What do you think of the signs & wonders?

Discussion in 'Questions?' started by Lowly Layman, May 10, 2016.

  1. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    Hello all,

    With blessed Whit Sunday (Pentecost) approaching, I was curious to see your thoughts on the "signs and wonders" of the pentecostal/charismatic movement. Can they be incorporated into the more traditional forms of Anglican worship and life? Should they?
     
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  2. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    It seems to have become very fashionable in my part of the world to call the feast Pentecost, and not Whit Sunday, to ask to congregation to wear red to church, and to celebrate with the Church decorated with red balloons as the Church's birthday party. I can get a bit cranky about this which I feel is a bit theologically light-weight.

    Come Holy Ghost our Souls inspire, and lighten with celestial fire
     
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  3. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    Let's call a spade a spade, charismatics just get on my nerves!!!:disgust:
     
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  4. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    One wonders what such novelties might be:
    1. Perhaps a ceremony of new fire (perhaps that is a bit too much like Easter a bit late)
    2. Perhaps we could sing in other languages (Veni Creator Spiritus springs to mind)
    3. Perhaps we could get the children to run around making lots of noise and banging things (Family Service)
    4. Perhaps we could highlight the invocation of the Holy Spirit in the Eucharistic Prayer (Epiclesis)
    5. Perhaps we could make it a special day for Baptism remembering the Holy Spirit who moved over on the water at creation
    6. Perhaps we could recommit ourselves to the great tasks of Mission and get the congregation to recite the 5 marks of Mission
    7. Perhaps we could remember God as near as breathing and ponder what God is empowering us to do and to be.
    8. Perhaps we could omit the filioque from the the Nicene Creed and so remove the 2nd order often applied to the Spirit by Christians.
    9. Perhaps we could release a thousand turtledoves with bible verses tied to the legs and so spread the word.
    I do apologise for my earlier post about the Birthday Party, I do understand the point, I just regret that it seems it can result in some sort of trivialising of the great matter of the Spirit and the Mission of the Church. I am not against parties or having fun - even if sometimes I seem a little jaded.
     
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  5. Christina

    Christina Active Member

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    God can do signs and wonders in this day and age if he wants to and we need to be open to that. But it's not necessary to artificially try to incorporate signs and wonders into traditional Anglican worship. When I attended a charismatic University Christian Union the message seemed to be that most"born again Christians" should have the gift is speaking in tongues - which is just plain wrong.
     
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  6. zimkhitha

    zimkhitha Active Member

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    The Spirit has never stopped working; I must say though that just like Brother Aidan..charismatics get to my nerves because I spent quite a number of years with them, feeling like a second grade Christian who was given a reason why she won't go to heaven every Sunday i.e I did not speak in tongues, I did not tithe, I was no re-baptized.

    The feelings debacle that got displayed as the workings of the Spirit made me wonder if the folk at the night club down the road were also filled with the Spirit (I just couldn't tell the difference anymore).
     
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  7. Madeline

    Madeline Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Aidan, Christina and zimkhitha. So much outward show, so much group pressure, so unlike Matthew 6:5-6 where Jesus tells us not to make a big spectacle.

    Just on a personal note, the best I strive for is to be aligned with God's will. I feel a surge of joy, which may be the Holy Spirit, when by prayer and study and inspiration I'm listening to His will. That inward glow is worth a boatload of glossolalia to me.
     
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  8. zimkhitha

    zimkhitha Active Member

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    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness - Galatians 5:22

    This sums it up for me.
     
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  9. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    It's so wonderful just to sit in silence with The Lord, the way we do with a loved one
     
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  10. Madeline

    Madeline Well-Known Member

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    Aidan, you'd make a good Quaker. :halo:
     
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  11. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the complement sister but nobody has a monopoly on silence. Thank God
     
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  12. CWJ

    CWJ Active Member

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    I think the charismatic movement and manifestations can range from genuine gifts of the Holy Spirit (after all many saints were known for the gift of healing and did have visions)...all the way to the opposite end and straight up and literally demonic (rolling around, convulsing and laughing).

    So I believe discernment is most definitely needed, to say the least :)
     
  13. Madeline

    Madeline Well-Known Member

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    The thing that rings untrue to me about the charismatic need to "artificially try to incorporate signs and wonders", as Christina put it, is that it's Holy-Spirit-on-demand. To ask for God's help and guidance to try to do good in the world - great. To ask God to show up for entertainment - not great.
     
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  14. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I think much of the 'bally hoo' surrounding 'Revivalist' auto suggestion and blatant audience manipulation, is visual evidence of 'burst wine skins' and 'spilled wine'. If people are not properly instructed, presented with the gospel, and soberly minded, open to regeneration in heart and mind, they will become merely 'intoxicated with The Spirit' and the last of the Fruit of the Spirit, "Self Control" will be vacant. Maybe the extent of the lack of 'self control' is proportional to the necessary healing going on. I don't know. Matt.9:17, Mk.2:22, Lk.5:37-38. I know I don't see anything very 'wonderful' about split wine skins and spilled wine though. Jesus did not seem to recommend it. And I speak as an avowed Charismatic Christian.

    To my mind such exhibitions are perhaps evidence of a chaotic unregenerate life being regenerated, or perhaps the birth pangs of a 'forceps spiritual birth delivery', in need of intensive care. Certainly not a 'natural rebirth'.

