I love my charismatic brothers and sisters. I’m really not into charismatic bashing at all. I love their music, I love their enthusiasm, I particularly love the way they turn up to meet with other Christians expectant that God might actually, you know, do something. And because of their great faith in a real and active God they tend to try big things. In UCCF working with charismatic colleagues and students was one of my biggest joys.
So recently I started following some twitter feeds of charismatic organisations, because I wanted to be encouraged by all the stuff they do; and there is some great stuff happening out there being done by Christians different to me.
But personally, I would find being charismatic really exhausting. These twitter feeds are endlessly full of the really intense time these guys have had with God, the new inspiring challenging thing they have been to, the way they prayed and people were freed, another life changing encounter with the Lord.
My Christian life isn’t like that. And I’m not sure that’s wrong. In fact the New Testament is all about God in the normality, the mundane, the simple putting of others first as a well fitting hoodie, the well worn denim of loving the church, the scuffed trainers of personal evangelism changing my daughter’s nappies, reading the Bible as a family over Tesco Value yoghurts, collapsing into bed with a quick prayer. Church is sometimes intense, more often its just a group of us trying to help each other keep going. God is in the dull stuff. Endlessly lifting the intensity isn’t more spiritual, in fact, it can make God seem like he’s far away from normality, which he definitely is not.
So thank you charismatic brethren for all you bring. But be careful. All of us have heresies that we lean towards, perhaps mine is legalism. But your just may be gnosticism, a pushing of God into some super spiritual intense bit of your life. Love Jesus everywhere. It’s a bit…well..calmer. But that’s fine.