Strange Fire

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72 Responses

  1. Paige says:

    Strange Fur. Hahahahah I have tons of it floating around my house, escaping my constant vacuuming and dust cloths…

    “Hate” for John MacA…..can’t do that. Whenever I listen to him, I am convinced he is mad at me (again).

    Jesus said that all people would know I am His disciples by my ‘love one for another’…… I am quite certain that I misrepresent my Lord as much as anyone else. I am just much less visible than Brother MacArthur. The enemy does a good job of distracting followers of Jesus from the Great Commission. May the earth not open today to swallow me.

  2. Jim says:

    I don’t understand who Johnny Mac is trying to reach. It seems that conservative continuationists (CC, Acts29, SGM, etc) agree with his primary concern, which is placing experience above Scripture. Does he think that hyper charismatics, if they even know who he is, care what he thinks?

  3. Ricky Bobby says:

    “I was going to host a conference on “Strange Fur” but the cat wouldn’t stay still…”

    LOL! That made me laugh. 😆

  4. Ricky Bobby says:

    Johnny Mac is such a great guy…away from the pulpit.

    He’s like a reverse hypocrite. Hardline arsehole from the pulpit, cool guy that can hang with regular schmucks and not be judgmental or uptight…away from the lights and cameras.

  5. Michael says:


    Well said…

  6. lordtheoden says:

    I’m listening and every word so far is truth….

  7. Michael says:

    Actually it is a rather tepid mix of truth and error.
    When you begin calling down Old Testament judgments on people then you have basically denied the New Covenant and the grace that embodies it.
    There are charismatic excesses that make me retch…but to label an entire part of the Body as heretical is imprecise and irresponsible.

  8. Xenia says:

    Didn’t James and John want to call down fire on people? And Jesus nixxed it?

  9. jtk says:

    Lord Théoden,

    Show me on this doll where the tongues-talker harmed you.

    Jim brought up Driscoll and his tribe (as Driscoll calls it)–what exactly is their more specific “stance” on the charismata?
    Sure would appreciate the help….

  10. covered says:

    I’m with Jim, who is his target audience? It’s seems to me that people pay money and give their time to those whom they agree with. I did like his devotion and take on Rom 8.

  11. Ricky Bobby says:

    “I’m with Jim, who is his target audience? ”

    Well the “truly saved” and Elect of course LOL

  12. Michael says:

    I don’t know if he has a target audience…I think he’s wanted to draw a line in the sand for a long time.
    Seems like that’s a becoming a trend these days…

  13. filbertz says:

    his target audience is kindling. 😉

  14. filbertz says:

    …besides, I’d rather go to your cat conference than watch Johnny Mac do his own slow burn…

  15. Michael says:


  16. I just returned from 14 days of day and night meetings in Brazil with the following agenda:

    1. Winning converts to Christ.
    2. Healing the sick.
    3. Equipping the church to heal the sick.
    4. Releasing the church into the ministry of healing, deliverance and Gospel proclamation.
    5. Undergirding local church ministries to go to the streets and minister.

    So I am no stranger to the fire that MacArthur calls strange.

    But I am happy for John to enjoy his reprehension of us. Keeps him from focusing on his many other reprehensions.

  17. Onlooker says:

    His opening line was to welcome the elect. That meant they were there, Nice.

  18. Onlooker says:

    His stuff online says Catholics are going to hell. Now Charismatics/Pentecostals are going too.

    According to him.

  19. covered says:

    Whether we like it or not, Johnny Mac wears nice suits. I wonder if he will be wearing a tie under his robe when he gets to heaven? 🙂

  20. I will say this much. I do find it fascinating that cessationists love to trot out Joni Tada or someone like her when they want to make a point that God’s grace is mighty toward those who are not healed. It is not as if charismatics don’t know that we fail more often than we succeed in healing ministry It is not as if we do not know the grace of God in suffering. We spend far too much time caricaturing and excoriating one another than we do actually trying to have meaningful dialogue or even debate.

  21. Onlooker says:

    After his book sales rocket, he’ll wear even nicer suits.

    Maybe he’ll get better fitting dentures.