    But if the fruits are good, who is to complain?
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
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  15. JoeLaughon

    JoeLaughon Well-Known Member Anglican

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    They no doubt occur but also no doubt there are many charlatans or enthusiastics
     
  16. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    To be sure, there are excesses. It's easy in some churches for people to psych themselves into believing they are being 'touched' by the Lord's power, and act ridiculously. Or they will convince themselves they've been healed of something, but by the time they get home they feel the symptoms again.

    But at the same time, God does work on behalf of His people, and I believe that He still answers prayer, still heals, still meets needs. He loves us beyond what we can comprehend; why would he be cold and distant?

    Our Anglican congregation has a couple of people who receive Eucharist first and then stand in the wings, ready to pray with anyone who wishes to have prayer concerning a need in his or her life. It warms my heart to see this. I do not think it is just a token act, but rather a very important part of Christian life to pray for others while expecting that God hears our prayer and will do all He can, within the confines of His overarching plans and purposes, to answer the request. It is equally important for Christians to be willing to rely on God's help; it certainly beats trying to do everything in our own power all the time and probably messing things up half of the time.

    Many years back, when I was attending and active in a fundamentalist denomination, the pastor saw spiritual growth taking place in me and so he would ask me (ahead of time) to deliver the sermon for a Wednesday night or Sunday night service. Then a time came when he gave me the platform on a Sunday morning. I felt at the outset that morning that I should offer prayer for any who were sick. A lady (she and her family were Episcopal, by the way, but when they moved to our area they found the local Episcopal church too liberal for their liking) hobbled up to the front from the back row, leaning on the pews and in obvious pain; she'd twisted her ankle and it was quite swollen and sore. Pastor came up beside me and we laid our hands on her and prayed for that ankle to be healed. We told those ligaments to mend in Jesus' name. Then she turned and began to hobble back to her seat, the same way she came. I heard down on the inside, "For we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor. 5:7). I felt that the Lord wanted me to tell her to walk on that ankle normally, but I was afraid. I thought, what if I'm wrong? Or what if nothing happens? I talked myself out of it. But Pastor was standing beside me, and I figured if God was telling me, He'd be telling Pastor the same thing. So I said quietly so he could hear, "For we walk by faith, not by sight." Immediately, Pastor called out loudly to the woman (who was a third of the way up the aisle by then), "Walk on it, sister!" She began doing so, with discomfort at first, but by the time she got back to her pew she was jumping up and down with her hands in the air. No more pain! The swelling was gone! I spoke to her about it a year later about it and she verified that it wasn't just excitement of the moment, rather, the pain left completely and it never returned... not one little bit. She gave God all the glory.
     
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  17. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    I believe in signs and wonders because Christ tells us they accompany believers, “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will be made well.” (Mark 16:17-18)
     
  18. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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  19. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    50% of the manuscripts have these verses. Just like only 50% of the Scripturss have the Pater Noster’s last lines, “For thine is the kingdom, power, and glory forever and ever. Amen.” Often they were addendums by the apostles who had them added in as they remebered details. For example you may write a letter or book and then remeber another detail or passage and so add it to your second, third, fourth, and fifth editions; so it was with the copies of the New Testament; as they remebered more they added it into the newer copies.
     
  20. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Actually it is part of scripture, because it is in the KJV Bible which was accepted as scripture by the CoE for several centuries. :yes: The more precise way to raise the objection might be, 'this verse is believed by some to not have been written by the author of Mark's Gospel but to have been a later addition.'

    In A Textual Guide to the Greek New Testament, Omanson states the following:

    4 different endings of Mark exist in the MSS. The last twelve verses of the commonly received text of Mark are absent from the two oldest Greek MSS, the Old Latin Bobiensis, The Sinaitic Syriac, about 100 Armenian MSS, and the 2 oldest Georgian MSS. Clement of Alexandria and Origen showed no knowledge of the verses. Eusebius and Jerome claimed that these verses were absent from nearly all Greek MSS known to them. A number of Gk. MSS that do contain these verses have notes stating that the older copies lack the verses or have marks indicating that the verses are an addition to the document.

    On the other hand, this information is contradicted by others. In Answers to Your Bible Version Questions, David W. Daniels (a proponent of KJV-only) writes the following:
    Out of 620 manuscripts that contain Mark’s gospel, only 2 omit the last 12 verses. Here’s how it breaks down.
    Out of 600 miniscules that have been investigated, all 600 miniscules have 16:9-20
    Out of 15 majuscules that have the gospel of Mark, all 15 majuscules have Mark 16:9-20
    Out of the five codices that have Mark, 3 out of 5 codices have Mark 16:9-20. Only the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus lack it. But the codices Ephraemi Rescriptus and Bezae have it in its place, as well as Alexandrinus.
    Ancient Church Writings: You can also find Mark 16:9-20 in the 2nd Century Old Latin and Syriac Bibles and the writing of Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus and Tertullian. It's found in all sorts of other manuscripts and books in the 3rd to 7th centuries, as well. Researcher John William Burgon found 30 early writers who clearly included Mark 16:9-20.

    So, we see two camps which either directly contradict each other on the facts or else use the available 'statistics' in a misleading manner to support their position. Notice that Omanson cites Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Eusebius and Jerome, but makes no mention of Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus and Tertullian. Whatever the actual facts, this ending of Mark is considered to be inspired (God-breathed) by many. We can safely conclude that, even if the writer of Mark's Gospel did not pen those verses, by God's inspiration the verses were caused to be added.
     
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