Sunday, April 09, 2006

Liberal Charismatics

Interesting how its hard to find Liberal charismatics or charismatic liberals. Liberal-minded folks tend to give so much credence to modernity that they poo-poo the supernatural realm. Charismatics tend to give so much credence to their experiences (as justified from certain 'proof texts' in the bible) that they poo-poo critical thinking and social justice, kingdom on earth, issues. I've gotta believe that these two dimensions can come together. (I know these are just words, and labels, but I think a good % of you know what I'm talking about.)I need, want, and fight to believe they can coexist. The best of blue and red, yeah? Can I hear an Amen?


anne said...

Leif, this was the only other way I knew how to contact you. I tried sending an email to your yahoo account but it bounced back. Could you check that out?

Anne (annegogh @ yahoo)

Anonymous said...

Amen, you have no idea how much I think about what you just wrote, it’s on my mind all the time. I’m 30 years old and live in South Florida; I was born in Australia and moved to the USA at 12. My father is a charismatic pastor / evangelist, who knows and associates with many of the leaders in the charismatic movement. I followed in his footsteps and went to Rhema Bible Training Center in Tulsa (it’s like Harvard for us charismatic’s). After Rhema I traveled for several years working on ministry teams for a few charismatic leaders. Currently I work in a charismatic church and a charismatic evangelistic association. I preach and counsel on a regular bases, I’m also working over 50 hours a week promoting these ministries on the internet. I stumbled across a copy of A New Kind of Christian, and was blown away; I read it on a flight to LA to visit with a mega-charismatic church. When I got home I googled Mclaren and found you. The interview was cool, but bare ass dialogue about Jesus is still my fav. I’m searching for a way to make blue and red come together. I’ve dropped hints, started conversations, changed the way I preach (I’ve got of my self-help soapbox and am making a series effort to give the church something significant) Even these simple moves have got me into some hot water, intervention like experiences. I know there’s away. I honestly believe in the personal relationship the movement endorses. I had an intense amazing experience in Minnesota during the peak of the joy movement that I refuse to believe was the product of hypnotism or some other gimmick. Honestly you know what I wrestle with is why a movement that has so much passion and so much to offer could be so corrupted by men with so little character. I read where Mclaren said something like the choice I face is to stay and be apart of a ship that’s sinking or to swim away and join the crew that is building the new ship that will take us into the future. (not a quote) Something makes me stay; maybe I’m a fool for dreaming that this movement can change and come into line, becoming more in tune with the things Jesus really cared about (The Kingdom). Maybe I’m afraid of the scorn I would face, from the ones I love, if I told them my heart. Anyway here I am actively trying to do what I can do, secretly keeping an open mind, reading material that would brand me a heretic if I was found out and feeling happier than I ever have. For the first time in 15 years I’m happy to be a follower of Christ, I know there has to be away to bring the others with me. Maybe a joining together is too much of a dream, if so surely coexistence must be possible. Time will tell

Jake T said...

Amen, brother Leif.


Leifh said...

Hello Anonymous --wish I could know some more about you! Wow, thanks for the encouraging, though struggly, short bio. I'd love to talk some more with you about how you are keeping these two dimensions together --write me a personal email at if you get the chance. Thanks

THanks Jake! I know you were serious...well, I was pretty sure at least (;


Jough said...


I feel the same way about Psychology and Theology. Sometimes I think that Theologians are suspicious of Psychologist simply because Freud was an atheist.

Other times I think the two fields are jealous of eachother because they compete for the same market.

Okay, short story. My dad used to teach psychology at a University where I grew up. He told me not to take any theology accept from the profs that got along with him. I thought maybe dad was being paranoid until one day I was with a friend while she was visiting one of the Theology profs. She introduced us and the prof said that she "knew who I was".

We left and I commented, "Whoa, Dr. LIttle doesn't smile much does she?"

My friend said, "No, she's never like that. She was totally being rude to you"

Way to preach the gospel!!!

Kharisma said...


I'm one of those! :) It's been a few weeks since I've been around.

About a year ago I was really struggling with how to keep grounded in the Holy Spirit while my theology seemed to be morphing before my eyes. My husband listened, then about five minutes later came into the room, looked me straight in the eye, and said, "I think I have a word for you. Just because you're a liberal does not give you an excuse to stop being Charismatic." He then crossed himself, as he does when he's fairly sure he's spoken rightly, and said, "Message delivered."

I certainly received it as one.

Good to be back, and I'll try to keep in touch more!