  22. Nonnie says:

    Our beloved Babs has been such a consistent voice of grace, love and mercy and wisdom in expounding God’s word as well as God’s heart and character to this blog. Although some of his “tribe” do things that cause me to say “huh?”, the Lord has used BD to break down a lot of sinful prejudice in my heart. I have seen the fruit of God’s Spirit through BD here in this blog and on FB, and how anyone could imply that he, and men and women like him, who love and serve Christ, is not elect of God…well, that is tragic.

  23. Paige says:

    #14 Filbertz….hahahah Babylon’s Dread….praise God! Thrilling…..

  24. Does JMac not pray for the sick? If he does, what does he pray, that the Pepto Bismol works?

  25. Michael says:


    Amen on every point…

  26. Rob Murphy says:

    As someone who has been very sick this year, I prefer God’s healing to God’s sustaining. I am weak that way. I know that I only saw God as big as He is from where I was, but I do not like pain and pray harder and with greater hope in healing that in God’s sufficient grace for getting me through.
    So I too like, pray for, long for and agree with BD’s desire for God’s healing grace.

  27. Muff Potter says:

    I don’t think it’s about ‘hating on MacArthur’. Pushback and hatred are not equivalent.

  28. Steve Wright says:

    MLD hits something big. I went to a cessationist seminary and as I have said here often was allowed to write my thesis against the beliefs of the school – for which I am thankful of that grace.

    I was told repeatedly that they believe God can (and sometimes does) heal the sick. That they are not against that idea.

    Their cessationist argument though is a strawman when they (like MacArthur) talk about a “healer” refusing to go out and empty the hospitals.

    The Bible does not talk about a healer (like it does a teacher), but the exegetical expression is “gifts of healings” in the 1 Corinthians list

    I quoted Fee in my thesis and here is the quote

    “Probably this language reflects two things: (a) The use of charisma itself suggests that the “manifestation” is given not to the person who is healed, but to the person God uses for the healing of another; (b) the plural charismata probably suggests not a permanent “gift” as it were, but that each occurrence is a “gift” in its own right.

    Fee is so right on here, and exegetically sound. If I may speak for Dread, I believe this is exactly what he believes and has seen. Dread would never claim to be able to go into a hospital and empty every bed. However, Dread (and I) believe God does provide gifts of healings.

    Guys like MacArthur don’t want to deny God’s sovereignty and power to heal, but they run into quite a pretzel trying to allow for miraculous healings while denying miraculous healings as a gift of the Spirit.

  29. Nonnie you are very kind.

  30. covered says:

    There was a time (I have since repented), when I believed that if you didn’t wear a hawaiian shirt, believe in the rapture, attend end times conferences and treat your wife as a servant that you probably wouldn’t be in heaven. Then I read this and it freed me 🙂 “…For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests of our God…”

  31. Ricky Bobby says:

    I don’t begrudge a Dread from sincerely being Charismatic, even if I think it’s emotionalism. I think Dread is a good guy who truly believes his version of Christianity* and as long has he’s not a con-man like a Todd Bentley or Benny Hinn, I’ve got no beef with him.

    Johnny Mac is a Lordship Salvation “you are saved by your correct doctrine and holy behavior” flavor of Christian* and from that mindset, correcting error is somehow vitally important to his and others salvation. I don’t begrudge him his version of Christianity* as long has he isn’t a bastard like some of the other Lordship Salvation guys. I can put up with him casting most of us in hell over him covering for child abusers or boinking the secretary or living in a 10,000 square foot mansion (for Jesus of course).

  32. erunner says:

    Dread and anyone else, You mentioned Joni and I have a question for you. Do you see a distinction between someone who is sick and those who have been injured as Joni was. I used to see Dave Roever on TBN a lot and he suffered horrific burns in Viet Nam and I never once saw anyone lay hands on him for a physical healing. I do believe God can heal the injured as well as the sick but the church seems slower to pray for those who are victims of terrible accidents that lead to burns, amputations, and paralysis.

