We’re still following the ORU story. The other day, it took an amazing and wonderful turn, when the family who owns Hobby Lobby pledged $60 million to bail out the beleaguered university. The Tulsa World did an interview with Mart Green, the family spokesman, which you can read here.
Buried in the “comments” section (found below the story) was an anonymous observation which I found to be very astute:
One subtext of Assemblies of God Mart Green coming on the scene to rescue ORU is the unresolvable tensions within the broadest notion of the charismatic family: The Word of Faith substream antagonizes many in the classic Pentecostal and charismatic streams, who share WOFers’ belief in the contemporary charismatic work of the Holy Spirit but NOT its formulaic presumption about health and wealth. Big differences lie beneath the superficial unity that outside observers may see; and classicals, who have survived a century of ostracism from their fundamentalist/evangelical siblings hate to openly criticize WOFers who (1) have the media limelight and big followings and (2) remain brothers in arms on many points, theologically.
Let’s see how this plays out as Mr. Green tells the WOFers that their problem is spiritual, not financial.
This anonymous poster points out an important distinction that we’ve encountered as we’ve managed this site. Some folks have automatically assumed that we were criticizing EVERYBODY who believes that the “gifts of the Spirit” (like speaking in tongues) are for today.
Sometimes it’s been difficult to explain what makes a teaching or a ministry distinctly “Charismaniac” (in serious biblical error). We made our own tongue-in-cheek list of what characterizes “Charismaniacs,” but we’ve never actually articulated (like the commenter did) that there IS a tension between ministries that believe in a biblical continuation of the gifts and those that add things like the “Prosperity Gospel” to their teachings. I think this commenter is correct in that it’s hard to take a stand against many of the ministries who are in error, because they DO happen to be the ones who are on TV and garner all the attention.
Also, it can look like ALL critics of “Charismania” are throwing out the proverbial baby with the bathwater. Point out the errors of the “Word/Faith” and “Prosperity Gospel” teachings, and people think you’re also trashing anyone who believes in things like the miraculous or speaking in tongues.
But there really ARE ministries who have maintained a classical Pentecostal “continuist” point of view while at the same time rejected unbiblical “Word of Faith” doctrines.
What do you think?