Impressions from Strange Fire

Basically all that needs to be said concerning this weeks Strange Fire conference has most likely been said by now. Numerous articles and messages have been posted from different quarters on the internet this week, including the reposting of a few of those here at this blog.  So why another one?

It’s because I have a deep respect for Anton Bosch, having posted many of his teachings here at the blog over the years, and because he, a classic Pentecostal (which I also consider myself) attended the conference!  His eye-witness account, from a classic Pentecostal stand, is the first one I’ve come across so of course, I was interested in reading his impressions.

Perhaps you may be interested as well..


Here are the impressions I have gained from John MacArthur’s strange Fire Conference. Please note this is not an exhaustive critique of which, I am sure, many will be appearing on the internet – for and against. I simply want to convey the broad strokes as I saw it.

I attended all of the first day (Wednesday October 16) and the Q&A session on the third and last day. In addition, I have read parts of the book by the same title and read summations of the other sessions as published by MacArthur’s people: http://thecripplegate.com/ ….

Continued Here

I will add this: If you are a great fan of MacArthur, you’re likely not going to care for Anton Bosch’s impressions of many things MacArthur said.


11 comments on “Impressions from Strange Fire

  1. Wow, I had completely forgotten about Moriel Ministries and haven’t been to that blog or their site in a few years. Thanks for the reminder.

    I can’t speak to his comments on the conference, but I believe Mr. Bosch hit the nail on the head with many other things he said. It’s clear he’s as willing to question what his own sect teaches just as he questions what others teach. We all need to do that. More specifically we need to scrutinize our beliefs to see if they come from scripture alone.

  2. I watched MacArthur’s opening speech as well. And as always I am struck by his doctrinal hubris because he castigated the entire movement and then openly suggested that reformed theology is God'[s modern revelation of the unbroken stream of truth beginning at Pentecost. He never missed a chance to present reformed theology as the gospel.
    But what really struck me was that he gave his opinion and read from John Owen and other Puritans, but he did not and could not exegete Scripture to show where the gifts have ceased and the entire foundation for Pentecostalism is flawed. There is a very real and obvious reason for that. There are no Scriptures that even hint at cessationism.

    And yet these are the people who say they reject experience and adhere strictly to the teachings of Scripture even to the point of hubris. But when it suits them they can use their opinions and abuses by others to form their doctrine. They do not need Scripture because they already know what they believe. And as I have said in a former post and was reiterated on PJ’s link, this conference was professional in every detail complete with air conditioned sessions, accomplished speakers, material tables, motels and restaurant accommodation, and all the “blessings” of a hedonist society. The whole construct is like having a “I love chocolate ice cream” conference and have everyone who loves chocolate ice cream come from all over the world in order to hear how chocolate ice cream is the best and to eat much chocolate ice cream. Everyone goes home to eat more chocolate ice cream and castigate those who have no ice cream. Oh yes, even before they left their homes and headed for the chocolate ice cream conference their refrigerators were already stuffed with chocolate ice cream. Can you not see the irony and vacuous nature of such an event? And yet we are in the midst of a spiritual need much greater than ice cream.

    But the people who came already believed what was going to be said and touted. And in spite of the hundreds of thousands of dollars that were spent and the finely crafted atmosphere of the event, in the end it was “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” despite MacArthur’s self serving contention that his camp were warriors in the end times sent and anointed to do warfare with the evil Charismatics.

    Yes, there are many false teachers and many damnable heresies in sections of what we can the Charismatic or Pentecostal movement, but the world is in desperate need of something much greater than a doctrinal slugfest fought with self righteousness. The world need to see and experience Jesus through the thoughts, the words, and the lives of those who know and follow Him. And that, my friends, is a challenge which most of the church has no thirst for. Making Jesus a champion of reformed or any other theology makes Him your own personal talisman and reduces Him to a doctrinal policemen. And in the end we strip Him of His Redeemer status and we make the gospel our own doctrinal message instead of the everlasting message of hope that it truly is!

    • Amen Henry!

      And this is so true,

      The world need to see and experience Jesus through the thoughts, the words, and the lives of those who know and follow Him. And that, my friends, is a challenge which most of the church has no thirst for.

