In the spirit of the Rocky movies, I now offer part two in a series of Charismatic Boons and Busts. Whether there will be a part III will solely be determined by the amount of money I can make on this franchise. Which brings me to:
Bust: Money, honey. Sooner or later, all movements have to make decisions concerning the stewardship of the monies that flow towards the ideas and energy they generate. The charismatic movement is no exception. Keep in mind, that the past fifty years has produced a wide variety of sub-movements, churches, personalities, teachings and influences in the overall charismatic camp. However, even the casual observer will note that, as a movement, money, wealth and "giving" have been treated in ways that range from somewhat unbalanced to the truly revolting.
Boon: Roman Catholic, Ecumenical Catholic and Orthodox Charismatics. This is not a wholesale endorsement of all things Catholic, Orthodox OR Charismatic, but I think that, overall, the opening of the Catholic and Orthodox churches to the moving of the Holy Spirit has been a boon for both Catholics and non-Catholics alike. I have personally enjoyed many delightful hours in heartfelt worship and fellowship experiences with Spirit-filled Catholics wherein we have found our hearts, souls and conversations being led by the Spirit to an emphasis on the Lord Jesus (John 14-16 prophesied this). Much more could be said on this topic, but for now I'd just like to give a shout out to my friends Father Peter and Father Joe!
(Note to the Fundamentalists who have already listed me on their "He's a Heretic" websites -- here's some more fuel for your fire!)
Bust: Conferences, Conferences and More Conferences - After forty years or so in this thing, I'm pretty conferenced out. By the looks of it you might think that there is a verse in the Bible that reads: "For God so loved the world that He held a conference..." We've had conferences on Signs and Wonders, Power Evangelism, Victorious Faith, Worship, Intercessory Prayer, Church Planting, Effective Leadership, Healing, the Father's Heart, and a host of other topics. It's not that I haven't attended my fair share of such conferences and I'm sure you'll see me at some in the future and, okay, I've even led a few of my own. But, seriously, I think this emphasis on a conference for every issue has gotten a little out of hand.
Boon: Empowering Women in ministry. Kathryn Kuhlman, whose well-known healing and preaching ministry straddled the Pentecostal, Evangelical, and Charismatic movements, seems to have provided a hint of things to come when it comes to the notion of empowering "Spirit-filled" women for ministry as a result of the Charismatic, neo-charismatic and Third Wave movements. Just as surely as the "Full Gospel Businessmen" Fellowship was an early expression of the empowerment of "laymen", "Womens Aglow" soon followed with a life of its own. The implications of the last generation of empowering women for ministry within the Charismatic, neo-charismatic and Third Wave streams are still being expressed, refined, critiqued and advanced.
Thanks for all your thoughtful responses on Facebook and on my blog to the previous two "charismatic" posts. Shall I keep going?