The One About Strange Fire

It’s been a month since I’ve posted anything…it’s been a very busy month.

It’s a rare Wednesday evening in which I’m at home instead of at the dorm. It’s quiet in my Christmas light-lit bedroom. I’m sitting on my bed with my cat Harley sleeping next to me. The Civil Wars and Bastille are playing softly in the background. There’s a warm cup of green tea with honey steaming on my nightstand. 

It’s a good night. It’s a good night to relax and to think.

I’m thinking about the Body tonight. I’m thinking of my brothers and sisters from all walks of life, and I’ve just finished an article about Strange Fire.

For those who haven’t heard, there’s a body of believers based in California who run a program/conference called Strange Fire led buy John MacArthur. In short, SF is about exposing the lies, deceit, and falsity of the Charismatic Movement. 

This is a loaded topic to write about, but basically the followers of the SF movement don’t believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for today. The followers don’t believe that it’s possible for us to receive revelation from God, that we as Charismatics teach heresy, and our type of worship is “unacceptable worship.” The leaders of SF verbally accuse people to I’ve come to love, respect, and admire as teachers, like Bill Johnson, Kris Vallotton, and Heidi Baker.

I was practically raised in the Charismatic movement. I remember going to conferences and meeting and seeing some of this “strange fire” for the first time. 

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve seen some things that I don’t agree with, or some things that are just flat out weird. There’s the jumping, the crying, the uncontrollable laughter, the banners, the loud drums, the incomprehensible blabbering…the list goes on.

Taken out of context, of course those things are weird and even bizarre.

I’ve seen my share of backstabbing. I’ve seen my share of lying. I’ve seen my share of hypocrisy. I’ve seen my share of manipulation. I’ve seen my share of gossip and slander. I’ve seen my share of manufactured glory.

But, you know what? I’ve also seen people taking in those without a home during the winter. I’ve seen raging alcoholics become relentless worshipers. I’ve seen broken families mended. I’ve seen people addicted to prescription pain meds leave them at the altar.

I’m sitting here thinking about those who verbally attack our other brothers and sisters, those who accuse and blame and throw stones.

Sometimes, I can just picture God saying, “I just want you people to get along!” 

I could let my offense and anger get the best of me and I could write a lengthy post about what I dislike about Strange Fire, and accuse them of helping to make a gap between people who believe in the same person…

But I was not made in the image of the Accuser. I was made in the image of the Advocate. 

John MacArthur, Phil Johnson, whether you agree with me or not, we are part of the same Body. I love you, no matter what you may say about my other brothers and sisters. 

Let’s have some coffee and chat about the common denominator in both of our different schools of thought: