Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dangers of an Uneducated Ministry: "You May Have Been Raised Charismatic If…"

Tim Schraeder on 02/29/2012 posts the following.  He does so with joy and fondness, but we draw the opposite conclusions.  He proud of this stuff?  Takes joy in it?  There is flippancy, self-referential comedy, and irreverence in content and tone--who's surprised?  Tom states, "I wouldn’t trade it for the world."  We'd recommend trading all this stuff of manifold loondom.  More evidence for the dangers of an illiterate and uneducated ministry.

My Christian journey was profoundly shaped by the fact that I was raised in what some would call a charismatic church. I was raised in an Assemblies of God church and the first five years of my life in ministry were working on staff at an A/G church. I am grateful for how I was raised and after no longer attending an A/G church, I have come to value the impact growing up in a charismatic church made on my life. I will, however, note that there are some unique and quirky things that come along with it.
This list is by no means intended to belittle the charismatic upbringing I had, but more to celebrate some of the oddities that can be associated with the heritage we charismatic kids can share.

You may have been raised charismatic if…

  • you’ve recommitted your life to Christ more than 10 times per year.
  • you would say a quick prayer asking for the forgiveness of as many sins as you can remember when the traveling prophet would start walking around in the congregation.
  • a family road trip included stops in Toronto or Pensacola, Florida, in the mid-late 90s.
  • you know what the initial evidence of the infilling of the Holy Spirit is.
  • you were a cast member in “Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames.”
  • your church logo had a dove on fire.
  • you feel uncomfortable in churches where people don’t raise their hands.
  • you liked Hillsong before they were cool.
  • your church was worried about Y2K.
  • you’ve experienced and/or participated in a Jericho March.
  • you’ve question the salvation of your Catholic friends.
  • you’ve complained about worship services being too short.
  • someone in your service ‘caught’ the Holy Ghost, and subsequently gave it to others.
  • you know what JBQ stands for.
  • you’ve ‘laid’ things at the altar, but never physically left anything there.
  • your church showed the “Thief in the Night” movies followed by an emotional appeal for people to be sure of their salvation.
  • you’ve been grazed by a banner during a worship service.
  • you’ve worried you’ve missed the rapture on more than one occasion when you can’t get a hold of your Christian family members.
  • the only kind of dancing that’s allowed at your church is dancing in the Spirit.
  • it’s common for people to take their shoes off during worship.
  • your church’s altar ministry team included “catchers.”
  • your pastor would shout and sweat when he preached.
  • you friends’ parents were skeptical of letting them come with you to youth group.
  • your college options were Northwestern, Southwestern, Central, Southeastern, or North Central.
  • there was lots of talk about the End Times in sermons.
  • your church had real altars at the front.
  • your youth group did a “Hell House” during Halloween.
  • you were in Royal Rangers or Missionettes.
  • it was OK for women to be pastors, prophets, teachers, or evangelists.
  • one of your family vacations was to Heritage USA.
  • you get the shivers listening to the song “The Mercy Seat.”
  • you know what a “human video” is.
  • there were banners and tambourines with ribbons used in your worship services.
  • your worship leader would sing the same refrain or chorus from a song for more than 5 minutes.
  • your grandparents watch and give money to TBN.
  • the ushers in your church wore maroon or purple sport coats with gold name badges.
  • you’ve had to explain to your friends what being slain in the Spirit means.
  • your church had a ‘blanket’ ministry.
  • you know the names Oral Roberts, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, and Jesse Duplantis.
  • your parents were members of the Maranatha/Integrity praise tape club.
  • your Easter services included live animals.
  • the movie Jesus Camp was eerily similar to your summer Bible camps.
  • your Christmas services were like a Broadway show.
  • you took a water bottle with you to church.
  • you would find your seat after the worship portion of your church service.
  • you have had a “word” spoken over your life.
  • Kleenex boxes lined the front altar of your church.
  • you know the significance of Azusa Street.
  • you’ve made Faith Promise or made of Vow of Faith.
  • your church was known as the “rock and roll” church.
  • your pastor went from being very conservative in the 90s to very trendy in more recent days.
  • there was no such thing as an “order of service” at your church.
  • your youth pastor used lots of hair gel.
  • your church took over Denny’s, Perkins or any 24-hour restaurant around 10 PM on Sunday nights.
  • you’re comfortable with spontaneous singing.
  • you know there are two IHOPs.
  • the shofar was used in your church’s worship services.
  • Pentecost Sunday was a big deal at your church.
  • some of your church services were all worship and no teaching [mainly on Sunday evenings or Wednesday nights].
  • your pastor was skeptical of the seeker-sensitive movement.
  • summer camp involved pressure for you to receive your prayer language.
  • it was common for people to start speaking loudly in the middle of your worship service and use phrases like “my children…” or “thus saith the Lord…”
  • your church celebrated the Year of Jubilee.
  • you faked being “blessed by the Spirit” to get out of taking tests at your Christian school. [I did that once.]
  • you know what Buddy Barrel is.
  • photos of your pastor and his wife were predominant in publications.
  • the phrase, “I’m feeling led by the Spirit right now to…” was used frequently in your church services.
  • you would have to ask people around you if they wanted you to walk down to the altar with them.
  • the phrase “IshouldaboughtaHondabutIboughtaNissan” makes you laugh and makes you feel guilty at the same time.
  • you would address people as “Brother” or “Sister.”
  • the altar call lasted as long as the actual church service.
  • when someone shouted “FIRE!” in your church it didn’t cause alarm.
  • you’ve been drunk…in the Spirit.
  • you would keep your eyes open during a response time to see if people were really raising their hands all across the room.
  • if this resembles one of your church services:

See Charlie Brown Praise Break :

Ok, ok I know. I need to stop. But really, the longer this list of charismania got the more I realized how crazy and special it was to share the joys of being raised charismatic. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

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