Post Charismatic?

“Many are Post-Charismatic. . . after 20 years, they would rather shoot themselves than sing another chorus.”

Stuart Murray-Williams talking with us in Paris, 2003.


Just picking up on yesterday’s post on The New Charismatics that Steve K started and trying to land it. If you watched the video on Steve’s site, you know what i am talkin’ bout. Robby Mac has some good well balanced advice [quite funny as well] as does Bro Maynard and Grace and Ed. Robby [Rob McAlpine] is the author of a new book called Post Charismatic.


Apparently Bill Kinnon approves.

I first heard Gerald Coates talking about being “post-charismatic” at the Emerge event in Frankfurt, 2001. Since then, I have used “post-charismatic” to refer to the kind of worshippers who are freed from the addiction to novelty, newness and freshness, open to older, non-spontaneous, pre-used liturgical prayers, and who no longer believe that every service must be commenced by 45 minutes of singing. Of course its a lot more than that and its a lot more than just trading purple banners for purple candles.

And the post in ‘post-charismatic’ means “after’ rather than “anti”. A lot of people were greatly helped by the charismatic movement and they [we] are grateful. But as Stuart Murray Williams once said, ” . . . after 20 years, they would rather shoot themselves than sing another chorus.”

If you liked this post, please stand up, turn to the person on your left and gently hold their hand. Now shout in their ear . . . “PRAAAAISE-ALLULAH!!!” Dont forget to squeeze their hand right before you let go.

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Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • kiwipaddy says:

    should we tell each other how much ‘Jesus loves you’ as well??

  • andrew says:

    nothing wrong with that

  • Bill Kinnon says:

    I really don’t think you should be posting pictures of such old guys on such a young and hip blog as this.
    That being said, I love the Stuart Murray Williams quote and would add, Jesus is NOT my boyfriend and I will not sing to Him as if He is.
    Robbymac’s book does a great job of unpacking the history behind the issues that many of us have struggled with in terms of charismatic ecclesiology. (I say this as one who is not anti-charismatic in the least.) It’s an important read in the midst of folk claiming that the angel who led William Branham is now leading them. Yikes!

  • andrew says:

    thanks bill. i havent read the book yet. i think many of us have significant charismatic backgrounds, esp. in UK.
    and a few of us (myself included) have done their share of Toronto meetings.
    so exactly – not “anti” but “post”, even if some of us did not own the charismatic movement when it came through.

  • Matt says:

    A friend of mine, upon visiting Jacob’s Well in Kansas City, MO, complained that it was perhaps too “charismatic” and not liturgical enough. I thought it was great.

  • Bill Kinnon says:

    As, a Torontonian, I spent too many hours in both the original Airport Vineyard bldg and then in the TACF facilities. As hungry as many of us were to see the “Toronto Blessing” bless Toronto – history would suggest a net negative impact on the Kingdom in my fair city.

  • Like Bill, I spent much time at the Toronto events- from when it first began through to when they stepped away from Vineyard. It was a growing experience with many challenges.
    I also affirm Rob’s book as an important and VERY gracious addition to this conversation.

  • ed cyzewski says:

    As I participate in conversations about the revival I’m most impressed with the two angles of skepticism. I’ve reacted to those who are cessationists, challenging them to look into this revival, remembering the promises of scripture concerning God’s supernatural work in this world. Miracles can happen, even if they look a bit odd on the surface.
    However, there are post-charismatics whom I’m not quite familiar with reacting with skepticism because they’ve seen the abuses of revival. In this case they believe God can work, but do not want to lose God’s work in the midst of some questionable beliefs and practices of revivalists.
    This is a great example of two theological streams learning from one another, balancing each other out instead of talking past one another.

  • andrew says:

    also interesting seeing the place of social media/blogs in making things more transparent and public. i wonder how this one will play out differently than Toronto/Brownsville?

  • Gotta wonder on the post-charismatic thought ….and the convergence of the Prophetic. Though i’ve seen my fair share of the wacky- from first hand experience, there are solid ministries out there that hold to Jehovah Sneaky showing up and saying a Holy Ghost Boo! (no i’m not talking of Casper!) Holy Spirit is “user” friendly with the drunk on occasion. Though i’m not sure of the criteria classification of “post-charismatic”, though semi-contextually accurate, still hints at that prideful space that “we have gone beyond that”. Which to me… even the “Charismatic Movement” had/has it’s bouts with. (we have the power of Holy Spirit and you don’t mentality) – Which is prideful, elitist and a bunch of bollocks! That being said, Logos and Rehma should not have to be denominationally put at odds, with one or the other, holding to a Higher Awareness. I’ve yet to see “balance” in a meeting – where the freedom to experience God on a different level doesn’t get at least a little out of control… (hard to contain that Fire- and i for one .. don’t want to.) Even in silent meditation things can start to Quake! However, if we focus on Loving Him and others well- hopefully – all the colours of His Tapestry will shimmer and glow.
    Love ya dude!

