Tim Challies has published a list of predictions for the “New Calvinist Movement” for 2018. It has understandably provoked discussion. He writes,
In 2018 we will begin to see wider practice of the sign gifts among those who hold to Reformed theology and this will bring some controversy. To this point the debate surrounding cessationism and continuationism has largely been theological, but it will soon become far more practical. We will see churches that are Reformed in much of their theology also practicing prophecy, inviting tongues-speaking, and founding healing ministries.
As a matter of sociology Tim is probably correct. The attempted synthesis of some few aspects (see below) of Reformed theology with Charismatic and Pentecostal theology, piety, and practice will continue. This synthesis is part of a pattern that has roots in the 19th century. On this see the essay “Magic and Noise: On Being Reformed in Sister’s America” in Always Reformed. This is (Sister) Aimee’s world and the Reformed are just living in it. It is vital to recognize this reality, however, and respond accordingly.
The first response should be to define Calvinist or Reformed correctly. One cannot hold essentially the same view of the Word and sacraments as, e.g., Thomas Müntzer (1489–1525), who was a Charismatic/Pentecostal (Ana)baptist and call one’s self a “Calvinist” or “Reformed.” The Reformed churches confess a very different view of Scripture (they are, as Tim notes) cessationist, and sacraments (they were all, every last one of them, paedobaptist) than that confessed by most of the so-called “New Calvinists” or the Young, Restless, and Reformed.
It might be better to describe this movement as Young, Restless, and Augustinian or Young, Restless, and Predestinarian, because this is what they mean by the adjective “Calvinist.” In this context, the “New Calvinists” are not invoking much else about the “Calvinist” theology, piety, and practice. They certainly are not invoking the Calvinist doctrine of sola Scriptura or the Calvinist doctrine and practice of worship. The “New Calvinists” are not animated by Calvin’s doctrine of God, man, Christ, soteriology, nor certainly by his doctrine of the church and sacraments. One need not take my word for it. Carl, Todd, and Aimee have a good discussion today of the discontinuities between the “New Calvinists” and historic Reformed theology, piety, and practice.
So why will I not become a Charismatic in 2018? As Carl, Todd, and Aimee discuss, it is not because I doubt the power of God to do today as he did during the Apostolic era. It is because I believe that he could do right now what he did then. It is because it is my Charismatic and Pentecostal friends who have defined down the divine power. None of the old-fashioned Pentecostalists are doing what the apostolic company did. Creflo Dollar needs a Gulfstream V to get about but Philip was transported by the Holy Spirit himself. God’s Word says, “the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more” (Acts 8:39; ESV). Where is Dollar’s faith? Why did he hector Grandmothers for their Social Security money when it was all about his lack of faith? God is utterly able to carry Creflo Dollar about without the use of a state-of-the-art Gulfstream jet. Yet, even Dollar needs a jet. Why? Because the Apostolic age is over. The Spirit is not transporting deacons and preachers any longer. As Carl & Co. note, Acts 5:12 says that the Apostles “regularly” did signs and wonders. They were so full of the Holy Spirit and so powerful that the people “even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them” (Acts 5:15; ESV). This is not true of the Pentecostals and Charismatics. They hold healing services on Wednesdays and some are alleged to have been healed and others not. When that happens it is claimed that it was because the sick did not have had enough faith. This does not agree with Luke’s record of the healing ministry exercised by the Apostles. When the Apostle Paul was bit by a viper on Malta (Acts 28:1–6) none of those around him believed that he would survive but he did because he was an Apostle. If Creflo Dollar or any of the leading charismatic “New Calvinists” were bit by a viper they would need medical treatment. The Spirit used the Apostle Peter to put to death Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1–11). We trust that our “New Calvinist” friends exercise church discipline but we have yet to read of any of them who has put anyone to death. Why? Because they are not Apostles. The age of Apostolic miracles is past.
