In Strange Fire, bestselling author and pastor John MacArthur chronicles the unsavory history behind the modern Charismatic movement.
What would God say about those who blatantly misrepresent His Holy Spirit; who exchange true worship for chaotic fits of mindless ecstasy; who replace the biblical gospel with vain illusions of health and wealth; who claim to prophesy in His name yet speak errors; and who sell false hope to desperate people for millions of dollars?
The charismatic movement has always been a breeding-ground for scandal, greed, bad doctrine, and all kinds of spiritual chicanery. As a movement, it is clearly headed the wrong direction. And it is growing at an unprecedented rate.
From the Word of Faith to the New Apostolic Reformation, the Charismatic movement is being consumed by the empty promises of the prosperity gospel. Too many charismatic celebrities promote a “Christianity” without Christ, a Holy Spirit without holiness. And their teaching is having a disastrous influence on a grand scale, as large television networks broadcast their heresies to every part of the world.
In Strange Fire, MacArthur lays out a chilling case against the modern Charismatic movement that includes:
“The New Testament articulates at least three necessary criteria: (1) an apostle had to be a physical eyewitness of the resurrected Christ (Acts 1:22; 10:39–41; 1 Cor. 9:1; 15:7–8); (2) an apostle had to be personally appointed by the Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 3:14; Luke 6:13; Acts 1:2, 24; 10:41; Gal. 1:1); and (3) an apostle had to be able to authenticate his apostolic appointment with miraculous signs (Matt. 10:1–2; Acts 1:5–8; 2:43; 4:33; 5:12; 8:14; 2 Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:3–4).” (source)
“Scripture expressly condemns is the ‘strange fire’ they offered. The crux of their sin was approaching God in a careless, self-willed, inappropriate manner, without the reverence He deserved. They did not treat Him as holy or exalt His name before the people.” (source)
“Jesus said, ‘When the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me’ (John 15:26). So when the Holy Spirit becomes the focal point of the church’s message, His true work is undermined.” (source)
“Here’s the point: we can’t make God into any form we would like. We cannot mold Him into our own image, according to our own specifications and imaginations. Yet that is what many Pentecostals and charismatics have done. They have created their own golden-calf version of the Holy Spirit. They have thrown their theology into the fires of human experience and worshipped the false spirit that came out—parading themselves before it with bizarre antics and unrestrained behavior.” (source)
“Apostolic subcategories include: Ecclesiastical, Functional, Apostolic team members; Congregational Apostles; Convening, Ambassadorial, Mobilizing, and Territorial Apostles; Marketplace Apostles; and Calling Apostles.” (source)