Vincent Cheung: “Cessationism is not a doctrine to be argued about, but a sin to be repented of”
|October 6, 2011||Posted by Rick Hogaboam under Pentecostal/Charismatic Interests, Theology|
As the validity of charismatic gifts have received recent attention in the blogosphere, due in large part to Doug Wilson and Mark Dricoll’s discussion, and Michael Horton’s thoughts, and more; I thought it worth posting some comments from Vincent Cheung, a Reformed scholar and pastor, who makes the following bold comments from his paper, “Cessationism and Speaking in Tongues” (check out another article by Cheung “Cessationism and Rebellion”):
Likewise, if I teach “Do not forbid speaking in tongues” and you teach “Always forbid speaking in tongues” (or a doctrine that leads to this), then one of us must be wrong. To show me that I am the one in the wrong, I would demand that you produce a biblical argument that is as clear, as forceful, as perfect, and as infallible as the one that says, “Do not forbid speaking in tongues.”
Frankly, against this consideration, I would be too afraid to teach cessationism. And I wonder how we can justify the decision to allow anyone to remain in the ministry who would continue teaching cessationism after hearing this simple argument. If he cannot answer it – if he cannot produce an infallible argument for cessationism – but continues to teach the doctrine, this can only mean that he consciously promotes rebellion against the Lord. What right do we have, then, to refrain from throwing him out of the ministry? Do I have the authority to protect such a person from church discipline? But I am not stronger than the Lord.
As it is, cessationism is not a doctrine to be argued about, but a sin to be repented of. Christians should not only avoid cessationism, but they should be afraid, deathly afraid, to affirm it, since as it stands, it entails a direct and deliberate defiance of God’s commands. You may say, “It is fine to say that we must not forbid speaking in tongues, but we must forbid the counterfeit.” How is this relevant at this point? If in the attempt to oppose the counterfeit, you oppose all claims to speaking in tongues as a matter of principle, then you are back to defying Paul’s command again. If you admit that we must not forbid speaking in tongues, but must judge each instance on its own merit, I would agree with you, but then you are no longer a cessationist.
© 2011, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.