of a religious revival.
Most of the 100-150 teens of the church had "received." I was
not about to be denied. It wouldn't be a good example. I
wanted to set the right example. I had learned that by sitting
next to my mother in church. If I got out of line, she would
reach down and twist my ear or pinch the tender flesh on the
inside of my leg. I learned my lesson well.
When early arrivals left no room in the Storms' pew and one of
the little Stormses didn't have room to sit with mother, I got
the nod even though I was next to the youngest. My folks knew
I'd hardly take my eye off the preacher after I had finished
playing my saxophone in the church orchestra and found my way
back into the congregation.
I still had not spoken in tongues. It must have been nearly
11:00 p.m. The prayer supporters drifted away from me to pray
with someone else. I began to feel desperate. Was I going to
be left out? Why couldn't I speak with tongues?
"That's it; you've got it!" It was my Dad's voice. I looked
across to where he had been praying with someone else who was now
laying on her back with arms upraised towards Heaven and a
torrent of "other tongues" pouring from her lips. With joy all
over his face, dad motioned for the girl's mother to come over
from the pew where she was sitting to listen to her daughter's
"Heavenly language." Everyone looked so pleased and radiant
"Oh, God, me too!" I heard myself saying, "Let me speak in
tongues, too." With that, the altar workers took heart knowing
that I hadn't given up. As they came toward me, one of them
said, "Just say whatever comes into your mind. God will give
you the utterance." Soon I was speaking in tongues just like I
had heard so many other do.
I was so grateful to God for baptizing me in the Holy Ghost.
I thought, "Oh, how good God is! Thank you, Jesus. I'm not
worthy." I must have spoken in that "Heavenly language" for
10-15 minutes. The thought passed through my mind, "This is
better than the baby talk I have heard others speaking." My new
tongue was not just a few syllables but several words. Over and
over again, wave after wave of ecstasy swept over me. After 20
minutes of "speaking in tongues", all I wanted to do was praise
On the way home in the car, we sang a praised the Lord. Oh,
it was like being drunk or like what junkies call being high.
They told me to pray in tongues often so I wouldn't lose this
gift. Paul was held up as an example. I was told that he said,
"I speak with tongues more than ye all."
The exhortation continued, "Speak to God in tongues for 'he
that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto me but unto
God.' You have a prayer language: 'If I pray in an unknown
tongue, my spirit prayeth but my understanding is unfruitful.'
You can pray in tongues any time you want to, for Paul said, 'I
will pray with the Spirit,' which is praying in tongues, 'and I
will pray with my understanding also.'"
I was told that speaking in tongues would edify or build me
up. "He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself."
Years later, as an Assembly of God minister, I remembered and
passed on these same instructions many times. I remembered on
one occasion instructing ten "candidates" for the baptism of the
Holy Spirit. They were sitting on the front pew of a church
where I was holding an evangelistic service for a week. I told
them that when I laid my hand on their heads, they would be
filled with the Spirit and speak with tongues. All ten believed
and one right after another as I went down the line and laid
hands on them, all spoke with tongues. I remember Acts 8:17,
"Then laid their hands on them and they received the Holy
Ghost." How exciting to share apostolic unction!
CACKLE LIKE A HEN
A good-sized crowd had come to the front of our church where
the evangelist said he would pray for those who wanted to be
baptized with the Holy Ghost. One of them was Milt Nevens.
Milt had not been saved for very long.
I remember the day I went to the Nevens' mobile home. Mrs.
Nevens had visited Calvary Assembly of God and she had
rededicated her life to Christ. She had been saved in a Baptist
Church in Georgia but she had grown cold. When I arrived that
afternoon, she was packing her things in tears. She was leaving
Milt. She had had all she could take of his worldly ways. Lil
poured out her hurts and unburdened her heart. We prayed for
Milt to be saved. She decided not to leave him but to apply a
few suggestions I gave her and to believe for his salvation.
Shortly thereafter Milt was gloriously converted, assured of his
salvation, and delivered from drinking and smoking.
Now he was standing in front of a Pentecostal evangelist as
earnest about being baptized in the Holy Ghost as I was as a boy
of 11 years old. Each of the candidates had been instructed
that he should expect an Acts 2:4 experience and then the
evangelist and I laid our hands on each of them a prayed.
After prayer and encouragement from various Christian, Milt
quietly began to praise the Lord. The evangelist leaned over to
listen to Milt's words, and suddenly he exuberantly announced,
"That's it! You've got it! Say it again." Turning to me, he
said, "He's got it, Brother; he's speaking in tongues." I was
pleased; but I noticed a faint look of bewilderment on Milt's
face, which dulled my pleasure. We went around praying for
others and the evangelist came back to Milt a few times,
encouraging him not to stop speaking in his Heavenly language.
In a few days, the meetings closed and Milt mentioned that he
wanted to speak with me. The negative feeling I experienced when
I saw the bewildered look on Milt's face at the altar, crept
into the corner of my mind again. I sensed that something was
wrong. Milt laid it out before me this way, "Pastor, I don't
want to be negative, but the evangelist said I got it, but there
was no change. All I did was say some words that had come to
mind and he said, 'You've got it!' Pastor, what did I get? I
don't want to doubt a man of God...but I didn't get anything."
It's not easy to see a sincere and intelligent man's faith
shaken like his was shaken. God had done so much in Milt's life
and he wanted God to do whatever else was His will, but Milt
wasn't going to be bamboozled either. He wanted the real thing,
not some cheap 20th Century imitation of the 1st Century
reality. It occurred to me that there might be more like Milt
that weren't satisfied and were honest enough to say so.
I was speaking with some Assembly of God ministers in a
restaurant. The subject of Pentecostal shenanigans came up at
the meal. One pastor told about a technique he had observed
where the altar worker told the person seeking to be filled with
the Spirit to say "la la la" over and over rapidly. At first
the candidate would be speaking in "Heavenly baby talk" but soon
he would speak a "mature tongue". Another technique used in
bringing someone through to the "fullness of the Spirit" was to
have the seeker breathe deeply over and over again until he had
"breathed in the Holy Spirit". This technique might be
responsible for a large number of folks being "slain in the
The topper of the evening was the unique method one pastor had
observed to be employed by and evangelist's wife. He said he had
observed the woman circulating among people praying at the altar
for the "fullness of the Spirit". He noticed that several of
seekers broke into a grin after she had spoken to them. This
pastor's curiosity then caused him to maneuver closer to the
evangelist's wife so that he could share her message of cheer:
"Just cackle like a hen, honey; cackle like a hen and soon you
will be speaking in tongues."
I just can't feature Peter going around the Upper Room and
telling folks after ten days of praying, "Brother, we have
almost prayed through. Now if we all just start to cackle like
a hen, before long we will be filled with the Spirit." I do not
mean to imply that all charismatics or Pentecostals rely on
gimmicks. I know many earnest folks who seek Gods power in
fervent prayer and wouldn't knowingly use any gimmick to
counterfeit the fullness of the Spirit.
The Biblical pattern is a striking contrast to much of what I
have observed in Pentecostal and charismatic circles. "Now when
the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had
received the Word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might
receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of
them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy
Ghost." Acts 8:14-17.
THE HOLY SPIRIT JUST CONTRADICTED HIMSELF
One night a well-known Pentecostal leader told me a few
stories from his large Pentecostal church. It seems that there
was one man in his congregation who used to interrupt the
service at the most inappropriate times with his little "message
in tongues". The man would rise and say, "Huck-shinney-aye,"
several times rapidly and then be seated and wait for the
interpretation. As I understand the story, this preacher was a
bit tired of these antics; and when the man stood with the "glow
of inspiration on his brow," about to exercise his "gift of
utterance," the pastor rebuked him with, "Huck-shinney-aye" sit
Most messages in tongues that I've heard were exhortation to
live closer to the Lord, to worship Jesus, or to get ready for
the Rapture...though one message in tongues of which I was told
had this interpretation: "Yepper, buster, better pay your
I always tried to listen to such utterances with a discerning
but uncritical spirit. I had read, "Believe not ever spirit for
not every spirit is of God." But I wanted to believe that God
had something to say to me in a message in tongues.