The second reason I will not become a Charismatic in 2018 is because it does injury to the sole, ruling authority of God’s Word. Our charismatic friends think of themselves as people of God’s Word but every time they claim to have received a revelation apart from Scripture they marginalize God’s Word. Thus, against the sixteenth-century charismatic movements (they existed), the Reformed churches confessed (and confess today):
We believe that those Holy Scriptures fully contain the will of God, and whatsoever man ought to believe unto salvation is sufficiently taught therein. For since the whole manner of worship which God requires of us is written in them at large, it is unlawful for any one, though an apostle, to teach otherwise than we are now taught in the Holy Scriptures: nay, though it were an angel from heaven, as the apostle Paul says. For since it is forbidden to add unto or take away anything from the Word of God, it does thereby evidently appear that the doctrine thereof is most perfect and complete in all respects. Neither may we consider any writings of men, however holy these men may have been, of equal value with those divine Scriptures, nor ought we to consider custom, or the great multitude, or antiquity, or succession of times and persons, or councils or decrees or statutes, as of equal value with the truth of God, since the truth is above all; for all men or of themselves liars, and more van than vanity itself. Therefore we reject with all our hearts whatever does not agree with this infallible rule, as the apostles have taught us saying, Test the spirits, whether they are of God. Likewise: any one comes to you and brings not this teaching, receive him not into your house.
God’s holy, inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word is sufficient for Christian faith and Christian practice. We need no ongoing revelation alongside Scripture. We do not believe that there is any actual ongoing revelation alongside Scripture. This was a source of great disagreement between the (Ana)baptists and the confessional Protestants (i.e., the Lutheran and the Reformed) in the 16th century. The sixteenth-century charismatic movements boasted that they were not dependent upon what they called “the dead letter” because they were receiving fresh revelations from God. The Lutheran and Reformed churches rejected these groups as “sects” (see Belgic Confession art. 29) and fanatics.
One of the tests that I proposed in Recovering the Reformed Confession was a thought experiment in time travel. Imagine that our leading “New Calvinist” charismatics were to appear before Calvin to explain their view that God continues to give special revelation alongside holy Scripture. How do you think he would respond? We need not guess. He has already answered our question. Consider this passage from the original Calvinist:
Furthermore, those who, having forsaken Scripture, imagine some way or other of reaching God, ought to be thought of as not so much gripped by error as carried away with frenzy. For of late, certain giddy men have arisen who, with great haughtiness exalting the teaching office of the Spirit, despise all reading and laugh at the simplicity of those who, as they express it, still follow the dead and killing letter.1 But I should like to know from them what this spirit is by whose inspiration they are borne up so high that they dare despise the Scriptural doctrine as childish and mean. For if they answer that it is the Spirit of Christ, such assurance is utterly ridiculous. Indeed, they will, I think, agree that the apostles of Christ and other believers of the primitive church were illumined by no other Spirit. Yet no one of them thence learned contempt for God’s Word; rather, each was imbued with greater reverence as their writings most splendidly attest. And indeed it had thus been foretold through the mouth of Isaiah. For where he says, “My Spirit which is in you, and the words that I have put in your mouth, will not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your seed … forever” [Isa. 59:21 p., cf. Vg.], he does not bind the ancient folk to outward doctrine as if they were learning their ABC’s; rather, he teaches that under the reign of Christ the new church will have this true and complete happiness: to be ruled no less by the voice of God than by the Spirit. Hence we conclude that by a heinous sacrilege these rascals tear apart those things which the prophet joined together with an inviolable bond. Besides this, Paul, “caught up even to the third heaven” [2 Cor. 12:2], yet did not fail to become proficient in the doctrine of the Law and the Prophets, just as also he urges Timothy, a teacher of singular excellence, to give heed to reading [1 Tim. 4:13]. And worth remembering is that praise with which he adorns Scripture, that it “is useful for teaching, admonishing, and reproving in order that the servants of God may be made perfect” [2 Tim. 3:16–17]. What devilish madness is it to pretend that the use of Scripture, which leads the children of God even to the final goal, is fleeting or temporal?
Then, too, I should like them to answer me whether they have drunk of another spirit than that which the Lord promised his disciples. Even if they are completely demented, yet I do not think that they have been seized with such great dizziness as to make this boast. But in promising it, of what sort did he declare his Spirit would be? One that would speak not from himself but would suggest to and instill into their minds what he had handed on through the Word [John 16:13]. Therefore the Spirit, promised to us, has not the task of inventing new and unheard-of revelations, or of forging a new kind of doctrine, to lead us away from the received doctrine of the gospel, but of sealing our minds with that very doctrine which is commended by the gospel (Institutes 1.9.1).
