I have noticed that there is a deep suspicion by charismatics towards Baptists when it comes to the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
I heard it in the preaching at the Pentecostal church that I used to attend. I saw it at the (predominately Baptist) seminary that I studied at. Being Pentecostal at the time, my Baptist friends would ask me if I believed in the Bible and I would ask them if they believed in the Holy Spirit. It was all done in fun but there was a real stereotype behind it.
Just today I read the following statement in a news item from Charisma by Mark Andrews.
“charismatics know it is almost pointless to discuss the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12, 14) with Baptists”
Now that I am a Baptist, I am wondering what sort of Baptists it is pointless to discuss the gifts of the Holy Spirit with. I am sure that there are such Baptists out there but I don’t know them.
Cessationism is not one of the Baptist distinctives. In fact, one of our distinctives is the local church. This means that there is no central authority that tells us what to believe. No one can tell a local church what to believe about the Holy Spirit. Each church is free to be either charismatic or cessationist.
It is probably true that there would be some confusion if someone gave a message in tongues during a worship service, but the gifts of the Spirit are not limited to that specific manifestation. Most Baptist pastors that I know believe that the gifts of the Spirit are still active today, even if there may be some disagreement on how that looks.
What I can say for sure is that it is not pointless to discuss the gifts of the Holy Spirit with Baptists. We need to have that discussion and part of that conversation requires charismatics to back off on the Baptist stereotype.