I also knew that the Holy Spirit would not contradict Himself.
It can be rather unsettling for one who was taught to believe
that messages in tongues and interpretations are inspired of God
to hear two messages that directly contradict each other. That
is exactly what I heard at the New York District Council of the
Assemblies of God in May of 1973.
I had just spoken for 45 minutes against Assembly of God
involvement in the ecumenical evangelism of "Key '73". There was
debate and rebuttal and the two messages on tongues with
interpretation. The first interpretation went something like
this: "Thou hast deliberated long enough it is time to vote.
God will show His will in the ballot."
The second interpretation went like this: "Thou are not ready
to vote; Thou shouldst go to prayer to find the mind of God."
I remember thinking, "If this is of the Holy Spirit, then the
Holy Spirit just contradicted Himself." I waited for the
District Superintendent to clear up the confusion, but not one
word of censure or instruction relative to the two messages was
forthcoming from the four District Officers nor the ten
sectional presbyters who were seated on the platform. Surely
this august body of mature Pentecostals would know what to do!
Why was this confusion not cleared up? "Let the trumpet give
a certain sound," I thought. And there was not any more clarity
when the vote was taken on the "Key '73" issue. These pastors
and delegates voted to warn our people of the dangers of a "Key
'73" type of involvement but they voted not to pull out of it.
2,000 VERSES MANY FULL GOSPEL PEOPLE DON'T BELIEVE
I don't know how many times I have heard statements like this,
"We believe the whole Bible; we don't have to cut out parts of
Acts or 1 Corinthians." I was proud to be full Gospel and I
even preached sermons on being "full Gospel" because I was
convinced that those who did not speak with tongues were second-
One of the most beautiful saints and Bible teachers I've known
was my Old Testament and Theology teacher at North Central Bible
College in Minneapolis, the late T.J. Jones. Brother Jones was
a real man of God. I caught from him a real love for God's
Brother Jones was from England and he told this story of his
passage to America. It seems that Rev. Jones had only enough
money to purchase his steamship ticket to America; and, not
knowing that the price of the ticket included the meals during
the crossing, he packed crackers and cheese to sustain him on
After some days, the captain noted that passenger Jones was
not seen taking meals with the other travelers. The captain's
inquiry led to the discovery of the reason. With the
misunderstanding cleared up, Brother Jones was invited to dine
that evening at the captain's table, and for the rest of the
trip, the English Bible teacher enjoyed the finest fare.
Both Brother Jones and I used to delight in using that as an
illustration of the difference between being a Christian and
being a tongues-talking Pentecostal. I was told that the other
Christians live on crackers and cheese; we tongues-talking
Pentecostal dine at the Captain's table.
I felt like "we've got it all; they don't have much," until
one day I met some powerful soul-winning Christians who had a
whole lot more than I had. And as I looked around the
auditorium where these Christians worship, I noticed hundreds of
other Pentecostal preachers who had also come to see what they
had at-of all places-First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana.
I thought, after I had looked around and had seen some Assembly
of God District Officials who had recommended that I attend Jack
Hyles' Pastor's School, "If we are full Gospel and they are part
Gospel, what are we doing here learning from them? They should
be learning from us."
So I concluded, "If they have something you don't, Storms,
you'd better put aside denominational bigotry and learn, not to
criticize." I have since learned that there are some parts of
the Bible we either didn't believe or we didn't practice. Here
are some examples.
There are 1897 verses in the Bible on separation from
worldliness. When I was a kid, we heard red-hot sermons on the
subject, "Come out from among them and be ye separate," and
"Touch not the unclean thing." The new charismatics' message
seems to be "Go ye in among them and be one with them and don't
be stuffy." I am grieved when Assembly of God deacon's kids
tell my kids about Hollywood movies and school dances to which
their parents have taken them. I cringe at the braless, hip
hugger, mini-skirted, bare-bellied girls and long-haired hippie-
looking boys that gather at "Full Gospel" youth gatherings
representing the "cream of our Spirit-filled youth."