The charismatic movement is not new. The Reformed churches rejected it in the 16th century and, as much as we may appreciate the (non-charismatic) gifts of some of those proponents of the synthesis, we continue to reject it because it necessarily compromises God’s Word. Either God’s Word is the sole, final, ruling authority for the Christian faith and life or the “still, small voice” is. Both cannot be the final authority and if Scripture is the final authority, then we need no ongoing, special revelation alongside Scripture.
In the spirit of the Synod of Dort I will combine my third and fourth points. The last reason I will not become a charismatic in 2018 is because I have been there and tried that and found it wanting biblically and practically. Long ago, when I was pastoring a small church in Kansas City, Missouri the so-called “Kansas City Prophets” movement was in full swing. In that same period I was meeting with charismatic and Pentecostal Christians for prayer. As they “spoke in tongues” (more on this below) I prayed in English. What I discovered is that these fellows were good guys who re-described everything that happened to them in Apostolic, supernatural terms. In truth they had no more Apostolic power than I did. They simply used biblical language to describe whatever happened to them.
In the same period I worked through the question biblically and theologically. I very much wanted the charismatics to be right but I did not find the Scriptures to teach what they claimed. There is no ground for distinguishing the phenomena of Acts 2 from the phenomena that Paul describes in 1 Corinthians. “Tongues of men and angels” (1 Cor 13:1) has utterly nothing to do with the practice of glossolalia. Indeed, the practice of glossolalia has nothing to do with the apostolic phenomenon of “tongues,” which was nothing more or less than the Spirit-given ability to speak in natural foreign languages. Upon close inspection, the case for ongoing charismatic non-canonical revelation alongside Scripture collapsed. B. B. Warfield was fundamentally correct. It is all special pleading. It does not stand up to close, exegetical scrutiny. It is not biblical. Glossolalia is a universal human religious phenomenon that has been re-described in biblical, apostolic terms. The revelations claimed by our friends are not any such thing. It is all just an illusion.
Brothers and sisters, Scripture is enough. The Spirit is working marvelously through it to bring dead sinners to new life. Through it he is granting them true faith and through it union with Christ. Through baptism he is marking out his visible church and putting his seal on his elect, which he will sovereignly bring to fruition in his good time. Through the Lord’s Supper he is mysteriously feeding believers on the true body and blood of Christ. He is operating secretly and powerfully in ways that you and I may never know. It is not that he is not operating. It is that we are looking for him in all the wrong places.
Thanks for this well argued essay.
I find it ironic that a movement that wants to consider itself as Reformed wants to bring in elements that deny the Sola’s of the Reformation. Personal revelation denies Sola Scriptura. Insisting on a dramatic conversion experience as proof of regeneration denies Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, and Sola Christus because it looks to self and not to God’s promises, in Christ alone. Heresy can be spotted from a mile away. Whether it is the covenant moralism of the FV or the Pietist\Charasmatics, they assault the Sola’s, especially the article of the standing or falling of the Church. Let’s wake up and smell the coffee! God is not glorified when we look away from His promises in Christ to something in ourselves for assurance of salvation.
Amen. I have only discovered classic Reformed theology and practice in the past couple of years. I personally concede what Tim said is correct, and it will probably come through worship, which is precisely where the “new, young, restless, and reformed,” tend to cut a crooked line, deviating from the straight-cut path of Calvin, Luther, and the Reformed orthodoxy. This is why once I began to look for a Reformed church, I didn’t stop at a calvinistic yet thoroughly modern church (Of which Omaha has several), but rather sought out a church that truly holds to the historic creeds and confessions.
Does James KA Smith lean towards this?
Yes. See, e.g., this essay.
I bought a book talks about science and Pentecostalism because of my scientific interests and rearing in Pentecostalism; James is one of the editors . https://www.amazon.com/Science-Spirit-Pentecostal-Engagement-Sciences-ebook/dp/B0046ECCD4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1517107440&sr=8-2&keywords=pentecostalism+james+smith
I love what you do!
I posted this article on facebook and a (predestinarian) charismatic responded saying:
“1) he equates the Reformed Charismatic view of the gifts with that claimed by the likes of Creflo Dollar.
2) he does not properly distinguish between the truly unique miracles such as the killing of Ananias and Saphira and the transportation of Philip – and the gifts that we are told are universally and specifically dispersed to the Church as a whole 1 Cor. 12, Eph. 4.