  • andrew says:

    thanks cathryn. and its good to hear your voice on teh other blogs also. you add a good balance to the conversation. keep talking . . . .

  • Patrick Oden says:

    The problem, as I see it, with the Pentecostal/Charismatic movements wasn’t as much that they got it wrong as much as they didn’t press on to see what more there was.
    All through Scripture we see the fun stuff. The tongues, the healings, the prophecies. It’s there, but again and again it’s not all there is.
    But it’s pretty. And for so long it’s been like tinsel on the tree, making for shiny events but without real and persistent changes that reflect the broader work of the Spirit.
    That’s why I don’t feel as much post-Charismatic, as neo-Charismatic (because I have to use a prefix, right?). I want to help the movement take on what it always should have been, before it was caught by all the shiny things and got stuck in the same old barriers of racism, sexism, leaderism, etc.
    Worship is great and lovely. We’re called to gather. But the Spirit’s whole work is so much more. Only this greater more thorough work isn’t shiny. It’s the often mundane aspects of holistic community and giving and welcoming strangers and breaking down barriers. The stuff that challenges us each day and brings us closer to God.
    That’s the persistent deeper working of the Spirit and I see it so many places, but don’t see it being acknowledged as such. The Spirit got left out, or left for Sunday mornings. And I think that’s gotten a lot of people more stuck than they should have been.

  • I’m post emergent

  • linda says:

    having read robbymac’s book post-charismatic when he had the text of it online, i highly recommend it for those who were burned by the abuses of the charismaniacs. my hope is that by throwing out the bathwater of the charismatics, the post-charismatics in the emerging church will keep both the fruit and the gifts of the Spirit. in the age we live in so many people are turning to psychics, wicca et al and if the church doesn’t step up and show the world that the God of scripture is a god both of love and power then they may not see any reason to leave behind what they’ve discovered elsewhere. because so many in the ec come from such conservative church backgrounds i unfortunately have seen very little engagement with the things of the Spirit. we have a great opportunity at this point in history where so many in the world are open to the things of the supernatural, but, from what i’ve observed, ironically those in the ec are uneducated at best and highly skeptical at worst to the things of the Spirit. while it’s useless and damaging to have the gifts of the Spirit without the fruit of the Spirit we have a world crying out to see the gifts as well. let’s not miss this opportunity.

  • Bill Kinnon says:

    Perhaps you could unpack what you mean by Logos and Rhema and them “denominationally put at odds”

  • Bill … good point… on the unpacking….. I’m about to head out for the evening.. but will download a bit… later. If i’m up at 2 or 3 AM … which i normally am!

  • I like Patrick’s thought on being a neo-charismatic.
    And I definitely share Bill’s sentiments on the net negative impact the Toronto blessing had on our city.
    I participated in it at the time, and yes, there were some benefits. It wasn’t all smoke and mirrors. I think in particular the greatest thing it did was to explode the power of religiosity over people in this area.
    But let’s move beyond the hype of this kind of spirituality! Is this charismatic renewal merely revival so we could feel good, or have we moved out into our society as authentic, relational servants who extend God’s love in the spheres of medicine, journalism, construction, teaching, and business (among others)? My sense with the Toronto gig was that it has just turned into another feel-good conference/show. Time to pack it up.

  • andrew says:

    wow – this post has been taken captive by Canadians. But its good to see some post-Toronto experience informing this next wave.
    I went to the first Toronto meetings in USA (Pasadena) in Jan 1995. John Stott was speaking to us at Fuller and someone asked him what he thought of the Toronto movement – only a few months old at that point. I thought he was going to blast it to hell. Instead, he said he was “suspending judgement”. So I went along with my wife to quite a few of their meetings and there was some really good stuff.
    always wheat and tares together, isnt it, even with more traditional staid worship services. just more obvious with the funky ones.
    anyway, I thought of John Stott’s advice when i heard of these new happenings.

  • Good to suspend judgement Andrew yes. Also good not to suspend critical faculties though?

  • andrew says:

    I think John Stott had heard only rumors and he was probably hinting that he would like time to check it out more thoroughly before he committed himself to a blanket statement. i see key church leaders being more measured in their statements than others because their words carry more weight (and more judgement)
    Gamaliel’ principle.
    But yes, once the evidence is in, we judge with righteous judgment according to the info we have.