It is wrong for a pastor to use real wine in the Lord's Supper
just to please the new charismatics! It is wrong for a pastor
to take his Sunday School teachers out for dinner and then serve
the booze. It is wrong for the "Spirit-filled" show business
people to earn their money in strip joints and gambling casinos
and hell holes serving the devil's crowd rather than rebuking
them. God wants us to be in the world, but not like the world.
Jesus was separated from sinners, as we see in Hebrews 7:26.
We should be, too. "Love not the world, neither the things that
are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the
Father is not in him." 1 John 2:15-16.
"And every man that hath this hope purifieth himself, even as
he is pure." 1 John 3:3 "Nevertheless the foundation of God
standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are
his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart
from iniquity." 2 Timothy 2:19.
Jesus set the right example for us in the matter of
separation. "For such a high priest became us, who is holy,
harmless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher
than the heavens." Hebrews 7:26.
1 John 4:1-3 exhorts us, "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."
What kind of relationship can we have with those who deny the
virgin birth, the facts of Christ's coming in the flesh to die
and that He was raised up from the dead? John, who speaks so
much of love for other believers, speaks out strongly on this
issue, "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the
Christ? He is antiChrist, that denieth the Father and the Son."
If a man denies the deity of Christ, the anointed One, whose
blood cleanses us from all sin, he is "AntiChrist" and a "liar".
Yet it seems to me that many charismatics call some folks
"Brother" who do not believe that Jesus is the virgin- born son
of God. These liars teach that there are some sins for which
the blood of Christ will not atone, so we must burn in purgatory
or earn Heaven by good works. They walk in darkness of man's
doctrines and superstition. "If we say that we have fellowship
with him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth." 1
"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what
fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what
communion hathlight with darkness?" 2 Corinthians 6:14.
"Be not ye therefore partakers with them." "and have no
fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather
reprove them." Ephesians 5:7 & 11.
"Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of
Christ, he hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of
Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any
unto you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your
house, neither bid him Godspeed: for he that biddeth him
Godspeed is partaker of his evil deeds." 2 John 9-11.
"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other
Gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let
him be accursed." Gal. 1:8.
However spiritual, gifted, or angelic a person may be, if he
preaches another Gospel, we are not to receive him: "Let him be
I have seen charismatics laud unity with those who preach
another Gospel. I have seen writeups which extol the lion lying
down with the lamb, so to speak but that won't happen till Jesus
Charismatics don't seem to believe what the Bible says about
ecumenical involvement with unbelievers, Bible deniers, and false
Revelation 17-18 tells about that great harlot and spiritual
Babylon, which I believe to the the one-world apostate religion
on the last days. The Word says, "And I heard another voice
from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not
partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."
Revelation 18:4. We see this mindless ecumenism forming
religious alliances in our day, and the sad things is that many
born-again folks are so blind that they join in fellowship with
those that preach another Gospel. It seems that charismatics
make tongues the basis for fellowship. Well, the devil can
speak with tongues and the flesh can mimic tongues. Salvation is
the basis for our fellowship not tongues.
Ecumenical teaching which doesn't make the faith once
delivered unto the saints its ground for cooperation, falls into
the same doctrinal error as Baalam did. Mindless ecumenism is a
modern-day manifestation of the doctrine of Baalam and a
stumbling block to God's people.
CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH
It seems to me that charismatics and new evangelicals are
afraid that they might offend someone if they "contend for the
faith once delivered unto the saints."
"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the
common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and
exhort you that you 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 3-4.
Paul told Timothy, "fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on
eternal life, where unto thou are also called, and hast professed
a good profession before many witnesses." 1 Timothy 6:12. The
militant side of the Christian life can be neglected for the
devotional side, any more than the devotional side of the
Christian life can be neglected for the militant. We can be
loving and contend for the faith. We can contend for the faith
without being contentious. We must not allow false doctrine to
creep into our midst because we are too loving to fight it.
Spurgeon said, "Lie down with dogs, rise up with fleas." When
we hang around with liberals and modernists and Catholics, we
will soon start acting like them. A good illustration of this
is found in an article in "Jesus To The Communist World:"
"Brother Thomas Zimmerman is general super-intendant of the
Assemblies of God in the U.S.A. and head of the World Pentecostal
Conference. He has asserted continually that he himself has seen
freedom of religion in the SOVIETS. We provided him with all the
material proving that Pentecostals in Russia are imprisoned, put
in psychiatric asylums, sometimes killed. The persecution is
substantiated by the Soviet press itself. No Pentecostal Union
is allowed to exist in Russia. Notwithstanding, he invited a
Soviet delegation, consisting of Communist agents, to the World
Pentecostal Congress in London.
"We asked ourselves how a man baptized with the Holy Spirit
could be so blind to obvious facts? We now have a possible
answer. Rev. Zimmerman has allegedly misused hundreds of
thousands of dollars belonging to the church. The Internal
Revenue Service is looking into this matter. (St. Louis Globe
Democrat of January 9, 1977).
"Cash was effective even with an apostle. Could this be one
explanation why some American Church leaders praise the
nonexistent Soviet liberties and turn against us?"
The Assemblies of God has rubbed shoulders with folks from the
world Council of Churches in activities like "Key '73" and now
they are talking the same line. The doctrines of separation
have been neglected in Assembly of God circles of late, so now
Assembly of God people feel no convictions about having
fellowship with those atheistic Communist agents.
Paul warned Timothy, "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." 2 Timothy 4:3-4. He loved God, the truth, and God's
people enough to fight "doctrines of devils" and to "contend for
the faith." Would to God that charismatics had that kind of
love instead of this wishy- washy sentimental love that won't
even contend with the devil!
GOING TO LAW WITH BROTHERS
The "Largest charismatic fellowship in the world", the
Assemblies of God, does not follow the instruction found in 1
Corinthians 6:1-8. such terms as "Full Gospel" and "all the
Gospel" are a mockery when they pick out passages of Scripture
and ignore them.
1 Corinthians 6:1-8 is very plain: "Dare any of you, having a
matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not
before the saints? Do you not know that the saints shall judge
the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are you
unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we
shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this
life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this
life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I
speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man
among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his
brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that
before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault
among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not
rather take wrong? Why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be
defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your
Jesus made a plain statement on the matter, "But I say unto
you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on
the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man
will sue thee at law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy
cloak also." Matt. 5:39-40.
When our congregation became convinced of the worldly and
compromising trend in the Assemblies of God, we voted unanimously
to eliminate all reference to affiliation with the Assemblies of
God from our Constitution and By-laws. A year later, when we
announced our independence, the New York District Council of
Assemblies of God sued our church. We offered to have the
matter settled in a Biblical manner before a panel of five
Christians. They have, as of this writing, made no reply to
that offer and continued the suit.
We offered to turn over all of the assets which our
congregation owns to the handful of dissidents that arose in our
church, but it has been reported that they intend to destroy us.
It appears that someone does not believe these precious verses
of God's Word. "Recompense to no man evil of evil. Provide
things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as
much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly
beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto
wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith
the Lord." Romans 12:17-19.
The Assemblies of God is saying that we are stealing the
church from them. That is strange since the deed is in our (the
local congregation's) name. But, be that as it may, Proverbs
20:22 says, "Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on
the Lord, and he shall save thee." It seems that this large
group of charismatics doesn't believe that, just as they don't
believe other parts of the Gospel of Jesus.
FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT AT FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH IN HAMMOND
I sat with a few thousand preachers in Pastor's School at
First Baptist Church in Hammond where Dr. Jack Hyles shares
freely with fundamental pastors how God has helped them grow in
modern times. It is a church of 38,000 members and a high
attendance of over 100,000. I saw Assemblies of God pastors, and
even Assembly of God District Officials, in attendance. In
fact, an Assemblies of God Official had recommended that I
attend. I saw 1,000 come to Christ that Sunday morning. I saw
love and excitement about God's work. I heard straight, strong
preaching. If my pentecostal background hadn't told me
differently, I would have thought that these people believed in
Holy Ghost power. I thought to myself, "If we are 'Full Gospel'
and this is a 'part Gospel' church, then what are we doing here
listening to them tell us how to do a great work for God. Why
aren't they asking us how we are doing it!"
