- Cw comments and posts could be from any of five or so persons, all of whom are anonymous, and all of whom use the same pseudonym and gravatar, which is unheard of in the blogosphere.
- Cw heavily promotes Reformed theology as the basis of their doctrine.
- Cw extensively uses material and quotes from Reformed, cessationist and Lutheran critics of charismatic and Pentecostal ministries.
- Cw endorses cessationist teaching from more than one school of thought.
- Cw actively encourages readers to join Reformed churches listed and recommended by cw.
- Cw discourages any challenge to their theological stance.
One of the diversionary tactics commonly used by cw in the course of a discussion is to break off from the dialogue and ask whether that person knows the gospel.
Consequently, it is logical to examine the theology of the gospel promoted by cw, especially in the absence of any statement of faith on any of the cw sites.
The obvious impression to be gained from cw recommended resources and commentary is that cw predominantly promotes Reformed, cessationist theology, with hat-tips to some Lutheran theology. From this we have a clear basis on which to review cw endorsed theology.
It’s fair to make the assertion that, since cw is commenting and producing posts under a singular nom-de-plume, any comments must be taken as cw’s personal view, regardless of how many entities there might be.
This is important because these are cw driven sites with a specific goal of discrediting certain target ministries, so, from what basis do they make their claims?
We have already seen in the article “What is the Gospel?” that cw promotes the Reformed doctrine of regeneration, which makes the erroneous assertion that people are regenerated without faith. This is covered in an earlier article on the same subject, and, as we have shown, is a false representation of the gospel.
The next step is to look into their doctrine of cessation of the gifts and manifestations of Holy Spirit, including miracles and signs, and speaking in other tongues, all an integral part of New Testament theology.
Are the works of Christ part of the gospel message? Scripture declares it to be so. The Holy Spirit confirms the word preached by believers with following signs.
A cessationist, very basically, asserts that the gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit ended when the canon of scripture was ratified, somewhere between the death of the last of Christ’s Apostles and the fourth century AD, when the canon was finally endorsed.
There is no scripture to back this up. It is theologically weak and largely fiction.
Cw will attempt to skirt this issue by claiming not to be cessationist despite recommending cessationist teaching and ministries.
However, from their writing it is obvious that what cw means is that they still acknowledge the sovereignty and providence of God, which means God, being Omnipotent, is always capable of providing a miracle, healing or sign even though theologians from a certain camp teach that God has stopped working miracles and healing through believers as he did in the first century after the ascension of Christ.
However, if cessationists are correct in their teaching that God has ended miracles, gifts and manifestations, they need to explain how it is that God would contradict his own will by providing individual interventions outside of cessationist theological claims.
Their doctrine of providence works against their claim that the sign and manifestation ministries of the Spirit have ended.
On the other hand, if, as we assert, the work of the Holy Spirit continues today as it did in the Book of Acts, then the providence is already contained within this context.
They will also have to produce scripture to back up their theology. There is none. We have ample scripture to show that the Spirit is the same today as he has ever been.
If cw is not a cessationist, why is cw so heavily endorsing the teachings of those who are? Cw certainly does speak out against the gift of tongues as a continued sign of a believer.
Where is the scripture to confirm any claim that it has ended, or that the gift experienced in thousands of charismatic, contemporary and Pentecostal congregations is merely ‘psychobabble’ or ‘gibberish’ as cw claims?
In the next articles, we’ll start looking at scripture to show that God has not ended any of his promises to the Church, that the Holy Spirit is just the same as he was in the Book of Acts, with all of his gifts and manifestations, and that it is we, the Church, who have to comply with his will and submit under his mighty hand to allow the Spirit to work through us as he wills.