For over a century the subject of the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the continuation of the gifts of the Spirit has been debated within the Christian world. The Pentecostal Movement of the early 20th century and the subsequent Neo-Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement of the latter half of the 20th century drew millions of people out of traditional denominational churches and into churches where the members believed in and encouraged the modern day manifestations of the gifts.
This exodus of church members couldn’t go unchallenged by the powers that be from the cessationist (the belief that the gifts have ceased) churches, so in response many articles and entire books were written to debunk the continuationist (the belief that the gifts haven’t ceased) view.
My experience over forty years ago led me out of one of those traditional churches and into the Charismatic Movement, but I didn’t leave because I wanted the emotionalism and sensationalism that is usually associated with Charismatics. The truth is I’m not a very emotional or demonstrative person, and those things made me uncomfortable at first. I left because I actually studied the subject from both viewpoints, and came away convinced that the church I grew up in was just plain wrong in their theology.
Over the years I’ve become more persuaded the more I’ve studied the issues, and in this section I’m going to address the most common objections to Charismatic views and practices with what I believe is sound reasoning and hermeneutics (bible interpretation).