  33. Ixtlan says:

    It’s not like “Renewal” has a good track record.

    before the anti-JohnnyMac train gets too much steam:

  34. Erunner,

    I am equally daunted by injury and sickness. None of it is easy for me but I see the distinction you are making. But no we would tend to pray the same for all. After a while the chronically broken tend to desire to be left alone.

    What we try to avoid is allowing people to wonder why God did this to them? What is the purpose of God? Rather we are more likely to avoid such speculations as nonsensical and unhelpful

  35. #AddaWordRuinaChristianBook

    Strange Friendly Fire.

  36. One who is watching the Strange Fire conference might ask sincerely whether or not these speakers actually really know any charismatics. One also wonders whether they consider that bad examples of calvinists or dispensationalists leaders discredit the whole movements. MacArthur pretty clearly doubts the salvation of charismatic christians.

  37. Apparently Steve Lawson is rather convinced of the authority of the writers who claim the gifts of the Spirit were a sort of fireworks show to launch the Gospel work. Apparently the early church needed power more than we do.

    Typical cessationist prattle. Low on exegesis of scripture and high on exegesis of church history.

  38. Jim says:

    While I use the term charismanic, if I received a really bad diagnosis, I’d visit one of the storefront churches am familiar with and let those “holy rollers” have their way with me.

  39. brian says:

    I thought I would give it a view, The man preaching now has a real love for Calvin. I wonder if they understand they are undermining their own theology.

  40. Steve Wright says:

    might ask sincerely whether or not these speakers actually really know any charismatics.
    I’m not watching but I know that in the past MacArthur has conveniently forgotten the various Calvary Chapel pastors he personally knows well when talking about how ALL charismatics put experience above the word of God etc.

  41. brian says:

    If its new its not true, wow, guess we should chuck all we have learned since the reformation or before. Interesting. Pastor Mac is pretrip oriented, pooof there goes another irony meter.

  42. Scott says:

    MLD, your 24 is actually what I thought.

  43. Yep, MLD’s 24 was pretty insightful and concise.

  44. Where did we get our authoritative scriptures? And who told us they were authoritative?

    I am pretty sure that Steve Lawson thinks John Calvin is the last apostle. While he decries what he calls two streams of revelation he proceeds to establish a third. Authoritative scripture as interpreted by the authoritative writings of John Calvin which he read much more extensively than scripture in his presentation.

  45. Even Jesus did not clear the hospitals – and no one denies he could heal. Look at John 5 and the guy who could never get in the pool. How many infirmed did Jesus step over on his way to heal the guy? and how many did he step over when he left the pool area?

  46. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – I’ll go you one better. Remember the guy healed in Acts by Peter and John. He was at the temple gate for years, meaning Jesus passed him by all that time.

    Dread – I have a friend who is quite the scholar and actually was asked to consider becoming the pastor at a Presbyterian church, and he said “You need to know I am not amill, though I will present and fairly explain the position, and I do not baptize babies though I will dedicate them”

    He was told those two issues would not disqualify him,

    He then added a third. He told them he had read and studied ‘The Institutes’ in their entirety and while he strongly admired Calvin there would be a couple points here and there where he disagreed with Calvin’s take on things. And THAT was when the door closed. Amill and baby baptism optional, Calvin not….at least at this one church (and story is not meant to indict the whole denomination)

  47. I love this Steve. But it is absolutely true that somehow these guys believe the reformers either one or the other to be so near to holy writ as to be unable to parse the question with any clarity.

    Of course in my tribe I am the pope… we have many popes … kinda like having your own blog.

  48. It should be absolutely stated that Lawson disputed the charismatic matter by reference to Calvin and not by exegesis of scripture. He offered no real critique based on the text but based upon Calvin’s accusations and with the straw man of two revelations.

  49. For the past 4 months at our monthly board meetings at the church, I have been allotted a 30 min segment to teach our board how to be a board. Due to unforeseen circumstances we ended up with an entirely new board in July 2012.

    I am using that John 5 passage to make a point. That we need to stay on our operational path as directed by our Strategic Ministry Plan. Many good and worthy ministry opportunities arise – but then you must decide what it is that you are willing to leave on the table. Jesus had a plan and he was not going to let anything or anyone divert his attention.

