J. Lee Grady (pictured below) epitomizes, for me at least, the phrase “balanced Charismatic.” Here’s the opening to his article, To My Fundamentalist Brother John MacArthur: Grace to You Too
Fundamentalist pastor John MacArthur is a gifted preacher, author and lover of Scripture. His Grace to You radio program points countless people to the Bible, and his Master’s Seminary trains hundreds of ministry leaders. He’s a staunch Calvinist, but that doesn’t make him any less my brother in Christ.
Unfortunately, MacArthur can’t say the same about me—and that’s sad. In his new book Strange Fire, he declares in no uncertain terms that anyone who embraces any form of charismatic or Pentecostal theology does not worship the true God.
My brother in Christ has written me off.
In John MacArthur’s rigid world, anybody who has sought prayer for healing, claimed a miracle, received a prayer language, prophesied, sensed God speaking to them, felt God’s presence in an emotional way or fallen down on the floor after receiving prayer has already stepped out of the bounds of orthodoxy.
MacArthur says charismatics think they worship God but that actually we are worshipping a golden calf. “Every day millions of charismatics offer praise to a patently false image of the Holy Spirit,” MacArthur says early in the book. “No other movement has done more damage to the cause of the gospel.”
He doesn’t just write off fringe elements of our movement; he skewers the original founders of Pentecostalism and even goes after Baptist author Henry Blackaby for teaching that God can speak to people today.
MacArthur, who is 74, urges evangelical Christians to engage in a “collective war” to stop the spread of the charismatic movement, which he describes as a “deadly virus,” a “deviant mutation of the truth” and a “Trojan horse” that has infiltrated mainstream Christianity…
Perhaps we can paraphrase MacArthur’s statement and say that, “No other individual has caused more potential for dividing the Body of Christ in 2013 than John MacArthur.”