  • Mike Lane says:

    Dunno guys…i worked with John and Carol Arnott at close quarters here in Oz recently and i have to say (without relating a long involved account of my own experiences) that i reckon what they are doing in their ministry still has serious legs and also that the whole movement IS seeing some amazing fruit (eg, Heidi and Rolland Baker and Jackie Pullinger and others). The Arnotts are my only experience of the Toronto thing but i found them completely devoid of hype or any other manipulations, in fact, quite dry and lacking in charismatic adornments…maybe they’ve changed tack recently?

  • andrew says:

    i really liked them also back in 95. i dont think anyone is casting doubt on the Arnotts here – but rather looking at how our present situation of emergentness is flavored by both our positive and negative experiences with the wider charismatic movement.
    interesting to read Phyllis Tickles manuscript for The Great Emergence (it arrived today). she sees the Vineyard and John Wimber as proto-emergent.

  • Patrick says:

    “She sees the Vineyard and John Wimber as proto-emergent.”
    I think this is very much true. Vineyard was extraordinary in opening up boundaries for further development. And this goes right at my contention that emergent is very much also a Holy Spirit movement, but instead of emphasizing the beginning of Acts 2, it takes on the characteristics of the end of Acts 2 and onward, following the continuing movement of the Holy Spirit.
    Embracing the prophetic and charismatic in our emerging communities shouldn’t at all be avoided, but Vineyard stumbled in that it emphasized these then saw them as both the primary and the total evidence of the Spirit. The Spirit comes with a bang and then pours into every area of life bringing transformation.
    I look forward to reading Phyllis Tickle’s book (I love her books on the Divine Hours).

  • Bill Kinnon says:

    One of the best sermons I’ve ever heard on the operating gifts of the Spirit was preached at Millmead Baptist Church in Guildford, Surrey, UK. The preacher was Bob Roxburgh. The year 1987. And the sermon has stuck with me to this day.
    Bob spoke (in a Baptist Church that was notedly Charismatic) on how the only real sign of the Spirit’s movement was the fruit of the Spirit. As Eugene Peterson puts it,

    things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. (Gal 5:22-23).

    Would that this were the experience for many of us in terms of the fruit of the “Toronto Blessing.” I have no doubt that John and Carol Arnott, were, are and will continue to be wonderful folk. A healthy critique of the impact of TACF on Toronto is not an attack on them, as people – though I might question their discernment regarding some of the folk with whom they’ve shard the platform and for whom they’ve expressed great affection. (Mike Murdock was the guest speaker, the very last time we were at TACF – and the Arnott’s were enamored with Nigeria’s TB Joshua.)
    My unfortunate experience with much of the Toronto Blessing in my own city was that folk remained self-centred, looking for our own “word, blessing, healing” – with our focus remaining firmly on ourselves. It was pure consumer church for the charismatically inclined.
    In response to “emergentness”, Andrew, as my friend, Robbymac, puts it – their needs to be a healthy pneumatology in the missional and emerging church worlds. (Robby is fond of the term, which I believe he coined, Charismissional.) Hopefully one that will see the Spirit empower us to be missionaries living within our own cultures with our focus firmly outside ourselves.

  • andrew says:

    thanks bill. i just sent off an email that i hope phyllis will take into consideration dealing with the link between charismatic and emergent.
    excuse the copy and paste . .
    a big and important link from Wimber to the current emerging church movement in UK is with NOS (Nine OClock Service) in the 80’s which resulted from wimbers visit to uk. a book that picks up on the theme of the charismatic and post-charismatic roots of emerging church in uk, and also ties in the wimber connection is Remembering Our Future: Explorations in Deep Church by Andrew Walker and Luke Bretherton
    review here: deep church
    hey – you guys have ruined my blog post.
    i started off saying we are post-charismatic and nothing at all like the crazy charismaniac antics now going on . . . but i am now ending up admitting that there are some seriously embarrassing links here between the two
    and i will stop while i am ahead . ..
    . . behind . . .

  • HA! Well dude- some times we gotta build a bridge and just get over it eh? After that storm last night that hit Austin… and helping Amy clean up the yard (more tomorrow to do)- i don’t have the energy to put into a “hearty thought” on the topic- but will ponder some more. Go to my blog post and check out a pic someone took.- it was crazy full on!

  • Patrick says:

    “their needs to be a healthy pneumatology in the missional and emerging church worlds.”
    Well, I certainly agree.
    And they should be widely read too. 😀

  • Thanks for putting a name to the way I’ve been feeling for the past 7 years.
    “freed from the addiction to novelty, newness and freshness, open to older, non-spontaneous, pre-used liturgical prayers, and who no longer believe that every service must be commenced by 45 minutes of singing.”
    This is so true. I always thought of myself as more free in the Charismatic church, but realized when I got out how captive I had actually been.
    “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” 1 Cor 2:2

  • andrew says:

    Patrick – i have your book but i havent reviewed it yet. i will do it soon
    keep on dancing.

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