Charismatics Misuse 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 All the Time
If you are ever around many typical evangelicals or you go to a Christian college or hang around a large church, or have just been around the block in Christian culture you will hear Charismatics using 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 out of context. They use it to support their belief in supernatural experiences and miracles; especially divine healings or speaking in tongues or receiving prophecy (including words of knowledge, words of wisdom etc.).
When I went to Biola University much of the Asians on campus were literally obsessed with supernatural experiences and mysticism. Almost all the Asians on campus (mainly Koreans but other Asian ethnicities as well) who were in the Asian Student Association were into this stuff. They often had “worship” and “prayer” meetings led by a Filipino American heretic who was graduating from Talbot Seminary at the time. They would constantly promote the idea of healing miracles, prophecies, words from God, seeing God in visions and dreams, fighting demons and all kinds of crazy stuff. This was around 2008 or 2009. The reason I call the leader a heretic was because he was, not that simply being Charismatic made him a heretic, but that he was actually promoting heresy and is basically a cult leader for mystical experiences right now doing his own ministry.
One time I was at one of their Asian Student Association “miracle crusades” for Biola students just because I wanted to hang out with Asians for fun and hopefully get to meet some cute Asian girls (didn’t work though because I was not spiritual enough for them, which basically means I was not into supernatural stuff). What I saw was the typical “prayer orgy” which is a nickname I made up for people laying all over the ground near and on each other crying, babbling in tongues, and praying loud and yelling. During this, one Filipino kid ran up the aisle and ran into the wall babbling in tongues pretending he was possessed by the Holy Spirit. Yet no one noticed and when he realized no one was watching he immediately stopped the craziness and calmly walked back to where all the action was. He did not see me watching and I thought it was quite amusing which proved to me he was full of it.
There were at least 2 white guys there that afternoon who were Vineyard Church types that knew the Filipino American leader. They both tried to give me words of knowledge and were completely inaccurate and wrong. They said, “Man can I just pray for you? God is leading me to pray over you.” I said they could because I wanted to know if this stuff was real or not. They tried to tell me typical stuff about myself anyone could have made up, and that God gave them a word, and the word was “kayak.” I have never been in a kayak or been around anyone river rafting in a kayak nor anything like it my entire life so they were wrong. They also tried to heal me before because I had recently had knee surgery. No I did not get healed and it was annoying.
Before this event, in other occurrences often times charismatics walked around campus and tried to “prayer rape” you. That is another nickname I made up for when Pentecostals or Charismatics randomly walk up to you babbling in tongues and try to pray over you by laying their hands on you and getting close. It is usually a “gang rape” as well with multiple people doing this at the same time who mob you with their dirty hands all over you from every angle. You might wonder why I seem to be using sexually vulgar nick names for these behaviors, but I think they are a very good analogy and are sensually aggressive metaphors. The Charismatic belief system is a sensual religion not based on Scriptural truth which brings me to my point of the misuse of 1 Corinthians 2:4-5. The passage states:
“And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
Paul stated this to make a point about the power of God and knowledge from the Holy Spirit to make known what is true, and not human foolishness which is what men today call wisdom.
Before I explain this we must go back to the Biola Asians. During the supernatural meeting which included at least 50 people who were 95% Asian at Biola University in Bardwell Hall which is right next to the Cook School of Intercultural Studies (where I attended a lot of my classes) the leader of this group (whom I consider a cult leader bred at Talbot) claimed a lot of nonsense with a prophecy that his hand would get healed. Some girl he met told him she had a dream where God told her that his deformed hand would be healed. He was born with a crab-like hand. Well it never got healed any time when I was attending Biola. Apparently, even today it is still not healed, but when she said it he was affirming that GOD WILL heal it and it is a prophecy we should listen to. The girl who told him this was, according to him, a very very very new Christian who had just converted. After a lot of nonsense claims he quoted 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 and explained that people are too into doctrines and theology. He claimed we should let go of this human wisdom and stop trying to be rational and stop worshiping the Bible which he said was Bibliolatry. This is because he was a protege of JP Mooreland, a Talbot professor who wrote a paper where he said that most Christians are over committed to the Bible and are committing the sin of bibliolatry: holding the Bible above God. This is impossible since Jesus is the Word, and the Holy Spirit inspired the Word of Truth and illuminates the truth through Scripture for us. You cannot have God without the Bible or the Bible without God.
Christians do not worship a physical book or text, but we give honor and respect and trust in God’s Word which is the Bible. To say that if we study the Bible, and believe in Bible doctrines as spiritual truth, and that is all we look to from God to know spiritual things then we are committing a sin and not worshiping God is absurd. What people like Mooreland promote is that there is new revelation in mysticism and supernatural occurrences and if we only care about the Bible then we are not listening to what God is doing today and we are ignoring God. The problem with this is that there is no basis for objective proof something is from God if you rely on supernatural occurrences and mystical experiences. Such things are purely subjective. What the Charismatics do is downplay the importance of the Bible and many times completely ignore it unless they are Scripture twisting to fit their personal experiences.
Now during this Asian Charismatic fiasco the Filipino American cult leader guy used 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 to say that so many people are divisive and grieve the Holy Spirit because we are stuck on doctrines which he was implying was the human wisdom Paul was talking about. He was saying that is persuasive words and simply just talk. He said the kingdom of God is not a manner of talk, but of power (1 Thessalonians 1:5 out of context). He was saying the demonstration of the spirit and power is the supernatural miracles and mystical experiences. We should expect them and we should be able to hear God talk to us and everything else Charismatics promote. He was saying we should expect prophetic words and healings and speaking in tongues. He totally misused the verse to fit his personal agenda and did not explain the true interpretation of the verse because he is a false teacher.
The true interpretation is obvious in the correct context. Paul was stating that the Holy Spirit empowers the Word of God to illuminate truth to Christians and sanctify them through the Word. That Paul and the apostles revelation was God’s truth and divinely inspired. The Apostles and only the Apostles were the ones doing healings and demonstrations of supernatural miracles so signify that their message was God’s own. Nowhere does this massage claim or teach that Christians today should be demonstrating miracles and power and talking to God audibly and seeing visions of prophesy to tell the Church. This is how Charismatics twist Scripture and promote false teaching. This Filipino American leader who graduated from Talbot now teaches false spirituality which is nothing more than New Age mysticism sprinkled in Christian language. He even goes so far as to say that we can learn a lot from New Age and also visualization techniques. This is what happens when you do not base your understanding of God on the objective truth of Scripture and begin seeking experiences, that often times demons inspire.
There is power in God’s Word to convict us of sin, set us straight, tell us about the times to come, and how to live for God properly and how we can be saved from our sins and be with God in heaven. The Word itself is enough and is all Christians should care about.