PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL IN 2008 LABEL
It seems for some reason there has to be a label on your faith rather than just being called a Christian. It seems you have to have a label so that you can be categorized or fit in a nice pigeon hole category by others.
Let me see how many I can come up with from my studies. I am not going to get into the different denominations as that will be another category to cover. There are the fundamentalist, cessationist, traditionalist, dispensationalist, Pentecostals, evangelicals, Charismatics, Post tribulationist, pretribulationist, and the list goes on. Then you have theologians that fall into these labels too. Some believe this way and some believe that way. I guess with theologians, it depends on which seminary you studied under.
A few of these groups states that the spiritual gifts ceased after the last apostle's death but that might not be the case. It very well could have been the church groups and bureaucratic leadership possibly put out gifted people or the church rejected them. Thus the people stopped seeking the gifts in direct disobedience to Gods commands. (1 Cor. 12:31: 14:1-39). Augustine about 3 centuries later began by believing that the miracle gifts were with drawn from the church but near the end of his life he retracted his claim and recorded 70 instances of miracles happening in his city of Hippo. Another that substantiates this was Warfield about 500 AD although he failed to give credence to the miracles he did state there were miracles.
Think about it. If the church lost the gifts for so many centuries could they have not lost other doctrine? Take the case of the book of Deuteronomy. It was lost some time after Moses death and wasn't discovered until about 622 B.C. It also happened again in the doctrine of justification by faith alone in Christ as stated by the apostles . It wasn't until the reformation in the 1500's and 1600's that it was found and made available to all people again in their own language. Can you wonder if more vital scripture is lost in a dusty closet waiting to be discovered? Lets not even talk about the Gnostic scriptures.
Back to basics here. The reason for all these labels as related to Christians is to determine where your ideologies and thinking follows. What I don't agree with is being pigeon holed into a label or group. I think a bible believing Christian that follows the scriptures as it is written is plenty of a label. What has happened is these labels has split up the Christian church and created division among Christians. Can you imagine what the non believers think of this? We can't even agree amongst ourselves what to follow. This is certainly not what God had planned or envisioned. And all this time He thought that the Nation of Israel was a headache. It would be nice for all people of faith to sit down and unite under one goal as Christians but that will never happen due to the many varied ideologies that we can come up with in worshiping the Lord. There in lies the paradox of who is right and who is not.
What ever Bible you read the scriptures from, it should convey the true word as stated by God and understandable as God's will for us to follow. Careful repeated study will reveal His true words and it will jump right off the pages at you. We don't need to be theologians to understand what God is saying. Through Paul He says to earnestly seek the gifts and miracles. Through Paul He states we will be baptised with the Holy Spirit in order to receive these gifts. He was not talking about only the Apostles but us as Christians. It doesn't take a theologian to figure this out.
Miracles, Spiritual gifts, super natural healing, and loving faith in the Lord is ours for the asking. No label or church can take that away from you. It is from God as He loves us all and wants us to experience His grace and gifts. Of course this is going to label you as a charismatic or whatever. The fact remains is you are a Christian seeking God's grace and love. That is the only label you need to worry about.
So what does that label me?