I was told that the average Assembly of God Sunday School that
year ran 80 in attendance. Here was a church with a Sunday
School attendance of over 100,000 on one Sunday! I decided that
I would not be a smart alack and just come home with gimmicks to
promote the attendance and ideas for Sunday School campaigns; I
decided to have the powers that made that church work. I cried
and prayed and begged God for power as I saw the fruit born in
One night I prayed most of that night. In the basement of a
member's home of First Baptist Church, with men who were
attending the Pastor's School sleeping in cots all around me, I
told God that I had to have power to win souls. I told Him it
didn't matter to me how He did it or what accompanied it, but I
wanted the power! I desperately wanted to see souls saved. I
had caught the vision of that church.
The next evening when Pastor Hyles preached on "Fresh Oil," he
told of the need of being filled with the Spirit and refilled
over and over again. He invited preachers who wanted Holy Ghost
power to come to the front for prayer. The aisles were jammed.
I couldn't get out of the balcony. Brother Hyles called on
Spirit-filled pastors who were in the audience to pray with
those that couldn't get to the altar.
Pastor Ed Nelson stood at the end of my aisle. When it came
my turn, I told him, "I have the name that I am Spirit-filled,
but I am not. Pray that God will give me fullness of power."
He prayed and I returned to my seat. There was no thrill nor
ecstasy - no outward evidence - only an inward assurance that
the Father will give the power of the Holy Spirit to them that
ask, and if I ask for bread, He will not give me a stone. I
knew in my heart that God had kept His promise.
The next morning I drove past the church and let some people
off and then parked the car a couple of blocks away. I was
running down the street so that I wouldn't be late. I didn't
have a Bible in my hand; it was with the group I had let off at
church. I wasn't wearing a badge that identified me as a
minister or as attending Pastor's School. I probably didn't
look as much like a fundamental preacher as I do now. A big
truck honked at me and parked in traffic. A man got out and
chased me, asking if I had something to tell him. I stopped,
somewhat out of breath (as much from the excitement as from
running), as the man asked me how to be saved. He said that
something just told him that he had to speak with me. I took
out my New Testament and led him to the Lord as his buddy in the
cab of that big truck honked impatiently because the truck was
blocking traffic. That man bowed his head there on the street
and found Christ. He promised to attend First Baptist Church
that Sunday, make a public confession, and be baptized.
I had never had anyone chase me down, asking to be saved. A
man fell under conviction in a truck and ran me down to find
Christ. I knew that God had answered my prayer. Though I had
always emphasized soul winning and had won many souls, in the
next six months I won more souls than I had in my whole life.
In the next three months, our church attendance averaged the
highest we had ever reached.
I must be honest and say that I allowed the battles of the
next year to discourage me. I became discouraged over an
assistant pastor who worked against me, over the bitterness I
faced in my denomination, and over the misunderstandings in my
own family. But let me say, there is no joy like the joy of a
soul winner working in the power of the Spirit.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT
I use to equate the fullness of the Spirit with speaking in
tongues. But I didn't speak with tongues that night at First
Baptist Church. I simply and desperately claimed God's promise.
I was taught that if you didn't speak with tongues you weren't
filled with the Spirit. I find it hard to say that Moody,
Finney, Torrey, Rice, Hyles, and others of the world's greatest
soul winners were not filled with the Spirit. I remember the
evidence which Jesus promised to those who would be filled with
the Spirit: "But ye shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is
come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in
Jerusalem and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the
uttermost part of the earth." Power to witness is what He
promises and that is what we should expect.
Someone will ask, "What about tongues?" 1 Corinthians 14:19
says, "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."
1 Corinthians 12:28 indicates that tongues is the least of the
ministries in the church. Why should we elevate it to such
prominence? The carnal church at Corinth exalted speaking in
tongues to the point that Paul had to rebuke them because they
loved to show off and "speak into the air" 1 Corinthians 14:9.
Paul asks a series of questions in 1 Corinthians 12:29-30 to
which the implied answers are "No!" One of these questions to
which the answer is "No" is, "Do all speak with tongues?" Why
should we try to say that all do speak with tongues when filled
with the Spirit? Why should we belittle those who don't speak
with tongues? Why don't we seek power to win souls?
