My Autobiography

Part Thirteen–Theological Dilemnas

In the fall, I began a theological journey that forever changed me. I had attending a Pentecostal Baptist church in Highland, Michigan for about six months minus the month I spent in North Carolina. I was staunchly against “charismata” because I believed that those gifts had ceased at the end of the apostolic age, a doctrine known as cessationism. But when I began to examine the Scriptures, I found the evidence for this doctrine flimsy at best. I finally made an appointment with my pastor and asked him, “Should I be seeking the gift of speaking in tongues?”

“No,” he said, “You should be seeking the baptism of the Holy Spirit.” It just so happened that that was a Wednesday and he was speaking that night on this very same subject. I showed up and went forward during the invitation. I was taken into a separate room and the pastor layed hands on me and prayed. I opened my mouth and spoke for the first time in tongues. All the way back to the dorm, for about half an hour, I exercised this newfound gift in praise to the Lord. I have since moved away from the position that there is a second baptism in the Holy Spirit. Rather, I still affirm that all the gifts are just as valid today as they were in the first century and that God grants those as He chooses.

Not long after that, I also settled another theological dilemma. I realized that I was a four-point Arminian believing only in eternal security. After searching the Scriptures, I worked my way back inductively, to embrace four out of five points of Calvinism. Eventually, I embraced all five. So I found myself in the awkward position of being reformed and charismatic.

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