Serious Issues with Experience-Based Christianity – Part 1

Why are so many people attracted to Experience-Based Spirituality?

1Thessalonians 5:21


I.         Introduction to Tongues


A.      The Charismatic Movement is a doctrinal split among “Pentecostal” churches that occurred during the 20th Century because of an overemphasis on the spiritual gifts that were temporarily given to the Apostles as “signs” to Israel.

B.       Their main doctrine is their emphasis on speaking in tongues. Other characteristics of the movement include:


1.        Believing in special gifts of healing

2.        Promoting a prosperity gospel

3.        And accepting the possibility of one losing their salvation.


C.       How did they get to this place in their beliefs? They let people’s experiences become more valid, and more true than the words of God

D.      They gave up on trying to understand what Jesus said, and just understand what they feel and experience

E.       It has led to something that has been called “The Later Day rain Movement”


II.       Background - The “Latter Rain” Movement


A.      It is firmly believed that modern “prophets” these days have received "new revelations" of the end-time which, until now, have not been understood by the Church.  Truly, a "New Breed" of Apostles and Prophets is being raised up who will assume their end-time role of leading the Church to take dominion and to execute God’s judgments in the world. Vineyard Ministries Apostle, Jack Deere, believes that the two witnesses in Revelation 11 may very well be Kansas City Prophets, Paul Cain and Bob Jones. 

B.       Everyone is looking for a new world order


1.        Paul Cain says: "God is raising up a new standard, a new banner if you will, that’s going to radically change the expression, the understanding of Christianity in our generation…God has invited us to have a role in establishing this NEW ORDER of Christianity…God is offering to this generation something He has never offered to any other generation… Beware lest OLD ORDER brethren rob you and steal this hope from you!

2.        Bob Jones has received special revelation about this new hope: "I have called the best of every blood line in earth unto this generation…I have elected to bring them forth in this generation…THE ELECT GENERATION…even the bloodline of Paul…of David…of Peter, James and John…They will even be superior to them in heart, stature and love for me’…Your children will possess the spirit without measure…They will move into things of the supernatural that no one has ever moved in before…coming into the DIVINE NATURE of Jesus Christ…a Church that has reached the full maturity of the GODMAN! This generation…is going to see the beginning of this WORLD WIDE NEW ORDER."(3)


C.       If you having difficulty discerning or receiving this "new revelation"? Then probably you are interpreting your Bible in the "old way" -- comparing Scripture with Scripture, studying diligently to account for every jot and tittle and being careful to rightly divide the Word of truth.  If this describes you, then you belong to the "Old Generation" which will not enter in to "possess the land" as described in the Latter Rain Revival.  You may even be a member of a denominational church with its dogmatic confession of faith and statement of doctrine. These legalistic forms will be relics of the past in the up and coming "Postdenominational Church."  Paul Cain advises that you "dump all that carnal stuff" (doctrine) and listen to what the "spirit" is saying to the churches through the Latter Rain Prophets and Apostles, who are dispensing many "new, sacred truths."

D.      This is the “spirit” that is behind all the emphasis today on experience-based Christianity instead of Bible based Christianity! The two are completely at odds and cannot be reconciled!


III.     Message - Why are so many people attracted to Experience-Based Spirituality?


A.      Because Spiritually Dead Denominations Have Failed To Satisfy The Soul – a spiritual drought has set the stage for a time of the unusual; the sensational; the spectacular; the self satisfaction of the flesh. It is occurring in the world, so also in churches!


1.        Revelation 3:1-2  And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

2.        It used to be that all protestant churches believed the Bible and preached repentance and experienced revivals and multitudes converted to Christ the whole world over

3.        Then, the leaders began to dump the Bible and stop evangelising, and turned to social engineering

4.        Now, the leaders believe none of the Bible – they just teach philosophy

5.        The church members are DEAD spiritually and would do ANYTHING to get a buzz from church now!


B.       Because Satan’s Attack Upon The Church is Through False Doctrine – doctrinal division is always satanic.  The Charismatic Movement specializes in being “carried away” with new doctrines. 


1.        Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

2.        1 Corinthians 12:2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.

3.        There are NO new doctrines – they are not “hidden” in Bible Codes, or in special conferences, or through special revelations

4.        But Satan loves to change Bible doctrine ever so slightly – that’s why the issue of Biblical Inerrancy is so important


a.        Eternal security of the believer (1Cor 1:18)

b.       The restoration of literal Israel – or does it refer to spiritual Israel

c.        Literal creation – or where they just periods of time

d.       Every jot and tittle – or just the general meaning


5.        So, today there are so many new doctrines you would puke (Cf 2Cor 11:1,2)


a.        Christ in hell for three days

b.       Anybody could have died and saved the world if they just have enough faith

c.        You don’t HAVE to be sick

d.       Anybody can go to heaven, as long as they are sincere


C.      Because Biblical Ignorance produces Shallowness


1.        1 Corinthians 12:1  Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.

2.        1 Corinthians 14:38  But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.

3.        Too many people “just go with the flow” on so much of what they understand about Christianity – they do not test and prove all things (1Thes 5:21)


Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church

Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland