This is a post that helps you the reader to become more acquainted with where I – the author of this site – stand on various topics and theological points. Keep reading to see where I stand on today’s topic.
Spiritual gifts can be all sorts of things.
Spiritual gifts can also change over the course of one’s life. There’s nothing that promises they’ll be kept life-long.
Now, the term “spiritual gift” hasn’t been used uniformly over time. Some use this term to describe only those sort of gifts as seen at Pentecost in the book of Acts whereas others take a broader meaning for the term.
As you might guess from how I started this post, I take the broader meaning. In it, I would include any gift/skill uniquely qualified for aiding the Church and spreading the gospel.
I would also count myself among those commonly called cessationists in regards to the Pentecostal sort of gifts. Why is that? Here are some reasons (not an exhaustive list):
- What you see in Acts is a particular event upon the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that does not repeat elsewhere in the Scriptures. It would make sense that if this were a more common event, the Apostles would have had more to say and direct on the matter in the epistles.
- A key component in that event was that everyone could hear what was said in their own tongue. This is commonly not the case in modern-day “events”.
- Modern-day “tongues” have been repeatedly shown by those who truly know the language claimed and linguists alike to be little more than babble.
- The vast majority of miraculous events described by some in our time are more easily explained by God’s providence – His regular working through the means of his creation.
An even better place to see many of the reasons I would side with cessationists on the topic (and on those related items), can be found in John MacArthur’s book Strange Fire. The book goes far beyond simply what I’ve discussed here but addresses this topic as well. I would also direct people to YouTube where there are hours of John’s thoughtful responses to critiques on the book.
Note: I do these posts not because I think I’m somehow superior in my views or anything absurd like that but out of a desire to be up-front and honest with my readers as to where I stand. Otherwise, you’d be left to figure things out by reading between the lines and/or guessing.