3. He equates the Reformed Charismatic view of revelation with that of the Anabaptists, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
4. The statement that if the Bible is the highest and final authority than no other form of divine revelation is necessary is an assumption yet to be proved.”
What are your thoughts?
Thanks for this. Some responses:
1. No, I don’t equate the two but neither do I disconnect them. The Pentecostals and Charismatics are on a continuum. Sometimes the line is fuzzy. Some of the differences are more sociological than theological. E.g., in the early 90s when the Evangelical Theological Society was meeting in Kansas City I attended a lecture by Wayne Grudem. He had already published his book explaining and defending his view of continuing revelation. His paper re-stated the main arguments from the book, which I had read and which I had found very tempting. He was conscious of my desire to maintain the canonicity and uniqueness of Scripture and he seemed to account for that. His argument (which I’ve since rejected) from Acts and Ephesians seemed plausible but in the Q & A session after the paper he recounted a story of how he had failed to heal his neighbor’s ailment (maybe an ankle) and he concluded that it was his lack of faith that prevented him from being able to heal his neighbor. Now, is that charismatic or Pentecostal theology? I cannot tell the difference.
From the perspective of Reformed confessionalism I can see some differences. I’m not accusing the YRR folks of Creflo Dollar’s heresies but that someone so allegedly powerful as Dollar needs a jet is telling. What’s the difference between Dollar needing a jet and a charismatic needing a physician? What’s the material difference between Charismatic glossolalia and Pentecostal glossolalia?
From Geneva, the line between Pentecostal and Charismatic look more than a little fuzzy sometimes.
2. The objection begs the question, i.e., it assumes what has to be proved. It seems to me like special pleading to say that what the Apostles did with Ananias and what they did in healing or speaking foreign languages are fundamentally distinct. From the perspective of Acts, they are not presented as distinct or unique. They are all presented as evidences of the Spirit’s powerful work in Apostolic church. They are presented as a package. It is the very picking and choosing that makes the Charismatic case so implausible. M. Lloyd-Jones’ argument was much more persuasive. He argued that if the Spirit is going to give us gifts today, there’s nothing we can do about it. Amen. I disagree with the Doctor about whether that is truly happening today but I think he saw how artificial the distinction is that some try to make.
3. I wager that your friend hasn’t spent much time studying the sources and history of the 16th-century charismatics, e.g., Müntzer et al. I have. The continuities are very strong. For more on this ask your friend to read the relevant sections of RRC. Müntzer et al practiced the very same pheneomena associated with modern Pentecostalism and Charismatic piety. There is nothing new under the sun.
4. Scripture itself says that it is final and sole authority for the Christian faith and the Christian life but it is good to see him openly denying sola scriptura because at least we know where the state of the discussion is. His denial is more honest than those Charismatics who profess sola scriptura in one breath and deny it with the next. One cannot deny sola scriptura and be Reformed. Indeed, one cannot deny sola scriptura and be a Protestant.
There are a number of situations in Scripture where God has given his people what they wanted to punish them, such as when they wanted an earthly king. One wonders if God is not punishing those who demand signs, wonders and private revelations because they are not content with the means God has ordained in His Word and the sacraments. “They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie….But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth..” II Thes. 2:10-13 One wonders if unbelief is not the motive for seeking personal revelations, signs, and wonders, and if counterfeit delusions are not the reward. Abraham, who believed God at His Word was counted as righteous. No signs, wonders, or private revelations needed.
Two very helpful books on this topic. THE FINAL WORD by O. Palmer Robertson, and PERSPECTIVES ON PENTECOST by Richard Gaffin. The Gaffin book is the more academic of the two. I am a former pentecostal. When we found a good Reformed church with solid preaching, it was like cold water to our thirsty souls. I realized that the level of scholarship and absolute love for the Scriptures was something we had NEVER seen among our pentecostal friends. I realized that the pentecostal view was entirely absent among the Reformers. Still, it was hard to give up on the idea of charismatic gifts for today. When I read Robertson’s book, I was horrified at myself when I realized that indeed I had been seeking revelations OUTSIDE the Word of God. I had not recognized Christ as the final Word of God. I repented and have not looked back. We do have brothers and sisters in Christ who are in pentecostal churches, but they have been misled as I once was. I do agree with comments above that mention unbelief as the root of this sin. It is unbelief when we are looking for something more than Scripture for our faith, and it is also lack of solid education in the Scriptures. Thank you Dr. Clark for preaching and teaching truth.
