Home Up Next


Charismatic churches

Charismatic Christians believe that the gifts (Greek charismata, from charis, "grace") of the Holy Spirit as described in the New Testament are available to contemporary Christians through the infilling or baptism of the Holy Spirit, with-or-without the laying on of hands. These spiritual gifts are believed to be manifest in the form of signs, miracles, and wonders, including, but not limited to, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophecy, healing and discernment of spirits.  Deliverance often is used in these churches, although it has nothing to do with the spiritual gifts.

While Pentecostals and Charismatics share these beliefs, there are differences. Many in the charismatic movement deliberately distanced themselves from Pentecostalism for cultural and theological reasons. Foremost among theological reasons is the tendency of many Pentecostals to insist that speaking in tongues is always the initial physical sign of receiving Spirit baptism. Although specific teachings will vary from group to group, Charismatics generally believe that the baptism with the Holy Spirit occurs at the new birth and prefer to call subsequent encounters with the Holy Spirit by other names, such as "being filled". In contrast to Pentecostals, Charismatics tend to accept a range of supernatural experiences (such as prophecy, miracles, healing or "physical manifestations of an altered state of consciousness") as evidence of having been baptized or filled with the Holy Spirit.

Pentecostals are also distinguished from the charismatic movement on the basis of a kinesthetic style. Also, Pentecostals have traditionally placed a high value on evangelization and missionary work. Charismatics, on the other hand, have tended to see their movement first as a force for revitalization and renewal within their own church traditions. Then evangelism and missionary work take precedence.

Despite the fact that Pentecostals shared more in common with evangelicals than either Roman Catholics or mainline Protestants, the Charismatic movement was not initially influential among evangelical churches. C. Peter Wagner traces the spread of the charismatic movement within evangelicalism to around 1985. He termed this movement the "Third Wave of the Holy Spirit". The Third Wave has expressed itself through the formation of separate churches and denomination-like organizations. These groups are referred to as "neo-charismatic". The Vineyard Movement and the British New Church Movement are examples of Third Wave or neo-charismatic organizations. 

Unfortunately, in starting from scratch, Satan brought in veiled Hinduism, Buddhism and shamanism through counterfeit Christians where the newly Charismatic people didn't have enough discerning of spirits to know the difference. Maturity is bringing a stop to these things.