    The healing of the guy at the pool was not so much for that man’s benefit, although he benefited greatly, but was for Jesus’ purpose and he knew what he was willing to leave on the table – obviously the healing of the many who were at the pool.

  50. brian says:

    BD is correct about that I did not listen to the entire video, because the irony filter on my computer kept clicking off.

  51. Muff Potter says:

    Babylon’s Dread @ # 34:

    What we try to avoid is allowing people to wonder why God did this to them? What is the purpose of God? Rather we are more likely to avoid such speculations as nonsensical and unhelpful

    God doesn’t do those bad things to us. Even a cursory reading of The Book of Job will show that. If anything, the Almighty’s a betting man who bets on us.

  52. brian says:

    About forgiving fathers, my father did some real awful things, but so have I. I was going through some pictures and memories and regained, just how much my father did. He put food on the table and gave me a place to live. He did the best he could and we actually reconciled before his death on Oct 18. I dug back into my past to try to find some meaning,what I found was people who gave all they had and were still messed up. The WW2 Korea, Viet Nam vet generation is fading away but I dont wish their sacrifice to fade away.I am a whinny piece of crap compared to my fathers generation,I no longer wish to be a whinny piece of crap. I want to move on past that to be a stone for the next generation. If that makes any sense. So to you old soldiers what can I do. I forgive my father for anything he did, the church for anything they did, any perceived or real hurts I may have gone through, I just want to be a stand up person. I hold this to no other person, my experience is just that mine experience, but I am tired of me being a whinny complaining meme.

    The only thing I ever wanted to do was honor those that have gone on before me and to set in new soil old seed to give root to new plants for the future. Offered for what it is worth.

  53. Farmer John says:

    Ho-de-doh! Now that I put out THAT fire it’s time for me to put on my har vest and go fire up detractor and go far afield. No one else will so I guess I’m elected. I reckon.

  54. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    “Johnny Mac is such a great guy…away from the pulpit.

    “He’s like a reverse hypocrite. Hardline arsehole from the pulpit, cool guy that can hang with regular schmucks and not be judgmental or uptight…away from the lights and cameras.”

    Ever heard of the phrase “Instant arsehole, just add alcohol”?

    Well this is “Instant arsehole, just add pulpit and audience.”

    Or it’s the preacher equivalent of a “Net Drunk” — someone online who turns into a flaming arsehole when he’s anonymous on the Net and safely out of fist range. In this case, when he’s up in the pulpit as God’s Official Anointed Spokesman, safe behind Benefit of Clergy.

  55. brian says:

    Wow almost all Charasmatics and Catholics are all the bad guys and are not saved. Wow Must be nice. Watching strange fire as some of it is rather interesting especially their taking on the dominionists. That I appreciate.

  56. Nonnie says:

    According to friends on FB who go to and are on staff at CC Costa Mesa, there is a new move of the Spirit beginning there. They are saying it is like what was going on in the 70’s and people are very excited about it.

    Sounds like the antithesis of Mac’s conference.

  57. When I look around my table this weekend I will see, charismatics, Orthodox, Catholic, baptists, a couple of mainliners, all enjoying the vast and varied gifts and graces of the body of Christ. All will be partaking of life from our one LORD, enjoying his generous outpouring of Holy Spirit upon us.

    I believe that was the test which prevailed at the first council of the church. I also believe the shock and offense at his generosity then was as great as it is now. I wonder if the critics at the first council used the ‘strange fire’ argument as a counter.

    One day ‘Ananias’ will show up at the door of one of those 4000 conferees laying on hands and prophesying unto the ruination of perfectly well-reasoned hypotheses. That will be a fun testimony to hear.

  58. Farmer John says:

    I was in the dell and I jest returned from inspecting my neighbors fruit. I had to pick a pack of pesky people’s personal problems. I walked through the bible belt in my stalking feet to gather their infernal cow pies for my strange fear har vest. Next week I’ll be running for Omni-Pastor. No need to vote. My election is sure. Signs and wonders were only for the apostles so I’m going to remove all my church signs and stop wondering about it. I have a tight relationship with Jesus and He told me there is no special revelation. Just read your bible (and my books) and hope for the best. Pay no attention to that verse behind the curtain. Here, have some bacon. I cured it -er- I mean I made it myself.