Do these New Calvinists seeking after the miraculous also believe the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a second work that has to be sought after (More like labored after) by Christians?
As a former Vineyard/Charismatic, I predict that those seeking after miraculous signs are in for a very rude, painful awakening. In addition to the theological Scripture twisting, in actual practice, all the hype does not translate into reality. Miraculous healings are extremely rare – no better of a track record than any other praying church, despite the expectancy. Prophetic words have the same success rate as Psychic Hotline readings. There were many times I witnessed cover-ups by leadership to save face when supposed healings/”words” failed, in order to keep the momentum of “faith” going. Denial of reality abounded. When I finally saw through it all, it was a very painful experience, but I am so thankful that God had mercy on me and opened my eyes to the truth.
Thanks for speaking up Diane.
If someone stands up and claims he or she has received a “prophecy” or “word of knowledge” or whatever, the response is simple: if what is said disagrees with Scripture, then what was said is to be rejected as unbiblical. If what is said agrees with Scripture, then what is said is still to be rejected as being superfluous and unnecessary. All statements of men are to be brought to the Bible for evaluation.
Thanks for this. You’re quite right.
As a former Pentecostal, I put no stock in what passes as prophecy today. As far as testing it goes, just whether it accords with scripture or not might not necessarily be possible. Agabbus’ prophecy concerning Paul’s imprisonment would be such an example. If a prophet stands today and and says to his congregation, “We must all move, because in 30 days, God will destroy this city”, there is no aligning with scripture. The only way to confirm such a prophecy would be to “wait and see”, which, if the prophet is genuine, would be disastrous. I’m assuming in Agabbus’ case, his authenticity has already been established. 1Cor14:29 is not about judging which part of a prophecy is legitimate – it’s a judgment as to whether he’s a prophet at all.
That’s why I don’t read Challies. Though he speaks reformed language, he accommodates a broad range of views. I can have my own opinions and he can too, but when you “speak as one with authority”, like you Dr. Clark, and others who have followings that depend on right interpretation, you cannot accommodate. Thanks for your dependable positions.
Loved the examples about how the current Charismatics would never appeal to the signs & wonders of Philip’s transportation, Ananias & Sapphira’s church judgment or Paul’s snake experience.
I’m sure the author and audience know this distinction, but whenever I reference the “still, small voice” I like to remind people that it was an audible voice and not some inner sensing.
I really enjoyed this informative post, Thanks. My only critique/request – please don’t call Dollar a “New Calinist”. He not Calvinistic in the slightest, and it muddies the waters too much to call a hardcore Arminian / Word of Faith / Charismatic a New Calvinist simply to build a point. Thank you. Blessings! Tony Sargent, (from Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia).
I’m not calling Dollar a “New Calvinist.” He is, however, an example of the fundamental problems with Pentecostalism.
I think Calvin would be more interested in the time machine ; )
Thank you for reposting this excellent article. I have a deaf daughter living in Los Angeles I will pay the cost of the round trip ticket to any “Professing Reformed Charismatic” if he will go to Los Angeles heal her immediately with perfect speech and perfect healing. No excuses lack of faith etc. But if he does not heal her then he must agree to repay me the full amount plus twice the amount which I will not keep personally but give it to the Home Mission Work I am pastoring in the RCUS
Additional comment “perfect healing” that is “perfect hearing” –
George Gillespie, Scottish commissioner to the Westminster Assembly,
has said in his A Treatise of Miscellany Questions Chapter V Point 7:
” And now having the occasion, I must say it to the glory of God, there were
in the Church of Scotland, both in the time of our first Reformation, and after
the Reformation such extraordinary men, as were more then ordinary Pastors
and Teachers, even holy Prophets receiving extraordinary Revelations from
God, and foretelling diverse strange and remarkable things, which did
accordingly come to paste punctually, to the great admiration of all who knew
the particulars, such were Mr. Wishart the Martyr, Mr. Knox the Reformer;
also Mr. John Welsh, Mr. John Davidson, Mr. Robert Bruce, Mr. Alexander
Simson, Mr. Fergusson, and others: It were too long to make a narration here
of all such particulars, and there are so many of them stupendous, that to give
instance in some few, might seem to derogate from the rest. But if God give me opportunity, I shall think it worth the while to make a collection of these things:
Mean while although such Prophets be extraordinary, and but seldom raised up
in the Church, yet such there have been: I dare say, not only in the primitive
times, but amongst our first Reformers, and others. And upon what Scripture
can we pitch for such extraordinary Prophets. If not upon those Scriptures which
are applied by some to the prophesying Brethren, or gifted Church-members; ”
Heinrich Bullinger, a man who worked alongside a 1st generation Reformer
Composed an Internationally accepted Confession, the 2nd Helvetic, wrote in
Ch XVIII Of The Ministers of The Church, Their Institution and Duties:
” PROPHETS. In former times the prophets were seers, knowing the future;
but they also interpreted the Scriptures. Such men are also found still today. ”
This he says after noting that the Apostolate had ceased. If I were to have to
make a choice with what modern Reformedom teaches & what these Reformed
men of note wrote, then there is no contest, the Old Wine is better 😉
You are right about Gillespie but you’ve quite misunderstood Bullinger. He was only saying that we still have pastors, who interpret the Scriptures.
