Monday, 8 June 2015

Well Known Charismatic Christian Leaders: John Piper on Gifts, Spiritual Warfare and the Prayer of Faith

John Piper is a well known Christian Leader in the United States.  Most of my American friends who read this will know him better than I do.  My main acquaintance with him is over two things.  Firstly, the superb book he co-wrote and edited with Wayne Grudem, entitled Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

Secondly, his very, very comprehensive and high quality website Desiring God.

He is from the Reformed, Calvinistic part of the church.  It is well known, I think, that he believes that gifts are for today.

I include him here, along with the clip below because John Piper has a high view of scripture and is widely regarded as holding 'conservative' views on some issues such as the roles of men and women, the need for book by book teaching, expository teaching, taking care over appointing elders, healthy Christian families and so on.  There is nothing frivolous, flippant, flaky or lightweight about him.  Yet he does not just passively accept that 'charisma' could be from God, he actively and firmly advocates that we should 'earnestly desire the greater gifts'.  I find his approach refreshing.

This clip is, to me, an extraordinary one.  Here he basically talks about the importance of the ministry of the Holy Spirit in world mission.

1. Firstly, he quotes approvingly an uncompromising statement coming out of the second Lausanne conference on World Mission.

 'We therefore call upon all Christians to pray for such a visitation of the sovereign Spirit of God, that all His fruit will appear in all His people and that all His Gifts may enrich the Body of Christ.  Only then will the whole church become a fit instrument in the hands of God, that the whole earth may hear His voice.'

2. Secondly he talks about the use of spiritual warfare in preparing the way for Christian Mission and church planting, using the prayer of faith.  He relates the story of a group of people who had to exercise authority over spiritual powers of evil over an region in Argentina that had been marked by occult activity by a group of witches.  Once they had done this, church planting flourished.  Before they did it, all attempts to start new churches had failed.

3. Thirdly, he talks about how his father had on occasion had to wrestle with God in prayer and get to a point of praying in faith and authority before seeing evangelistic results.

The second account is an interesting to me.  He refers to spiritual oppression over a particular geographical area and the need to deal with this.  This is something I would have rejected as nonsense not too long ago.

See what you think.

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