  59. Nonnie says:

    May the Lord bless you all this weekend, BD.

  60. Gary says:

    That is exciting! I hope it’s real. Wish I could be there.

  61. Gary says:

    No hate here for Farmer John but there was a spike in my disdain-o-meter. I just think his own fruit is full o crop. Like it or not it does reflect on his theology.

  62. Dread,
    your October 18, 2013 at 7:37 am

    This is why I have always kept an affiliation with recovery & renewal.
    Recovery & renewal have a brokenness and humility which forces one to strip away everything and wait in mystery and anticipation that God is doing something fresh and new every morning and that He refuses to be boxed in my any person’s theology.

  63. Ricky Bobby says:

    If you are diagnosed with cancer or something severe…do you really believe God is more inclined to heal you through modern medicine etc if you go to some sort of Guru or Pastor for prayer…or if you simply ask God to help you on your own?

    I find this blind spot fascinating.

  64. Ricky Bobby says:

    Do you really think God somehow holds the prayers of that Guru or Pastor in higher regards than your prayer?

    Do you think God will care more and be more inclined to help you if you bring it before a crowd of Charismatics or other church Group goers?

    Seems a strange God you serve if you believe such.

    I don’t think your god would be more inclined or less inclined to heal you based on you seeking out a Guru or church entity to do the prayers for you…but that seems to be the perception of many.

    “Well if I just pray hard enough! …and if I can just get Mr. Guru to prayer for me! Maybe if I send him some money and seed for my miracle!”

    That’s the dynamic….Quid Pro Quo god…usually in the form of a Guru and “ministry” that needs that seed money…so you get your miracle.

  65. London says:

    What G said.

  66. Gary says:

    “Recovery & renewal have a brokenness and humility which forces one to strip away everything and wait in mystery and anticipation that God is doing something fresh and new every morning and that He refuses to be boxed in my any person’s theology.”

    Isn’t this where Chuck Smith was in 1970? We start off with fresh fire and all these years later we end up with …cow pies.

  67. Gman… I got another taste of this reality this weekend from Brad Jersak, he blew away all the notions of convention ushering us to the feet of Jesus, the wounded feet. I am a debtor to so many fruits and flakes I am thinking of marketing a cereal, or more likely a soup.

  68. Ixtlan says:

    I wish it was really that simple and I wish I had your optimism. My experience has taught me that man cannot handle that type of exposure for long. Most I have known personally in renewal become reckless and haughty in their approach. In their defense, the haughtiness and arrogance runs across the board within the church. Whenever man attempts to get a handle on a move of God we taint it badly and distort it. Eventually it becomes only shadow of its former self, barely recognizable with its original form.

  69. Xenia says:

    When I look around my table this weekend I will see, charismatics, Orthodox, Catholic, baptists, a couple of mainliners, all enjoying the vast and varied gifts and graces of the body of Christ. All will be partaking of life from our one LORD, enjoying his generous outpouring of Holy Spirit upon us.<<<<

    What table are you talking about? If you have an Orthodox Christian partaking of your church's communion, that person has just excommunicated themselves and are not longer Orthodox.

  70. Gary says:

    When you reduce Christianity to a formula you run the risk of cutting yourself off from the one who said “Abide in me and I in you”. When you condemn those who do things before the Lord you run the risk of being condemned like Michael, David’s wife. God closed her womb because she judged her husband for dancing before the Lord in his underwear. I wonder if God would close Grace To You’s fruitfulness. It needs to be renamed Grace To Us.

  71. Gary says:

    “I was going to host a conference on “Strange Fur” but the cat wouldn’t stay still…”

    How about Strange Ire? That’s what it is.

  72. Gary says:

    On a stage in the middle of hyperbole
    he would make a point for us all to be
    and wouldn’t you be fumed?
    Strange Fire
    kills your most pure desire.

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