Why not let the Holy Spirit be the baptizer and do it His way
rather than our trying to tell him how it should be done. Why
not be filled again and again? We receive of His Spirit at
salvation or we are none of His, but He should fill or control
us day by day (Acts 4:31). Let's seek to be endued with power
to win souls. Let's not tell God how to do it or what must
accompany this power. Let us ask and believe that we receive
and we shall have what God has promised. Let us not accept a
cheap 20th Century counterfeit of the New Testament enduement
with power to witness.
8 REASONS WHY I CHOSE NOT TO BE A CHARISMATIC
To conclude, let me summarize my reason for choosing not to be
1. I see what seems to me to be too much compromise of
doctrine and standards by charismatics in order that they
might achieve acceptance in the religious community.
2. I am convinced that many charismatics speak
psychologically- induced tongues rather than Spirit
empowered tongues and some may even speak in tongues by the
power of the devil.
3. I am sickened by the foolishness that goes on under the
pretense that it is the moving of the Holy Spirit.
4. I have observed that many sincere people who are hungry
for God's best are mislead into accepting poor substitutes
for the fullness of the Spirit.
5. I see a blindness that seems to prevail among
charismatics about the importance of separation from
6. I find a mindless ecumenism that brings believers and
unbelievers together in an unequal yoke and makes speaking in
tongues the basis for fellowship.
7. I find a reluctance of charismatics to contend for the
faith once delivered unto the saints. It seems that since
this is not popular, charismatics neglect such Scriptural
defense of the faith and act as though doctrinal purity is
of little importance.
8. It seems that charismatics find it easy to ignore certain
portions of Scripture when those portions are inconvenient
to follow. For example: the complete disregard for 1
Corinthians 6:1-8 relative to taking your brother to court.
My humble prayer is that many who are taken up with
'charismania' will read this booklet and rethink their position
and find the teaching and practices the New Testament Christians
I feel compelled to say a further word. My family, for the
most part, is either traditional Pentecostals or charismatics.
Now, I am neither. To me the word "Pentecostal" means "Those
that believe that speaking in tongues is of such importance as
to make it a main doctrinal distinction." They believe that
Biblical tongues are of two kinds: known languages and ecstatic
utterances. Pentecostals believe that speaking in tongues is
the evidence of baptism of the Holy Spirit and some Pentecostals
make tongues the evidence of salvation. I am not a Pentecostal
then for I believe none of that.
I do not believe that tongues is of such major importance as
to make that doctrinal distinction of our church. I do not
believe that Biblical tongues are ecstatic utterances but known
languages imparted supernaturally by the Holy Spirit. I believe
that power to win souls - not tongues - is the evidence of the
fullness of the Spirit. I certainly do not believe that
speaking in tongues is the evidence of salvation.
A charismatic is one who stresses the gifts of the Spirit,
especially the gift of tongues. The Charismatic Movement is the
most effective arm of the ecumenical movement. Charismatics
seem to make speaking in tongues the basis for fellowship rather
than making salvation the common grounds on which Christians
I have already stated my position on the Charismatic position.
but where does this put me with my family. I love them. They
love me. We do not jawbone each other over these matters. I
thank God for Godly parents who taught me to love the Lord and
to trust in His gracious supply. My father has been spared by
God's gracious hand through cancer and five heart attacks to
continue to preach salvation by grace through faith. In that I
OUR GOSPEL IS AS SIMPLE AS - ABC
A. Admit you're a sinner ("All have sinned..." Romans 3:23)
and accept Gods ONLY ANTIDOTE for sin - faith in the
innocent shed blood of His only begotten Son, Jesus.
B. Believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that "He
became sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made
the righteousness of God through faith in him." 2
Corinthians 5:21. Also John 3:16.
C. Confess your sin and call on the name of the Lord for
salvation, for whosoever does (this includes YOU) shall be
saved. Romans 10:13. (Read Romans 8:1 & Ephesians 4:30 for
Now give the Master charge of your life by praying this
prayer: "Thank you Jesus, for dying for me. I'm sorry I sinned.
Please forgive me and save my soul. Help me live for you.
This article originated on The Salvation Online Network
End Of Document
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