As much as I admire Gillespie, he was wrong. Good men sometimes err.
Charismaticism is just the ol’ fashioned, ancient Montanist heresy, to one degree or another.
P.S. there is no such thing as a “careful” continuationist/charismatic, they are rarer than unicorns.
The New Apostles movement started from the cult where Grudem was an elder at the time, Storms believes even in modern Apostles and Piper has some of the goofiest and dangerous stories.
I really appreciate your critique of the YRR. I am a former Pentecostal who became a Reformed Baptist while studying at a Pentecostal Bible College. After coming out of that movement I cannot understand why anyone who is reformed would want to be pursuing the theological convictions of the charismatics. In my mind it is only a pursuit after simple experiences and physical evidences when you already have the Word of God written out for you.
I went from being a tongues-speaking Pentecostal to a cessationist in about 1 year. It was basically dropping one belief after another once I saw that I could not consistently believe in these individual gifts and manifestations that I once held to and still hold up scripture and interpret it consistently.
That being said, you do unfairly lump Creflo Dollar in with the Pentecostals. That man is not a Christian at all along with anyone else who is teaching the prosperity gospel. I came from
what I would call a classical Pentecostal church where the gospel was actively preached (and continues to be preached), right along with speaking in tongues. But there is a big problem in the Pentecostal/ Charismatic community and that is that they do not distinguish themselves fully from these false teachers (which was one of the biggest reasons that I even began to look at reformed theology). So there is a spectrum from Prosperity Gospel to Pentecostal to “reformed” Charismatic and it is only becoming more difficult to draw the line where the false teachers are located. While I might not agree with Strange Fire and their wholesale condemnation of continuationism, I believe that those who are continuationists need to firmly repudiate those who are false teachers. This is so that we can better fellowship with those who still preach the gospel.
Pentecostalism exists on a continuum. I’m not sure on what basis one could excommunicate Dollar (or at least his theology) from Pentecostalistism. I’ve been listening to mainstream Pentecostals teach Dollar’s theology for a long time. One sees that in publications such as Charisma Magazine where Dollar’s “seed faith” doctrine is regularly touted. Here is but one example. As an outsider to the various pentecostal/charismatic movements it seems to me that it is regarded as a mainstream element of that stream of theology, piety, and practice.
You are right, mainstream Pentecostalism is now engulfed in the prosperity gospel. The basis for excommunicating anyone in the Pentecostal church would be the same as any other church, based upon their statement of faith. The problem is that the most popular teachers run independent churches. They are also very good at promoting their theology in churches through their music as well. More or less Pentecostalism that I grew up with that preached the gospel is gone except for small holdouts. The rest have been taken over more or less by the spread of Hillsong, Bethel and Jesus Culture.
Basically because the Pentecostals did not separate themselves from these false teachers decades ago, their false teaching has become the mainstream. This in my view is similar to most denominations have a continuum of theology except Pentecostals refuse to declare those outside the lines as false teachers, whereas you might have liberal Presbyterians excommunicating the conservatives and vice-versa to make clear that they are not in agreement.
Look at the lives of the founders of this ancient heresy. These men and women are among the most disgusting “Christian” leaders that have ever been known. People like Parnham, Wigglesworth, McPherson, Azusa Street and others. The modern fruit is falling from its founders rotten tree. “Meet the new Montanists, same as the old Montanists.”