      Sadly this conference, like so many others, failed to do this

  3. Pastor/teacher/brother Bill Klein just finished a series of teachings regarding Calvinism,
    Arminianism and the Five Points of Misunderstanding and a study of Replacement Theology. There will be transcribes eventually for each of these studies, Lord willing.


  4. Bosch, for being Pentecostal, he sure writes like a dry intellectual! 🙂

    and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, (Hebrews 12:23 ESV)

    One wonders what’s up with Strange Fire and their strong aggression against Pentecostals and Charismatics when pondering that verse? There is certainly some foolishness and down right immaturity within these movements and sadly this does bring discredit to the good work of the Righteous men and women of God in their camps. And even worse this immaturity is fodder for the world and the purveyors of comedy and late night talk shows, all of which are of the world system.

    Just consider that verse, Hebrews 12:23, where we end up at the of the day?

    God is Spirit “the Bible” teaches. Jesus the “Son” of God, who is “Spirit”, teaches in “the Bible” that God seeks true worshipers who will worship Him in “Spirit and Truth/Jesus Christ”. And Hebrews 12:23 teaches us that we are being made “perfect” in this worship! First Commandment anyone?

    Ok, so how is a born again spirit filled True Believer suppose to grow in the Grace and Knowledge of the Truth and do it carnally minded? I thought my Bible taught we are not able to do these things without the Spirit’s help?

    For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. (Romans 8:6-9 ESV) Note, the KJV uses the words carnal and carnally.

    The Apostle further on writes:

    So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. (Romans 8:12-14 ESV)

    Bosch, I think, without overly embracing him like Calvinists do John Calvin, got it right that Mac Arthur is causing division within the Church. That seems to me to be a very dangerous path to be on, don’t you think?

    In Galatians 5:20 in the KJV you read in the cluster of fleshy fruits the word “variance”. The Greek word is:

    Transliteration: eris
    Pronunciation: e’-rēs
    Part of Speech: feminine noun
    Root Word (Etymology): of uncertain affinity
    Outline of Biblical Usage:
    contention, strife, wrangling.

    Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, (Galatians 5:20 KJV)

    idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, (Galatians 5:20 ESV)

    This to me captures what this Strange Fire conference has sown into its attendee/adherencers! I’m not sure that this is the fruit of the Spirit at work that The Lord want His Church to produce especially in light of the mystery of the ages as described here:

    In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (Ephesians 1:7-10 ESV)

    And I hasten to point out you must be of the “same” Holy Spirit to see this coming. The question must be asked do these proponents of the Strange Fire conference have the Holy Spirit and see this unity the Apostle Paul writes there in Ephesians 1 coming in the last days?

    Jesus did say:

    “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. (Matthew 10:34-36 ESV)

    But the book of Hebrews says this too:

    And this we will do if God permits. (Hebrews 6:3 ESV)

    My guess is these folks of the Strange Fire conference are at some stage[s] of maturity and it is fool hearty to brush broadly one stage of Penecostal/Charismatic maturity being unScriptural or worse not even saved?

    • One wonders what’s up with Strange Fire and their strong aggression against Pentecostals and Charismatics when pondering that verse? There is certainly some foolishness and down right immaturity within these movements and sadly this does bring discredit to the good work of the Righteous men and women of God in their camps.

      Wondered the same thing Michael. As the old saying goes, MacArthur has a ‘bee in his bonnet’ when it comes to anything to do with pentecostals and/or charismatics, believing only reformed theology is the “pure stream” by which the gospel is (and has) went forth since the days of the apostles.

      We’ve had extremists and immaturity within pentecostal/charismatic circles for years…and these are called out often and regularly by other pentecostals/charismatics on a regular basis. I think what we’re seeing by MacArthur’s recent actions is extremism and immaturity is not just relegated to the P&C crowd–it also can be found within reformed circles as well.

      For me it (this conference) all boils down to one question: Did it help the body or Christ or harm it. Sadly I would have to say it sure didn’t help it. Many of the comments i’ve read which were made by John remind me of the ugliness we’ve witnessed coming from Christians in this nation, over Obama’s elections.

      Makes me think…

  5. Hi pj
    Who’s going to tell MacAthur that he is being used to fulfil JOyners prophecy about the blues and greys – 🙂

  6. Now now now Rick! I like chocolate! Couldn’t you pick on bacon lovers instead? 🙂

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