Or "How a Nice Dutch Reformed Girl Ended up Charismatic."
I shared some of my denominational background in the post, Tiptoeing through the Tulips. I also shared some of my testimony in the post, Growing Up Christian.
My childhood church experience was pretty limited. I didn't have any religious exposure outside the confines of our church.
When I left home to attend college, I was in my "girl gone wild" phase. I only attended church when I was home visiting mom and dad.
By the middle of my second year in college, I had made a complete train wreck of my life. Fortunately, God used this desperation to draw me back to Himself.
My first step was to look for a church. There weren't any Reformed Churches in town, so I tried the Methodist Church. I don't know why I picked the 8 a.m. service, but there was just me and about a dozen senior citizens there. Awkward!
Next, I attended the Baptist church. Seemingly unrelated to whatever the message was, I remember that I was met by the presence of the Holy Spirit and felt completely undone.
Then I began attending the campus ministry. My issue with the campus ministry was that most of the kids who went there were just kind of weird. I wasn't thrilled about hanging out with them. But I decided to humble my cool self and join them.
By this time, I had begun reading my Bible and was struggling, wondering whether God would have anything to do with me.
One night a bunch of kids from the college group were going to "revival" meetings at the local Assembly of God church, so I tagged along. This first visit to a charismatic church was certainly an eye-opener for me.
That night was pivotal in many ways. I encountered Jesus in a way that was life-changing for me. I was introduced to the charismatic realm. And I met the man who would eventually be my husband.
I began attending bible studies with a group of young adults that met several times a week. Interestingly, they listened to a lot of Kenneth Copeland. Somewhere along the way, I picked up a book about the Holy Spirit by Dennis Bennett.
When I started dating my husband, it was just a matter of time until I joined him in being charismatic.
Knowing that not everyone who reads this believes the same, let me just say that I am simply sharing my experience. For me, an additional experience beyond salvation of being filled with the Holy Spirit made sense both scripturally and experientially.
The experience was also life-changing for me. It is hard to describe, but it definitely drew me closer to the Lord. I felt more able to know Him and to understand the Bible. There was also an immediate change apparent to those who knew me, a softening and also more visible joy.
Since then, my husband and I have experienced almost every possible aspect of charismatic church, the good, the bad, and the ugly. My husband will no longer wear the label of charismatic because of what it represents to him.
Like the term christian, I agree that it has a lot of baggage. However, neither of us want to deny the importance of the aspect of the life of the Holy Spirit in our christian walk.
The definition of charismatic is "the belief that supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit are available to and experienced by Christians today."
We still believe this. Perhaps we will adopt robbymac's terminology of post-charismatic, but not post-Spirit.