Saturday, August 18, 2007

Conservative / Charismatic Differences

I'm spending more time than I used to with people on both sides of the conservative / charismatic evangelical distinction. I used to spend time mainly with people on the conservative side. And I call it a distinction rather than a divide because I don't think they especially are divided. And the more time I spend, the more I realise that the issue isn't Word v Spirit - both sides (at their best) agree that Word and Spirit work together on both sides. (Of course, there are non-evangelical charismatics, who don't bother with the Word, but I'm talking about the evangelical ones).

I think the distinction is the tension between discernment and passion. Conservatives tend to stress discernment more; charismatics passion. At their worst, the conservatives get too discerning and not at all passionate. At the charismatics' worst, they get really passionate, but with no discernment for truth.

A good church and a mature Christian should exhibit both a burning passion for God, and discernment over what is true and what is false.

Post a Comment