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Jim Croft: Charismatic Superstitions and Misconceptions

Unfortunately, this book also contains many errors in logic and biblical interpretation. Although many could be cited, for the sake of space only three will be examined.

1. Mr. Croft, in his introduction, makes the following statement (p. ix):

We reflect the nature of God by the type of people with whom we choose to fellowship. Normally we seek the companionship of those that [sic] are secure in who they are and express enthusiasm for their vocations and the projects of others. Conversely, we tend to avoid people who are insecure about their relationship with us. Most of us find it unpleasant to be friends with those who are frustrated with their lives. Unquestionably, God loves those who are insecure, frustrated, and needy. So should we. He graciously meets their needs and visits them with episodes of His comforting presence. So should we. It is possible, however, that like us, He finds pleasure in and prefers to abide with those who enjoy life in general.

This statement (especially the last sentence), if true, would be a source of crushing despair for those who are struggling with insecurity, frustration, and need. Such people need the assurance of their heavenly Father’s ever-abiding presence more than ever, rather than be told, “Yes, God loves you, but he doesn’t really want to spend time with you until you can be more sure of yourself.” Rather than attempting to fashion God into our image (and thus giving us an excuse not to change our motivations), we should instead strive to determine God’s motivations, and to continually ask for the Spirit’s help and guidance to become more and more like Christ.

2. In his chapter on “The Godhead,” Mr. Croft deals with the “misconception” that “Jesus was poor” (pp. 7-8). For example, Mr. Croft states, “While working in the secular field, … [Jesus] had to observe all of the various Sabbaths contained in Judaism, meaning that He took over 70 days off from any labor whatsoever each year…. He could not have afforded to take the time off unless He had a lucrative business” (p. 7). However, this last statement does not follow as a logical conclusion. Although Mr. Croft mentions 70 “days off” during the year, he neglects to clarify that these days would be observed throughout the course of the year (much like our weekends, holidays, and vacations). It is also important to realize that these days would have been observed by every faithful Jew in Jesus day-using Mr. Croft’s logic, every other Jew in Palestine would also have needed “a lucrative business” in order to “[afford] to take the time off.”

Mr. Croft also makes the interesting statement that “Jesus … had sufficient funds to give to the poor and pay the salaries and travel expenses of His team of 12 men…. Most of our well-known healing evangelists do very well financially” (p. 8). However, comparing the ministry of our Lord in first-century Palestine with the ministries of modern-day Christian leaders in Western society is a false and misleading comparison at best. Jesus did not have a paid board of directors made up of twelve elders; instead, Christ and his disciples traveled on foot from town to town (Luke 8:1; 9:57; 10:1), with no permanent place to stay (Matthew 8:20), and having to rely on the generosity of those around him (Luke 8:2-3).

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Category: Fall 2015, In Depth

About the Author: Michael J. Knowles earned his Bachelor of Theology degree at Summit Pacific College in Abbotsford, BC, Canada, and has published numerous articles and book reviews. He and his family currently live in Washington state, where he teaches health education at Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon, and also works as a pharmacy technician in Bellingham.

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