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What does the term charismatic mean?

Submitted: 11/27/2006
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Question: I have noticed over the years that many different people refer to another church, fellowship, or denomination as being charasmatic. This is most often done in a demeaning tone. I have been in and around many apostolic churches over the years, which is where I first heard of this. I think this is some sort of a religious spirit; because many of these so-called apostolic assemblies fail to have the five-fold ministry alive and well in their churches. They tend to criticize by labeling any assembly that does have the five-fold ministry as charasmatic. Am I wrong in this assumption? What are your views on this subject?

Answer: When apostolic people call another apostolic assembly or person 'charismatic,' they are usually implying that this assembly or person has lost their apostolic doctrinal or holiness distinctives. The charismatic movement began in the early sixties and spread throughout most Christian denominations. Today there are charismatic churches, but there are also charismatic people within mainline denominational churches. The term 'charismatic' basically refers to anyone who has received, or believes in receiving, the speaking in tongues experience. But the doctrinal beliefs and levels of consecration among charismatics vary widely. This is why apostolics sometimes refer to other apostolics who are moving away from apostolic doctrine or holiness as being charismatic.