I’m too tired to be charismatic

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.

4 thoughts on “I’m too tired to be charismatic

  1. Thanks Mo, really helpful and true. I think it’s through the mundane and drudgery of life that I have known God better, rather than being ‘dependent’ on those experiences.

  2. Hmm interesting post. I wonder though whether the issue is more to do with the integrity of our use of social media.

    As someone who would, as I define the term, be ‘charismatic’ I too realise the reality of a more prosaic experience of my relationship with God and the danger of elevating experiences. I also know that their is a feast of healthy reliable experience of God to be gained from a consistent diet of truth i.e. the Scriptures.

    On the other hand I have plenty of experience of those who within a broader evangelical context, who always report ‘awesome’ ‘inspiring’ ‘thrilling’ and ‘humbling’ times at their fellowships on a Sunday via twitter. Not many reports of ‘bog standard’ days with God or at church from evangelicals either it would seem

  3. hey mo, know what you mean, but I think partly that comes from only experience being with 18-25 year old uber intense christians. most of the mature charismatics I know are some of the most liberated and liberating people I know. partly because they haven’t got a sense that they have to work it all out and hold everything together, because they don’t live on auto (self) -matic, but by being eu (amazing) charis (grace) -matic. for what it’s worth most of the stuff you describe I found in myself whatever circles I was in, whether being uber intense about “mission” or “bible handling” while being dismissive of those who weren’t, or whether being uber intense in prayer walking round campus when I was a student, or being sensitive to atmospheres in clubs. But I think there’s something about the charismatic sensibility which is, well, less rationalist and a bit more real. God is so gentle, and we are just not.

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