What would God say about those who blatantly misrepresent His Holy Spirit; who exchange true worship for chaotic fits of mindless ecstasy; who replace the biblical gospel with vain illusions of health and wealth; who claim to prophesy in His name yet speak errors; and who sell false hope to desperate people for millions of dollars? The charismatic movement has always been a breeding-ground for scandal, greed, bad doctrine, and all kinds of spiritual chicanery. As a movement, it is clearly headed the wrong direction. And it is growing at an unprecedented rate.
From the Word of Faith to the New Apostolic Reformation, the Charismatic movement is being consumed by the empty promises of the prosperity gospel. Too many charismatic celebrities promote a “Christianity” without Christ, a Holy Spirit without holiness. And their teaching is having a disastrous influence on a grand scale, as large television networks broadcast their heresies to every part of the world.
In Strange Fire, best-selling author and pastor John MacArthur chronicles the unsavory history behind the modern Charismatic movement. He lays out a chilling case for rejecting its false prophets, speaking out against their errors, showing true reverence to the Holy Spirit, and above all clinging to the Bible as the inerrant, authoritative Word of God and the one true standard by which all truth claims must be tested.
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My spirit hurt listening to some of this
The healing of the author from many spurious prophesies he has been given.
He does speak some truth in that, the Catholic Church is dead, it is religious (which God is not) and it is not of God. He also calls to account the many sins found in the Charismatic movement. There is no doubt that this is true. However this has SO wounded the author (and it can do that for sure and the Charismatic movement has deeply wounded many of God's children) that he no longer believes in a living God who can actually interact with his children, who can have a two-way relationship with God. THAT hurt my spirit and it is wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. The only reason God's speaks through another person is when the person spoken to, is not listening, too wounded to hear, too deeply in sin or whatever. The greatest sin of the charismatic church is that it FORCES people to prove that they are filled with the spirit by operating in gifts they simply do not have. It's not that you cannot have these gifts but being filled with the holy spirit requires one thing and one thing only - total and complete and genuine submission to God. MOST people do not want to do this but they still want to be accepted into a church. They are told that they DO have a gift and that they must find it and start operating in it. Preachers actually stand in front of their congregation and pretend to speak in tongues saying 'bub bub bub bub bub bub bub bub' and that's all they ever say. Utter absolute rubbish and they KNOW it's utter absolute rubbish but they stand as an 'example'. No wonder so many are damaged by the Charismatic church. However there IS a real relationship to be had with God and it IS with a LIVING GOD not a dead God who only spoke to and worked through people centuries ago. People must be allowed to have the amount of faith that they want, must be accepted to submitting to God the amount they want - and stop being forced by charismatic leaders (who are themselves deceived) to operate in gifts THAT THEY DO NOT HAVE. It's rife in the Charismatic movement.However this author has been damaged by them and has closed himself off to a relationship with a LIVING God who CAN and WILL be a real presence in your life if you will only let him. Is caution required in pursuit of this relationship? Absolutely 100%. But it exists and should be pursued.
The parts that intimate that God cannot and does not communicate with people today, that there is no living God, that there is only scripture. The parts that say all communication from God today is rubbish and that HE WILL NOT LISTEN TO ANY OF IT. Does discernment have to be engaged when listening to God - absolutely 100%. But this author is so damaged and he doesn't know it. Much of what he says is true but he is also killing the belief in a God that actually exists. God cannot be dead to humans other than through scripture - and yet still be alive. HE IS ALIVE. HE IS A LIVING GOD! RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW! It cannot be otherwise.
Narration is terrible! Buy the e-book or book.
No because of the narration. I would recommend they buy the book and just read it.
Here's the thing: I bought the book and the audiobook. I knew I would like the book because I watched and downloaded the Strange Fire Conference, hosted at Grace Community Church where John MacArthur (the author of the book) is pastor-teacher, and I both enjoyed the conference messages delivered by all of the speakers (including those two by MacArthur), and because I'm in the camp of Reformed Christian Theology and Calvinism. I also believe in cessationism. So, I was predisposed to liking the book, since I enjoyed the conference, agreed with the speakers at it, and am in the same theological "camp." I love the book.
I hate the narration. It's so bad that it's distracting, and I find myself going to the book to read sections of it that I just listened to via audio. I've had to do this so often, I've turned an 11+ hour book into one that is almost 14, and I'm just over halfway through with the audio. I don't know how else to say it, but this guy is not a good narrator: he doesn't read well, he confused several words that dramatically altered the meaning of the sentence ("compromised" in place of "comprised", e.g.), gives accentuation to words in strange places, and at other times is just dry. His narration does not engage me at all, and I think that is telling, because I listen to a lot of audiobooks.
I really wish John MacArthur, who narrated the unabridged version of his own book "Slave," would have read this book. If I wasn't on-the-go so often, I would have given up on the audio version and just read the rest of the book. But I don't have the time, so I'm slugging through the audio version. And this is really too bad, because I love the organized, very thorough, logical way MacArthur presents his arguments.
"Charismatic Chaos," also by John MacArthur.
See above paragraph for "Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend?".
Great book, horrible narration. Skip the narration and buy the Kindle or hardcopy of this book and read it. You'll be glad you saved yourself an Audible credit, and you'll get 100% more out of the book/e-book than the narration.